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Daily News – 29.07.2013

EXME 13 / 29.07


29 / 07 / 13

Message from President Barroso following the bus accident in Italy

President Barroso sent a message of condolences to the Prime Minister of Italy, Enrico Letta, following the bus accident close to Naples. President Barroso said: "I am deeply saddened by the news of the terrible bus accident yesterday evening close to Naples that caused the death of so many passengers and injured many others, including children. I wish to convey to you and the Italian people my warmest thoughts, most sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy. In the name of the European Commission and on my own behalf, I express our wholehearted solidarity to the families of the victims and best wishes of recovery to the injured."

Other news

An amicable solution for the EU-China solar panels case

After weeks of intensive talks, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has announced over the weekend that he is satisfied with the offer of a price undertaking submitted by China’s solar panel exporters, which is the basis for an amicable solution that both the EU and China were looking for in the solar panels case. The price undertaking will replace the anti-dumping duty for those Chinese companies participating, up until a certain annual volume. Commissioner De Gucht stated in a press conference today that he hopes this solution “sets the tone for other trade cases affecting trade between the EU and China.” See MEMO/13/730

Justice for growth: Commission fills legal gaps for unitary patent protection

The European Commission has today proposed to complete the legal framework for Europe-wide patent protection by updating EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgements (the so-called “Brussels I Regulation”). The changes will prepare the way for a specialised European patent court – the Unified Patent Court – to enter into force once ratified, making it easier for companies and inventors to protect their patents. Vice-President Reding said, “Removing bureaucratic obstacles, extra costs and the legal uncertainty of having 28 different and often contradictory systems makes the single market more attractive." Commissioner Michel Barnier added "It is of crucial importance for Europe's competitiveness that innovators benefit as quickly as possible from the multiple benefits of the long awaited European unitary patent."

EU’s Instrument for Stability: a key contributor in EU responses to international conflicts and crises in 2012

The European Commission adopted a report on the activities undertaken in 2012 under the Instrument for Stability (IfS), one of the key European Union instruments for external assistance. This (sixth) annual report demonstrates the wide range of contributions that the mobilisation of EUR 286 million of IfS funds in 2012 has made to the EU’s work in helping prevent conflicts and responding to crises and security and other threats worldwide.

Catherine Ashton visits Egypt

Responding to requests from key stakeholders Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, visits Egypt on Monday. During the visit she will meet with acting President Adly Mansour, Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei, Minister of Defence General Abd Al Fattah Al Sissi and other members of the interim government. She will also hold talks with other political forces, including representatives of Freedom and Justice Party, and representatives of civil society.

Food Safety: Latest Report on controls of fruit and vegetable imports shows system is protecting European consumers

A report published today by the Commission shows that the system of controls at EU borders on fruit and vegetable imports from non-EU countries is protecting consumers from potential food safety risks. In addition to the 'routine' controls carried out on these imports, some commodities are subject to an increased level of controls due to the risks associated with them. Today's report presents the results of controls carried out by EU countries in 2012. Over 71 000 consignments subject to reinforced controls reached EU borders in 2012. Of those, 10 610 were sampled for laboratory analysis and 751 (i.e. 7.1%) were found in breach of EU legislation and were prevented from entering the EU market. Some products achieved satisfactory levels of compliance and were therefore removed from the list of imports targeted for controls. These are: feed additives and pre-mixtures from India (tested for lead and cadmium), chilli peppers from Peru (aflatoxins), chilli and chilli products from all non-EU countries (Sudan dyes). However, Chinese broccoli and nutmeg and mace from Indonesia were added to the list for the possible presence of pesticides and aflatoxins. Due to the very high non-compliance levels reported in 2012, more stringent conditions were adopted for the import of groundnuts from Ghana and India, okra and curry leaves from India and watermelon seeds from Nigeria: these must now be accompanied by results of sampling and analysis and by a health certificate verified by authorised representatives of the country of origin. The report is published in the framework of Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 on an increased level of official controls on certain imports of food and feed of non-animal origin, contains the list (reviewed on a quarterly basis) of imports subject to increased border controls. Read more