EXME 13 / 27.09
27 / 09 / 13
Monday 30 September will mark the opening of a second round of live, interactive online debates – this time on social rights - between citizens, businesses, organisations, and policy makers in the framework of Single Market Month . The debates will run from Monday to Wednesday (30 September-2 October) on 35 ideas across 17 EU countries ranging from the freedom to receive healthcare in any Member State, to an initiative that would ease information flows between the social security institutions of Member States. Join the debate at: www.yourideasforeurope.eu . See IP/13/882 and MEMO/13/804 .
Today, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its latest report on climate science. The report says it is unequivocal that climate change is occurring and confirms there is at least 95% certainty that human activities are the principal cause.
In reaction to the report, Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: ''The issue is not whether to believe in climate change or not. The issue is whether to follow science or not. The day when all scientists with 100% certainty warn you against climate change, it will be too late. If your doctor was 95% sure you had a serious disease, you would immediately start looking for the cure. Why should we take bigger risks when it's the health of our planet at stake? Europe will continue to lead the fight against climate change. We have ambitious legislation in place. We are reducing our emissions considerably, expanding renewables and saving energy. And we are getting ready for the next step: climate and energy targets for 2030 that the Commission will present before the end of the year. The reality is that others are now following suit. Europe will continue to demand more action from all the emitters.''
Despite the economic crisis, Europe remains one of the favourite destinations. International tourist arrivals in Europe grew by 5 % during the first half of 2013, with best results recorded in Central and Eastern Europe (+ 9 %) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+ 6 %). During the first six months of the year, Spain was still the most popular destination, followed by Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Greece and the UK, but eastern countries such as Lithuania, Slovakia and Latvia also recorded substantial growth. Additionally, tens of thousands of jobs are currently available in the tourism sector across Europe, which could provide some relief to the more than 26 million Europeans currently out of work. Jobs in the tourism sector are especially attractive for the young workforce, which faces a 23.5 % unemployment rate (reaching a stunning 50 % unemployment rate in some areas). Although jobs exist in the tourism sector, often it is difficult to match potential employers with qualified workers across Europe. In order to foster employment and mobility in the tourism sector, the European Commission has put in place EURES, the first pan-European job portal which currently has many openings in the tourism sector. The portal will soon allow searching for more tourism-specific skills.
In September the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased by 1.6 points in the euro area (to 96.9) and 2.4 points in the EU (to 100.6). The sharp increase in the EU brought the indicator above its long-term average for the first time since July 2011.
In September 2013, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area remained broadly unchanged at -0.20. Managers' production expectations, as well as their appraisal of export order books and, to a lesser extent, overall order books and the stocks of finished products improved. These positive developments were counterbalanced by a significantly more negative assessment of past production.
Third Behavioural Economics Conference – 30 September 2013
Behavioural Economics is a relatively new, but rapidly expanding discipline that combines economics and experimental research on behaviour in order to demonstrate why consumers choose to shop and buy the way that they do, what influences them in their purchasing decisions and how these affect the market. On Monday Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy, welcomes top international academic, business and policy experts to a conference in Brussels to discuss the role that Behavioural Economics can play in the development of EU policies so as to better serve the consumer. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer/information_sources/consumer_affairs_events_en.htm
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič says transparency must serve citizens at seminar marking International Right to Know Day
Today's event, organised at the European Parliament by European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros before his retirement on 1 October, provided an opportunity for Vice-President Šefčovič to highlight the enormous progress made by the European Commission on transparency over the last ten years. These include among others the launch of a transparency register, a transparency portal, a register of expert groups, and access to documents legislation which has seen access requests rise from 450/year to more than 6,000/year today, with access granted in more than four out of five cases. But the Vice-President added: "Transparency for citizens goes far beyond the individual issues of access to documents or who lobbies whom. The essential point is that citizens must know what decisions are taken by whom and why. This enables citizens to participate in the political discussions and to hold their political representatives to account for decisions taken at EU level. Citizens come first, and transparency must serve the citizens – this is the order of priority which we should keep in mind."
Commissioners' weekly activities
Upcoming Commission activities for the weeks ahead