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25 March 2019
Competitiveness News

Competitiveness Council, main results

Research, 19 February
The Council took note of progress achieved so far in the examination of the Specific Programme implementing Horizon Europe and held an exchange of views on the main outstanding issues.

Under any other business, the Council was informed of the latest state of play in negotiations with the European Parliament on Horizon Europe, the next framework programme for research and innovation. It was also informed of progress achieved so far in the examination of the draft Council decision on the EU’s continued participation in the ITER project.

Today’s discussions have provided us with the necessary political guidance to take forward the work on the specific programme at a similarly rapid pace as that on the framework programme. We remain confident that everything will be in place in time for the new programme, Horizon Europe, to succeed the existing one.
Nicolae Hurduc, Romanian Minister for research and innovation

Internal market and industry, 18 February

The Council held a policy debate on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the competitiveness of EU industry and adopted conclusions on this issue. Ministers underlined the crucial importance of fostering the development and use of artificial intelligence in Europe.

The Council also held another policy debate on the industry-related aspects of the recent Commission Communication entitled “A clean planet for all”. Ministers stressed that the EU industry will continue to be a key enabler to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a balanced and predictable mix of different policies. The envisaged transformation of Europe’s industry offers both opportunities and challenges, which need to be addressed at various levels by taking into account the views of businesses, citizens and member states.

Under the traditional competitiveness checkup, following an oral presentation by the Commission, discussions in the Council focused on the impact of European sectoral value chains on competitiveness and growth. Ministers highlighted the increasing role market services play in the global value chains.

In the afternoon, ministers exchanged views on ways of improving the input of the Competitiveness Council to the European Semester process.

Under any other business, the Council was informed of the latest state of play in a number of legislative files under its remit.

Today’s conclusions on Artificial Intelligence serve as guidelines for future EU actions in this field with the aim to place the European Union among the drivers of AI at global level. Europe has to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world and our discussions on how to become a climate neutral economy, while preserving our industry’s competitive advantages, is essential.
Niculae Bădălău, Minister for economy of Romania

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