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Daily News – 15.10.2012

EXME 12 / 15.10

Midday Express of 2012-10-15

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

SMEs in Europe at the crossroads: further policy boost needed to help in recovery

Europe's Small and Medium Sized enterprises (SMEs) continue to strive for recovery. If we take the EU as a whole so far their overall efforts have mainly led to 'jobless' growth, as shown by diverging trends in the EU-27 Member States. Today in Brussels, the first day of the 2012 European SME week, the European Commission released results of the SME Performance Review 2012 report, together with fact sheets describing SMEs' progress in all EU Members States. Despite the challenging environment, SMEs stood their ground as the backbone of the European economy, accounting for more than 98% of all enterprises with some 20.7 million firms and more than 87 million people employees. The lion’s share 92.2%) of SMEs is represented by micro firms with fewer than ten employees. It is estimated that SMEs account for 67% of total employment and 58% of gross value added (GVA).

Commission unveils plans to boost audience for culture

The European Commission will tomorrow unveil its new plans for putting audiences, as well as artists, at the heart of its new Creative Europe programme for the cultural and creative sectors. Audience development will be a key focus for projects supported through the proposed €1.8 billion EU fund, which will encompass and strengthen the existing Culture and MEDIA (cinema) programmes as well as launching a loan guarantee scheme to boost bank lending to SMEs in the cultural sectors.

20 jeunes de 20 ans primés dans un concours créatif sur les 20 ans du marché unique européen

20 jeunes de 20 ans recevront aujourd'hui leur récompense pour le concours créatif "Génération 1992", qui a invité les jeunes personnes de toute l'Europe nés en 1992 (l'année de lancement du marché unique européen) à présenter ce que ce grand marché ouvert signifiait pour eux.

Youth unemployment – our shared concern

Youth unemployment is a shared concern in Europe, South America and beyond, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andorwill underline at the EU-Latin America and Caribbean Social Cohesion Forum in Buenos Aires today. He will emphasise the cultural, historical and democratic ties between Latin America and Europe and call for strengthened cooperation. Referring to the "social emergency" arising from the economic and employment crisis, Andor will stress the need to "reform our economies and modernise our social protection systems. An effective social protection system is not an obstacle to prosperity. It is an indispensable element of it." He will highlight the role of the Europe 2020 strategy as a way out of the crisis. On 16th October Commissioner Andor will be a keynote speaker at the Global Economic Symposium in Rio de Janeiro where he will also intervene on the issue of tackling youth unemployment.

Food Safety: Member States endorse strict hygiene rules on sprout production

Experts meeting in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health Section: Biological Safety of the Food Chain today endorsed a package of measures proposed by the Commission that will further strengthen safety and hygiene of sprout production and aim to prevent incidents like the E-coli outbreak of 2011. The measures include: approval by Member States of all sprouts producing plants after competent authorities check compliance with EU hygiene rules; tightening traceability requirements for seeds intended for sprouts and sprout production; testing for the absence of pathogenic E. coli in sprouts on the market for each batch of seeds intended for sprouting as well as certifying compliance with EU rules at import of sprouts or seeds intended for sprouting. The package follows on an opinion by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on risks linked to sprouts production as well as the results of a comprehensive consultation procedure involving sprouts producers and national competent authorities. Exporting non-EU countries were informed through the World Trade Organisation under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary agreement. During the E. coli crisis of last year, the Commission took emergency measures blocking the import of seeds for sprouting coming from Egypt which immediately stopped possible exposure and risk to humans. Today's measures are to be seen as a second step in reinforcing the safety of sprout production within the EU and were foreseen in the " E-coli lessons learned" paper published by the Commission in July 2012, together with an annual report on the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). Through RASFF Member States are informed about serious risks found in food and feed so that they can react swiftly to food safety threats in a coordinated way to protect the health of EU citizens.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič vows to step up political dialogue with national parliaments

Vice-President Šefčovič today (15) addressed the European Affairs Committees of national parliaments across the EU, vowing to step up political dialogue. Addressing the committees in Nicosia, at their biannual 'COSAC' plenary meeting, he called for a Europeanisation of national politics to address the daunting challenges that face all Europeans today. In a wide-ranging speech that covered the financial crisis, the next multiannual financial framework, and political union, the Vice-President said: "Reinvigorating the European economy and building a deeper economic and monetary and ultimately political union must be a collective responsibility. It will fundamentally change the way we work in Europe." ( SPEECH/12/726)


Valletta to be the European Capital of Culture in Malta in 2018

The Maltese capital of Valletta was recommended today for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018 by an independent selection panel. The formal nomination of Valletta by the EU's Council of Ministers will take place in May 2013.

Testing of Galileo satellite navigation system can begin

Yesterday a very significant milestone in the construction of Galileo - Europe's satellite navigation system - was achieved. Two operational satellites were launched on 12 October at 18:15 UTC from Kourou, French Guiana, using a Soyuz launcher. These two new satellites, named David and Sif, have joined another pair of satellites that has been orbiting the Earth since October 2011. Together they form a mini-constellation of four satellites needed for Galileo's validation and fine-tuning. Following a detailed in-orbit check, by the end of 2014 a further 14 satellites will be deployed. This will enable us to provide the very first services based on this cutting-edge EU infrastructure.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Joint statement of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council on the award of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the EU – rediffusion

Discours du Président Barroso à l'occasion du lancement de la Semaine du marché unique: "Tous ensemble pour le marché unique"

Memo "Statement of Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on World Food Day: Helping farmers to help themselves"

Memo, "Small and medium sized enterprises in 2011: situations per EU Member State"

Memo “One year of Task Force for Greece”

Speech by Vice President A. Tajani: "Il Vicepresidente della Commissione europea Antonio Tajani inaugura la Settimana delle PMI e del Mercato unico"

Speech by Commissioner L. Andor: "Youth unemployment – our shared concern" - UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 15h30 CET

Speech by Commissioner A. Vassiliou: "Celebrating Europe's extraordinary cultural heritage" - rediffusion