EXME 12 / 03.09
Midday Express of 2012-09-03
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Commission today unveiled plans to deal with the exponential growth in mobile and wireless data traffic by enabling wireless technologies, including broadband, to share the use of the radio spectrum. With new technologies it is possible to share radio spectrum amongst several users – such as internet providers – or use the spectrum available between TV frequencies, for example, for other purposes. National spectrum regulation often does not reflect the new technical possibilities, leaving mobile and broadband users at risk of poor service as demand grows, and preventing a single market for investment in such communications markets.
Over the coming month, more than 20 million people are expected to take advantage of free access to thousands of rarely opened sites and special events as part of the European Heritage Days, which take place every September in 50 countries across Europe. The European Heritage Days provide a wonderful opportunity for people to discover cultural treasures which are often right on their doorstep. Some they may not even be aware of, while others are seldom accessible to the public. By opening their doors, these sites open our eyes and minds to the shared and diverse cultural heritage that is the jewel in Europe's crown," said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
The European Commission is scaling up its assistance in Haiti to bring relief to the people most affected by tropical storm Isaac and to boost their resilience to future storms as the hurricane season begins in one of the world's most disaster-prone regions.
"Jobs for Europe: The Employment Policy Conference"
Bringing jobs to the forefront of the EU's political agenda will be the focus of the Employment Policy Conference "Jobs for Europe" on 6-7 September in Brussels. The conference, hosted by Commissioner László Andor, is the Commission's key event of 2012 in building up a strong employment policy agenda and developing a jobs-centred approach towards exiting from the economic crisis. It will highlight the importance of employment policies and of investment in people for implementing the Compact for Growth and Jobs and delivering on Europe 2020 targets. Building on the Commission's Employment Package of April 2012 and responding to the renewed increase in EU unemployment, the conference will show ways forward to create and maintain jobs, tackle growing labour market inequalities and increase productivity. By organising this event right at the beginning of the autumn, the Commission will emphasize that jobs need to be at the centre of recovery strategies at both national and European levels, and that more cooperation is needed than ever before to put people in jobs and thereby lift the economy out of stagnation: Europe cannot afford to wait for unemployment to fall as a consequence of financial markets' stabilisation. The event will be attended by Commission's President José Manuel Barroso, EP President Martin Schulz, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría, ILO Director General-Elect Guy Ryder and over 400 employment experts and stakeholders. Two press conferences will be held during the conference (13:00 - 13:30 on both days) and webstreaming will be accessible via the event webpage.
Juvenes Translatores: Time to register for schools' contest for young translators
Secondary schools can register from today for the annual EU Young Translator ‘Juvenes Translatores’ Contest at ec.europa.eu/translatores . The registration period runs until 20 October and the online application form is available in all the official EU languages. The contest, now in its sixth year, will be held on 27 November at the same time in all selected schools. It is open to pupils of any nationality born in 1995 and more than 750 schools can take part. The pupils (2 to 5 per school can enter) translate a one-page text in any of the 506 language combinations of their choice from among the EU’s 23 official languages. This year the texts will be about solidarity between generations, the theme of the European Year . The contest has gained in popularity each year, with more than 3 000 entrants in 2011. European Commission translators mark the texts and select one winner per country. The winners will be invited to Brussels to receive their prizes in April 2013. For more information: Contest website: ec.europa.eu/translatores ; Facebook.com/translatores ; Twitter: @translatores ; DG Translation: ec.europa.eu/dgs/translation ; Androulla Vassiliou's website
Prolongation of the Irish Credit Union Resolution Scheme
The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, the prolongation of the Irish Credit Union Resolution Scheme until 31 December 2012. The Commission found the prolongation of the scheme, initially approved on 20 December 2011 (see IP/11/1574), to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1495). In particular, the prolonged measures are well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission therefore concluded that they represent an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Irish economy and are as such compatible with Article 107(3) (b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Commission launches first EU Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan award for local authorities
The European Commission has launched today the EU's first award to encourage local and regional authorities to adopt Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). This award is launched within the framework of the EU's Sustainable Urban Mobility campaign. Cities within the EU, the European Economic Area and Croatia are eligible to apply for the €10,000 award. Applicants can submit their entries for the award on www.dotherightmix.eu . The application process will remain open until 9th November 2012. For more information please see: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kallas/headlines/press-releases/2012/doc/2012-09-03-commission-launches-first-eu-sustainable-urban-mobility.pdf
New Battery Switch Station for electric vehicles opens at Amsterdam airport
A new Battery Switch Station (BSS) will be inaugurated today at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport, as part of a project co-funded by the EU. The new station, which will allow electric vehicles to swap their exhausted battery for a newly recharged one, is part of an EU project supported under the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme. The project seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of a range of BSS on the TEN-T network to encourage consumers and businesses to use electric vehicles. For more information please see: http://tentea.ec.europa.eu/en/ten-t_projects/ten-t_projects_by_country/multi_country/2010-eu-91117-p.htm
"This is a make-or-break moment for the European Union: the decisions we make today will determine whether Europe remains an area of stability, prosperity and freedom based on solidarity, responsibility and cohesion. A lot has already been done to make sure that it will. But much remains to be done, and it will have to be done with due regard for our values, our founding principles and the rule of law."
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger regulation the proposed acquisition by VINCI of the energy technology supply business (EVT Business) of the German group Alpiq. The Commission concluded that the operation would not raise competition concerns because it will not significantly alter the market structure in any of the markets where the merging parties' activities overlap.
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