EXME 12 / 23.04
Midday Express of 2012-04-23
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The challenge of winning trust – heads of EU institutions to discuss with citizens in the European Parliament in Brussels
On Tuesday 24 April 2012, from 10.00 to 12.30, the European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros is organising an event in the European Parliament in Brussels, entitled "Europe in crisis: the challenge of winning citizens' trust". It is a contribution to the on-going discussion on implications of the economic crisis on citizens' trust in their national governments but increasingly also in the international organisations. Commission President José Manuel Barroso, EP President Martin Schulz, and Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark and President of the Council of the EU will participate. You can follow the event via EbS or conference webstream at http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/home.faces . Citizens from all over Europe will be able to tweet questions to the speakers, by using the Twitter hashtag #EO2012. Questions will be displayed in the seminar room, giving the speakers an opportunity to address them. More information about the event: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/activities/calendarevent.faces/en/602/html.bookmark
Successful initiatives to promote sustainable consumption and production are flourishing around the globe, but further efforts are needed to embed such practices in existing policy frameworks, according to a new Global Outlook Report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the European Commission. The Report released today at Stockholm+40, an event marking the 40th anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment, presents an overview of efforts worldwide to shift towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns. The aim is to identify and share promising examples of effective policies and to propose recommendations to help support for SCP move ahead.
In 2011, the government deficit of both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27 decreased in absolute terms compared with 2010, while the government debt rose in both zones. In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio decreased from 6.2% in 2010 to 4.1% in 2011, and in the EU27 from 6.5% to 4.5%. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio increased from 85.3% at the end of 2010 to 87.2% at the end of 2011, and in the EU27 from 80.0% to 82.5%.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn visits Austria
On 23 and 24 April, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is paying her first official visit to Austria, where she will meet with the Federal Minister for Science and Research, Karlheinz Töchterle and the Austrian science community to discuss the Commission's proposals for the future of science and innovation policy in Europe. She will address the European Research Council Gala and Horizon 2020 Conference. Finally, she will visit the Campus Vienna Biocenter (CVBC), which is one of the most outstanding and prominent life sciences hubs not only in Austria but also in the Central European Region.
The European Commission is holding a conference on shadow banking on 27 April in Brussels. It will bring together representatives from different stakeholder groups - notably financial services professionals, regulators and supervisors, academics, and trade unions – to discuss better regulation of the sector, following the launch of the Commission's Green Paper on the topic last month. "Shadow banking" is the growing area of non-bank credit activity. It performs important functions in the financial system - for example, it creates additional sources of funding and offers investors alternatives to bank deposits. But it is not regulated in the same way as banks, and can pose potential threats to long-term financial stability. The draft programme is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/bank/shadow_banking/index_en.htm . Green Paper on shadow banking: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/bank/shadow_banking/index_en.htm
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