Update 1 July 2020
Commission presents European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience
Today the Commission presents the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience. It sets ambitious, quantitative objectives for upskilling (improving existing skills) and reskilling (training in new skills) to be achieved within the next 5 years. Its 12 actions focus on skills for jobs by partnering up with Member States, companies and social partners to work together for change, by empowering people to embark on lifelong learning, and by using the EU budget as a catalyst to unlock public and private investment in people's skills.
Skills for jobs in a green and digital economy
The green and digital transitions as accompanied by demographic trends are transforming how we live, work and interact. We want to ensure people have the skills they need to thrive. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated these transitions and brought new career challenges for many people in Europe. In the aftermath of the crisis, many Europeans will need to retrain in a new skill or improve their existing skills to adapt to the changed labour market. The Skills Agenda aims to improve the relevance of skills in the EU to strengthen sustainable competitiveness, ensure social fairness and build our resilience.
Commission launches Youth Employment Support: a bridge to jobs for the next generation
Today the European Commission is taking action to give young people all possible opportunities to develop their full potential to shape the future of the EU, and thrive in the green and digital transitions. The coronavirus pandemic has emphasised the often difficult start many young people face in the labour market. We need to act fast. Now is the time to direct our attention towards the next generation.
Update 29 June 2020
Air pollution: Most EU Member States not on track to reduce air pollution and its related health impacts by 2030
The assessment of Member States' first programmes of measures to control air emissions finds that the implementation of the new European clean air rules needs improvement. Member States need to step up efforts across all sectors to make sure their citizens can breathe clean air, preventing respiratory diseases and premature death caused by breathing polluted air.
PDF Press release: Reduce air pollution and its related health impacts by 2030
Update 24 June 2020
Opening Remarks by Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans at the Press Conference on a Green and Just Recovery
After yesterday's presentation of the package, we know what the dimensions are of the problem we need to face. We know what the dimensions will be of the response in financial terms of the EU. We now have to talk about the content of that response.
PDF Press release: Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans on a Green and Just Recovery
Press remarks by Commissioner Sinkevičius following the meeting of environment ministers
The coronavirus crisis has affected our society and our economy hard. What is important now that we go for the recovery, is to make sure that we come up with the most effective and most sustainable solutions.
PDF Press release: Commissioner Sinkevičius following the meeting of environment ministers
Update 22 June 2020
Sustainable Finance: Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of the Taxonomy Regulation
The European Commission has today welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of the Taxonomy Regulation – a key piece of legislation that will contribute to the European Green Deal by boosting private sector investment in green and sustainable projects.
Link EU Commission:https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1112
Update 27 May 2020
Joint press release: Japan-EU Leaders' meeting
The leaders expressed their deepest sympathy with the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. They recognised that global solidarity,cooperation and effective multilateralism are required more than ever to defeat the virus as well as to ensure economic recovery. They reaffirmed their strong commitment to continue tackling global challenges together in the international arena based upon the close and strong Japan-EU relations.
PDF Press release: Joint_press_release__Japan-EU_Leaders__meeting
Update 25 May 2020
European Semester Spring Package: Recommendations for a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic
The Commission has proposed today country-specific recommendations (CSRs) providing economic policy guidance to all EU Member States in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, focused on the most urgent challenges brought about by the pandemic and on relaunching sustainable growth.
Link EU Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_901
Update 13 May 2020
Tourism and transport: Commission's guidance on how to safely resume travel and reboot Europe's tourism in 2020 and beyond
Today, the Commission presents a package of guidelines and recommendations to help Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen, after months of lockdown, while respecting necessary health precautions.
Link EU Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_854
Update 12 May 2020
State aid: Commission invites comments on updated proposal on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support
The European Commission is inviting Member States and other stakeholders to comment on its updated proposal to exempt from prior Commission scrutiny under EU State aid rules aid granted through national funds for projects supported under certain EU centrally managed programmes.
Update 6 May 2020
Spring 2020 Economic Forecast: A deep and uneven recession, an uncertain recovery
The coronavirus pandemic represents a major shock for the global and EU economies, with very severe socio-economic consequences. Despite the swift and comprehensive policy response at both EU and national level, the EU economy will experience a recession of historic proportions this year.
Update 23 April 2020
Some final communications and reports related to COVID-19
Update 16 April 2020
President von der Leyen: “The European budget will be the mothership of Europe’s recovery”
Despite Europe’s collective response being well above €3 trillion – the most impressive response in the world - more is needed, President von der Leyen said at the European Parliament. The EU budget will be the mothership of Europe’s recovery, driving the economy towards a more green and digital Europe. Investments in large-scale renovation, renewables, clean transport, sustainable food and nature restoration will be more important than before. Using every single euro available has meant investing in the procurement of medical equipment, the development of vaccines, securing jobs and supporting business to jumpstart the economy. President von der Leyen concluded with a passionate plea for the European Union: “If we all stand up for Europe today – with courage, trust and solidarity – I know that tomorrow Europe’s soul will shine brighter than ever before.”
A European roadmap to lifting containment measures
The European Commission, in cooperation with the President of the European Council put forward a roadmap, recommendations and key principles to lifting the containment measures. A successful coordinated European approach to gradually phasing out containment measures will require the correct timing and that several common criteria are fulfilled: the spread of the virus must decrease and stabilise, health care systems must have capacity, and large-scale testing capacities must be put in place. A number of measures should accompany the phase-out - a contact tracing system must be put in place, testing capacities must be expanded, effective treatments must be developed and health care systems must have capacity.
We continue to hope that all of you get through this COVID-19 disease in good health.
But we also know that it involves many problems of all kinds. Such as the health of your company, the well-being of your staff, the organization of your reduced work assignments, the financial pressure, the future plans, deliveries and purchase of plants and materials, ... We would also like to share this with you and the National Associations as they are in the frontline with you.
You can contact and inform us now and at any time. But know that we will certainly organize a sector survey for the impact of this COVID-19 to customize the operation and services of ELCA and the National Organizations.
But one thing is certain, this can also have a very positive impact on our sector. And we need to work on that together from now on. There are a lot of opportunities in your country, environment and social network that you can exploit. A nice example from the Netherlands: In this time of corona, people need to stay home as much as possible. This leads to a higher appreciation of the garden and greenery in the neighbourhood. Because of lesser booked commercials on public national television, the Dutch Landscape Contractors Association (VHG) got the opportunity to broadcast for free a commercial (with a non-commercial message and linked to corona) on radio and television. The commercial will be broadcasted 44 times, also prime-time, in April.
Herewith the link to the TV-commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7PtPFKCKJE.
The corona crisis affects us all, but it also brings us closer.
Closer to the place we love, in our house, the garden or the balcony.
Look around, because green is everywhere. So sow, cut, plant, rake and water.
Experience the fun of the greenery around you, it is closer than you think!
Look for green tips on the Facebook page: Long Living Garden.(Lang Levende Tuin)
Remember that every plant grow from scratch, so from very small to very large and strong. Let us keep our own living green nature as motivation even in these hard and difficult COVID-19 times.
Our greenery lives and survives ... Take care and stay healthy.
In the meantime, we continue to work actively and constructively on the development and advancement of our tasks and objectives: lobby and networks, exchange mobility for companies/employees/students and schools, services for our associations and companies. Perhaps you now have more inspiration to share with us. We would like to receive them to take further steps in our growth together with you. The concrete results of this will regain form in projects and events when the world health conditions permit. We count on your patience and understanding. Our website has been updated several times and we continue to do this step by step.
We wish each of you good health, strength and success with the creative solutions for the functioning of your company.
And hopefully we will meet again soon in better and healthy conditions.
Several colleagues are looking for more information.
Sources of updated information on COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK: https://ec.europa.eu/info/eu-eea-and-uk_en
In this difficult global COVID-19 outbreak, we need to work together more than ever. Take care of your health, that of your family, colleagues and environment.
The economic health of our companies is also important in this Corona crisis. Each country must take his responsibility. Green has no boundaries, but imaginary boundaries exist again. We therefore recommend that you follow National communications, laws and regulations carefully.
Consult and support your National Associations as they are in the frontline with you. They can provide you with the more detailed information. They represent you, your company and our sector in all the national negotiations and the agreements to be made.
As ELCA we would like to give you the EU guidelines for basic information:
‘The European Commission has adopted a Temporary Framework to enable Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Together with many other support measures that can be used by Member States under the existing State aid rules, the Temporary Framework enables Member States to ensure that sufficient liquidity remains available to businesses of all types and to preserve the continuity of economic activity during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.’
More updated ‘EU news’ and detailed information about ‘State aid’ on https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/home/en
If you would like additional information about the situation in your neighboring country, then take a look at the website of the National Association (see Members ELCA at www.elca.info)
ELCA President Henrik Bos
ELCA Chairman Committee of Firms Yasin Otuzoglu