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Daily News 16 / 06 / 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]European Commission Daily news Brussels, 16 Jun 2021 La Commission investira 14,7 milliards d'euros d'Horizon Europe pour une Europe plus saine, plus verte et plus numérique La Commission a adopté le...

630 potential victims of exploitation identified during Europe-wide coordinated action days

Between 31 May and 6 June 2021, Europol supported Europe-wide coordinated action days against human trafficking for labour exploitation. The operation, led by the Netherlands, involved a wide range of law enforcement authorities including police, immigration and border guards, labour inspectorates and tax authorities. In total, 23* countries took part in the coordinated operational activities.The action week resulted in: 229 arrests (73 for trafficking of human beings); 630 possible victims of different types of exploitation identified;  4 890+ locations checked; 16 530+ vehicles checked;  56 250+ people checked; ~750 new investigations initiated, 150 related to trafficking of human beings. Focus on labour-intensive sectors and domestic workers  Law enforcement authorities carried out inspections in labour-intensive sectors, which require low-skilled workers. Employees in sectors such as transport, logistics and construction are more vulnerable to exploitation due to the lower level of education and awareness required with regard to labour rights and human trafficking. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also reinforced certain vulnerabilities. For example, victims accept employment in working conditions that may threaten their health. These endangering factors include overcrowded working environments, low hygiene arrangements and no health supervision.    Exploitation risks vary among sectors. Transport industries employ many third-country nationals, exposed to the exploitation risks related to overtime shifts and very low wages. The inspections also targeted the labour exploitation of domestic workers employed as 24/7 caregivers for humans and animals. Some labour sectors such as nail salons have been linked to the exploitation of victims of Vietnamese origin. Their vulnerability is often increased by debt bondage related to their travel to the European Union. Authorities also focused on the possible exploitation of migrants applying for refugee status during their asylum procedures. Another focus was on enablers involved in the trafficking of human beings, specifically through the use of fraudulent and false documents. *Participating countries:  EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.Third party countries: Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Europol coordinated the action days and facilitated the information exchange between the participating countries. Europol provided analytical and operational support 24/7 and facilitated the real-time exchange of communication between the participating authorities. Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime, and other serious and organized crime forms. Europol also works with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.  In 2010 the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organised crime. In 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 - 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant.Trafficking of human beings is one of the priorities of the Policy Cycle.   Adblock test (Why?)

ARLEM Award 2022

​"Yesterday (15/6/2021), the Euro-Mediterranean Assembly (ARLEM) launched the ARLEM Award 2022. In its fourth edition already, this competition aims to support young, dynamic entrepreneurs from the Mediterranean region who, in collaboration with their local or regional authority, positively impact their community and foster social progress and development.  While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was already felt during the launch of last year's edition, it is the fact that the pandemic has persisted for so long that has exacerbated the economic and societal situation worldwide, and in particular in the Mediterranean countries in focus (see map below).​Young local entrepreneurs' need for support in developing their businesses has hence significantly increased since the last instalment. The award seeks to showcase how fruitful the collaboration between local and regional authorities and young entrepreneurs can be in trying to overcome the economic and societal consequences of the pandemic. All interested and eligible young entrepreneurs are therefore invited to​​ submit their applications online as soon as possible. The closing date is 15 September 2021."The winning enterprise and local/regional autho rity will be announced at the next ARLEM plenary session in 2022 (#ARLEMaward).For further information please visit the ARLEM Award 2022 website.​Adblock test (Why?)

CoR delegation ready to represent 1 million regional and local elected politicians at the Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe

​​18 regionally and locally elected politicians, 9 women and 9 men, will join the inaugural meeting of the plenary of the Conference to strengthen the role of local and regional authorities in the democratic functioning of the EU and mark the territorial dimension of EU policies. ​​The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) delegation to the Conference on the Future of Europe met today to prepare its contribution to the inaugural meeting of the Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe to take place on 19 June in Strasbourg. The delegates wish to seize the opportunity presented by the Conference to strengthen the democratic dimension of the European Union and to restore citizens' trust in the European project. The CoR, as representative EU body of the level of government that is closest to citizens, is committed to bringing to the Conference the voices of local and regional authorities.​President of the European Committee of the Regions Apostolos Tzitzikostas who is leading the CoR delegation said: "The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is the EU political Assembly representing one million local and elected politicians across Europe. Our priority is to make sure that the voice of our people in regions, cities and villages is heard. We will ensure that the proposals made by citizens during our local dialogues and the political input gathered via our Plenary sessions, via our Members' actions and via our key events will be taken up in the final report". First CoR Vice-President Vasco Alves Cordeiro who is also member of the CoR delegation added: "As local and regional politicians, we accept the challenge to help building a better Europe. Listening to citizens will not be enough. As people are invited to give their say on their future, EU leaders, at all levels, will have to deliver. What we all want from the Conference are concrete changes to bring the EU closer to its people. The CoR will mobilise as many local and regional politicians as possible in order to make the voice of the people of our territories heard within the Conference. And we will make concrete proposals, on the way the Union works and on policies, for a fair Europe". Taking part in all formats of the Conference Plenary, the CoR delegation will: - provide written contributions with support of the High Level Group on European Democracy , an independent advisory body of seven wise men and women chaired by former European Council President Herman van Rompuy whose mission is to support the CoR's political and institutional role by providing strategic political analysis with focus on local and regional aspects. - organise dialogues and debates in their constituency and report back about these dialogues. - build alliances of like-minded delegates in the Conference to jointly promote recommendations that are of relevance to regions, cities and villages across the EU. - mobilise its networks like the associations of local and regional authorities across the EU, the network of former CoR members and the newly launched network of EU local councillors in order to encourage local and regional politicians to organise citizens' debates The results of these consultations will be reported at the Conference Plenary. The CoR will present its final contribution to the Conference at the 9th European Summit of Regions and Cities, to be held during the French Presidency of the Council on 3-4 March 2022. List of of CoR delegation in the Conference on the Future of Europe: - Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions (Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece, President of the Association of Greek Regions) EPP-CoR Group - Olgierd Geblewicz, President of the EPP Group (President of West Pomerania Region, Poland, President of the Polish Association of Regions) - Jelena Drenjanin, 1st Vice-President of the EPP Group (Vice-Mayor of Huddinge, Sweden, Chair of the Governance Committee, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Council of Europe) - Mark Speich, Chair of the Committee of the Regions' Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (Secretary of State, North Rhine-Westphalia Region, Germany) - Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of Madrid Region, Spain - Ilse Aigner, President of the Bavarian State Parliament and CoR-delegate on behalf of the Regional Parliaments, Germany PES-CoR Group - Vasco Alves Cordeiro, 1st Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions (Member of the Regional Parliament of Azores, Portugal) - Yoomi Renström, 1st Vice-President of the PES Group (Member of Ovanåker Municipal Council, Sweden) - Concepción Andreu Rodríguez, Vice-President of the PES Group (President of the Regional Government of La Rioja, Spain)- Kata Tüttő, Vice-President of the PES Group (Deputy major of Budapest, Hungary) - Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Chair of the European Committee of the Regions' Subsidiarity Steering Group (President of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community, Belgium) Renew Europe-CoR Group - Paula Fernández, Minister for Interior, Justice and EU Affairs, Cantabria Region, Spain - Mirja Vehkapera, Mayor of the city of Oulu, Finland - François Decoster, President of Renew Europe Group (Mayor of Saint Omer, France) ECR-CoR Group - Władysław Ortyl, President of the ECR Group (Marshal of the Podkarpackie region, Poland) - Roberto Ciambetti, President of the Veneto Regional Parliament, Italy EA-CoR Group - Kieran McCarthy, President of the EA Group (Member of Cork City Council, Ireland) The Greens-CoR Group - Muhterem Aras, President of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg, Germany Selection criteria for 18 members of the CoR delegation to the Conference were the representativeness of political affiliation, the geographical balance, the representativeness of the different levels of sub-national authorities and gender balance. Background: The Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe is composed of 433 members: 108 representatives of the European Parliament, 54 from the Council, 3 from the European Commission, 108 representatives of national parliaments, 80 representatives from European Citizens' Panels (a third of whom are younger than 25), the President of the European Youth Forum, 27 representatives of National Citizens' Panels, 18 representatives each for the CoR and the EESC, 8 representatives each for social partners and civil society. CoR citizens' survey on the Conference on the Future of Europe CoR contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe Multilingual digital platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe Contact:Marie-Pierre JouglainTel. +32 (0) 473 52 41 [email protected] Adblock test (Why?)

Daily News 15 / 06 / 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]European Commission Daily news Brussels, 15 Jun 2021 EU-US summit marks a renewal and major step forward in the transatlantic partnership On Tuesday 15 June, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council P...

European Committee of the Regions and European Commission jointly drive forward the fast and intelligent roll-out of European broadband infrastructure

​​​The second 2021 Broadband Platform meeting brought together members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) with European Commission experts and a Portuguese Presidency of the Council representative – giving them the occasion to exchange on the latest developments concerning key European initiatives in the field and to discuss critical challenges around the empirical measurement of digitalisation progress. The Broadband Platform's main objective is to accelerate the deployment of high-speed broadband across all European regions, including rural and sparsely populated areas where there is not enough market-driven infrastructure development. ​ Michael Murphy , Chair of the Platform and of the CoR's ECON Commission, as well as member of Tipperary County Council, said: " If there is an important lesson from the pandemic, it is that technology can help us when we need to adapt to challenging situations. Digital technologies have now become imperative for working, learning, entertaining, socialising, shopping and accessing services such as health and culture. " Anne Karjalainen , member of the Broadband Platform, Chair of the CoR's SEDEC Commission, as well as member of Kerava Municipal Council, said: " Bridging digital divides through coordinated and comprehensive strategies, involving all levels of government across the European Union, is nowadays a bare necessity for a sustainable recovery in a post-COVID era. This means ensuring affordable and stable high-speed broadband access for all, regardless of their geographical location or socio-economic background. The Recovery and Resilience Facility does support the digital transition, but we need to move up a gear and work towards achieving true digital cohesion, minimising disparities across the European Union. The Broadband Platform is an important place for the European Committee of the Regions to have meaningful exchanges on what a truly cohesive Digital Europe should look like on the ground. " The first thematic bloc of this year's second Broadband Platform meeting dealt with the issue of measuring digital transformation at the local level. The ESPON statistical expert Martin Gauk presented studies and concept papers proposing different approaches to collecting data to estimate cities' and regions' degree of digitalisation. Participants examined different factors which could be used to distinguish digitally literate – or "smart" – regions from those exhibiting significant potential for further digitalisation steps. They also discussed how the European Commission's digital principles, as outlined in the Digital Decade Communication , could be complemented to better apply to specific regional contexts.Part two of the meeting evolved around two ongoing European Commission key initiatives: the Connectivity Toolbox , presented by Rita Filipe Silva, from the Portuguese Presidency of the Council and co-Chair of the Connectivity Special Group and the review of the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive , presented by Miriam Mendioroz, from the European Commission's DG Connect. The questions raised during this session touched on the implementation of good practices included in the Connectivity Toolbox, on its regional dimension as well as on likely changes to the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive. Background: In a fully digitalised Europe, geographical location and physical distance will matter less as people will be able to work, learn and participate in private or public life from anywhere in the EU. Today, however, citizens' and businesses' access to digital goods and services as well as their participation opportunities in the online world are still closely tied to their workplaces' or sites' integration into the European broadband infrastructure, and hence to their geographical location – creating important digital divides between European regions. Connectivity thus emerges as a paramount objective for any future infrastructure development across the European territory. Meeting twice a year to discuss various topics related to broadband deployment, the Broadband Platform seeks to establishes an effective two-way flow of communication between the European Commission DG Connect and the European Committee of the Regions: It provides the European Commission with a forum to inform the CoR members about key EU-initiatives concerning digital transformation and connectivity. And it gives CoR-members the possibility to directly inform Commission policy-makers about the situation and challenges they experience at the local and regional level with regards to the broadband expansion. Key issues concern: policy and governance, technology choices, financial sources, regulatory framework conditions as well as measuring and monitoring digitalisation progress. Contact:Maximilian v. KlenzeTel. +32 2 282 [email protected] ​Adblock test (Why?)

ARLEM at the third UfM Ministerial Conference on Energy

​​​On 14 June 2021, ARLEM member and CoR rapporteur Vincenzo Bianco (IT/PES) participated at the third UfM Ministerial Conference on Energy. He highlighted the key role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (including on energy) also as regards the mobilisation of citizens and emphasised their commitment in the Global Covenant of Mayors.​The CoR opinion on "Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood – a new agenda for the Mediterranean" which Mr Bianco puts forward as a rapporteur is scheduled for adoption in the CoR plenary session on 30 June-2 July 2021. ​​Adblock test (Why?)

EU clears way for the EU Digital COVID Certificate

[unable to retrieve full-text content]European Commission Statement Brussels, 14 Jun 2021 Today, the Presidents of the three EU institutions, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission attended the official signing ceremony for the Regulation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, marking the end of the legislative process.