EU institution news

From promise to delivery: Commission welcomes final European Parliament votes under 2014-2019 mandate | EU Commission Press

EU Budget 2021-2027: Commission welcomes Parliament’s green light on InvestEU

The European Commission welcomes today’s vote in the European Parliament on InvestEU, the programme to boost investment in Europe in the next long-term EU budget. This vote brings InvestEU one step closer to its creation. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The Investment Plan put Europe back in business and delivered on this Commission’s number one priority: creating jobs and growth. But we can do more and that’s what InvestEU is about. By making smart use of the EU’s budget, InvestEU will help Europe stay an attractive place for investors worldwide. Over the next decade, the programme will unlock at least €650 billion for Europe to invest in its future, its economy and its people.” Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “The next generation of investment support in the EU is almost there. Soon, businesses and entrepreneurs will get easier access to EU funding to turn their ideas into concrete projects. It will help keep the EU at the forefront of innovation and climate action, while creating jobs and ensuring a growth model that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.” InvestEU will make EU funding for investment projects simpler to access and more effective. Building on the success of the Juncker Plan, it will bring together under one roof and with a single brand the European Fund for Strategic Investments and 13 other EU financial instruments currently supporting investment in the EU. A press release and a memo are available online. 

 

European Defence Fund: Statement by Commissioner Bieńkowska on the European Parliament’s vote

The European Parliament endorsed today the provisional agreement reached by the co-legislators on the future European Defence Fund (EDF) for the next budget period from 2021 to 2027. The European Commission proposed the European Defence Fund in June 2018. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “I welcome today’s vote by the European Parliament. More defence cooperation in Europe is essential to address the growing global instabilities and cross-border threats to our security. It is clear that no country can do this alone. The endorsement of the European Defence Fund will allow us to significantly step up our defence cooperation and allow Europe to become a stronger security provider for our citizens.” In June 2018 the Commission proposed a fully-fledged European Defence Fund worth €13 billion under the next EU long-term budget to cover defence research as well as the development of joint industrial projects in the field of defence. The budgetary aspects and some related horizontal provisions of the future EU space programme are subject to the overall agreement on the EU’s next long-term budget, proposed by the Commission in May 2018. The full statement is available here

 

Capital Markets Union: European Parliament backs key measures to boost jobs and growth

The Commission welcomes the European Parliament’s final votes on legislation putting in place the building blocks of a Capital Markets Union (CMU). This adoption of a substantial number of proposals constitutes another step forward in the completion of the CMU, one of the Juncker Commission’s top political priorities. The Capital Markets Union project has been at the heart of this Commission’s ambition to boost growth in Europe, invest in innovation and promote the EU’s global competitiveness. With now 11 out of 13 proposals agreed, the CMU will become a true driver of investment in the Single Market, providing additional sources of financing to EU companies and opportunities for citizens to save for their future. The CMU channels investment to environmentally-friendly projects, thereby contributing to the EU’s sustainable and carbon-neutral agenda. A strong CMU is also necessary to complement the Banking Union in order to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union and the international role of the euro. Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “The Capital Markets Union will enable companies to find more funding opportunities both domestically and across the Union and provide consumers with more choices to save for their future. Alternative market-based sources of financing are particularly important to finance innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups, which are main engines of job creation. While the project will benefit all Member States, it will particularly strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union by promoting private risk-sharing”. Jyrki Katainen, Commission Vice-President, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness said: “The Commission has delivered on its commitment to put in place the building blocks of a Capital Markets Union by 2019. The CMU contributes directly to the Juncker Commission’s commitment to boost investment, jobs and growth by diversifying market-based finance for European companies. We have now laid the foundations for the CMU and efforts must continue into the next mandate so that businesses big and small, investors and savers can continue to reap the benefits”. Overall, all the adopted proposals will contribute to expanding the CMU’s objectives of innovative financing and creating more investment opportunities from the local to the European level. Each of them covers a specific scope of action. A full press release is available online. 

 

Mobility Package: European Parliament endorses new rules to simplify maritime reporting and encourage the public procurement of clean vehicles

The European Parliament today voted in favour of two ‘Europe on the Move’ – initiatives: on trade facilitation in maritime transport and clean vehicles in public procurement. The proposal to establish a European Maritime Single Window environment replaces the Reporting Formalities Directive. The new, fully harmonised reporting environment for ships will significantly reduce the administrative burden on the maritime sector, improving competitiveness. It will also make it easier for operators and authorities to work together, facilitating the exchange of data and avoiding duplications. The proposal to reform the Clean Vehicles Directive mobilises public procurement for the decarbonisation of our transport, giving a solid boost to the deployment of clean mobility solutions.The proposed Directive introduces a definition of clean vehicles and sets minimum targets for their public procurement in each Member State. The two texts will now need to be formally endorsed by the Council of the EU before they can enter into force. 

 

Clean mobility: Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of first-ever EU-wide CO2 emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles

The European Parliament today approved the first-ever EU-wide CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles. The new rules set targets for reducing the average emissions from new lorries for 2025 and 2030. The new CO2 standards are part of the clean mobility package. They contribute to the modernisation of Europe’s transport sector and the transition towards a climate-neutral economy, in line with the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and the implementation of the Energy Union. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Today’s vote is a key milestone: the heavy-duty transport sector can play an essential role in Europe’s transition towards a climate-neutral economy. These first-ever EU-wide targets and incentives will help EU industry embrace innovation towards higher fuel efficiency and zero-emission vehicles and consolidate its current leadership position on innovative technologies, while bringing fuel cost savings to transport operators and cleaner air for all Europeans.”  Following this approval by the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers will finalise the formal adoption. This endorsement will be followed by the publication of the text in the Official Journal of the Union, and the new legislation will enter into force 20 days after publication. Further information about reducing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

 

European Commission welcomes European Parliament vote on new company law rules

The European Parliament approved today new EU company law rulesfor a modern and fairer internal market, proposed by the Commission in April 2018. They will make it easier for entrepreneurs to register their companies online and across borders, set up new branches or upload documents on the online business register. Going digital will make the process of setting up a business more efficient and cost effective. The new rules will also facilitate cross-border moves, mergers and divisions of companies, while insuring better protection of the rights of employees, minority shareholders and creditors involved in those companies. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “The new company law rules will give new opportunities to EU businesses to move and grow, in particular smaller companies. At the same time, the new rules will put in place strong safeguards to protect employees’ rights and, for the first time, to prevent abusive operations. The EU has been grappling with this issue for years now, and it is a real shared achievement that after failed proposals in the past, we have been able to crack this and in record time”. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality added: “By using digital tools, companies will save time and money when they launch a new business or branch and update information available on business registers. The new rules will facilitate cross-border operations for a fairer and deeper internal market byproviding clear procedures for companies, which will cut costs and save time. They will also provide strong safeguards to protect the rights of employees, creditors and minority shareholders.”More information on the Company Law Package and the related factsheet are available online, as in previous statements on digitalisation and on cross-border mobility.

EU Budget 2021-2027: Commission welcomes Parliament’s green light on InvestEU | EU Commission Press

The European Commission welcomes today’s vote in the European Parliament on InvestEU, the programme to boost investment in Europe in the next long-term EU budget. This vote brings InvestEU one step closer to its creation.

InvestEU will make EU funding for investment projects simpler to access and more effective. Building on the success of the Juncker Plan, it will bring together under one roof and with a single brand the European Fund for Strategic Investments and 13 other EU financial instruments currently supporting investment in the EU.

President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The Investment Plan put Europe back in business and delivered on this Commission’s number one priority: creating jobs and growth. But we can do more and that’s what InvestEU is about. By making smart use of the EU’s budget, InvestEU will help Europe stay an attractive place for investors worldwide. Over the next decade, the programme will unlock at least €650 billion for Europe to invest in its future, its economy and its people.”

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “The next generation of investment support in the EU is almost there. Soon, businesses and entrepreneurs will get easier access to EU funding to turn their ideas into concrete projects. It will help keep the EU at the forefront of innovation and climate action, while creating jobs and ensuring a growth model that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.”

InvestEU will keep the Juncker Plan’s innovative approach to investment, by using limited amounts of public resources with an EU budget guarantee to leverage substantial private and public funds. The €38 billion guarantee will target investments in four main areas: sustainable infrastructure; research, innovation and digitisation; small and medium businesses and social investment and skills. It should trigger at least €650 billion in additional investment in Europe.

Similarly to the Juncker Plan, the InvestEU Fund will be accompanied by the InvestEU Advisory Hub – tailored support to project promoters – and the InvestEU Portal – an easily accessible pipeline of mature projects for potential investors. Also like in the Juncker Plan, InvestEU will be a part of the Commission’s economic policy mix of investment, structural reforms and fiscal responsibility, to ensure Europe remains an attractive place for businesses to settle and thrive.

InvestEU is a partnership with the European Investment Bank Group (EIB), the EU Bank, and will be open to other implementing partners as well. The budgetary aspects of InvestEU are still subject to the overall agreement on the next long-term EU budget, which the Commission proposed in May 2018.

Latest figures from the European Investment Bank, the Commission’s strategic partner on the Juncker Plan, show that by April 2019, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) had mobilised almost €393 billion of investments. Operations approved under EFSI so far represent a total financing volume of €72.8 billion in all 28 Member States. The EIB has approved 524 infrastructure projects supported by EFSI for €53.8 billion, while the European Investment Fund has approved 554 financing agreements for small and medium businesses worth €19 billion, which should benefit 945,000 companies.

For more information

Memo: InvestEU Programme – questions and answers

Factsheet: What is InvestEU?

Factsheet: InvestEU – what will it finance?

Press release on the InvestEU proposal (6 June 2018): InvestEU Programme to support jobs, growth and innovation in Europe

Proposal for a Regulation establishing the InvestEU Programme(6 June 2018)

EU budget for the future

President Juncker on Twitter: @JunckerEU

Vice-President Katainen on Twitter: @jyrkikatainen

#InvestEU

New seat projections for the next European Parliament EU28 | EU Parliament Press

Parliament released today the fourth and final set of seat projections, based on a cross-section of national polls, on the composition of the next (9th) European Parliament (751 seats).

projections EP      
projections by seat at EU level 

The European Parliament has published a new set of projections on how the next chamber might look, based on polling data published in 28 EU member states until 15 April 2019. The data are based on a collection of reliable polls conducted by national polling institutes in the member states and aggregated by Kantar Public on behalf of Parliament.

The data from the previous projection, published on 29 March, have also been updated to recalibrate with UK data to facilitate comparison with the new scenario of the UK participating in May’s elections.

Parties are only allocated to existing political groups or where they are already affiliated to an associated European political party. All new political parties and movements that have not yet declared their intentions are categorised as “other”.

All data can be downloaded from the press tool kit. The European elections will take place from 23 to 26 May.

‘InvestEU’ programme: big boost for jobs, growth and investment | EU Parliament Press

MEPs have approved a provisional and partial deal with EU ministers on a new EU programme to support investment and access to finance during 2021-2027.

  • Launchpad for investments which otherwise would have been difficult to finance 
  • Stronger focus on climate protection and employment 
  • Aim to generate almost €700 billion in investments 

Aiming to generate almost €700 billion in investments, the ‘InvestEU’ initiative replaces the current European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI, which was part of the ‘Juncker-Plan’) that was set up after the 2008 financial crisis.

MEPs intend to improve the Commission’s proposal by increasing the EU guarantee from €38 billion to €40.8 billion, to trigger €698 billion in investments (the Commission aimed at €650 billion). In negotiations with EU ministers held so far, they have agreed on the following EP priorities:

 

  • clearer and new objectives, such as employment, contributing to the achievement of the Paris Climate Agreement goals and economic, territorial and social cohesion;
  • better climate protection: a target of “at least 55%” of the investment under part of the programme reserved to support sustainable infrastructure was set for climate and environment objectives.

The report by co-rapporteurs José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT) and Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT) was adopted with 463 votes in favour, 64 against and 29 abstentions.

Quotes

José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), co-rapporteur for the Committee on Budgets: “InvestEU will bring more investment, competitiveness and economic growth, allowing for more and better jobs all across the EU. It will help economic, social and territorial cohesion and close the investment gap in the EU by supporting public and private investment in SMEs, research, innovation and digitalization, sustainable infrastructure and the social sector.”

Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT), co-rapporteur and Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee: “With InvestEU, we are shaping the future of the EU towards more investments to support small and medium-sized enterprises as well as local projects. Moreover, we strongly link this new tool with the incentive to support Environmental, Social and Governance projects, promoting culture and ensuring ethical and sustainable finance”.

Next steps

Parliament has now closed its first reading, including parts already agreed with member states (press release on agreement with member states here). The text of the provisional deal can be downloaded here, with parts highlighted in grey which have not yet been agreed with the EU ministers. The newly elected European Parliament will continue talks with EU ministers.

Background

Despite numerous initiatives to remedy the situation, there is still a significant investment gap in the EU. The InvestEU programme (part of the MFF 2021-2027 package “EU budget for the future”) aims to address this problem.

InvestEU aims to bring together the various EU financial instruments currently available (among others: the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the Connecting Europe Facility instruments, specific facilities under the Competitiveness Of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (COSME) programme, as well as specific guarantees and facilities under the Employment and Social Innovation programme (EaSI)) in order to benefit from economies of scale, and expand the Juncker Plan’s model (i.e. using guarantees from the EU budget to bring in other investors).

InvestEU will consist of the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal (More information).

MEPs approve new CO2 emissions limits for trucks | EU Parliament Press

  • 30% CO2 reduction target for new heavy-duty vehicles by 2030 
  • Around 25% of road transport emissions in the EU come from trucks and lorries 

The first ever EU regulation on CO2 emissions for trucks and lorries was approved by Parliament on Thursday, in an effort to curb rising road transport emissions.

The new legislation, informally agreed between MEPs and the Romanian Presidency of the Council in February, was adopted with 474 votes in favour, 47 against and 11 abstentions.

It requires CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and lorries to be reduced by 30%, by 2030, with an intermediate reduction target of 15%, by 2025.

Also by 2025, manufacturers will be required to ensure that at least a 2% market share of the sales of new vehicles is made up of zero-and-low-emission vehicles, to counteract steadily increasing road traffic emissions, of which around one quarter is accountable to heavy-duty vehicles.

In addition to this, the European Commission will have to propose new post-2030 targets, in 2022, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Quote
Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL) rapporteur, said:
“It is a great success that the EU is taking action for the first time on CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles. The regulation will help to reduce pollution on our roads and to improve air quality.

The future of cleaner trucks will be driven by innovation. This legislation should therefore encourage the industry to spur on change and advances in technology.”

Next steps

The Council will need to formally approve the text before it can enter into force.

Background

Heavy-duty vehicles are accountable for 27 % of road transport CO2 emissions and almost 5 % of EU greenhouse gas emissions (2016 data). Since 1990, heavy-duty vehicle emissions have increased by 25 % – mainly because of an increase in road freight traffic. These are projected to increase further if new policies are not adopted and enforced.

WTO Boeing dispute: EU issues preliminary list of U.S. products considered for countermeasures | EU Commission Press

The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on a preliminary list of products from the United States on which the European Union may take countermeasures in the context of the ongoing Boeing dispute at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The public consultation will last until 31 May 2019.

On 11 April 2019, the WTO adopted its final compliance report in the Boeing dispute, confirming that U.S. subsidies to Boeing continue to cause significant harm to Airbus, including lost sales. Today’s publication comes as a follow-up to that decision. The public consultation aims to gather feedback from stakeholders who may be affected by the planned measures.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: ”European companies must be able to compete on fair and equal terms. The recent WTO ruling on U.S. subsidies for Boeing is important in this respect. We must continue to defend a level-playing field for our industry. But let me be clear, we do not want a tit-for-tat. While we need to be ready with countermeasures in case there is no other way out, I still believe that dialogue is what should prevail between important partners such as the EU and the U.S., including in bringing an end to this long-standing dispute. The EU remains open for discussions with the U.S., provided these are without preconditions and aim at a fair outcome.”

The list published today covers a range of items, from aircrafts to chemicals and agri-food products (including everything from frozen fish and citrus fruits to ketchup), that overall represent around USD20 billion of United States exports into the European Union. At an earlier stage of this dispute (in 2012), the EU made a request to the WTO to authorise the adoption of countermeasures worth up to USD12 billion, equivalent to the estimated damage caused to Airbus by the U.S. support to Boeing.

Based on this request, it is however for a WTO appointed arbitrator to determine the exact appropriate level of countermeasures. The EU is taking steps towards requesting the arbitrator to resume its work. A final list, based on the products included in today’s list, will be drawn up by the EU taking into account the arbitrator’s decision in the near future.

Background

On 11 April 2019, the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation adopted the reports in which the Appellate Body, the highest WTO instance, confirmed that the U.S. has not taken appropriate action to comply with the WTO rules on subsidies, despite the many rulings against it in the course of this long dispute. Instead, it has continued unabatedly its illegal support of its aircraft manufacturer Boeing to the detriment of Airbus, the European aerospace industry and its many workers. In its ruling of 28 March 2019, the Appellate Body:

  • confirmed the Washington State tax programme continues to be a central part of the U.S. unlawful subsidisation of Boeing. This is a comprehensive programme scheduled to run up until 2040 with a continuous increase of subsidies expected throughout that period. Boeing will receive an estimated total of USD6 billion in tax savings for the period 2006-2040;
  • found that a number of ongoing instruments, including certain NASA and U.S. Department of Defence procurement contracts, research and development programmes, and South Carolina job tax credits, constitute subsidies that may cause economic harm to Airbus;
  • confirmed that Boeing continues to benefit from an illegal U.S. tax concession that supports exports (the Foreign Sales Corporation and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion, or FSC/ETI). This subsidy has already been qualified as prohibited, which means illegal under WTO rules.

European Parliament strengthens EU consumer protection rules | EU Parliament Press

The new law, already agreed with EU ministers, updates consumer rights for the internet age, ensuring consumers will have more information about how online rankings work and when they derive from paid placements. The revamped rules also aim to make the use of online reviews and personalised pricing more transparent for consumers.

Online marketplaces and comparison services (e.g. Amazon, eBay, AirBnb, Skyscanner) will have to disclose the main parameters determining how offers resulting from a search query are ranked. Consumers must also be informed from whom they are buying goods or services (a trader, the online marketplace itself or a private person) and whether personalised pricing was used.

Dual quality of products

This directive also deals with the so-called “dual quality of products” issue, i.e. when products which are marketed under the same brand in different EU countries differ in composition or characteristics. It clarifies how misleading marketing should be dealt with by national authorities. If certain conditions are met (e.g. marketing in different member states of products as being identical, significantly unjustified different composition or characteristics), the practice could be qualified as a misleading practice and prohibited.

The text also includes a review clause requiring the Commission to assess the situation within two years to see whether dual quality of products needs to be added to the blacklist of unfair commercial practices.

Penalties for infringements

For widespread infringements (i.e. those harming consumers in several EU countries), the available maximum fine in member states must amount to at least 4 % of the trader’s annual turnover in the previous financial year or a lump sum of two million euros in cases where information on turnover is not available.

Latvian Prime Minister Kariņš: boost the EU’s essentials | EU Parliament Press

The EU needs to strengthen the basics, Latvian Prime Ministers Krišjānis Kariņš said in the debate on the Future of Europe, on Wednesday.

He suggested four main fields of EU action: completing the Single Market, controlling external borders, undertaking a clever transition towards clean energy and boosting security. “Don’t fight the populists, address the causes of people’s malcontent,” Mr Kariņš said.

Remove existing hurdles

With people worrying about their jobs, the EU needs to sharpen its main tool for job creation – the Single Market. Europe needs to foster “National Champions” by opening up the Single Market, not embarking on a Chinese way of protectionism. “We need to continue to tear down the barriers to the Single Market. This is what will create more jobs and more wealth in Europe,” he said, singling out digital industry and services as the two main fields of action.

Tighten the external borders

To avoid re-erecting internal borders and allow for an unhindered Single Market, the EU needs to shore up its external borders, control migration and make sure people arriving in the EU accept European values. “It is extremely important to maintain our national identities. Arrivals need to adapt themselves,” Mr Kariņš said, suggesting that Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency need to be beefed up further.

Fight climate change

“If we truly want to increase the share of renewable energy in our system, we need to open up markets and deregulate prices. Consumer choice is what can best drive energy transition,” the Latvian PM suggested. “By opening electricity markets to competition and market prices, we can greatly increase the uptake in renewable energy sources and increase energy efficiency.”

Think security, not just in military terms

“My country spends 2% of its GDP on the military. I believe we all should. But we also need to work on strengthening our information defence”, PM Kariņš said, adding that new legislation could help to hold social media platforms to account for allowing disinformation to spread .

Food safety: New rules to boost consumer trust approved by MEPs | EU Parliament Press

  • Common European Database to stop unfavourable studies being withheld
  • European Food Safety Authority can make studies public
  • Addresses concerns raised during European Citizens’ Initiative on glyphosate

New rules to ensure reliability and transparency in EU food safety risk assessment procedure were adopted on Wednesday.

MEPs have approved new rules, already agreed with EU ministers, which ensure the EU’s risk assessment procedure for food safety is more reliable, transparent and objective, passing with 603 votes in favour, 17 against and 27 abstentions.

Unfavourable studies will no longer be withheld

The new rules will create a common European Database of commissioned studies to deter companies applying for authorisation from withholding unfavourable studies. This will allow the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to make submitted studies public for third party scrutiny, which may be used to identify whether other relevant scientific data or studies exist, to ensure accuracy.

In addition, to ensure the new rules are transparent, applicants must disclose all information relevant for assessing safety; however, some information, such as the manufacturing or production process, may be kept confidential.

Finally, the new law also supports the implementation of a new pre-submission advisory procedure that enables EFSA to advise applicants on how to submit their application for authorisation correctly, making the process more reliable.

EU-U.S. Joint Statement: the United States is Europe’s main soya beans supplier with imports up by 121% | EU Commission Press

New figures released by the European Commission today, show that imports of U.S. soya beans by the European Union increased by 121% over the current market year (July 2018 to mid-April 2019), compared to the same period in the previous year.

With a share of 72% of EU soya beans imports, the U.S. is today Europe’s number one supplier. Conversely, Europe is the top destination of U.S. soya beans exports with 22%, followed by China (18%) and Mexico (9%).

Increasing trade in a number of areas and products, including soya beans, was one of the Joint Statement‘s objectives, as agreed between Presidents Juncker and Trump on 25 July 2018. The European Commission is following up on its commitment and has been regularly publishing figures on EU imports of soya beans from the United States. Today marks the fifth update report on trade of soya beans with the U.S.

Today’s report shows that:

  • Compared to the first 42 weeks of the 2017/2018 marketing year (from July to mid-April), in the current market year EU imports of soya beans from the U.S. are up by 121% at 8,244,594 tonnes;
  • In terms of the EU’s total imports of soya beans, the U.S. share is now at 72%, compared to 36% in in the same period last year. This puts the U.S. well ahead of Brazil (21%), the EU’s second main supplier, followed by Ukraine (2.3%), Canada (1.8%) and Paraguay (0.7%).

In January 2019, the Commission concluded that U.S. soya beans meet the technical requirements to be used in biofuels in the EU, a decision that creates the conditions for these exports to grow further by expanding its market opportunities in Europe.

The United States is also the most important origin for EU agri-food imports in general. The latest figures show that from February 2018 to January 2019, the value of agri-food imports from the U.S increased by 14%. This represents an increase in value of €1.5 billion, mainly due to the increase in imports of soya beans, soya bean oilcakes and several other products.

Background

The EU imports about 14 million tonnes of soya beans per year as a source of protein to feed our animals, including chicken, pigs and cattle, as well as for milk production. Soya beans from the U.S. happen to be a very attractive feed option for European importers and users thanks to their competitive prices.

The data included in the report published today on soya beans, comes from the Crops Market Observatory which the European Commission launched in July 2017 to share market data and short-term analysis to ensure more transparency.

For more information