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Daily News – 11.01.2011

EXME 11 / 11.01

Midday Express of 2011-01-11

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

2011 EU-China Year of Youth: new horizons for cooperation and dialogue

Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth and Wang Xiao, President of the All-China Youth Federation, will open the EU-China Year of Youth in Brussels today, in the presence of 200 young people from the EU and China. They include the EU-China youth ambassador, Britta Heidemann, Germany's 2008 Olympic fencing champion in Beijing. Commissioner Vassiliou and Mr Wang Xiao will sign a joint declaration establishing a policy dialogue in youth affairs. The EU-China Year of Youth aims to strengthen and expand people-to-people contacts, intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation. It offers opportunities for young Europeans and Chinese to meet, exchange and learn from each other during 2011 and beyond.

Estonians are spending their last kroons

The euro changeover in Estonia is in its final stage. With only 4 days to go before the kroon ceases to be legal tender, the vast majority of cash payments are in euro only (80 %) and virtually all customers receive their change in their new currency (97 %). The peak of the changeover activity is over, with the number of ATM withdrawals and cash exchanges slowing down. Banks, post offices and retailers are reported to cope well with the changeover process and parallel handling of two currencies.

EU and Serbia sign bilateral WTO accession agreement

The EU and Serbia have today signed a bilateral agreement on Serbia's accession to the WTO. The agreement was signed by Mladjan Dinkic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Regional Development of Serbia, and the European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht. It comprises provisions on tariffs for trade in goods and the reciprocal opening of the partner's respective services markets. These commitments will be embodied in the future Protocol of Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the WTO.

Commission President Barroso to travel to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan

EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, accompanied by Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, will travel to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan from 13-15 January. He will hold meetings with President Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Berdymukhammedow of Turkmenistan to discuss the full scope of relations between the European Union and their respective nations and in particular energy issues. "Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are key partners for the European Union in the framework of the Eastern Partnership and the Central Asia Strategy, with whom we want to deepen our relations", said President Barroso. "We share a strong interest in the long-term security and diversification of our energy supply and demand. I will therefore make the case for the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor, which will directly bring gas from the Caspian region to European consumers. I am sure that together we will create the necessary conditions for this strategic initiative to take place." President Barroso will sign a Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the Southern Corridor with President Aliyev in Baku on 13 January. The Presidents will also agree a Joint Declaration on the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership for Modernization, which will support political and economic reforms in Azerbaijan.

Commission launches public consultation on enforcement of intellectual property rights

The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on the findings of a report assessing the application of Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Member States. The report shows that certain provisions of the Directive have given rise to different interpretations and application in practice across the Member States. Furthermore, it addresses the extra, challenging dimension to enforcing intellectual property rights that the Internet and digital technologies present. The replies to the public consultation will feed into the Commission's evaluation on whether a review of the Directive is needed. Interested parties are invited to send their comments to the Commission by 31 March 2011. The report is available at:

Statistical and Economic Information on Rural Development in the EU - Report 2010

The European Commission Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development has published its annual report for 2010 on rural development policy, aimed at providing a comprehensive set of information on rural areas and on policy implementation. The policy for the 2007-2013 programming period is based on 3 main objectives, namely improving the competitiveness of agriculture & forestry; improving the environment and the countryside; and improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of economic activity. This report provides statistical and economic information covering the three objectives of Rural Development policy 2007-2013, at national and regional levels. There is also an overview of the Rural Development budget over the 2007-2013 period, together with information on the financial monitoring of RD programmes in the EU-27 and in Candidate Countries. The report is available at

Autre matériel diffusé :

Joint Statement of Vice-President and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and EU Commissioner for Humanitarian aid, Kristalina Georgieva, on the situation in Haiti, 1 year after the earthquake

Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the situation in Tunisia – en rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Šemeta 'Key options for innovative financing in the EU', Brussels – en rediffusion