Post sponsored by NewzEngine.com

Source: European Union

Highlights from the Competitiveness Council of 26 September 2019

Main results

Internal market and industry, 26 September

Developing our economic base:

  • vision for a long-term strategy on sustainable growth
  • competitiveness check-up

The Council held an exchange of views on the key policies that should form the basis of a long-term EU strategy on sustainable growth. The strategy is part of the implementation of the new EU Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 adopted by the European Council in June 2019.

Today we have taken a step closer to finalizing our long-term strategy for a Union that is more competitive, more sustainable and more inclusive. We are fully aware of the challenges lying ahead of us, but we remain fully confident that we will be able to meet the expectations of the European citizens for a more just and sustainable growth.

Timo Harakka, Finnish minister of employment

Delegations broadly endorsed the need for an integrated approach on sustainable growth and indicated their priorities among the various policy objectives set out in the presidency report to the Council.

The presidency will report on the outcome of these discussions to the October 2019 European Council.

In the same context, and on the basis of presentations by the Commission and by the chair of the high level group on competitiveness and growth, ministers exchanged views on the external dimension of the EU’s competitiveness as part of the regular competitiveness check-up exercise.

Other items on the agenda

The Council was also informed :

  • by the presidency of progress achieved so far regarding the so-called real-driving emissions (RDE) regulation. The regulation sets the conformity factors to be applied when measuring the real-driving emissions of light-duty vehicles. It also empowers the Commission to annually review these conformity factors in order to reflect technical progress in the accuracy of the portable measuring equipment;
  • by the German delegation of the call by the SME Envoy Network for a vigorous and forward-looking EU policy for small businesses;
  • by the Czech delegation of the outcome of a conference dedicated to state aids and the definition of SMEs, held in Brno on 29-31 May 2019; and
  • by the Commission of the latest developments in the field of the European battery alliance project, launched in October 2017. The alliance aims to support the development of a competitive, sustainable and innovative battery value chain in the EU.

Over lunch, ministers had an informal exchange of views on the means of financing sustainable growth in the EU.

Highlights from the Competitiveness Council of 27 September 2019

Research and Innovation, 27 September

Developing our economic base: vision for a long-term strategy on sustainable growth

The Council continued the exchange of views on the key policies that should form the basis of a long-term EU strategy for sustainable growth. The strategy is part of the implementation of the new EU Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 adopted by the European Council in June 2019.

An enhanced uptake of innovative solutions offered by our researchers, together with well-functioning synergies between Horizon Europe and other EU programmes, are crucial elements for a competitive and sustainable EU economy. We all agreed on the need to work towards this goal.

Katri Kulmuni, Finnish minister of economic affairs

Research ministers broadly endorsed the integrated approach for an innovation-led sustainable growth model as well as the related policy objectives set out in the presidency’s report to the Council. Several delegations expressed the hope that these elements would be reflected in the Commission’s work programme.

Discussions focussed mainly on the type of actions needed for attracting greater investment in research and innovation throughout the EU, as well as on how to ensure an enhanced uptake of research results and deployment of disruptive innovation by EU businesses.

The presidency will report on the outcome of these discussions to the October 2019 European Council.

Horizon Europe: synergies with other programmes

Ministers exchanged views on the possible synergies between Horizon Europe and other EU programmes.

More specifically, research ministers discussed how other EU programmes, including structural funds, as well as national funds, private funds and other sources such as the European Investment Bank, can best be used to complement the support for research and innovation initiatives in to be provided by Horizon Europe. They also exchanged views on how member states can take advantage of possible synergies between national or regional research programmes and Horizon Europe.

There was broad agreement around the table that synergies between the various EU programmes are key to maximising their positive impact on the economy. In order for synergies to work in practice, however, they should not only be designed properly in the legislative acts but also be implemented in the proper way and following consultation of all stakeholders.

Over lunch, ministers had an informal discussion on the role of research and innovation in achieving climate targets.

MIL OSI Europe News