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Daily News – 24.01.2011

EXME 11 / 24.01

Midday Express of 2011-01-24

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

EU research and innovation funding – immediate changes to cut red tape for researchers and SMEs

Today the European Commission has adopted measures to make participation in the EU's current Seventh Framework Programme for Research more attractive and more accessible to the best researchers and most innovative companies, especially Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Based on the simplification plan unveiled by the Commission in April 2010, these measures will take effect at once.

World Vet Year 2011: Celebrating a significant contribution to the European citizens' daily lives

The European Union has come a long way in its efforts to better protect Animal Health, ensuring along the way Food Safety. The role of the veterinary profession, which celebrates this year its 250th anniversary, has been pivotal in making food in the EU safe. Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner, John Dalli, is speaking today in the Agricultural Council about the ongoing dioxin contamination in Germany, the recent African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in Russia and the Commission's Communication on bee-health – just three recent issues that underline the importance of the veterinary profession in the daily lives of the European citizen. Acknowledging this contribution, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) declared 2011 World Veterinary Year. The Year's opening ceremony is being held in the afternoon today in Versailles, France. The Commission actively participates in the event and, to raise awareness about the role of veterinarians, organises a photo competition, which was launched on Friday.

Commissioner Malmström presents Action Plan on visa liberalisation with the Republic of Moldova

The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, started today a two-day visit to the Republic of Moldova. Commissioner Malmström will present the Action Plan on visa liberalisation to Prime Minister Vlad Filat. The Action Plan sets out all technical conditions to be met by Moldova before the possible establishment of a visa-free travel regime.

Conference on the future of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP): Shaping the EU's future support for business - 25 January, Charlemagne, Brussels

Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, will hold a conference to discuss the successor of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) on 25 January from 9.00 until 12.45 in the Charlemagne Building (Brussels). The meeting will bring together more than 550 stakeholders to discuss the future measures to support European competitiveness after 2013. Amongst the speakers are experts from organisations representing the different fields of the CIP, presenting their visions and ideas for actions while addressing the following key questions on EU support for competitiveness beyond 2013: 1) What are the key actions that the EU should focus on to help businesses grow? 2) What actions already in place should be improved and how? 3) What link should there be between EU support for research and the EU support for competitiveness and innovation? In parallel, an exhibition will take place, showcasing the achievements of the CIP to date. Registration is now closed but the conference can be streamed online. The link will be available on the conference website on the 25 January:

Commission clears prolongation of French scheme to grant subsidised guarantees to the real economy

The European Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules a twelve-month extension until 31 December 2011 of a temporary French scheme to grant subsidised guarantees for investment and working capital loans. The extended scheme does not apply to companies in difficulties and excludes working capital loans for large companies from the benefit of the subsidised guarantee premium. The Commission, therefore found the prolongation of the scheme, initially approved on 27 February 2009 (see IP/09/332), to be in line with the stricter conditions of its Temporary Framework for businesses' access to finance during the crisis adopted in December 2010 to stimulate a gradual return to market conditions (see IP/10/1636).

Antitrust: la Commission examine de près la coopération entre Telefónica et Portugal Telecom sur les marchés ibériques

La Commission européenne a ouvert une procédure formelle d'examen pour déterminer si les opérateurs de télécommunications ibériques Telefónica S.A. (entreprise espagnole) et Portugal Telecom SGPS S.A. (entreprise portuguaise) ont violé les règles de l'UE en convenant de ne pas se livrer de concurrence sur leurs marchés nationaux respectifs. L'accord examiné en application de l'article 101 du traité CE, qui interdit les pratiques commerciales restrictives, a été conclu l'année dernière lorsque Telefónica a acquis le contrôle exclusif de l'entreprise brésilienne Vivo dont les intéressés exerçaient jusqu'alors le contrôle conjoint. La Commission enquêtera aussi pour voir si l'accord de non-concurrence est antérieur à l'accord conclu au sujet de Vivo, qui n'est pas concerné par l'examen en cours. L'ouverture d'une enquête antitrust signifie que la Commission traite l'affaire comme une priorité. Elle ne préjuge pas du résultat de l'enquête.

Industrial new orders up by 2.1% in euro area

In November 2010 compared with October 2010, the euro area (EA16) industrial new orders index rose by 2.1%. In October the index grew by 1.4%. In the EU27, new orders increased by 1.6% in November 2010, after a rise of 0.4% in October. Excluding ships, railway & aerospace equipment, for which changes tend to be more volatile, industrial new orders increased by 2.1% in the euro area and by 1.9% in the EU27. In November 2010 compared with November 2009, industrial new orders grew by 19.9% in the euro area and by 18.9% in the EU27. Total industry excluding ships, railway & aerospace equipment rose by 19.6% and 19.4% respectively. These estimates are released by Eurostat.

Commission receives report of expert group on alternative fuels

Journalists are invited to attend a meeting of the "expert group on alternative fuels" tomorrow, Tuesday 25 January, where Vice-President Siim Kallas will receive a report from the expert group on alternative fuels. According to the report, alternative fuels have the potential to gradually replace fossil energy sources and make transport sustainable by 2050. The EU will need an oil-free and largely CO2-free energy supply for transport by 2050. The expert group has for the first time developed a comprehensive approach covering the whole transport sector. Expected demand from all transport modes could be met through a combination of electricity (batteries or hydrogen/fuel cells) and biofuels as main options, synthetic fuels (increasingly from renewable resources) as a bridging option, methane (natural gas and biomethane) as complementary fuel, and LPG as supplement. Time: 9:30 am, Tuesday 25 January - Place: Committee of the Regions, Rue Belliard 99–101, room VML01


Échanges de droits d’émission: la Commission se félicite du vote en faveur de certains crédits liés aux gaz industriels

La Commission européenne se félicite de la décision prise aujourd'hui par un vote des États membres et interdisant l'utilisation, dans le cadre du système d'échange de quotas d'émission de l'Union européenne, des crédits de compensation issus de certains projets ayant trait à la destruction des gaz industriels. La principale conséquence de cette interdiction est que les entreprises pourront utiliser ces crédits afin de respecter leurs engagements pour 2012 au titre du système d'échange européen jusqu'au 30 avril 2013, mais pas au-delà.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo on EU research and innovation funding – immediate changes to cut red tape for researchers and SMEs

Memo on European Commission proposals to ease cross-border trade advance as EU countries agree on Consumer Rights Directive

Speech by Commissioner Barnier on Copyright in the digital era, MidemNet in Cannes

Memo Emissions Trading: Q & A following the suspension of transactions in national ETS registries for at least one week from 19:00 CET on Wednesday 19 January 2011 – en rediffusion

Statement of Commissioner Malmström following the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights on the transfer of asylum seekers under the EU Dublin Regulation – en rediffusion