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Daily News – 04.03.2015

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 04 / 03 / 2015

Brussels, 04 March 2015

Commission makes progress on a European Agenda on Migration

The European Commission today launched its work on an ambitious European Agenda on Migration. The College of Commissioner held a first orientation debate on possible key actions to ensure a comprehensive approach to coping with migration into the EU. For the first time in the history of the European Union, managing migration better is an explicit priority of the European Commission, as presented in the political guidelines of President Juncker, A new start for Europe. Migration is a cross-cutting issue, involving different policy areas different actors, both inside and outside the EU. The new structure and working methods of the European Commission are a first step at addressing the challenges and opportunities of migration in a truly holistic way. First Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Avramopoulos are presenting the results of the orientation debate today, 4 March, at 12:00 CET in the Commission's press room; the press conference can be followed live via EBS. (for more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)




Social dialogue in Europe: together for a new start

Tomorrow the European Commission will organise, in Brussels, a High-Level Conference bringing together leaders of European and national employers' and workers' organisations, Members of the European Parliament and representatives from the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. This Conference, called "A new start for social dialogue", is an important step forward in strengthening and deepening dialogue with a broad cross-section of social partners in order to better address the economic and social challenges faced in Europe, as set out in the Political Guidelines and Work Programme of the European Commission. Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: "This High-Level Conference is the first of many steps where the Commission will reaffirm its commitment to engaging with employers and workers in shaping the European policies that affect us all. This is becoming increasingly important: not least considering the Commission's mandate in EU economic governance, and the challenge of helping cement the recovery of the European economy in a sustainable and fair way." Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, commented: "Today's economic and social challenges require a thriving social dialogue at both EU and national level. Where social dialogue is strong, economies are more competitive and socially resilient. The involvement of social partners in the design and implementation of policies is crucial to strengthen competitiveness and fairness, and is a prerequisite for the functioning of Europe's social market economy". A press release, memo and brochure on social dialogue are available online. (for more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Garanti by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria in banking sector

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Garanti of Turkey by BBVA of Spain. BBVA is a global banking group. Garanti provides banking services in Turkey and several European countries. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the companies' moderate combined market share on the markets concerned. 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.7492. (for more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

EUROSTAT: January 2015 compared with December 2014; Volume of retail trade up by 1.1% in euro area; Up by 0.8% in EU28

In January 2015 compared with December 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 1.1% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.8% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In December retail trade rose by 0.4% in both zones. In January 2015 compared with January 2014 the retail sales index increased by 3.7% in the euro area and by 4.0% in the EU28. A EUROSTAT press release is available online. (for more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185, Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)

Commissioner Mimica signs €279 million development programme for Liberia and €103 million for Congo

Yesterday, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica signed the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for EU development cooperation with Liberia for the period 2014-2020, which amounts to €279 million. The signing ceremony took place at the high-level international conference “Ebola: From Emergency to Recovery”, in Brussels, with the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Amara Konneh. EU Commissioner Mimica also signed yesterday the new National Indicative Programme (NIP) for Congo for the period 2014-2010 with a total amount to €103M of development support. This was done in the presence of the President of Congo, Denis Sassou N'Guesso and the Minister of Economy, Finance and Public Management Portfolio Gilbert Odongo, also within the margins of the high-level international conference on Ebola. (for more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69921; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

Third European Citizens' Initiative submitted to the Commission

The Commission has officially received the third successful European Citizens' Initiative, with properly validated support from at least one million European citizens in at least seven Member States. Support for the Stop Vivisection ECI, whose organisers call on the EU to propose a European legislative framework aimed at phasing out animal experiments, has been checked and validated by the national authorities of the Member States. Support for the initiative crossed the minimum threshold in Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Overall, the ECI received 1,173,130 validated statements of support. Within the next three months, the Commission will invite the organisers to Brussels to explain their ideas in more depth, and a public hearing will be arranged in the European Parliament. Then the Commission must decide whether it will act by adopting legislation, act in some other way to achieve the goals of the ECI, or not act at all. Whichever route is taken, the Commission must explain its reasoning through a Communication adopted by the whole College of Commissioners. (for more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tim McPhie Tel.: +32 229 58602)




European Commission President Juncker visits Madrid

On 4-5 March, President Jean-Claude Juncker will be in Madrid for a series of meetings. Tomorrow, 4 March, President Juncker will participate in the Interconnections Summit, which will be followed by a joint press conference with President of Spain Mariano Rajoy, President of France François Hollande and Prime Minister of Portugal Pedro Passos Coelho. Energy interconnectors are crucial to build an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy, one of the key priorities of the new Commission as laid down by President Juncker in his political guidelines. On Thursday 5 March, President Juncker will be granted an audience with His Majesty the King Felipe VI of Spain. (for more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524)

Commissioner Vĕra Jourová in the European Parliament to celebrate International's Women Day

Commissioner Vĕra Jourová will deliver a key-note speech at the interparliamentary meeting on "Empowering Women and Girls through Education” organised on 5 March by the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM). After the meeting, Commissioner Jourová and FEMM Chair Iratxe García Pérez (S&D, ES) will hold a press conference at 12:30 CET in the European Parliament's press room “Anna Politkovskaya”. (for more information: Christian Wigand – Tel: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel: +32 229 58659)


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