No 151 - 16th June 2017
Future steps for European Defence
On Wednesday 7 June, the European Defence Fund was launched to help Member States spend taxpayer money more efficiently. The € 5.5 billion Fund will coordinate, supplement and amplify national investments in defence research, in the development of prototypes and acquisition of defence equipment and technology. The also Commission published a Reflection Paper on the Future of European Defence by 2025, opening public debate on the future direction of defence within Europe. The reflection paper puts forward three progressively ambitious scenarios for enhanced defence cooperation.
#We Are Still In
On Wednesday 14 June, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said that the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement is "more than a sad event". In a speech at the European Parliament, he shared the EU's disappointment and regret over Donald Trump's decision. The EU remains extremely determined to fully implement the Paris Agreement with partners including New Zealand. "Climate action does not need more distractions. We have spent 20 years negotiating. Now it is the time for action, now it is the time for implementation", said Mr Juncker.
"There is a European way to security" - HR/VP Mogherini
HR/VP Federica Mogherini attended the annual Oslo Forum on conflict mediation. In her remarks to press, she spoke about the EU's unique role to play in peace-making processes: "We believe in finding a common ground, win-win solutions, dialogue in all circumstances and we believe this brings results and this is going to stay the European Union’s position in the ongoing crises we see around us." The validity of this approach can be seen in the Iran nuclear deal, which the IAEA says has been fully implemented. The EU will continue to uphold the agreement with Iran.
EU and Member States sign new European Consensus on Development
During the annual two-day European Development Days, the EU and its Member States signed a strategic blueprint which outlines the future of European development policy. This represents a new collective vision and plan of action for European development cooperation with the eradication of poverty as primary objective. The Consensus fully integrates the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, aligning European development action with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For the first time, it applies in its entirety to all EU Institutions and all Member States, which commit to work more closely together.
EU leads protection of oceans
On the occasion of the World Oceans Day on 8 June, HR/VP Federica Mogherini took a moment with Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella to remind us of the importance of oceans for ours and the generations to come. Despite covering two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and being a resource for jobs and innovation, oceans are at the centre of pressing global challenges such as climate change, marine litter, poverty and food security. Federica Mogherini and Karmenu Vella reiterated the EU's commitment to implement the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, for the benefit of EU citizens and the whole world. The EU has taken a lead in creating a stronger system of ocean governance to better manage oceans, reduce human pressure and invest in science. Because this challenge needs to be addressed globally, the EU will host the fourth Our Ocean Conference in Malta on 5-6 October 2017.
Read the full statement here.
EU working to end child labour
Combatting child labour, getting more children into education and strengthening the systems that protect children are top priorities for the EU. Marking the World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June, HR/VP Federica Mogherini reaffirmed in a statement the EU's commitment to end child labour in all its forms by 2025. Actions are taking place in various countries including Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Palestinian Territories, Sudan and Lebanon. As an example, over €700 million have been directed to provide access to education for children displaced by the Syria crisis. The EU works closely with international organisations including UNICEF and relevant Civil Society Organisations to promote children's rights.
Erasmus celebrates its 30th anniversary
Celebrations were held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday for the 30th anniversary of the successful Erasmus programme. The European Commission launched a new Erasmus+ mobile for students, vocational learners and participants in youth exchanges. This app will make their experience easier before, during and after their stay abroad, by sharing tips and improving their language skills. Since the beginning of the original Erasmus Programme in 1987, 9 million people have benefitted from an exchange abroad and 33 European countries are now participating.
Learn more about Erasmus +.
Seizing the opportunities of 5G
The next generation of the mobile network (5G) promises to deliver a range of new services, from remote surgery to cars communication, thanks to its ultra-fast connection and quick response time. The European Commission has prepared the 5G Action Plan to facilitate its deployment across the EU by the end of this decade. MEPs voted in favour of supporting the plan on 1 June, but stressed that access to telecommunications should be equal across the EU. To avoid the delays experienced during the rollout of 4G, Member States need to work better together on the spectrum strategy.
Check out the infographic summarising the different steps leading to the 5G.
Slovak Consular day in Auckland
The Slovak Embassy will have a Consular day in Auckland on 3 July 2017. It will be held at Europe House, Auckland University of Technology, 56 Wakefield Street from 10 am to 5 pm.
Vacancy - Science and Innovation
The British High Commission is looking for a Science and Innovation Officer in Wellington, starting on 3 July. The successful candidate will be a key member of the New Zealand network, working in support of the British High Commission’s trade and prosperity objectives. Application deadline is 21 June 2017.
Consult the full advertisement here.
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