Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Other available languages: FR

Brussels, Friday 7 September

Top News from the European Commission
10 September to 7 October 2007

Background notes from the Spokesperson’s service for journalists
The European Commission reserves the right to make changes

Monday 10 September: Using research and innovation to make Europe's regions more competitive

The news
Knowledge and innovation are key factors for economic development, yet Europe's regions are not always able to harness this potential. By using the various policies and instruments at its disposal in a strategic way, the European Union can help its regions to make full use of their knowledge potential.
Commission Danuta Hübner, Regional Policy Commissioner and Janez Potočnik, Science and Research Commissioner will explain the Commission's ideas for harnessing the potential of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and that of the regional policy to develop the research potential in all Europe's regions.

The event:

Press conference at 12.30:with Janez Potočnik, European Science and Research Commissioner and Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy.

Available on EbS

The sources:

MEMO/06/196 - Using Europe’s regions to generate knowledge

SPEECH/07/274 - Janez Potočnik - Research and the structuring of the Lisbon vision

SPEECH/07/275 - Danuta Hübner -"Co-ordinating Cohesion Policy and Framework Programme Support for R&D"

Commissioner Potočnik 's blog:

Commissioner Hubner's blog:

EbS : Archives: Infoclip I-042094 Innovation policy in Europe (03/2003)

The contacts:

Antonia Mochan: +32 2 296 9921, Eva Kaluzynska +32 2 299 2615

Tuesday 11 September: Interim Economic Forecasts

The news:

The Commission will publish its interim economic forecasts, updating the outlook or GDP growth and inflation in 2007 for Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland as well as the EU and Euro area aggregates.

The Commission publishes interim forecasts in February and September. Twice a year, in the Spring and Autumn, the Commission also publishes comprehensive economic forecasts for all Member States and all variables, including forecasts on national debts and deficits. The next fully-fledged forecast comes out on 9 November 2007.

Interim forecasts help monitor the evolution of the European economy and offer a better service for economic agents, the financial sector, governments and many other institutions and businesses that use forecasts.

The event:
Press Conference by Commissioner Joaquín Almunia at the Berlaymont in Brussels (time to be confirmed). IP and economic forecasts on the day.

Video and photo coverage by EbS.

The sources:
European Commission websites:

IP/07/615 : 2007-2008 Spring Economic Forecasts (7 May 2007)
IP/07/197 : Interim Forecasts (16 February 2007)

Commissioner Almunia's website:

The contacts:
Amelia Torres +32 2 295 46 29 ; Marisa González + 32 2 295 19 25

Tuesday 11 September: Fostering Public Private Dialogue in Security Research and Innovation

The news:
The security threats facing Europe are multifaceted, interrelated, complex and increasingly trans-national in their impact and that internal and external security is increasingly inseparable. No single Member State can accomplish security alone.
Nearly nine in ten European Union (EU) citizens believe that security questions should not only be dealt with at national but also at EU level. In this context, Europe's objective is to preserve its values of open society and civil liberties while addressing the increased security threat level. At the same time, Europe must secure its economy and its competitiveness against an increased threat of disruption to its basic economic infrastructures including industrial assets and transport, energy and information networks.
Public investment is fundamental for the security sector. End users of security applications and technologies will often be the public and government organisations. The private sector also has an important role to play: the development of appropriate security capabilities requires a strong and competitive industrial base, which itself depends on identifying well the needs of customers for whom new products, systems and services are created.

The event:
Adoption by the Commission. Technical briefing (tbc).

The sources:
European commission's websites:

MEMO/06/375 PASR 2006: 15 new security research projects to combat terrorism

Commissioner Frattini's website:

The contacts:
Friso Roscam +32 2 296 67 46; Riccardo Mosca +32 2 296 14 04

Wednesday 12 September: Toy Safety

The news:

European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Meglena Kuneva will present her assessment of recent developments with regard to toy safety including the Mattel recalls to the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the European Parliament.

She will present the conclusions of her visit to China in July this year and set out in detail her plans for a two month review of the control mechanisms for consumer product safety.

She will invite the European Parliament to participate in this review.

The event:

European Parliament, Wednesday, 15.00.: Exchange of Views with Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva. Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee,

  • Available on EbS

The source:
European Commission website:

Commissioner Kuneva's website:

The contact:
Helen Kearns +32 2 2987638

Wednesday 12 September: Strategy for the Outermost Regions (French Overseas Departments, Canaries, Azores and Madeira) – development and stocktaking

The news:
While taking a positive overall view of the implementation since 2004 of the stronger partnership with the outermost regions aimed at promoting accessibility, improving competitiveness and prioritising regional integration, the Commission also stresses the need to take the 2004 strategy further by implementing supplementary measures for the period from 2007 to 2013.
The Commission's communication will also provide a suitable basis for reflection on the future of the strategy for the outermost regions, particularly in view of climate change, the management of migratory flows, and the European Union's maritime policy, which present serious challenges for the socio-economic development of these regions.
As you know, the territory of the EU includes seven "outermost" regions, i.e. the four French Overseas Departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion), the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain, and the islands of the Azores and Madeira, which belong to Portugal.
These regions have to cope with a combination of permanent constraints that hinder their socio-economic development: remoteness and insularity, small area, difficult topography and climate, and economic dependence on a small number of products.

The event:

Press conference with Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission responsible for regional policy at 12.30 (tbc) in the Berlaymont Press Room.

  • EbS coverage

The sources:
European Commission's website:

IP/06/1440 "Danuta Hübner attends the Conference of the Presidents of the outermost regions in Guadeloupe"

Commissioner Hübner's website:

The contacts:
Ewa Kaluzynska + 32 2 299 26 15; Dina Avraam + 32 2 295 96 67

Thursday 13 and Friday 14 September: Flexicurity Conference, Lisbon

The news:
The Portuguese Presidency, in cooperation with the European Commission, is organising a major conference on flexicurity.
The main objective is to scrutinise the Commission's recent Communication 'Towards Common Principles of Flexicurity' (published on June 27th). The conference will bring together European Institutions, Member States, social partners and academics and should be a major step towards the development of common principles of flexicurity, to be approved by the European Council in December. High level speakers will include Validimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, and Portuguese Minister for Work & Social Solidarity, Mr Vieira da Silva.

The event:
Details of the event (programme, press conferences etc) are still to be confirmed.

The sources:
IP/07/919 Flexicurity: getting more people into good jobs
MEMO/07/256 Commission Communication on Flexicurity
SPEECH/07/421 Vladimir Špidla – Flexicurity in EuEurope: modernising the European labour market in the 21st century

Communication 'Towards Common Principles of Flexicurity' (27/06/2007)
Link to Expert report which has examples of Flexicurity in 27 Member States

European Commission website:
Stakeholder conference on Flexicurity, April 20th 2007:

Commissioner Spidla's blog:

The contacts:
Katharina von Schnurbein +32 2 298 14 08; Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94

Friday 14 September: EU-Ukraine Summit

The news :

The 11th EU-Ukraine Summit will take place on 14 September in Kiev, two weeks before early elections in Ukraine (on 30 September) and at a moment where negotiations on a New Enhanced Agreement with Ukraine are well underway:
The EU will:

- Against the background of the political crisis of the past months in Ukraine, encourage Ukraine to stabilise the political situation in the country and reform its constitutional system, in order to facilitate the political and economic reform process

- Stress the importance of democratic elections in accordance with international standards

- Reiterate importance of the EU-Ukraine Action Plan as a key tool for furthering reform;

- Provide additional impetus to the strengthening of EU-Ukraine relations through concrete co-operation, (key areas include energy, visa facilitation and readmission, cooperation with the EU Border Assistance Mission);

- Give strong political impetus to the negotiations on the new Enhanced Agreement and reiterate EU’s strong support for Ukraine’s WTO accession process while stressing the importance of resolving outstanding issues quickly
International and regional issues shall also be covered.

The event:
Press Conference with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Ukraine President Victor Yushchenko, High Representative Javier Solana

  • Available on EbS

Les sources :
European Commission website:

Website of Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner:

EbS archives : Report I-052958 UE/Ukraine Summit: arrivals and round table (27/10/2006)

The contacts:
Christiane Hohmann +32 2 299 11 96; Christina Müschen +32 2 298 03 73

Friday 14 to Wednesday 19 September 2007: 19th EU Contest for Young Scientists

The news:

For six days over 100 students aged between 14 and 21 will meet to present projects covering all fields of scientific endeavour. They are participating in the 19th European Union Contest for Young Scientists, which will take place in Valencia, Spain from 14-19 September 2007.. The students will show their projects to a pan-European scientific jury, the international press and the general public in the hope of winning a share in the prize fund.

The European Union Contest for Young Scientists is an initiative of the European Commission, which aims to encourage students to be enthusiastic about science, to foster their talents and to follow careers in science and technology. The contest is part of the EU's Science in Society programme and is an important element in the EU's endeavours to promote the importance of science in society and to attract young Europeans to careers in science.

The European Union contest is an annual event to showcase the best of student scientific achievement and provides young scientists with an opportunity to compete with the best of their contemporaries at European level. In order to qualify for the prestigious contest, students must first succeed in national science contests.

The event:

From 16-18 September 2007, in Valencia: Journalists are being offered the unique chance to come and meet the participants at the contest.

Audiovisual material relating to the event will be available

Events include:

An exhibition of the students' projects, providing an exciting insight into the potential of future European science.

On Tuesday 18 September Prize winners of the 2007 EU Contest for Young Scientists announced during an award ceremony, followed by a press conference,

The source:

European Commission website:


  • EbS Archive Report I-052299 Award ceremony of the EU contest for young scientists (27/09/2006)

The contacts:

Antonia Mochan +32 2 296 9921; Sophie Andersson +32 2 299 1970

Friday 14 September: Friday Bikeday

The news:

By taking your bike to work, you set a good example. We're not talking about revolutionising your commute, just come to work once a week by bike -- on Fridays. Every Friday. Just like you eat fish, wear casual saddle up for Friday Bikeday !

In this way, the Commission participates in making the last day of the week healthier, greener, more relaxed -- and probably faster !

Friday bikeday is an initiative of the Brussels Capital Region, with the participation of employees and employers from the public and private sectors.

The event

Esplanade of the Berlaymont, from 9:00 : Commission staff taking part in the kick-off of Friday Bikeday will gather on the Esplanade of the Berlaymont, share breakfast and receive complimentary welcome bike-packs.

VIP Corner, Berlaymont, 9:45 : Short press meeting chaired by VP Kallas together with ministers Huytebroeck and Smet for the kick-off of the operation

VIP corner, Berlaymont, 10:00 : Signing of the Friday Bikeday charter by the participating companies.

Friday Bikeday will be continued the following two Fridays (21st and 28th of September)

The sources:

Friday Bikeday's website:

Commissioner Kallas' website:

The contacts:

Valérie Rampi, spokesperson to Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas,

Tel :

Email :

Pascal Devos, spokesperson to Mrs Evelyne Huytebroeck, minister of the Brussels Capital Region responsible for the environment

Tel : 0478.30.23.77

Email :

Christine Leonard, spokesperson to Pascal Smet, minister of the Brussels Capital Region responsible for mobility

Tel : 02.517.12.84 ; gsm : 0497.599.516

email :
Sunday 16 to Saturday 22 September: Streets for people

The news:
The sixth edition of the European Mobility Week is organised under the theme "Streets for people".
Around 1.300 cities will participate in urban mobility initiatives during the week.
European Mobility Week encourages people to make greater use of environmentally friendly modes of transport like walking, cycling, public transport and car-sharing.
It also promotes lasting shift towards sustainable mobility as participating towns and cities have to introduce permanent measures, such as new cycle lanes or public transport services.

The event:
A press release will be issued.

  • Several EbS productions on climate change available.
  • Memoclip or infoclip on "Park and ride" will be produced

The sources:

European Mobility Week website:

Commissioner Dimas' website:

  • EbS Archive : Report I-053359 European Mobility week Award: Prize-giving Ceremony by Stavros Dimas (07/02/2007)

The contacts:

Barbara Helfferich +32 2 298 20 10; Lena Reuterberg +32 2 296 36 94

Monday 17 September: Delivery of a judgment in Case T-201/04 Microsoft v Commission

The news:

In March 2004 the Commission adopted a decision finding that Microsoft had infringed EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant position (Article 82) by leveraging its near monopoly in the market for PC operating systems onto the markets for work group server operating systems, through its refusal to supply interoperability information, and for media players, through its tying of Windows Media Player to Windows.

The Commission imposed a fine of €497 million on Microsoft and ordered it to put an end to these abuses. Microsoft has not yet fully complied with the decision.

The Court of First Instance will decide on Microsoft's action for annulment of this landmark Commission decision.

The event:

The Court of First Instance delivers a Judgment in Case T-201/04 Microsoft v Commission.

  • EbS live coverage of judgement ex Luxembourg (also to be transmitted LIVE in Berlaymont Press Room)
  • Infoclip to be transmitted on EbS

The sources:

Court of First Instance:

History of the case:

Website of Commissioner Neelie Kroes:

  • EbS Archive : Infoclip I-050835 Competition: Microsoft Hearings (04/2006)

The contacts:
Jonathan Todd +32 2 299 4107; Linda Cain +32 2 299 9019;
Audrey Lemonnier +32 2 295 0258

Tuesday 18 September: The European Commission drives for Smarter, Safer and Greener Cars

The news:
Our future cars should be environmentally desirable, more intelligent and safer to drive around on Europe's roads. On Tuesday, 18 September prototypes of such cars will be presented and the vehicles will be available for journalists to do test drives.
This all happens at the day where the European Commission will present the latest progress in research in the preventive security of vehicles in Versailles (France). Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, together with experts from the EU-funded research project PReVENT, whose aim is to contribute to lower road accidents of 50% up to 2010, will unveil the results of European research for smarter, safer and greener cars and present the European second Communication on the Intelligent car Initiative.

For the estimated 300 million drivers in the whole EU, information and communication technologies can provide new opportunities to improve road safety, traffic management and energy efficiency of vehicles and reduce traffic's environmental impact. This is the aim of the Intelligent car Initiative, first established by a Commission Communication on 15 February 2006. The new communication will be a key instrument in accelerating the deployment of smarter, safer and greener cars on Europe's roads.

The event:
17 September at 11.30,Berlaymont Press Room, Brussels : Technical briefing will be held on the main features of the i-car Communication.

  • memoclip on Intelligent Cars, Hydrogen cars

18 September at 9.00 in Versailles, France:
A press breakfast is organised on in the presence of Commissioner Reding and the experts of the PReVENT project.
Commissioner Reding and Max Mosley, President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), will officially open the event.
Journalists will be able to visit public demonstrations and do test drives of more than 20 intelligent car prototypes.

The sources:
Intelligent Car Home Page:
eSafety support:
Europe’s Information Society Thematic Portal:

IP/07/760 Cars call 112 – and two more Member States will answer (5 June 2007)
IP/07/621 Electronic Stability Control to reduce car accidents by 20% (7 May 2007)
IP/06/1806 Extra safety, not extra prices for intelligent systems, say motorists (12 December 2006)
IP/06/191 Intelligent cars: life-saving technologies need stronger support by industry and policy-makers, says Commission (21 February 2006)
Commissioner Reding's website:

The contacts:
Martin Selmayr +32 2 298 1230; Mona Lund +32 2 299 9020

Wednesday 19 September: Adoption of the Legislative Package on the Internal Energy Market

The news:
Following the mandate of the European Council that calls for measures to improve the Internal Market for gas and electricity, the Commission will adopt a package of legislative measures that will improve competition and functioning in the European energy market.
With the aim of assuring that freedom to choice of supplier for consumers is a reality not only in the paper but also on the ground, the Commission will address the shortcomings identified in the reports on the internal energy market presented on 10th January (see links).
The package will unveil the Commission proposals to ensure efficient unbundling between transmission networks and commercial gas and electricity companies; the new powers for national regulators; the creation of a European authority for cross-border transit of gas and electricity; the reinforcement of transparency and the protection of vulnerable consumers and public service obligations.

The event:
Press Conference with President Barroso and Commissioner Piebalgs

  • Available on EbS
  • A Video News Release will be available (tbc)

The sources:

European Commission website:

President Barroso's website:

Commissioner Piebalgs' website:

Background information:


  • EbS Archive : Infoclip I-053453 Energy: Market Liberalisation (02/2007)

The contacts:
Ferran Tarradellas Espuny +32 2 296 62 93; Marilyn Carruthers + 32 2 299 94 51

Thursday 20 September: Making the EU's animal health policy more effective

The news:
Following an extensive evaluation of how the current animal health policy could be improved, and taking into consideration future challenges that may arise – like new outbreaks of animal diseases – the Commission will adopt a Communication setting out the EU's animal health strategy for the period 2007-13.
The EU plays a crucial role in maintaining animal health throughout Europe. The fully harmonised legislation and coordinated approach has been a key to tackling and containing serious animal disease outbreaks, such as avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease.
This new strategy will be based on the principle that "prevention is better than cure". The responsibilities of producers and other operators in contact with animals will be reinforced, and targets and incentives to reduce the risks to animal health will be explored. Under the new strategy, biosecurity measures will also be improved, disease surveillance strengthened and emergency preparedness stepped up, while more targeted and risk-based border controls will minimise the threat of animal diseases being imported into the EU.

The event:
Adoption of the Communication.

  • A Video News Release will be available.

The sources:

European Commission website:

Commissoner Kyprianou's website:

The contacts:

Philip Tod +32 2 296 59 11; Nina Papadoulaki + 32 2 298 63 78

Monday 24th September: EU Budget 2006 Financial Report

The news:

The Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget Dr Dalia Grybauskaitė will present "EU Budget 2006 Financial Report", as well as key findings concerning the whole of the 2000-2006 programming period.

It shows how a budget of EUR 106.6 billion (an increase of 1.7% as compared to 2005) was allocated between the policies and among Member States.

Moreover Commissioner Grybauskaitė will present statistics on how EU money was spent in the EU-15 Member States during the 2000-2006 programming and in the EU-10 for 2004-2006.

The event:
Press conference with Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaitė in the Press Room, Berlaymont, Brussels.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

The "EU budget 2006 Financial Report" can be found at:

Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaitė's website:

The contacts:

Robert Soltyk, tel. +322.2961619; Roger Nunn +322.2953647

Monday 24 to Saturday 29 September: European Job Days 2007 – job seekers and employers all over Europe seize the opportunity to meet

The news:

More than 200 European cities have signed up to participate in the 2007 European Job Days, during the week of 24-29 September.

The different initiatives all aim to raise awareness about the opportunities and practicalities of living and working in another European country. All types of organizations will participate ranging from businesses, public and private employment services, social partner organizations, universities, learning and training centers and chambers of commerce.

Many of the 2007 Job Days events will focus primarily on bringing job seekers and potential employers together.

The 2007 European Job Days is part of the EU’s commitment to providing more and better jobs to Europe’s citizens. For many young workers the event may be the first step towards their own mobility experience.

The events:

During the week of 24-29 September a wide range of events, such as job fairs, workshops, cultural happenings etc., will take place stretching from Finland to Portugal, from Ireland to Cyprus.

On 29 September, a specific Job Day event will take place in the European Commission's Berlaymont building in Brussels. It will be one of the many events to celebrate the 50 Years anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

The Brussels Job Day will be an excellent opportunity to visit the Commission's headquarters as well as meeting with over 60 employers from all over Europe. Employers will interview interested candidates on the spot. Participants will also be able to meet EURES advisers and consult vacancies in the EURES corner. Information on mobility practices and opportunities will be presented on the stands of the participating organizations.

Over 5,000 participants are expected to attend the Brussels event. Guest star will be Justine Henin, the world’s n° 1 female tennis player.

More information on the Brussels Job day – including online registration forms for jobseekers as well as for employers - can be found at

  • Open door day at the Berl should be covered (29/9) and footage

The sources:

European Commission's websites:

Commissioner Spidla's blog:

The contacts:
Katharina von Schnurbein +32 2 298 14 08; Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94

Tuesday 25 September: Enable solutions on Urban Transport

The news:
The Commission will present a Green Paper on urban transport. The paper will form the basis for a European debate on the challenges Urban transport presents in policy fields such as the environment, energy and health.
It will launch a broad consultation on how urban transport can be free-flowing, green, smart, accessible and safe. Through a number of concrete questions, it will analyse the options for (possible) new actions to address these challenges. It will look in particular into initiatives through which the EU can add value.
According to the latest statistics, 80% of European Union citizens live in urban areas. On average a European citizen makes 1000 trips per year and half of these are less than 5 km long. For many of these shorter trips walking and cycling could be a true alternative.
Public transport is an important alternative to the car. It plays a major role in the bigger cities where it carries 2.5 – 3 times as many people as private transport.
Urban transport is responsible for around 40% of total road transport carbon dioxide (CO2), emissions.

The event:

Press Conference by Vice-President Jacques Barrot in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

  • Available on EbS
  • Infoclip showing commuters using different modes of transport (walking, cycling, metro, train, car...) and participating in a research project which seeks to measure the level of pollution (specifically, benzene) each of these commuters is exposed to

The sources:

European Commission's website :

Commmisioner Barrot's website:

The contacts:
Michele Cercone +32 2 298 0963; Marja Quillinan-Meiland +32 2 299 4014

Thursday 27 September - Friday 28 September: Fourth European Cohesion Forum

The news:

Following the EU's recent enlargements and against a backdrop of increased globalisation, climate change and demographic development, cohesion policy is playing a central role in the debate on the future of Europe. It influences the daily life of all citizens.

The Fourth Cohesion Forum will be an opportunity to reflect on how to improve regional policy with a view to meeting these challenges.

The discussions in the Forum will be based on the conclusions and issues addressed in the Fourth economic and social cohesion report adopted by the Commission on May 30th 2007, such as unemployment, migration, the link between knowledge and growth and sustainable development. The event will launch a consultation process at EU level.

The Forum will bring together around 800 participants with over half representing national, regional and local authorities. The Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Soussa will attend the Forum. Commissioners Danuta Hübner and Vladimir Špidla will chair the debate.

The event:

The Cohesion Forum will take place in Brussels in the Commission's Charlemagne building.

A press conference by Commissioners Hubner and Spidla is planned for September 28th at 13h00 in the Berlaymont.

Limited places will be available for the press - additional space will also be provided for journalists in a separate room.

Journalists can register by sending an email to indicating the name of their media organisation.

The sources:

European Commission website:

Commissioner Potočnik 's blog:

Commissioner Hubner's blog:

The contacts:

Eva Kaluzynska +32 2 29 92615; Katharina von Schnurbein +32 2 29 81408

Carmel Dunne 02 299 88 94; Dina Avraam +32 2 295 96 67

Side Bar