General Market

EU response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

The Current Situation and Financial Assistance

West Africa is facing the largest and most complex Ebola epidemic on record. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been the most affected countries. Over 27, 514 people have been infected, more than 11,220 of whom have died.

The EU’s total financial contribution to date to fight the epidemic is over €1.8 billion. This amount includes previous funding from the Member States and the European Commission as well as the European Commission’s new pledge of €450 million announced at the UN’s International Ebola Recovery Conference in July.  It excludes, however, further potential pledges made by individual EU Member States at the same UN conference in July. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the decline in the number of cases and the contraction of the geographic area affected by Ebola has stalled during the last weeks. Both in Guinea and Sierra Leone new confirmed cases are still being identified and people continue to be diagnosed with Ebola post mortem. These patterns indicate that the disease is circulating in unrecognised chains of transmission. In order to achieve zero cases, there is a need for strong community engagement, improved contact tracing and earlier identification of cases.

The recent cases in Liberia highlight the importance of maintaining the capacity of early case detection and enhanced vigilance regarding deaths with unknown causes, even in countries that have been declared Ebola free.

The European Union has been active in the response to the Ebola emergency from the start. It has mobilised all available political, financial and scientific resources to help contain, control, treat and ultimately defeat Ebola. In October 2014 the European Council appointed Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, as EU Ebola Coordinator.

Commissioners Christos Stylianides, Vytenis Andriukaitis and Neven Mimica visited the affected countries in late 2014 to reaffirm the EU’s support for the fight against the disease and to announce support measures.

On March 3 2015, the European Union organised a high-level conference on the Ebola epidemic. The purpose was two-fold: first, to take stock of the ongoing emergency response and adapt it to the evolving situation on the ground, leading to eradication of the disease; second, to plan for the long term and support the recovery and resilience of the affected countries, including the development of their health systems. The event was co-chaired by the EU, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The Statement of the Co-Chairs from the conference was endorsed by the European Council on 16th March.

In July 2015, a new conference will take place, hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in cooperation with the Governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and in partnership with the European Union, African Union, the African Development Bank, and the World Bank. This pledging conference will bring together the international community and Heads of State from the three countries affected, to ensure that recovery efforts help the countries to build back better and ensure greater resilience going forward.

The Commission will examine the lessons learnt from the Ebola epidemic in a conference that will be held in October in Luxembourg under the Luxembourg Presidency. The outcome of the conference will be the basis of Council conclusions to be adopted in December this year.

Humanitarian Aid

Since March 2014, the European Commission has allocated more than €70 million in humanitarian funding to address the most urgent needs. These funds are channelled through humanitarian partner organisations, such as Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, International Medical Corps, Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee, Alima, the World Food Programme’s Humanitarian Air Service, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.

EU aid contributes to epidemic surveillance, diagnostics, treatment and medical supplies; deployment of doctors and nurses and training of health workers; raising awareness among the population and the promotion of safe burials.

Development Aid

The Commission is already providing over €210 million in development and early recovery assistance. Most of this money is provided to stabilise the countries and assist them in recovering from the crisis and beyond.

In addition, the EU is helping to strengthen health systems in the affected countries before the outbreak, as part of its long term support, and is now redirecting existing programmes wherever it is necessary towards the Ebola efforts and crisis context.

Budget support is provided to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to help them deliver urgently needed public services – in particular health care – and also cushion the economic impact of the epidemic.

Development funding is also being used to strengthen other important areas like healthcare, education, water and sanitation.

Four mobile laboratories, deployed in Guinea and Sierra Leone, help with the detection of the virus and training of health workers. The labs can process up to 70 samples each day, seven days a week.

Furthermore, the EU supports the African Union’s medical mission in West Africa (ASEOWA), contributing EUR 5 million to pay civil and medical staff. This has so far allowed to cover the costs of the first 90 medical professionals and support staff, and to subsequently increase the total number of staff to about 150 people. The European Commission has also deployed health professionals to Guinea from the European Centre for Diseases Prevention and control. As of 29 June 2015, ECDC has deployed 85 health experts in relation to the Ebola response within and outside the EU, including 77 deployed in the West African region. Currently 16 ECDC mobilised experts are in the field. In addition, 9 experts from national fellowship programmes associated with the ECDC training programmes were also deployed by their organisations in the region by EU Member States.

The EU is equally working to strengthen preparedness against the epidemic. The EU has supported national plans in six countries for some €10.6million and has, for example:

  • Helped to refurbish and equip an Ebola treatment unit at the central hospital in Ivory Coast
  • Helped to provide a water and sanitation programme with hygiene messages on Ebola prevention in Guinea Bissau
  • Set up a facility in Burkina Faso to support the national preparedness plan

In addition, the EU is also contributing to the regional preparedness through support to WHO and the International Red Cross with a €6 million contract for each, for activities aimed at preventing the further spread of Ebola disease in West Africa.

Medical Research

The European Commission has promptly and strongly supported urgent Ebola research on potential treatments, vaccines and diagnostic tests with almost €140 million from Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme.

An initial €24.4 million were deployed to fund five projects that look to develop potential vaccines and medication against Ebola and translate their findings into available treatments. Work on these projects started in October 2014, and some have already begun producing results applicable to the current outbreak. Most promisingly, the EU-funded REACTION project announced encouraging evidence that favipiravir, an antiviral drug, is an effective treatment against early Ebola disease (Fact sheet). Another project called EVIDENT confirmed that the Ebola virus was mutated at a lower rate than feared and concluded that the diagnostic methods, treatments and vaccines under development should still be effective against the disease.More information on EU-funded projects can be found at the EU Research on Ebola website.

Additionally, the European Commission and the European pharmaceutical industry are funding eight research projects on the development of vaccines and rapid diagnostics tests, which are key to overcoming the current Ebola crisis. These projects are run under the new ‘Ebola+’ programme of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and funded with a total of €215 million, €114 million of which come from Horizon 2020.

The EU is also supporting clinical research on Ebola through the European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), a joint effort by European and Sub-Saharan African countries to develop promising treatments for poverty-related diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. EDCTP recently added Ebola to this list and launched a call to develop new diagnostic tools for these diseases. The Commission has also urged EDCTP to mobilise funding from the Participating States to increase the EDCTP budget for 2014 and 2015 and to coordinate relevant research activities.

The Ebola outbreak demonstrates that ‘rapid reaction’ research and innovation in health crises is needed. In this context, the European Commission and other major funders have recently founded the ‘Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness’ (GloPID-R) which will facilitate launching a coordinated emergency research response within 48 hours in case of a significant new or re-emerging outbreak.

Emergency supplies and expertise

As part of its coordinated response, the EU has provided emergency supplies and sent experts to the affected countries. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates the delivery of material support from the Member states. They have provided mobile laboratories, treatment centres, ambulances and field hospitals. The EU has organised logistical support including multiple airlifting operations and supports the deployment of navy ships to transport emergency supplies provided by the Member States, such as food aid, medical kits, clean blankets and chlorine for sanitations. EU humanitarian experts, including specialists in hazardous diseases, have been deployed to the three most affected countries.

Medical Evacuation

International health workers are the backbone of the response to the Ebola epidemic. To support their mobilisation and protection, the EU has established a medical evacuation system. Member States are making capacity available for this.

Since the beginning of the epidemic and as of 2 July 2015, 65 individuals have been evacuated or repatriated worldwide from the EVD-affected countries. Of these, 38 individuals have been evacuated or repatriated to Europe. Thirteen were medical evacuations of confirmed EVD-infected patients to: Germany (3), Spain (2), France (2), UK (2), Norway (1), Italy (1), Netherlands(1) and Switzerland (1). Twenty-five asymptomatic persons have been repatriated to Europe as a result of exposure to Ebola in West Africa: UK (13), Denmark (4), Sweden (3), Netherlands (2), Germany (1), Spain (1) and Switzerland (1).

No new medical evacuations have taken place since 18 March 2015.

The medevac system ensures evacuation to an equipped hospital in Europe for international health workers and other EU nationals diagnosed with the virus. Evacuation requests are made by WHO to the health department of the Commission (DG SANTE) which identifies medical facilities available in EU Member States through communications in the EU’s Early Warning and Response System (EWRS). Transport to Europe is then coordinated by the ERCC. To date, a total of 39 people suffering from Ebola or having had a high risk exposure to the virus, have been medically evacuated to Europe.

Advocacy, coordination and diplomatic outreach

From the onset of the crisis, the EU has been in constant contact with the United Nations, relief agencies on the ground, the governments in the region as well as with regional organisations such as the African Union and ECOWAS.

The appointment by the European Council of an EU Ebola Coordinator, Commissioner Christos Stylianides, aims to ensure that EU institutions and Member States act in a coordinated manner with each other and with international partners. To this end, an EU Ebola Task Force has been set up and meets three times a week, bringing together the Member States, Commission services, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and representatives of the UN, the Red Cross and NGOs.

More information

EU pledges €450 million to Ebola affected countries:

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-5338_en.htm

General Market

Europe's local governments: EU €315bn Investment Plan needed to transform ocean energy sector

Members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) have called for more EU investment to be funnelled into ocean energy. As part of the drive towards creating a more sustainable economy, the local leaders note that renewable energy from tides and waves, could satisfy 10-15% of EU power demand by 2050 and generate up to half a million jobs. Ocean energy could also contribute to the diversification and decarbonisation of the economy which are vital in fulfilling the EU’s climate and renewable energy commitments.

Ocean energy has been earmarked as a priority for the EU’s economic and energy growth plans and Blue Growth strategy, both of which are part of the EU’s long term plan to support sustainable growth. In an opinion by the CoR – the EU’s assembly of local and regional authorities – entitled ‘Developing the potential of Ocean Energy’ led by Rhodri Glyn Thomas (EA/UK), the CoR’s climate and energy commission suggests ocean energy should be one of the priorities of the new €315bn European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). Despite the EU being a world leader in developing this sector, Rhodri Glyn Thomas – a Welsh Assembly Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr – questions “how long” this will last. Thomas warns that the EU needs to secure further investment if it is to maintain its lead and suggests it should be a priority of the EFSI. Mr. Thomas said: “Ocean energy could be one of the cornerstones for building partnership between local governments, businesses and research institutes. It can provide local jobs and most importantly energy security of supply but it needs sound investment”.

So far outside investment had been thwarted by the perceived risk involved, due to unknown technology, red-tape, grid related issues and high costs. The European Investment Bank and further EU inter-institutional and regional corporation will be required to overcome these challenges and local governments will also have to drive the industry forward. The opinion calls for the European Commission to reflect on the necessity of strong local and regional support for ocean energy in its Ocean Energy Forum, set up by the Commission to support and monitor the growth of the industry. The opinion also suggests that this Forum be transformed into an industrial platform to help coordinate a co-working relationship between levels of governance, business and research institutes.

Speaking during the debate Miriam Dalli, a member of the European Parliament, highlighted the importance of renewable energy resources in Europe’s energy portfolio. She said: “Alongside more established rewnewable technologies, we must enable the ocean energy sector to make a meaningful contribution to Europe’s employment, innovation, climate and environmental objectives. We must tackle the barriers by encouraging collaboration between the technology developers, policy makers, investors and other stakeholders so as to bridge the gap between research and the market”.

Countries located on Europe’s Atlantic coast are cited as being the focal point for the development of ocean energy and the CoR draft opinion suggests current funding for the Atlantic should be redirected towards strengthening this form of renewable energy. There remains a strong potential to create a macro region in the area, specifically affecting France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and UK. Nonetheless other seas and water basins could contribute to the growth of the industry and coastal areas across Europe are likely to see economic gains and a boost in jobs at regional level.

As well as attracting investors and including stakeholders in the process, the CoR places public support as an important factor in the success of this young industry. It therefore sets out the desire to capture “the hearts and minds” of European citizens. The CoR is willing to play a central role in engaging the public and raising awareness of ocean energy, especially during dedicated events such as Sustainable Energy Week, an EU event dedicated to promoting sustainable energy.

The opinion has been scheduled for final adoption at the Committee of the Regions on 13-14 October 2015.

Contact:
Nicole Zandi
Tel. +32 2 282 2553
nicole.zandi@ext.cor.europa.eu

General Government

“From Cairo to Cape Town” — African Countries Take Step Towards Huge Free Trade Zone

It will be called TFTA — the Tripartite Free Trade Area. “Representatives from 25 African nations signed an initial agreement on Wednesday to create a free-trade zone linking three economic blocs that would unite 57 percent of the continent’s population. The deal would combine the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the South African Development Community (SADC), and the East African Community (EAC)…The alliance would bring together more than 60 percent of the continent’s gross domestic product, valued at $1.2 trillion, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on the last day of a week-long conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/1B2nrys)

But is it sure to disappoint? Some commentary and analysis from Quartz (QZ http://bit.ly/1L28O1l)

Will the EPA Start to Regulate Airline Emissions? The US Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said greenhouse gases from aircraft endanger human health, taking the first step toward regulating emissions from the domestic aviation industry…The “endangerment finding” by the Environmental Protection Agency would allow the administration to implement a global carbon dioxide emissions standard being developed by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1f2UiZX)

“Quote” of the Day: “The very concept of aid is, and I believe should be, a constant exploration of societies and self. For foreigners working to supply aid outside of their own countries, not to mention outside of their own homes, or in the mirror itself, it is a constant struggle.” – Sean Penn in the Huffington Post http://huff.to/1GedU6m

Africa

Burundi’s embattled president has officially delayed the presidential election, after weeks of protests sparked by his decision to run for a third term. (VOA http://bit.ly/1FS21Qh) 

Hundreds of thousands of people risk starvation in South Sudan where a resurgence in fighting and deepening food shortages have left some with nothing to eat except water lilies, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1B2npXr)

Dozens of armed men suspected of being Islamist militants attacked a police base in southern Mali early on Wednesday, security sources said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1B2nryG)

It’s estimated thousands of children in Ghana work in dangerous, unlicensed gold mines. A new report says they risk injury when mines collapse and are exposed to dust and mercury poisoning. (VOA http://bit.ly/1FS1HkE)

1-800-SUDAN…A Filipino teenager has been flown to Sudan to undergo life-saving heart surgery at a charity-run hospital that has become a world leader in complex heart operations. (AFP http://bit.ly/1KpYuz4)

Improving access to education, healthcare and jobs for women in the arid Sahel region of Africa could play an important part in rolling back poverty in one of the world’s most underdeveloped areas, the U.N. special envoy to the region said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1B2nt9E)

Public outcry and parliament have forced Malawian President Peter Mutharika to suspend the sale of a state-owned bank which has been weighed down by bad loans. (VOA http://bit.ly/1MonNjB) 

South Africa’s poultry industry could lose close to $72 million in turnover and about 6,500 jobs as a result of an agreement to allow duty-free imported chicken from the United States, an industry association said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Kq1gnZ)

U.N. forces have deployed ground troops, attack helicopters and drones to support a campaign by Democratic Republic of Congo’s army against rebels in the northeast of the country, the head of its U.N. peacekeeping mission said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1FS9qPt) 

A child forced to marry at just 13 who then poisoned her 35-year-old husband and three friends is set to be freed in Nigeria, lawyers and a judge said Wednesday, amid fears for her safety and future. (AP http://yhoo.it/1f2UkB6) 

MENA 

Egyptian security forces have arrested dozens of activists ahead of a general strike planned for Thursday, activists and security sources say, part of what the activists describe as an unrelenting crackdown on dissent. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1MonIMC)

Police in Egypt say they have foiled an attempted suicide bomb attack at the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, one of the country’s most popular tourist sites. (BBC http://bbc.in/1L27oUH )

Tunisia’s navy on Wednesday rescued 356 migrants including a two-month-old baby girl off the country’s southeastern coast near Ben Guerdane, the Red Crescent said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1f2UmZS) 

Kuwait is to send $300 million in humanitarian aid to conflict-hit neighbours Iraq and Yemen, the foreign ministry announced Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1f2UlFj) 

Egypt’s antiquities minister issued orders on Wednesday to intensify security at antiquities sites across the country in coordination with the Interior Ministry, in comments reported by state news agency MENA on Wednesday.  (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1FS9sXI) 

On a backstreet in Jerusalem sit the sparse offices of B’Tselem, an Israeli organization that has long been a bane of successive governments, tirelessly flagging military abuses in occupied Palestinian territory. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1FS9tuF) 

Asia 

Recent quakes in Nepal and Malaysia have shaken the Philippines into action, with authorities scaling up earthquake preparedness drills and safety inspections of public buildings in the capital Manila. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1MonOEa)

A $6 billion hydropower dam planned for a site in Myanmar’s Shan state is drawing fierce opposition from locals who say it will flood an area nearly the size of Singapore, destroying 100 communities. (VOA http://bit.ly/1B2o9Mq)

Law enforcement officials must be prepare for a long struggle in the campaign to get corrupt officials who have fled abroad back to China, with 214 suspects being returned to the country as of the end of May, the Ministry of Public Security said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1f2Uhp8)

A joint South Korean-World Health Organization mission studying an outbreak of MERS recommended on Wednesday that schools be reopened, as they were unlikely to spread the disease, just as school boards recommended more be shut. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1FS9ui8)

The Americas

The European Union has committed $133 million in investment support for Latin America and Caribbean nations at the start of their two-day summit. (AP http://yhoo.it/1FS9zCG)

Paraguay’s government has been advised to take “precautionary measures” to ensure the health of a 10-year-old girl who is pregnant after allegedly being raped by her stepfather. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1KpYtLx)

The progress that Latin America has made in reducing child mortality is cited by international institutions as an example for cutting the under-five mortality rate by two thirds. But this overall picture conceals huge differences between and within countries in the region. (IPS http://bit.ly/1GecXuQ)

A US federal appeals court upheld a controversial Texas state law requiring nearly all facilities that perform abortions to operate like hospital-style surgical centers. (NPR http://n.pr/1TbnbmF) 

…and the rest

Almost 170 million youth are trapped in child labor, deprived of education and facing a life without decent jobs, the International Labor Organization said on Wednesday. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1f2UkkC)

A global climate agreement being negotiated this week in Bonn is supposed to apply to all countries, from large industrialized economies to tiny island nations. (AP http://yhoo.it/1f2Ungo)

As the United Nations continues its negotiations to both define and refine a new set of Sustainable Development Goals before a summit meeting of world leaders in September, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed support for a new “International Decade for Water for Sustainable Development.” (IPS http://bit.ly/1GecUzg)

Opinion/Blogs

Inside Al Jazeera: Is the pan-Arab channel a propaganda outfit or an essential voice? (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/1KpWLtu)

This is not the Middle Eastern order you are looking for (Monkey Cage http://wapo.st/1MID6nW)

The microfinance delusion: who really wins? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1f2PAM3)

Time for a new deal for Middle East’s displaced? (IRIN http://bit.ly/1f2Qh81)

Why Are Threats to Civil Society Growing Around the World? (IPS http://bit.ly/1FRZGol)

All in the Family: Explaining the Persistence of Female Genital Cutting in West Africa (Marc Bellemare http://bit.ly/1GedlcI)

India’s domestic workers need a break (Guardian http://bit.ly/1f2Q3xE)

Is World Cup Game Over for Qatar? (VOA http://bit.ly/1TbmqKe)

Justine Greening: The days of ignoring poverty because it’s far away are over (Guardian http://bit.ly/1FS6sL4)

Loan Guarantees and Financial Inclusion in the Developing World (CFR http://on.cfr.org/1QMdK9h)

What future for Development Advocacy? Three Paradoxes and Seven Directions (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1IFJT32)

Turning the Digital Revolution into a Health Revolution to Achieve the SDGs (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1FJs8tv


TB–The Forgotten Health Crisis, by Eric Goosby. (The Hill http://bit.ly/1L27dbP )

Discussion

comments…

General Information

23rd Japan-EU Summit, Tokyo, 29 May 2015 Joint Press Statement

Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, met in Tokyo on 29 May 2015 for the 23rd Summit between Japan and the European Union (EU) and issued the following joint statement.

Developing our Strategic Partnership

1. As close partners, Japan and the European Union are working together to address issues of vital importance to our citizens and the world based on common values and shared principles. We are conducting joint efforts to build peace, security and stability around the globe, by reinforcing our bilateral partnership and shouldering greater responsibilities for regional and global security. We are also negotiating landmark Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) /Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will deepen our cooperation and enhance our common prosperity.

2. Regular and substantial high-level meetings at summit and ministerial level drive our relations. We concurred todayon an enhanced political dialogue on foreign and security policy at ministerial level. We will also intensify cooperation within the regional and inter-regional frameworks, such as the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Japan welcomes the EU’s continued interest in greater involvement in the East Asia Summit and acknowledges the EU’s effort to promote the rule of law in the region.

3. The SPA and EPA/ FTA hold the potential to lift our relations to a new strategic level. We welcome the progress made in both negotiations and task negotiators to further accelerate both processes in parallel. With the SPA, we are establishing a legally binding foundation for the coming decades. As strategic partners we want to consolidate, deepen and extend our cooperation to all areas of mutual interest, the bilateral issues but also the global challenges. Given our combined global economic weight and international standing, we have a common interest and responsibility to show joint leadership on these issues. To consolidate our solid and evolving trade and economic partnership and pave the way for the future, we reaffirm the importance of a highly comprehensive and ambitious EPA/ FTA to be concluded as soon as possible. Such agreement will address notably issues related to market access for goods, services and investment, procurement including railways, as well as those related to non-tariff measures and the protection of geographical indications as well as intellectualproperty rights. To this end we have entrusted our negotiators with the mandate to settle the outstanding differences with a view to reaching agreement encompassing all the key issues preferably by the end of 2015.

4. We endorsed a Joint Vision today to strengthen our Strategic Partnership in Research and Innovation, an engine for growth and job creation in our two economies. We also committed to cooperate on the research and development of the 5th generation mobile telecommunications networks together.

Acting together for global peace and security

5. 2015 marks the 70th year since the end of World War II and the 40th year since the conclusion of the Helsinki Final Act. In this context, we reflected on the importance of reconciliation and regional cooperation and recognised the contributions that both Japan and the EU have made to the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community over the last 70 years. We reaffirmed our commitment to further enhancing cooperation and collaboration in this field at both global and regional levels, based on the common values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and shared principles such as open markets and rules-based international system.

6. We welcome the expanding Japan-EU cooperation and partnership in the field of peace and security, including crisis management cooperation.The EU welcomes and supports the efforts of Japan in promoting and sustaining global security as set out in the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. We reviewed the successful cooperation over the last year between Japan and the EU on missions aimed at improving the security in Niger and Mali as well as efforts regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo. We committed to explore further cooperation in Ukraine and Somalia as a next step.A joint seminar of military and government staff in 2015 in Tokyo took stock of this positive track record we are building together, helped deepen mutual understanding on our respective security policies and explored future cooperation possibilities.We will continue such consultations and welcome the upcoming consultation between Ministry of Defense of Japan and the EU this year. We also discussed the possibility of future participation of Japan in CSDP missions, bearing in mind necessary steps to this end and the specific expertise that Japan has to offer in this area.

7. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and also condemn the recent attacks which have been carried out by terrorist groups, including ISIL/Da’esh, in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. We are working to support international cooperation to counter-terrorism, through the UN, the Global Counter-terrorism Forum, and the G7 and to implement fully the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. We will intensify Japan-EU counter-terrorism cooperation, seeking measures to mitigate risk and strengthen border security, while protecting human rights and personal data. We reaffirm the need to utilise all available tools to fight and prevent terrorism and to coordinate capacity building efforts with third states. We also stress the importance of preventing, detecting and prosecuting terrorism financing. We are determined to fight against the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, in accordance with resolution 2178 of the UN Security Council.

8. We emphasise the importance of ensuring the rule of law in global commons, namely cyber, outer space and the sea. In this context, we welcome the First Japan-EU Space Policy Dialogue and Cyber Dialogue held in October 2014 in Tokyo where stakeholders shared respective policies and identified potential ways forward. Building on this common ground, including the safety and stability of cyberspace based on free flow of information and open internet, we look forward to the next Dialogues in Brussels in 2015, whereby security aspects could be addressed. We are strongly committed to finalise negotiations on the International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities by the end of 2015. We welcome continuing concrete cooperation in anti-piracy activities off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden within the relevant International Contact Group and through operational activities between the deployed units of Japan Self-Defense Forces and the EU’s Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR)-Operation ATALANTA. This includes joint exercises at sea as well as the support offered by Japan for the trial of suspected pirates currently held in the Seychelles

9. We reaffirm our determination to further cooperate on disarmament and non-proliferation in order to realise our shared goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Despite the absence of a consensus outcome at the 2015 NPT Review Conference, Japan and the EU remain committed to cooperate to maintain and strengthen the credibility of the NPT regime and sustain the trust for multilateralism. We also continue towork towards the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the early commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other explosive devices. We welcome the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty and remain committed to promoting its effective implementation and universalisation. We are committed to ensuring strict export control of arms and dual-use items and technologies, especially with regard to areas of tension.

10. Mindful of the uncertainties in the regional security environment, we condemn all violations of international law and of the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. We underline the need for all parties to seek peaceful, and cooperative solutions to maritime claims, including through internationally recognised legal dispute settlement mechanisms, and to maintain full freedom of navigation and overflight of the high seas under international law as enshrined in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. The safety of navigation is essential for peaceful and sustainable development. We urge all parties to clarify the basis of their claims based on international law, and to refrain from unilateral actions, including the threat or use of force and coercion. We continue to observe the situation in the East and South China Sea and are concerned by any unilateral actions that change the status quo and increase tensions. We support the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the rapid conclusion of the negotiations to establish an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. We highlight the constructive role of practical confidence-building measures, such as the establishment of direct links of communication in cases of crisis and crisis management mechanisms in this regard.

11. We express our grave concern onthe North Korea’s continued development of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and urge the North Korea to comply with its obligations under all the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and its commitment under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement, to return to full compliance with the NPT and IAEA safeguards, and to take immediate steps to end human rights violations, including the abductions issue. We urge North Korea to make constructive efforts to these ends.

12. We call on all sides to fully implement their commitment under the Minsk agreements to solve the conflict in Ukraine peacefully, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We remain determined never to recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and will continue to support the government of Ukraine to advance its reforms, aimed at strengthening and modernising Ukraine for the benefit of its citizens. We will also continue to coordinate our policies and explore new opportunities for cooperation aimed at the modernisation of countries in the context of the EU’s Eastern Partnership, as well as in the Western Balkans and the Black Sea region.

13. We express grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Syria and reaffirm that only a Syrian-led inclusive political transition, based on the Geneva communiqué and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, can put an end to the conflict. We call on all Syrian parties to show commitment to a political process, which must be accompanied by confidence building measures. We commit to continue our support for Iraq to defeat ISIL/Da’esh. We also encourage all Iraqis to actively work for national reconciliation and to continue the path of reforms promoting more inclusive governance. In response to the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Yemen, we call on all parties to commit to the restart of a comprehensive political transition process through the UN-led negotiations and without resorting to violence. We welcome the important progress in the intensive diplomatic efforts at reaching solutions on key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iranian nuclear issues. We reaffirm that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict; only a political settlement can provide a sustainable way forward. We call on the Libyan parties to do their utmost in order to find a common understanding based the proposal for a political agreement presented by UNSMIL on 27 April. We believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through negotiations, the outcome of which would see the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side peacefully and in mutual recognition. We would be ready to boost our respective relations with both parties, notably economically, to help them reap the full benefits of any peaceful settlement. Again this highlighted our shared conviction that international disputes and issues should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. We express our concern about the continuation of settlement policy, which threatens the two State solution. We call on both parties to take the measures in order to relaunch the negotiations.

Fostering growth, prosperity and sustainable development

14. We recognise the serious and urgent challenge posed by climate change. We are resolved to play our part in concluding this December in Paris a global Agreement applicable to all Parties that is ambitious, robust, inclusive and reflects changing global circumstances putting the world on track to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Agreement must include adequate provisions on the transparency and accountability of all Parties towards their commitments. While delivering on the ultimate objective of the Convention, it must also address adaptation to climate change impacts and help mobilise climate finance on the required transformational scale including effective utilisation of Green Climate Funds. It should also spur international cooperation to help Parties deliver on their commitments. We for our part intend to strengthen our bilateral cooperation on climate and energy, notably through the SPA, and to work together ever closer in the relevant international fora.

15. We will deliver on our existing climate pledges and continue to look for further pre-2020 mitigation opportunities. Looking beyond 2020 and determined to show leadership in the global effort towards the below 2°C goal, the EU explained the timeliness and ambition of its intended nationally determined contribution to the new Agreement, and Japan affirmed that it intends to submit an ambitious contributionexpeditiously. We commend those Parties that have submitted their contributions, especially those Parties with the least responsibilities and capabilities. We call on all others, and particularly on major and emerging economies, to submit theirs expeditiously, to base them on fairness and the requirements of science and to present them in a way promoting transparency and accountability.

16. We recognise the importance of a secure, sustainable, affordable and safe supply of energy and are resolved to use various greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures to realise a low carbon and climate-friendly economy. As both Japan and the EU are critically dependent on external energy sources, we intend to strengthen our cooperation including through Japan-EU energy policy dialogue on issues that are important for securing sustainable energy supply. We welcome the joint statement of the G7 Energy Ministerial meeting in Hamburg (11-12 May 2015). We will strengthen our partnership in fusion energy research through the multilateral ITER Project and the bilateral Broader Approach Activities for the next step towards the realisation of fusion energy, as well as on fission research and development.

17. We reiterate the need for gender equality and the importance of women’s full participation in society and the economy. We will strengthen our cooperation to promote the empowerment of women and the advancement of women’s rights globally. We concur on fostering cooperation towards a society with equal opportunities for women, including through World Assembly for Women in Tokyo. The EU welcomes Japan’s focus on empowerment of women and is ready to share examples of good practice in this area. We also emphasise the importance of promoting women’s active and meaningful participation globally to achieve sustainable peace and security as well as sustainable development.

18. As leading development donors and partners, we remain fully committed to agreeing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda that will coherently address poverty eradication and sustainable development. Such an agenda must also promote peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law, gender equality and human rights where the aspect of human security is essential and without which sustainable development cannot happen. It should end extreme poverty, building on and completing the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals. We will continue to strive jointly to achieve a transformative outcome at the September 2015 Summit, to which we expect all other partners – including emerging economies – to contribute their fair share. Recognising that tackling infrastructure shortfalls in the world effectively is crucial to lifting growth, we are committed to promoting quality infrastructure investment including through effective resource mobilisation in partnership with relevant stakeholders such as multilateral development banks and the private sector. Bilaterally, Japan and the EU have cooperated closely in the past on the nexus of security and sustainable development, such as through trust funds in countries like Afghanistan.Building on last year’s Japan-EU Development Policy Dialogue, we welcome progress in trilateral cooperation activities in Africa, such as Djibouti, Kenya and Zambia and we are exploring future cooperation possibilities in Africa and Asia for enhanced quality growth and human security.

19. We welcome the success of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. We will continue our close exchange of practices and views on this issue, including the recent earthquakes in Nepal, and reiterate the importance of incorporating disaster risk reduction measures into both development programmes and humanitarian assistance. In this context, we decided to organise an expert meeting on humanitarian assistance and emergency relief.

20. We consider that trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling – by sea, land and air alike – are forms of crime and severe violation of human rights. We aim to combat them and to address the political and socio-economic drivers of irregular migration. We underline the responsibility of the countries of origin, transit and destination to cooperate to prevent smuggling, human trafficking and forced labour, to disrupt the involved criminal groups and to eliminate their financing opportunities. We stand ready to assist the committed countries in this endeavour.We call upon all states to promote international efforts to this end, including by promoting relevant international agreements.

21. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen the multilateral trading system under the WTO by concluding the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), based on the principles of balance and realism. We are also committed to attain concrete outcomes of plurilateral negotiations, including the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), which will strengthen the multilateral trading system. We emphasise our determination to combat all forms of protectionism.

22. We have established a Strategic Partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation in order to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness and address common challenges in our societies. Recognising the expanding cooperation in this area since the last Summit, we endorsed today the Joint Vision towards a new strategic partnership in Research and Innovation between the Government of Japan and the European Commission as adopted by the 3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation. We highlighted thematic areas where we will see substantial and growing Japan-EU cooperation – ICT, aeronautics and materials including critical raw materials – as well as health, environment, energy and high-energy physics. We confirmed the importance of specific actions that will continue this positive momentum, such as establishing a new mechanism for the joint funding of research and innovation projects, and taking measures to enhance the mobility of researchers between Japan and the EU, including the new ERC-JSPS cooperation arrangement. We recognised the importance of exchanging views and coordinating where possible on Science, Technology and Innovation policies such as Open Science. We also acknowledged the positive role of the Horizon 2020 National Contact Point in Japan and the value of outreach activities to promote public understanding and engagement in our cooperation.

23. We are committed to reviewing scientifically the remaining restrictive measures for radionuclides in food and feed exportation from Japan, in particular those from Fukushima, and African Swine Fever, BSE and Avian Influenza-related measures on pork, beef and poultry products from the European Union.

24. Solid Japan-EU dialogue and cooperation across a broad range of sectors drive our Strategic Partnership along. We welcome the recent developments in the following sectors, including the successful dialogues held since the last Summit in Industry, ICT, Transport and Employment:

– The Japan-EU Industrial Policy Dialogue held in March 2015 put an emphasis on deepening regulatory cooperation involving both government and business, which was also welcomed by the Japan-EU Business Round Table. We express our great expectation for further progress in regulatory cooperation between Japan and the EU, while noting that the cooperation is also to be dealt with via the EPA/FTA negotiations.

– The Japan-EU ICT Policy Dialogue held in March 2015 reaffirmed the importance of developing and ensuring open and innovative digital economy based on multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. We welcome the signature of the EU-Japan Joint Declaration on 5th generation mobile telecommunications networks (5G) that will enhance cooperation to ensure global interoperability and strengthen collaboration on research activities.

– The Japan-EU Railway Industrial Dialogue held in December 2014 and May 2015 discussed global business opportunities in the railway sector. We recognise the value of enhanced cooperation, including on technical standards, both between the public authorities and business representatives of two of the world leading players in this sector. We are confident that the dialogue can lead to enhanced openness of our respective markets and to joint actions in the global market.

– The Japan-EU Symposium on Employment held in June 2014 deepened understanding on “Anticipating restructuring in a changing world of work” and “Managing restructuring and facing up to future challenges” among the government, worker, and employer representatives in Japan and the EU.

– The ongoing Japan-EU aviation dialogue, initiated in October 2012, will be crucial for fostering joint efforts towards a solid partnership in this field.

– Japan and EU will continue cooperation in sustainable management of forestry and sustainable use of fishery resources and in combatingillegal trade in wildlife products bilaterally or through multilateral organisations.

We also recognise the importance of active and continued contribution of the Business Round Table to further development of bilateral economic relationship, and welcome the recommendations it adopted in April 2015.

Deepening mutual understanding for future cooperation

25. We acknowledge that people-to-people and cultural exchange, and cooperation in higher education are vitally important to deepen mutual understanding, foster intellectual exchanges and engage broader public. The EU Erasmus+ programme and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions offer new scope for EU-Japan mobility of excellent students, researchers and staff. Prime Minister Abe announced the Japan-Europe MIRAI programme to invite 150 university/ post-graduate European students to Japan within the fiscal year 2015 and the EU leaders welcomed the prospect of further partnership-building. We also recognise the importance of exchange between civil society and cultural operators on both sides, including mutual support to promote student exchanges. We welcome parliamentary exchanges, such as the fruitful 35th Japan-EU Interparliamentary Meeting held last month.