Main news from Brussels this week
José Manuel Barroso in Israel
On 8 June, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso took part in the 14th Annual Herzliya Security Conference in Israel. The EC President said that even if the peace process is particularly challenging, peace will grant unforeseen possibilities in the relationships Europe and the Middle East. Three conditions are needed for success: non-violence, searching for a two-state solution and peaceful management of the conflict including the acceptance of pre-existing agreements and the recognition of the Israeli state.
Mr Barroso and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu also agreed on Israel's association with the next "Horizon 2020" programme.
José Manuel Barroso's speech
José Manuel Barroso's address at the Hebrew University
Communication on research and innovation
On 10 June, the European Commission published a new Communication on "Research and Innovation as sources of renewed growth". It details the steps taken since 2010 to implement the Innovation Union flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 growth strategy, makes proposals to help EU Member States maximise the impact of their research and innovation budgets and calls on them to prioritise R&I, as public authorities regain margins for growth-enhancing investment.
State of the Innovation Union
On 11 June, the Commission proposed the EU budget for 2015, with a strong focus on projects that make Europe economically stronger and on issues that make a tangible difference to Europeans’ daily lives, such as energy, research and youth employment. All this with lower expenditure ceilings than in the previous financial period and with renewed discipline on administration costs.
Environment Council in Luxembourg
EU environment ministers ended the deadlock on GMO cultivation in Europe this week when they reached political agreement on new EU rules which will provide Member States greater choice to either restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs authorised at EU level on their territory. The proposal does not change the EU-wide risk assessment which will continue to be carried out by the European Food Safety Authority.
The agreement paves the way for a second reading in the new European Parliament which could see the final adoption of the legislation in 2015.
35 years of ensuring the food on Europe's tables is safe
Members of the public can use a new Commission hosted consumer portal to check out food recall notices and public health warnings issued by EU food safety authorities and companies. The launch this week coincides with the latest annual report on the work of the EU's Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), the system used by food safety authorities to exchange information on food safety alerts. Over the past 35 years, RASFF has helped ensure that the food on Europe's tables meets some of the highest food safety standards in the world.
All this week's key European Commission announcements can be found here