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MEP Adina Vălean, ENVI Committee chair, pleads for EU plastic strategy success: We need a viable market and quality standards for recyclable plastic

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By removing plastic particles from seas and oceans and by creating a viable market for the quality recycling of plastic are necessary in order for the European plastic strategy to be “a success story,” says MEP Adina Vălean (PNL, EPP), Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

FOTO: European Parliament

“The strategy on plastics has long been awaited and (…) plastic recycling is a key part of the process. However, we need a viable market for this. That is why I welcome the proposal for quality standards for recyclable plastic and the intention to stimulate the packaging industry to use this type of plastic. In this way, we offer the industry the ability to adapt to the new rules. Moreover, taking into account food safety, we must discourage multi-layer packaging, trying to recycle more plastic”, the Romanian MEP said.

Vălean pointed out that the European Union must be ambitious in terms of the quantities of micro-plastic in detergent and cosmetics and disposable plastic, giving the example of success in limiting the use of plastic bags.

We are concerned with the suffocation of oceans and seas with plastic particles, and I am pleased that 100 million euros are being given for research into the disposal of waste from the sea. We want this strategy to be a success story“, Vălean concluded.

The European Commission has adopted on Monday the first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics as a part of the transition towards a more circular economy.

It will protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation, turning a challenge into a positive agenda for the Future of Europe. There is a strong business case for transforming the way products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in the EU and by taking the lead in this transition, we will create new investment opportunities and jobs. Under the new plans, all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of microplastics will be restricted.

Also, given the context of the current debate on the next financial framework, EU budget commissioner announced his intentions to introduce a tax on plastic. “We produce and use too much plastic,” he said, about plastic ant the environmental pollution it causes. Whether the levy should be incurred by the production or the consumers is still on the table.

 

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Robert Lupițu este redactor-șef, specialist în relații internaționale, jurnalist în afaceri europene și doctorand în domeniul reasigurării strategice a NATO. Robert este laureat al concursului ”Reporter și Blogger European” la categoria Editorial și co-autor al volumelor ”România transatlantică” și ”100 de pași pentru o cetățenie europeană activă”. Face parte din Global Shapers Community, o inițiativă World Economic Forum, și este Young Strategic Leader în cadrul inițiativelor The Aspen Institute. Din 2019, Robert este membru al programului #TT27 Leadership Academy organizat de European Political Strategy Center, think tank-ul Comisiei Europene.

ENGLISH

AmCham: Romania’s capital market upgrade to emerging market status sends a positive signal to investors

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AmCham Romania joins private partners and the authorities in welcoming Romania’s upgrade to secondary market status by FTSE Russell, the world leader in stock market indexes classification. This marks the achievement of a shared strategic goal pursued with dedication by the private stakeholders and regulatory authorities alike.

“AmCham Romania primarily focuses on supporting initiatives that contribute to increasing the investment flows in Romania, such as the upgrade of the capital market. The promotion by FTSE Russell sends a positive signal towards the investors’ community, but is also an encouragement for all parties involved so far in making this goal a reality to continue their collaboration, which remains as necessary after this long-awaited moment. The upgrade to emerging market opens Romania’s access to significantly higher investment flows and allows us to play in a higher league. This comes in a context of global economic turmoil, which can only send a positive signal to current and potential investors and is expected to have a multiplier effect on the economy” said Ionuț Simion, AmCham Romania President. 

Romania’s qualification for secondary emerging market status, after a three-year monitoring period, announced in September 2019 and applicable from September 2020, confirms the removal of barriers and improvements in the quality of trading infrastructure and of the regulatory framework.

“I would like to reiterate that the success we welcome today proves that through partnership and cooperation we can achieve positive results for the economy at large. At the same time, it holds all of us responsible to remain committed towards the immediate objectives for the Romanian capital market, such as upgrade to emerging market status by MSCI. Midterm, in AmCham’s vision, the development of the capital market should focus on meeting the next level of performance needed to qualify as primary emerging market, and eventually, the upgrade to developed market status. In this regard, we will strongly support the need for state-owned enterprises to be listed, which in addition to the benefits of attracting capital inflows, will create the framework for consolidating their corporate governance. The development of the capital market will also need measures to incentivize the listing of private companies, as a means to diversify their financing sources, which requires both vision and a favorable, stable legislative and fiscal framework, for which we rely on the involvement of the responsible authorities”, pointed Cristian Agalopol, Chair of the AmCham Romania Capital Markets and Financial Services Committee.

FTSE Russel performs an annual review of the countries’ classification in the four categories – developed markets, advanced emerging, secondary emerging and frontier, by analyzing 21 criteria that are related to the regulative framework, custody and settlement, dealing landscape, derivatives.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) is for over 25 years a leading representative of the business community in Romania, and is acknowledged as a promoter of the private-public dialogue on matters related to the business climate, public policies that impact Romania’s economy and competitiveness or the economic ties between Romania and the U.S.

Currently, AmCham Romania’s over 450 members – U.S., international and Romanian companies allow AmCham to engage in promoting the business priorities for many industries, through dedicated working groups, such as: Capital Markets & Financial Services, Corporate Governance, Competition and State-Aid, Education, Energy, Environment, Health, Digital Economy, Labor, Structural Funds, Public Procurement and PPP, Real Estate, Taxation and Tourism.

AmCham Romania’s connection with the international business is granted by its accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its affiliation to AmChams in Europe. In Romania, AmCham enjoys a great institutional collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest and is a member and contributor to Coaliţia pentru Dezvoltarea României, the informal consultation platform supported by business associations that share the same objectives.

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Presidents of Romania, Lithuania and Poland: We state our will to support the people of Belarus in building a democratic path

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© Administrația Prezidențială

The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, and the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, state their will, in a joint statement, to support the people of Belarus in building a democratic path and appeal to the international community to join the EU and its member states in the demarche of preparing a positive agenda for Belarus, together with a package of support for the political, economic and social transition of the country.

“We, the Presidents of Lithuania, Poland and Romania, as member states of the European Union: supporting firmly liberty and the promotion of democratic principles, emphasizing that free, fair and transparent elections are a fundamental democratic right of any nation, admitting as legitimate the results of the elections only if they are organized in agreement with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and are monitored internationally, explicitly admitting that no one but the people of Belarus has the right to decide the destiny of their country, reassuring on our respect for such a decision made on legitimate bases, understanding that a prosperous Belarus, built on social trust and a common vision, is essential for a more stable and safer Europe, we declare our will to support the people of Belarus in building a democratic path, through a state leadership which is democratically elected, a free civil society, free market and the rule of law,” shows the statement of the three heads of states.

The joint statement titled “Proposal for a democratic Belarus” is available here.

The three heads of state show that they offer expertise and know-how for the path of political and economic reforms, to build independent institutions and to ensure an environment where respect for human rights and freedom of expression are an unshakeable fundamental norm of society.

They believe that, in the demarche to support the people of Belarus, it’s useful for the European Union – as a major global economic power – propose a package of assistance for the economic transformation of a democratic Belarus which should include, inter alia: the facilitation of commerce with the European Union and assistance for accession negotiations with the World Trade Organization; a liberalized visa regime, when the necessary conditions are met; assistance to diversify the energy sector and for the energy security of Belarus; access to financial resources to restructure and relaunch the liberal economy of Belarus; increased presence and activity of the international financial institutions to reform the economy of Belarus and to increase investment.

“We address an appeal to the international community to join the European Union and its member states in the demarche of preparing a positive agenda for Belarus, together with a package of support for the political, economic and social transition of the country”, the three presidents concluded.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: EU must create solid programs in order to rebuild the labor market

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©Vasile Blaga/ Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga, a member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, stresses that the European Union must create solid programs for consolidating and rebuilding the labor market after the COVID-19 period.

“Economic data for the second quarter of 2020 show a worrying decline in the labor market across the European Union. In Romania, the number of closed employment contracts has increased alarmingly – we are approaching one million closed employment contracts, and the number of closed contracts on 15 July is double compared to 1st June 2020. The most affected sectors are manufacturing and it is possible that in the next period we will see a massive increase in contracts in the hospital industry, still affected by the restrictions generated by the pandemic “, said the MEP for Calea Europeană media platform.

According to the Liberal MEP, protecting jobs must be the number one priority for the European Union.

“It is clear that the European Union must be massively concerned with protecting existing jobs and financially stimulating the creation of new ones ”, he added.

Private sector employment must also be a priority for the European Commission: “Direct funding through various forms of private sector employment must be a priority for the Commission in the next period, complemented by the stimulation of sectors severely affected by pandemic – the hospitality industry and the arts and entertainment sector are a priority in this regard “, said the EPP MEP Vasile Blaga.

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