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EU future at stake: MEPs broadly welcome Commission’s recovery package proposals | EU Parliament Press

Focussing on future generations, Commission President von der Leyen discussed the €750 billion recovery instrument within a revamped long-term EU budget in plenary.

Following the presentation by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the pledge by the Croatian Council representative Nikolina Brnjac to work with member states to swiftly conclude negotiations with Parliament on the new package, political group leaders took the floor to outline their initial reactions. Click on names to view the individual statements.

“European solidarity is back and we are opening a new chapter for the EU”, Manfred Weber (EPP, DE) said. The new money needs to be spent on fresh ideas and not on Europe’s old problems. “Solidarity goes hand in hand with responsibility”, therefore it must be clear how the money will be paid back, he said, calling for new own resources and for digital giants to pay their part.

Iratxe García Perez (S&D, ES) thanked von der Leyen for an ambitious proposal and for giving the EP “the role it deserves” in the design of the recovery package. Warning that the survival of the European project is at stake, she urged the Council to adopt the new MFF by qualified majority to avoid keeping the EU “hostage by four member states that prefer a national response to a European one”.

“It is a game changer, unprecedented in the history of Europe”, said Dacian Ciolos (Renew, RO). “The MFF and the recovery plan must focus on the future”, with the Green deal and digital agenda as building blocks, he said. “We may differ on some details, but I really welcome the approach”, he said, reminding member states that “the EU is not a cash machine. Solidarity comes with values”.

Jörg Meuthen (ID, DE) rejected the package proposal as “completely wrong and nonsense”, without a proper legal basis and lacking responsibility or economic sense. The Commission wants to spend money “as if there was no tomorrow”. It is a huge price for European taxpayers, he concluded.

Ska Keller (Greens/EFA, DE) urged: “We must not repeat the big mistakes of the past and force countries into austerity and blind market ideologies. Instead, we need to make sure that the money is well invested into projects that will help in the long term, create jobs and save the one planet that we have.”

Johan van Overtveldt (ECR, BE) said: “If we are going to allow loans and grants, there must be clear conditions. The money needs to go to where it is most needed, and there must be safety mechanisms in place for our businesses. People working and saving should not have to “fork out” for these programmes”.

“Instead of making a clean break with past dogmas”, the Recovery Plan stops “midstream” said Manon Aubry (GUE/NGL, FR). Welcoming the new proposals on Own Resources, she called for the crisis debt to be cancelled, for direct perpetual loans to member states, and for public support to be conditional on social considerations.

The Commission has also unveiled its adjusted Work Programme for 2020, which will prioritise the actions needed to propel Europe’s recovery and resilience.

Next steps

Parliament and Council will discuss the new proposals and decide on their final shape in upcoming negotiations.

EP negotiators: recovery plan crucial, but do not trade long-term for short-term | EU Parliament Press

  • The €750 billion borrowing plan is an important proposal for an efficient recovery
  • Recovery strategy should not be financed at the expense of the MFF, MEPs said in reaction to the Commission’s long-term budget and recovery plan proposals
  • Danger of weakened EU budget after recovery phase, preventing EU from investing in common future
  • Parliament ready to reject any proposals that would not meet its standards

It is high time to start negotiations on the MFF with the Council without delay, said the EP’s negotiating team for the long-term EU budget and Own Resources reform.

The six members of the MFF/OR negotiating team commented on the Commission’s proposals for a revised Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and recovery plan presented on Wednesday in an extraordinary plenary session:

“We will carefully assess the package of proposals presented by the European Commission today. We positively acknowledge the reinforcement of the current MFF in 2020 and the significant borrowing which are much needed.

Today’s Commission proposals are an important step. We therefore regret that the Commission has reduced its original MFF proposal, thus moving further away from Parliament and closer to the European Council President’s February 2020 proposal. Once the recovery phase is behind us, this could leave us with a weakened budget that prevents the EU from investing in its common future – such as climate and digital transformation -, leaving it more vulnerable to further crises.

Parliament shares the view that the recovery plan will be channelled through the MFF and must be embedded in a reformed system of own resources. But it would be self-defeating to trade the long-term against the short-term: the recovery strategy should not be financed at the expense of the core MFF and its wider objectives, which the COVID-19 outbreak has made more relevant than ever. Furthermore, any new budgetary tool must ensure Parliament’s participation and the community method to boost democratic oversight, transparency and accountability.

We express, however, our concerns about future debt and the way it will be repaid in the future.

Parliament agrees with the general approach that the long-term repayment of the borrowing should be re-financed by new, genuine own resources in order to use European, rather than ever more national means to finance our needs and thus to avoid a new dividing line between net contributors and net recipients. We regret, however, that the Commission is only putting forward a menu of possible revenue sources rather than submitting concrete legislative initiatives for a basket of new own resources as requested by Parliament, which would also have immediate economic and policy benefits as of 2021. Parliament recalls its consent is conditional on the introduction of a basket of new own resources without further delay.

Parliament must give its consent to any new MFF, and stands ready to do so if the final agreement will include its main priorities and will genuinely provide for Parliament’s participation. We call on the Council to work constructively with Parliament on improving the Commission’s proposals.

Failing an agreement before the end of the year, 2020 ceilings would be automatically extended. That is why Parliament has formally requested that the Commission present an MFF contingency plan in order to eliminate any risk of discontinuity or disorderly extension. A contingency plan based on 2020 ceilings could indeed provide a better basis for the European Union’s recovery than a late and inadequate MFF.

Since November 2018, we have repeatedly expressed our readiness to engage with the Council on the MFF and the Own Resources, to no avail. Given how urgent this is, it is high time to start these negotiations without further delay.”

The EP’s negotiating team for the next long-term EU budget and Own Resources reform

Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE), Chair of the Committee on Budgets

Jan Olbrycht (EPP, PL), MFF co-rapporteur

Margarida Marques (S&D, PT), MFF co-rapporteur

José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), Own Resources co-rapporteur

Valérie Hayer (RENEW, FR), Own Resources co-rapporteur

Rasmus Andresen (Greens/EFA, DE)

MEPs: Focus on crisis response when coordinating economic and budgetary policies | EU Parliament Press

  • Tailor-made recovery and resilience plans
  • Transformation must be social, economically fair and green
  • Fighting youth unemployment a priority

On Wednesday, MEPs discussed the European Semester and economically and socially sustainable ways out of the crisis with Commissioners Dombrovskis, Gentiloni and Schmit.

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) MEPs stressed that in order to become a proper recovery tool, the Commission’s Country-Specific Recommendations (CSR) have to be implemented in the member states and must take into account a post-crisis reality.

Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis pointed to the resilience facility, the new recovery instrument designed to improve the implementation of the CSR. Commissioner Gentiloni explained that each country, together with the Commission, will have to prepare a tailor-made recovery and resilience plan, in which the member states’ post-crisis priorities should be ensured.

Fiscal policy in times of crisis

Other ECON MEPs were concerned about the general escape clause, which allows the excessive deficit procedure against a member state to be put on hold in times of a severe economic downturn. MEPs wanted to know when the procedure will kick in again and how to keep the right balance between debt sustainability and much-needed investments.

Mr Dombrovskis stressed that the Stability and Growth Pact has been put on hold until the economy is growing again; then the rules start to reapply. Commissioner Gentiloni called for the Council and the Parliament to come to an agreement quickly, so that funds can reach recipients on the ground and the economy can rebound.

Finally, MEPs asked about the connection between the rule of law and access to EU funds. Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis reminded MEPs that rule of law is a condition to access EU funding.

Social dimension of the recovery

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit said that the latest unemployment forecast for the EU in 2020 stands at 9 % and one out of four workers is currently on a short-time work schedule. Several Members from the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) voiced their deep concern that the unemployment level for Europe’s youth is nearly twice as high as that of all job seekers.

Commissioner Schmit underlined that fighting youth unemployment remains a priority and that the Commission will reinforce the youth guarantee to improve the prospects for young people.

The risk of creating a digital divide when demand for highly-qualified workers will increase, especially in the context of the digital and green transition, was another point of concern for MEPs, who noted that the measures in the context of the green deal could lead to job losses and exacerbate poverty and inequality.

According to Mr Dombrovksis, the green deal will actually have a positive effect on the economy and will create new jobs, with digital skills featuring prominently on the upcoming reinforced skills agenda.

Instruments for upwards social convergence

MEPs also underlined that the crisis has exposed the shortcomings of our current social model and that the European Semester has to be at the service of recovery and a transformation that is social, economically fair and green. Commissioner Schmit highlighted that the social dimension is anchored in the European Semester by means of the social scoreboard and that the Commission tackles problems related to precarious work with initiatives such as fair and predictable working conditions, proposals for an EU minimum wage, working conditions of platform workers, and a child guarantee.

A recording of the debate is available by clicking here.

Background

The European Semester is the annual cycle for coordinating the economic and budgetary policies of the EU member states. Within the framework of the semester, the European Commission analyses the national budgets of EU countries and then issues recommendations, which the member states must take into account when drawing up their national budgets for the coming year.

In the context of the pandemic, the European Commission has adapted its recommendations: In the short-term, EU countries must focus fully on limiting the socio-economic consequences of the crisis, by safeguarding employment and businesses and through additional investments in public health. In the medium-term, the focus should be on investing in sustainable and inclusive growth that facilitates the green transition and the digital transformation.

Due to the deep uncertainty brought about by the extraordinary macroeconomic and fiscal impact of the pandemic, the Commission decided that it will not start excessive deficit procedures against member states.

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on twitter

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs on twitter.

EU budget for recovery: Recovery and Resilience Facility | EU Commission Press

As announced by European Commission President von der Leyen on 27 May 2020, the centrepiece of the recovery plan will be a new Recovery and Resilience Facility. The aim of the facility will be to support investments and reforms essential to a lasting recovery, to improve the economic and social resilience of the Member States, and to support the green and digital transitions. It will be available to all Member States but support will be concentrated in the parts of the Union most affected and where resilience needs are greatest. This will help to counteract widening divergences between Member States and prepare our economies for the future. The Recovery and Resilience Facility will be firmly embedded in the European Semester. Member States will draw up recovery and resilience plans as part of their National Reform Programmes. The facility comes with a proposed budget of €560 billion from Next Generation EU to help fund Member States’ recovery and resilience plans. It will be equipped with a grant facility worth up to €310 billion and will be able to make up to €250 billion in loans. More information on the Facility is available in a factsheet and MEMO online. The press conference remarks of Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis are available here, and those of Commissioner Gentiloni here. You can stream the press conference on EbS.

EU budget for recovery: A green and just recovery | EU Commission Press

As announced by President von der Leyen, the Commission is proposing a new REACT-EU initiative to increase cohesion support to Member States to make their economies more resilient and sustainable in the crisis repair phase. This will help to bridge the gap between first response measures and longer-term recovery. Programmes such as the European Social Fund and the Fund for European Aid for the Most Deprived can be topped-up using part of the €55 billion in fresh funding available. Beyond the immediate crisis response, cohesion policy will be crucial to ensuring a balanced recovery in the longer term, avoiding asymmetries and divergences of growth between and within Member States. The Commission is therefore also adjusting its proposals for the future cohesion and social policy programmes to give even stronger support to recovery investments, for example in the resilience of national healthcare systems, in sectors such as tourism and culture, in support for small and medium-sized enterprises, youth employment measures, education and skills, and measures combatting child poverty. The Commission is also strengthening the Just Transition Mechanism, a key element of the European Green Deal, to ensure social fairness in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy in the most vulnerable coal – and carbon-intensive regions. For more details, see the Q&A on REACT-EU, cohesion policy post-2020 and European Social Fund+; factsheets on cohesion policy and social funds; a press release on a public loan facility to support green investments together with the European Investment Bank; and a Q&A on the Just Transition Mechanism.

EU budget for recovery: Commission proposes new Health Programme EU4Health with a budget of €9.4 billion | EU Commission Press

Today, the European Commission presents its proposal for a public sector loan facility under the Just Transition Mechanism. The facility will be implemented with the involvement of the European Investment Bank and will encourage investments that support the transition towards a climate-neutral economy by public sector authorities to the benefit of coal- and carbon-intensive regions. The facility will include €1.5 billion in grants from the EU budget and up to €10 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank’s own sources. The facility will mobilise up to between €25 and €30 billion of investments for helping territories and regions most affected by the transition to a climate-neutral economy, prioritising those that have less capacity to deal with the costs of the transition.

The facility will be accessible to all Member States, initially based on national envelopes, through calls for proposals that meet the following criteria:

  • projects benefit territories identified in an approved territorial just transition plan;
  • projects receive an EIB loan under the facility; and
  • projects do not generate sufficient market revenue streams.

Projects must also comply with the lending policy of the EIB. Investment areas will include energy and transport infrastructure, district heating networks, public transport, energy efficiency measures and social infrastructure, and other projects that can directly benefit the communities in the affected regions and reduce the socio-economic costs of the transition towards a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

The territorial just transition plans are currently being prepared by the Member States and will be approved by the European Commission. They will provide the framework for support from the three pillars of the Just Transition Mechanism: a Just Transition Fund which will provide grants, a special scheme under InvestEU to crowd in private investment, and the public sector loan facility now being proposed. The Commission is providing technical support for the development of their territorial just transition plans to all 18 Member States that requested it.

Next steps

Today’s proposal will be negotiated with the European Parliament and the Council in view of its rapid adoption. The first calls for projects are expected to be launched after the adoption and entry into force of the public loan facility, and the approval of the territorial just transition plans. Ahead of the first call, an administrative agreement will need to be signed with the European Investment Bank in order to set out the implementation arrangements of the facility.

Members of the College and the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank said:

Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “Today we are making good on our promise to provide financial support to less advantaged regions to help them to transition to a more climate-neutral economy. This loan facility will focus on boosting public investments that can contribute to the green transition in parts of Europe that are more carbon-intensive and grappling with greater socio-economic challenges – investments that would otherwise not happen. I call on Member States and the European Parliament to endorse this proposal, as well as the Just Transition Fund, as part of our efforts to ensure we make the European economy greener and more resilient.”

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “While we are focused on steering us through the crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic, we must not forget the damage that climate change is inflicting on our planet. As President von der Leyen also said, there is no vaccine against climate change. But we need to make sure the transition towards a climate-neutral economy happens in a fair way. Today’s proposal is an essential tool in ensuring this fairness, complementing the efforts of Cohesion policy in supporting regions and citizens most vulnerable to adjustments towards a climate-neutral Union.”

Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Lilyana Pavlova, added: “While confronting the great socio-economic challenge posed by Covid-19, we should not forget the long-term fundamental threat of climate change. As the EU climate bank, the European Investment Bank pledged to dedicate at least 50% of its lending to climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025 and to align all its financing with the goals of the Paris Agreement by the end of the year. The proposed Just Transition Mechanism, which the EIB plans to support with its financing, will be key to ensuring that transforming our economies to carbon neutrality will happen with shared benefits and no disproportionate costs among regions. It is the reflection of European solidarity and in line with the aims of Cohesion Policy to help each region achieve its full potential, to bring about a convergence of living standards and prosperity across the European Union.”

Background

The public sector loan facility is the third pillar of the Just Transition Mechanism (JTM) and part of the European Green Deal effort to create a climate-neutral economy in Europe by 2050. The Mechanism will promote social fairness in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy in the most vulnerable coal – and carbon-intensive regions. The Mechanism consists of three pillars of financing: the Just Transition Fund, for which a proposal was tabled on 14 January 2020 and for which an increased budget is proposed in the context of the revised proposal for the next long-term EU budget, a dedicated just transition scheme under InvestEU, and the public sector loan facility adopted today by the Commission. The three pillars are expected to mobilise at least €150 billion of investments in the EU economy over the period 2021 – 2027.

For More Information

MEMO: EU budget for recovery: Questions and answers on the Just Transition Mechanism

Press release: Financing the green transition: the European Green Deal Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism

Press release: Commission supports Member States in their transition towards a climate-neutral economy

Factsheet: How Cohesion policy funds support Member States’ green reforms

Coronavirus: Increased flexibility under EU Cohesion policy helps Italian regions to cope with the crisis | EU Commission Press

The European Commission has welcomed and approvedthe redirection of €30 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to help two Italian regions, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, to cope with the coronavirus crisis. The two regions are the first to use the flexibilities provided under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII). Emilia Romagna will fund a call for projects for industries and research centres to finance short-term projects to develop and test innovative service and product solutions during the emergency and the gradual re-opening phases. Tuscany will provide regional SMEs easier access to liquidity to keep their business running at time of economic uncertainty. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, commented: “Cohesion policy is once again proving its capacity to adapt to the circumstances and needs of Europe’s regions. In the present challenging times, these two measures are an excellent example of the new flexibilities introduced into cohesion policy so that it can help regions in all possible ways. Tuscany’s approved request shows that cohesion has always been a useful instrument supporting the local economy, and even more so now. Also, being one of the most severely affected areas in the country, I welcome Emilia Romagna’s fast reaction to use the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative and encourage other regions in Italy and beyond to take advantage of this useful initiative.” Emilia Romagna will rapidly allocate €8.3 million from existing ERDF resources to finance solution-oriented projects. The modification of Tuscany’s Operational Programme, on the other hand, introduces a new counter-guarantee fund coupled with guarantee fees subsidies and interest rate subsidies for SMEs, all covered with €20 million from ERDF and an additional €2 million for innovative start-ups including support via risk capital participation.

Coronavirus Response: Launch of dialogue with financial sector representatives to support citizens and businesses | EU Commission Press

The European Commission has today launched its first roundtable meeting with the European financial sector, including consumer and business representatives, to explore how it can develop best practices to support EU citizens and businesses. As announced in the Commission’s Banking Package on 28 April 2020, this meeting marks the beginning of a dialogue with the European financial sector to see what practical relief measures can be put in place to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus crisis. A wide selection of representatives have been invited to the meeting, including consumer and business associations, banking, insurance and non-bank lending associations, and European Supervisory Authorities. The Commission will chair the meeting. Valdis Dombrovskis,Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said:“Households and businesses need all the help they can get to deal with the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis. That is why we are launching a dialogue today, bringing the financial sector together with groups representing consumers and businesses. Through these dialogues, we want to find practical solutions to the concrete problems that companies and households are experiencing across the EU right now. We need to make sure that the liquidity taps are turned on and that consumers and companies and especially smaller businesses can get the support they need. I look forward to these discussions.”  The main goal of these discussions is to explore how industry (banking, insurance and non-bank lending associations) can support citizens and businesses throughout the pandemic. This response must be coordinated in order to avoid national fragmentation and to ensure a level playing field. Participants will also take stock of the relief measures that industry has already implemented or is planning. Consumer and business associations will give feedback on the effectiveness of existing measures, as well as on additional actions and their consistency across the EU. Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, will also participate and share insights on consumer loans. For more information, see here.

Commission proposes a public loan facility to support green investments together with the European Investment Bank | EU Commission Press

Today, the European Commission presents its proposal for a public sector loan facility under the Just Transition Mechanism. The facility will be implemented with the involvement of the European Investment Bank and will encourage investments that support the transition towards a climate-neutral economy by public sector authorities to the benefit of coal- and carbon-intensive regions. The facility will include €1.5 billion in grants from the EU budget and up to €10 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank’s own sources. The facility will mobilise up to between €25 and €30 billion of investments for helping territories and regions most affected by the transition to a climate-neutral economy, prioritising those that have less capacity to deal with the costs of the transition.

The facility will be accessible to all Member States, initially based on national envelopes, through calls for proposals that meet the following criteria:

  • projects benefit territories identified in an approved territorial just transition plan;
  • projects receive an EIB loan under the facility; and
  • projects do not generate sufficient market revenue streams.

Projects must also comply with the lending policy of the EIB. Investment areas will include energy and transport infrastructure, district heating networks, public transport, energy efficiency measures and social infrastructure, and other projects that can directly benefit the communities in the affected regions and reduce the socio-economic costs of the transition towards a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

The territorial just transition plans are currently being prepared by the Member States and will be approved by the European Commission. They will provide the framework for support from the three pillars of the Just Transition Mechanism: a Just Transition Fund which will provide grants, a special scheme under InvestEU to crowd in private investment, and the public sector loan facility now being proposed. The Commission is providing technical support for the development of their territorial just transition plans to all 18 Member States that requested it.

Next steps

Today’s proposal will be negotiated with the European Parliament and the Council in view of its rapid adoption. The first calls for projects are expected to be launched after the adoption and entry into force of the public loan facility, and the approval of the territorial just transition plans. Ahead of the first call, an administrative agreement will need to be signed with the European Investment Bank in order to set out the implementation arrangements of the facility.

Members of the College and the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank said:

Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “Today we are making good on our promise to provide financial support to less advantaged regions to help them to transition to a more climate-neutral economy. This loan facility will focus on boosting public investments that can contribute to the green transition in parts of Europe that are more carbon-intensive and grappling with greater socio-economic challenges – investments that would otherwise not happen. I call on Member States and the European Parliament to endorse this proposal, as well as the Just Transition Fund, as part of our efforts to ensure we make the European economy greener and more resilient.”

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “While we are focused on steering us through the crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic, we must not forget the damage that climate change is inflicting on our planet. As President von der Leyen also said, there is no vaccine against climate change. But we need to make sure the transition towards a climate-neutral economy happens in a fair way. Today’s proposal is an essential tool in ensuring this fairness, complementing the efforts of Cohesion policy in supporting regions and citizens most vulnerable to adjustments towards a climate-neutral Union.”

Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Lilyana Pavlova, added: “While confronting the great socio-economic challenge posed by Covid-19, we should not forget the long-term fundamental threat of climate change. As the EU climate bank, the European Investment Bank pledged to dedicate at least 50% of its lending to climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025 and to align all its financing with the goals of the Paris Agreement by the end of the year. The proposed Just Transition Mechanism, which the EIB plans to support with its financing, will be key to ensuring that transforming our economies to carbon neutrality will happen with shared benefits and no disproportionate costs among regions. It is the reflection of European solidarity and in line with the aims of Cohesion Policy to help each region achieve its full potential, to bring about a convergence of living standards and prosperity across the European Union.”

Background

The public sector loan facility is the third pillar of the Just Transition Mechanism (JTM) and part of the European Green Deal effort to create a climate-neutral economy in Europe by 2050. The Mechanism will promote social fairness in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy in the most vulnerable coal – and carbon-intensive regions. The Mechanism consists of three pillars of financing: the Just Transition Fund, for which a proposal was tabled on 14 January 2020 and for which an increased budget is proposed in the context of the revised proposal for the next long-term EU budget, a dedicated just transition scheme under InvestEU, and the public sector loan facility adopted today by the Commission. The three pillars are expected to mobilise at least €150 billion of investments in the EU economy over the period 2021 – 2027.

For More Information

MEMO: EU budget for recovery: Questions and answers on the Just Transition Mechanism

Press release: Financing the green transition: the European Green Deal Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism

Press release: Commission supports Member States in their transition towards a climate-neutral economy

Factsheet: How Cohesion policy funds support Member States’ green reforms

United Nations: High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell to address the Security Council | EU Commission Press

On 28 May, EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell will address the UN Security Council on the EU’s role in the preservation of international peace and security at the invitation of Estonia, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month. This will be High Representative/Vice-President Borrell‘s first annual presentation to the UN Security Council on the EU’s contribution to global peace and security. In times of global uncertainty, the EU and its Member States remain the strongest partners of the UN in the field of peace and security. We are committed to ensuring leadership in promoting international cooperation and effective multilateralism with a strong United Nations at its core. The EU and the UN will continue working shoulder-to-shoulder and further strengthen their long-lasting partnership in pursuit of global peace and security, sustainable development and respect for human rights. The High Representative/Vice-President’s address will start at 16:00, Brussels time (10:00, New York time). You can follow the speech live here. A transcript of the speech will be available after.  For more information check the press release and the factsheet on the EU-UN Partnership.