EU institution news

Pandemic contingency plan for freight transport – Council adopts conclusions | EU Council Press

The Council today adopted conclusions calling on the Commission to swiftly draw up a pandemic and other major crisis contingency plan for the European freight transport sector. Such a plan should include EU-level coordination measures and clear guidelines.

The contingency plan should cover at least the following aspects:

  • maintaining cross-border freight transport operations along the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) corridors and other essential cross-border connections, as well as related ancillary services supporting the operation of that network
  • ensuring free movement of transport workers while safeguarding the protection of their health and safety
  • preparing guidelines and best-practice toolboxes in order to strengthen the sector’s resilience
  • setting up a coherent regulatory framework as regards exemptions to be applied when pandemics and other major crisis situations arise.

The Council encourages the Commission to extend, where appropriate, in part or in full, the contingency plan to passenger transport and transport in general.

Other aspects mentioned by the conclusions include the EU’s commitment to climate neutrality by 2050 and the need to promote digitalisation of the transport sector.

The Council also invites the Commission to develop a specific framework for temporary state aid that would allow member states to act quickly to support the transport sector in pandemics and other major crisis situations.

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Travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries for which restrictions should be lifted | EU Council Press

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted. As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 22 October member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively. Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.

Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

Background

On 16 March 2020, the Commission adopted a communication recommending a temporary restriction of all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU for one month. EU heads of state or government agreed to implement this restriction on 17 March. The travel restriction was extended for a further month respectively on 8 April 2020 and 8 May 2020.

On 11 June the Commission adopted a communication recommending the further extension of the restriction until 30 June 2020 and setting out an approach for a gradual lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel into the EU as of 1 July 2020.

On 30 June the Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, including an initial list of countries for which member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders. The list is reviewed every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated.

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.

A Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the upcoming elections in Tanzania | EU Council Press

The citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania will elect on 28 October their President, Members of the parliaments of the Union and Zanzibar, as well as local councillors. The European Union would like to reiterate its support to the development and prosperity of the people of Tanzania and, in line with Article 4 of the Southern Africa Development Community treaty establishing the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, its attachment to this process towards the consolidation of democratic institutions.  

Reports of incidents and limitations in the run-up to the elections are of concern. The EU encourages all parties to work together diligently to enable inclusive, transparent, peaceful and credible elections.  Democracy thrives from freedom of expression and assembly, and a political environment that values citizen engagement, equal participation, impartiality of state institutions, and upholds human rights. We look forward to our next steps for constructive, full cooperation between the EU and Tanzania.

Trade defence: EU publishes a report on market distortions in Russia | EU Commission Press

Today, the Commission published a report on significant government-induced distortions in the economy of Russia. The factual report prepared for the purpose of the EU’s trade defence proceedings focuses on Russia’s macro-economy, the main production factors, such as labour and energy, as well as certain specific sectors of the economy, including steel, aluminium and chemicals. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, said: “This report is the result of thorough research and provides fact-based evidence regarding aspects of the Russian economy that may be relevant in our anti-dumping investigations. Protecting our industries from unfair trade is crucial in the current international environment. Our anti-dumping legislation equips us with trade defence instruments fit for current challenges, while fully respecting our commitments under the World Trade Organization. Today’s report is an additional instrument in our toolbox to combat unfair trade.” This is the second such report produced by the Commission following the introduction in 2017 of a new anti-dumping methodology. Country reports provide evidence that can be used by industry to request application of the new methodology to their particular case. The 2017 methodology establishes a new way of calculating anti-dumping duties for imports from countries where the economy is distorted by state interference. For more information, see the full announcement here.

Coronavirus response: €1 billion of EU Cohesion policy to support Portugal’s recovery | EU Commission Press

The European Commission has approved the modification of 10 operational programmes in Portugal, redirecting a total of more than €1 billion of EU Cohesion policy funds, namely the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (CF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Along with a temporary increase of the EU co-financing rate to 100% for Cohesion policy projects tackling the coronavirus pandemic, these modifications will enable the country to face the adverse effects of the coronavirus crisis on the economy supporting its recovery. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “As many other countries in Europe, thanks to these modifications, Portugal and its outermost regions will boost their socio-economic and health recovery. Commission’s fast and comprehensive response to the coronacrisis shows that when we cooperate and stand united, we are stronger and able to face unexpected challenges. 

This comprehensive approach will support Portugal on several fronts:

  • Public investments in social areas

This includes coronavirus response measures in education and health (for example, the purchase of tests and personal protective equipment). As regards specifically the school infrastructure, the modification approved will contribute to remove remaining asbestos structures in public schools that are a threat to public health.

  • Support of the digitalisation of schools

The situation caused by the coronavirus crisis has made much more visible the need for further investments in digitalisation of the education systems, in particular to ensure pupils’ participation in online classes and digital equipment and resources.

  • Support for the economy

This includes, in particular, support for innovation for coronavirus-related solutions as well as support to SMEs to be able to adapt to the new situation along with a further sustain of the tourism sector and cultural activities.

These are the first amendments to the operational programmes for Portugal, concerning seven regions (Algarve, Azores, Centro, Lisbon, Madeira, Norte, Alentejo) and three national programmes (Compete, SEUR, Technical Assistance).

Background

The modifications are possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) which allow Member States to use Cohesion policy funding to support the most exposed sectors because of the pandemic, such as healthcare, SMEs and labour markets. 

For More information

Cohesion policy action against coronavirus

Latest Eurobarometer survey (July-August): Economic situation is EU citizens’ top concern in light of the coronavirus pandemic | EU Commission Press

In a troubled period marked by the coronavirus pandemic, trust in the EU remains stable and Europeans trust the EU to make the right decisions in response to the pandemic in the future. In the new Standard Eurobarometer survey released today, European citizens identify the economic situation, the state of Member States’ public finances and immigration as the three top concerns at EU level. The economic situation is also the main concern at national level, followed by health and unemployment.

In the new Eurobarometer conducted in July and August, concern about the economic situation is reflected in the perception of the current state of the economy. 64% of Europeans think that the situation is ‘bad’ and 42% of Europeans think that their country’s economy will recover from the adverse effects of the coronavirus outbreak ‘in 2023 or later’.

Europeans are divided (45% ‘satisfied’ vs 44% ‘not satisfied’) regarding the measures taken by the EU to fight the pandemic. However, 62% say they trust the EU to make the right decisions in the future, and 60% remain optimistic about the future of the EU.

  1. Trust and image of the EU

Trust in the European Union has remained stable since autumn 2019 at 43%, despite variations of public perceptions during the pandemic. Trust in national governments and parliaments has increased (40%, +6 percentage points and 36%, +2 respectively).

In 15 Member States, a majority of respondents says they trust the EU, with the highest levels observed in Ireland (73%), Denmark (63%) and Lithuania (59%). The lowest levels of trust in the EU are observed in Italy (28%), France (30%) and Greece (32%).

The proportion of respondents with a positive image of the EU is the same as that with a neutral image (40%). 19% of respondents have a negative image of the EU (-1 percentage points).

In 13 EU Member States, a majority of respondents has a positive image of the EU, with the highest proportions observed in Ireland (71%), Poland and Portugal (both 55%). In 13 other Member States, the EU conjures up a predominantly neutral image for respondents, with the highest proportions observed in Malta (56%), Spain, Latvia and Slovenia (all 48%).

  1. Main concerns at EU and national level

Citizens mentioned the economic situation as the most pressing issue facing the EU – over one-third (35%) of all respondents, a strong increase of 16 percentage points since autumn 2019, and rise from third to first concern. Concern about the economic situation has not been this high since spring 2014.

Europeans are also increasingly concerned about the state of Member States’ public finances (23%, +6 percentage points, the highest level since spring 2015), which moves from fifth to second place on a par with immigration (23%, -13 percentage points), the latter now being at the lowest level since autumn 2014.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, health (22%, new item) is the  fourth most mentioned concern at EU level. The issue of the environment and climate change has lost ground, down 8 percentage points to 20%, followed by unemployment (17%, +5 percentage points).

Similarly, the economic situation (33%, +17 percentage points) has overtaken health as the most important issue at national level, rising from seventh to first position. Although in second position, health has had a notable increase in mentions since autumn 2019 (31%, +9 percentage points), taking it to its highest ever level over the past six years.

Unemployment has also increased considerably in importance (28%, +8 percentage points), followed by rising prices/inflation/cost of living (18%, -2 percentage points), the environment and climate change (14%, -6 percentage points) and government debt (12%, +4 percentage points). Mentions of immigration (11%, -5 percentage points), are at their lowest level for the past six years.

  1. The current economic situation

Since autumn 2019, the proportion of Europeans who think that the current situation of their national economy is ‘good’ (34%, -13 percentage points) has declined considerably, while the proportion of respondents who judge this situation to be ‘bad’ has increased sharply (64%, +14 percentage points).

At national level, a majority of respondents in 10 countries says that the national economic situation is good (down from 15 in autumn 2019). The proportion of respondents who say the situation of their national economy is good ranges from 83% in Luxembourg to 9% in Greece.

  1. The coronavirus pandemic and public opinion in the EU

Europeans are divided on the measures taken by the EU institutions to fight the coronavirus outbreak (45% ‘satisfied’ vs 44% ‘not satisfied’). However, a majority of respondents in 19 Member States is satisfied with the measures taken by the European Union institutions to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The highest positive figures are found in Ireland (71%); Hungary, Romania and Poland (all 60%). In seven countries, a majority of respondents is ‘not satisfied’, especially in Luxembourg (63%), Italy (58%), Greece and Czechia (both 55%) and Spain (52%). In Austria, equal proportions of respondents are satisfied, and not satisfied (both 47%).

However, more than six Europeans in ten trust the EU to make the right decisions in the future (62%). The most frequently mentioned priorities for the EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic are: establish a strategy for facing a similar crisis in the future and develop financial means to find a treatment or vaccine (each 37%). 30% think that developing a European health policy should be a priority.

Europeans’ personal experiences of confinement measures were very diverse. Overall, close to three Europeans in ten say that it was fairly easy to cope with (31%), while a quarter say it was fairly difficult to cope with (25%). Finally, 30% say that it was ‘both easy and difficult to cope with’.

  1. Key policy areas

Asked about the objectives of the European Green Deal, Europeans continue identifying ‘developing renewable energy‘ and ‘fighting against plastic waste and leading on the issue of single-use of plastic’ as the top priorities. More than one third think the top priority should be supporting EU farmers (38%) or promoting the circular economy (36%). Just over three in ten think reducing energy consumption (31%) should be the top priority.

Support for the Economic and Monetary Union and for the euro remains high, with 75% of respondents in the Euro area in favour of the EU’s single currency. In the EU27 as a whole, support for the euro has increased to 67% (+5).

  1. EU citizenship and European democracy

A majority of people in 26 EU Member States (except Italy) and 70% across the EU feel that they are citizens of the EU. At a national level the highest scores are observed in Ireland and Luxembourg (both 89%), Poland (83%), Slovakia and Germany (both 82%), Lithuania (81%), Hungary, Portugal and Denmark (all 80%).

A majority of Europeans (53%) say they are satisfied with the way democracy works in the EU. The proportion of respondents who are ‘not satisfied’ has increased, by 3 percentage points since autumn 2019 to 43%.

  1. Optimism for the future of the EU

Finally, in this troubled period, 60% of Europeans say they are optimistic about the future of the EU. The highest scores for optimism are observed in Ireland (81%), Lithuania and Poland (both 75%) and Croatia (74%). The lowest levels of optimism are seen in Greece (44%) and Italy (49%), where pessimism outweighs optimism, and France, where opinion is evenly divided (49% vs 49%).

Background

The ‘Summer 2020 – Standard Eurobarometer’ (EB 93) was conducted face-to-face and exceptionally completed with online interviews between 9 July and 26 August 2020, across the 27 EU Member States, in the United Kingdom and in the candidate countries[1]. 26,681 interviews were conducted in the 27 Member States.

For More Information

Standard Eurobarometer 93

[1] The 27 European Union (EU) Member States, United Kingdom, five candidate countries (Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) and the Turkish Cypriot Community in the part of the country that is not controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus.

Coronavirus: first rescEU ventilators dispatched to Czechia | EU Commission Press

Following a request for assistance from Czechia, the EU is immediately sending a first batch of 30 ventilators from rescEU – the common European reserve of medical equipment set up earlier this year to help countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

President von der Leyen said: “Czechia is facing one of the most difficult situations in Europe right now. The number of coronavirus cases is rising rapidly. And it needs medical equipment to treat patients in hospitals. We do not leave our European friends alone in these hard times. The European Commission is mobilising medical material through our Civil Protection Mechanism. I just called the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to tell him that we are dispatching rapidly to Czechia a set of 30 ventilators from our RescEU reserve. We created this reserve in record time in spring, to stockpile essential medical material that we can send to European countries in need. And we are in touch with other EU countries, to mobilise more ventilators for the Czech Republic. We are in this together.”

”We have been working around the clock to avoid a repetition of the situation experienced at the end of February, when whole EU was overwhelmed in the fight against the pandemic. We created the rescEU medical reserve so no Member State is left alone when dealing with the same challenge. After already delivering protective face masks across Europe, this will be the first time the European Commission is dispatching ventilators from the EU level reserve,” said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

The EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in constant contact with authorities in Czech and more EU assistance can be channelled in the coming days via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, coming from Member States. In order to give Member States time to assess their response capacity and taking into account the gravity of the situation in the Czech Republic, the EU has proactively initiated the rescEU deployment of medical reserve.

Background

The rescEU capacity can include different types of medical equipment, such as protective masks or medical ventilators used in intensive care, and is constantly replenished. The reserve is hosted by several Member States who are responsible for procuring the equipment. The European Commission finances 100% of the assets, including storage and transport. Currently 6 EU countries host rescEU: Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Sweden and Romania.

The strategic medical capacity is part of the wider rescEU reserve, including other capacities such as aerial firefighting means and medical evacuation capacities. The rescEU reserve constitutes the last resort layer of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which can be activated for all type of natural and man-made hazards. EU Member States, the UK (during the transition period), Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey participate in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

The Emergency Response Coordination Centre then manages the distribution of the equipment to ensure it goes where it is needed most, based on the needs expressed by countries requesting EU assistance under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Earlier on in the outbreak, via the Civil Protection Mechanism, the Commission mobilised European Medical Teams for Italy composed of nurses and doctors, helped dispatch disinfectants, masks and ventilators across Europe, as well as repatriating more than 80,000 EU citizens on EU funded flights.

 

For more information

RescEU

European Civil Protection Mechanism

LIFE programme awards: EU recognises best nature, environment and climate action projects | EU Commission Press

As part of the Europe’s biggest environmental event, the EU Green Week, the 2020 LIFE Awards Ceremony took place yesterday. Presented by the EU’s LIFE programme for environment and climate action, the awards honoured winners in three different categories from Slovenia (Nature Protection), Portugal (Environment), and Hungary (Climate Action). A special award recognising successful adaptation to COVID-19 went to an Italian project for its work in the time of coronavirus crisis. Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said: “Actions speak louder than words, and these LIFE projects are proof of that. All these endeavours show that, with careful investment and a lot of hard work, Europe is ready to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises. Restoring the balance with nature is an essential step to becoming a resource-efficient, competitive, and climate-neutral economy. Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, added: The inspiring winners and finalists of these LIFE Awards show that solutions to the planetary challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change, resource scarcity, and even health emergencies exist. LIFE projects combine technology, innovation, expertise, cooperation and lots of dedication to deliver smart solutions.  These individual success stories need to be replicated across the EU at speed and scale in order to help the EU achieve its ambitious EU Green Deal goals.” The LIFE Awards recognise the most innovative, inspirational and effective LIFE projects in the fields of nature protection, environment and climate action. The winning projects were selected from 15 finalists for their outstanding contribution to environmental, economic and social advancements. They also scored well in terms of impact, replicability, policy relevance, cross-border cooperation and cost-effectiveness. The LIFE programme has since 1992 co-financed about 5,400 projects across the EU and in third countries. More information on the awards is available here.

Investment Plan supports construction and operation of four wind farms in Poland | EU Commission Press

  • EIB loan of PLN 184 million (€42 million) helps build four wind farms in western Poland
  • Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) provides term loan financing of PLN 184 million plus ancillary tranches of €57 million as well as interest and currency hedges
  • EIB financing is backed by a guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and LBBW are providing PLN 184 million (approximately €42 million) each to finance the construction and operation of four wind farms in Poland’s Wielkopolskie region. The wind farms will be developed by German wpd AG in Jarocin Kozmin, Jarocin Wschod, Krotoszyn and Slupca Kolaczkowo near Poznan. They will have a total installed capacity of 102.5 MW, which enables them to power more than 60 000 households at peak times.

The EIB financing is backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. Under this plan, the EIB and the European Commission are working together as strategic partners to boost the competitiveness of the European economy. One of EFSI’s objectives is to develop the energy sector, especially the use and supply of renewable energy. The project will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution, thereby making a strong contribution to climate change mitigation. In addition, it will support a less-developed region, thus helping to reduce regional disparities.

Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy, said: “I warmly welcome the fact that EIB financing under the Investment Plan is facilitating the construction of new wind farms in Poland. Thanks to EU support, around 60 000 Polish households stand to benefit from clean energy. This is a tangible example of what the European Green Deal means for Polish citizens. With every investment of this kind, we take another step closer to our goal of making the European Union climate neutral by 2050.”

Poland is looking to reduce its dependence on coal, while creating new jobs in the energy sector,” said Teresa Czerwinska, EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Poland. “Wind power is the renewable energy source with the biggest growth potential in the country, and the EIB is glad to support this transition. Thanks to EFSI, we are able to address a gap in affordable long-term finance for renewable energy generation in Poland. This is important, as we need to offer the country and its people the best possible conditions to embrace a clean and climate-friendly future.”

“LBBW, arranging this landmark transaction which is partly financed by kfW bank, is pleased to cooperate with the leading German renewable energy developer wpd and the European Investment Bank,” said Thomas Christian Schulz, head of Infrastructure and Transportation Finance at Landesbank Baden-Württemberg. “Breaking new ground is part of our DNA, and based on thorough analysis, we made this first renewables financing in Poland a reality.”

“We are pleased about the positive development of the Polish market with further successful projects for wpd. These projects are of great importance to us and show that we have successfully established ourselves in another market,” says Hartmut Brösamle, member of the board at wpd, and adds: “With a strong team and an extensive project pipeline, we have a long-term commitment in Poland.”

The facilities will be operated by project companies belonging to wpd europe GmbH, a subsidiary of wpd AG. wpd AG has developed and implemented more than 4 GW of wind capacity globally since the end of the 1990s, and the EIB has previously supported offshore wind projects from the company in France and Germany. The wind farms will benefit from the Polish support scheme for Renewable Energy for part of the electricity produced.

Background information

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investments in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB also supports investments outside the EU.

About wpd AG

wpd AG was founded in Bremen in 1996. The company plans and operates wind projects on- and offshore as well as solar projects in Germany, Europe, Asia and on the American continent. It supports projects for their whole duration, from the first idea to dismantling or possible repowering. It leases space, designs the wind or solar parks in accordance with their individual requirements, takes care of the permissions, structures the finance, secures the best terms for purchasing the technical equipment and guarantees that the project will run smoothly. wpd AG employs more than 2 200 people working in 21 countries.

About Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW)

With total assets of €257 billion and 10 000 employees (2019), LBBW is one of the largest banks in Germany. As a Mittelstands-minded universal bank, its core activities are the corporate customers business, as well as the business with private customers and savings banks. A further focus is placed on real estate and project financing and the customer-oriented capital market business with banks, savings banks and institutional investors. With deep roots in Baden-Württemberg, LBBW is also represented with 19 international offices in 18 countries worldwide.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan for Europe is one of the EU’s key actions to boost investment in Europe, thereby creating jobs and fostering growth. To this end, smarter use is made of new and existing financial resources. The EIB Group is playing a vital role in this investment plan. With guarantees from the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the EIB and the European Investment Fund are able to take on a higher share of project risk, encouraging private investors to participate in the projects. In July, the EIB Group exceeded its target to trigger €500 billion of additional investment by the end of 2020. To date, the projects and agreements approved under EFSI are expected to mobilise around €535 billion of investments and to benefit around 1.4 million small and medium-sized companies throughout the EU.

EU mobilises international donors to support Rohingya refugees and countries in the region | EU Commission Press

Today the European Union, along with the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees co-hosted the International Donors’ Conference in solidarity with Rohingya refugees and countries in the region.

The EU mobilised a total of €96 million for Rohingya refugees in 2020 for humanitarian, development cooperation as well as conflict prevention support.

Representing the EU at the conference, Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: “Today the international community came together to show its support and deliver further assistance to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees and the communities hosting them. We must do all we can so the Rohingya crisis does not become a forgotten tragedy. At this difficult time, the EU continues to stand by the most vulnerable with this emergency humanitarian support.”

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has increased the challenges on the ground. Today’s EU pledge reinforces our engagement with partners in support of people and development in the region. We must prevent a worsening of this crisis.”

EU aid for Rohingya refugees and countries

Today’s funding from the EU will focus on helping those most in need, channelled through UN agencies, NGOs and international organisations:

  • Humanitarian assistance of €51.5 million – which includes a new allocation of €20 million from the Emergency Aid Reserve – to help refugees and vulnerable host communities. Priority sectors will be protection (including child protection, Gender Based-Violence), critical healthcare (including mental health) and nutrition, food assistance and key coordination roles.
  • Development support of €39 million to strengthen the resilience and social cohesion of Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar District and of internally displaced people in Rakhine State. Support will focus on strengthening basic social services, particularly education, health, food and nutrition security, as well as addressing protection and information needs.
  • Conflict prevention support of €5.5 million to contribute to stability and peace in the region.

Background

The 25 August 2020 marked the 3rd anniversary of the mass fleeing of over 740,000 Rohingya from Myanmar, following major outbreaks of violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar. Over 860,000 Rohingya refugees currently live in Bangladesh, in Cox’s Bazar district, and over 150,000 in other countries of the region.

The UN estimates that approximately 600,000 remaining Rohingya people in Myanmar’s Rakhine continue to suffer from a protracted human rights crisis, with very limited access to basic services and viable livelihood opportunities due to strict movement restrictions and denied citizenship and rights.

Since 2017, the EU has provided over €226 million in humanitarian and development support to respond to the Rohingya crisis both in Myanmar and in Bangladesh. This includes basic humanitarian assistance for Rohingya populations, and host communities living close to the refugee settlements. The EU provides food assistance, shelter, health care, water and sanitation support, nutrition assistance, education, and protection services.

Today’s conference aimed to underscore the international community’s continued commitment to the humanitarian response for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh and throughout the region, and for Internally Displaced People in Rakhine State, Myanmar.