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Daily News – 08.03.2012

EXME 12 / 08.03

Midday Express of 2012-03-08

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Democratic Republic of Congo: the European Commission boosts funding for bringing humanitarian aid to hard-to-reach people in need

The European Commission will strengthen its unique humanitarian air service in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with additional funding for helicopters bringing relief and aid workers. While visiting the country, Kristalina Georgieva, the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, today announced up to €4million more this year. The funding will improve the access of humanitarian aid agencies to remote areas in DRC where relief aid is needed but impossible to bring by land. This decision brings the European Commission's humanitarian aid to the DRC to more than €60 million in 2012.

European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012 Launched

The Commission today launched its 2012 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. It rewards the success of public bodies and public-private partnerships in promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship. One of the subjects for the 2012 edition will be SME funding for those entrepreneurs that want to extend their business and enter new markets. In the current economic context, SMEs are acknowledged to contribute to growth and their job creation potential is impressive. 85% of all new jobs in the EU are provided by SMEs. Public authorities support SMEs with a large number of initiatives. The most impactful measure will be chosen by an expert jury and receive its award during the 2012 SME Assembly in November in Cyprus.

State aid: Commission approves extension of Hungarian bank support scheme for credit institutions

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, an extension until 30 June 2012 of a Hungarian bank support scheme for credit institutions. The scheme covers recapitalisation measures. The Commission found the prolongation of the scheme, initially approved on 12 February 2009 (see IP/09/253), to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1495 and IP/08/1901). In particular, the prolonged measures are well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission has therefore concluded that they represent an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Hungarian economy and as such are compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Enregistrement de quatre dénominations de produits agricoles

La Commission européenne a ajouté quatre dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires à la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et des indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit, pour l'Italie, de la prune "Susina di Dro" (AOP), pour la Slovénie, du fromage "Tolminc" (AOP), pour l'Allemagne, des pâtes alimentaires "Schwäbische Spätzle / Schwäbische Knöpfle" (IGP) et pour le Royaume-Uni, de la pomme "Armagh Bramley Apple" (IGP). Les quatre dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste de plus de 1000 produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur l'internet à l'adresse:

Energy: New International Energy Forum kicks off in Lech/Austria on 29 and 30 March 2012

A new international energy forum under the patronage of European Energy Commissioner Oettinger will discuss the future of energy policy in Europe. The first ‘Lech Energy Forum’ will take place on 29 and 30 March 2012 in Lech am Arlberg. A group of leading representatives from the business world, politics and civil society as well as representatives from neighbouring countries will discuss and help to shape future energy policy, with special emphasis on four issues: How will the European energy landscape look in 2030? How can fair prices be achieved? How can the public’s agreement be obtained for the necessary changes to the energy system? What are the prospects for cooperation with partners from beyond Europe’s borders? In addition to EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger, others expected to attend are the Danish Chair of the Energy Council Martin Lidegaard, the Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, Energy Ministers from neighbouring European countries, the Austrian Energy Minister Dr Reinhold Mitterlehner and the Governor of the Province of Vorarlberg, Markus Wallner. A number of representatives of major European energy companies have also said they will attend. Queries: If you have any questions about the event, please send them by email to .


European Commission appoints new Head of Representation in Cyprus

Mr. Georgios Markopouliotis will take office as Head of the European Commission Representation in Nicosia on 16 March 2012. Mr. Markopouliotis brings to this new appointment over 25 years of experience in the Commission, having served in a number of advisory and managerial posts.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo: Letter from President Barroso to Prime Minister Papademos - redifusion

Memo: "Preparation Environment Council, 9 March 2012"

Speech by Vice-President Kroes " Wanted: more women in ICT"

Speech by Vice-President Almunia: "Competition policy for innovation and growth: Keeping markets open and efficient"

Speech by Commissioner Andor: "Towards a Social Investment Pact within EU economic governance"

Speech by Commissioner Malmström "Why labour migration is an important issue for the EU" - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Damanaki: "The future of aquaculture" - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Damanaki: "Reflections on the new European Fund for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs" - rediffusion