Today we talk about the new Presidency of the Council of the European Union, EU investments in the space industry, the environmental efforts of the European Commission for 2021
PORTUGAL TAKES OVER THE ROTATING PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL
Today, the President of the EU Commission flew to Lisbon for the official inauguration of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Indeed, 2021 opened with the entrance into force of the Portuguese Presidency, after six months lead by Germany. Indeed, the Council of the EU is characterized by a rotating Presidency system introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, which provides that for eighteen months there will be three different Member States taking over the Presidency of the Council for a period of six months each. As every Member State that takes over the Presidency of the Council, Portugal set up the objectives which will characterize its six months of leadership. Therefore, the Prime Minister Antonio Costa, has made clear in its inaugural speech for the Portuguese semester that the focus will be on three priorities, namely the economic and social recovery from the Covid-19-induced crisis, with a particular attention on digitalization and sustainability as means to overcome the crisis, then the development of the Social Pillar, introduced by the Juncker Commission, and finally the strengthening of the European Union itself.
EU INVESTS 300MLN FOR INNOVATION IN THE SPACE INDUSTRY
The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) announced an investment of €300 million, including €100 million from the EU budget, to support breakthrough innovations in the space sector. The investment involves two funds focused on space technology, Orbital Ventures (a pan-European fund dedicated to start-up and early-stage companies, focusing on space technologies) and Primo Space (an Italian investor dedicated to early-stage technology transfer focusing exclusively on space technologies), which are part of the first EU-funded equity pilot in the space sector, InnovFin Space Equity Pilot. At this regard, the Commissioner for Research, Innovation, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said, "These deals, which benefit from the InnovFin Space Equity Pilot, will help strengthen private equity for innovative SMEs and start-ups in the space sector. The investments in Orbital Ventures and Primo Space testify the growth of the sector in Europe and demonstrate our commitment to support companies with revolutionary ideas and technologies."
EU COMMISSION CALLS FOR MORE ACTION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AT ONE PLANET SUMMIT
Not only Covid-19 in the EU agenda: on January 11, during the summit on biodiversity “One Planet”, the President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen pointed out once again the strategic role of the European Union in matter of environment and tackling the climate change. In her speech, the President stressed that with the COP15 for Nature, scheduled for May in Kunming (China), 2021 will become the year in which the world will turn to a new chapter in relation to the planet. She called for an "ambitious, comprehensive and innovative agreement like the Paris one" to be drafted at COP15, as what is at stake is not only sustainable development, but also equality, security, and quality of life.
At this regard, the EU Green Deal and the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy are key elements, as they aim to restore damaged ecosystems, increase biodiversity, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and prevent and reduce the effects of natural disasters, as well as improving the knowledge and monitoring of ecosystems.