Top News from the European Commission 28 September to 25 October 2009
European Commission - AGENDA/09/32 25/09/2009
Other available languages: FR
Brussels Friday 25 September 2009
Top News from the European Commission
Background notes from the Spokesperson's service for journalists.
Monday 28 September: EU Healthy Eating Campaign – A new initiative to fight against child obesity 2
Monday 28 September: Award Ceremony for the European Prize for Literature 3
Monday 28 September: Improving the quality of education for Roma - Second meeting of the Integrated Platform on Roma inclusion 4
Monday 28 September: Consumers – Preventing hearing damage from personal music players 6
Tuesday 29 September: Launch event of the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer – Europeans united in speaking about cancer 7
Wednesday 30 September: EU-Latin America - Global Players in Partnership 9
Wednesday 30 September: Action Plan on urban mobility 10
Thursday 1 October: Commission launches the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Open Service – free access to citizens and businesses 11
Friday 2 October: Meet the humanitarian aid experts based permanently in crisis zones across the globe 12
Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 October: Brussels cultural festivals participate in the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 13
Saturday 3 October: Job Days 2009 – job seekers and employers meet at Berlaymont 14
Monday 5 to Thursday 8 October: OPEN DAYS – the European Week of Cities and Regions 16
Wednesday 7 October: Annual Statement on the Euro Area 17
Friday 9 October: EU – Mediterranean - Gulf Renewable Energy Conference 18
Wednesday 14 October: Annual Enlargement package - the state of play and the way forward 19
Wednesday 14 October (date tbc): Make the life easier for cross-border successions 21
The news: 21
Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 October: International Workshop on Poverty Eradication and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 22
Thursday 15 October: Progress in the Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU 23
Friday 16 October: EU Bookshop Digital Library goes live - All the EU publications in one place 24
Friday 16 October: Commission proposes fishing possibilities for 2010 25
Thursday 22 to 24 October: European Development Days 26
Monday 28 September: EU Healthy Eating Campaign – A new initiative to fight against child obesity
Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, will fire the starting gun for a new Healthy Eating Campaign. The campaign consists of three roadshows that will take off from the EU headquarters in Brussels, giving children across Europe a chance to take part in on the spot activities and games. The European Commission will also launch an interactive website, competitions and other events with one key goal in mind – to help change children’s eating habits for the better.
The Healthy Eating Campaign, which is financed entirely by the EU agricultural budget, will run alongside the EU’s School Fruit Scheme and School Milk Scheme – important initiatives for a more balanced diet and healthier eating habits amongst children.
In a recent Eurobarometer survey, three quarters of respondents “totally agree” that “there seem to be more overweight children these days than five years ago”.
Indeed, around 22 million kids are overweight in the EU, with 5 million of them obese. There’s no doubt that the time has come to turn the situation around or face the consequences. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even early onset osteoporosis lie in wait for those youngsters who remain oblivious to the need to eat and drink well and wisely. In far too many areas of Europe, no meal is complete without chips and sugary drinks as the staple refreshment.
Quite apart from the personal costs borne by the children in the form of social stigmatism, bullying and illness, European healthcare systems, already bearing the brunt of demographic changes and costly new treatments, are groaning under the weight of childhood obesity. 10-13% of deaths in certain parts of the EU are obesity related.
12.15: Campaign launch press conference of Mariann Fischer Boel, in the press room of the Berlaymont in Brussels.
Press packs and sample promo material will be available for journalists.
The van of the roadshow will be parked at the Berlaymont plaza and activities with a group of kids will take place there.
European Commission's websites:
EU School Fruit Scheme:
European School Milk Scheme:
Health and Consumers website:
Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel's blog:
Monday 28 September: Award Ceremony for the European Prize for Literature
The first edition of this Prize will take place in Brussels during a high-profile ceremony at which public figures from the field of culture, literature and politics, as well as a broad European audience, will be present.
The Prize will be awarded in three phases, in the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, with eleven or twelve winners each time. In this way, by 2011, a winning talent will have been identified in each of the 34 countries in the EU's Culture Programme, which is co-funding the prize.
The 12 countries selected for the 2009 Awards are: Austria, Croatia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden.
In 2010 Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Spain will participate. They will be followed by Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Serbia, The Netherlands, Turkey and United Kingdom in 2011.
The aim of the European Union Prize for Literature is to put the spotlight on the creative and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature, promoting greater circulation of literature within Europe and interest in non-national literary works.
The Prize is co-financed by the Culture Programme and by a consortium composed of the European Booksellers Federation (EBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). The consortium asked national bodies to establish a jury for the selection of this prize within their country.
16:00: The Prize-giving ceremony will take place in the Flagey arts centre in Brussels and it will be attended by the patron of the prize, Mr Henning Mankell and public figures from the fields of culture, literature and politics who will be joined by President Barroso and Commissioner Figel'.
Press conference following the awards ceremony at 18:00 - 18:30 with Commissioner Figel', Henning Mankell, and representatives of the consortium.
Culture web site:
Website "Prize of literature"
Home page Europa:
Commissioner Figel's web site:
Monday 28 September: Improving the quality of education for Roma - Second meeting of the Integrated Platform on Roma inclusion
The second meeting of the integrated platform on Roma inclusion, launched in April 2009 in Prague, will take place in Brussels. It is being organised jointly by the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the Council.
The aim of the Platform for Roma inclusion is to provide an arena for exchanging knowledge, experience and good practice, making commitments for initiatives and possibly monitoring progress achieved for the inclusion of Roma in Europe.
The meeting will focus on a specific priority theme for Roma inclusion. Thus, experts from the Member States, the EU institutions, civil society as well as international organisations and research institutions, will be invited to discuss and share their views on the education of Roma in Europe.
Roma communities in Europe continue to face persistent discrimination. Following the enlargement of the European Union in 2004 and 2007, Roma communities now represent one of the largest ethnic minorities in the EU. However, the richness these communities could bring to European society is often overlooked, tainted by stereotypes and prejudices that manifest themselves in the form of economic, social and political discrimination.
The integration of Roma communities is a joint responsibility of Member States and the EU. Following a request by the European Council of December 2007, the Commission examined existing Community instruments, policies and progress achieved towards Roma inclusion. On 2 July 2008, the Commission published its response in the form of a comprehensive report which was presented at the high-level Roma Summit held in Brussels in September 2008. The European Council of December 2008 confirmed Member States' commitment to using the tools available, e.g. the Structural Funds, to support Roma inclusion.
The EU has a strong legal framework to combat discrimination. It uses the European Structural Funds and addresses the issue of Roma discrimination in its awareness-raising initiatives. Moreover, it coordinates a number of key policy areas which are particularly relevant for Roma inclusion, such as education, employment and social inclusion.
13:30: Press conference with Commissioner Spidla and Christer Hallerby, State Secretary at the Swedish Ministry for Integration and Gender Equality, Swedish Permanent Representation to the EU.
The meeting will take place in Brussels (Swedish Permanent Representation to the EU, Square de Meeûs 30, 1000 Brussels) on September 28, 2009 (14h30-17h35, followed by a reception from 17h35-19h00).
Commission website on Roma
Video News Release: I-057447 Defending Roma Rights in the European Union
Commission report on Roma (July 2008)
Monday 28 September: Consumers – Preventing hearing damage from personal music players
EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva will present measures to be taken by the Commission to better protect children and adolescents from exposure to noise from personal music players.
In October 2008, the report by the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) showed that 5% to 10% of users may be at risk of permanent hearing loss and that this could equate to up to 10 million people in the EU.
The European Commission had asked the independent scientific committee to examine the issue, given the widespread use of personal music players and the number of children and adolescents exposed to such noise. Based on the results, the European Commission consulted EU Member States and stakeholders to discuss possible measures.
Consumers, particularly young people, need to be aware of the risks and products need to be designed so that they are safe.
11.30 Press Conference with Commissioner Kuneva in Berlaymont press room, Brussels.
IP/08/1492 : Scientists warn of health risks from exposure to noise from personal music players
Commissioner Kuneva's website:
Tuesday 29 September: Launch event of the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer – Europeans united in speaking about cancer
The European Commission recently adopted a Communication on a European Partnership for Action Against Cancer to support EU countries in their efforts to tackle the disease. The partnership covers the period 2009-2013 and provides a framework for sharing information as well as capacity and expertise in cancer prevention and control. It aims to engage all relevant stakeholders across the European Union in a collective effort to fight cancer.
By ensuring a more coordinated cooperation in cancer-related activities and actions taken by EU members, scientific experts, patient organisations and other key stakeholders, the Partnership will help to avoid scattered actions and the duplication of efforts, in an area where resources are limited and expertise is often fragmented across the Union. The main areas of work proposed under the partnership are health promotion and early detection, identification and dissemination of good practice in healthcare, priorities for cancer research and health information and data.
The objective is for all EU countries to have integrated cancer plans, which is key to achieving the long-term Partnership aim of reducing the burden of cancer by 15% by 2020.
Every year, around 3.2 million Europeans are diagnosed with cancer, which is the second most common cause of death in Europe. The number of cancer cases is increasing as the European population ages. In addition to the serious implications to health, cancer also represents a heavy economic burden on society.
Cancer incidence and mortality vary dramatically across the Union. These inequalities exist within, as well as between, EU countries. For example, cancer mortality in the worst performing member country is twice as high as in the best performing member country.
This launch event of the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer will be opened by the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and hosted by Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.
Personal messages will be heard from cancer patients and cancer survivors from across the European Union. There will be a panel discussion with Commissioners, politicians and experts about the way forward in the European fight against cancer.
The event will close with a symbolic release of balloons (weather permitting). This half-day event will take place in Brussels, starting at 9.30 am. More information about the event and registration is available at:
Communication on European Partnership: Action Against Cancer:
Fighting Cancer: A European partnership is born:
European Partnership Action Against Cancer: contribution of EU-funded research :
European Commission's website on Cancer
Commissioner Vassiliou's speech delivered on the 3d Cervical Cancer Summit:
Wednesday 30 September: EU-Latin America - Global Players in Partnership
The Commission will present a Communication on EU-Latin America relations, which assesses the state of play of the Strategic Partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean and outlines the targets and objectives which should guide the Commission's strategy towards the region in the coming years.
This year the EU- Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Partnership celebrates its 10 th anniversary. Much has changed over these years in Europe, in Latin America and at global level. New priorities have emerged and new challenges must be faced. The Communication assesses the state of play of the Strategic Partnership with regard to Latin America, and the results of the Commission’s Latin America strategy as outlined in its 2005 Communication A stronger partnership between the European Union and Latin America (COM(2005) 636).
The Communication also aims at addressing, the challenges posed by the global economic and financial crisis and climate change as well as other issues that have risen high up on the political agenda in bi-regional relations, notably migration.
The Communication is also a chance to constructively reflect on the next EU-LAC Summit to be held in May 2010 in Madrid, Spain. A series of recommendations will be made for the future EU strategy on Latin America.
Press Conference by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner at 12.15 in the Berlaymont Press room, Brussels.
European Commission's website:
Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner's website
Wednesday 30 September: Action Plan on urban mobility
The Commission is expected to adopt the Action Plan on urban mobility, a follow-up of the Green Paper on urban mobility that was adopted in September 2007. The consultation and debate that followed the Green Paper confirmed the added value of action at EU level in the area of urban mobility.
The Action Plan will propose concrete initiatives to help local, regional and national authorities in addressing the challenges of urban mobility and will contain some twenty actions including:
establishing practical links between urban mobility and health policy, regional policy and the EU's Disability Strategy;
launching a dialogue with stakeholders on passenger rights in urban public transport;
encouraging the use of integrated sustainable urban mobility plans by local planning organisations;
preparing EU guidance on the protection of vulnerable road users, efficient urban freight distribution and the use of intelligent transport systems;
supporting research and demonstration projects on lower and zero emission vehicles;
discussing with national governments how energy-efficient driving can be included in the driving tests for private drivers.
It can be very hard to move around towns and cities. The main issues are congestion, traffic safety, access to public transport, pollution and related health problems. Nine out of ten EU citizens believe that the traffic situation in their area should be improved.
Increasing congestion and pollution in cities has an impact on the European economy as a whole and the welfare of all European citizens: over 70% of the EU population lives in urban areas and around 85% of the EU's GDP is generated in cities. Some 40% of CO2 emissions and 70% of emissions of other pollutants from road transport are due to urban traffic. One in every three fatal road traffic accidents happens in urban areas.
Addressing these challenges is essential for the success of the EU’s overall strategy to combat climate change and promote sustainable development.
Press conference of Vice-President Tajani in the Berlaymont Press room, Brussels, time tbc.
European Commisson website on urban mobility:
Commissioner Tajani's website:
Thursday 1 October: Commission launches the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Open Service – free access to citizens and businesses
The European Commission will declare that EGNOS' freely available satellite navigation signal is operationally ready as an open and free service.
The continuing monitoring of the augmentation signal shows it improves the accuracy of GPS to within one to two meters and is available more than 99 percent of the time. By comparison, someone using a GPS receiver that is not EGNOS enabled can only be sure of their position to within 17 meters.
Receiver manufacturers and application developers will be able to provide their customers with the benefits of the GPS performance improvements simply by adding EGNOS capability to their products. No authorisation or receiver-specific certification will be required. This will mark a milestone in the development of EGNOS' range of services.
EGNOS can support new applications in sectors such as agriculture, like high-precision spraying of fertilizers, or transport, like automatic road-tolling or pay-per-use insurance schemes. EGNOS can also support much more precise personal navigation services, both for general and specific uses, for example systems to guide blind people.
EGNOS is composed of transponders aboard three geostationary satellites and a ground network of about 40 positioning stations and four control centres, all interconnected. The EGNOS coverage area includes most European sates and has the built-in capability to be extended to other regions, such as North Africa and EU neighbouring countries.
The EGNOS Open Service is accessible, without service guarantee or resulting liability, to any user equipped with a GPS/SBAS compatible receiver within the EGNOS coverage area. Most receivers sold today in Europe meet that requirement. No authorisation or receiver-specific certification is required.
EGNOS was developed by European industries, the EOIG (EGNOS Operator and Infrastructure Group) with the support of the European Commission, the European Space Agency and Eurocontrol. Since April 1 2009, EGNOS is owned and managed by the European Union while the European Space Agency remains the design and procurement agent through a delegation agreement with the European Commission.
Press conference of Vice-President Tajani, Berlaymont Press room, Brussels, time tbc.
European Commission's website on:
Commissioner Tajani's website:
Friday 2 October: Meet the humanitarian aid experts based permanently in crisis zones across the globe
When disaster strikes or armed conflict breaks out in any part of the world beyond the EU’s borders, the EU provides relief to the victims through the Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO). To be in a position to deliver the most rapid and effective response, the Commission has to assess the needs on the ground. To that end, ECHO has around a hundred experts based permanently in crisis zones across the globe. The experts also monitor project implementation to ensure value for money.
Every year, ECHO has a meeting with its field experts in Brussels . Journalists are offered a unique opportunity to meet with them individually to discuss the humanitarian issues and challenges in their respective areas (Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Congo, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Occupied Territory, to name just a few). They can provide you with updated and first-hand insights from the field.
The mandate of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) is to provide emergency assistance and relief to the victims of natural disasters or armed conflict outside the EU.
The EU as a whole (i.e., the Member States and the Commission) is the world's main humanitarian aid donor.
The aid is intended to go directly to those in distress, irrespective of their race, religion, gender or political convictions. Since 1992, ECHO has funded humanitarian aid in more than 85 countries. Its grants cover emergency aid, food aid and aid to refugees and displaced persons. This year so far, it has a budget of €779 million.
10.30 until 11.30 am: Press briefing / Expert meeting at the ECHO office, rue d'Arlon 88 in 1040 Brussels.
European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) website:
Commissioner Karel De Gucht's website:
European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO)
Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 October: Brussels cultural festivals participate in the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009
This year, the well-established artistic festivals NUIT BLANCHE and BRXLBRAVO in Brussels will be organised in partnership with the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 (EYCI2009).
NUIT BLANCHE will give public access to exhibitions, films, concerts, stories and contemporary dance in Brussels on the night of 3 October, while the arts festival BRXLBRAVO will offer the opportunity to discover the city through music, dance and theatre at different venues over the three days.
The EU has declared 2009 the European Year of Creativity and Innovation. The Year aims to raise awareness of importance of creativity and innovation as a key competence of personal, social and economic development. Hundreds of activities and projects which represent good practice in innovation and creativity will be highlighted, promoted and disseminated during the EYCI2009.
The activities of the EYCI2009 are aimed at a range of different groups including young people, educators, firms and policy makers, as well as the general public. Civil society organisations are encouraged to mobilise and get involved at European, national and local levels.
Rome, Madrid, Riga, Paris, Bucharest and Brussels have all set up a Nuit Blanche Europe network. These cities work together to promote artistic exchanges via Nuit Blanche, and thus promote the idea behind the European Year of Creativity and Innovation - to raise awarness of the importance of creativity and innovation in Europe.
2 October at 19.00: Opening event of BRXL BRAVO in cooperation with the EYCI2009 with the participation of Mme Odile Quintin, Director-General DG “Education and Culture”. In this occasion there will be the performance of the ballet project " 5 Easy Pieces" (Velvet / Joanne Leighton) supported by the European Commission. Venue: Les Ateliers des Tanneurs, Rue des Tanneurs 58/62 - 1000 Bruxelles at 19h. The performance will be followed by a reception.
3 October 19.00-02.00: Installation of the project 'Ceci n'est pas un nuage' co-financed by the European Commission in the framework of the NUIT BLANCHE. Venue: Place Royale
Website of the Creativity and Innovation 2009:
Education and Culture web site:
Brux Bravo :
Saturday 3 October: Job Days 2009 – job seekers and employers meet at Berlaymont
The Brussels European Job day will be organised for the third time in the Berlaymont, as part of the European Job days that are being organised in over 200 European cities between mid-September and mid-October 2009.
It attracts every year 10,000 participants in Brussels, from over 30 nationalities and over 40 employers, advertising around 2,000 jobs. This year for the first time, there will be an area where people can directly test their skills in a number of areas.
The press room will host for its part a series of 9 conferences and workshops on EU policies and instruments dealing with mobility, focusing on this year's main theme "New skills for new jobs". The particularity of the Brussels Job Days is also linked to the fact that people can pre-register their CVs, which allows for direct on the spot interviews. A thorough monitoring of the event also enables us to measure the success of the operation, with over 1,000 jobs created during the previous editions of the event.
Job Days are held across Europe every year, and are designed to explain the benefits of job mobility within the EU to both employers and employees, and give them the opportunity to meet and talk to each other. More than 150,000 people took part in Job Days in 2008. This year, events are being planned at over 200 venues. Job interviews can take place directly at Job Day events.
The events are being organised in co-operation with EURES, the Europe-wide employment service, and its network of more than 700 EURES advisers, which are in daily contact with jobseekers and employers. They are trained specialists who provide the three basic EURES services of information, guidance and placement. They work within the public employment services of each member country, or within other partner organisations in the EURES network, such as employer organizations, trade unions, local and regional authorities etc.
On the 26th November 2008, the European Commission proposed a €200 billion recovery package to tackle the effects of the crisis, and also defined three priorities: maintaining employment and promoting mobility; upgrading skills and matching labour market needs; increasing access to employment. The Job Days are a good example of the concrete application of our priorities. Mobility is a key element in recovering from the crisis.
European Job Days in Belgium: Berlaymont building, Brussels.
11.00: Press point with European Employment Commissioner Vladimír Špidla, Belgian Employment Minister Joëlle Milquet and Brussels Employment Minister Benoît Cerexhe, with photo opportunities and interview possibilities.
Job Days 2009:
The European Job Mobility Portal EURES:
EURES event calendar :
Financial crisis - EU's response:
Monday 5 to Thursday 8 October: OPEN DAYS – the European Week of Cities and Regions
The 7 th annual Open Days – the European Week of Cities and Regions – will offer more than 120 seminars, under the overall heading “Global challenges, European responses”, and will be organised around four themes:
Restoring growth: innovation in Europe's cities and regions;
Regions and climate change: Europe's way to sustainable regional development;
Territorial cooperation: working together across borders;
Evaluation and future prospects for EU Cohesion Policy.
Groupings of regions and cities organise events on shared interests, such as innovation or public health. This year, more than 250 event partners have joined forces, among which 213 regions and cities from 33 European countries. Special emphasis will be placed on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region - one of the top priorities of the current Swedish EU presidency.
The aim of the event is to facilitate debate and networking among key players in regional and local development from the public, private and academic sector. In the space of just six years the OPEN DAYS have become a key event at which cities and regions have provided practical evidence of their capacity for creating growth and jobs, implementing EU cohesion policy in such a way as to achieve the best results.
Conceived and developed by the EU Committee of the Regions and the European Commission Directorate-General for Regional Policy, this communication platform has enlisted loyal support from over 7 000 local, regional, national and European decision-makers and experts, whose achievements have been manifold in the areas of economic success and social integration, cooperation between regions, fruitful partnerships between local and regional authorities and businesses, and centres of excellence with research centres and universities.
- 5 October 15.00 to 17.00: Opening Session in the European Parliament's Hemicycle. Keynote speakers will include: José Manuel Barroso, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister, Maud Olofsson, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Paweł Samecki, President of the Committee of the Regions, Luc Van den Brande, Chairwoman of the European's Parliament's Committee on Regional Development, Danuta Hübner, the President of the Basque Country, Patxi Ló pez Álvarez , and the Mayor of Dresden, Helma Orosz.
- 6 October 12.30 to 13.00: Press Panel on the EU Baltic Sea Strategy, Schuman room, Berlaymont, Brussels, with Swedish Minister for European Affairs, Cecilia Malmström and the Finnish Minister for European Affairs, Astrid Thors.
- 7 October 16.45 to 18.30: OPEN DAYS University, Jeremy Rifkin will address the conference via a video-message. Centre Borschette, Rue Froissart 36, Brussels.
More information on Open Days available at:
Commissioner Samecki's website:
Wednesday 7 October: Annual Statement on the Euro Area
Commissioner Almunia will present the Annual Statement on the euro area. The 2009 statement will focus on the policy responses in the euro area to the world financial and economic crisis. It will cover in particular the European Economic Recovery Plan and a first assessment of it.
The Annual Statement sets out policy messages drawing on the Annual Report on the euro area. It will describe the manifold manifestations of the crisis and the first reactions of economy policies in the euro area and throughout the world to combat recession. It will address the need to combine short-term economic policy objectives with long-term imperatives in terms of sustainability and consider key lessons for the euro area to move from recession to sustained recovery.
The Annual Statement and Report discuss economic developments in, and challenges for the euro area economy in a manner that is accessible to a broad, non-specialised audience. Together they form a Communication from the Commission to the Council, the EP, the EESC, the COR and the ECB. The euro area is an economic entity in its own right, facing a unique set of economic challenges.
The 2008 edition of the Annual Statement/Annual Report was suspended to make room for the publication of the Commission Report "EMU@10 Report: Successes and Challenges after 10 years of Economic and Monetary Union".
More information on the Annual Statement on the Euro Area available at:
Commissioner Almunia's website:
Friday 9 October: EU – Mediterranean - Gulf Renewable Energy Conference
Gathering Foreign Ministers and Energy Ministers from the EU, Mediterranean and Gulf regions, as well as representatives from international organizations, industry, research institutes and international financial institutions, the Conference will provide a unique opportunity to explore the scope for future cooperation on renewable energy. In three discussion sessions, the Conference will address challenges and possibilities for practical co-operation on policy frameworks, as well as projects of common interest that could facilitate the development of local renewable energy opportunities in the Mediterranean and Gulf countries.
The conference will be hosted by the Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs will open the day's debate with a major speech on renewable energy policy.
The Conference will build on the EU’s policy measures and experience in developing renewable energy sources, and assist in the efforts to tackle the climate change. For the Mediterranean region, the conference will build on the ongoing and planned initiatives, such as the Euro-Mediterranean energy market integration project, supporting the integration of electricity markets in the Maghreb; the project on energy efficiency cooperation; the cooperation of the Euro-Mediterranean energy regulators; the Action Plan for high priority renewable energy initiatives in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Area project , and the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Cairo.
For countries of the Gulf region, the Ministerial conference will provide an opportunity to explore the scope for future cooperation with the EU, stemming also from the 19th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial meeting held on 29 th April 2009 in Muscat, and the commitment to launch an EU-GCC clean energy network to facilitate cooperation in this area.
EU-Mediterranean-Gulf Renewable Energy Conference, Charlemagne building, rue de la Loi 170, Brussels.
EU-Mediterranean-Gulf Renewable Energy Conference website
Commissioner Piebalg's website:
Wednesday 14 October: Annual Enlargement package - the state of play and the way forward
The Commission will adopt an enlargement strategy communication, which gives an updated overview of the EU's enlargement policy and a summary of progress made over the past twelve months by each of the countries that share a perspective to join the EU.
These are the three candidate countries; Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the potential candidates; Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo u nder UN Security Council Resolution 1244 It will also adopt a study on means to further Kosovo's progress towards integration with the EU. Reference is also made to the recent application for membership by Iceland.
More detailed assessments will be provided in the progress reports for each country that will be published as background documents.
To establish a clear framework for the enlargement policy, the Commission will also adopt the Multiannual Financing Framework document for all the candidate and potential candidate countries establishing the financial framework for 2009-2012 with indicative allocations for each beneficiary.
Enlargement has been a success story for the European Union and our continent as a whole. It has helped Europe overcome its division and contributed to peace and stability throughout the continent. It has inspired reforms and has consolidated common principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law as well as the market economy. It has enabled people from both the EU Member Sates and the candidate countries and potential candidates to travel, to study and to work more freely throughout Europe. The wider internal market and economic cooperation have increased prosperity and competitiveness, enabling the enlarged Union to respond better to the challenges of globalisation.
At the December 2006 Summit, EU Heads of State and Government renewed the consensus on the Enlargement policy. They consolidated the EU's enlargement agenda, which now covers South-East Europe, i.e. the Western Balkans and Turkey. At the same time they emphasised conditionality. This means that the European perspective can only materialise if the candidate countries and potential candidates meet the accession criteria. Quality is more important than speed. Enlargement is a gradual and carefully managed policy.
Press conference by Commissioner Rehn, place and time TBC.
The Enlargement package of 2008:
European Commission website on enlargement:
Wednesday 14 October (date tbc): Make the life easier for cross-border successions
The proposal on successions and wills will mean that a single competent authority will apply a single law to one and the same succession, irrespective of where the property is located. Most importantly, citizens will be free to choose the law that will apply. That will be either the law of their habitual residence or the law of their nationality if they prefer to keep close links with their country of origin. The easier determination of the applicable law will ensure that the rights of potential heirs and other persons concerned are better protected. However, the EU initiative will not affect national rules governing inheritance and property or the rules applying to inheritance taxation. The status of heirs, administrators and executors will be recognised in all EU countries, thanks to a harmonised European certificate of succession.
Approximately 8 million Europeans live today in a Member State other than the one where they were born, and many own property in more than one EU country. When such a person dies, the potential heirs (children, spouse, etc.) often face complications due to the intricacies of so-called cross-border successions. This results in lengthy proceedings and high legal costs. This complexity also makes it difficult for someone to have a clear view of how his/her succession will be dealt with.
The problem is that today various national laws can apply to the same cross-border succession. In addition, the authorities of different Member States may be competent to settle the succession depending on the property's location. The outcome of cross-border successions is therefore often uncertain. People making use of their rights to move and own property across the EU should not suffer as a result. The applicable rules should be easily predictable.
Adoption of the proposal for a Regulation on succession and wills.
European Commission website:
Commissioner Barrot's website :
Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 October: International Workshop on Poverty Eradication and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
The European Commission has a long tradition of supporting reproductive health initiatives in developing countries. An International Workshop on Poverty Eradication and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) is taking place in Brussels in cooperation with the ACP Group of States, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The event will bring together high-level representatives and key decision makers from ACP countries' national authorities, donor governments as well as beneficiaries involved in SRHR issues to share experiences, discuss policy implications and potential financial commitments.
In 2002, the European Commission agreed to fund a programme of sexual and reproductive health services in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (implementation period: January 2003 to October 2008).
The purpose of the € 32 million grant was to help 22 of the poorest countries to manage and improve their own delivery of sexual and reproductive health care. The programme was implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in cooperation with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and in agreement with the ACP Group of States.
The workshop will present results and lessons learned from the joint programme activities in the past and draw up recommendations for future interventions in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
15 October 11.00: Press briefing, Centre Albert Borschette, room AB-0D, Rue Froissart 36; Brussels.
ACP Group of States website:
Commissioner De Gucht's website:
Directorate-General External cooperation programmes:
Thursday 15 October: Progress in the Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU
The Commission will adopt three major Communications in the field of the Integrated Maritime Policy:
A Progress Report on the Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU:
it responds to a request of the European Council and takes stock of two year's worth of the Integrated Maritime Policy achievements. It also sets an outlook for future policy priorities, including further development of cross-cutting tools (i.e. maritime spatial planning, integrated maritime surveillance and marine knowledge) and maritime governance, and it focuses on sustainable economic growth, employment and innovation, as well as on sea basin strategies.
A Communication on the integration of maritime surveillance in the EU:
the Commission will set guiding principles in view of establishing a cross-sectoral common information sharing environment that would serve various maritime surveillance authorities in the EU Member States. Increased cooperation in order to avoid duplication of effort in data collection and improved access to data will increase both the efficiency of surveillance activities and their cost-effectiveness.
A Communication on the international dimension of the Integrated Maritime Policy:
the Commission will outline ways to strengthen the EU's position in multilateral and bilateral relations, so that it exerts stronger influence in international debate on maritime issues and thus safeguards the economic and social interests of the EU and enhances the protection of the marine environment.
The Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU was established two years ago after a broad consultation process and constitutes an innovative comprehensive approach to maritime affairs in lieu of hitherto sector-by-sector policy-making. This new approach, based on increased cross-sectoral cooperation that exploits synergies and prevents conflicts, is being emulated by EU Member States' national and regional governments and non-EU countries alike. The Commission also advocates tailoring the Integrated Maritime Policy to different sea basins' specific challenges. In line with this approach, the Commission has recently adopted a Communication "Towards an Integrated Maritime Policy for better governance in the Mediterranean", to follow the already existing strategies for the Arctic and the Baltic Seas.
Press conference (tbc) by Commissioner Joe Borg, publication of IP and MEMO
European Commission's website:
Commissioner Borg's website:
Friday 16 October: EU Bookshop Digital Library goes live - All the EU publications in one place
Scanning 12 million pages makes more than 110 000 EU publications available free of charge for download in the EU Bookshop Digital Library. It offers all publications ever edited by the Publications Office on behalf of the EU institutions, agencies and other bodies since 1952.
To host the newly uploaded publications, the EU Bookshop offers a new web interface with increased capabilities and functionality to allow users to better take advantage of its expanded content. The EU Bookshop is a valuable information source for citizens, journalists, education professionals, students, librarians, publishers, and anybody interested in Europe, in 50 languages, including the possibility of ordering printed copies.
The Publications Office's archives have long represented a veritable treasure trove of European history. These publications can once again see the virtual light of day through the Publications Office Digital Library.
The Publications Office Digital Library was a response to a growing demand to digitise out-of-print publications. In 2007, the Publications Office launched a PDF-on-demand service, wherein users could request publications to be retrieved from the archives and scanned as needed. They turned out to be in such high demand that within six months the service was saturated. To better serve the users, it was decided to scan the industrial volumes of the entire archive.
The result – less than two years later – is an electronic library of more than 14 million pages of web-optimised PDFs available to the public free of charge. Public response has been overwhelmingly positive, and the numbers speak for themselves: total PDF downloads jumped from just 100 000 in 2008 to an expected 280 000 per month for 2009.
15:30 - 17:30: Frankfurt Bookfair, Hall 6.2 Press Centre Conference room, Messegelände, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, 60327 Frankfurt.
Leonard Orban, EU Commissioner for multilingualism
Claudia Lux, President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions 2007-09 (IFLA) and Director General of the Central and Regional Library Berlin
Publications Office of the European Union:
Commissioner Orban's web site:
To confirm attendance to the event:
Friday 16 October: Commission proposes fishing possibilities for 2010
The Commission will adopt its proposal on annual fishing possibilities for 2010, based on scientific advice from ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
The proposal covers the main commercial stocks in the North-East Atlantic, including the North Sea. Fishing opportunities need to be adopted by the Council of Fisheries Ministers when they meet on 14-15 December, so that they can apply from 1 January 2009.
The Commission set out the principles it would follow in interpreting scientific advice in its policy statement published in May. Proposals for 2010 fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea have been presented separately and should be adopted by Council in October and/or November.
Despite the division of annual fishing opportunities into a number of regional regulations, the present proposal continues to be perceived in many quarters as the most important in determining the fate of the EU fishing industry for the coming year as it covers many of the most commercially-important fish stocks in European waters, such as cod, hake, herring, sole and plaice etc…
The Commission's proposal takes account of input from national authorities and stakeholders, with whom the Commission has actively pursued technical consultations.
Technical briefing in the Berlaymont, Brussels, details to be confirmed, plus publication of IP and MEMO, tables, graphs and maps.
Commissioner Borg's website:
Thursday 22 to 24 October: European Development Days
The 4th edition of European Development Days (EDDs), Europe’s foremost platform for policy discussion and exchange on global challenges in all key areas, will be held this year in Stockholm.
Between Davos and Porto Alegre, it brings together about 5°000 participants from 125 countries and 200 speakers: heads of government, international organizations officials and private sector and civil society representatives. Amongst them this year: Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden, Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF Managing Director, Karel de Gucht, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, George Soros, business man and chairman Open Society Institut, Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Prize winner, economist and founder of Grameen Bank and Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam International and Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.
The debates are organized during 5 plenary sessions and 25 events. 150 exhibition stands are gathered in the "Development Village". Award ceremonies also take place (including the Lorenzo Natali Prize for journalism and the Development Youth Prize) and outreach activities are organized in Stockholm city centre.
This year’s EDDs falls one month after the G-20 Leaders meeting in Pittsburgh, two weeks after the IMF-World Bank meeting in Istanbul and six weeks before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Moreover, it comes just after the 7 th World Forum on Sustainable Development in Ouagadougou, which aims to define African leaders' position for Copenhagen. It may also be useful to revisit this theme, which was the centrepiece of Development Days 2007 in Lisbon.
Against this backdrop, the 2009 edition will focus on the global response to the economic downturn and climate change, as well as on the challenges of democracy and development. The opening/closing ceremonies as well as the side events and outreach programme are a chance to engage EU citizens on development issues.
Thursday 22 October
13.15: Press conference
19.00: Natali Prize Ceremony
Friday 23 October
13.15: Press conference
Saturday 24 October
9 am: Plenary session: Climate change, The road to Copenhagen
13.15: Press conference
EDDs official website and agenda are available :
Media corner and logistical aspects:
John Clancy +32 2 29 53 773 email@example.com