Archive for ‘COVID-19’
In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the European Union (EU) has joined together with global partners to organise a worldwide pledging marathon, set to begin on Monday 4 May. The marathon is part of the Coronavirus Global Response, which is the response to the call to action launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other global health actors on 24 April to “Accelerate the Development, Production and Equitable Access to New COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines”.
Read the call to action here.
To support this call to action the EU and its partners aim to raise €7.5 billion in initial funding via the worldwide pledging marathon starting on Monday 4 May 2020. During the marathon countries and organisations around the world will be invited to pledge funds and support for the call to action.
European Commission President von der Leyen said: “We need to bring the world, its leaders and people together against coronavirus. We will launch a global pledging effort. A real marathon. Because beating coronavirus requires a global response and sustained actions on many fronts. We need to develop a vaccine, to produce it and deploy it to every corner of the world. And we need to make it available at affordable prices.”
The 4 May 2020 will mark the start of the marathon and pledges, and also see the European Commission announce the next milestones of a global campaign.
The collected funds will be allocated to three main strands:
Find out more about the effort and how to get involved on the Coronavirus Global Response website: europa.eu/global-response
Follow #UnitedAgainstCoronavirus across social media for updates and help raise awareness by sharing information and announcements surrounding the pledging marathon.
Read the original press release in the Commission press corner.
The European Commission is hosting a Pan-European hackathon taking place on 24, 25 and 26 April 2020, which will bring together the brightest minds to find solutions and spark ideas across different challenge groups in relation to COVID-19.
The different challenge groups the hackathon aims to address include:
- Health & Life:Protective equipment, Ventilators/respirators, Protection of medical personnel, Real time communication & prevention, Cheap rapid tests, Lack of skilled caregivers, Research
- Business Continuity:Efficient team work, New and resilient business models, Value chains & logistics, Protecting employees, Demonstrate purpose, Stay close to your customers
- Social & Political Cohesion:Protection of isolated & risk groups, Mitigating fake news spreading, Support arts & entertainment, Fight against crime, Protection of citizens & democracy, Developing people-driven economies
- Remote Working & Education:E-Learning methods & tools, Efficient remote working, Family life during remote working & education, Primary and secondary school specific challenges, University specific challenges, Students’ challenges
- Digital Finance:Support identification of financial shortfalls, Speed-up access to financial support, Speed-up distribution of financial support, Availability of emergency health insurance, Enable crowd to help financially, Support for digitally excluded
The hackathon also actively encourages ideas and solutions that are not directly included in the challenges mentioned above.
You can get involved in three distinct roles depending on what you would like to bring to the hackathon:
- Problem solver: This category encompasses developers, designers, creative minds and all problem solvers with expertise in Health, Business, Social & Political Cohesion, Education, Digital Finance and other areas. Ideally you also have experience in hackathons.
- Mentor: This category is looking for experts in the areas of Health, Business, Social & Political Cohesion, Education, Digital Finance and other areas to support the problem solvers. These applicants may also play a team coordinator role during the hackathon.
- Partner: This category is for other actors who want to make their unique contribution to the hackathon – companies, universities, public and private organisations, and networks.
Applications are open and close on 19 April 2020, sign up here and do not miss out on this opportunity!
The original article can be found on the EASME website.
The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP), a COSME project, has just launched the Covid-19 Industrial Clusters Response Portal to respond to and address challenges during the time of COVID-19.
What is available via the new portal?
This new ECCP portal will allow the existing industrial cluster community to come together and exchange quickly and directly. Via the portal, ECCP members will be able to share solutions, connect with others and support each other in response to COVID-19 challenges.
What are the objectives of this new portal?
This new ECCP portal provides a single point of access to information for industry on actions and decisions taken by the European Commission and the EU Member States impacting on the Internal Market. The portal also aims to facilitate an open discussion forum where actors can share their experiences, solutions, requests and questions.
What has been done so far?
- A recent call to increase production of medical supplies resulted in 1 100 offers from companies across Europe.
- Public authority demands have been included on the portal including:
- The public administration of Madrid needs medical material, the Madrid Automotive Cluster responded and is assisting the administration to match-up the offers and demands of the urgently needed medical material.
How can you get involved?
You can join the community right here, and ask for help, advice or browse posted solutions on the reaction webpage. You can also join in order to offer expertise, services or advice to those in need. Join the ECCP community today!
To create an account and/or register for the updates newsletter look here.
Browse through the COVID-19 related content on the News Portal here and leave us a comment or get in touch if there are other topics you would like us to cover.
The original article can be found on the DG GROWTH website.
The European Commission convened a first meeting with Member States as part of the new Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET) to discuss the urgent need to allow the free flow of goods such as face masks, medical supplies and food across the EU.
Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “The coronavirus outbreak has made it crystal clear that no country can fight this virus alone. Europe needs to act together with solidarity. Restrictions endanger this solidarity and prevent essential goods from reaching those who need them most. The Single Market is the backbone of our joint response and we need decisive action to lift any restrictions undermining it.”
The creation of SMET was announced in the Commission’s Single Market Enforcement Action Plan on 10 March in the context of the industrial strategy. The Task Force was envisaged as a platform for Member States and the Commission to work together to ensure better compliance with Single Market rules.
This first meeting kick-started the work of the new Task Force in light of the urgency of issues hampering the correct functioning of the Single Market, mainly intra-EU export restrictions of vital protective, medical and medicinal supplies, border controls and the need to increase production of essential equipment. This also aims at implementing the clear guidance of Europe’s leaders given at the European Council of 26 March to remove all internal bans or restrictions to the free movement of goods. The task force will be convened on a regular basis to discuss issues concerning enforcement issues in the Single Market.
SMEs are often said to be the backbone of Europe’s economy, but what measures have been put in place to help them?
This special episode of Business Planet from Euronews, in collobration with the European Commission, looks at the support that is being mobilised to support Europe’s 25 million SMEs. In an interview with Serge Rombi from Euronews President of SME UNITED Alban Maggiar, spoke of the “exceptional measures” being put in place and the need to keep the Single Market at the heart of all action taken and honour its borderless principles.
He mentioned the increased flexibility for Member States to grant loans to struggling SMEs and tools to help governments support companies and guarantee jobs. In addition he stressed the need for large companies to pay suppliers and sub-contractors, to avoid SMEs having to pay the price for unpaid bills.
Mr Maggiar called for entrepreneurs to hold on and stick together, as well as calling on big decision makers to honour commitments to smaller ones.
For more information read the original Euronews article.
The current situation with the spread of COVID-19 is challenging for many and is a particularly uncertain and stressful time for small businesses. As a consumer you have spending power and influence, which you can choose to use to help support your favourite local and small businesses. But how exactly can you help?
At the moment several governments and international bodies have taken strict and necessary measures to “flatten the curve” and control the COVID-19 outbreak. Whilst these measures are necessary for public safety and to ensure that health services and infrastructures can cope, they have affected many businesses, both large and small.
The results of these measures range from severely reduced business, to none at all, and the need to find alternative solutions in order to survive. Some businesses have gone online; others are making that transition, or finding other ways to continue providing services during these uncertain times.
But how can you use your consumer power to support small and local businesses? What action can you take to help?
Have a look through some easy tips below:
- Order online and provide regular business
- Want to keep your favourite businesses open? Continue being a regular customer and recommend their services to others. Several businesses are developing and expanding their online presence to cater to new demand, so have a look at what is on offer.
- Have a look at dedicated online platforms that support local business
- Use food delivery and takeaway services
- Many restaurants and other Food & Beverage businesses are having to adapt to fewer or no customers. Continue to support them and their employees by using food delivery and takeaway services.
- Buy gift cards from small businesses as presents or to use later
- Don’t need anything from ‘non-essential’ small businesses at the moment? Buy a gift card or a voucher! These small businesses also need your support and even if you don’t need their products right now you can always offer them as a gift or save the voucher to use at a later date, while providing a lifeline for small business.
- Avoid pausing memberships where possible
- Has your small independent gym, yoga studio or other small fitness establishment offered to pause your membership? This is an important source of revenue for small fitness businesses, so why not ask about online options or remote individual sessions and consultations?
Got any other suggestions? Write them in the comments and share your tips for helping and supporting small businesses.
Sources and useful resources: