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Daily News – 20.02.2017

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 20 / 02 / 2017

Brussels, 20 February 2017

Preparation of the ECOFIN and Eurogroup meetings, 20-21 February 2017

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the European Commission at today's meeting of the Eurogroup and tomorrow's ECOFIN Council meeting. At the Eurogroup, ministers will hold a general discussion on the ease of doing business in the euro area. Based on the Commission's Winter 2017 Economic Forecast published on 13 February, ministers will also exchange views on the economic situation and policy challenges for the euro area. Ministers will then assess progress made on the second review of the stability support programme for Greece. Commissioner Moscovici will represent the Commission in the press conference following the Eurogroup meeting. At tomorrow's ECOFIN, ministers are expected to agree on new tax-avoidance measures, following the Commission's proposal last October. The new rules would prevent multinational companies from avoiding tax by exploiting differences between tax systems in Member States and those in non-EU countries (so-called 'hybrid mismatches'). Ministers will be updated on the state of play in the process towards the common EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. The Council will also discuss preparations for the upcoming meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Germany on 17 and 18 March 2017. A recommendation to the European Parliament on the discharge for the implementation of the EU's general budget for 2015 and conclusions on the general budget for 2018 should also be adopted. Commissioner Oettinger will attend the meeting for these two points. Finally, the Commission will update the Council on the state of play of current legislative proposals in the field of financial services. The meeting will be followed by a press conference with Vice-President Dombrovskis. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)

 

EU announces €18 million in humanitarian aid for Ukraine

Today Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides has announced additional funding for people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine during his visit to the country. "The recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, and its impact on the civilian population, is of great concern. Here today in Bakhmut, I want to tell the Ukrainian people: you are not alone. All civilians in need must be helped, on both sides of the contact line. Our new aid package will help humanitarian partners in eastern Ukraine to cover urgent medical, shelter, water and sanitation needs. It is crucial that aid gets to all vulnerable people affected by the conflict swiftly, safely and impartially", said Commissioner Christos Stylianides. The European Commission provides humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable communities, irrespective of which area of the conflict they live in or have fled to. Together with the funding provided directly by the Member States, the EU as a whole has directed over €399 million in humanitarian and recovery aid to those affected by the conflict since early 2014. Read the full press release here. (For more information: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

EU-supported films won the Golden Bear and four Silver Bears at Berlinale

Five films supported by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme won the Golden and Silver Bears at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). The Hungarian film Teströl és lélekröl  (On Body and Soul) directed by Ildikó Enyedihas received the Golden Bear for Best Film. Four other films co-funded by MEDIA programme won Silver Bears. Félicité by Alain Gomis (France, Senegal, Belgium, Germany, Lebanon) received the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize. Pokot (Spoor) by Agnieszka Holland (Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia) received the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives. The Silver Bear for Best Director was awarded to Aki Kaurismäki for Toivon tuolla puolen (The Other Side of Hope), (Finland, Germany). The Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution went to Dana Bunescu for the editing in Ana, mon amour by Călin Peter Netzer (Romania, Germany, France). Additional MEDIA-supported films received special awards: altogether 10 MEDIA-backed films won a total of 14 awards at Berlinale during this weekend. Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for Digital Single Market said: "Congratulations to all winners on Berlinale 2017. The MEDIA programme plays an essential role to help European films reach new audiences across borders and the numerous awards are also a great recognition for our efforts to support European cinema with all its richness and diversity. We will continue our work to further support and promote the circulation of European audiovisual works across Europe." Altogether 25 films supported by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme participated in the Berlinale programme. These films received over EUR 1.7 million support mainly for film development and distribution outside their home country. Further information on MEDIA-backed award winners can be found here.(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund - Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Corialis by CVC

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of control over Corialis by CVC, both of Luxembourg. Corialis produces and markets aluminium extrusion services and aluminium building systems and profiles for windows, doors, conservatories and curtain walls. CVC is an equity investment fund and is active globally, holding interests in different sectors. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the activities of CVC, including its portfolio companies, and those of Corialis do not overlap. The companies are also not present on related markets. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8353. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

European Commission calls for experts to join its Financial Services User Group

The European Commission has today launched a call for expression of interest for new members of the Financial Services User Group (FSUG). The renewal of the Group is part of the Commission's efforts to give consumers a strong voice in the EU policy making in financial services. The Group will advise the Commission on its ongoing work on the Capital Markets Union, with a particular focus on the distribution of retail investment products. It will also weigh in on the implementation of the Commission's forthcoming Retail Financial Services Action Plan. The Financial Services User Group was set up by the Commission in 2010 (now recast by Decision C(2017) 359). with the objective of involving users of financial services in policy-making. It is composed of 20 members representing various users of financial services, such as consumers, retail investors, microenterprises or trade unions. Besides experts from stakeholder organisations, the Commission encourages independent experts, e.g. from academia, to apply. The new members will operate over a four-year mandate. The deadline for submitting applications is 21 April 2017. (For more information: Vanessa Mock –Tel.: +32 229 56194; Letizia Lupini - Tel.: +32 229 51958

 

Eurostat: Consommation d'énergie en 2015 - La consommation d'énergie dans l'UE en-dessous de son niveau de 1990

En 2015, la consommation intérieure brute d'énergie, qui reflète la quantité d'énergie nécessaire pour satisfaire l'ensemble de la consommation intérieure, s'est élevée dans l'Union européenne (UE) à 1 626 millions de tonnes équivalent pétrole (Mtep), soit un niveau inférieur à celui de 1990 (-2,5%) et en baisse de 11,6% par rapport à son pic de près de 1 840 Mtep relevé en 2006. Représentant près des trois quarts de la consommation d'énergie de l'UE en 2015, les combustibles fossiles étaient toujours, et de loin, la principale source d'énergie, même si leur poids n'a cessé de diminuer au cours des dernières décennies, passant de 83% en 1990 à 73% en 2015. Toutefois, au cours de cette période, la dépendance de l'UE vis-à-vis des importations de combustibles fossiles a augmenté, 73% étant importés en 2015 contre à peine plus de la moitié (53%) en 1990. En d'autres termes, tandis qu'en 1990, une tonne de combustibles fossiles était importée pour chaque tonne produite dans l'UE, en 2015, trois tonnes étaient importées pour chaque tonne produite. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel. +32 229 56186 - Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595 - Nicole Bockstaller - Tel.: +32 229 52589)


ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Avramopoulos in Berlin

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos will be in Berlin tomorrow to meet Federal Minister of Interior Thomas de Maizière and Federal Minister for Special Affairs and Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery Peter Altmaier. The meeting with Minister de Maizière will be followed by a press point at 11.30 am and can be followed live on EbS. Commissioner Avramopoulos will also participate in the 20th European Police Congress (recordings will be available on EbS.) and will give a keynote speech on the EU's migration policy at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung which can be followed live here from 12.00 pm. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 58602)

 

Commissioner Julian King in Lisbon and Madrid

Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King is in Portugal today and will be traveling to Spain tomorrow. In Lisbon, Commissioner King is meeting the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Minister of Justice Francisca Van Dunem and Secretary General of the Portuguese Information System (SIRP) Julio Pereira to discuss issues related to security and in particular information exchange. He is also meeting Director General of the National Cyber Security Centre António Gameiro Marques and Director of Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre Frank Francis. In Madrid, Commissioner King will meet Minister of Interior Juan Ignacio Zoido after addressing the Joint Committee for National Security in the Congress of the Deputies. Additionally, Commissioner King will visit the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO) and the Security Technology Centre (CETSE). (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

MEX/17/310