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Daily News – 11.06.2013

EXME 13 / 11.06


11 / 06 / 13

Single European Sky: Commission acts to unblock congestion in Europe's airspace

This afternoon, the European Commission, meeting in Strasbourg, will present proposals to speed up reform of Europe's air traffic control system. Inefficiencies in Europe's fragmented airspace bring extra costs of close to 5 billion euros each year to airlines and their customers. They add 42 kilometres to the distance of an average flight, forcing aircraft to burn more fuel, generate more emissions, pay more in costly user charges and suffer greater delays. This must be made more efficient – the United States controls the same amount of airspace, with more traffic, at almost half the cost. Press release and MEMO/13/525 will be available this afternoon on Rapid.

Action Plan for the steel sector

Today, the European Commission approves the Action plan for the European steel industry. Vice President Tajani will present the plan at 16.00 in the press room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The aim of the European Commission is to help the steel sector confront its current challenges and foster innovation, growth and employment. The Action plan would imply reinforcing of the sector-specific component of relevant policy areas such as better regulation, climate change, energy, trade, resource efficiency, raw materials and competition.

Press material including a press release and a memo will also be available after formal adoption by the European Commission.

Other news

Commission facilitates claims for antitrust damages

Today, the European Commission adopts a proposal for a Directive to facilitate claims for damages by citizens and companies who are victims of infringements of the EU antitrust rules, such as cartels and abuses of a dominant market position. The proposal is set to remove a number of practical difficulties which victims frequently face when they try to receive a fair compensation for the damage they have suffered. Indeed, today, due to procedural obstacles and legal uncertainty, only few of these victims actually manage to obtain compensation. The Commission will also adopt a Communication on quantifying the harm caused by antitrust infringements.

Press material including a press release and a memo will be available on Rapid after formal adoption.

Commission recommends Member States to have collective redress mechanisms in place to ensure effective access to justice

The European Commission has today set out a series of common, non-binding principles for collective redress mechanisms in the Member States so that citizens and companies can enforce the rights granted to them under EU law where these have been infringed. The Recommendation aims to ensure a coherent horizontal approach to collective redress in the European Union without harmonising Member States' systems and improve access to justice, while ensuring appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation. For more information: IP/13/524 ; MEMO/13/530

Clearer rules for food for infants, young children and food for specific medical purpose

As from today a set of clearer rules protecting specific groups of consumers such as infants and young children, becomes reality since the European Parliament gave its green light. The aim is to better protect consumers on the content and marketing of these “special” food products, and to provide a better environment for businesses, as well as better application of rules. Tonio Borg, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumers said “I welcome today’s endorsement by the European Parliament as we need to make sure that EU rules on food for specific groups are fit for purpose and evolve at the same speed as market developments. Today’s agreement goes exactly in that direction by maintaining rules to protect vulnerable groups of consumers and by getting rid of outdated rules that no longer serve any purpose”. For more information: IP/13/522 ; MEMO/13/528 (press material will be available later in the course of the day).

Continuing vocational training -Two thirds of enterprises in the EU27 provided vocational training in 2010 - Ranged from 23% in Poland to 87% in Austria and Sweden

In the EU27, two thirds (66%) of all enterprises with ten or more employees provided vocational training to their staff in 2010, compared with 60% in 2005. The highest proportions of enterprises providing training were observed in Austria and Sweden (both 87%) the United Kingdom (80%), the Netherlands (79%), Belgium (78%) and France (76%), and the lowest in Poland (23%), Romania (24%), Bulgaria (31%), Latvia (40%) and Hungary (49%). These data, published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, come from the Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS), which is carried out every five years. This News Release presents data from the fourth and latest survey, referring to the year 2010, which covered the 27 Member States and Croatia.

Aviation: Council adopts rules to prevent aircraft accidents

The Commission welcomes the progress achieved in the Transport Council to make Europe a safer aviation area, to the benefit of everyone travelling by plane. The Council adopted yesterday a "general approach" on new rules aiming to achieve a decreased number of aircraft accidents and fatalities through better use of data on occurrences. An occurrence is any type of event significant in the context of aviation safety which might or might not have resulted in an actual accident but which merits being reported, analysed and followed-up. In addition, the new rules promote more efficient exchange of information and safety analysis between Member States. However, the general approach adopted by the Transport Council, while maintaining the general objective of the Commission proposal, has weakened a number of requirements, in particular relating to the responsibilities of Member States on oversight and relating to the “just culture” issue. “Just culture” aims at establishing an environment in which aviation professionals feel confident about reporting occurrences, including those related to mistakes they may have committed. Such a protective environment is crucial in order to report information to the appropriate authorities and organisations. The European Parliament has started its examination of the Commission proposal . The presentation of the draft report by the rapporteur is scheduled on 8 July. The Commission is ready to work with the European Parliament and the Council to reach an agreement in first reading on this legal initiative before the end of the year. See also press release of 19 Dec. 2012.

Aviation: Commission evaluates air transport rules

The European Commission has released the results of the " aviation fitness check " – an evaluation of a range of EU rules in the air transport sector. The report concludes that no new legislation is needed regarding: market access for air operators, minimum insurance, computerised reservation systems, ticket price transparency, and to ensure passenger protection in cases of airline insolvency. The report also concluded that key opportunities for improvement are in the enforcement actions, coordination and exchange of information between EU Member States. The purpose of the evaluation was to identify potential overlaps, gaps, inconsistencies or obsolete measures which might have called for action from the Commission to address any problems. The process involved consultations of stakeholders and five studies by external consultants.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Aeroportos de Portugal by VINCI