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Daily News – 16.05.2013

EXME 13 / 16.05


16 /05 / 13

Stronger EU cooperation leads to higher consumer safety

2,278 is the number of notifications, 30 is the number of participating countries (EU +Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), 5 are the most frequently notified product categories in 2012 (34% Clothing, textiles and fashion items, 19% toys, 11% Electrical appliances and equipment, 8% motor vehicles, 4% cosmetics) and these are the notifications by country of origin of the notified product: 58% China including Hong Kong, 17% EU-27 and EEA countries, 11% unknown, 14% other. These are some key 2012 figures on product safety, included in the RAPEX annual report published today. Rapex is the EU-wide rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products. The system ensures the quick sharing of information between EU countries, which results in the earlier identification and earlier removal from EU markets of dangerous products, and thus keeping consumers safe. Tonio Borg, Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, said: "Thanks to stronger EU co-operation consumers can count on better safety in the internal market. Europe continuously demonstrates increased capability in protecting all European citizens from dangerous non-food products."

April 2013 - Euro area annual inflation down to 1.2% - EU down to 1.4%

Euro area annual inflation was 1.2% in April 2013, down from 1.7% in March. A year earlier the rate was 2.6%. Monthly inflation was -0.1% in April 2013. European Union annual inflation was 1.4% in April 2013, down from 1.9% in March. A year earlier the rate was 2.7%. Monthly inflation was 0.0% in April 2013.

Other news

Emissions trading: 2012 saw continuing decline in emissions but growing surplus of allowances

Emissions of greenhouse gases from installations participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) decreased by 2% last year. Companies' level of compliance with the EU ETS rules was again high. However, the accumulated surplus of almost two billion allowances must be addressed. The EU ETS covers more than 12 000 power plants and manufacturing installations in the 27 EU member states, Norway and Liechtenstein and also, from 2012, emissions from flights within Europe.

Six new scientific clusters to support Danube strategy

The European Commission and scientists and policy makers from the 14 Danube Region countries have today launched six scientific clusters to support economic development in the region. The six clusters will focus on: water; land & soil; bio-energy; air; data exchange & harmonisation; and smart specialisation. Presented at a high-level meeting in Bratislava today, the clusters will provide scientific evidence to support the Danube Strategy, and will also serve to foster scientific cooperation across the region. The launch event today was attended amongst others by the Slovak Prime Minister H.E. Robert Fico and the Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič ( MEMO/13/441).

L' "agnello del centro Italia" reconnu comme indication géographique protégée

La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d'enregistrement dans la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et des indications géographiques protégées (IGP) de l' " Agnello del centro Italia " (IGP), viande issue d'agneaux de races locales propres au centre de l'Italie et élevés dans cette aire géographique. La décision de la Commission devrait être publiée dans les prochains jours dans le Journal Officiel de l'Union Européenne. Ce nom rejoindra alors la liste de plus de 1100 produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles en ligne à l'adresse:

Third Post-Programme Surveillance mission to Latvia

Following a successful EU financial assistance programme, the 3rd Post-Programme Surveillance mission to Latvia by Commission staff was concluded yesterday. A statement is published today setting out the conclusions of the mission. Latvia benefitted from an EU financial assistance programme (Balance of Payments Assistance Programme) from 2009-2011, in conjunction with a standby agreement of the IMF, and financial commitments from the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, several EU Member States and Norway. Funds amounted to €7.5 billion, of which Latvia used €4.5 billion, with €2.9 billion lent by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union. This lending was subject to an ambitious plan, including fiscal consolidation and wide-ranging structural reforms, which have proven effective to help the country to recover from a deep financial and economic crisis. The Commission will continue the monitoring process through the European Semester and post-programme surveillance.

New Communication on "Empowering Local Authorities in partner countries for enhanced governance and more effective development outcomes"

Local Authorities from partner countries have been recognised as critical actors that can make a key contribution to achieving good governance and sustainable development at local level. In order to reinforce the full potential of Local Authorities, the European Commission yesterday adopted a policy document which gives emphasis to good governance and participatory decision-making related to sustainable development and inclusive growth. The EU will seek to guarantee Local Authorities with enough autonomy to operate efficiently and to promote citizens’ participation while improving their quality of life. This will be done through, for instance, an improved ability of Local Authorities to voice people's concerns and priorities, to react to citizens’ request, to boost socio-economic development through the resources available (human, natural, financial) at local level and to guarantee effective service provision. The communication was finalised after consultations with stakeholders in partner countries which were carried out between August and mid-December 2012. Link to the Communication:

March 2013 Euro area international trade in goods surplus 22.9 bn euro 15.8 bn euro surplus for EU27

The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in March 2013 gave a 22.9 billion euro surplus, compared with +6.9 bn in March 2012. The February 20132 balance was +10.1 bn, compared with +1.2 bn in February 2012. In March 2013 compared with February 2013, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 2.8% while imports fell by 1.0%. The first estimate for the March 2013 extra-EU27 trade balance was a 15.8 bn euro surplus, compared with -8.2 bn in March 2012. In February 2013 the balance was +1.7 bn, compared with -13.0 bn in February 2012. In March 2013 compared with February 2013, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 3.4% while imports fell by 1.1%.

What Commissioners said

Presidents Barroso and Hollande host the donors conference "Together for a New Mali"

President José Manuel Barroso and the President François Hollande hosted yesterday a high-level donor international donor conference for the development of Mali. The conference expressed its support for Mali's recovery strategy, and the financial commitments of the international community amount up to 3.25 billion euros. The European Union will allocate €1.35 billion to Mali, of which €523.9 million from the European Commission. Ten Heads of African States and more than 100 worldwide delegations attended conference. President Barroso said he was delighted to see the positive results of the conference, including a genuine solidarity and generosity of the international community. "By securing the pledged aid required by the country to achieve its development priorities, the international community has sent a strong signal that, collectively, we can feel proud of", the President said. Read the President's speech and press statement (in French).

Modern Insolvency Rules: lending a helping hand to businesses in distress

In today's economic climate, setting up and maintaining a business is becoming more and more difficult and this is illustrated by half of all business not even surviving the first 5 years of their existence. In line with this, the European Commission has proposed a revised insolvency Regulation, which sets out a step by step approach in order to bring EU insolvency laws into the 21st century. The revision has a positive economic impact notably on the security of investment, it will help viable businesses survive, increase efficiency, fairness and transparency of cross-border insolvency proceedings and strengthen mutual trust. Delivering "Justice for Growth" means moving towards a "rescue and recovery" culture for businesses and individuals in financial difficulties and marks and important step forward.