EXME 11 / 08.06
Midday Express of 2011-06-08
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
The 27th EU – Russia Summit will take place in Nizhny Novgorod on 9/10 June 2011. The European Union will be represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Karel De Gucht, Commissioner for Trade, will also take part. The delegation of Russia will be led by President Dmitry Medvedev. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Economic Development Nabiullina will also participate. Discussions are expected to focus on the global economy and global governance issues; EU-Russia relations, in particular the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation; and Russia's WTO accession and the new EU-Russia Agreement currently under negotiation. International issues, including the developments in North Africa and the Middle East, will also be high on the agenda. Ahead of the Summit the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy declared: "The EU-Russia relationship is enjoying its best dynamics for years. We are benefiting from the positive results of the last three summits including from our Partnership for Modernisation. This summit will offer an opportunity to confirm progress and inject new momentum into our joint project. I look forward to having constructive discussions on how to engage the creative forces of society as a whole, how to enhance the rule of law and human rights, and how to create a level playing field that would be mutually advantageous for our businesses. We will also take note of the progress in the negotiations on the common steps towards a visa-free regime. Russia and the European Union have shared interests in the successful transformation in the Arab world, and should build on the momentum created by recent events and initiatives. Crisis management co-operation is another area where the Summit should give a decisive push. We will also work with President Medvedev to create new momentum in enhancing the stability of our shared neighbourhood and improving the conditions for progress on the protracted conflicts of Moldova/Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Georgia." The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said: "I look forward to a constructive and substantive Summit with President Medvedev, which will bring further progress to our strategic partnership. We will give additional momentum to our Partnership for Modernization, which is now delivering on the ground, and back it up with 2 billion € of concrete funding. I am also confident that our talks will help Russia to walk the final mile towards WTO accession, which is still possible this year, and to find constructive solutions to all outstanding issues and concerns. In the same vein, regarding the ongoing negotiations on a New EU-Russia Agreement, I will encourage President Medvedev to pursue this ambitious common goal and move forward on the trade and investment chapters. This will further upgrade our strategic relationship."
Ban on industrial gas credits in the EU ETS
The European Commission has formally adopted a ban on the use of industrial gas credits in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) from May 2013. EU Member States approved the ban on 21 January 2011 (see IP/11/56) ; the European Parliament then had three months to accept the measure. The ban will apply to credits from projects which destroy two industrial gases: trifluoromethane (HFC-23) produced as a by-product of chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-22) production, principally in the production of air conditioners and refrigerators, and nitrous oxide (N2O) from adipic acid production used in the manufacture of nylon. HFC-23 and N2O are both powerful greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. The recognition of credits from industrial gas projects has been controversial for some time. Essentially, the ban means that companies will be able to use credits for compliance with emissions in 2012 under the EU ETS until 30 April 2013, but not thereafter. No further use restrictions are currently foreseen under the EU ETS beyond industrial gas credits . For more information, see the memo "questions and answers": MEMO/10/615 on the Commission's proposal (November 2010).
Brussels, 08 June 2011 - European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship will be on an official visit to Latin America from 9 – 13 June to strengthen economic and industrial ties with the continent. He will be in Chile on 9 June, in Argentina on 10-11 June and in Brazil on 12-13 June. Tajani will meet with business representatives and tourism sector and attend bilateral meetings with Presidents and Government representatives. In Santiago he is expected to meet with President Sebastián Piñera and Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Economy, SME, Tourism. In Buenos Aires he is expected to meet the President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner and Ministers for Industry, Economy, Tourism and Federal Planning. In Brasilia, he is expected to meet with President Dilma Rousseff and Ministers for Science and Technology, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Trade and Industry. The aim of the visit is to promote further cooperation on industrial and innovation policy in order to boost economic integration, SMEs’ access to finance, raw materials, space policy and tourism.
On World IPv6 Day the European Commission is making its Europa website accessible for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) users (as well as IPv4 users). The Internet operates by transferring data in small packets that are independently routed across networks, as specified by an international communications protocol known as the Internet Protocol. In 1984 over 4 billion addresses were made available on Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) but due to increasing demand for new Internet services, the last remaining IPv4 address was assigned in February 2011. The uptake of IPv6 will make available a practically unlimited amount of Internet addresses to support the explosive growth of new services in the future. By making its website IPv6 accessible, the European Commission is setting an example and hopes to encourage other public sectors to persuade European companies and manufacturers to make their new smart devices and servers IPv6 compatible. Deploying IPv6 is a key action under the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581 , MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).
A 22-year-old man went on holiday abroad to attend a football match. Following the game, he went to a bar with his friends. A riot broke out and he was arrested. The police then questioned him for several hours without a lawyer being present. Under a European Commission measure proposed today, all suspects – no matter where they are in the European Union – would be guaranteed the right to speak with a lawyer from the moment they are held by police until the conclusion of proceedings. Suspects could also talk to a family member or an employer and inform them of their arrest. If they are outside of their country, they would have the right to contact their country’s consulate.
EU coordinated pilot project on surveillance of bee mortality unveiled
An EU coordinated pilot project for the surveillance of bee mortality, which is expected to help the Commission's efforts to tackle this emerging problem, was unveiled yesterday during a conference in Brussels. The goal of this project is to gather reliable data on bee mortalities from Member States. A number of Member States will participate in the project, which will be co-financed by the Commission. The conference discussed ongoing work to determine the true nature of bee mortalities within the European Union. It was organised by the European Commission and the newly appointed EU Reference Laboratory for Bee Health (ANSES Sophia Antipolis Laboratory, France). The Commission and Member States re-asserted their commitment to the issue of bee health, and also noted the importance of the involvement and commitment of all actors in this field, if the true extent of the problem is to be ascertained, and workable, practical solutions found. This work carries on the momentum created by the publication of the Commission's communication on Bee health in December 2010 ( IP/10/1667). The communication highlighted a number of important issues for further work: notably the need to fill the gaps in current knowledge, and the need to better coordinate research in the area of bee health, including the creation of an EU Reference Laboratory. The document also emphasised the need for improved communication between all relevant actors: the conference yesterday was an important milestone in this regard. For more information, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/bees/index_en.htm
Commissioner Piebalgs visits Sweden - a champion of aid
EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will visit Sweden on 9 June, as part of his "tour des capitales". He will meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, as well as Minister for International Development and cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson. He will also participate to a public conference organised by the Swedish aid agency, SIDA. Ministers will discuss the future of EU development policy, but also the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa and ways and means to improve coordination of work and transparency.
The EU27 population is projected to increase from 501 million on 1 January 2010 to 525 million in 2035, to peak at 526 million around 2040, and thereafter gradually decline to 517 million in 2060. The EU27 population is also projected to continue to grow older, with the share of the population aged 65 years and over rising from 17% in 2010 to 30% in 2060, and those aged 80 and over rising from 5% to 12% over the same period. These population projections for the period 2010-2060 are issued by Eurostat. Population projections are scenarios that aim to provide information about the possible future size and structure of the population, and should therefore be considered with caution.
GDP increased by 0.8% in both the euro area1 (EA17) and the EU27 during the first quarter of 2011, compared with the previous quarter, according to second estimates released by Eurostat. In the fourth quarter of 2010, growth rates were +0.3% in the euro area and +0.2% in the EU27.Compared with the first quarter of 2010, seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 2.5 % in both the euro area and the EU27, after +1.9% and +2.1% respectively in the previous quarter.
Brussels, 7 June 2011 – The Commission has adopted 27 sets of country-specific recommendations – plus one for the euro area as a whole – to help Member States gear up their economic and social policies to deliver on growth, jobs and public finances.
EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas welcomed the vote by European Parliament today, giving its final approval to proposals for new EU rules to allow Member States to charge heavy lorries, not only for the costs of infrastructure which is currently the case, but also to levy an additional charge to cover the cost or air and noise pollution The revision of the current "Eurovignette Directive" will also enable Member States to better manage problems of congestion, with a new flexibility to vary the charge for heavy lorries (by up to 175%) at different times of the day. Importantly the vote also provides for "earmarking" so new charging revenues ar set aside for investment to improve transport infrastructure (TEN-T) projects.
Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Commission Vice President, today established a new Task Force for the Southern Mediterranean. The Task Force will bring together expertise from the European External Action Service, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other international financial institutions to act as a focal point for assistance to countries in North Africa which are going through political transformation.
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