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Daily News – 07.02.2011

EXME 11 / 07.02

Midday Express of 2011-02-07

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

New cars equipped with daytime running lights as of today

From today onwards all new types of passenger cars and small delivery vans will have to be equipped with Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Trucks and buses will follow suit 18 months later, in August 2012. DRL lights are special lamps which automatically switch on when the engine is started. They are expected to increase road safety as they substantially raise the visibility of motor vehicles for other road users. They also and have a low energy consumption rate compared with existing 'dipped-beam' head lights. In countries where DRL is already obligatory it has been hailed as a very positive development in the field of road safety.

Nouvelles voitures équipées avec phares de jour à partir d'aujourd'hui

A partir d'aujourd'hui, tous les nouveaux modèles de voitures ainsi que toutes les camionettes devront être équipées avec les Phares de Jour (DRL). Les camions et les bus devront s'en équiper dans 18 mois, soit en août 2012. Les phares DRL sont des phares spéciaux qui s'allument automatiquement dès que le moteur est mis en route. On s'attend à ce qu'ils augmentent la sécurité routière puisqu'ils augmentent de manière significative la visibilité des véhicules vis à vis des autres usagers de la route. Ils consomment également très peu d'énergie par rapport aux "petits phares". Dans les pays où les DRL sont déjà obligatoires, on a conclu que c'était un développement très positif en matière de sécurité routière.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn at the Royal Society in London

Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Maíre Geoghegan-Quinn will today (13h00 CET) deliver a keynote speech ( SPEECH/11/69) in London at the Royal Society, the renowned Fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists. The speech covers the opportunities the Innovation Union offers for the UK, as well as following up President Barroso's message to the European Council of 4 February on the importance of maintaining and making more effective the investment in education, research and innovation that is necessary for long-term economic recovery. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn will say: "It does not make sense to duplicate on the European level what can be done at the national level. But we should recognise when EU level action can add value to what Member States are doing….We cannot afford to jeopardise future growth by cutting back now on the investment in education, research and innovation that is necessary for long-term economic recovery….It is right that UK innovation and business has a global outlook but with a vibrant research and innovation system, the UK has everything to gain from the Innovation Union and the European Research Area and nothing to lose. And let's not be shy in admitting that the European Research Area also benefits from UK knowledge and expertise."

Ending fragmentation of the Digital Single Market

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes this morning told a London business audience that "every gap" in the Digital Single Market "holds us back from long-term recovery". Kroes said the problems caused by the lack of a Digital Single Market ranged from "obsolete" mobile roaming charges through to our cultural history being kept in the "digital darkness" because of confusion about who holds the rights to what. "There is no reason why a basic service should jump ten or twenty-fold in price once you enter the Channel Tunnel or go to a wedding in Spain," Kroes said in reference to mobile roaming. Kroes believes that small businesses will be amongst the biggest winners from completing the Digital Single Market. “So I am extremely keen to work with you to lay down exactly the right conditions for letting small businesses get on with what they do best – business. Whether it is e-invoices, or the Single European Payment Area, or making sure your ICT devices will talk to each other when you need them. I am looking to help UK businesses be leaders in their fields.” SPEECH/11/70

EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, in Slovakia to promote EU development policy

Tomorrow, 8 February, Commissioner Piebalgs will visit Slovakia to promote EU development policy. He will first meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mikuláš Dzurinda, and the State Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Milan Ježovica. After a first press briefing with Mr. Ježovica the Commissioner will meet the Prime Minister Mrs. Iveta Radičová. Later on, he will go to the National Council of Slovak Republic and will attend the joint session of two parliamentary Committees: the EU Affairs and the Foreign Affairs Committee. This session will be followed by a second press briefing with Mr. Ivan Štefanec, Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee. Before leaving Slovakia, the Commissioner will have a meting on the EU development aid with representatives of civil society. The main topics for discussion during the visit include the future of EU development policy as well as Slovakian future contribution to European Development Fund. The leaders will also notably discuss the possibility of taking advantage of the Slovakian transition experience for the benefit of developing countries.

Study on 'grade retention'– repeating a year – reveals different schools of thought

The European Commission today presented a new study which compares how grade retention – making pupils repeat a school year – is applied in schools across Europe. It shows that practices vary greatly between countries: whether a child has to repeat a year can depend more on the educational culture concerned than on his or her performance. The study was produced for the Commission by the 'Eurydice' network, which provides information on and analyses of European education systems and policies. "Grade Retention during Compulsory Education in Europe: Regulations and Statistics" covers 31 countries (all EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey) and is available in English and French at .

Nearly one third of internet users in the EU27 caught a computer virus

In connection with the Safer Internet Day on 8 February 2011, Eurostat presents a selection of statistics concerning internet security. The Safer Internet Day is part of a global drive to promote a safer Internet for all users, in particular children and young people, and is organised by INSAFE, a European internet safety network co-funded by the European Commission. The data presented in this News Release have been collected from the survey on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) usage in households and by individuals in the EU27, mainly carried out in the second quarter of 2010. More data on internet security and related topics can be found in the dedicated section on Information Society on the Eurostat website.


Winners of the 2010 Young Translators’ Contest announced

The names of the 27 winners of the European Commission’s annual ‘Juvenes Translatores’ Young Translators' Contest are announced today (see full list below). Around 3 000 17-year-old secondary school pupils – from Kells in Ireland to Marathon in Greece – sat the contest, setting a new record in the process: the number of entrants was up 25 % on last year and more schools than ever before applied to take part – more than 1 600 compared to 1430 last time. The winners – one from each EU country – will be invited to an award ceremony in Brussels on 7 April.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Speech by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn 'The UK in the EU: a win-win for science and innovation', London

Speech by Vice-President Kroes 'Ending fragmentation of the Digital Single Market', London

Remarks by President Barroso at the press conference following the European Council - rediffusion

Statement by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn after the 4 February European Council – rediffusion

Joint Statement of High Representative/Vice President Ashton and European Commission Vice-President Reding on the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation - rediffusion