Helping unemployed young people during a pandemic

Helping unemployed young people during a pandemic

A Europe-wide project launched in 2018 was already helping disengaged young citizens to find training and jobs when the COVID-19 outbreak started, rendering the programme more difficult but also more necessary than ever. According to Eurostat, 16.5% of Europeans between 20 and 34 years are NEETs, an acronym referring to those who are Neither in Employment, Education or Training. Spain, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria are particularly hit by this phenomenon.  To help young people in those countries find a professional path or even start their own business, the education-oriented organisation…

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Food security once again in the spotlight of the EU after the COVID-19 crisis

Food security once again in the spotlight of the EU after the COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on the EU’s flagship new food policy, as the Farm to Fork strategy (F2F), presented on Wednesday (20 May), demonstrated a renewed interest in food security to ensure the supply during crises of any nature. Although sustainability should have been at the core of the whole structure of the much-awaited F2F, the concept of food security has taken on an equally key role in the structure. Unveiling its food strategy, the Commission has recognised that the current COVID-19 pandemic, although not linked to…

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German cabinet agrees to CO2 price of 25 euros from January 2021

German cabinet agrees to CO2 price of 25 euros from January 2021

Germany’s cabinet agreed on Wednesday (20 May) on changes to the climate package launched last September, and it is now certain that from January 2021, a price of 25 euros per tonne of CO2 will apply in all sectors in Germany. Originally, the German government’s proposal had envisioned an entry price of €10 per tonne, which was to rise to €35 by 2025. According to the new regulation, the price in 2025 will now be €55. From the following year, emission certificates with a price corridor of €55-65 per unit…

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Scholz announces new incentive package with nearly 100 billion euro tax loss

Scholz announces new incentive package with nearly 100 billion euro tax loss

For the German budget, the pandemic means greater expenditures and less income. For the first time since the financial crisis, tax revenues are falling but Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) is not thinking about austerity. On the contrary, another economic stimulus package is planned in June to help boost the economy. In 2020, Germany’s federal, state and local governments are expected to collect €98.6 billion less in taxes than the previous year. Scholz announced this 10% decline (according to the estimates of the Council of Assessors) at a press conference…

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EU chief diplomat wants an independent investigation into the origin of coronavirus

EU chief diplomat wants an independent investigation into the origin of coronavirus

The European Union’s foreign policy chief called on China on Thursday (14 May) to contribute significantly to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and said there should be an independent scientific investigation into the origins of the pandemic. In a guest column in Friday’s edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Josep Borrell said China should act to help protect the world from future pandemics. “An independent scientific investigation of the origin of this pandemic is also necessary,” he wrote. The virus emerged in Wuhan, China, in December and some…

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‘Eurocrats with a heart’ raise €150k for regions affected by the virus

‘Eurocrats with a heart’ raise €150k for regions affected by the virus

A group of self-proclaimed “faceless” EU civil servants have decided to put their hands in their pockets to build a European solidarity fund for people in COVID-hit regions like Spain and northern Italy. The grassroots movement was launched by a group of EU civil servants calling themselves “Eurocrats with a heart” – a tongue-in-cheek reference to the British tabloid press, which often depicts EU officials as “faceless bureaucrats”. By the start of this week, the movement had raised €150,000, contributed by about 800 people – all civil servants working in…

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Ferrari is expected to sign Carlos Sainz instead of Vettel in the 2021 F1 season

Ferrari is expected to sign Carlos Sainz instead of Vettel in the 2021 F1 season

Ferrari are shortly expected to conclude a deal to sign Carlos Sainz from McLaren to replace Sebastian Vettel for the 2021 Formula One season. As a result Daniel Ricciardo is believed to be moving from Renault to replace Sainz. Both moves are expected to be announced before the end of the week. Ferrari taking on Sainz to partner Charles Leclerc ends conjecture that Lewis Hamilton would join the Scuderia. Ferrari announced on Tuesday they would not be renewing Vettel’s contract after this season and the team wants to quickly conclude a deal…

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US says China is trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine as markets fall

US says China is trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine as markets fall

Chinese hackers are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research, US authorities said Wednesday (13 May), ratcheting up tensions between the superpowers as markets slumped on warnings from the US Federal Reserve that prolonged shutdowns could cause “lasting damage.” Europe, meanwhile, pushed ahead with plans to gradually reopen for summer tourism, even as fears persist of a second wave of infections in the pandemic that has forced more than half of humanity behind closed doors in recent months. With some countries scrambling after a fresh surge in cases and the global…

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Poland calls for increased subsidies to farmers in the EU budget

Poland calls for increased subsidies to farmers in the EU budget

Poland’s government said Wednesday (13 May) it had called on the EU to include bigger farm subsidies in the bloc’s future seven-year budget, suggesting an increase of 10% on what had already been agreed. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he had outlined this proposal regarding the 2021-27 budget in a letter sent Tuesday to fellow EU leaders and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. The European Commission had in 2018 proposed to spend €324.2 billion on its Common Agricultural Policy, the bloc’s largest single area of expenditure and…

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Sefkovic calls for equitable access to the EU market in China to “increase confidence” after COVID-19

Sefkovic calls for equitable access to the EU market in China to “increase confidence” after COVID-19

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič has renewed calls for European firms to gain fair market access in China after the global public health crisis has been reigned in, in an effort to restore trust and confidence. Speaking at a EURACTIV event on Friday (May 8), Šefčovič recalled his meeting last year with China’s President Xi at Beijing’s Belt and Road Summit, in which he pressed the leader on the issue of gaining market access to China for EU firms. “Our request for improving the relationship was a very simple one,”…

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