Paolo Soro

EU Commission: Sustainable Development, start-ups and business insolvency

The Commission sets out its priorities and actions for achieving sustainable development in Europe and around the world. It also gives a boost to start-ups and proposes a new approach to business insolvency in Europe.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the international community in September 2015, represents an ambitious new blueprint to respond to global trends and challenges. The core of the 2030 Agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and associated targets, which run to 2030. For the first time, the Sustainable Development Goals are universally applicable to all countries and the EU is committed to be a frontrunner in implementing them.

Today, the European Commission set out a strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in Europe and around the world. It also set out how it plans to align its policies with the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals. More concretely it adopted:

A Communication on the next steps for a sustainable European future pdf which explains how the Commission's 10 political priorities contribute to implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how the EU will meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the future.

A Communication on a renewed partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries pdf which proposes building blocks for a new, sustainable phase in EU-ACP relations after the Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in 2020.

A Communication on a new European Consensus on development which proposes a shared vision and framework for development cooperation pdf, aligning the EU's development policy with the 2030 Agenda.

The College adopted today the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative, which aims to give Europe's many innovative entrepreneurs every opportunity to become world leading companies. It pulls together all the possibilities that the EU already offers and adds a new focus on venture capital investment, insolvency law and taxation. In this context, the Commission and the European Investment Bank are launching a Pan-European Venture Capital Fund of Funds. The EU will provide cornerstone investments of up to a maximum budget of €400 million and the fund managers must raise at least three times as much from private sources, triggering a minimum of €1.6bn in venture capital funding. It will be managed by one or more professional and experienced fund managers ensuring a real market approach. These complement existing EU funding instruments such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), Europe’s programme for small and medium-sized enterprises COSME  and the EU's research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020.

The College adopted for the first time a set of European rules pdf to increase opportunities for companies in financial difficulties to restructure early in order to prevent bankruptcy and the loss of jobs.  As a key deliverable under both the Capital Markets Action Plan and the Single Market Strategy, the new rules will help remove important barriers to the development of capital markets in the EU by providing legal certainty to cross-border investors and companies operating across the EU. The rules will help attract investors, create and preserve jobs, and help economies absorb economic shocks in addition to the specific provisions that will benefit start-ups.

The College also held an orientation debate on changes to the 2010 Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the Commission so as to allow Commissioners to be candidates to EP elections without having to take a leave of absence and provided that ethical rules are respected – as announced in President Juncker's State of the Union Address. The College also discussed possible changes to the Code of Conduct of Commissioners, notably regarding a potential extension of the "cooling off period" recently suggested by the President. Before any changes can be made to the Code of Conduct  of Commissioners, the European Parliament needs to be consulted.”

Source: EU Commission News

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