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Daily News – 07.12.2016

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 07 / 12 / 2016

Brussels, 7 December 2016

Investing in Europe's youth: Commission presents measures to improve opportunities for young people and launches European Solidarity Corps

The European Commission is today launching the European Solidarity Corps, just two months after President Juncker announced it in his State of the Union address and as a first deliverable of the priorities for action identified in the Bratislava Roadmap. As of today, young people between the ages of 18 and 30 can sign up for new opportunities to make an important contribution to society across the EU, and to gain invaluable experience and acquire valuable skills at the start of their career. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "The European Solidarity Corps will create opportunities for young people willing to make a meaningful contribution to society and help show solidarity – something the world and our European Union needs more of. For me, this has always been the very essence of what the European Union is about. It is not the Treaties or industrial or economic interests that bind us together, but our values. And those who work as volunteers are living European values each and every day." At 13:00 today, Vice-President Georgieva will officially launch the European Solidarity Corps under the Skyshelter Dome at the Schuman roundabout.In addition to the European Solidarity Corps,the Commission is also presenting a series of measures to boost youth employment, improve and modernise education, more investment in skills of young people, and better opportunities to learn and study abroad. Today's proposals bring together at EU-level for the first time different types of action with a single goal: to improve opportunities for young people. The measures will be presented by Commissioners Thyssen, Stylianides and Navracsics following today's College meeting. More information on the entire package can be found in the following press release and memo. More detailed information on the European Solidarity Corps can be found here. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083)

 

Ententes: la Commission inflige des amendes d'un montant total de 485 millions € au Crédit Agricole, à HSBC et à JPMorgan Chase pour participation à une entente concernant des produits dérivés de taux d'intérêt en euro

La Commission européenne a infligé des amendes pour un montant total de 485 millions € au Crédit Agricole, à HSBC et à JPMorgan Chase pour leur participation à une entente concernant des produits dérivés de taux d'intérêt en euro. Les banques se sont entendues sur des éléments de la fixation du prix des produits dérivés de taux d'intérêt en euro, et ont échangé des informations sensibles, en violation des règles de l'UE concernant les pratiques anticoncurrentielles. Contrairement à Barclays, à Deutsche Bank, à RBS et à Société Générale, avec lesquelles la Commission est parvenue à une transaction concernant la même affaire d'entente en décembre 2013, Crédit Agricole, HSBC et JPMorgan Chase ont choisi de ne pas régler cette affaire par voie de transaction avec la Commission. Cette dernière a donc poursuivi son enquête à leur égard selon la procédure normale applicable en matière d'ententes. La décision d'aujourd'hui marque la fin de la première des différentes enquêtes ouvertes au sujet d'ententes dans le secteur des services financiers. Mme Margrethe Vestager, commissaire chargée de la politique de concurrence, a déclaré à ce propos: «Un secteur financier sain et concurrentiel est indispensable pour soutenir l'investissement et la croissance. Les banques doivent respecter les règles de concurrence de l'UE au même titre que n'importe quelle autre entreprise exerçant ses activités dans le marché unique.» Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne en EN, FR et DE. La conférence de presse du commissaire Vestager est disponible sur EbS.Voir aussi la déclaration du commissaire Vestager. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

Fitness Check of Nature legislation: Commission considers options for improved implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives

Today the College held an orientation debate on the next steps of the Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives. These Directives are vital for Europe's nature conservation policy and as such, their implementation needs to be improved. This was one of the findings of the extensive evaluation the Commission has been carrying out since late 2014 in which it has been consulting citizens and stakeholders across all EU Member States. Today First Vice-President Timmermans, Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Vella, presented the key findings of this evaluation to the College and discussed the next steps. The challenges and problems identified primarily relate to the insufficient management and lack of adequate investment in the Natura 2000 network of protected sites, as well as to local deficiencies such as delays, unnecessary burdens for project permits and lack of adequate different assessments in regulating individual species. The evaluation identified the need to improve the implementation of the Directives and their coherence with broader socio-economic objectives, including other EU policy areas such as energy, agriculture and fisheries. On the basis of today's Orientation Debate, the Commission will develop an Action Plan to correct the deficiencies encountered in the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives. The Action Plan will contain a series of concrete measures such as holding regular meetings with mayors and other local authorities to assess implementation challenges and help Member States take the necessary corrective action. Moreover, the Plan will design, in partnership with Member States and relevant stakeholders, appropriate implementation guidelines for regional actors, reducing unnecessary burdens and litigation, and incentivising national and regional investment in biodiversity. The Committee of the Regions will be closely involved in the follow-up of today's orientation debate and Commissioner Vella with First Vice-President Timmermans and Vice-President Katainen will inform the College regularly about the progress on addressing the problems and shortcomings identified by the Fitness Check. (For more information: Enrico Brivio– Tel.: +32 229 56172; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321)

 

Securing Europe's external borders: European Border and Coast Guard Agency launches rapid reaction pool of border guards and equipment

Today the European Border and Coast Guard Agency is launching the rapid reaction pool of border guards and equipment. As of today, the Agency will be able to deploy equipment and a standing reserve of at least 1,500 border guards and experts at short notice to support Member States in emergency situations at the EU's external borders. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: "As of today, there should no longer be shortages of staff or equipment for the operations of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. This is an important milestone in the roll-out of the Agency and will ensure, at all times, that sufficient support is available to help Member States in cases where the common external EU border is placed under strong pressure." Launched on 6 October, in record time and less than a year after it was first proposed by the Commission, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will ensure the effective application of strong common border management standards and provide operational support and intervention where necessary to promptly respond to emerging crises at the external borders. The Agency will now be able to draw on 1,500 experts committed by EU Member States and Schengen associated countries that can be deployed within five working days. The border guards and experts of the rapid reaction pool will be in addition to the officers deployed in regular Agency operations at the EU's external borders. The Agency currently has 1,200 officers deployed in operations at EU external borders. As of today, the Agency will also have at its disposal the necessary technical equipment that can be used in rapid intervention operations, including vehicles, vessels and aircrafts. You can find a press release by the European Border and Coast Guardhere. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

L'Union européenne renforce son soutien au Burkina-Faso avec 800 millions d'euros

M. Neven Mimica, Commissaire européen pour la coopération internationale et le développement, est aujourd'hui à Paris pour participer à la Conférence internationale sur le Burkina Faso pour le financement du Plan national de développement économique et social (PNDES). Le Plan national pour le développement économique et social jette les bases pour la mise en œuvre des objectifs du nouveau gouvernement à l'horizon 2020. La Commission européenne compte l'appuyer avec un important soutien de 800 millions d'euros. Le Commissaire Mimica a fait la déclaration suivante : «Nous sommes aujourd'hui réunis pour discuter du Plan national pour le développement économique et social, plan que le Gouvernement du Faso présente à la communauté internationale. Il s'agit d'un Plan ambitieux qui doit mener à la consolidation de la démocratie et au développement durable du pays. L'Union européenne soutiendra à hauteur de 800 millions d'euros les efforts entrepris afin que la population du Faso voit rapidement les effets d'une stabilité retrouvée et bénéficie des dividendes de la paix.» Lors de cette conférence, le Commissaire Mimica va signer trois conventions de financement, dont deux appuis budgétaires, pour un montant de 205 millions d'euros.(Pour plus d'informations: Carlos Martin – Tel: +32 229-65322, Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

 

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, subject to conditions

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The decision is conditional on compliance with a series of commitments aimed at preserving competition between professional social networks in Europe. Microsoft and LinkedIn are mainly active in complementary business areas, except for minor overlaps in online advertising. The Commission's investigation under EU merger rules focused in particular on three areas: (i) professional social network services, (ii) customer relationship management software solutions, and (iii) online advertising services. In the professional social network services market, the Commission was concerned that Microsoft would use its strong market position in operating systems for personal computers and productivity software to strengthen LinkedIn's position among professional social networks. This would make it harder for new players to start providing professional social network services in the EEA. To address those concerns, Microsoft offered a series of commitments which will apply in the EEA for a period of five years and will be monitored by a trustee. These commitments address the competition concerns identified by the Commission. Regarding customer relationship management software and online advertising services, the Commission's concerns were not corroborated. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "A growing number of Europeans subscribe to professional social networks. These networks are important for professionals to connect and interact and to find new career opportunities. Today's decision ensures that Europeans will continue to enjoy a freedom of choice between professional social networks." A full press release is available online in EN, FR and DE. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)

 

Une personne sur quatre âgées de 15 ans ou plus dans l'Union européenne est un fumeur

Alors qu'un peu plus de trois quarts (76,0%) des personnes âgées de 15 ans ou plus vivant dans l'Union européenne (UE) ne fumaient pas en 2014, 19,2% fumaient quotidiennement du tabac et 4,7% en fumaient de manière occasionnelle. En d'autres termes, près d'une personne sur quatre (24,0%) âgées de 15 ans ou plus dans l'UE était actuellement fumeur en 2014. La proportion de fumeurs actuels varie selon le sexe, avec une proportion plus importante d'hommes fumant (28,7%) que de femmes (19,5%) dans l'UE en 2014. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissaire européen à la santé et la sécurité alimentaire, a déclaré: “Les taux élevés de fumeurs dans l'Union européenne, et les preuves que les jeunes Européens continuent d'en payer le prix de leur santé constituent une de mes plus grandes préoccupations. Les données qu'Eurostat publie aujourd'hui démontrent à nouveau la nécessité des mesures fortes adoptées à l'échelle de l'Union européenne pour encadrer les produits du tabac et que les pays de l'UE doivent mettre en œuvre depuis le 20 mai de cette année. Ces nouvelles mesures comprennent des images d'avertissement relatives aux conséquences du tabac sur la santé humaine, ainsi que l'interdiction des arômes et de divers paquets attrayants. Elles visent à décourager les jeunes de fumer et à faire en sorte que les citoyens de l'UE de tous les âges soient pleinement conscients des effets nocifs du tabagisme." Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel. +32 229 87624)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Second EU Internet Forum to counter terrorist content and hate speech online

Tomorrow, the European Commission will host the second EU Internet Forum with the participation of Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos, Věra Jourová and Julian King. The Forum will bring together the Commission, Member States, EUROPOL, the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) and Internet companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube. The meeting will push for further progress on reducing accessibility to terrorist propaganda online and empowering civil society to increase the volume of effective alternative narratives on the Internet. The participants will also discuss a tool developed by the Internet industry to create a shared database to help identify potential terrorist content on social media and prevent its reappearance on other platforms. The Commission and Internet companies will sign a joint statement on curbing terrorist content on the Internet. The Commission will also report on progress made in addressing the surge of xenophobic and racist online hate speech. A press release from the launch of the EU Internet Forum is available online and a press point with Commissioners Avramopoulos and King will take place tomorrow in the VIP corner at 15:30. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

Commissioners Avramopoulos, Jourová, King and Stylianides to attend the Justice and Home Affairs Council

Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos, Věra Jourová, Julian King, and Christos Stylianides will attend the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on 8-9 December 2016. On Thursday, Justice Ministers will discuss the latest development regarding the directive on the fight against fraud to the EU's financial interests (the so-called PIF directive), the digital content directive part of the digital contract proposal and the European Public Prosecutor's Office proposal (EPPO).  Discussions over lunch will focus on the code of conduct on countering illegal online hate speech. Finally, the Commission will report on the follow-up to the June Council conclusions on improving criminal justice in cyberspace. On Friday, Home Affairs Ministers will discuss the Commission proposals for a reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), including the reform of the Dublin mechanism, the establishment of a European Agency for Asylum and the proposals to create a common procedure for international protection in the EU, uniform standards for protection and rights granted to beneficiaries of international protection and the further harmonisation of reception conditions in the EU. Over lunch, the application of the principles of responsibility and solidarity in the context of the EU's migration and asylum policy will be discussed. Home Affairs Ministers are also expected to agree on a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the Eurodac regulation and possibly on the Entry-Exit System. Furthermore, Ministers will discuss the fight against terrorism, including policy options as regards foreign terrorist fighters, the cooperation between law enforcement agencies and electronic communication service providers and the management of the consequences following terrorist attacks including by strengthening Civil Protection measures. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 22962253; Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229-65322)

 

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

MEX/16/4308