Daily News 05 / 09 / 2023

European Research Council awards over €628 million to 400 early-career researchers

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced today the winners of the latest round of its Starting Grants. The funding – worth €628 million – will help researchers who stand at the beginning of their careers to launch their own projects, form their teams and pursue their best scientific ideas.   

The funding will enable researchers to, for example, study Venus' atmosphere to better understand habitability beyond Earth, analyse parasites that cause malaria, or investigate how algorithms are used at work to supervise employees. The funded research covers all domains of research from physics and engineering to life sciences and social sciences and humanities.

This new round of grants is estimated to create some 2,600 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other research staff.  

The winners of this competition represent 44 nationalities and will carry out their projects at universities and research centres across 24 EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe. In this latest call, 2,696 applicants submitted proposals and 14.8% will receive funding. Female researchers won some 43% of grants, an increase from 39% in 2022.   

More information is available in this ERC press release.   

(For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 2 295 86 15; Marietta Grammenou — Tel.: + 32 2 298 35 83)


La Commission facilite les activités des associations transfrontalières dans l'UE

Aujourd'hui, la Commission a adopté une proposition visant à faciliter les activités transfrontalières des associations à but non lucratif dans l'UE. La proposition améliorera le fonctionnement du marché intérieur en supprimant les obstacles juridiques et administratifs pour les associations à but non lucratif qui opèrent ou souhaitent opérer dans plusieurs États membres. Cette proposition promeut le rôle des associations à but non lucratif dans la création de valeur économique et sociétale dans l'UE et permet des conditions de concurrence équitables entre les associations.

La proposition de la Commission introduit une forme juridique supplémentaire d'association transfrontalière européenne (« European Cross-Border Association », ECBA) dans les systèmes juridiques nationaux des États membres, qui est spécifiquement conçue à des fins transfrontalières et réduira la charge juridique et administrative en matière de reconnaissance et de création des associations à but non lucratif exerçant des activités dans un autre État membre. Une fois établie dans un État membre, une ECBA sera automatiquement reconnue et pourra exercer des activités dans tous les États membres, y compris des activités économiques, permettant ainsi aux associations à but non lucratif de libérer tout leur potentiel sociétal et économique dans l'UE.

Les associations à but non lucratif créent de la valeur économique et sociétale dans l'ensemble de l'Union et mènent des activités dans des secteurs clés tels que la santé, les soins et les services sociaux, la culture, les services de l'emploi, les sports, la recherche et le développement et l'éducation. Il existe 3,8 millions d'associations à but non lucratif dans les États membres de l'UE, contribuant à hauteur de 2,9 % au PIB de l'UE.

Plus d'informations sont disponibles dans un communiqué de presse.

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






Commissioner Várhelyi visits Ankara to discuss cooperation with Türkiye

On 6-7 September 2023, the Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi will travel to Ankara to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation with Türkiye. This is the first official visit paid by an EU representative to the country following the Presidential elections in May this year.

The Commissioner will meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hakan Fidan; the Minister of Trade, Omer Bolat; the Minister of Family and Social Services, Mahinur Özdemir Göktaş; the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Alparslan Bayraktar, and the Minister of Industry and Technology, Mehmet Fatih Kacir. 

The visit follows the conclusions of European Council last June, in which EU Leaders invited the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and the European Commission to submit a report to the European Council on the state of play of EU-Türkiye relations, building on the instruments and options identified by the European Council, and with a view to proceeding in a strategic and forward-looking manner. This visit also comes before the publication of the next Enlargement report, expected in October. 

Ahead of the visit, on 1 September the European Commission signed  an association agreement with Türkiye that opens access to the €7.5 billion Digital Europe Programme, which will, once entered into force, enable businesses, public administrations and other eligible organisations in the country to take part in projects that deploy digital technologies. With this agreement the Digital Innovation Hubs in Türkiye will be set up too.

The European Commission has also proposed financial support of €400 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to provide assistance to Türkiye following the damages caused by the devastating earthquakes of February 2023.

During the visit, Commissioner Várhelyi will sign a €781 million contract providing EU funds for a social safety net for the most vulnerable refugees as part of the additional €3 billion funding pledged by the EU to continue supporting refugees in the country. 

Pictures and videos of the mission will be available on EbS. More information on EU relations with Türkiye and assistance to the country is available on this factsheet.

(For more information: Ana Pisonero Hernandez – Tel.: +32 2 295 43 20; Gioia Franchellucci – Tel.: +32 2 296 80 41)


Commissioner Simson participates in the first High-Level Electricity Grids Forum

On Thursday, 7 September, Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson will participate in the first High-Level Electricity Grids Forum hosted by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) under the patronage of the European Commission. 

The forum aims to accelerate the development of electricity grids across the EU, by bringing together high-level industry leaders, policymakers and innovators. To fulfil our REPowerEU Plan to end our imports of Russian fossil fuels, and the recently agreed ambition to reach a 45% renewable energy share by 2030, we need upgraded grids and strengthened energy infrastructure. This is key to delivering the European Green Deal. The event will bring together more than 200 participants including the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Member States, industry stakeholders, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). 

The opening and closing sessions, including the Commissioner's remarks and keynote speech, will be live-streamed on the event's webpage

Ahead of the high-level forum, Commissioner Simson said: "The European electricity network is one of the largest in the world, and a key enabler for Europe's clean energy transition. Europe will only ensure its energy security and deliver on its climate ambitions if our power infrastructure expands and evolves to be fit for a decarbonised energy system. But European networks are currently facing a number of challenges related to permitting, grid congestion and access to financing. The Future of Grids Forum is a timely opportunity for lead industries and stakeholders to make their voices heard and feed into the ongoing policy discussion at EU level."

(For more information: Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 2 295 86 02; Giulia Bedini – Tel: +32 2 295 86 61)



Tentative agendas for forthcoming Commission meetings

Note that these items can be subject to changes.


Upcoming events of the European Commission

Eurostat press releases