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The hearings of the Commissioners-designate started in the European Parliament on 30th September. The new Commissioner for Jobs too answered in a 3-hour hearing the questions of MEPs, in his case before the Employment Committee. From AK’s point of view, many important issues on the more social shaping of Europe were part of the hearing.

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The first hearings of the Commissioners-designate took place in the European Parliament on 30th September. One of the first to be questioned was the Irishman Phil Hogan who appeared before the Trade Committee. He is no stranger on the European stage: currently he is Agriculture Commissioner and was able to do relatively well in his hearing. However, from the AK’s point of view, some of his replies were too vague and there was especially a lack of commitment with regard to sustainability.

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On Tuesday, the Maltese Helena Dalli, previously Minister for European Affairs and Equality in Malta, answered questions by MEPs in the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL). Due to the fact that she will be entrusted with the issue of equality, the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) chaired by the social democrat Evelyn Regner also took part, as were MEPs of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

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Human rights are universal. Nevertheless, in particular with regard to global entrepreneurial activities, they are being violated time and again, especially in countries belonging to the global South. Yet, in practice it is often not possible to hold parent companies liable for human rights violations and environmental damage. Hence, since 2014 negotiations on a binding agreement, which shall impose due diligence in view of adhering to human rights, have been going on in the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.

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Even if the Commissioners-designate have not taken office yet, the so-called mission letters provide an outlook for the future departments and priorities, which the new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has awarded to the 26 candidates.

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Event jointly organised by AK EUROPA and ÖGB Europabüro on 24 September 2019:

 

Human rights and environmental due diligence: The way forward for responsible business

 

Presentation by Claudia Saller

(European Coalition for Corporate Justice - ECCJ)

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Since Ursula von der Leyen was elected new Commission president, she has been underlining her priority for a sustainable climate policy. An important lever to achieve this is the future EU budget 2021-2027, which has to be adopted by the end of 2020 at the latest. For this purpose, AK Europa and ÖGB Europabüro hosted an event on 9th September to discuss the question, which contribution the EU budget can make in the fight against climate change.

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On 9th September, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen presented the list of names and on the following day the portfolios of the other 26 EU Commissioners-designate. Various lists of names and allocations of the portfolios had already been circulating in the days before. However, the veil has been lifted and since 10th September we know who has been proposed for which job and that there will be some fundamental changes.

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AK EUROPA and ÖGB Europabüro cordially invite you to the following event:

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Event jointly organised by AK EUROPA and ÖGB Europabüro on 9 September 2019:

 

Europe climate-neutral by 2050: What contribution can the EU-budget make in the fight against climate change?

 

Presentation by Margit Schratzenstaller

(Austrian Institute of Economic Research WIFO)