Daily News 16 / 03 / 2023

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: €429 million to support highly skilled doctoral candidates*

Today, the Commission announced the results of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions 2022 (MSCA) call for Doctoral Networks. A total of €429.4 million will be awarded to 149 excellent doctoral programmes to train over 1,650 highly skilled doctoral candidates, boost their talents and their long-term employability. Among these, 14 Industrial Doctorates will train researchers and develop their skills outside academia, in particular in industry, businesses and the public sector, whilst 12 Joint Doctorates will offer integrated training leading to joint or multiple degrees. Selected programmes span all scientific disciplines and will conduct research in areas such as the conception of advanced materials and components for novel energy storage systems, the integration of Artificial Intelligence in road safety research, or the study of new therapies against cancer stem cell-driven relapse and metastasis.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “We are proud to announce that, thanks to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, 149 doctoral programmes will be able to enlarge their knowledge above and beyond academia to produce pioneer research. Selected projects will allow organisations to attract international talent and build bridges with other leading scientific teams worldwide.”

Funded doctoral programmes are implemented by international partnerships, covering 1,199 organisations based in 62 countries in the EU, countries associated to Horizon Europe and beyond, including 403 from the private sector and 796 from the public sector. Since 2014, the MSCA have funded 1,330 doctoral programmes. Lifelong learning is among the priorities of the 2023 the European Year of Skills which will focus on helping people to get the right skills for quality jobs.

More information is available here.

(For more information: Sonya Gospodinova – Tel.: +32 229 66953; Flore Boutier - Tel.: +32 2 29 66043)


1,2 million d'euros au titre du Fonds européen d'ajustement à la mondialisation pour soutenir 300 travailleurs licenciés en Espagne

La Commission européenne a aujourd'hui proposé d'apporter un soutien à 303 travailleurs licenciés par le producteur d'aluminium Alu Ibérica, établi dans la région de Galice, en Espagne, à hauteur de 1,2 million d'euros, au titre du Fonds européen d'ajustement à la mondialisation en faveur des travailleurs licenciés (FEM). Ce financement aidera les travailleurs licenciés à trouver un nouvel emploi grâce à des conseils sur mesure, des formations professionnelles et à la mise en adéquation des offres et des demandes d'emploi.

Le soutien aux travailleurs licenciés comprend des services de conseil, une aide à la recherche d'emploi et la mise en adéquation des offres et des demandes d'emploi, ainsi que le perfectionnement et la reconversion professionnels sur mesure. Les travailleurs reçoivent également une formation sur les compétences et les connaissances essentielles dont ils ont besoin pour trouver un nouvel emploi, y compris des compétences informatiques de base, des opérations d'entreposage et de la logistique, et de nouvelles techniques de soudage, ainsi qu'un soutien pour obtenir la reconnaissance formelle de leurs compétences et de leur expérience antérieure en matière de travail et d'apprentissage. En outre, les participants peuvent bénéficier d'une mesure incitative de 200 euros par mois, pour une période de six mois, s'ils réintègrent rapidement le marché du travail.

Le coût total de ces mesures est estimé à environ 1,5 million d'euros, dont 85 % (1,2 million d'euros) seront pris en charge par le FEM. La Région de Galice, en Espagne, financera les 15 % restants (400 000 euros). L'aide aux travailleurs admissibles a débuté après que l'entreprise les a licenciés en mai 2022. S'y ajoutent les mesures supplémentaires bénéficiant du soutien du FEM en mars 2023. La proposition de la Commission doit maintenant être approuvée par le Parlement européen et le Conseil.

Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne.

(Pour plus d'informations : Veerle Nuyts - Tél.: +32 229 96302; Flora Matthaes - Tél.: +32 229 83951)


Public Procurement Data Space: Unlocking the potential of EU public procurement data in Europe

Today, the Commission unveils its plan to build a European data space for public procurement data, alongside the Commission Communication on the Single Market at 30. It outlines the basic architecture and analytics toolkit to be put in place by mid-2023 and procurement data published at EU level to be then available in the system. By the end of 2024, all participating national publication portals should be connected, historic data published at EU level integrated, and the analytics toolkit expanded.

The Public Procurement Data Space will pool data on the preparation for tenders, calls for tenders and outcome of tenders. This data is currently spread in different formats and at different levels, European and national. The Data Space will allow for new insights through a state-of-the-art analytics toolkit, including artificial intelligence technologies, for instance machine learning and natural language processing. This will enable more targeted and transparent public spending, improve access to calls for tenders for companies and especially SMEs, and boost data-driven policymaking. It will help public buyers and businesses improve their investment and bidding strategies, and to give all stakeholders greater transparency and better value for money.

The public sector, worth over €2 trillion across the EU every year, almost 13.6% of EU GDP, should play its part in supporting green industries. The Public Procurement Data Space will allow public authorities to share best practices including for more targeted use of public funds towards green industries.

As underlined in the 2023 Annual Single Market Report, leveraging the potential of data is key to ensuring that the Single market meets its full potential in supporting the resilience and competitiveness of the European economy.

(For more information: Sonya Gospodinova – Tel.: +32 2 296 69 53; Federica Miccoli – Tel.: +32 2 295 83 00)


EU Cohesion Policy: Commission launches the European Urban Initiative

Today, at the Cities Forum, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, launches the European Urban Initiative (EUI), that aims to increase innovation and improve the quality of investments in urban areas.

The EUI will launch several calls for urban innovation projects and support, among others, capacity and knowledge sharing on sustainable urban development.

EUI has already launched a first call for proposals in October 2022 in support of the New European Bauhaus, which closed recently, with 99 applications from 21 Member States. Winners will be announced in June.

A second call for urban innovative actions will be published in May 2023 with €120 million for projects to green cities, ensure sustainable tourism and harness talent.

With a budget of €450 million during 2021-2027, EUI builds on the positive achievements of the Urban Innovative Actions, which supported 86 projects with €372 million from 2014-2020 all across the EU.

Commissioner Ferreira said: “Nearly 72% of Europeans live in cities, towns and suburban areas that are facing challenges such as unemployment, migration, demography, pollution. The Cohesion Policy support to cities has been strengthened over the year, at least 8% of the allocation from the European Regional Development Fund under this programming period 2021-2027 will be directed to cities. The European Urban Initiative will give the opportunities to urban stakeholders to improve their capacities and access the innovation funding directly for the smart, sustainable and just development of our cities.”

(For more information: Stefan de Keersmaecker - Tel.: +32 2 298 46 80; Veronica Favalli - Tel.: +32 2 298 72 69)


Agriculture: Commission calls for applications to join the upcoming EU Fertilisers Market Observatory

The Commission committed to launch in 2023 an EU Fertilisers Market Observatory. Today, the Commission published the call for applications with a view to formally launch the group of experts before summer 2023. The call is open until 4 April.

This new observatory will be modelled after the market observatories already in place for several agricultural sectors, notably milk, crops, and fruit and vegetables. Organisations representing stakeholders of at least 10 EU Member States and active within the EU in the fertiliser supply chains are invited to apply. The observatory, chaired by DG AGRI, will be composed of up to 20 members appointed for a period of five years. It will, among other tasks, provide first-hand information, including data, about the fertiliser market's situation, as well as factors affecting it, and exchange experiences and good practices.

Fertilisers play a significant role for food security. Following Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, global food security and food prices are being impacted by a general mineral fertiliser and energy crisis. In that context, the European Commission presented at the end of last year a wide range of actions and guidance to tackle immediate challenges as well as reduce our dependencies. Reinforcing the resilience and sustainability of our food systems in the medium and long-term must be achieved while securing yields.

More information is available in this news item.

(For more information: Miriam Garcia Ferrer – Tel.: +32 2 299 90 75; Thérèse Lerebours – Tel.: +32 2 296 33 03)


Agriculture : la Commission approuve le « Sudzhuk Tarnovski » / « Tarnovski Sudzhuk » de Bulgarie comme nouvelle Spécialité traditionnelle garantie

Aujourd'hui la Commission a approuvé comme spécialité traditionnelle garantie (STG) le « Суджук Търновски / Sudzhuk Tarnovski » / « Търновски Суджук / Tarnovski Sudzhuk » de Bulgarie.

Le « Sudzhuk Tarnovski »/« Tarnovski Sudzhuk » est un produit traditionnel bulgare de longue conservation à base de viande crue séchée. La préparation est constituée de viande fraîche hachée, et d'épices naturelles. Le produit est fabriqué depuis plus de 50 ans en appliquant une technologie originale consistant à trier la viande de façon appropriée, à sélectionner et à doser les épices et à donner aux différentes pièces la forme d'un fer à cheval. Lors de l'affinage et du séchage, il est soumis à un pressage caractéristique des produits traditionnels bulgares, qui contribue à lui conférer son aspect spécifique, son excellente consistance et ses qualités gustatives.

Veliko Tarnovo, qui a donné son nom au « Sudzhuk Tarnovsk i » / « Tarnovski Sudzhuk », est une grande ville bulgare qui fut autrefois la capitale du Second Empire bulgare. En 1954, une grande usine à viande répondant à toutes les exigences en matière d'hygiène et de technologie a été construite à Tarnovo. L'entreprise est depuis longtemps l'un des principaux établissements du pays en ce qui concerne la qualité des produits à base de viande et l'exportation. C'est là que le « Sudzhuk Tarnovski » / « Tarnovski Sudzhuk » a été produit pour la première fois et qu'il s'est imposé.

Cette nouvelle dénomination vient s'ajouter à la liste des 63 Spécialités traditionnelles garanties déjà protégées. Plus d'informations sur les systèmes de qualité sont disponibles en ligne.

(Pour plus d'informations: Miriam Garcia Ferrer – Tél.: +32 2 299 90 75; Thérèse Lerebours – Tél.: +32 2 296 33 03)


State aid: Commission approves €650 million Slovenian scheme to support companies facing increased energy costs in context of Russia's war against Ukraine

The European Commission has approved a €650 million Slovenian scheme to support companies facing increased energy costs in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, adopted by the Commission on 9 March 2023 to support measures in sectors which are key to accelerate the green transition and reduce fuel dependencies.

The scheme consists of two measures: (i) limited amounts of aid; and (ii) aid for additional costs due to exceptional natural gas and electricity price increases. Under both measures, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The measure will be open to companies of all sizes and sectors, with the exception of the financial and insurance companies. The purpose of the measure is to cover part of the increased costs of natural gas and electricity as well as of heating and cooling directly produced from the latter.

The Commission concluded that the Slovenian scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measures under EU State aid rules.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €650 million scheme adopted today will allow Slovenia to cushion the impact of the current crisis on companies facing increased energy costs, while limiting possible distortions on competition within the single market.”

A press release is available online.

(For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel.: +32 2 298 70 24; Nina Ferreira - Tel.: +32 229 9 81 63; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 2 299 05 26)


Concentrations : la Commission autorise l'acquisition de Watèa par CAL&F et CFM

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint de Watèa par Crédit Agricole Leasing & Factoring (« CAL&F ») et Compagnie Financière Michelin (« CFM »), toutes basées en France.

Watèa est une société créée par Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin (« Michelin ») en 2021 qui offre des services de location et de gestion de flottes de véhicules en France afin d'accompagner les entreprises dans leur transition vers flottes de véhicules plus vertes. CAL&F propose des solutions de financement locatif et est contrôlée par Groupe Crédit Agricole, un groupe mutualiste qui offre des services bancaires et d'assurances. CFM est contrôlée par Michelin, qui fabrique et distribue des pneus pour le secteur automobile et d'autres industries.

La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, compte tenu de son impact très limité sur la structure du marché. La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée de contrôle des concentrations.

De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.11053.

(Pour plus d'informations: Arianna Podesta – Tél.: +32 2 298 70 24; Maria Tsoni – Tél.: +32 2 299 05 26)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of the OFTO Business by DTUK and IRPC

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of the OFTO Business by Diamond Transmission UK Limited (‘DTUK') and Infrared Partners Limited (‘IRCP'), all of the UK.

The OFTO Business is an electricity transmission network for the Hornsea Two offshore windfarm, located in the North Sea in the UK. DTUK is ultimately controlled by Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, a global trading company with activities related to energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, food and general merchandise. IRCP is an investment management company focused on infrastructure assets and also active in the provision of financial advice. IRPC is controlled by Sun Life Financial Inc. Group, a financial services company providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions.

The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the OFTO Business has has no actual and foreseen activities in the European Economic Area. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.11003.

(For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel.: +32 2 298 70 24; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 2 299 05 26)






New European Bauhaus: Launch of Module 0 for reconstruction of Ukraine

Today, the Commission is launching the New European Bauhaus capacity-building programme for the reconstruction of Ukraine in partnership with Ukrainian organisations. This follows the meeting between the College and the Ukrainian Government held in Kyiv on 2 February, the EU-Ukraine Summit of 3 February, as well as Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius' visit to Kyiv on 16-17 February on cooperation and assistance to Ukraine in its sustainable reconstruction efforts and on the Phoenix initiative.

The programme will be launched this afternoon during a high-level event with Commissioner Sinkevičius. The capacity-building initiative aims to provide both inspiration and practical help for municipalities involved in the reconstructions and rebuilding of Ukraine. The programme is organised by and with Ukrainian partners – Ro3kvit, ReThink, Covenant of Mayors East, and the Architects' Council of Europe. President Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioners Mariya Gabriel and Elisa Ferreira will participate in the event via video message.

President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We will reconstruct Ukraine. We have to and we will do that. The reconstruction, owned by Ukraine, should be done in the spirit of the New European Bauhaus. There are urban planners, architects, engineers fully on board and the NEB concept will inspire them. Our vision is to turn the destruction of war into opportunities to build a beautiful and healthy future for Ukraine.” 

You will find more details in our press release.

(For more information: Adalbert Jahnz – Tel.: + 32 2 295 31 56; Maëlys Dreux – Tel.: +32 2 295 46 73)


La commissaire Mariya Gabriel rencontre le réseau européen des établissements d'enseignement supérieur innovants en Slovénie

Aujourd'hui, dans le cadre de sa visite en Slovénie, Mariya Gabriel, commissaire à l'innovation, la recherche, la culture, l'éducation et la jeunesse, rencontre le « European Network of Innovative Higher Education Institutions » (ENIHEI) au centre d'excellence InnoRenew à Izola, en Slovénie.

Ils discuteront des mesures concrètes prises à la suite des 10 recommandations formulées par ENIHEI pour développer des actions liées à l'innovation de la Stratégie européenne pour les universités et pour favoriser le rôle des universités dans la mise en œuvre du Nouvel Agenda Européen de l'Innovation. Les recommandations, qui ont été présentées lors du Sommet de l'éducation, en décembre 2022, abordent une grande variété de thèmes : doter les étudiants des compétences dont ils ont besoin, développer des solutions pour le soutien et le financement des entreprises issues de l'enseignement supérieur, la promotion de la création de laboratoires vivants, s'assurer que les femmes ne manquent pas la vague d'innovations deep-tech.

L'ENIHEI développe une réflexion collective sur la manière dont l'enseignement supérieur peut stimuler l'innovation dans toute l'Europe. Sa création a été annoncé lors du premier Sommet européen sur l'éducation et l'innovation en juin 2022.

(Pour plus d'informations : Sonya Gospodinova – Tél.: +32 2 296 69 53; Flore Boutier – Tél.: +32 2 296 60 43)

Tentative agendas for forthcoming Commission meetings

Note that these items can be subject to changes.


Upcoming events of the European Commission

Eurostat press releases

*Updated on 17-03-23, at 10:55