Daily News 08 / 09 / 2023

Ahead of SOTEU, the Commission highlights its main actions of the past year

Today, ahead of President von der Leyen's State of the Union address on 13 September 2023, the Commission has released an overview of its work and achievements over the past year.

This comprehensive publication describes the EU's actions in response to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and our efforts to cut the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels, as well as the progress on other Commission's political priorities.

It details the Commission's actions taken to strengthen the EU's prosperity and resilience through NextGenerationEU and RePowerEU, to accelerating the implementation of the European Green Deal and realising Europe's digital decade.

It also contains an overview of the EU's engagement with partners across the world, and its trade agenda in particular, and highlights the initiatives taken to strengthen the pillars of European democracy and build a Union of equality.

All the latest information about the 2023 State of the Union address can be found on the dedicated SOTEU webpage

(For more information: Eric Mamer – Tel.:  +32 2 299 40 73; Dana Spinant – Tel: +32 2 299 01 50)


NextGenerationEU: Commission receives first payment request from Ireland for €323.8 million under the Recovery and Resilience Facility

This first payment request relates to 36 milestones and five targets. These cover numerous investments, for instance in the area of jobs and skills through a work placement experience programme, a programme for green skills, and strengthening the capacity of Technological Universities. Investments also concern the digital transition, through the digitalisation of public administration and the connection of schools to the broadband network. In terms of the green transition, they cover the preparation and the start of work on the rehabilitation of peatlands, the electrification of public transport in Cork, investments in the energy-efficiency of public buildings, and the upgrade of wastewater treatment plants.

The payment request also includes a series of reforms, including to support decarbonisation with a reform of carbon taxation, to reduce regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship by introducing an ‘SME test' for new legislation, as well as to address the digital divide and enhance digital skills, for instance by putting in place a new digital strategy for schools and providing disadvantaged students with ICT equipment.

Ireland's overall recovery and resilience plan will be financed by €914 million in grants. Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Ireland implementing the investments and reforms outlined in its recovery and resilience plan.

The Commission will now assess the request and will then send its preliminary assessment of Ireland's fulfilment of the milestones and targets required for this payment to the Council's Economic and Financial Committee.

More information on the process of the payment requests under the RRF is available in this Q&A. More information on Ireland's recovery and resilience plan is available here

(For more information: Veerle Nuyts — Tel.: + 32 2 299 63 02; Tommaso Alberini — Tel: +32 2 29 57010)


NextGenerationEU : La Roumanie présente une demande de modification de son plan pour la reprise et la résilience et d'ajout d'un chapitre REPowerEU

Aujourd'hui, la Roumanie a présenté à la Commission une demande de modification de son plan pour la reprise et la résilience, à laquelle elle souhaite également ajouter un chapitre REPowerEU.

Le chapitre REPowerEU proposé par la Roumanie couvre deux nouvelles réformes et six nouveaux investissements, ainsi qu'une mesure renforcée qui figurait déjà dans le plan. Les réformes et les investissements du chapitre sont liés à l'augmentation de la production d'énergie verte, à l'amélioration de l'efficacité énergétique des bâtiments et au renforcement des compétences de la main-d'œuvre dans le domaine de la production d'énergie verte.

La modification du plan proposée par la Roumanie prévoit la suppression de quatre investissements du plan initial et la modification d'environ 70 mesures.

La demande de la Roumanie de modifier son plan est fondée sur la nécessité de tenir compte de la forte inflation enregistrée en 2022, des perturbations de la chaîne d'approvisionnement et de la révision à la baisse de son allocation maximale de subventions au titre de la facilité pour la reprise et la résilience (FRR), qui passe de 14,2 milliards d'euros à 12,1 milliards d'euros. Cette révision s'inscrit dans le cadre de la mise à jour de juin 2022 de la clé de répartition des subventions au titre de la FRR et reflète le résultat économique comparativement meilleur de la Roumanie en 2020 et 2021 que prévu initialement.

La Roumanie a demandé de transférer sa part de la réserve d'ajustement au Brexit, d'un montant de 43,2 millions d'euros, à son plan pour la reprise et la résilience. Avec les subventions de la Roumanie au titre de la FRR et REPowerEU (respectivement 12,1 et 1,4 milliards d'euros) et les prêts au titre de la FRR déjà engagés au titre du plan initial (14,9 milliards d'euros), ces fonds portent le montant du plan modifié présenté à près de 28,5 milliards d'euros.

La Commission va maintenant évaluer si le plan modifié remplit toujours tous les critères d'évaluation énoncés dans le règlement FRR. Si l'évaluation de la Commission est positive, elle présentera une proposition de modification de la décision d'exécution du Conseil afin de tenir compte des modifications apportées au plan roumain. Les États membres disposeront alors de quatre semaines pour approuver l'évaluation de la Commission.

(Pour plus d'informations : Veerle Nuyts — Tél. : + 32 2 299 63 02 ; Tommaso Alberini — Tél. : + 32 2 29 57010)


InvestEU: European Investment Fund and Arbevel sign portfolio guarantee of up to €72 million to support SMEs and lower mid-caps companies

The European Investment Fund (EIF) backed by the InvestEU programme has signed a portfolio guarantee with Arbevel to support up to €72 million in new financing for SMEs and lower mid-caps.

The transaction is backed by three InvestEU thematic guarantees: i) “Innovation and Digitalisation”, ii) “Sustainability – SMEs and Small Mid-Caps” and iii) “SME Competitiveness”.

Under the support of the EIF guarantee from the “Innovation and Digitalisation” InvestEU window, Arbevel expects to support final recipients from industrials, IT & communication services, healthcare and other sectors. Under the support of the EIF guarantee from the “Sustainability” InvestEU window, new debt financing is to be provided to final recipients that are active in Climate Mitigation. Arbevel intends to target projects such as green technology and e-mobility (i.e. solutions that enable monitoring or/ and reducing energy consumption and contribute to climate mitigation objectives). Under the support of the EIF guarantee from the “Competitiveness” InvestEU window, Arbevel expects to engage in subordinated transactions (subordinated bonds), again supporting small and medium-sized businesses.

Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “InvestEU continues to play a crucial role in supporting small and medium-sized businesses across Europe. I welcome these EIF guarantees supported by the InvestEU programme, which are designed to encourage investment for SMEs and lower mid-caps in the key areas of innovation, digitalisation, sustainability and competitiveness. This will help many more businesses to fulfil their growth potential and create jobs.”

The InvestEU programme provides the EU with long-term funding by leveraging private and public funds in support of EU policy priorities. As part of the programme, the InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners who will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee and thus mobilising at least €372 billion in additional investment. 

A press release is available online.

(For more information: Veerle Nuyts - Tel.: +32 2 299 63 02; Laura Bérard — Tel: +32 2 29 55721)


Space Research: €166 million for 54 projects selected under Horizon Europe to boost innovation in space

Today, the Commission announced the results of the 2022–2023 calls for proposals for space-related research projects under Horizon Europe. A total of €166 million will support 54 space research projects implemented by the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) and the EU Space Programme Agency (EUSPA).

The selected projects will bring breakthrough innovations and contribute to strengthening both the European Union Space programme and other space research priorities in various domains, from Earth observation to European Global Navigation Satellite System (EGNSS), secure telecommunications and autonomous access to space. These projects cover a wide scope of applications, from greenhouse gas and aerosol monitoring to coastal and crops observation, and also address in-orbit needs and space science. 

The selection will boost the Union's competitiveness and technological autonomy and lead to the development of new services and downstream applications for Copernicus, Galileo, European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), and European Union Governmental Satellite Communications programme (GOVSATCOM).

The industrial consortia behind these 54 projects involve a large proportion of New Space companies, as start-ups and SMEs represent around 25% of the selected participants, receiving nearly 30% of the allocated funding.

Space-related projects are expected to receive close to €1.6 billion in total during the seven years of the implementation of Horizon Europe, corresponding to an average of €225 million per year, including activities delegated to the European Space Agency (ESA). Examples of selected projects are available here.

(For more information: Sonya Gospodinova – Tel.: +32 2 296 69 53; Flore Boutier – Tel.: +32 2 296 60 43)


Agriculture: Commission approves 'Milas Yağlı Zeytini' from Türkiye as new Protected Designation of Origin

Today, the Commission approved the olives 'Milas Yağlı Zeytini' from Türkiye as new Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

'Milas Yağlı Zeytini' protected designation of origin covers table olives of the Memecik variety grown in Milas province, fermented in brine and preserved with olive oil obtained from Memecik variety olives and fresh lemon slices. 'Milas Yağlı Zeytini' olives are fully ripened, black/purple coloured, whole and split vertically. The specificity of the product is closely linked to the climatic conditions of the region and to the local knowhow. The production method is closely monitored by the producers which ensures the quality. Olive oil and lemons which are used for preservation distinguishes the product and enhances its natural taste and aroma.

This new designation will be added to the list of 1,654 agricultural products already protected. More information on quality schemes are available online.

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


State aid: Commission approves €132 million Dutch scheme to promote energy saving investments in glasshouse horticulture

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €132 million scheme to support energy saving in glasshouse horticulture.

The aim of the scheme is to support companies engaged in glasshouse horticulture in the construction of new net-energy-neutral glasshouses, as well as in the upgrading of existing glasshouses to make them more energy-efficient.

Under the scheme, which will run until 1 January 2027, the aid will take the form of direct grants, covering up to 20% of the eligible costs. The scheme will be open to companies of all sizes in the agriculture sector.

The Commission assessed the scheme under EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(3)(c) TFEU, which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities under certain conditions, and the 2023 Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas. The Commission found that the scheme is necessary and appropriate to support and strengthen environmental protection, including biodiversity and climate action, and to contribute to achieving the EU's environmental and climate-related objectives, and the goals set in the European Green Deal. Furthermore, the Commission found that the scheme is proportionate as it is limited to the minimum necessary, and will have a limited impact on competition and trade between Member States. On this basis, the Commission approved the Dutch scheme under EU State aid rules.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the number SA.106646 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

(For more information: Daniel Ferrie Tel.: +32 2 298 65 00; Nina Ferreira - Tel.: +32 2 299 81 63)


State aid: Commission approves €20 million Slovak scheme to support the food, beverage and feed mixtures production sectors in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine

The European Commission has approved a €20 million Slovak scheme to support the food, beverage and feed mixtures production sectors 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 new Framework amends and prolongs in part the Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted on 23 March 2022 to enable Member States to support the economy in the context of the current geopolitical crisis, already amended on 20 July 2022 and on 28 October 2022.

Under the scheme, the aid will take form of direct grants. The purpose of the scheme is to support companies active in the food, beverage and feed mixtures production sectors that are currently facing liquidity shortages due to the cost increase of, amongst others, electricity, animal feed, fertilisers and soil improvers.

The Commission found that the Slovak scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €2 million per company; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2023.

The Commission concluded that the 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 scheme under EU State aid rules.

More information on the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of Russia's war against Ukraine and foster the transition towards a net-zero economy can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.109113 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

(For more information: Daniel Ferrie Tel.: +32 2 298 65 00; Nina Ferreira - Tel.: +32 2 299 81 63)






Déclaration du commissaire chargé de la gestion des crises, Janez Lenarčič, à l'occasion de la Journée internationale pour la protection de l'éducation contre les attentats.

Tout enfant a droit à l'éducation. Tout enfant devrait se sentir en sécurité à l'école et autour de l'école. Pourtant, les conflits et les situations d'urgence humanitaire empêchent des millions d'enfants d'accéder à un enseignement de qualité, ce qui a des conséquences profondes pour des générations entières d'enfants et leurs communautés dans le monde entier.

À l'approche de la Journée internationale pour la protection de l'éducation contre les attentats, l'Union européenne réaffirme son engagement ferme et indéfectible à promouvoir et à protéger le droit de chaque enfant à grandir dans un environnement sûr et à avoir accès à une éducation de qualité.

Malheureusement, plus de 3 000 attaques contre l'éducation ont été recensées en 2022, soit une augmentation de près de 20 % par rapport à l'année précédente. Près d'un tiers de toutes les attaques ont eu lieu dans seulement trois pays: Ukraine, Myanmar et Burkina Faso.

L'UE condamne fermement ces attaques ciblées contre l'éducation et l'usage militaire de la force contre ce qui devrait être un environnement sûr pour les enfants et leur permettre de grandir.

L'UE continue de se mobiliser fortement pour le financement de l'éducation dans les situations d'urgence, en consacrant 10 % de son budget d'aide humanitaire au soutien de l'accès, de la qualité et de la protection de l'éducation. Pour l'année prochaine, l'UE a mis de côté environ 157 millions d'euros pour soutenir l'apprentissage des enfants et des jeunes pris dans des situations d'urgence humanitaire.

La déclaration est disponible en ligne.

(Pour plus d'informations : Balazs Ujvari - Tél. : +32 229 54578; Daniel Puglisi - Tél. : +32 2 296 91 40)



Calendrier – Visites et déplacements des commissaires pour la semaine à venir


Liste des points prévus à l'ordre du jour des prochaines réunions de la Commission

Veuillez noter que ces informations sont données sous réserve de modifications.


Prochains événements de la Commission européenne

Eurostat: communiqués de presse