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Daily News – 09.12.2010

EXME 10 / 09.12

Midday Express of 2010-12-09

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

Commission launches Strategy to boost development of the Danube Region

The European Commission has today presented its proposal for an EU Strategy for the Danube Region and its 115 million inhabitants. This initiative seeks to develop the huge economic potential and improve environmental conditions of the region. By establishing a framework for long-term cooperation on a wide range of issues, the Strategy will play a key role in improving sustainable transport, linking energy systems, protecting the environment, preserving water resources and stimulating the business climate. With its focus on sustainable growth, it will also make an important contribution to achieving the Europe 2020 goals. The Strategy will bring added value, by ensuring coherence between different policy areas, and greater coordination between participating states. While there are no new funds for implementation of the Strategy, closer alignment of programmes adopted by the Danube states should mean that the €100 billion available to the region in the current financial period achieves greater impact. This Strategy proposes the EU's second only "macro-region", following the creation of the EU macro region in the Baltic Sea area.

La Commission propose de nouvelles mesures pour améliorer la stabilité future du secteur des produits laitiers

La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui une proposition concernant «les relations contractuelles dans le secteur du lait». Cette proposition vise à renforcer la position du producteur de produits laitiers au sein de la chaîne d'approvisionnement et à préparer le secteur à un avenir davantage axé sur le marché et plus durable. Elle prévoit des contrats écrits entre les producteurs de lait et les laiteries, la possibilité de négocier collectivement les clauses du contrat par l'intermédiaire des organisations de producteurs de manière à équilibrer le pouvoir de négociation des producteurs de lait par rapport aux principales laiteries, des règles spécifiques de l'UE applicables aux organisations interprofessionnelles et des mesures visant à renforcer la transparence du marché. Il est proposé que ces mesures soient applicables jusqu'en 2020 et fassent l'objet de deux révisions intermédiaires. La fixation de limites appropriées applicables aux volumes faisant l'objet de négociations collectives et l'élaboration d'autres mesures spécifiques de sauvegarde devraient garantir la réalisation des objectifs visant à renforcer le pouvoir de négociation des producteurs de lait et à préserver la concurrence et les intérêts des PME. La Commission a également adopté aujourd'hui un rapport sur le marché des produits laitiers dans le cadre de la suppression progressive du système des quotas laitiers.

Joint statement of Commissioners Piebalgs and Georgieva on the liberation of Latvian humanitarian workers in Darfur

The European Commissioners for Development Andris Piebalgs and International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva said today: "We welcome the liberation of Captain Artjoms Nalbandjans, co-pilot Janis Gindra and mechanic Kaspars Reihlers, who had been taken hostage in Darfur, Sudan, while working for the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). The release of the three humanitarian workers came as a great relief for the EU and for Latvia. We want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the great work that is being done by humanitarian and aid workers around the world, sometimes in extreme conditions. We must strengthen African and EU joint efforts to tackle the root causes of disasters and poverty and to ensure security, as we do in Sudan.

EU's Marie Curie programme funds its 50000th researcher

The European Union's Marie Curie Actions programme, which provides funding for some of the world's best young researchers, celebrates a special milestone today with a conference in Brussels to mark its 50 000th beneficiary. The event was opened by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, together with European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek and Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, who has overall responsibility for the Marie Curie programme. Since its launch in 1996, the Marie Curie programme has supported training for researchers of 100 different nationalities working in 70 countries.

Commission publishes compendium of results of EU-funded research on genetically modified crops

In order to help inform debate on genetically modified organisms, the European Commission is publishing today a compendium entitled "A decade of EU-funded GMO research". The book summarizes the results of 50 research projects addressing primarily the safety of GMOs for the environment and for animal and human health. Launched between 2001 and 2010, these projects received funding of €200 million from the EU and form part of a 25-year long research effort on GMOs.

GMOs: Commissioner Dalli receives a petition from Greenpeace and Avaaz

This morning, John Dalli, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, met representatives from two NGOs – Greenpeace and Avaaz – who handed him a petition signed by over 1 million European citizens calling upon the European Commission to "put a moratorium on the introduction of GM crops into Europe and set up an independent, ethical, scientific body to research the impact of GM crops and determine regulation". On receiving the petition, Commissioner Dalli said: "I am committed to look seriously at the request made through this initiative on GMOs since it is signed by over one million European citizens and is clearly inspired by Art 11 of the Lisbon Treaty, as well as the Commission proposal on the European Citizens' Initiative. I reminded Greenpeace and Avaaz that the package of measures adopted by the Commission in July – and in particular the proposal to the European Parliament and the Council - will bring decisions on GMO cultivation closer to the citizen since Member States will have the possibility to decide on GMO cultivation – and to restrict or ban that cultivation when justified on grounds not related to risks to health or environment ".

OGM: M. Dalli reçoit une pétition de Greenpeace et d'Avaaz

Ce matin, John Dalli, commissaire à la santé et à la politique des consommateurs, a rencontré des représentants de deux ONG, Greenpeace et Avaaz, qui lui ont remis une pétition signée par plus d'un million de citoyens européens, exhortant la Commission européenne «à décréter un moratoire sur l'introduction des plantes génétiquement modifiées en Europe et à mettre en place un organisme éthique et scientifique indépendant chargé de mener à bien la recherche sur l'impact des OGM et de déterminer leur régulation». En recevant cette pétition, M. Dalli a déclaré: «J'ai à cœur d'examiner attentivement la demande formulée dans le cadre de cette initiative sur les OGM. En effet, celle-ci est signée par plus d'un million de citoyens européens et s'inspire clairement de l'article 11 du traité de Lisbonne, ainsi que de la proposition de la Commission sur une initiative citoyenne européenne. J'ai rappelé à Greenpeace et à Avaaz que, grâce à l'ensemble de mesures adopté par la Commission en juillet, et en particulier à la proposition adressée au Parlement européen et au Conseil, les décisions relatives à la culture des OGM seront prises plus près du citoyen, étant donné que les États membres auront la possibilité de se prononcer sur ce type de culture, en le restreignant ou en l'interdisant lorsque cela se justifie pour des motifs non liés à des risques pour la santé ou l’environnement».

Innovation Union/Research: progress on tackling a human disease thanks to EU-funded study of illness in pet dogs

An EU-funded research team has discovered a new gene responsible for the development of a human respiratory disease thanks to the study of the same illness naturally occurring in pet dogs. This rare genetic disease, primary ciliary dyskinesis (PCD), affects one in 20.000 people and causes chronic respiratory infections. The discovery was made by the LUPA project which aims to improve our understanding of the genetic origin of a wide range of human diseases, by collecting and comparing DNA samples from purebred dogs that are healthy or affected by similar diseases as humans. The study on PCD was led by the University of Liège in Belgium, which is also coordinator of the overall project. The LUPA project is receiving €12 million from the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme and involves 22 partners from 12 European countries: Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, UK, Norway and Switzerland (see Annex for full list).

Two new quarterly bulletins show where EU jobs are and which skills are in demand

Results of the first edition of the "European Vacancy Monitor" show that the highest demand for jobs lies in sales, cleaning and restaurant workers, while vacancies requiring technical and administrative skills remain difficult to fill. For mobile jobseekers the new "European Job Mobility Bulletin" identifies job opportunities for finances and sales associated professionals, for electrical and electronic equipment mechanics and fitters as well as for personal care workers. These two new quarterlies: the European Vacancy Monitor and the European Job Mobility Bulletin, are part of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative "An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs" ( IP/10/1541) and aim to help better match skills supply with labour market needs. The European Vacancy Monitor shows people where the jobs are in Europe and which skills are needed, while the "European Job Mobility Bulletin" is dedicated to the analysis of the EURES Job Mobility Portal – a portal where national Public Employment Services put their vacancies, showing the type of jobs that are in demand. Both bulletins will help to provide an overview of recent developments on the European job market, to better anticipate labour market and skills needs and to develop an early-warning tool. They will improve transparency for managers and policymakers in the field of education and employment, but will also help employment advisers and jobseekers. Monitoring the job market - see link to the "European Vacancy Monitor" and "European Job Mobility Bulletin":

Vice President Tajani on official visit to Germany

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani is on official visit to Germany until Friday to meet with industry representatives and German politicians, notably to present the recently adopted Europe 2020 flagship initiatives on industrial and innovation policy, and to consult on the forthcoming raw materials communication. He will meet with MEPs Reinhard Bütikofer and Elmar Brook, Hans-Peter Keitel, President of BDI (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie), Hartmut Ostrowski, CEO of Bertelsmann AG and Christoph Ahlhaus, the Lord Mayor of Hamburg. He will also be visiting several industrial sites including the Claas factory (agricultural machinery), Henkel AG (consumer goods) and the Egger company (wood processing).

Preparation for Europe's future space research begins

With the current FP7 space research program coming to an end in 2013, the European Commission is preparing its possible successor, a future space program. Space research is expected to contribute significantly to the Europe 2020 priorities, especially with regard to smart and sustainable growth. The results of this research plays an increasingly important role in maintaining the security of citizens through the monitoring of space weather but also in increasing Europe's competitiveness and reducing its dependency on imported space technology. In this context the European Commission yesterday organised a hearing which brought together more than 150 experts in space research. The Commission was advised to support topics in areas such as robotic and human space exploration, space science, and emerging space applications to address societal challenges on and around Earth. For more information: .

Low share of enterprises affected by ICT security incidents in 2009

During 2009, ICT security incidents due to hardware or software failure were experienced by 12% of enterprises in the EU27. Incidents involving the destruction or corruption of data due to malicious software infection or unauthorised access were reported by 5% of enterprises. In January 2010, half of the enterprises in the EU27 used a strong password or hardware token for authentication and user identification. These data come from Eurostat and form part of the results of a survey conducted at the beginning of 2010 on ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) usage and e-commerce in enterprises in the EU27 Member States, Iceland, Norway and Croatia, with a special focus on ICT Security.

Enregistrement de deux dénominations de produits agricoles

La Commission européenne a ajouté deux dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires à la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit, pour l'Allemagne du gâteau "Salzwedeler Baumkuchen" (IGP) et pour la France de "Agneau du Périgord" (IGP). Les deux 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:

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo Competitiveness Council – 10 December 2010

Memo Anti-corruption Day: Commissioner Malmström calls for stronger action to fight corruption

Launch of the EU-US negotiations on PNR agreement: joint statement by US Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström – Rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Rehn 'Greece makes major achievements in response to the crisis?', Athens

Speech by Commissioner Malmström 'The EU Internal Security Strategy – what does it mean for the United States?', Washington DC

Speech by Commissioner Malmström 'EU initiatives to fight organized crime and corruption – A case for increased asset recovery', Brussels

Speech by Vice-President Almunia at his press conference on LCD cartel, Visa and French chemists' association decisions, Brussels - rediffusion