Daily News 13 / 12 / 2023

EU negotiators secure agreement at COP28 to accelerate the global transition away from fossil fuels and triple renewables and double energy efficiency this decade

At the end of the COP28 UN Climate Conference in Dubai, European Union negotiators succeeded, with partners from around the world, to keep alive the possibility of delivering on the commitment in the Paris Agreement to limit global average temperature increase to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels. With a particular focus on the energy sector in the talks, parties agreed to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels this decade, to take action to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030, and set the world on a pathway to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, in line with the best available science.

COP28 concludes the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement. The goals of the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, championed by the Commission, have been translated into the Global Stocktake outcome. All Parties have committed to triple global renewable energy capacity and double the rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. This gives powerful momentum to the transition away from fossil fuels. There is also an agreement to tackle methane emissions and other non-CO2 emissions in this decade, and to phase out as soon as possible inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty or the just transition.

The Global Stocktake recognises that the world is not currently on track to reduce emissions by the necessary level to limit temperature increase to 1.5 Celsius. As a consequence, Parties agreed on a pathway to get back on track, including through a process to align national targets and measures with the Paris Agreement. Parties should submit their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for 2035 by COP30, in two years' time, and these should be aligned with the best available science and the outcomes of the Global Stocktake.

The Global Stocktake also addresses the means of implementing the necessary transition. We have agreed on the final steps towards setting the new collective quantified goal on climate finance at next year's conference. The framework of the Global Goal on Adaptation is a major step, and it is accompanied by ground-breaking decisions on adaptation finance with recognition that adaptation finance will have to be significantly scaled up beyond the mandated doubling for 2025. The outcome pushes forward the reform of the international financial architecture, making it fit for purpose for addressing the climate emergency. Specifically, the EU made a significant contribution to agreeing and operationalising a new fund responding to loss and damage, and the EU and its Member States have contributed more than €400 million, over two thirds of the initial funding pledges.

A full press release is available online. President's von der Leyen statement on the COP28 outcome and Commissioner's Hoekstra remarks at the final COP28 plenary can be read here and here.

(For more information: Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 2 295 86 02; Ana Crespo Parrondo – Tel.: +32 2 298 13 25)


Une large majorité d'Européens demeure favorable aux mesures de soutien à l'Ukraine, selon le dernier Eurobaromètre

La centième édition de l'Eurobaromètre Standard, conduite en octobre-novembre et publiée aujourd'hui, révèle qu'une large majorité de personnes interrogées continuent de soutenir les mesures en faveur de l'Ukraine. Interrogés sur les deux principaux problèmes auxquels l'UE doit faire face, les répondants placent en tête la guerre en Ukraine (28%) et l'immigration (28%), devant la situation internationale (24%) et l'inflation (20%, qui recule depuis le printemps dernier de la première à la quatrième place). L'enquête indique également que 70% des citoyens de l'Union européenne considèrent celle-ci comme un lieu de stabilité dans un monde troublé. 61% se déclarent par ailleurs optimistes sur l'avenir de l'UE.

Les mesures prises en réponse à l'invasion de l'Ukraine par la Russie sont largement approuvées, qu'il s'agisse de l'action humanitaire (89%), de l'accueil des personnes fuyant la guerre vers l'UE (84%), du soutien financier à l'Ukraine (72%) ou des sanctions économiques contre la Russie (72%). 61% soutiennent également le fait que le statut de pays candidat ait été accordé à l'Ukraine et 60% sont favorables au financement par l'UE de l'achat et de la livraison de matériel militaire en Ukraine.

L'enquête révèle de surcroît que 83% des répondants souhaitent que l'UE investisse massivement dans les énergies renouvelables, que 69% sont favorables à une politique étrangère commune et 77% à une politique de sécurité et de défense commune. 69% se prononcent pour une politique migratoire commune, 68% pour un régime d'asile européen et 75% pour un renforcement des frontières extérieures de l'UE avec davantage de gardes-frontières et de gardes-côtes européens.

Un communiqué de presse et l'ensemble des résultats sont disponibles en ligne.

(Pour plus d'informations : Arianna Podestà — Tél. : +32 2 298 70 24)


Commission welcomes political agreement on the Regulation to establish the new Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA)

The Commission welcomes the provisional agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council on the Commission's proposal to establish an EU anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) Authority in the form of a decentralised EU regulatory agency (AMLA).

The creation of the new EU Authority will transform AML/CFT supervision in the EU and enhance cooperation among Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). AMLA will be the central authority coordinating national authorities to ensure the correct and consistent application of EU rules. In the financial sector, the Authority will directly supervise those financial sector entities exposed to the highest risk of money laundering and terrorism financing. AMLA will also support FIUs to improve their analytical capacity around illicit flows and make financial intelligence a key source for law enforcement agencies. The Authority will facilitate cooperation between FIUs, including by establishing standards for reporting and information exchange, supporting joint operational analyses, and by hosting the central online system, FIU.net.

This Commission proposal was part of the AML legislative package presented in July 2021, which also included a new Regulation establishing a single rulebook for AML/CFT, and a new AML/CFT Directive. These aspects are still under discussion by the co-legislators.

Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, said: AMLA will be a game-changer in the fight against money laundering. It will be the center of our new supervisory system, as a supervisor in some cases and as a coordinator of supervisors in others, setting high standards across the EU. The only remaining issues are the decisions on the AMLA seat and its budget, to be reached in the next trilogues. We welcome the aspirations of both co-legislators to ensure that the process of seat selection is transparent and based on objective criteria, and hope to have a conclusion soon. Today's agreement shows the strong political will and commitment of the European Parliament and Council to step-up our efforts to stop dirty money being washed through the financial system.”

(For more information: Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: +32 2 298 65 00; Marta Pérez-Cejuela – Tel.: +32 2 296 37 70)


Commission renews its policy against psychological and sexual harassment

The European Commission has revised its policy against psychological and sexual harassment, streamlining and modernising formal and informal redress mechanisms for victims. The renewed policy is based on a comprehensive approach further building on the strong harassment prevention measures already in place. It will also establish the post and the figure of the ‘Chief Confidential Counsellor' to oversee the policy on prevention and fight against harassment while ensuring its greater visibility within the institution. 

Moreover, the reform improves procedures in terms of awareness-raising as well as early detection of risks conducive to harassment and bystander interventions. Training will continue to be an essential component of the harassment prevention activities: all current and newly appointed managers will have to follow a mandatory training on prevention of and the fight against harassment.

Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, said: “There is no place for harassment in the Commission, in whatever form, be it psychological or sexual. For all of us, this must be an absolute priority. With the ambition to lead by example, we have renewed the Commission's policy against harassment. We have done this based on extensive consultations with staff, including with staff representatives and networks. But now it's up to all of us to put our commitments into effect every day, everywhere in the Commission.”

Combatting harassment goes hand in hand with the Commission's efforts to promote a world of work that is safe, respectful, and which supports and encourages diversity, all of which are key elements of the new Human Resources Strategy of the Commission.  

(For more information: Balazs Ujvari - Tel.: +32 2 295 45 78; Veronica Favalli – Tel.: +32 2 298 72 69)


European Commission to issue €75 billion in long-term EU-Bonds in the first half of 2024

The Commission has announced its intention to issue up to €75 billion of EU-Bonds in the first half of 2024 (H1). As in 2023, it will raise these long-term funds under its unified funding approach, using single-branded EU-Bonds. The Commission will also continue to complement its long-term funding operations with issuance of short-term EU-Bills. The funds raised will be used primarily to meet payments related to NextGenerationEU and notably the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The Commission's funding plan for H1 2024 builds on a strong year of funding transactions in 2023: in total, the Commission raised €115.9 billion in long-term funds over the course of the year. This included NextGenerationEU (NGEU) Green Bond issuances of €12.5 billion, which brought the total amount of NGEU Green Bonds outstanding to €48.9 billion. 2024 will also mark the launch of the European Issuance Service (EIS) in January. The EIS will enable new EU debt securities to be settled in the same way as the securities of large EU sovereign issuers.

The Commission borrows on international capital markets on behalf of the EU and disburses the funds to Member States and third countries under various borrowing programmes. EU borrowing is guaranteed by the EU budget, and contributions to the EU budget are an unconditional legal obligation of all Member States under the EU Treaties.

A press release is available online. 

(For more information: Balazs Ujvari - Tel.: +32 2 295 45 78; Veronica Favalli – Tel.: +32 2 298 72 69) 


La Commission se félicite de l'accord politique sur le renforcement des organismes pour l'égalité de traitement

La Commission européenne se félicite de l'accord politique intervenu hier entre le Parlement européen et le Conseil sur des normes plus strictes pour les organismes pour l'égalité de traitement, en particulier leur indépendance, leurs ressources et leurs pouvoirs, afin qu'ils puissent lutter plus efficacement contre la discrimination en Europe.

Les organismes pour l'égalité de traitement sont des institutions publiques qui apportent une aide aux victimes de discrimination et publient des rapports et des recommandations. Ils font partie de l'équilibre des pouvoirs institutionnels dans une démocratie saine. Le renforcement des organismes pour l'égalité de traitement vise à préserver l'égalité et à garantir la non-discrimination dans la vie quotidienne des citoyens.

Věra Jourová, vice-présidente chargée des valeurs et de la transparence, a déclaré: « Les organismes pour l'égalité de traitement respectent les droits des victimes de discrimination. L'accord conclu hier renforcera leur autonomie et leur donnera davantage de moyens d'agir en tant qu'autorités essentielles de mise en œuvre de la législation de l'UE en matière de non-discrimination. Cette étape essentielle ne fait qu'amplifier leur autorité, mais souligne également leur rôle central dans la garantie de la justice et de l'égalité pour tous. »

Helena Dalli, commissaire à l'égalité, a déclaré: « Nos traités sont clairs: il n'y a pas de place pour la discrimination dans l'Union européenne. Les organismes nationaux pour l'égalité de traitement sont chargés de respecter le principe d'égalité, d'offrir un soutien direct et des voies de recours aux victimes et de promouvoir l'égalité pour tous. Grâce à la proposition de loi, nous dotons ces organismes de l'indépendance, des ressources et des pouvoirs nécessaires pour remplir efficacement cette mission. L'accord intervenu hier entre le Conseil et le Parlement européen indique qu'il est fort probable d'adopter cette loi au cours de ce mandat. »

Une fois adoptée, cette nouvelle législation introduira des normes contraignantes à l'échelle de l'UE afin de remédier aux disparités importantes qui existent actuellement entre les organismes pour l'égalité de traitement d'un État membre à l'autre. Elle introduira des garanties pour leur indépendance, des exigences en matière de ressources humaines, techniques et financières suffisantes, ainsi que l'accès libre et accessible de leurs services à toutes les victimes de discrimination. Les organismes pour l'égalité de traitement seront également dotés de pouvoirs d'enquête et de contentieux solides, les autorités publiques étant tenues de consulter et d'examiner leurs recommandations. De plus amples informations sur les organismes pour l'égalité de traitement sont disponibles ici.

(Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand — Tél.: + 32 2 296 22 53; Yuliya Matsyk — Tél.: + 32 2 291 31 73)


Commission adopts new general rules for small amounts of State aid and for services of general economic interest

The European Commission has today adopted two regulations amending the general rules for small amounts of aid (de minimis Regulation) and for small amounts of aid for Services of General Economic interest, such as public transport and healthcare (SGEI de minimis Regulation). The revised regulations, which exempt small aid amounts from EU State aid control since they are deemed to have no impact on competition and trade in the Single Market, will enter into force on 1 January 2024 and will apply until 31 December 2030.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The revised de minimis regulations raise the exemption ceilings to cater for inflation, making it easier and faster to provide small amounts of aid. The revised rules will also introduce a central register to facilitate the control of the de minimis ceilings. This will reduce the burden for undertakings, in particular SMEs, as they will no longer need to self-monitor compliance. At the same time, the revised rules ensure competition is not distorted in the Single Market.”

A press release will be available online.

(For more information: Lea Zuber– Tel.: +32 2 295 62 98; Nina Ferreira - Tel.: +32 2 299 81 63)


Commission approves amendment to 2022-2027 regional State aid map for Spain

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an amendment to Spain's map for granting regional aid until 31 December 2027, within the framework of the regional aid guidelines.

On 17 March 2022, the Commission approved the 2022-2027 regional aid map for Spain, and its amendment on 9 March 2023 to increase aid intensities for territories identified for support from the Just Transition Fund. On 30 May 2023, the Commission adopted a Communication regarding a possible mid-term review of the regional aid maps, taking into account updated statistics. 

In this context, the amendment to Spain's regional aid map approved today (i) adds the region of Murcia to the list of areas eligible for regional investment aid under the derogation of Article 107(3)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU') (“‘a' areas”); (ii) enables higher maximum amounts of aid to investments in certain regions because of the decrease of the gross domestic product per capita in those regions; (iii) includes some adjustments to the areas eligible for regional investment aid under the derogation of Article 107(3)(c) TFEU (“‘c' areas”); and (iv) enables higher maximum amounts of aid in Ávila in order to limit the difference in aid intensity between 'c' areas and adjacent 'a' areas. The maximum aid amounts in the areas affected by the amendment will increase as follows: (i) from 25% to 30% in the region of Murcia; (ii) from 30% to 40% in Extremadura, Andalucía and Ciudad de Melilla; (iii) from 40% to 50% in Almería, Cádiz and Córdoba; (iv) from 50% to 60% in Canarias; and (v) from 15% to 25% in Ávila.

The amended map will be in force from 1 January 2024 until 31 December 2027. 

The non-confidential version of today's decision will be made available under the case number SA.109336 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

(For more information: Lea Zuber– Tel.: +32 2 295 62 98; Nina Ferreira - Tel.: +32 2 299 81 63)


Commission clears creation of joint venture by MHI and MELCO

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (‘MHI') and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (‘MELCO'), both of Japan.

The transaction relates primarily to the market of power generator systems.

The Commission concluded that the notified transaction would not raise competition concerns, given that the joint venture does not have any actual or foreseen activities in the European Economic Area. The notified 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.11310.

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


La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Budapest Airport Holding par Corvinus et VINVCI Airports

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle en commun de Airport Holding Tanácsadó Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság (« Budapest Airport Holding ») par Corvinus Nemzetközi Befektetési Zártkörűen Működő Részvénytársaság (« Corvinus »), toutes deux basées en Hongrie, et VINCI Airports, basée en France.

La transaction concerne principalement le secteur de gestion et exploitation d'aéroports.

La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, compte tenu que les parties ne sont pas présentes sur les mêmes marchés ou sur des marchés liés verticalement. La transaction envisagée a été examinée dans la cadre de la procédure simplifiée du 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.11339.

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


Commission clears acquisition of Conforama España and Conforama Portugal by XXXLutz Group

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control of Conforama España of Spain and Conforama Portugal of Portugal by two entities of the XXXLutz Group, MW Holding GmbH and CAFS Invest GmbH, all of Austria.

The transaction relates primarily to the retail sale of furniture, furnishings, household goods, electronics and appliances.

The Commission concluded that the notified transaction would not raise competition concerns, given the limited impact on the market structure. The notified 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.11328.

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





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