EXME 13 / 24.01
Midday Express of 2013-01-24
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Commission today announced an ambitious package of measures to ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use. Policy initiatives so far have mostly addressed the actual fuels and vehicles, without considering fuels distribution. Efforts to provide incentives have been un-co-ordinated and insufficient.
In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions covering many sectors aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken today 171 decisions, including 24 reasoned opinions and 10 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice, out of which 7 include financial penalties. A summary of the main decisions can be found in the MEMO/13/22 . On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12 .
The European Commission has today launched a call asking experts from all fields to participate in shaping the agenda of Horizon 2020, the European Union's future funding programme for research and innovation. This marks the first time that the Commission has launched such a call for its research programme. Advisory groups will provide high quality and timely advice for the preparation of the Horizon 2020 calls for project proposals. Groups will be set up on topics of major concern for European citizens, such as climate change, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring safe food or coping with the challenges of ageing. The groups will encourage dialogue between all levels of government, civil society and business from all EU Member States, and influence the direction of EU research and innovation funding from now until 2020.
The EU27 external current account recorded a surplus of 28.8 billion euro in the third quarter of 2012, compared with a deficit of 6.8 bn in the third quarter of 2011, according to a second estimate released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the third quarter of 2012, compared with the third quarter of 2011, the deficit of the goods account decreased significantly (-2.6 bn euro compared with -34.6 bn) and the surplus of the services account rose (+39.3 bn compared with +31.1 bn). The surplus of the income account fell (+10.5 bn compared with +14.6 bn) and the deficit of the current transfers account increased (-18.3 bn compared with -17.9 bn).
In January 2013, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator improved markedly in both the EU (-21.9 after -23.9 in December 2012) and the euro area (-23.9 after -26.3 in December 2012).
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