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Daily News – 10.09.2012

EXME 12 / 10.09

Midday Express of 2012-09-10

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Top early-career researchers to receive €800 million in EU funding

The European Research Council (ERC) has today announced the selection of 536 early-career top researchers for funding totalling almost €800 million. 'ERC Starting Grants' of up to €2 million per project will enable the most promising scientists to develop ideas at the frontiers of knowledge. It will also allow them to build their own research teams with more than 3,000 postdocs and PhD students, thereby supporting a new generation of top scientists in Europe. In its biggest grant award ever, the ERC will support researchers of 41 nationalities across 21 European countries. Projects selected cover a wide range of topics, from the social impacts of trans-Mediterranean renewable energy cooperation, to laser-based hearing aids and optical remote sensing technology for civil engineering works.

Transport: EU grants almost €200 million to support key infrastructure projects

The European Commission has selected 74 projects that will receive almost €200 million in EU co-financing from the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) programme to continue improving transport infrastructure across the EU. These 74 projects, selected as a result of the 2011 annual call, will use EU financial support for a variety of purposes, ranging from the construction and/or upgrade of current links, support of transport corridors, Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and innovative financial instruments.

Report reveals wide fluctuations in cost of higher education and support for students

The cost of higher education for students varies dramatically in Europe, according to a new report issued by the European Commission today. Tuition fees are highest in England, where students pay up to £9 000 (around €11 500) per academic year, while nine countries (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Malta, Norway, UK (Scotland) and Sweden) do not charge fees in most cases. The Nordic countries tend to be the most generous, although Finland and Sweden recently joined Denmark in introducing fees for international students. All countries, except Iceland and Norway, now charge non-European students.

EU Youth Report calls for employment and social inclusion to be top priority

The EU Youth Report published today calls for youth employment, social inclusion, health and the well-being of young people to be top priorities in Europe's youth policy. The report, which is produced every three years by the Commission, underlines that the EU and Member States must do more to support young people, who have borne the brunt of the economic crisis. Youth unemployment in the EU among 15-24-year-olds has increased by 50% since the onset of the crisis, from an average of 15% in February 2008 to 22.5% in July this year. Latest figures released by Eurostat show that highest rates are in Greece (53.8%) and Spain (52.9%). Across the EU, more than 30% of young unemployed have been jobless for more than a year.

10 September 2012 - Commissioner Vassiliou opens EU Youth Conference in Cyprus

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and George Demosthenous, Cypriot Minister of Education and Culture, will open the EU Youth Conference in Nicosia on 11 September. The Commissioner will present the results of the EU Youth Report (IP/12/948) which calls for further measures to tackle youth unemployment and to increase social inclusion and dialogue with young people. The Conference is part of the so-called ‘structured dialogue’ aimed at giving youth representatives a say over the policies which affect them. It is expected to adopt joint recommendations on youth participation and social inclusion. To find out more: DG Education and Culture , Commissioner Vassiliou's website , Twitter @VassiliouEU

State aid: Commission approves state support for Spanish BFA group

The European Commission has temporarily approved, under EU State aid rules, a €4.5 billion
capital increase for the Spanish banking group BFA which will restore the capital position of the
BFA group, and ensure its access to different funding sources. The Spanish authorities have
committed to present a restructuring plan in time to allow the Commission to approve the plan by November 2012.

La Commission autorise AXA IMPEE à acquérir le contrôle de FIVES

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement de l’UE sur les concentrations, l'acquisition par des fonds d'investissement gérés par la société AXA Investment Managers Private Equity Europe S.A ("AXA IMPEE"), du contrôle de l'ensemble du groupe Fives. L'entreprise AXA IMPEE est une société du groupe français AXA dont l'activité consiste en la gestion de capital-investissement. Fives est un groupe français actif dans le domaine de l'ingénierie industrielle. L'affaire a été traitée selon la procédure simplifiée.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo "Towards a Banking Union"

Memo "Jobs for Europe conference – conclusions by Commissioner László Andor" - rediffusion

Memo "TEN-T 2011 Annual Call – Actions selected for funding"

Memo "Antitrust: Commission confirms inspections in the sector of maritime transport services" - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Janez Potočnik: "The need for dialogue on hunting and conservation" –rediffusion