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Daily News – 01.09.2015

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 01 / 09 / 2015

Brussels, 1 September 2015

Schools open doors to a new, more inclusive vision of education and training

As schools around Europe open their doors to welcome back pupils and students after the summer, the Commission is today putting forward a draft joint report to be adopted by Member States, proposing to strengthen cooperation in education and training in Europe. One of the key points of this report is to make education and training systems in Europe more socially inclusive. Stepping up such support is especially important as part of the wider efforts use education and training to tackle youth radicalisation, as agreed by education ministers following the 2015 attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “Young Europeans are facing common challenges that need joint responses. The threat of radicalisation shows how urgently we need to improve education prospects across all our communities. Together with education ministers we will strengthen our joint work to reduce early school leaving, counter social exclusion and support diverse classrooms all over Europe." This is one of the six new proposed priorities for cooperation among Member States and the Commission in the field of education and training until 2020. Other priorities include improving people's skills and employment prospectsand ensuring sustainable investment into education and training systems around Europe. Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, added: “Youth Employment is a top priority for this Commission. Relevant and high-quality skills are needed more than ever to find a job today. Better cooperation in education and training will help to raise skills and competence levels to tackle skills mismatches and thus support young Europeans to successfully enter the labour market." A press release is available online. (For more information: Natalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253)

 

Five EU-funded films in the spotlight at the Venice International Film Festival

Five EU-funded films are competing in the prestigious 72nd Venice International Film Festival which starts tomorrow, 2 September. The European Commission has invested around €260 000 through the Creative Europe MEDIA programme to support the development and distribution of Marguerite, A Bigger Splash, L'Hermine, Krigen (A War) and Taj Mahal. Each year, MEDIA supports around 2 000 European film and television projects, including series and other audio-visual works, which are distributed in cinemas, on television and through video-on-demand. Overall, through its MEDIA programme, the Commission will invest more than €100 million in the European cinema and audio-visual industries during 2015. Funding productions supports the exports of films and audio-visual works, their ability to compete on the global stage, and ultimately the creation of jobs in Europe. As part of its Digital Single Market Strategy, the Commission aims to strengthen the European cultural and creative sector further. This will include new initiatives to fight piracy, to facilitate access to legal online content across the continent and to ensure the promotion of European works. The Venice Film Festival will also host the fourth event of the European Film Forum, a platform for dialogue between policy makers and professionals of the film sector. Other events at the Festival related to financing and training are also supported by the Commission. More details here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet - Tel.: +32 229 56182; Marie Frenay – Tel.: +32 229 64532)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of certain Kuoni subsidiaries by REWE ZF in travel service sector

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of several subsidiaries of Kuoni Travel Investments Ltd of Switzerland by REWE-Zentralfinanz eG ('REWE ZF') of Germany. REWE ZF belongs to REWE Group, a retailer also active in travel and tourism. REWE ZF provides tour operator and travel agency services, predominantly to customers in Germany and Austria. The businesses to be purchased are some units of Kuoni Travel Investment's travel division: Kuoni Benelux, Kuoni Nordic, Kuoni UK and Kuoni Switzerland (including Kuoni Reisen AG). These companies offer tour operator and travel agency services mainly to customers in different countries within the European Economic Area including Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. On the markets where both businesses are active, the effects of the transaction are very limited since the combined market share is low or the market increase brought by the transaction is very limited. Furthermore, in those markets there are several credible competitors. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7713. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of NKBM by Apollo in banking sector

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor ('NKBM') of Slovenia by investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Management L.P. of the US. NKBM provides banking, online payment and real estate services, and manages funds and pensions in Slovenia. Apollo manages a number of investment funds. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the companies' moderate combined market shares on the markets concerned. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7714. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

EUROSTAT: Euro area unemployment rate at 10.9%

The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.9% in July 2015, down from 11.1% in June 2015, and from 11.6% in July 2014. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since February 2012. The EU28 unemployment rate was 9.5% in July 2015, down from 9.6% in June 2015, and from 10.2% in July 2014. This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since June 2011. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. A EUROSTAT press release is available online. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

EUROSTAT: Is the European Union moving towards sustainable development?

Today, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes its sixth monitoring report of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS). This monitoring report evaluates progress towards the EU SDS objectives using a set of more than 100 sustainable development indicators, grouped into ten thematic areas. The evaluation considers two periods: the long term, accounting for progress since the year 2000, and the short term, looking at the trends over the last five years. A EUROSTAT press release is available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

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