Welcome to the Sustainable Value Hub November monthly press release. This will be released every 5th of the month and cover the previous month’s major news on SVH focus. At SVH, we believe in sustainable partnerships, strong networks and institutions to help tackle today’s challenges. Which is why we are sharing in a few pages recent developments on subjects that contribute to our vision, to create a value for a better future.
EU-Turkey news :
The spokeperson of Turkiye of the AK Party denounces Greece have put 46 000 migrants lives in danger through illegal pushbacks, stating these are "crimes against humanity".
On the Greek's hand, Athens claims Ankara displayed offshore vessel weapons in Greek waters. This is following an incident that had taken place in October 31st upon a search and rescue operation, and Greece's shipping minister accused Turkiye of "allowing ruthless traffickers to send human beings to their deaths". Ankara, rejects such claim.
Amid those tensions, the US ambassador in Athens underlines Greece and Turkiye should "resolve their differences through diplomacy as both countries are important and respected memebers of NATO", but Turkish foreign minister insists that "Greece is blocking the pathway for international law to resolve problems" and that there is a double standard in favour of Athens.
Following that, EU concerns for admitting Turkish Cypriots as observer member of the Organisation of Turkic States are upsetting Turkiye who states they have a "natural right to develop relations with the Turkic States in every field". Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' Foreign Minister says EU "has no right to intefere with the decisions of another international organization".
On a different note, Sweden's Prime Minister said the country would fulfil Turkiye's pledges in regards to security concerns and terrorist groups. This has been the obstacle for Sweden's approval for its NATO membership and concrete steps are requested by Ankara, such as extradition of wanted terrorists. President Erdogan highlighted the mutual benefits of such progress and stated his satisfaction as Sweden said they would comply with the tripartite memorandum signed in Madrid.
Under the scope of NATO, new Italian Prime Minister highlighted the importance of Turkiye-Italy cooperation, as both leaders agree to joint fight terrorism, and touch upon the potential for cooperation in the Mediterranean region, or irregular migration.
Green Deal :
On the 11th, the European Commission welcomed the provisional deal on the Land Use Change and Forestry regulation. This will increase the EU's target for net carbon removals by natural sinks to 310 million tons of CO2 equivalent by 2030.
This is following the Commission's "Fit for 55' legislative package" for delivering EU climate ambition under the Green Deal. EU shows it is keeping up with its great ambitions and shows it will accelerate in the green transition even in light of Russia's invasion. This agreement is to simplify existing rules and enhance monitoring, reporting and verification; next phases are to be happening from 2026 to 2030. Member States are then responsible for meeting this new target, and have many measures to do so, considering EU funds for programs to support climate actions.
On November 23, the Commission approved funding for 168 new projects across Europe for the LIFE Programme for climate action. LIFE projects are at the heart of the European Green Deal to help EU become climate neutral by 2050. Fundings are at a 27 percent increase compared to last year's funding and covers four themes: nature and biodiversity, circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation and clean energy transition. These projects will run in almost all EU countries: Estonia, Denmark and Latvia will put in a place a biodiversity management; Spain and Italy will respectively promote electric factors and develop a business model based on recycling; Cypriot and Greek will promote innovative techniques for sustainable agricultural practices, and more. In total, 27 nature and biodiversity projects, 38 on environment and resource efficiency, 7 for environmental governance, 30 LIFE projects, 11 on climate change mitigation, 13 for climate change adaptation, 6 LIFE climate governance and information and 67 projects to improve market and regulatory conditions in the EU for energy transition. All this for a funding of more than EUR380 million approved by the Commission.
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Private-Public Partnerships :
In this section, we will be presenting recent development from EU Joint Undertaking with Clean Aviation on the programme Clean Sky 2. This partnership brings together SMEs, research centres and universities, with more than 600 participating entities in 24 countries. The programme has played a key role in building EU-wide synergies for aeronautics-related research and innovation.
On the 14th of November, Christos Vasilakos, former Policy and Strategy Officer at Clean Aviation has explained how stakeholders can do to enhance synergies. Indeed, CS2 has called on a strategic action plan to develop synergies with the European Structural Investment Funds, which has offered advice and expertise on synergy building and launched a network to facilitate interaction between national/regional stakeholders. 18 "Memoranda of Understandings" represent now 33 EU regions out of the 155 regions that participated in Clean Sky calls. This strategic cooperation have made four Member States - Czech Republic, Greece, Romania and Portugal, launch calls and funding schemes on aeronautics topics. Info days and other dissemination activities have been organised to boost regional stakeholder's participation. This should help for a larger collaboration at strategic and operational levels.
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Global Gateway :
On the 18th of November, a conference for the EU-Central Asia Connectivity for Sustainable Development in Samarkand launched two initiatives from Team Europe. These are to contribute to Central Asia sustainable economic and human development through "resilience, prosperity and regional cooperation".
The first initiative is to support green transition, by help to manage water and energy resources sustainably in five Central Asian countries. Many contributors such as EU country members or EIB will put an initial contribution of 700 million for new projects, to develop "integrated regional power market and transboundary water governance".
Second initiative is digital connectivity, to enhance Central Asia access to secure internet through earth stations with integrated Internet across countries. This is to reduce digital divides in the region, promote reforms in digital governance and human rights : this will be the first concrete implementation of the Digital4Development Hub branch for Asia-Pacific.
On the 28th of November, the African Union and the EU Commissions reviewed their strategic partnership and progress on implementing the commitments taken on the last Summit 9 months ago, including the Global Gateaway Africa-Europe Investment Package. African and European Commissioners discussed the gravity of Ukraine war and impact on economy, challenges for global food and energy security and the four key areas from February Summit : enhance connectivity through economic integration, boost human development, build resilience and peace, security and governance. Key takeaways related to the Global Gateaway include agreement for launching EUR750 million programme to support "infrastructure investments for transports, digitalisation and energy connectivity in Africa"; investment of EUR 15.5 million from Team Europe Support Structure by the European Commission to help the Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing; a high level dialogue to discuss trade relations and sustainable investment between the two continents to take place in 2023 and other investments for global food security crisis, risk assessments for climate change.
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Our events :
For the month of November, Sustainable Value Hub organised different events to represent and discuss the values we believe in.
On the 10th took place a wine tasting in Azerbaijan Embassy in Brussels. This event resonated with our core values which are to promote strong sustainable partnerships, as this was delivered by Savalan ASPI winery, which products are made from a close-knit international group, giving life to an Azerbaijani and Italian product. This was an opportunity to put forward the Azerbaijan long history of winemaking, which deserves to be more spread into the world.
More on this, SVH had the honour of hosting a documentary screening at the Stanhope Hotel. This production by Anastasia Lavrina showcased the Christian Heritage and multiculturalism in Azerbaijan. The producer wanted to maintain what makes Azerbaijan great which harmony between culture and the wish for a better future for next generations. This was another great opportunity to connect through culture sharing, Azerbaijan to EU and the rest of the world.
Finally, on the 30th a panel discussion was held at the European Parliament on "Reforming International Institutions for a New Era Challenges”. Pannelists included policy experts such as Samuel Doveri Vesterbye managing director at the European Neighbourhood Council, strategic analyst and policy advisor Maurizio Geri and Yusuf Erim, MENA and Turkish foreign policy expert.
Highlights were made on the importance of regional integration, as the discussion shall be continued.