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Daily News – 06.02.2013

EXME 13 / 06.02

Midday Express of 2013-02-06

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Saving Pompeii with the help of regional funds: a model for Italy and Campania

EU Regional Affairs Commissioner Johannes Hahn will today launch the start of work to help save the world renowned UNESCO site of Pompeii in the Italian region of Campania. Using €41.8 million of EU Regional Funds (ERDF), part of a total funding of €105 million, the project could prove a model for the rest of Italy and the region.

Berlinale festival to screen 17 films backed by EU MEDIA programme

For two weeks (7-17 February), the 63rd Berlinale film festival will screen some of the best new European and international films, including 17 (list in annex) supported by the EU's renowned MEDIA programme. In total, these films have so far received nearly € 1 million from the programme, which aims to boost diversity and competitiveness through its funding for film development, promotion and the distribution of European films outside their country of origin. MEDIA also supports four of the festival's main attractions: the 'Shooting Stars ', presenting the 10 hottest young actors in Europe, the Berlinale Talent Campus, Co-Production Market and Berlinale Residency (details below).

Commission approves prolongation of Spanish guarantee scheme for credit institutions

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, a six month prolongation of a guarantee scheme on debt instruments issued by credit institutions in Spain, until 30 June 2013. The original scheme was approved in December 2008 ( IP/08/2049) and extended in June 2009 ( MEX/09/0625), December 2009 ( MEX/09/1201), June 2010 ( IP/10/854), November 2010 ( MEX/10/1129) and June 2011 ( IP/11/673). It was reintroduced in February 2012 ( MEX/12/0209) and extended in June 2012. The Commission found the extension of the measure until 30 June 2013 to be in line with its guidance on support measures for banks during the financial crisis (see IP/11/1488). In particular, the extended measure is well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission has, therefore, concluded that it represents an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Spanish economy and as a such, is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). During the application of the crisis rules for state aid to banks, the Commission has been authorising guarantee schemes on banks’ liabilities for periods of six months in order to be able to monitor developments and adjust conditions accordingly.

Commissioner Damanaki speaks at the "Euromaritime" in Paris

Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, will be in Paris tomorrow, Thursday 7 February, to participate in the first edition of the French maritime event, Euromaritime. Commissioner Damanaki will give a speech on the importance of Europe in the Global Maritime Economy. She will also update stakeholders on both progress made and developments foreseen in the five key areas set out in the Commisson's Blue Growth strategy for the maritime economy of Europe, adopted in September 2012. These areas are aquaculture, energy, tourism, blue biotechnology and seabed-mining. Before leaving for Paris Ms Damanaki highlighted that "the benefits that we could derive from the maritime economy would be outstanding; we are talking about over one million new jobs and billions of euros by the end of this decade". Euromaritime, a marine and maritime economy event, is hosting its first edition at Parc des Expositions, Porte de Versailles, Paris on 5th, 6th and 7th February. It will showcase 180 exhibitors in an area of 6,000m2. Euromaritime has received the patronage of the European Commission. For further information on the event, please follow this link . Further information on Blue Growth can be found at this link


European Commission strengthens the protection of the euro by means of criminal law

The European Commission has today proposed to crack down on criminals who counterfeit euro notes and coins. Counterfeiting of the euro is estimated to have cost at least €500 million since the currency was introduced in 2002. The proposal aims to strengthen the protection of the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting through criminal law measures. These include strengthening cross-border investigations and introducing minimum penalties, including imprisonment, for the most serious counterfeiting offences. The proposal will also enable the analysis of seized forgeries during judicial proceedings in order to detect further counterfeit euros in circulation.

Anti-Money Laundering: Stronger rules to respond to new threats

The Commission has today adopted two proposals to reinforce the EU's existing rules on anti-money laundering and fund transfers. The threats associated with money laundering and terrorist financing are constantly evolving, which requires regular updates of the rules.

State aid: Commission approves UK Green Deal for energy-efficiency measures

The European Commission has found that the public support of £600 million (approximately €700 million) to be granted by the UK in the context of its "Green Deal" policy is in line with EU state aid rules. The "Green Deal" is the central UK Government policy for improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Different State bodies and the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) will provide support in various forms. These measures will support energy efficiency, in line with the EU's energy and climate change objectives, while keeping distortions of competition to an acceptable minimum.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Speech by President Barroso during the key debate on the preparation of the European Council – rediffusion

Discours du Président Barroso lors du débat en session plénière avec le Président de la République française, François Hollande: "Le futur de l'Union européenne" - rediffusion

Memo "Letter of President Barroso to the European Council on the contribution of trade to growth and jobs" - rediffusion

Memo "Joint Statement on the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation"

Memo "Statement by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Tonio Borg, and Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloş on the re-opening of the Japanese market for imports of EU beef and beef products since 1 February 2013 and on today's endorsement by Member States to allow beef imports from Japan to the EU"

Memo "Digital Agenda: OMEGA research project uses light to help achieve higher broadband speeds"

Memo "Proposal to protect the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting" - rediffusion

Memo "Frequently asked questions: Anti-Money Laundering" - rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President O. Rehn: "The Annual Growth Survey" - rediffusion