Joint press release: EU-Australia Leaders' Virtual Meeting

The leaders reaffirmed the shared values that underpin the bilateral relationship as enshrined in the EU-Australia Framework Agreement. 
The EU and Australia share a commitment to democracy, the rule of law, the protection and promotion of human rights, and gender equality.

Both sides reconfirmed their commitment to open and fair trade. They underlined the need to support the multilateral rules-based trading system and to render it fit for current challenges. 

The leaders agreed that resolute and coordinated action is key to tackling the urgent challenge of climate change and environmental degradation. 

(European Commission)

G20 Summit: G20 leaders united to address major global pandemic and economic challenges

G20 leaders met in virtual format to address the way forward how to tackle together the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, finance the development and deployment of a vaccine as well as continue the support to citizens and businesses struggling to cope with the aftermath of the pandemic. They also discussed a number of other crucial global issues such as the economic recovery, the reform of the WTO, the taxation of the digital economy and how to support low-income countries.

(European Commission)

Marked improvement in Europe's air quality over past decade, fewer deaths linked to pollution

The EEA's ‘Air quality in Europe — 2020 report' shows that six Member States exceeded the European Union's limit value for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in 2018: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Italy, Poland, and Romania. Only four countries in Europe — Estonia, Finland, Iceland and Ireland — had fine particulate matter concentrations that were below the World Health Organization's (WHO) stricter guideline values. The EEA report notes that there remains a gap between EU's legal air quality limits and WHO guidelines, an issue that the European Commission seeks to address with a revision of the EU standards under the Zero Pollution Action Plan.

(European Commission)

Commission adopts Action Plan on Intellectual Property to strengthen EU's economic resilience and recovery

Today, the Commission published a new Action Plan on Intellectual Property to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), to make the most of their inventions and creations and ensure they can benefit our economy and society.

Intellectual property (IP) is a key driver for economic growth as it helps companies to valorise their intangible assets. The Action Plan aims at enabling the European creative and innovative industry to remain a global leader and at speeding up Europe's green and digital transitions. In particular, the Action Plan sets out key steps to improve the protection of IP; to boost the uptake of IP by SMEs; to facilitate the sharing of IP to increase the technological uptake in the industry; to fight counterfeiting and improve the enforcement of IP rights; and to promote a global level playing field.

(European Commission)

European Commission News

Affordable, accessible and safe medicines for all: the Commission presents a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe

25 - 11- 2020

The Commission has today adopted a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe to ensure patients have access to innovative and affordable medicines and to support the competitiveness, innovative capacity and sustainability of the EU's pharmaceutical industry. The Strategy will allow Europe to cover its pharmaceutical needs, including in times of crisis, through robust supply chains. A key component of building a stronger European Health Union, as called for by President von der Leyen in her State of the Union Speech, the Strategy will help to establish a future-proof and crisis-resilient EU pharmaceutical system.

Commission proposes measures to boost data sharing and support European data spaces

25 - 11 - 2020

To better exploit the potential of ever-growing data in a trustworthy European framework, the Commission today proposes new rules on data governance. The Regulation will facilitate data sharing across the EU and between sectors to create wealth for society, increase control and trust of both citizens and companies regarding their data, and offer an alternative European model to data handling practice of major tech platforms. The amount of data generated by public bodies, businesses and citizens is constantly growing. It is expected to multiply by five between 2018 and 2025. These new rules will allow this data to be harnessed and will pave the way for sectoral European data spaces to benefit society, citizens and companies. In the Commission's data strategy of February this year, nine such data spaces have been proposed, ranging from industry to energy, and from health to the European Green Deal.

Gender Action Plan – putting women and girls' rights at the heart of the global recovery for a gender-equal world

25 - 11 - 2020

Today, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy put forward ambitious plans to promote gender equality and women's empowerment through all external action of the European Union. While there has been some significant but uneven progress achieved in advancing women's and girls' rights, no country in the world is on track to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. Moreover, the health and socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis are disproportionately affecting women and girls. For example, because a higher proportion of women work informally and in vulnerable sectors, their job loss rate is 1.8 times greater than that of men. The poverty rate among women could go up by 9.1%.

European Commission

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