EXME 12 / 20.04
Midday Express of 2012-04-20
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Electronic procurement (e-procurement) refers to the use of electronic communication by public sector organisations when buying supplies and services or tendering public works. Increasing the use of e-procurement in Europe can generate significant savings for European taxpayers. Public entities that have already implemented e-procurement report savings of between 5% and 20% of their procurement expenditure. The total size of the EU's procurement market is estimated to be more than 2 trillion euro, so each 5% saved could result in about 100 billion euro of savings per year – which is equivalent to building more than 150 large size hospitals. These savings would maximise the efficiency of public spending in the current context of fiscal constraints.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn at the Fourth Transport Research Arena in Athens
On 22 and 23 April, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is in Athens, where she will attend the Fourth Transport Research Arena (TRA) - the most important event in Europe dedicated to surface transport research. During this event, the Commissioner will open the conference and exhibition and will deliver a speech at the plenary session on ‘EU 2020 objectives on transport innovation: from research to deployment'. In this context, she will also meet with Constantinos Kokkinoplitis, Secretary General for Research & Technology of the Ministry for Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs and Industry leaders to discuss the future of transport research under Horizon 2020. Transport industry and transport equipment manufacturing together represent 6.3 % of the European Union’s GDP.
Conference on the enforcement of intellectual property rights
On 26 April, the Commission will organise a conference in Brussels on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, in association with the Danish EU Presidency. This Conference follows on from a Commission Public Hearing in June 2011 and a public consultation on the application of Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. It is expected to provide further valuable stakeholder input on intellectual property policy, in the context of a review of the Directive by the Commission. Over 100 stakeholder organisations, mostly at pan-European level, will be attending. Most Member States will also be represented. A webstream will be available on the day from the conference webpage; it will begin streaming at 9.30 a.m. The conference programme is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/iprenforcement/docs/conference20120426/programme_en.pdf . The webstream will be available on the day from the following link:
Transport: Commission sets out priorities for passenger ship safety
EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas will next Tuesday, 24th April set out the Commission's priorities for passenger ship safety. The Vice President will deliver his keynote speech to a major ship safety conference in the Charlemagne building in Brussels, hosted by the Commission to launch a consultation with stakeholders on the priority actions. The proposals are based on more than two years of intensive work on passenger ship safety, though a Commission review started in 2010. There will be a photo-opportunity with Vice President Kallas and the European Cruise Council at the exhibition on the first floor of the Charlemagne building at 11:30. Vice President Kallas will attend the midday briefing to make a short statement at 12:00. This will be followed by a technical briefing, for those who need more detailed information on the planned proposals. Journalists wishing to attend the morning session of the conference in the Charlemagne building on Tuesday morning should mail Helen.Kearns@ec.europa.eu or Dale.Kidd@ec.europa.eu to register.
The European Parliament has today approved the Commission’s proposal enabling the use of cohesion policy allocations still available to back-up guarantees and loans by financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB). EU funds will be used to create so-called “risk-sharing instruments”. The measure is intended to address the serious obstacles faced by some Member States, especially Greece, in raising the private financing needed to implement key projects which can only be part-financed by public funds. This tool will support more investment in the economy and therefore creation of jobs.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the music publishing business of EMI Group, a British company, by Sony Corporation of the USA and Mubadala Development Company PJSC, an investment fund based in the United Arab Emirates. The decision is conditional upon the divestiture of the worldwide publishing rights to four catalogues and the musical works of 12 contemporary authors. In light of these commitments, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.
In April 2012, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator declined in both the EU (to -20.1 from -19.3 in March 2012) and the euro area (to -19.8 from -19.1 in March 2012).
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• Speech by Commissioner Vassiliou at the Meeting of social partners of professional football sector - Signing Ceremony: "New agreement on contracts rights of the footballers – Introductory remarks" - rediffusion