The news is by your side.

Daily News 15 / 05 / 2019

COLLEGE MEETING: The European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a stronger partnership

Today, the European Union is outlining its vision for a renewed partnership with Central Asia, updating its strategy on relations with the region first set out in 2007. The new Joint Communication adopted today by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy sets out a fresh vision for a stronger partnership with the five countries of Central Asia: Kazakhstan; the Kyrgyz Republic; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; and Uzbekistan. It comes at a key moment of fast-developing Euro-Asian connectivity, reform and opening up in some of the countries of the region, and new momentum for regional cooperation. “Central Asia has always been a key region: for its history, for its culture, and for its role of connecting East and West. Today it is becoming more and more strategic, amid positive internal and regional dynamics, as well as increasing global challenges that demand a strengthened partnership”, said High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini. “Resilience and prosperity will be the pillars of our cooperation with Central Asia, of our support to sustainable development and reform processes, to the benefit of our citizens.” The Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, added: “The European Union is a leading development partner for Central Asia, supporting the region with over €1 billion between 2014-2020 in areas such as the rule of law, environment, water, trade and border management. Through a renewed partnership, we want to strengthen our engagement with Central Asian partners to help them make the region more resilient, prosperous and better inter-connected.” Focussing on resilience and prosperity, as well as regional cooperation, the Joint Communication adopted today will now be discussed in the Council and the European Parliament. High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini, together with Commissioner Mimica, intends to present formally the new EU Strategy on Central Asia to her Central Asian counterparts at the 15th EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting, which will take place on 7 July in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. A full press release is available online, in addition to a factsheet on the Joint Communication. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tél.: +32 229 65322; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359; Elena Gonzalez Verdesoto – Tel.: +32 229 99862)

 

COLLEGE MEETING: European Citizens’ Initiative “Save the bees!”  

Today, the European Commission decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative entitled Save the bees! Protection of biodiversity and improvement of habitats for insects in Europe’. The organisers call on the Commission to ‘adopt legislation to maintain and improve habitats for insects as indicators of an undamaged environment’. The Citizens’ Initiative focuses on the creation of mandatory targets ‘to make the promotion of biodiversity an overall objective of the common agricultural policy; to dramatically cut the use of pesticides, ban harmful pesticides without exception and reform eligibility criteria; to promote structural diversity in agricultural landscapes; to effectively reduce nutrients (e.g. Natura 2000); to effectively establish conservation areas; to intensify research and monitoring and improve education.’ Under the Treaties, the EU can take legal action in areas such as the internal market, agricultural policy as well as the protection of public health and the quality of the environment. The Commission therefore considers the initiative legally admissible and decided to register it. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the initiative at this stage. The registration of this initiative will take place on 27 May 2019, starting a one-year process of collection of signatures of support by its organisers. Should the initiative receive one million statements of support within 1 year, from at least 7 different Member States, the Commission will have to react within 3 months. The Commission can decide either to follow the request or not, and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning. The full press release is available online. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

Budget de l’UE: une enveloppe supplémentaire de 100 millions d’euros pour la recherche et les programmes de mobilité des étudiants en 2019

Dans le prolongement de l’accord entre le Parlement européen et le Conseil sur le budget de l’UE pour 2019, la Commission européenne propose aujourd’hui de débloquer une enveloppe supplémentaire de 100 millions d’euros pour les programmes phare de l’Union, Horizon 2020 et Erasmus +. Ces fonds additionnels contribueront à renforcer la réponse de l’UE à des défis majeurs comme le changement climatique et à adapter davantage le secteur de l’éducation aux besoins du marché du travail.Günther H. Oettinger, commissaire européen chargé du budget et des ressources humaines, a déclaré à ce propos: « En décembre, les institutions de l’UE ont convenu d’augmenter le budget de la recherche et de la mobilité des étudiants dès que nous disposerions des moyens nécessaires. Aujourd’hui, 100 millions d’euros viennent s’ajouter à ce qui était déjà prévu. C’est une excellente nouvelle pour les chercheurs et les étudiants en Europe, qui pourront compter sur une aide plus importante de l’UE pour leurs projets. » Un communique de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Alexander Winterstein: Tél.: +32 229 93265; Andreana Stankova – Tél.: +32 229 57857)

Juncker Plan supports €25 million European Investment Bank loan to finance diagnostic solutions for infectious diseases  

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a €25 million loan to Mobidiag, a Finnish molecular diagnostics company addressing the spread of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. This four-year loan will allow Mobidiag to advance its research and development and to further commercialise its molecular diagnostics tests. The EIB loan is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, through the European Growth Finance Facility (EGFF) initiative. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Researching and developing ways to stop the spread of infectious diseases is hugely important work but it comes at a high cost. With the support of the EFSI guarantee, the EIB can lend Mobidiag the financing it needs to realise its ambitions and make the world a safer and healthier place to live.” A press release is available here. As of April 2019, the Juncker Plan has mobilised almost €393 billion of additional investment, including €8.2 billion in Finland. The Plan is currently supporting 945,000 small and medium businesses across Europe. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

L’UE et la Tunisie vers un renforcement de leur Partenariat privilégié

A la veille du Conseil d’Association de l’Union européenne avec la Tunisie prévu pour 17 mai, l’UE a publié aujourd’hui le nouveau rapport sur les développements dans les relations avec la Tunisie. Le rapport détaille des aspects majeurs de la coopération de début 2018 à mars 2019. « Nous attachons une importance toute particulière à notre coopération avec la Tunisie, construit sur la base de notre histoire commune, de valeurs partagées et de respect mutuel. Des progrès importants ont été effectués lors de l’année écoulée dans le cadre de notre partenariat privilégié. Cet engagement envers les Tunisiens et l’avenir de la jeunesse spécifiquement demeure constant pour accompagner l’établissement d’un état de droit démocratique durable, d’un pays sûr et prospère », a déclaré la haute représentante/vice-présidente pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité Federica Mogherini. « L’UE a continué à mobiliser tous ses instruments de coopération afin d’appuyer notre partenaire tunisien. Ceci s’est traduit en 2018 par un ensemble de mesures d’aide financière se chiffrant à 305 millions d’euros sous forme de dons, le montant le plus élevé jamais alloué à la Tunisie au titre de l’instrument européen de voisinage. Au cours de cette même période, conjointement avec huit institutions financières européennes et internationales, j’ai lancé une initiative sans précédent afin de mettre l’accent sur l’importance pour la Tunisie de mettre en œuvre au plus vite ses engagements de réformes dans les domaines socioéconomiques pour le bénéfice de tous les Tunisiens », a souligné le commissaire à la politique européenne de voisinage et aux négociations d’élargissement Johannes Hahn. Le communiqué de presse complet est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Maja Kocijancic – Tél.: +32 229 86570; Matteo Arisci – Tél.: +32 229 80833; Alceo Smerilli – Tél.: +32 229 64887)

VAT Fraud: New tool to help EU countries crack down on criminals and recoup billions

Today, the Commission welcomes the launch of the latest EU weapon to help cut down on criminal Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud, which leads to a gap in public finances to the tune of €50 billion a year. The new system will allow Member States to rapidly exchange and jointly process VAT data, leading to earlier detection of suspicious networks.The launch of the Transaction Network Analysis (TNA) tool comes as recent media investigations once again laid bare the huge costs of VAT fraud for public finances, with criminal gangs profiting at the expense of honest taxpayers. It is part of the Commission’s sustained effort to put in place a modern and fraud-proof VAT system. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “Criminal VAT fraud is one of the major issues facing our public finances today and its eradication should be a top priority for EU governments. This new tool will increase the speed at which authorities can uncover and act on suspicious activity. But this progress does not lessen the need for deeper and more fundamental reform of the EU’s VAT system, to ensure it can cope with the vast amounts of trade taking place across borders in the EU.” VAT fraud can take place in the blink of an eye, making it even more important that Member States have tools to allow them to act as quickly and efficiently as possible. The TNA, which Member States start using today, will allow tax authorities fast and easy access to cross-border transaction information, leading to quick action when potential VAT fraud is flagged. Find a press release online. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 22956194; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)

 

EU Solidarity Fund: Commission proposes aid for Austria, Italy and Romania and evaluates the Fund

Today at 14:00, Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu will announce the amount of EU Solidarity Fund proposed for Austria, Italy and Romania following natural disasters that occurred in 2018. The Commissioner will also present a report evaluating the work of the Fund since its creation in 2002 and providing recommendations for the future. Commissioner Creţu said: “Last week in Sibiu we committed to stay united, through thick and thin, to show each other solidarity in times of need and to always stand together. The EU Solidarity Fund is a concrete expression of European solidarity. It offers relief to countries and regions after natural disasters and helps populations get back on their feet. Today we are lending a helping hand to Austria, Italy and Romania and reflecting on how to make the EU Solidarity Fund an even more helpful tool in the next long-term EU budget.” A press release and country factsheets will be available online at 14h. You can follow Commissioner Creţu‘s press point live on EbS. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 2 295 00 55; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel .: +32 229 56169)

 

WiFi4EU: Commission unveils final results of the second call for applications

Today, the European Commission announced the results of the second WiFi4EU call for proposals, which ran from 4 to 5 April. 3,400 municipalities will receive vouchers each worth €15,000 to cover the cost of installing Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces, including town halls, public libraries, museums, public parks or squares. The total budget for this call was €51 million and applications came from all the countries taking part in the programme, namely EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel welcomed the announcement: “We are pleased to see that the response from municipalities to this second call has been overwhelmingly positive with more than 10,000 applications. We will continue connecting Europeans, enabling them to enjoy the benefits of the Digital Single Market.” Altogether, nearly 9,000 vouchers will be available in the WiFi4EU calls. Two more calls will be organised by the end of 2020, including one later this year. The WiFi4EU initiative is part of the ambitious overhaul of EU telecoms rules, including new measures to meet Europeans’ growing connectivity needs and boost Europe’s competitiveness. Under the first call launched in 2018, 2,800 municipalities were selected to receive a WiFi4EU voucher worth €15,000. More details on the results of the second call are available here. More general information on the initiative is available here and in the factsheet. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698; Marietta Grammenou- Tel.: +32 229 83583)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of joint control of OLT LNG terminal in Italy by FSI and Iren Mercato

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over OLT Offshore LNG Toscana S.p.A. (OLT) of Italy by First State Investments International Limited (“FSI”) of the UK, controlled by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Iren Mercato S.p.A. of Italy, belonging to the Iren group. OLT owns and manages the OLT liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off the coast of Italy. FSI manages long-term investments in core infrastructure companies across Europe on behalf of numerous clients. Iren Mercato is active in the supply of gas, electricity and heat in Italy. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given that OLT was already jointly controlled by Iren Mercato and that FSI is not active on the same market as OLT or on any related markets. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9341. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Eurostat: Le nombre de femmes et d’hommes occupant un emploi n’a jamais été aussi élevé dans l’Union européenne et dans la zone euro

Selon l’estimation publiée aujourd’hui par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne, le nombre de femmes et d’hommes occupant un emploi n’a jamais été aussi élevé dans l’Union européenne et dans la zone euro. Selon les chiffres d’Eurostat, ce sont près de 241 millions de personnes, dont 160 millions dans la zone euro, qui avaient un emploi au quatrième trimestre 2018. Cela signifie que, depuis l’entrée en fonction de la Commission Juncker, 13,4 millions d’emplois ont été créés, dont 9,5 millions dans la zone euro. Les chiffres de la croissance de l’emploi dans la zone euro et dans l’UE28 au premier trimestre 2019 par rapport au trimestre précédent sont d’ailleurs en hausse : le nombre de personnes ayant un emploi a augmenté de 0,3% dans la zone euro ainsi que dans l’UE28. Au cours du quatrième trimestre 2018, l’emploi avait augmenté de 0,3% dans la zone euro et de 0,2% dans l’UE28. Par rapport au même trimestre de l’année précédente, l’emploi a augmenté de 1,3% dans la zone euro et de 1,1% dans l’UE28 au premier trimestre 2019, après respectivement +1,3% et +1,2% au quatrième trimestre 2018. Ces données fournissent une mesure du volume de la main-d’œuvre qui est cohérente avec celle de la production et des revenus dans les comptes nationaux. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Christian Wigand – Tél.: +32 229 62253 ; Sara Soumillion – Tél.: + 32 229 67094)

Eurostat : Le PIB en hausse de 0,4% dans la zone euro et en hausse de 0,5% dans l’UE28

Au cours du premier trimestre 2019, le PIB corrigé des variations saisonnières a progressé de 0,4% dans la zone euro (ZE19) et de 0,5% dans l’UE28 par rapport au trimestre précédent, selon l’estimation publiée par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne. Au cours du quatrième trimestre 2018, le PIB avait augmenté de 0,2% dans la zone euro et de 0,3% dans l’UE28. En comparaison avec le même trimestre de l’année précédente, le PIB corrigé des variations saisonnières s’est accru de 1,2% dans la zone euro et de 1,5% dans l’UE28 au premier trimestre 2019, après également respectivement +1,2% et +1,5% auquatrième trimestre 2018.Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Annika Breidthardt – Tél.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tél.: +32 229 64976; Annikky Lamp – Tél.: +32 229 56151)

  

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  

Annual EU-Japan Business Round Table: trade, investment & industrial cooperation

Today in Brussels, the EU-Japan Business Round Table, an annual business summit designed to help develop trade, investment and industrial cooperation between the EU and Japan, is taking place. Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will deliver the keynote address and Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Cecilia Malmström and Phil Hogan will participate in key panels. On the Japanese side, Kenji Yamada, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Akimasa Ishikawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry will take the floor. The implementation of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be at the centre of the discussions. The Round Table will in particular cover cooperation in the areas of digital economy, climate change, circular economy and the agri-food industry as well as EU-Japan investment cooperation in third countries. The EPA entered into force on 1 February 2019, creating a market of 635 million people and representing just under a third of the world’s GDP. There are currently 64,000 direct EU exporters to Japan all over Europe, more than 88% of them are SMEs. The EPA will deliver real benefits to both European and Japanese businesses, but awareness and guidance are required to untap its full potential. The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation – co-funded by the Commission and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan – has made this aim central to its activities. The Centre’s EPA Helpdesk is providing companies with simplified and concise factsheets, practical guides and a series of webinars on EPA’s key aspects. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement were signed during last year’s summit in Tokyo, signalling a strengthened commitment for cooperation between the EU and Japan. The interventions of the Vice-President and Commissioners can be watched on EbS. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: + 32 229 56182; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tel.: +32 229 55040)

 

Le commissaire Andriukaitis à Paris lors de la réunion des ministres de la santé du G7

Les 16 et 17 mai, Vytenis Andriukaitis, commissaire en charge de la santé et de la sécurité alimentaire, sera à Paris pour participer à la réunion des ministres de la santé du G7, au cours de laquelle le principal sujet de discussion sera le renforcement des soins de santé primaires pour lutter contre les inégalités dans ce domaine. À l’issue de la réunion, une Initiative du savoir universel sur les soins de santé primaires du G7 sera lancée. Elle consistera en une plateforme internationale pour le partage d’expertise et des meilleures pratiques dans ce domaine. Les ministres adopteront également une déclaration pour une action du G7 durable, inclusive et fondée sur des bases factuelles en matière de santé mondiale, et discuteront de la voie à suivre pour la sixième conférence sur la reconstitution des ressources du Fonds mondial, qui se tiendra à Lyon le 10 octobre 2019. A la veille de cette réunion, Vytenis Andriukaitis a déclaré a déclaré: « Le renforcement des soins de santé primaires est l’approche la plus inclusive, efficace et efficiente pour améliorer la santé physique et mentale des personnes, ainsi que le bien-être social. La Commission européenne soutient les réformes du secteur de la santé en fournissant des éléments indicatifs, en facilitant la mise en commun des bonnes pratiques, ainsi qu’une assistance technique et au moyen d’instruments financiers. Entre 2013 et 2017, l’aide de l’UE a permis, au niveau global, plus de 19 millions d’accouchements assistés par du personnel de santé qualifié, la vaccination de plus de 13 millions d’enfants, l’accès à un moyen de contraception pour plus de 57 millions de femmes, l’accès à des traitements VIH pour 11 millions de personnes et à la distribution de 600 millions de moustiquaires pour la prévention du paludisme. » (Pour plus d’informations: Anca Paduraru – Tél.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tél.: +32 229 87624)

International role of the euro: European Commission and European Central Bank co-host conference on the single currency, European banking and capital markets

The European Commission will tomorrow host its annual joint conference with the ECB, with a special focus this year on the international role of the euro. Finance ministers and representatives from the financial sector, EU institutions and academia will debate how to strengthen the use of the euro in capital markets and inthe European banking sector. Among the participants are: Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the European Central Bank; Nadia María Calviño Santamaría, Spanish Finance Minister; Hartwig Löger, Austrian Finance Minister; Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament. At the conference, the Commission will also launch its annual European Financial Stability and Integration Review (EFSIR). As well as taking stock of developments in the EU banking and financial sector, this year’s report provides an in-depth review of two current challenges: the macro-prudential toolbox for the EU banking sector, and the growth of artificial intelligence (AI). The report also details policy implications of AI in the financial sector, for instance in terms of efficiency gains, workforce, data protection and regulation, and cybercrime. The programme of the conference is available here and can be followed here. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Guillaume Mercier – Tel.: + 32 229 80564)

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

Related Posts
1 of 156

©European Union

Comments are closed.