Commissioner Kyriakides participates in the Summit of ‘First Ladies and Gentlemen’

Tomorrow, Commissioner Stella Kyriakides will participate in the ‘First Ladies and Gentlemen Summit’, a teleconference event hosted for the second time by the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska. This year, bringing together high-level participants from around the world online, the Summit will be dedicated to the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. Three categories of guests will participate in the event: first ladies and gentlemen from different countries of the world; representatives of international organizations (WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO, etc.) and celebrities – singers, actors, directors, representatives of other sectors. The Summit will be divided into four thematic panel discussions: temporarily displaced persons; children and education; the physical and mental recovery of Ukrainians, and ultimately women, their role in decision-making in the field of defence, post-war reconstruction of the country and, in particular, in information technology. The main studio will be located in Ukraine. Four other studios will be located in Brussels, Warsaw, London and Washington. Commissioner Kyriakides will be present in Brussels. As part of the Summit, a fundraiser for ambulances was launched.

Agriculture: Commission approves a new geographical indication from Cyprus

The Commission has approved today a new protected geographical indication (PGI) from Cyprus: the ‘Makaronia tis Smilas / Makaronia tou Sklinitziou’, a type of hand-made dried pasta, made by mixing durum wheat flour with a little salt and water, and/or by mixing another type of flour with semolina, salt and water. The characteristics of ‘Makaronia tis Smilas / Makaronia tou Sklinitziou’ are the result of the know-how and local expertise of their producers. Specifically, the special tool used to make the pasta is of great importance. The thin reed-like stem is carefully selected. Another skill producers need to make this pasta is the placement of the pasta in drying baskets in such a way that the pieces do not touch one another. ‘Makaronia tis Smilas / Makaronia tou Sklinitziou’ are often consumed during festivities or special occasions. The new denomination will be added to the list of existing 1587 agricultural products and foodstuffs. The list of all protected geographical indications can be found in the eAmbrosia database.

Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland: Commission launches four new infringement procedures against the UK

The European Commission has today launched four new infringement procedures against the United Kingdom for not complying with significant parts of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland. The UK has two months to reply to the letters, after which the Commission stands ready to take further measures. Despite repeated calls by the European Parliament, the 27 EU Member States and the European Commission to implement the Protocol, the UK government has failed to do so. In a spirit of constructive cooperation, the Commission refrained from launching certain infringement procedures for over a year to create the space to look for joint solutions with the UK. However, the UK’s unwillingness to engage in meaningful discussion since last February and the continued passage of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill through the UK Parliament go directly against this spirit. The aim of these infringement procedures is to secure compliance with the Protocol in a number of key areas. This compliance is essential for Northern Ireland to continue to benefit from its privileged access to the European Single Market, and is necessary to protect the health, security and safety of EU citizens as well as the integrity of the Single Market. Today’s decision marks the beginning of formal infringement procedures, as set out in Article 12(4) of the Protocol, in conjunction with Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The letters sent to the UK request its authorities to take swift remedial actions to restore compliance with the terms of the Protocol. A full press release is available here. A Q&A has also been published online.

Commission steps up work on global supply chain resilience together with the US and other global partners

On behalf of the EU, the Commission, represented by Commissioner Breton, signed a statement alongside the US and 16 other global partners to jointly work on global supply chain issues. The joint statement highlights four global supply chain principles to guide the work on supply chain issues globally: improving transparency and information sharing among partners to better anticipate supply chain bottlenecks; diversifying and increasing global capacities for materials and inputs; addressing vulnerabilities and better managing security risks to supply chains as well as fostering fair and sustainable practices along supply chains. The statement is the result of discussions that took place during the US hosted Ministerial Forum on Global Supply Chain Resilience on 19 and 20 July. This built on cooperation launched at the Leader’s Summit on Global Supply Chain Resilience hosted by President Biden in Rome on October 31, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have laid bare the fragility of several critical supply chains, making the objectives of this Forum even more urgent. In addition to the EU and the US, 16 other countries have signed the joint statement, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Ukraine: Commission proposes flexibilities allowing to continue European Neighbourhood cross border and Interreg transnational cooperation programmes

The Commission will 100% co-finance the cross-border programmes with Ukraine and Moldova to help implementing the cooperation projects disrupted by the Russian military aggression against Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, cross border cooperation programmes between Member States, Ukraine and Moldova have faced serious disruptions. With its proposal, the Commission introduces more flexible conditions to implement these EU-funded programmes which are crucial to support local schools, hospitals, social care and institutions (e.g., SOS rescue project on PL-UA border). Moreover, projects with Ukraine and Moldova addressing migratory challenges would also be retroactively eligible from 24 February 2022, the day of the Russian invasion. Finally, cross-border cooperation projects with Russia and Belarus that were disrupted following the suspension, can now only be implemented on the EU Member States’ side. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “The brutal and unjustified Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought many cross-border projects to an abrupt halt and severely challenged the implementation of the programmes. Yet, those programmes are crucial for providing support to EU neighbouring regions, as well as to the Ukrainian and Moldovan population. With this proposal, we introduce new flexibilities, which will allow many of these projects to continue despite the challenging circumstances. This will benefit Ukrainians and Moldovans – and their EU partners as well.” The proposal concerns thirteen cross-border and two transnational cooperation programmes between nine Member States, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova on the one hand, and Russia and Belarus on the other.

Fisheries and aquaculture: Emergency amendment to unlock support needed due to Russian invasion of Ukraine to enter into force tomorrow

Today, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the crisis measures proposed by the Commission on 13 April to support the fisheries and aquaculture sectors whose activity has been seriously disturbed by the Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The legislative amendment to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Regulation enters into force tomorrow. Welcoming the news of the adoption, Virginius Sinkevicius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “The quick action from the Commission and rapid adoption of the EMFF amendment by co-legislators have been fundamental in unlocking remaining funding for emergency support to the fisheries sector impacted by this crisis. I call now on the Member States to quickly put in place these measures and ensure continuity of fishing and other economic activities as much as possible in these exceptional circumstances. Guaranteeing seafood supply for our consumers and maintaining the employment and economic viability in the sector should be our priorities.” In the following weeks, Member States planning to use these crisis measures under the EMFF will be able to submit requests to modify their EMFF operational programmes to the Commission. Given the urgency of the situation and based on best practices from the COVID-19 EMFF emergency measures, Member States may already start implementing the new measures by selecting operations before the formal approval by the Commission. Member States will be able to reallocate financial resources under the EMFF to foster their emergency response capacities and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis on the sector. In particular, they will have the possibility to grant financial support for the additional operating costs and economic losses suffered by fishery, aquaculture and seafood processing operators, as well as help those fishers who had to temporarily interrupt their operations due to the impact of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Source: Cyprus News Agency