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Daily News – 09.02.2011

EXME 11 / 09.02

Midday Express of 2011-02-09

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

I. Résultats de la Commission du 9 février 2011 – Outcome of Commission meeting of 9 February 2011

EU research and innovation funding: Commission consults on radical changes to create more growth and jobs

The European Commission today launches a consultation on major improvements to EU research and innovation funding to make participation easier, increase scientific and economic impact and improve value for money. The proposed "Common Strategic Framework", set out in a Green Paper, would cover the current Framework Programme for Research (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). This will create a coherent set of instruments, along the whole "innovation chain" starting from basic research, culminating in bringing innovative products and services to market, and also supporting non-technological innovation, for example in design and marketing. The Commission's Green Paper also provides the basis for far-reaching simplification of procedures and rules. The changes aim to maximise the contribution of EU research and innovation funding to the Innovation Union and the Europe 2020 Strategy. Stakeholders have until 20 May 2011 to respond.

State aid: Commission opens formal investigation into proposed Polish aid to Fiat Powertrain

The European Commission has opened a formal investigation under EU State aid rules into Polish plans to grant aid towards a project by the Fiat group to produce a new generation of petrol engines in the Silesia region. At this stage, the Commission has doubts the aid meets the EU guidelines on aid to large investment projects in relation to the market shares and production capacities of the Fiat Group. The opening of a formal investigation gives interested third parties the possibility to comment on the proposed measure. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

II. Other news

Commissioner Cecilia Malmström participates in a High-Level Public-Private Security Roundtable on European security

Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs, will today take part in a High-Level Public-Private Roundtable on security issues. Organised by EOS (European Organisation for Security) under the patronage of Mrs Malmström, the Roundtable will explore ways of how the public and private side can together contribute to the implementation of EU security policies, in particular the actions envisaged under the Internal Security Strategy.

Commission launches consultation on possible measures to strengthen bank capital requirements for counterparty credit risk

Today the Internal Market and Services Directorate General of the European Commission launched a public consultation seeking stakeholders' views on proposed measures to strengthen bank capital requirements for counterparty credit exposures arising from derivatives, repo and securities financing activities. The measures are based on the work of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and will form part of the Commission's upcoming legislative proposal to implement Basel III reforms into EU law. The proposed measures form an integral part of the Commission's efforts to ensure efficient, safe and sound derivatives markets. They also complement the Commission's other regulatory initiatives in this area, including the Regulation of OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (see IP/10/1125). The consultation's feedback and the ongoing Quantitative Impact Study being conducted by the Basel Committee will both be essential for finalising the Commission's legislative proposal which is due for summer 2011. The consultation is available at: See MEMO/11/77

Bridging the innovation gap biggest challenge in tapping the potential of high technologies

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) - photonics, micro- and nanoelectronics, nanotechnology, advanced materials, industrial biotechnology and advanced manufacturing systems - play a vital role in modernising our industrial base and making the EU more competitive. The High Level Expert Group on Key Enabling Technologies presents its mid-term working document on a more effective deployment of KETs in EU industries at its second meeting in Brussels today. The meeting will be chaired by Vice-President Tajani and attended by Vice-President Kroes and Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn. Going from early development to commercialisation is highlighted as the main challenge. While Europe's strengths lie in strong state-of-the-art research and demand, its weakest point is the transition from technology to large scale demonstrations and production. To bridge this “innovation gap” the High Level Expert Group is preparing a series of recommendations to be presented in July 2011. The Group was launched on 13 July 2010 with the task of elaborating a coherent European strategy on KETs, and bring them most effectively to industrial deployment.

EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, in the Netherlands to discuss EU development policy

Tomorrow, 10 February, Commissioner Piebalgs will visit the Netherlands to discuss EU development policy. He will first meet with Prince of Orange in his function as a President of the "VN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation" and will participate in a meeting hosted by Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Ben Knapen. Next, the Commissioner will hold a discussion with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Uri Rosenthal. Furthermore, the Commissioner will meet with the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Development and Cooperation Committee and with representatives of civil society. The main topics for discussion during the visit will include the future of EU development policy. The leaders will also touch upon other political issues relevant for the developing world.

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 indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit de la saucisse allemande "Hofer Rindfleischwurst" (IGP) et, pour l'Italie, de l'artichaut "Carciofo Spinoso di Sardegna" (AOP), de l'orange "Arancia di Ribera" (AOP) et du citron "Limone di Siracusa" (IGP). Les quatre dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste d'environ 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:

Commission clears creation of a joint venture by PZ Cussons and Wilmar

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to creation of a new joint venture in Nigeria by the UK company PZ Cussons and Singapore's Wilmar. The newly created JVCO Nigeria will be refiner of palm oil and a manufacturer and supplier of branded consumer edible oils, spreads and margarines in Nigeria. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.


EU Transport Ministers discuss the future of the Trans-European Transport Network

On 8 February 2011, the transport ministers of the 27 Member States, European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas and Chairman of the TRAN Committee of European Parliament Brian Simpson held a policy debate on the review of the TEN-T trans-European transport network at Gödöllő. The participants of the informal ministerial meeting initiated by the Hungarian Presidency reviewed issues related to transport network planning methodology and financing.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo EU research and innovation funding: The consultation on the Green Paper by the Commission

Memo Consultation on counterparty credit risk - frequently asked questions

Speech by Commissioner Malmström 'The EU Internal Security Strategy and the growing cyber threat'

Speech by Commissioner Potocnik 'A more efficient clean up of the ship recycling industry'

Discours du commissaire Füle à la Conférence de presse conjointe avec le Ministre des Affaires étrangères marocain Mr. Taïeb Fassi Fihri, Rabat le 7 février 2011

Speech by Commissioner Šemeta 'The role of tax and customs in the re-launch of the Single Market', Single Marekt Act Conference, Brussels - rediffusion

Déclaration du Président Barroso suite à sa rencontre avec Micheline Calmy-Rey, Présidente de la Confédération suisse - rediffusion

Speech by HR/VP Catherine Ashton at the United Nations - rediffusion