EXME 13 / 14.02
Midday Express of 2013-02-14
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The details of the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) to be implemented under enhanced cooperation have been set out in a proposal adopted by the Commission today. As requested by the 11 Member States that will proceed with this tax, the proposed Directive mirrors the scope and objectives of the original FTT proposal put forward by the Commission in September 2011 ( IP/11/1085). The approach of taxing all transactions with an established link to the FTT-zone is maintained, as are the rates of 0.1% for shares and bonds and 0.01% for derivatives.
The European Commission will establish an observatory to map progress and measure the impact of the development of the European Union's bioeconomy, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced today. The observatory will gather data to follow the evolution of markets, to map EU, national and regional bioeconomy policies, research and innovation capacities, and the scale of related public and private investments. The observatory will be coordinated by the Joint Research Centre, the Commission's in-house science service.
GDP fell by 0.6% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.5% in the EU27 during the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter. In the third quarter of 2012, growth rates were -0.1% and +0.1% respectively. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 0.9% in the euro area and by 0.6% in the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2012, after -0.6% and -0.4% respectively in the previous quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2012, GDP in the United States was stable compared with the previous quarter (after +0.8% in the third quarter of 2012). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP rose by 1.5% in the United States (after +2.6% in the previous quarter). Over the whole year 20123, GDP fell by 0.5% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU27.
Processed Animal Proteins to be re-authorised in feed for fish
A Commission Regulation to re-authorise the use of processed animal proteins (PAPs) derived from non-ruminant farmed animals (i.e. mainly from pigs and poultry) in fish feed entered into force yesterday. Such use was prohibited twelve years ago when the total feed ban was introduced in 2001 to tackle the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic. The current BSE epidemiological situation shows that the EU is now on the final path to eradicating BSE within its cattle population. Endorsed by Member State experts in the Standing Committee of the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) in July 2012, this measure will allow farmed fish and other aquaculture animals, to once again be fed with non-ruminant PAPs. It is also in line with latest scientific opinions which indicate that the risk of BSE transmission between non-ruminant animals is negligible provided that intra-species recycling (cannibalism) is prevented. Traceability requirements will be ensured all along the feed chain via a channelling system in order to prevent cross-contamination with feeding-stuffs intended for species other than fish. In addition, very sensitive analytical tests based on DNA detection will be used to control the correct implementation of the channelling system. This re-authorisation will apply from 1 June 2013 and will improve the overall sustainability of the aquaculture sector, since these PAPs could be a valuable substitute for fishmeal, which is a scarce resource. Yesterday's measure is a first step as the Commission, subject to specific analytical tests, intends to propose a further measure to re-introduce the use of pig and poultry PAPs for poultry and pigs. The Commission has however no intention to propose the re-authorisation of PAPs for feeding ruminant animals (i.e. cattle, sheep or goats) or to propose to re-use PAPs from ruminants for feeding non-ruminant farmed animals.
Commissioner Hahn in Western Greece and Peloponnese to push for an approach to EU investments that delivers jobs
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn is in Greece from 14-15 February pushing for the most efficient and effective use of the country's main source of public investment – EU Regional Funds. On this leg of his tour of the country's 13 regions he is urging local business and regional representatives to use Regional Funds for growth and innovation and calling for more targeted spending to create new jobs; in particular in research and development, support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and sustainable tourism. He will also urge the end of illegal landfill sites, which deter potential investors and badly affect people’s quality of life, to be replaced by modern waste management plants. These can be co-financed through EU Regional Policy. Commissioner Hahn meets Western Greece Regional Governor, Apostolos Katsifaras in Patras as well as regional representatives, NGOs and business representatives in the Peloponnese region, to discuss how to best target EU investment to build on the regions' strengths and to create maximum impact.
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger welcomed today's signature of a tri-lateral intergovernmental agreement (IGA) as an essential step in the preparation of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP). TAP is an important gas pipeline between Italy, Albania and Greece with a starting capacity of minimum 10 billion cubic metres per annum (bcma).
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