The European Green Leaf is a new initiative aimed at cities with a population between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. It is an award that recognises commitment to better environmental outcomes, with a particular accent on efforts that generate green growth and new jobs. The objectives of the European Green Leaf are threefold:
1. To recognise cities that demonstrate a good environmental record and commitment to generating green growth;
2. To encourage cities to actively develop citizens' environmental awareness and involvement;
The European Commission has for the first time presented calls for projects under Horizon 2020. Worth more than €15 billion over the first two years, the funding is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people's lives.
EU ministers and MEPs have signed into law the 7th Environment Action Programme, setting out the bloc’s long-term policy direction for the environment and climate.
Negotiators from the EU’s two law-making bodies yesterday (20 November) brought an end to discussions that have lasted for one year.
The programme, ‘Living well within the limits of our planet', aims to push the EU in the direction of so-called ‘green growth’, economic development that places as little burden on the environment as possible.
Horizon 2020, the EU's €70.2 billion framework programme for research and innovation in 2014-2020, was approved by MEPs on Thursday (21/11). Parliament amended it to improve support for small firms, attract more people into science and more scientists to join the programme, and earmark funding for non-fossil energy research.
Horizon 2020 is the EU’s flagship R&D programme for 2014 - 2020, under which R&D projects will be supported with more than €70 billion.
Detailed draft work programmes, however not yet endorsed by the Commission, can be found here.
From 1 January 2014, Erasmus+ will become the new EU funding programme for education, training, youth and sport. Erasmus+ will have a new, streamlined structure that combines current funding programmes in the sector including the Lifelong Learning Programme (Comenius, Leonardo, Erasmus, Grundtvig and Transversal Programmes), Youth in Action, Jean Monnet, Tempus and Erasmus Mundus - see the picture below.
The European Resource Efficiency Platform (EREP), a high-level group set up to guide European policymakers, has published an interim set of recommendations. Among them is a proposals for “product passports” – a set of information about the components and materials that a product contains, and how they can be disassembled and recycled at the end of the product's useful life.
The seventh LIFE+ call for proposals was published by the European Commission on 19 February, 2013, with up to €278 million available for co-financing of projects under three headings:
- Nature and Biodiversity (NAT);
- Environment Policy and Governance (ENV);
- Information and Communication (INF).
The European Parliament is taking steps to implement the EU strategy 2011-2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The strategy, released by the European Commission in October 2011, marked a further increase in government activity around corporate transparency, and an important milestone in the history of EU CSR policy.
A key focus of the strategy is improving companies’ disclosure of social and environmental information. It also encourages public authorities to take steps to improve disclosure of their own social and environmental performance.
Innovation is a key driver of economic growth and jobs. The Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2012, published 6th November, provides a comparative assessment of how European regions perform with regard to innovation. The report covers 190 regions across the European Union, Croatia, Norway and Switzerland. The Regional Innovation Scoreboard is based on the methodology of the Innovation Union Scoreboard.