EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

After intensive negotiations, the European Commission has reached an agreement with the United Kingdom on the terms of its future cooperation with the European Union (PDF 1259p) .

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said: “It was worth fighting for this deal because we now have a fair and balanced agreement with the UK, which will protect our European interests, ensure fair competition, and provide much needed predictability for our fishing communities. Finally, we can leave Brexit behind us and look to the future. Europe is now moving on.”

The European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, said: “We have now come to the end of a very intensive four-year period, particularly over the past nine months, during which we negotiated the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU and a brand new partnership, which we have finally agreed today. The protection of our interests has been front and centre throughout these negotiations and I am pleased that we have managed to do so. It is now for the European Parliament and the Council to have their say on this agreement.” Continue reading “EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement”

Blockchain technologies and the mining industry : a shared future

At the webinar organised by the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI), EESC members, external delegates and stakeholders of the mining industry assess the impact of new technologies in the sustainable production of raw materials, highlighting benefits, limitations and potential risks from a social point of view.

Blockchain technologies are an important step forward in the mining industry and could represent a new solution for future mining activities, but the digital transition should be carefully managed, taking into account the social consequences. This was the main message from the online round table organised by the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 14 December 2020.

Mining companies which embraced the digital transition have recorded improvements in terms of safety, sustainability, productivity and profits. More specifically, blockchain represents the future in this area, but its governance needs to be discussed and established. In addition, we need to minimise the social and territorial imbalances brought about by the transformation of activities and in the broader framework of the new Green Deal and circular economy changes, said Pietro De Lotto, CCMI president, welcoming the guests.

This was echoed by Hilde Van Laere, CCMI member: Blockchain is at the heart of the digital transition and has the potential to transform businesses and the whole of society, not only the mining industry. It has digitally changed every enterprise in every sector and has also transformed the context of mining. With its capacity to provide security and transparency in business transactions, as well as to record changes to documents and business agreements, blockchain technology has extremely useful applications in mining. Continue reading “Blockchain technologies and the mining industry : a shared future”