- Current language: en
European Commission London Office weekly news round-up
Main news from Brussels this week
Clean Air Forum and launch of online tool with real-time air quality information
At the Clean Air Forum in Paris on 16-17 November, the Commission launched a new Air Quality Index with the EU Environment Agency which allows citizens to monitor air quality in real-time. The Commission also published an Air Quality Atlas that maps the origins of fine particulate matter, such as dust, smoke, soot, pollen and soil particles, in EU cities. The Clean Air Forum brought together decision-makers and stakeholders to share knowledge and assist in the implementation of European, national and local policies on air quality.
European agenda on migration
On 15 November, the Commission set out work still required to consolidate achievement to date on the European agenda on migration. With the total number of irregular crossings along the main migratory routes having decreased by 63% in 2017, collective efforts to protect the EU's external borders, cooperate with partner countries to tackle the root causes of irregular migration, improve the protection of migrants and win the fight against smugglers are showing concrete results. Looking ahead, the Commission called for further concerted action by the EU, member states and partner countries.
EU social summit for fair jobs and growth
At a special EU summit on 17 November in Gothenburg, Sweden, the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission jointly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven hosted the summit. Heads of state and government, ministers, stakeholders and policy makers discussed the role of efficient and fair European labour markets, effective and sustainable social protection systems and the promotion of social dialogue. Leaders also discussed the future of education and culture.
On 23 October, EU ministers reached a political agreement on the Commission's proposal to revise rules on the posting of workers confirming the Commission's key principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place.
All this week's key European Commission announcements can be found here
EU and the UK
Manfred Weber's meeting with Theresa May
On 15 November, Manfred Weber, Chair of the European Parliament's European People's Party (EPP) met Prime Minister Theresa May. In a press conference he was optimistic about progress in the Brexit negotiations. His main message to the Prime Minister was that the EU will defend its interests and he reiterated the importance of reaching sufficient progress on the three priorities: citizens' rights, the Northern Irish border with Ireland and the financial settlement. Only then could negotiations on the future relationship begin in earnest, Mr Weber said.
For upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter
EU in the media this week
Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting stories or comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:
Honda UK warns MPs of consequences of leaving EU customs union by Dan Roberts in the Guardian
EU fact of the week
"We face a frightening post-antibiotic future"
Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is already responsible for some 25,000 deaths a year in the EU, as well as €1.5 billion in healthcare costs and productivity losses. By 2050 it could kill one person every three seconds or 10.5 million people a year, worldwide.
The EU's health and science Commissioners warned of an "unthinkable future" where resistance to antibiotics prevents lifesaving operations and kills more people than cancer in a hard-hitting statement marking the tenth European Antibiotic awareness day on 15 November. They also called for the stepping up of national, European and global efforts to combat the threat.
Tweet of the week
Quote of the week
"Air pollution is an invisible killer, so the air quality index is needed to inform European citizens on the state of the air they breathe in their own neighbourhood. We are working with cities, regions, countries and industry to tackle the sources of that pollution, which is a cocktail coming from factories, homes and fields, not only from transport,"
- Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Picture of the week
Inflatable globe at COP23 United Nations Climate Change Conference this week in Bonn, Germany