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Daily News – 20.06.2011

EXME 11 / 20.06

Midday Express of 2011-06-20

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

Towards a global green economy and better governance – the Commission presents policy orientations for the Rio+20 Conference

Today the European Commission adopted a Communication preparing the ground for the EU's position at the Rio+20 UN Sustainable Development Conference, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.

The Communication outlines objectives and specific actions on the two inter-linked themes of the Conference: enabling the transition to a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and ensuring better governance for sustainable development.

Environment: a huge majority of EU citizens care deeply about the environment

The latest survey by the European Commission shows that the environment is an important personal concern to more than 90% of respondents in every single Member State. A large majority of Europeans agree that using natural resources more efficiently and protecting the environment can boost economic growth in the EU. The report also contains a strong mandate for EU action: despite the economic crisis, almost 9 in 10 Europeans think EU funding should be allocated to support environmentally friendly activities. There is also massive support for legislation at the EU level: more than 8 in 10 Europeans agree that EU legislation is necessary to protect the environment in their country.

Specialized food products: Commission's initiative to provide better information to consumers

The European Commission adopted today a draft regulation that will better inform consumers across the EU and achieving the aim of better and clearer legislation. or example, lactose-free food, slimming products or protein bars could be covered by the dietetic food legislation (Directive 2009/39/EC). The proposal repeals this directive and abolishes the concept of dietetic foods because its application differs significantly between Member States and creates distortions in the internal market. Dietetic foods will be solely covered by other already existing legislation, such as, for instance, the one on nutrition and health claims (Regulation 1924/2006) and/or the regulation on the addition of vitamins, minerals and other substances to foods.

Winners of 2011 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Awards honoured

Brussels / Barcelona, 20 June 2011 –The winners of the 2011 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award were honoured today in Barcelona. David Chipperfield Architects in collaboration with Julian Harrap received the main prize for their reconstruction of the Neues Museum in Berlin and Ramon Bosch and Bet Capdeferro won the 'emerging architect special mention' award for the Collage House in Girona. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Jordi Hereu, acting mayor of Barcelona, presented them with sculptures representing the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion and a cash prize of €60,000 and €20,000 respectively. The ceremony will be followed by public lectures by the winners on 21 June. EMBARGO 20:00

State aid: Commission consults on support to film sector

The European Commission has launched a public consultation as the first step of a review of the criteria used to apply EU state aid rules to Member States' financial support for making and distributing films. The current Cinema Communication is 10 years old. The Commission has published an issues paper identifying areas for reflection, such as competing to attract major film productions using state aid, and supporting activities other than production. The Commission invites interested parties to submit their comments by 30 September 2011.

€ 113 million for the 2012 most deprived persons programme

The total value of funds for the 2012 programme for the supply of food for the most deprived persons in the European Union has been set at €113 million, with the precise allocations fixed per Member State [see annexes]. This is a sharp reduction from the near € 500 million awarded in recent years because of a ruling by the Court of Justice in April stating that the current regulation requires the food covered by this scheme to come from EU public stocks. Therefore, the 2012 scheme is exclusively based on all the available existing intervention stocks (162 000 tonnes of cereals and 54 000 tonnes of Skimmed Milk Powder in intervention).

EU trade chief travels to USA and Central America to foster transatlantic trade ties

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will travel to Washington this week where he will meet with representatives of the US Administration, Congress and business to discuss the way forward in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) of international trade talks and the further development of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) as a key instrument of transatlantic relations. He will then travel to Guatemala, to represent the European Union at the International Central America Security Strategy Conference. Together with Trade and Foreign Affairs Ministers of Central America who he will meet at this occasion and on his further stop in Costa Rica, he will underline their joint commitment to a speedy ratification and implementation of the EU - Central America Association Agreement which in its comprehensive trade pillar foresees to fully open both markets for industrial exports.

Commissioner Piebalgs in Bangladesh to support encouraging progress for poverty reduction and strengthen development cooperation

On Tuesday, 21 June, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs will arrive to Dhaka (Bangladesh), together with German Development Minister Dirk Niebel, for an official visit to the country. Commissioner Piebalgs will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and several senior members of the Government to reaffirm EU support for Bangladesh’s sustainable and inclusive economic growth and social development. He will also meet leading representatives of civil society and visit several EU-funded projects.

EU resumes full development cooperation with Niger

The Council confirmed today that the EU is fully resuming development cooperation with the Republic of Niger, following the country’s successful democratic transition and return to constitutional order (11266/11).

Euro area hourly labour costs rose by 2.6%

Hourly labour costs in the euro area (EA17) rose by 2.6% in the year up to the first quarter of 2011, compared with 1.5% for the previous quarter. In the EU27, the annual rise was 2.7% up to the first quarter of 2011, compared with 1.8% for the previous quarter. The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, wages & salaries per hour worked grew by 2.3% in the year up to the first quarter of 2011, and the non-wage component by 3.6%, compared with 1.4% and 1.8% respectively for the fourth quarter of 2010. In the EU27, hourly wages & salaries rose by 2.6% and the non-wage component by 3.5% in the year up to the first quarter of 2011, compared with 1.9% and 1.5% respectively for the fourth quarter of 2010. The breakdown by economic activity shows that in the euro area hourly labour costs rose by 2.8% in industry and by 2.5% in both construction and services in the year up to the first quarter of 2011. In the EU27, labour costs per hour grew by 3.1% in industry, 2.3% in construction and 2.6% in services. These figures are published by Eurostat.

Commission clears acquisition of JELD-WEN by Onex

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Onex Corporation ("ONEX") of joint control of JELD-WEN Holding ("JELD-WEN") of USA. JELD-WEN is a joint venture of Onex and members of Wendt family. Onex is active in investments, administration and divestment of participations in companies through a number of private equity funds. JELD-WEN is a manufacturer and distributor of windows and doors which is also active in real estate, resort development and hotel operations in the US and Mexico, marketing and escrow/title services. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Enregistrement de deux dénominations de produits agricoles

La Commission européenne a ajouté deux dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires à la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit de la viande de porc italienne "Porchetta di Ariccia" (IGP) et du miel polonais "Miód drahimski" (IGP). Les deux dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste de plus de 1000 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 sur l'internet à l'adresse:


Commissioner Piebalgs calls for urgent reforms in finance and governance to accelerate poverty reduction during visit to Afghanistan

EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, today arrived in Afghanistan, for a visit designed to discuss the next steps of EU cooperation with the country. Commissioner Piebalgs will meet with high level Government representatives in Afghanistan and UN agencies and will visit some EU funded projects.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Questions and Answers on Commission proposal replacing current framework legislation on dietetic foods

Statement by the Eurogroup on Greece

Highlights of the trade pillar of the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union

Digital Agenda: EU and Japan agree to strengthen cooperation in Future Internet research

State aid: Commission consults on film support issues – frequently asked questions

Statement by Commissioner Piebalgs from Islamabad (Pakistan) after the signature of €225 million worth of aid for agriculture, education and governance - rediffusion

Digital Agenda: fast progress needed to ensure sufficient spectrum allocation in the EU – joint statement - rediffusion

Examples of EU development cooperation with Bangladesh

Joint statement by High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Fuele on the announcement of the new Constitution of Morocco – rediffusion

Joint Statement By Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response and Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs on the occasion of World Refugee Day - rediffusion

HR/VP Catherine Ashton appoints the Director for Middle East in the European External Action Service

Remarks by President Barroso on the recent political developments in Greece - rediffusion

Statement of President Barroso following the passing away of Yelena Bonner- rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President Redding "Assuring data protection in the age of the internet"

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Ivo Josipović, President of Croatia - rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President Almunia on "Beyond the banking crisis: another chapter in Ireland's history of resilience", Dublin 17 June 2011 - rediffusion