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COP26 a step in the right direction: President von der Leyen

COP26 succeeded in keeping the Paris climate targets alive: a commitment to further reduce carbon emissions, a pledge to support countries in adapting to climate change, and the completion of the Paris Agreement rulebook. The result means there is still a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. "COP26 is a step in the right direction," said President von der Leyen in a statement afterwards. "1.5°C remains within reach; but the work is far from done. The least we can do now is implement the promises of Glasgow as rapidly as possible, and then aim higher."

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Commission adopts new proposals to stop deforestation, improve waste management and make soils healthy

The European Commission this week adopted new proposals to curb EU-driven deforestation. The proposed new rules would guarantee that the products EU citizens buy, use and consume on the EU market do not contribute to global deforestation and forest degradation. The Commission also proposed stronger rules on waste exports, a more efficient system for the circulation of waste as a resource and determined action against waste trafficking. Finally, the Commission presented a new Soil strategy that would give soils the same level of protection as exists for water, the marine environment and air in the EU.

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European Commission refers Ireland to the Court of Justice of the European Union over unsafe drinking water

The European Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to comply with the requirements of the Drinking Water Directive. The Directive requires Member States to ensure that water intended for human consumption is wholesome and clean. It requires that drinking water is free from micro-organisms and parasites, and from substances which could pose a potential danger to human health. In Ireland, the level of the chemical substance trihalomethanes (THMs) in drinking water has long exceeded the parametric value established in the Drinking Water Directive in a number of water supply zones across the whole country.

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European Court of Justice: Opinion of the Advocate General re. retention of traffic and location data
In an opinion issued this week, Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) Campos Sánchez-Bordona reiterated that the general and indiscriminate retention of traffic and location data relating to electronic communications is permitted only in the event of a serious threat to national security. A case had been referred to the ECJ by the Supreme Court of Ireland in the context of civil proceedings in which a person convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment challenged the validity of certain provisions of the Irish legislation under which telephony data had been retained and made accessible and on which certain incriminating evidence was based.
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Agreement reached on 2022 EU budget

The Council of the European Union this week reached an agreement with the European Parliament on the 2022 EU budget, setting total commitments at €169,5 billion and payments at €170,6 billion. Once adopted, the budget will allow the EU to mobilise significant funds for a continued EU response to the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences; to kick-start a sustainable recovery and to protect and create jobs. It would trigger further investments into a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe, while protecting the most vulnerable in its neighbourhood and around the world.

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Other news
Cork County Council wins European Road Safety Award
Cork County Council has won the Local Authority category of the European Road Safety Awards 2021. It won the award for its “Road Safety Virtual Reality Education model”, which gives learners an experience of what it is like to be involved in a road accident, the type of behaviour that can lead to an accident, and how to respond safely to an accident. New figures published today by the European Commission show that Ireland recorded an average of 30 road deaths per million inhabitants in 2020, joint 5th lowest in the EU, and down from 47 deaths per million in 2010.
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Commission launches the European Innovation Council Board with 20 leading innovators

The European Commission has announced first members of the new European Innovation Council (EIC) Board. They include Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland. Under the Horizon Europe legislation, this Board has a powerful role in guiding the implementation of the EIC as Europe’s flagship innovation programme with a budget of €10 billion, supporting game-changing innovations throughout the lifecycle from early stage research to the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs.

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Ireland in 5th place on the 2021 Digital Economy and Society Index

Ireland has moved up to 5th place on this year's Digital Economy and Society Index, from 6th place in 2020. The Index tracks the progress made in EU Member States in digital competitiveness in the areas of human capital, broadband connectivity, integration of digital technologies by businesses and digital public services. Ireland performs above average in all 4 areas, and in particular for Digital Public Services. However, further efforts are needed to improve digital skills. Ireland is above average for advanced digital skills but the basic digital skills of the population as a whole are a little below the EU average (53% against the EU average of 56%).

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EU citizens debate European democracy, values and rights

The European Citizens’ Panel met online for the second time last weekend to discuss how to strengthen rights and non-discrimination values, protect democracy and the rule of law, reform the EU, build European identity and strengthen citizens' participation in the EU. This weekend another 200 randomly selected citizens will meet online to debate climate change, environment and health, environmental protection, sustainable society, responsible production and consumption, and healthcare for all. Find out more about the process and the timeline of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

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State aid: Commission sets out future of Temporary Framework to support economic recovery in context of coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has decided to prolong until 30 June 2022 the State aid Temporary Framework (currently set to expire by 31 December 2021). In order to further accelerate the recovery, the Commission has also decided to introduce two new measures to create direct incentives for forward-looking private investment and solvency support measures, for an additional limited period. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said: "Since the beginning of the pandemic, the State aid Temporary Framework has enabled Member States to provide targeted and proportionate support to businesses in need, while putting in place safeguards to preserve the level playing field in the Single Market."

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Commission outlines contribution of competition policy and its review to green and digital transition, and to a resilient Single Market
The European Commission has adopted a Communication on a competition policy fit for new challenges, which frames the important role of competition policy for Europe's path towards recovery, the green and digital transitions, and for a resilient Single Market. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said: “Strong competition enforcement is fundamental for businesses and consumers to reap the full benefits of our Single Market. It gives businesses of all sizes a fair chance to compete. It makes sure businesses are challenged to deliver the best, most innovative solutions for consumers."
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EU fleet maintains good profits overall, mainly thanks to sustainable fishing practices and management

The 2021 Annual Economic Report on the EU Fishing Fleet confirms that in 2019, the fleet maintained overall profitability. The report projects similar profitability levels for 2020, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fleet and fish markets. Due to the rise in fuel prices, a reduction in profits is expected for 2021, but the EU fleet is forecast to end 2021 with positive margins, overall.

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Fight against terrorism: EU rules bring about stronger criminal justice response against terrorism
A new Commission report evaluating the EU rules on combating terrorism (Directive 2017/541) finds that Member States strengthened their criminal justice approach to terrorism as a result of the Directive. The rules also helped to strengthen the level of assistance and protection provided to victims of terrorism. Several challenges remain, however, regarding the implementation of the rules, and the Commission will continue working with Member States to address these issues.
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Belarus: EU allocates €700,000 in humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people stranded at the border
The European Commission has allocated €700,000 in humanitarian funding to deliver much needed relief assistance, including food, hygiene kits, blankets, and first aid kits to people stranded at the border and in other parts of Belarus. Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “I am calling for continuous access of humanitarian organisations from both sides to reach this large group of refugees and migrants to provide them with urgent assistance.” The European Commission stands ready to provide additional humanitarian funding should access for humanitarian partner organisations in Belarus improve.
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EMA evaluating Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, Nuvaxovid

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating an application for conditional marketing authorisation for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, Nuvaxovid (also known as NVX-CoV2373). The assessment will proceed under an accelerated timeline, and an opinion on the marketing authorisation could be issued within weeks if the data submitted are sufficiently robust and complete to show the efficacy, safety and quality of the vaccine.

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Launch of the Start-up Village Forum: delivering a vision for the EU's rural areas
The European Commission this week launched the Start-up Village Forum to gather insights on challenges for and potential of rural start-up companies. As part of the EU's June 2021 long-term vision for rural areas and the Commission Action Plan for Rural areas, the annual Start-up Village Forum contributes to boosting research and innovation in rural communities and help build up a more innovative entrepreneurship that will attract more young and talented people.
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Statistic of the week
Ireland records 2nd largest rise in agricultural output in the EU in 2020

New figures from Eurostat show that Ireland recorded a 4.6% rise in agricultural output in 2020, the second largest rise in the EU after Lithuania (+8.6%). On average, agricultural output in the EU was down by 1% in 2020 with the largest drops recorded in Romania (-11.3%), Malta and Bulgaria (both -4.5%). In monetary terms, France (€76.3 bn or about 18.4% of the EU total) had the highest total agricultural output among EU Member States in 2020, followed by Germany (€57.6 bn, or 13.9%), Italy (€56.9 bn, or 13.7%) and Spain (€52.3 bn).

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Agenda
Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November: Law and Politics of Brexit Series Book Conference 4: The Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland
On Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November 2021, the DCU Brexit Institute will host an event on the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland. The event was opened by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD who gave an opening statement on Thursday morning 18 November. The Vice-President of the European Commission for Inter-institutional Relations Maroš Šefčovič will give the keynote opening address on Friday morning 19 November.
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Friday 19 November: IACES Biennial Conference 2021 - Ireland and the European Union: After Brexit, what's next?
The Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies (IACES) will host its biennial conference on Friday 19 November on the theme: Ireland and the European Union: After Brexit, what's next? Experts from Ireland, the UK and beyond will discuss the key issues and challenges confronting Ireland and the EU after Brexit, including climate change, social justice, and the rule of law. The keynote address will be delivered by Naomi O'Leary from the Irish Times.
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Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 November: The EU Digital Strategy

On Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 November, the Europe Direct Centre in Blanchardstown is hosting an online event on the EU Digital Strategy. The event will feature Werner Stengg, European Commission expert on digital matters, the platform economy, data, AI and disinformation and Melanie Boylan, founder and director of STOMP Social Media training, tech journalist and tech podcaster. All videos will be posted on the Europe Direct Blanchardstown Youtube and Facebook pages as well as on their podcast channel.

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Monday 22 to Thursday 25 November: European Parliament plenary session
Daily agendas are available at the link below.
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Tuesday 23 November: Defending the Rule of Law in the EU
Mr Justice Frank Clarke will address an IIEA webinar on Tuesday lunchtime, 23 November, on the topic: "Defending the Rule of Law in the EU". In his address, Mr Clarke, a former Chief Justice of Ireland, will discuss the challenges which are currently posed to the rule of law in the European Union. He will outline his views on the gravity of the threat to the rule of law and will examine whether this threat has the potential to be an existential one for the EU.
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Tuesday 23 November: General Affairs Council
The Council will start preparing the European Council to be held on 16-17 December 2021. Ministers will adopt conclusions on enhancing preparedness, response capability and resilience to future crises. They will exchange views on EU enlargement and on the Stabilisation and Association process. The state of play on EU–UK relations will also be on the agenda. Ministers will also hold a country-specific discussion in the context of the annual rule of law dialogue. The Commission will present its work programme for 2022.
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Wednesday 24 November: EU Spotlight session on Erasmus+ funding for the youth sector
The Wheel, in collaboration with Léargas, is organising a free online event on Erasmus+ funding for the youth sector on Wednesday morning, 24 November. The event will feature: insights from experts in the youth sector; first-hand accounts from people and organisations who have benefited from the Erasmus+ programme and training from the national contact points at Léargas on how you can get started with Erasmus+ Youth funding opportunities.
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Thursday 25 November: Online event - A Secure Future: Cybersecurity and the EU

European Movement Ireland and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung are hosting an online event ‘A Secure Future: Cybersecurity and the EU’. This event will examine the growing importance of Cybersecurity across EU policy areas and will analyse the role of the EU Cybersecurity Strategy in promoting cyber resilience, safeguarding data and keeping the online economy secure. Speakers include: Jo De Muynck, Head of Operational Cooperation Unit, European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA); John Reyels, Head of the Cyber Policy Coordination Staff, German Federal Foreign Office; and Matthias Barner, Director Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung UK & Ireland. The event will be moderated by Noelle O'Connell, CEO of EM Ireland.

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Thursday 25 November: Is it Tomorrow Yet? How the Pandemic Changes Europe
Ivan Krastev, Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies and permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences at the IWM in Vienna, will address an IIEA webinar on the theme: "Is it Tomorrow Yet? How the Pandemic Changes Europe". In his address, Mr Krastev will argue that the COVID-19 pandemic marks the real beginning of the 21st century, abruptly turning Europeans to face the future. The political challenge presented by COVID-19 confronted European leaders with a strategic choice: they can either fight to preserve a globalised world of open borders, or work towards a softer version of de-globalisation.
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Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November: Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)
Information on this meeting will be available at the link below.
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Thursday 25 November: Competitiveness Council (Internal market and industry)
Information on this meeting will be available at the link below.
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Thursday 25 November: Opportunities for Irish-language Lawyer-Linguists in the EU

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) has launched a recruitment competition for Irish-Language Lawyer-Linguists in the Court of Justice of the EU (see below). Ireland’s Permanent Representation to the EU will host a webinar on this competition at 12:00 (Irish time) on Thursday 25 November 2021. Attendees will hear from colleagues working as lawyer-linguists in the Court of Justice, as well as from EPSO regarding the competition process.

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Wednesday 1 December: EU Spotlight session on Volunteering
The Wheel, in collaboration with Léargas, is organising a free online event on the European Solidarity Corps on Wednesday morning, 1 December. The European Solidarity Corps is the EU's funding programme for volunteering and promoting solidarity and provides a variety of opportunities for Irish civil society organisations and communities to collaborate with European partners to develop and innovate. This event will feature: insights from experts in the volunteering sector; first-hand accounts from people and organisations who have benefited from the European Solidarity Corps programme; and training from the national contact points at Léargas on how you can get started with European Solidarity Corps funding opportunities.
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Tuesday, 7 December: Translation workshop for secondary school students (event in English)

On Tuesday, 7 December, the European Commission and the University of Limerick (UL) will hold an online workshop for fifth year students entitled ‘Translation as a career’. European Commission translators will participate in the event to explain what they do and to give the students an opportunity to try it for themselves. Three language combinations will be available during the practical part of the event – French to English, German to English and Spanish to English. University of Limerick lecturers will provide an outline of the relevant courses they have on offer and, together with the translators, they will speak about the skills necessary to work as a translator for the EU institutions and how to obtain those skills.

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Thursday 9 December: EU Spotlight Session on inclusion in adult education
The Wheel, in collaboration with Léargas, is organising a free online event on inclusion in adult education on Thursday morning, 9 December. This event will specifically focus on Erasmus+ funding for the adult education sector and will feature: insights from experts in the adult education sector; first-hand accounts from people and organisations who have benefited from the Erasmus+ programme; and training from the national contact points at Léargas on how you can get started with Erasmus+ Adult Education funding opportunities.
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Job opportunities

18/11/2021

Irish-language lawyer-linguists

The EU is looking for highly qualified Irish-language (GA) lawyer-linguists. Recruited officials (grade AD 7) will mainly work at the Court of Justice of the EU, based in Luxembourg. Applicants must also hold EU citizenship and have an excellent knowledge of at least 3 EU languages: perfect knowledge of Language 1 (Irish – language of the competition), thorough knowledge of Language 2 (English, French, German, Italian, Polish or Spanish) and thorough knowledge of Language 3 (one of the 24 official EU languages-different from Language 1 and Language 2). The deadline to apply is 21 December 2021. Further details on the link below.

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17/11/2021

Traineeships at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is looking for trainees. Applicants must: hold the nationality/citizenship of an EU member state, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein; have completed their studies and been awarded a full university degree by the closing date for applications; and have a very good command of English. Knowledge of additional EU languages is considered an asset; and, not have benefited from any previous traineeship or employment (formal or informal, paid or unpaid) within any EU institution, agency, body or delegation. The traineeships are expected to start between April and August 2022.
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Calls for Tender/Proposals (clone)
Education: new call for proposal to boost innovation in higher education
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched the second call for proposals of its pilot EIT HEI Initiative. This new call will support up to 40 consortia of higher education institutions (HEIs) and non-academic organisations (companies, research centres, public authorities and associations) with a maximum of €1.2 million of funding each. The deadline for submitting proposals under this call is 28 February 2022.
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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: €161.5 million to support research and innovation staff exchanges and to co-fund training programmes
The European Commission has announced new calls for proposals under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions' (MSCA) Staff Exchanges and Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND) strands. The 2021 COFUND call, with a total budget of €89 million, will close on 10 February 2022, whereas the 2021 Staff Exchanges call, with a budget of €72.5 million, will close on 9 March 2022.
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European Solidarity Corps: Call for Proposals for 2022

The European Commission this week launched the call for proposals under the European Solidarity Corps for 2022. The European Solidarity Corps is an EU programme for young people wishing to engage in solidarity activities in a variety of areas ranging from helping disadvantaged people to contributing to health and environmental action, across the EU and beyond. Any public or private body may apply for funding to carry out activities under the European Solidarity Corps. The call for proposals for volunteering and solidarity projects are open until 23 February for projects taking place the same year, and until 4 October for the ones in the following year.

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EU Industry Week 2022: Call for proposals for local events
EU Industry Days' 2022 will take place from 8 to 11 February. The first day of the event will be held in hybrid format and the following three days will be held online. The main aims of this event are to: stimulate discussion across EU industrial ecosystems on their green and digital transition, broach the topic of EU companies' and SMEs' resilience and the reduction of strategic dependencies, and bring the young generation closer to EU industry. To foster fruitful discussions on these three thematic areas in all Member States, the EU Industry Days team has opened a call for proposals for local events.The deadline for proposals is 5 December 2021.
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Competitions
European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award 2023 launched

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has opened applications for the 2023 edition of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award. Under the overarching theme "Entrepreneurship and resilient communities", cities, regions and municipalities can submit strategies on how they plan to support SMEs over the next two years. The application deadline is 29 March 2022.​

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