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EXME 13 / 28.01
Midday Express of 2013-01-28
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Commission today announced the winners of a multi-billion euro competition of Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) . The winning Graphene and Human Brain initiatives are set to receive one billion euros each, to deliver 10 years of world-beating science at the crossroads of science and technology. Each initiative involves researchers from at least 15 EU Member States and nearly 200 research institutes.
How to sharpen Europe's tools to prevent violent extremism? A High Level Conference in Brussels on 29 January 2013 aims to give the answers to these questions, based on the work carried out by experts and practitioners in the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), launched by EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström in 2011. Policy proposals include training local police to detect signs of radicalisation into violent extremism, and providing de-radicalisation or exit programs for members of extremist groups. By bringing together field workers with ministers, academia and local authorities, the conference aims to take the EU's work against extremism to a new level.
One year ago, ahead of the European Data Protection Day 2012, the European Commission proposed a root and branch reform of the EU’s data protection rules to make them fit for the 21st century ( IP/12/46). One year later, considerable headway has been made and negotiations on the new rules are progressing at full speed. The reasons are clear: To flourish, the digital economy needs trust. Many people are not confident about giving out their personal data online. This means they are less likely to use online services and other technologies. Strong, reliable, consistently applied rules will make data processing safer, cheaper and strengthen people’s confidence. Confidence in turn drives growth. Some estimates show that EU GDP could grow by a further 4% by 2020 if the EU takes the necessary steps to create a modern digital single market.
The names of the 27 winners of the European Commission’s annual EU Young Translator Juvenes Translatores contest for secondary school pupils are published today (28 January, list of winning pupils/schools below). More than 3 000 pupils from 750 schools sat the contest in November 2012. The winners – one per EU country – will be invited to an award ceremony in Brussels on 11 April to receive their prizes from Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and will also have the chance to see the Commission's translators at work.
Today, the European Commission and Afghan Minister of Finance, Omar Zakhilwal, will sign two financing agreements worth €185 million to support new programmes in health and agriculture.
Concentrations: la Commission autorise la création de l'entreprise commune Dokéo TV par SFR et la Librairie Fernand Nathan
La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement de l’UE sur les concentrations, la création de l'entreprise commune Dokéo TV, qui aura pour objet la conception, la diffusion et la commercialisation de contenus multimédia interactifs jeunesse et ludo-éducatifs à destination des jeunes enfants et leurs familles en France. SFR est un fournisseur français de services de télécommunications fixe et mobile. La Librairie Fernand Nathan est un éditeur français qui propose un ensemble de solutions éducatives pour les enseignants, élèves, enfants et leurs parents. L'opération a été analysée sous la procédure simplifiée.
Europeans want and deserve a monetary union with a human face
“We must not allow the eurozone crisis to tear apart the EU into two halves: one with job-rich growth, and another one with a jobless recession and the constant threat of social unrest”, insisted European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor when addressing the European Trade Union Confederation conference in Madrid on “Celebrating the past, looking to the future”. “We must not allow those at the bottom of society pay the highest price for the moral failure and misconduct of others on the top and in the shadow economy. We must not allow a malfunctioning monetary union alienate the EU from our workers, our youth, the majority of the citizens in some of its Member States and all those who look at us in the outside world with a lot of concern, and sometimes with horror. We need bold ideas and also bold action if we really want to leave behind the misery of the recent years.” Commissioner Andor outlined that “the main priority - in order to address the current crisis and to prevent future ones, is to rebuild the EMU, and particularly to develop a social dimension for the monetary union and define the role of social dialogue in that. In my view, the social dimension of a genuine EMU must be understood as an ability of the EMU’s rules, governance mechanisms, fiscal capacity and other policy instruments to ensure that economic efficiency and social equity are pursued at the same time. This requires that fiscal objectives are reconciled with employment and social ones in the decision making process, and that there are institutional guarantees to limit the real economic and social costs of fiscal discipline enforcement. Such a social dimension must involve the social partners.” See SPEECH/13/62 .
Commission consults public on schemes for Milk and Fruit distribution in schools
The European Commission is today launching a public consultation on the review of two programmes, the European School Milk Scheme and School Fruit Scheme, respectively providing dairy products and fruits and vegetables to children in schools. The review aims to assess the impact of both programmes and to analyse how they should evolve in the future, in terms of choice of products offered to children or supporting educational measures. The Commission is seeking input from the public on different policy options as part of its reflections on the future of both schemes. In the school year 2010/2011, both schemes together benefited more than 25 million children across the participating Member States distributing around 43 000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables (to 8 million children) and 300.000 tonnes of milk and milk products (to 18 million children). NB 24 Member States participate in the Fruit Scheme [all except FI, Se & UK] and 26 in the Milk Scheme [all except GR]. EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development Dacian Cioloş said: "The feedback from these schemes is positive, both in health terms and terms of educating children on seasonal food production. We are therefore looking at options for scaling up and improving efficiencies of both schemes." The consultation will run from 28 January to 22 April 2013. The related document and questionnaire are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=SCHOOLCHILDREN2013&lang=en .
Commissioner Hedegaard visits Lille for conference on adaptation to climate change
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, will be in Lille, France on 29 January to speak at the final conference of an EU-funded project on adaptation to climate change in north-west Europe. The Sic-ADAPT project promotes effective adaptation to climate change through projects in seven north-west European Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The project is funded through the INTERREG IVB NWE financial instrument of the EU's cohesion policy. On her way to Lille Commissioner Hedegaard will visit a low-energy housing development in Vieux-Condé, a French mining town near the Belgian border.
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