The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with The Netherlands setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds throughout the country. Today’s agreement paves the way for investing €1.4 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding and the allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative). The Netherlands also receives €607 million for rural development and €102 million for fisheries and the maritime sector.
The EU investments will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, town and rural areas. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help to develop an environmentally friendly and resource-efficient economy. See also MEMO/14/331
President Barroso in Vietnam
On 25 and 26 August, President Barroso pays an official visit to Vietnam. On 25 August, in Hanoi, he will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Dung. They are expected to discuss the conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations, development cooperation and South China Sea/East Sea-related issues, and they will attend a joint press conference at 10:55 am Brussels time. The President will also witness a joint signing ceremony of trade-related assistance grants. This is related to a EUR 2.3 million EU funding to six business associations and research institutes under the project "EU-MUTRAP", a successful example of trade-related assistance. In the afternoon, President Barroso will pay courtesy calls on the President Truong Tan Sang and the General-Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong. Afterwards, at 12.35 Brussels time, President Barroso will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the National Economics University. On the 26 August, a wreath laying ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closes the programme in Hanoi. Straight after President Barroso leaves for Ho Chi Minh City, where he will meet representatives of the EU business community. In the late afternoon he will pay a short courtesy call on the Chair of Ho Chi Minh City's People's Committee Le Hoang Quan.
Due to improved weather conditions, the Galileo satellite launch from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana is now scheduled to take place at 14:27 CEST (12:27 UTC) today 22 August 2014. The two satellites to be launched are the first of a new series which is fully owned by the EU and will also bring us a step closer to the fully operational phase of the independent European satellite navigation programme. The satellites, called Doresa and Milena, were named by two schoolchildren who won an EU wide drawing competition. You can watch the launch live from Kourou here . See also MEMO/14/509 and Galileo on Europa .
The European Commission has proposed to provide Belgium with €570,945 from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 479 workers made redundant by Ford in Genk (Belgium) and its suppliers to find new jobs. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for approval. EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: "Car production in Europe has dropped considerably in the years of the Eurozone crisis, mainly due to falling demand. At the same time, structural change in the car industry responding to globalisation is on-going. Many workers in the motor industry are experiencing hardship and EU solidarity in helping them to manage these difficult transitions is therefore important. The € 570,945 we have proposed would help these redundant car workers to adapt their skills and facilitate their transition to a new job."