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Financial integration and stability: European Commission and European Central Bank hold annual conference

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The European Commission is today hosting the yearly European Financial Integration and Stability conference with the European Central Bank (ECB) in Brussels. To coincide with the event, the Commission has published its annual European Financial Stability and Integration Review (EFSIR) report, which takes stock of recent developments in financial markets and the financial sector. The report highlights a positive trend in the recovery of the European economy and identifies private consumption as the main driver for growth, supported by improved bank funding and a better regulatory and supervisory framework. The report also notes that EU banks are much more stable today than in the past: they are better capitalised and have sounder business models, although certain challenges remain.

 

Germany, Italy to set up mission on Libyan borders to stem migrants flow

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Italy and Germany are reportedly seeking an EU mission to stabilise Libya’s 5,000km southern border with neighbouring countries and curb migration, EUobserver reported. German interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, and his Italian counterpart, Marco Minniti, want the mission set up between Libya and Niger. Both minister, in a letter to European Commission, asked EU to act as soon as possible. Also France told the necessity to increase living conditions in the area. According to local authorities, maintain south Libya border is a solution to resolve the global migrant crisis in the country. The exodus from the coast has increased by over 44 percent – when compared to the same period last year – with some 45,000 people having disembarked between January and mid-May so far, EUobserver wrote.

Commission welcomes European Parliament vote on extension and reinforcement of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Juncker Plan

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The European Commission welcomes the vote by Members of the European Parliament’s Budgets and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees to agree their position on extending, expanding and reinforcing the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the so-called “EFSI 2.0”. The Commission now calls on the Parliament and Member States to continue working towards the final adoption of the EFSI 2.0 proposal as quickly as possible to the benefit of public and private promoters driving investment projects in Europe. The plan is to extend the EFSI’s initial three-year timeline (2015-2018) to 2020, the end of the current Multiannual Financial Framework.

 

The European Union steps up its support to Somalia with €200 million at the London Conference

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The European Commission has announced new support today worth €200 million at the London Conference on Somalia. The development funding will be channelled through the European Union Trust Fund for Africa, which aims to address the root causes of destabilization, forced displacement and irregular migration. The EU’s support will help to accelerate Somalia’s economic recovery. This will be done by supporting the reforms needed to ensure Somalia full re-engagement with the International Financial Institutions, access to multilateral finance and debt relief. This will also help laying the foundations for more inclusive, stable politics including a roadmap to a more inclusive electoral process in 2020.

 

Commission presents the European Pillar of Social Rights.

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The European Pillar of Social Rights sets out 20 key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The Pillar was prepared by the Commission, under the leadership of Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen, in close consultation with stakeholders at all levels. It reaffirms rights that are already present in the EU and international legal acquis and complements them to take account of new realities. The principles and rights enshrined in the Pillar are structured around three categories: equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions and social protection and inclusion. They place the focus on how to tackle new developments in the world of work and society at large so as to deliver on the promise of the Treaties of a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress.

EU project for nuclear safety for Iran.

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The European Commission has signed the first ever project for nuclear safety co-operation with Iran, under the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The € 2.5 million project aims to enhance the capabilities of the Iranian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (INRA). It will do so by preparing a feasibility study for the Nuclear Safety Centre foreseen in the JCPOA. It will support the INRA in developing a nuclear regulatory framework, working toward the accession by Iran to several international nuclear conventions, including the Convention on Nuclear Safety, and reviewing the results of the stress test to take place in the Bushehr nuclear power plant. The project is the first of a € 5 million action approved by the European Union in 2016 under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation. A second project for the stress test at the Bushehr nuclear power plant is going to be signed in the coming weeks.

 

93 out of 95 criteria for the liberalization of visas fulfilled by Kosovo

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In a press conference delivered in Brussels European Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn said that Kosovo had to fulfill 95 conditions in order to benefit from the visa liberalization regime and so far, it has delivered 93. This is the reason why the European Commission may present a last report on Kosovo in May of next year and that will show if there’s a need to issue a second report or not.

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