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Daily News – 22.10.2010

Midday Express of 2010-10-22

European Commission - 22/10/2010

EXME 10 / 22.10

Midday Express of 2010-10-22

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

L'investissement, l'immobilier, les services Internet: trois marchés parmi les moins satisfaisants pour les consommateurs

Selon le tableau de bord des marchés de la consommation (automne 2010) publié aujourd'hui, ce sont les trois marchés des «investissements, fonds de pension et titres», de l’immobilier et des services Internet qui risquent le plus de ne pas répondre aux attentes des consommateurs de l'Union européenne. Parmi les marchés de biens, ceux des voitures d’occasion, de l’habillement et de la chaussure, et de la viande ont obtenu les moins bons résultats. À l’inverse, le secteur du transport aérien est bien classé en dépit des perturbations du printemps 2010, et celui des biens et services culturels est également apprécié des consommateurs. Ce tableau de bord classe les marchés de consommation en fonction d’indicateurs tels que les possibilités de comparaison des produits, la confiance et la satisfaction des consommateurs, les problèmes, les réclamations, les modalités de changement de prestataire de services, les prix, etc. Le but est de déterminer les marchés les plus exposés à des dysfonctionnements afin de les soumettre à des études de suivi permettant d’analyser les problèmes en profondeur et de déterminer les politiques à appliquer en conséquence. Pour la première fois, plus de cinquante marchés – du secteur des denrées alimentaires à l'électroménager en passant par la réparation automobile – ont été classés dans tous les pays de l'Union.

Internal Market: Commission publishes reports on how Professional Qualifications Directive works in practice

The first ever report on how the Professional Qualifications Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC) works in practice has been published by the European Commission. The report, undertaken by the Commission's Internal Market department, identifies areas of concern such as Member States' reluctance to allow temporary mobility of professionals. The Commission is publishing simultaneously more than 170 reports on recognition of professional qualifications from Member State authorities. One main conclusion of these reports is that automatic recognition of qualifications is overall a positive achievement for professionals and for authorities but a number of issues merit further consideration such as extending the implementation of the proactive alert mechanism on malpractice between Member States and the training requirements in general. The next steps are: an extensive public consultation on the rules that are in place (to be launched by the end of this year), an evaluation report (in autumn 2011) and a Green Paper (in 2012).

Commission launches consultation on further capital buffers for banks

The Internal Market Department of the European Commission has today launched a public consultation to seek stakeholders' views on possible measures to ease fluctuations in the financial system by introducing countercyclical capital buffers for banks. Countercyclical capital buffers are variable capital reserves that banks would have to accumulate during economically good times. Banks could draw upon these reserves to continue lending and borrowing when economic conditions worsen. A regime for countercyclical capital buffers could also help to moderate the build-up of excessive levels of credit in the financial system by raising the cost of credit. This would dampen demand where there is evidence that credit levels are growing above established benchmarks. In February 2010, the Commission launched a consultation on further changes to the EU laws on capital requirements for banks (see IP/10/197). While the consultation already included orientations for the introduction of a capital conservation buffer, which would require banks to put aside a fixed reserve, the Basel Committee published a consultation paper in July 2010 on a proposal for additional and variable countercyclical buffers. These reserves would be added to banks' minimum regulatory capital and the capital conservation buffer. Since this development changes the Commission's earlier ideas about capital reserves, a second consultation is necessary. In the light of the feedback received from this consultation, the Commission will further consider whether capital buffers should be introduced in the EU through the upcoming amendment to the Capital Requirements Directive, due to be proposed in the first quarter of 2011. The consultation is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/bank/regcapital/index_en.htm

Digital Agenda: survey of children's Internet use; competition for high quality online content

Children in Europe are on average starting to use the Internet at the age of 7 but only one in three 9-12 year olds feel that there are enough "good things for kids" of their age online, according to a pan-European survey published by the European Commission. The study also shows that one in eight children have upsetting experiences online and they still lack skills and confidence using Internet. To help deal with these problems, the Commission has launched a competition to encourage the creation of online high quality content for children. The Commission is committed to helping parents and their children keep safe online as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581 , MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).

Environnement: les villes de Vitoria-Gasteiz et de Nantes seront les prochaines capitales vertes de l'Europe

Les lauréates du prix de la capitale verte de l'Europe pour 2012 et 2013 sont respectivement la capitale régionale espagnole de Vitoria-Gasteiz et la ville française de Nantes. Ce prix de la Commission européenne encourage les villes à améliorer la qualité de la vie urbaine en prenant systématiquement en compte l'environnement lors de l'aménagement urbain. M. Janez Potočnik, membre de la Commission européenne responsable de l'environnement, a décerné les prix lors d'une cérémonie qui s'est déroulée hier soir à Stockholm, capitale verte de l'Europe en 2010.

Launch of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Observatory on Migration: European Commission supports improved South-South migration management

On 25 October 2010, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Observatory on Migration will be officially launched at a special ceremony in Brussels, in presence of Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The European Commission and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries worked together to create the ACP Observatory on Migration. This new body will provide reliable data and information on migration flows in ACP countries. The objective is to design better policies to enhance the migration contribution to development. The Observatory will cover all six ACP regions and start in twelve pilot countries, namely Angola, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Papua-New-Guinea, Senegal, Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Trinidad and Tobago.

EU-China co-operation on Health and Consumer issues in the spotlight at World Expo Shanghai and EU-China-US product safety summit

EU Health and Consumer Commissioner, John Dalli, puts Health and Consumer issues in the spotlight next week at the World Expo in Shanghai and in a series of high level meetings in Shanghai and Beijing, where he will reiterate the EU's willingness to deepen co-operation with China. Commissioner Dalli will make a keynote address at the Consumer and Product Safety Day during the Shanghai World Expo, focusing on developing a modern consumer policy and in particular stronger governance on product safety in today's global market. This high level conference will include representatives from the EU institutions, Consumer organisations, the European business sector and a senior representative from China's State Food and Drug Administration. The aim is to explore new opportunities to strengthen working partnerships under the theme 'better cities – better lives'. Another high level event takes place during this visit – the second China- EU-U.S. high level Trilateral Summit on product safety. The summit brings Commissioner Dalli together with his product safety counterparts Mr. Zhi Shuping, Minister of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and Mrs. Inez Moore Tenenbaum, Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This deepening trilateral co-operation reflects the determination of all sides to keep product safety at the top of the international political agenda, recognising that open markets can only be built on strong and secure management of global product supply chains. Commissioner Dalli then goes to Beijing where he will have further meetings on Health and Food Safety issues. For more information please visit:Latest safety news : http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/safety/news/index_en.htm)

Commissioner Dalli addresses the Citizens' Energy Forum in London - to improve service to consumers

EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli told the third Citizens' Energy Forum in London of the need to make electricity and gas markets function better for consumers. The Forum has been created to improve the functioning of energy markets so that consumers can get a better deal. One of the areas of focus is information on what choices are available to consumers when it comes to buying their gas and electricity. Clear and trustworthy information is easy to tackling is key to tackling consumers' problems and improving conditions in the market. As well as providing practical assistance to consumers, the Forum is also anticipating future changes in energy markets, for example how new technologies such as smart metering may improve consumers' participation in the market, the accuracy of bills and supplier switching processes. Commissioner Dalli said: "A Europe of results for citizens must aim for: functioning retail energy markets with competition that works and the right tools so that consumers can participate actively. This means trustworthy, comparable, simple procedures, better complaint handling and Alternative Dispute Resolution." A study on Electricity and Consumers assessing how retail electricity markets perform for consumers and consumer participation in open markets will be published in November. The Forum is organised by the European Commission and brings together consumer associations, industry, national regulators, and national government representatives to work on key issues such as billing, smart metering, protecting vulnerable consumers and complaint handling. For more information please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/citizen/my_rights/energy_en.htm Commissioner Dalli's video message to the Forum: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/citizen/my_rights/energy_en.htm#video

Commission determines cap on emission allowances for 2013

The European Commission today adopted a second decision which determines a ceiling or 'cap' on the number of emission allowances that will be available under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in 2013, the first year of the 2013-2020 trading period. This has been done in line with the provisions of the revised Emissions Trading Directive. In July the Commission adopted a first cap based on the scope of the current trading period 2008-2012. Today that figure has been adjusted to take into account the new sectors and further greenhouse gases that will be included in the scope of the scheme as from next trading period: the production of bulk organic chemicals, hydrogen, ammonia and aluminium, and new gases such as nitrous oxide from the production of nitric and adipic acid and perfluorcarbons from the production of aluminium. The cap for the year 2013 has been determined at 2.039 billion allowances (the precise figure is 2,039,152,882). It has been calculated on the basis of a formula which applies a 1.74% annual reduction in allowances below the average yearly total allocated through Member States' national allocation plans in the 2008-2012 trading period. The application of this reduction each year will result in a 21% fall in emissions from the 2005 level by 2020. The 2013 cap for the aviation sector, which will join the EU ETS in 2012, will be determined in a separate decision. The cap has been set on the basis of the 2009 climate and energy package of legislation, which requires a 20% cut in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 from 1990 levels. The cap would need to be revised downwards if a decision were taken to increase the emission reduction target to 30%, as the EU has committed to do if the conditions are right (e.g. that other major economies agree to take on their fair share of a global emissions reduction effort). For further information: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ets/2012_en.htm

Second notification of government deficit and debt figures for 2009

Eurostat publishes today government deficit and debt figures for 26 Member States. There are no figures for Greece and no euro area and EU27 aggregates. These data will be published by Eurostat by mid November. For further information, see "Reservations on reported data". In 2009 the largest government deficits in percentage of GDP were recorded in Ireland (-14.4%), the United Kingdom (-11.4%), Spain (-11.1%), Latvia (-10.2%), Portugal (-9.3%), Lithuania (-9.2%), Romania (-8.6%), Slovakia (-7.9%), France (-7.5%) and Poland (-7.2%). No Member State registered a government surplus in 2009. The lowest deficits were recorded in Luxembourg (-0.7%), Sweden (-0.9%) and Estonia (-1.7%). In all, 24 Member States recorded a worsening in their government deficit relative to GDP in 2009 compared with 2008, and two (Estonia and Malta) an improvement. At the end of 2009, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (7.2%), Luxembourg (14.5%), Bulgaria (14.7%), Romania (23.9%) and Lithuania (29.5%). Eleven Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP in 2009: Italy (116.0%), Belgium (96.2%), Hungary (78.4%), France (78.1%), Portugal (76.1%), Germany (73.4%), Malta (68.6%), the United Kingdom (68.2%), Austria (67.5%), Ireland (65.5%) and the Netherlands (60.8%). Eurostat also publishes government revenue and government expenditure data for these 26 Member States.

Commission clears acquisition of Alcan's aluminium business by Apollo

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of the aluminium business of UK-based Alcan Engineered Products by Apollo Group of the US. Apollo's funds invest into companies involved in numerous businesses throughout the world. Alcan's aluminium business is active in manufacturing rolled and extruded aluminium and related products used in a wide range of industries and applications, including the automobile, packaging, energy and building and transportation industries. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Rediffusion

October 2010: Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator

In October 2010, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator remained broadly unchanged in both the EU (-11.6 after -11.7 in September) and the euro area (-11.0 after -11.0 in September).

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo Making markets work for consumers. Questions and Answers on the autumn 2010 Consumer Markets Scoreboard

Speech by Vice-President Kroes ' European Digital Agenda: What it means for business', Birmingham

Speech by Commissioner Damanaki 'Let's act for Europe's maritime and coastal economy', Lisbon

Speech by Vice-President Šefcovič "New role of national Parliaments under the Lisbon Treaty", Madrid

Speech by Commissioner Potočnik 'European Green Capital Awards 2010', Stockholm – en rediffusion

Calendrier hebdomadaire du 25 au 31 octobre

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