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Daily News – 25.11.2016

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 25 / 11 / 2016

Brussels, 25 November 2016

18th EU-Ukraine Summit: Support, Solidarity and a Strengthened Partnership

At the 18th EU-Ukraine Summit, the EU reaffirmed its solidarity with Ukraine and its support for the government's continuing reform efforts. Read the full press release on the Summit here. President Juncker welcomed the progress made: "Over the last two or three years, while working faithfully with President Poroshenko and his government, we have witnessed a great deal more progress during this short period than in the previous twenty years". President Juncker spoke of the need for the European Parliament and Member States to reach an agreement in order to allow visa liberalisation to be granted before the end of the year. President Juncker welcomed President Poroshenko's commitment to meet all remaining reform conditions for the next disbursement of the Macros Financial Assistance. Read the full remarks of President Juncker at the Summit press conference here. Cooperation was strengthened in a number of other areas with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Energy Partnership (press release available here) and the confirmation of a range of support programmes designed to foster accountable and transparent governance. A €15 million reform assistance programme to help Ukraine fight corruption is one element in a €300 million programme that also includes support for  decentralisation (€97 million), the reform of public administration (€104 million), and the rule of law (€52.5 million). A full press release is available here, and information on the Commission's Support Group for Ukraine here. The Summit also provided an opportunity to discuss other important aspects of the EU-Ukraine relationship, including the EU's proposal for autonomous trade measures for Ukraine. Today, the European Union has increased its support to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) with an additional €5 million, added to €25 million already provided. The European Union is unwavering in its support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, which was reaffirmed by the EU leaders at the Summit. For more information visit the website of the EU-Ukraine Summit and the website of the EU Delegation in Ukraine, and see the factsheet on EU-Ukraine relations. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359)


EU mobilises assistance through EU Civil Protection Mechanism to help Israel stop wildfires fires

To help contain the spread of devastating wildfires, Israel has requested European assistance through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism on 24 November. Substantial assistance has been offered via the Mechanism. Spain will shortly send four fire-fighting airplanes, and France has offered two fire-fighting airplanes as well as one investigation airplane. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "We stand by the Israeli people and authorities at this time of need. Not only in words but with concrete support. I'm pleased that EU Member States are showing their solidarity in action. We will continue to be in close contact with the Israeli authorities to mobilise further offers of assistance as required." Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: "The EU has immediately responded to the call for assistance and has helped mobilise 7 airplanes to support Israel so far, thanks to the generosity of our Member States. Our solidarity and thoughts are with all those affected and the first responders working to save lives. We stand in solidarity with Israel at this time of need." In addition, bilateral support from Italy and Cyprus will be channelled through the Mechanism, concerning the return trip of the fire-fighting airplanes. Read the full press release here. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


Commissioner Thyssen meeting business and EU leaders at Pact for Youth High-level Meeting

Yesterday, Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, and Viscount Etienne Davignon, Belgian Minister of State and President of CSR Europe, co-chaired the EU Pact for Youth High-Level meeting in Brussels. At the meeting, CEOs from multinationals and NGOs reconfirmed their commitment to the European Pact for Youth, a mutual engagement of business and EU leaders, initiated by CSR Europe, to support youth employability and inclusion. In November 2015, companies launched together with the European Commission the mutual engagement to support the creation of 10,000 quality business-education partnerships, with the shared target to establish together at least 100,000 new good quality apprenticeships, traineeships or entry-level jobs. One year on, the European Pact for Youth has been bolstered by national action plans and over 15,000 business-education partnerships set up. Commissioner Thyssen said: "Work-based learning models such as apprenticeships ease education-to-work transitions and boost employability. This type of education, as well as all forms of vocational education or VET, possess great potential to equip people with the right skills for the labour market. As of 5 December, the European VET Skills Week takes place, aiming at raising awareness about the advantages of VET learning." More information on the outcome of the meeting can be found here. Commissioner Thyssen's speech is available here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


Better access to finance for European farmers: new joint instrument combining rural development and funding with EFSI

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group are preparing a joint financial instrument to combine rural development funding with the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the core of the Juncker Commission's Investment Plan for Europe. Using the EFSI guarantee in combination with European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) will increase the firepower of the support. Details of the initiative will be discussed now and will be announced in due time, including with pilot projects in several Member States over the next two years. Vice-President Katainen said: "EFSI financing is available to support and already supports agricultural SMEs and economically and technically viable projects in the agri-food sectors. This new Financial Instruments vehicle is a welcome step towards using more financial instruments on the agri-food sector - we are on the right track for more jobs and growth." Commissioner Hogan said: "By developing financial instruments of the right type and right quantity in the agri-food sector, we can dramatically enhance the capacity of our farmers and agri-businesses to innovate, grow, export and create jobs. The new EAFRD – EFSI Initiative is a great new opportunity that offers excellent possibilities for attracting private capital. I am ready to throw my full support behind all Member States willing to open the financial world to their farmers and rural businesses." The announcement took place at today's 7th Fi-Compass conference, broadcasted live on EbS. The presentations made at today's event are available on the conference website. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel: +32 229 56 153; Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 229 56 185; Enda McNamara- Tel: +32 2 29 64976; Clémence Robin – Tel: + 32 229 52 509)


L'Union européenne réaffirme son soutien à Madagascar

M. Neven Mimica, commissaire chargé de la coopération internationale et du développement, réaffirme le soutien de l'Union européenne à Madagascar au cours d'une visite officielle dans le pays, où il rencontrera le président Hery Rajaonarimampianina. À cette occasion, le commissaire Mimica a déclaré ce qui suit: «En dépit des difficultés et des défis à surmonter, le processus démocratique engagé en 2013 s'enracine. Dans le même temps, le pays reste de toute évidence confronté à d'immenses défis. C'est la population malgache elle-même qui a été la principale victime des crises politiques passées et sa résistance doit à présent être récompensée par des résultats tangibles et visibles. Les réformes doivent être accélérées.» Au cours de sa visite à Madagascar, le commissaire représentera l'Union européenne au 16e sommet de l'Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF). Avec Michaëlle Jean, secrétaire générale de l'OIF, il signera un cadre de coopération actualisé entre la Commission européenne et l'OIF à la lumière des dernières évolutions internationales, en particulier de l'adoption du programme de développement durable à l'horizon 2030. Ce protocole d'accord renouvelé illustre de manière concrète le souhait de l'UE d'unir ses forces à celles d'autres acteurs du développement afin d'aider les pays partenaires à mettre en œuvre les objectifs de développement durable (ODD). Une fiche d'information sur les relations entre l'UE et Madagascar est disponible en ligne. (Plus d'informations: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)


Commission's top scientific advisers publish opinion on how to better measure car CO2 emissions

Today, the High-Level Group of the Commission's Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) has published its first opinion, which focuses on enhancing the measurement of CO2 emissions from cars. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "We set up the Group of High-level Scientific Advisers only last year to support policy making with high-quality, independent scientific advice, in line with the Better Regulation Agenda to improve the quality of EU legislation. This is exactly what they have done with this first report. We need to reduce CO2 emissions of cars and vans if we are to achieve climate and sustainability goals, and now we have additional scientific evidence base to mould future climate policies in this area." Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: "Curbing CO2 emissions and more representative measurements will support European and global efforts to decarbonise transport in view of international commitments to combat climate change. An important step has been the adoption of a new emissions testing procedure. This first opinion of the SAM High-level Group will undoubtedly constitute a key reference for our work on post-2020 emission performance standards for cars and vans in the EU." The independent group of eminent scientists welcomes the introduction of the new emissions testing procedure as from 2017 that is expected to provide more representative CO2 emission measurements. They recommend a regular review of this procedure, complemented by a framework for the monitoring of real driving CO2 emissions including a formal reporting of the fuel consumption of passenger cars. More information on the recommendations of the SAM and more background information on the SAM and the opinion is available online. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel. +32 229 56186)


Concentrations: la Commission approuve l'acquisition conjointe du distributeur de colis BRT par GeoPost et Corfin

La Commission Européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition en contrôle conjoint de la société italienne BRT S.p.A. par l'entreprise française GeoPost, appartenant au Groupe La Poste, et Corfin 14 S.r.l, établie en Italie. BRT et GeoPost offrent toutes les deux des services de distribution de colis et de fret, alors que Corfin est une société holding sans activités opérationnelles. La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problèmes de concurrence, compte tenu de son impact limité sur la structure du marché. La transaction a été examinée selon la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.8225. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)


State aid: Commission approves amendments to the Finnish regional aid map for the period of 2017-2020

The European Commission has found amendments to Finland's regional aid map for granting state aid between 2014 and 2020 to be in line with EU state aid rules. The map defines the Finnish regions that are eligible for regional investment aid under EU state aid rules and establishes the maximum levels of aid (so-called "aid intensities") that can be granted. The 2014 Guidelines on Regional State Aid allow for a mid-term review of the regional aid maps approved by the Commission. This enables Member States to make amendments to the list of supported areas and/or the level of aid intensities in supported areas, in order to take into account recent changes in the social and economic circumstances of individual regions. The modifications to the maps need to comply with the criteria set out in the Guidelines. Finland notified plans to add six municipalities (Kannonkosi, Karstula, Kinnula, Kivijärvi, Kyyjärvi, Saarijärvi) in the sub-region of Saarijärvi-Viitasaari to the map and to remove one sub-region (Äänekoski). The modified map will be in force from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2020. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.46345. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)


EUROSTAT: 1 chômeur sur 5 dans l'UE a trouvé un emploi

Parmi toutes les personnes dans l'Union européennequi étaient au chômage au premier trimestre 2016, 63,2% (12,6 millions de personnes) étaient toujours au chômage au deuxième trimestre 2016, tandis que 19,5% (3,9 millions) avaient trouvé un emploi et que 17,3% (3,5 millions) avaient évolué vers l'inactivité économique au cours de cette même période. Les personnes économiquement inactives sont celles qui ne sont ni en situation d'emploi, ni au chômage. Il s'agit par exemple d'étudiants, de retraités et d'hommes ou de femmes au foyer, pour autant qu'ils ne travaillent pas du tout et qu'ils ne soient pas disponibles pour travailler ou qu'ils ne soient pas à la recherche d'un emploi.Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


EUROSTAT: Fiscalité dans les États membres de l'UE: Le ratio recettes fiscales/PIB variait toujours du simple au double en 2015 selon les États membres

Le ratio global recettes fiscales/PIB, autrement dit la somme des impôts et des cotisations sociales nettes en pourcentage du PIB, s'est élevé à 40,0% dans l'Union européenne (UE) en 2015, stable par rapport à 2014. Dans la zone euro, les recettes fiscales représentaient 41,4% du PIB en 2015, en légère baisse par rapport au taux de 41,5% de 2014. C'est la première fois depuis son niveau plancher de 2010 que le ratio recettes fiscales/PIB n'augmente pas dans les deux zones. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Patrick McCullough - Tel.: +32 229 87183)





Commissioner Moscovici will be in Athens on 28-29 November

On 28 November, Commissioner Moscovici will visit Athens to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Greek programme ahead of the next Eurogroup meeting. Commissioner Moscovici will deliver a keynote speech at the 27th Annual Conference on the Greek Economy, organised by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. During his visit, Commissioner Moscovici will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He will also discuss the Greek programme with Euclid Tsakalotos, Minister of Finance, with Dimos Papadimitiou, Minister of Economy and Development, and with Efi Ahtsioglou, Minister of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Security. On 29 November, Commissioner Moscovici will hold a press point at the EC representation in Athens, which will be webstreamed live on EbS as from 10:15 CET. During his visit, he will also meet with representatives of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, including its Chairman, Mr Theodoros Fessas, and will visit Geraka's Primary School, which benefits from EU funding under the JESSICA programme. Ahead of this visit, Commissioner Moscovici said: “With this third visit to Athens, I intend to lend my support to the ongoing intensive work between the institutions and the Greek authorities. I am convinced that an agreement on the second review of the ESM programme is within our reach."  (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel: +32 229 56 153; Audrey Augier – Tel: +32 229 71 607)


Visite officielle de la Commissaire Jourová à Paris

La Commissaire Jourová est à Paris aujourd'hui, où elle rencontrera le ministre de la Justice, Jean-Jacques Urvoas, pour discuter de dossiers importants, comme le procureur européen, les nouvelles règles contractuelles numériques. Elle lui présentera également la proposition de nouvelles règles en matière d'insolvabilité. Le procureur européen sera également à l'agenda de sa rencontre avec Jean-Claude Marin, le Procureur général. A l'occasion de la journée internationale pour l'élimination de la violence à l'égard des femmes, et du lancement d'une campagne européenne luttant contre les violences faites aux femmes, elle visitera avec la ministre des Familles, de l'Enfance et des Droits des femmes, Laurence Rossignol, un foyer de la Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes (FNSF). Elle rencontrera aussi l'association LedbyHER, qui permet aux femmes victimes de violence de se reconstruire grâce à l'entrepreneuriat. Enfin, elle donnera un discours à l'occasion de la cérémonie de la rentrée solennelle du Barreau de Paris. (Pour plus d'informations: Nathalie Vandystadt– Tel.: +32 229 67083; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)



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