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COMMISSION APPROVES €31.9 BILLION ITALIAN SCHEME TO SUPPORT COMPANIES AFFECTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

The European Commission has approved a €31.9 billion Italian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework.
The scheme consists of two measures:  

 -limited amounts of aid
 -support for uncovered fixed costs incurred during the period between March 2020 and December 2021 or parts of that period.

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PULLING THE PLUG ON CONSUMER FRUSTRATION AND E-WASTE: COMMISSION PROPOSES A COMMON CHARGER FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICES

On September 23, the Commission took an important step against e-waste and consumer inconvenience, caused by the prevalence of different, incompatible chargers for electronic devices. Years of working with industry on a voluntary approach already brought down the number of mobile phone chargers from 30 to 3 within the last decade, but could not deliver a complete solution. The Commission is now putting forward legislation to establish a common charging solution for all relevant devices.

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NextGenerationEU: THE COMMISSION GEARING UP FOR ISSUING €250 BILLION OF GREEN BONDS

The European Commission has adopted an independently evaluated Green Bond framework, thus taking a step forward towards the issuance of up to €250 billion green bonds, or 30% of NextGenerationEU's total issuance. The framework provides investors in these bonds with confidence that the funds mobilised will be allocated to green projects and that the Commission will report on its environmental impact.

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SIMSON: UE AND GAS MARKET REFORM BY THE END OF THE YEAR

After steadily declining for more than a decade, energy prices are once again making headlines in Europe. Gas prices reached record-breaking highs in October. Electricity wholesale prices surged by more than 200% in the first nine months of this year, driving up retail prices.This sharp rise is the result of a combination of factors.This price shock cannot be underestimated. It is hurting our citizens and in particular the most vulnerable households, weakening competitiveness and adding to inflationary pressure.

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EUROPEAN HEALTH EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONE AUTHORITY (HERA)

On September 16, the European Commission launched the European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to health emergencies. HERA will anticipate threats and potential health crises, through intelligence gathering and building the necessary response capacities. When an emergency hits, HERA will ensure the development, production and distribution of medicines, vaccines and other medical countermeasures.

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70% OF THE UE ADULT POPULATION FULLY VACCINATED

This week the EU has reached the figure of 70% of the adult population fully vaccinated. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has evaluated positively this achievement: “The EU's strategy of moving forward together is paying off and putting Europe at the vanguard of the global fight against COVID-19.”She has also highlighted that the pandemic is not over. To avoid the outburst of new variants the vaccination efforts must continue. For this reason, the EU Commission signed last May a new contract with BioNTech-Pfizer, which assures the delivery of 1.8 billion doses of vaccines.

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CODE OF PRACTICE ON DISINFORMATION: COMMISSION WELCOMES NEW PROSPECTIVE SIGNATORIES AND CALLS FOR STRONG AND TIMELY REVISION

The topic of disinformation remains high on the Commission's agenda. Eight new prospective signatories joined the revision process of the Code of Practice on disinformation during the latest signatories Assembly meeting yesterday. The Code is the first such framework worldwide setting out commitments by platforms and industry to fight disinformation.

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