EXME 13 / 29.01
Midday Express of 2013-01-29
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Commission will pledge €100 million of humanitarian funding at the International Pledging Conference for Syria convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and hosted by Kuwait on 30 January. This funding, to be disbursed in 2013, will add to the €100 million already contracted for the crisis in 2011/2012, bringing the Commission's humanitarian funding for the crisis to €200 million.
Following the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, the European Commission is inviting divided communities in the EU and beyond to consider whether and how they might draw on the experience of the EU's PEACE Programme in Northern Ireland and Ireland's Border Region. The Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, will host a conference: "Bringing Divided Communities Together - Sharing the Experience of the EU PEACE Programme" on Thursday, January 31 at 9:00 am in the Charlemagne building. He will be joined by First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, and Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin. The conference will be attended by representatives of EU Member states, candidates, neighbourhood countries and others. Participants in three peace-building projects from Northern Ireland will also be at the gathering to share their experiences. Their presentations will be followed by a discussion on how far the Peace Programme's approach could be transposed to other parts of the world.
Today, at a donor conference on Mali hosted by the African Union in Addis Ababa, Commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs, representing the European Union, confirmed the contribution of €50 million from the European Union to support the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA).
The EU will be represented by High Representative Vice President Catherine Ashton. India will be represented by Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid. It is the first time they meet since Minister Khurshid was appointed External Affairs Minister of India.
In the third quarter of 2012 compared with the second quarter of 2012, the household saving rate remained almost stable in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. The household investment rate was unchanged in the euro area and remained almost stable in the EU27. In the euro area, household income per capita fell by 0.3% in real terms, after a decrease of 0.5% in the previous quarter.
In the third quarter of 2012, compared with the second quarter of 2012, the business investment rate decreased in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. In the euro area, the business profit share remained almost stable, as wage costs increased at nearly the same rate as value added.
Commissioner Andor: a call for investors to contribute to sustainable growth and jobs
"Sustainable profitmaking can only go hand in hand with a prosperous, cohesive and inclusive society. One where unemployment, social exclusion and social unrest are reduced to a minimum". This is the key message that László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion is delivering today at the Responsible Investment Summit 2013 organised by the European Venture Equity and Venture Capital Association. Andor will stress that Europe needs to revive its economy and boost job creation and that investors can play a big role here. He will encourage investors and companies to continue investing in human capital in the EU, pointing to issues such as workplace health and safety, active ageing and quality traineeships, where enlightened investment generates returns both for companies and for society. Andor will also stress the importance of the social economy sector that already counts more than two million enterprises and 11 million workers in the EU i.e. 6% of the entire workforce. He will encourage investors to tap on the development potential of social enterprises as they not only create wealth and jobs but also tend to offer higher quality and more sustainable jobs. "The sustainable future of our societies is in investors' long-term interest" Andor will conclude.
Conference "EU space policy: A global tool for global challenges"
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani and Geneviève Fioraso, Minister for Higher Education and Research, France, are the key note speakers at today's conference on "EU Space Policy: A global tool for global challenges" in Brussels. The event will be focusing on a wide range of key issues, including the contribution from the space sector to growth and cross-fertilisation with other sectors, the state of play regarding the deployment of Galileo, Egnos, and Copernicus and the dual use – civil and defence - of the EU space programmes and European space activities. EU space activities are not an end in themselves; they are tools to serve many other policies such as environment, mobility, agriculture or the management humanitarian crises and natural and man-made disasters. VP Tajani underlined in his speech the important role of space for restoring growth and the creation of employment by strengthening the competitiveness of industry and the creation of new businesses. He also announced the forthcoming Commission space industrial policy communication for mid of February 2013, which proposes actions aimed at releasing the full potential of space industry to generate innovation and growth. He called upon the 27 Member States to mobilize the financial resources that will be required over the course of the coming years to implement space programmes, notably Galileo and Copernicus, which are the result of the long-term choices and are the backbone of the EU ambitious space strategy. See SPEECH/13/69 - Conference - EU space policy
Commission approves prolongation of Polish bank guarantee scheme
The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, the prolongation of a Polish bank guarantee scheme until 30 June 2013. The scheme covers guarantees and other liquidity support measures in favour of financial institutions in Poland. The Commission found the prolongation of the scheme, initially approved on 25 September 2009 (see IP/09/1360) and prolonged in February 2010 (see MEX/10/0209), June 2010 (see IP/10/864), December 2010 (see MEX/10/1216), June 2011 (see MEX/11/0628), February 2012 (see MEX/12/0208) and July 2012 (see MEX/12/0709) to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1495 , IP/08/1901 , IP/10/1636) and in particular with the tighter pricing requirements of its 2011 Communication (see IP/11/1488). Other conditions of the original scheme remain unchanged. The Commission, therefore, concluded that the measures were compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), that allows aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.
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