Monday 22 April 2024

Mr Margaritis Schinas participates via videoconference in the conference ‘Building Europe with local Counsellors’ organised by the municipality of Ilio; receives students from the 5th Lyceum of Nikaia; receives a group of mayors and councilors from Greece and Cyprus.

Tuesday 23 April 2024

College Meeting

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Ms Stella Kyriakides participates in the launch event of the Critical Medicines Alliance.

Thursday 25 April 2024

Mr Margaritis Schinas in Ghent, Belgium: delivers introductory remarks at the kick-off event of the Great Debate final debate; meets with representatives from Graffiti vzw.

Ms Iliana Ivanova in Istanbul, Trkiye: participates in the 2nd EU-Trkiye High-Level Science, Research, Technology and Innovation Dialogue; hands out the awards at the EIT-EIC European Prize for Women Innovators Award Ceremony, and at the EIC Plug-in Scheme Award Ceremony; meets with Mr Mehmet Fatih Kacir, Minister for Industry and Technology of Trkiye; visits Bogazi
çi University Biotech Campus in Kandilli and its LifeSci’s New Laboratories, and inaugurates the Life Science Centre.

Additional obligations for Very Large Online Platforms kick in for Pornhub, Stripchat and XVideos under the DSA

As of next week, adult entertainment platforms Pornhub, Stripchat and Xvideos will have to comply with the most stringent obligations under the Digital Services Act (DSA). These specific obligations include submitting risk assessment reports to the Commission, putting in place mitigation measures to address systemic risks linked to the provision of their services, complying with additional transparency obligations, including related to ads, and providing access to data for researchers.

These obligations apply to designated Very Large Online Platforms (i.e. online platforms with more than 45 million users in the EU) 4 months after the legal notification of their designation. For the three platforms at stake, these additional provisions will kick in on 21 April for Pornhub and Strip
chat, and on 23 April for XVideos.

The DSA makes designated Very Large Online Platforms accountable for ensuring safer, more transparent online spaces. They must identify and address in an effective manner systemic risks, particularly when it comes to mitigating risks to the well-being of minors, amplification of illegal content, recommender systems, etc.

The Commission is carefully monitoring the compliance with DSA obligations by these platforms, especially concerning the measures to protect minors from harmful content and to address the dissemination of illegal content. If the Commission has suspicions of infringements of the DSA obligations, it will follow up with the appropriate steps, making use of the full DSA toolbox.

The Digital Services Act started applying to all online platforms (irrespective of their size) on 17 February 2024, who must since then comply with the general obligations, such as putting in place a user-friendly notice and action system, bans on targeted ads for children, and enhanc
ed transparency reporting.

(For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 2 295 86 15; Thomas Regnier – Tel.: +32 2 299 10 99)

Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Vifor over possible anticompetitive disparagement of iron medicine

The European Commission invites comments on commitments offered by Vifor to address competition concerns over the alleged disparagement of its closest – and potentially only – competing treatment in Europe for intravenous iron treatment, Pharmacosmos’ Monofer.

Following the opening of a formal investigation in June 2022, the Commission preliminarily found that Vifor is dominant in several national markets for the provision of intravenous iron medicines, namely in Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands. The Commission is concerned that Vifor may have restricted competition in the market for intravenous iron treatment by illegally disparaging Monofer, an iron deficiency treatment by its closest competitor in Euro
pe, Pharmacosmos.

To address the Commission’s competition concerns, Vifor has offered a number of commitments, which would be monitored by a monitoring trustee appointed by Vifor, who would report to the Commission for a period of 10 years.

The Commission invites all interested parties to submit their views on Vifor’s proposed commitments within one month from the publication of a summary of the proposed commitments in the EU’s Official Journal.

A press release is available online.

(For more information: Lea Zuber – Tel.: +32 2 295 62 98; Sara Simonini – Tel.: +32 2 298 33 67)

Commissioner Wojciechowski leads EU agri-business delegation to China

Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski will visit China from 21-27 April 2024, leading a senior EU agri-food business delegation aiming to grow European food and beverage exports in this key market. His visit, the first by an Agriculture Commissioner since 2019, reflects the importance of strengthening EU-China agri-trade relations by increasing aware
ness of the high quality and safety of EU products. The business delegation comprises 72 business leaders, representing EU agri-food companies and organisations from 17 EU countries, as well as 4 EU associations. The main sectors represented are beverages, confectionary, dairy and cheese, fruit and vegetables, meat, and olive oil.

On Monday, 22 April, he will deliver a keynote speech at an event for Geographical Indications. In the afternoon, the Commissioner will host an official dinner with the participation of Chinese Government Officials, EU Business Delegates, and other key stakeholders. On Wednesday, 24 April, the Commissioner will attend the Opening ceremony of the Anuga Select China fair, a globally important food and beverage exhibition.

The second part of his visit will focus on political engagements in Beijing. He will hold several bilateral meetings, including with Tang Renjian, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs; Wang Wentao, Minister of Commerce; Minister Yu Jianhua, Head of the Gener
al Administration of Customs of China; and Shen Changyu, Commissioner of the Chinese National Intellectual Property Agency. A visit to an organic farm on the outskirts of Beijing will provide fresh perspectives on sustainable agricultural practices.

You can find more information online.

(For more information: Olof Gill – Tel.: +32 2 296 59 66; Myrto-Amaryllis Lappa – Tel.: +32 2 299 70 98)

Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Orpo

Dear Prime Minister, dear Petteri,

First of all, thank you very much for inviting me here to Lappeenranta, close to the Russian border. Today’s visit to the border crossing point was very insightful for me. I have said it now many times – and I will say it again: We should all be more Finnish when it comes to security. We have a lot to learn from Finland and from the model of Finnish preparedness across all levels of society. It allows you to respond adequately to different types of crises. This is what makes a society t
ruly resilient. I am therefore very glad that the former President Sauli Niinistö has agreed to share your knowledge with us, and to prepare a report on this topic that can help with our reflections in the European Union.

Since the hybrid attack launched by Belarus in November 2021 against Latvia, Poland and Lithuania, we all know how Putin and his allies instrumentalise migrants to test our defences and try to destabilise us. Now, Putin is focusing on Finland. This is no doubt in response to your firm support of Ukraine and your accession to NATO. Finland has acted decisively and successfully to counter this threat. This is not just about the security of Finland, but it is about the security of the European Union. We are in this together. In December, European Leaders condemned these hybrid attacks and expressed a clear determination to counter them. And this is why I am here today, to tell you that the European Union is there to support you in your efforts.

Let me highlight three points. First, the Europe
an Commission and Frontex are providing financial and operational support. For example, by deploying border guards and surveillance equipment at the eastern border and at Helsinki airport. In this financing period, Europe supports Finland with EUR 230 million. Second, we are continuously working and reaching out to the countries of origin of migrants, to make sure they can take all appropriate measures. This was very successful in 2022, when Belarus instrumentalised migrants to put pressure on Poland. We worked very successfully in returning migrants to their country of origin. Finally, we have also reinforced our European legal framework by introducing the concept of instrumentalisation of migrants for the first time. I know that you are looking at your own legal framework to ensure greater protection against this type of hybrid attacks. Finding the right balance between securing the external borders and ensuring the respect of our international obligations is essential. And I am confident that you are makin
g every effort to ensure that this balance is achieved.

Now, on the economic situation at the eastern border: I also know that the war of aggression that Russia has waged against Ukraine has a negative impact on your border regions and their local communities. Finland has shown tremendous resilience. And here, I want to commend you for your unwavering support for Ukraine, and this despite the impact of the conflict on your jobs, your businesses, your families and your friends. So I want to emphasise that the European Union is here to help you. Revitalising these regions at Finland’s eastern borders is a priority for the government, and we are supporting that. Finland is benefitting from an extra of EUR 61 million of funds that are reallocated from cross-border projects with Russia. We have also flexibilised the use of cohesion funds. This allows you to adjust to new priorities because of the changed circumstances, and I am glad to see that your government took up this opportunity. Our funding for renewable e
nergy projects under NextGenerationEU will also go to projects in your eastern border regions to help to diversify the local economy. As a final remark, you are making good use of NextGenerationEU to support the tourism in this region. I can assure you that we will continue to monitor the situation, and work hand in hand with you to help the local communities adapt to these new circumstances.

Thank you.

The European Commission is committed to personal data protection. Any personal data is processed in line with Regulation (EC) 2018/1725. All personal information processed by the Directorate-General for Communication / European Commission Representations is treated accordingly. If you do not work for a media organisation, you are welcome to contact the EU through Europe Direct in writing or by calling 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11.

Source: Cyprus News Agency