Tomorrow, in Brussels, Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin will sign the new Arrangement for Cooperation between the Commission and the UEFA, adopted in June 2022. Taking advantage of the widespread success channelled by football in Europe, this third Arrangement for Cooperation, following those signed in 2014 and 2018, aims to promote the European values and objectives set in the European Sport Model. Vice-President for promoting our European way of life Margaritis Schinas, said: “We must defend a European model of sport driven by values and based on diversity and inclusion, and I count on the cooperation with UEFA in this regard and to maintain our fruitful dialogue contributing to the implementation of EU policy objectives in the field of sport.” Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “This Arrangement for Cooperation represents a new step in our long-standing cooperation in the field of sport. UEFA is an important partner to promote our initiatives in sport related notably to HealthyLifestyle4All, inclusiveness, mental health, fairness and gender equality. Sport, and particularly football, is an efficient platform to reach our youth and all European citizens, raising awareness on our European values.” The Arrangement for Cooperation promotes among others integrity in sport and fighting against manipulation of sport competitions and corruption. It supports climate action and the green transition as well as healthy and active lifestyles for all. Joint efforts in this regard will be intensified across relevant UEFA events and competitions, and in particular for the flagship men’s (2024) and women’s (2025) UEFA EURO European Championships. (For more information: Sonya Gospodinova – Tel.: +32 229 66953; Flore Boutier – Tel.: + 32 229 66043)


From farm to fork: Commission seeks public input on overhaul of food contact materials legislation


Today the Commission is launching a consultation, asking a wide public to give their opinion on food contact materials (FCM) – namely food packaging, kitchenware and tableware and other items used in food production and transportation. Contributions from economic operators, public authorities, NGOs and citizens will feed into the review of EU legislation on CFMs, which has been announced as part of the Farm to Fork strategy. The review aims to improve food safety and public health, including reducing the use of hazardous chemicals, to support the use of innovative, reusable and recyclable packaging solutions that are environmentally friendly and to increase transparency. Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Citizens pay particular attention to the safety of foodstuffs of which food contact materials are an integral part. We must provide the right incentives to promote the use of sustainable alternatives and ensure that our consumers enjoy the highest possible level of protection. This is why I call on anyone interested to share their views with us. We need updated rules that are both adapted to today’s environmental challenges and to protect the health of our consumers.» An assessment of the current legislation has already highlighted significant shortcomings such as lack of harmonized rules for non-plastic materials intended to come into contact with food, lack of regulatory guidance on end article relating to materials intended to come into contact with foodstuffs, difficulties in enforcement and the lack of incentives to develop safer and more sustainable alternatives. The public consultation will be open for a period of 12 weeks, until January 11, 2023, and will contribute to the drafting of the new legislation. The Commission will also carry out targeted consultations with consumers, EU Member States, economic operators and other stakeholders, as well as studies supporting the new legislation. You can find more information on our FCM website. (For more information: Stefan De Keersmaecker – Tel.: +32 229 84680; Anna Wartberger – Tel.: +32 229 82504)


The European Commission proposes to reinforce humanitarian aid in the 2022 and 2023 budgets


Today, the European Commission has proposed to amend its Draft Budget for 2023 by way of an amending letter, as well as to update its budget for 2022 through Draft Amending Budget 5 and budgetary transfers, to respond to the geopolitical challenges and the economic situation. A key budgetary transfer concerns the reinforcement of the humanitarian aid budget by €395 million in 2022, both to address the global food crisis triggered by the war, and to support vulnerable populations in Ukraine and in Moldova. A €100 million will support the rehabilitation of damaged Ukrainian schools, as announced by President von der Leyen in her State of the Union address. For 2023, the Commission proposes to increase humanitarian aid, as an urgent response to the consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine, including for the resulting food crisis, by a total of €150 million. Furthermore, €100 million of reinforcement of Erasmus+ will support Ukrainian students, pupils and educational staff. This comes on top of the €19 billion for Ukraine secured by Team Europe to date. Today, the Commission has also proposed to reinforce the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) in both 2022 and 2023 to double the aerial forest fire fighting capacity ahead of the next summers, as announced by President von der Leyen in the State of the Union address. The combined effect is of €170 million, including anticipated procurement of helicopters. The Commission is also proposing to budget the amounts foreseen for the EU Short-term Defence instrument reinforcing European defence industrial capacities through common procurement by EU Member States, as proposed in July 2022. The amounts concerned are €83 million in 2022 and €157 million in 2023. Amendments to the EU budget both for the current year and to the proposed budget for the next year are a standard practice, in view of addressing unforeseen events and better responding to the needs of beneficiaries on the ground. The full decisions are available online. A press release on the Commission’s original proposal for a 2023 budget is here. A press release on reinforcement of rescEU fleet is available online. (For more information: Balazs Ujvari – Tel.: +32 229 54578; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140; Claire Joawn – Tel.: +32 229 56859)


Agriculture : Latest short-term outlook report: EU agricultural markets remain stable despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine


Today, the Commission has published the latest short-term outlook report for EU agricultural markets. This regular publication presents a general and sector-by-sector overview of the latest tendencies and further prospects for agri-food markets. The report shows that EU agricultural production continues to be impacted by the consequences of the unjustified Russian war in Ukraine, on surging energy prices, increasing input costs and food inflation throughout the EU. In addition to geopolitical instability, the EU recorded one of the hottest summers in history, which significantly affected summer crops, such as maize, soybeans and sunflower. Meteorological conditions have also been difficult for livestock producers and animals who suffered from heat stress and less feed. Despite obvious challenging conditions, the EU’s agricultural sector remains stable. Food availability is not at risk in the EU. The total EU cereal production is now forecast to reach 270.9 million tons, which represents 7.8% less than last year. The sharpest decrease concerns maize at 55.5 million tons, a 23.7% decrease year-on-year. This is mainly due to summer drought. Soft wheat production will only experience a 2.4% decrease with a forecast production of 127 million tons. EU exports of cereals are expected to reach 51 million tonnes, which is 6.5% above last season and 20.9% above the five-year average. Trade of cereals keeps increasing with EU soft wheat exports expected to reach 36 million tons, an increase of 23% year-on-year. The EU will continue to play its part to contribute to global food security. More detailed information about production, consumption, and prices in these sectors and others can be found in the full summer 2022 short-term outlook report and here. (For more information: Miriam Garcia Ferrer – Tel.: +32 229 99075; Thérèse Lerebours – Tel.: +32 229 63303)


World Teachers’ Day: a day that celebrates teachers and recognizes their crucial role


On World Teachers’ Day, the Commission raises awareness of the important role of teachers, trainers and school leaders. On this occasion, the Eurydice network publishes the Facts and Figures report “Salaries and allowances of teachers and school heads 2021/2022”. Among several factors such as working conditions, career prospects, opportunities for professional development and recognition, remuneration plays an important role in attracting people to the profession and ensuring that teachers feel valued and sufficiently motivated to deliver quality teaching. The report is accompanied by country factsheets that illustrate data on salaries and allowances for teachers and principals for each education system. For the first time, these sheets are published as open data and can be consulted here . European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “Teachers are at the heart of education. We’ve all had a teacher who made a difference in our enthusiasm for learning, in our ability to see the world through different eyes. They convey not only knowledge but also inspiration, guidance and advice. The daily commitment of teachers must be valued and recognized. We must give them the means and the conditions, as well as the respect and the space, which allow them to provide quality, inclusive and innovative education.” The Commission is carrying out a series of complementary actions and initiatives within the framework of the European Education Area to support teachers throughout their career, both in their initial training and in their continuing professional development. These actions include the development of 25 Erasmus+ teacher academies by 2025 to create networks of teacher training institutions, teacher associations and stakeholders, an increase in the number and quality of periods mobility for teachers under Erasmus+ and the implementation of the European Prize for Innovative Teaching to recognize the work of teachers and their schools. (For more information: Sonya Gospodinova – Tel.: +32 229 66953; Flore Boutier – Tel.: + 32 229 66043)


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Source: Cyprus News Agency