At the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of 23 October in Luxembourg, EU Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs expressed their unanimous endorsement of the European Pillar of Social Rights, only two years after the idea was first mentioned by President Juncker and less than six months after it was presented. The Pillar will be proclaimed by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, taking place on 17 November in Gothenburg. The Council also agreed on a general approach regarding the Commission's proposal to revise the rules on the posting of workers.
The European Commission has announced humanitarian and development funds in response to the influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
The European Union today co-hosted in Geneva a 'Pledging Conference on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis'. The Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides has announced the EU's contribution of an additional €30 million for the Rohingya communities in Bangladesh. This comes on the top of over €21 million in overall EU assistance already allocated to Rohingya and host communities in both Bangladesh and Myanmar, bringing the total EU support for this year to over €51 million.
As announced by President Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union Address, the Commission is today presenting alongside its 11th Security Union Report a set of operational and practical measures to better defend EU citizens against terrorist threats and deliver a Europe that protects. The measures aim to address vulnerabilities exposed by recent attacks and will support Member States in protecting public spaces and help deprive terrorists of the means to act. The Commission is also proposing to further strengthen the EU's external action on counter-terrorism — including through Europol — and is recommending the EU open negotiations on a revised Passenger Name Record agreement with Canada.
The EU funded Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme has now reached one million refugees living in Turkey.
Launched by the European Commission in September 2016, and implemented by the World Food Programme and the Turkish Red Crescent in collaboration with the Turkish government, the flagship programme is the largest ever humanitarian aid operation funded by the European Union.
"Today all our thoughts are with our citizens who are suffering from the devastating forest fires in Portugal and Spain and the storms affecting Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Our condolences go to all those that have sadly lost loved ones and we commend the brave first responders working in difficult conditions to save the lives of others.
We are in constant contact with the respective authorities and all EU emergency response tools are available.
The first EU support is already on its way.
President Juncker has spoken to Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa and I have spoken to Minister Constança Urbano de Sousa to offer the EU's full solidarity and readiness to help.
Following a request for assistance from the Portuguese authorities, firefighting aircraft from Italy are being dispatched through the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism. These specialised planes will operate in the most affected areas in Portugal and provide valuable support to the national emergency efforts.
We are also closely following developments regarding Hurricane Ophelia currently affecting parts of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
At this stage, the Irish authorities have requested assistance via the EU's Copernicus satellite mapping system. Highly detailed satellite imagery will help the national civil protection teams assess the extent of damage and better focus relief efforts.
Our 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is working around the clock to channel EU support and we stand ready to mobilise any further assistance requested."
The following joint statement was issued by President Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister Theresa May following their working dinner in Brussels on 16 October 2017:
Today the Commission publishes the 7th Cohesion report, taking the pulse of EU regions, drawing lessons from cohesion spending during the crisis years and setting the scene for Cohesion Policy after 2020.
More than six billion euros committed by public and private actors to better manage our oceans at European Union-hosted conference in Malta.
The European Commission has today launched plans for the biggest reform of EU VAT rules in a quarter of a century. The reboot would improve and modernise the system for governments and businesses alike. Overall, over€150 billion of VAT is lost every year, meaning that Member States miss out on revenue that could be used for schools, roads and healthcare. Of this, around €50 billion - or €100 per EU citizen each year - is estimated to be due to cross-border VAT fraud. This money can be used to finance criminal organisations, including terrorism. It is estimated that this sum would be reduced by 80% thanks to the proposed reform.
The European Commission has concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million. This is illegal under EU State aid rules because it allowed Amazon to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Luxembourg must now recover the illegal aid.