Other available languages: FR
Brussels, Friday 12 March 2010
Top News from the European Commission
Background notes from the Spokesperson's service for journalists.
Monday 15 March to Thursday 18 March: eHealth High-level Conference & eHealth Week, Barcelona (Spain) 2
Thursday 18 to Friday 19 March: European Consumer Summit, "Services: Access, Choice, Fairness", Brussels 3
Friday 19 March: Conference on the construction of a new crisis management framework in the banking sector 4
Monday 22 to Friday 26 March: 4th EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) to take place in Brussels and across Europe 6
Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 March: Celebrating 25 years of the European Capital of Culture 8
Thursday 25 March: Commissioner Vassiliou presents prizes to EU's top young translators 9
Friday 26 March: Conference "What future for milk?" 10
Tuesday 30 March and Wednesday 31 March: Conference "Strengthening European small and medium sized enterprises in the defence sector" 11
Friday 09 April: Looking for a winner: European Entrepreneurship Video Award 2010 12
Monday 15 March to Thursday 18 March: eHealth High-level Conference & eHealth Week, Barcelona (Spain)
European 4th "eHealth Week 2010" and the 8th eHealth Ministerial Conference will be major annual events in the field of ICT for healthcare worldwide. This year well above 2000 participants will attend this event in Barcelona around the theme “eHealth for sustainable healthcare: global changes through local actions”.
EU ministers will meet and sign a declaration in which they set 2020 objectives for making healthcare systems benefiting from ICT applications ("eHealth") in the best interest of patients, healthcare professionals and society as a whole.
With approximately 29% of the EU's population predicted to be over 65 years old in 2050, the eHealth ministerial conference will recall that ICT brings innovative solutions to Europe's serious challenges to the sustainability of its national health systems e.g. as regards prevention and prediction of illnesses, demand for quality and patient-centric care, mobility of patients across border.
On the first day – 15th March – the Conference will host a set of Ministerial meetings and sessions to find new ways to address the challenges of healthcare at EU and local levels.
The participants will discuss the following themes:
For the first time, the eHealth Ministerial Conference 2010 will be held in conjunction (from 16 to 18 March 2010) with The World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition (WoHIT), a world-class annual event co-organised by stakeholders and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Information Society and Media.
The high-level "eHealth week" conferences have been hosted by the countries holding the EU presidency since 2003. Presentations are given on the latest technologies in on-line health, tools, applications and best practices. eHealth week 2010 provides a platform for politicians, researchers and industry from all round the world are meeting to share their experiences and to discover what is new in this fast-evolving area where Europe's technologies are in the lead.
European 4th "eHealth Week 2010" and the 8th eHealth Ministerial Conference, Barcelona (Spain).
European Commission's website on eHealth:
Jonathan Todd +32 2 29 941 07 Jonathan.Todd@ec.europa.eu
Frédéric Vincent +32 2 29 871 66 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 18 to Friday 19 March: European Consumer Summit, "Services: Access, Choice, Fairness", Brussels
The European Consumer Summit 2010 will take place in Brussels on 18-19 March. This year's summit will focus on services for consumers and in particular on access, fairness and choice. The aim is to examine this increasingly diverse and complex area from different angles, by bringing together consumers, consumer advocates, business, and policy makers. Beyond that, It is hoped that these different perspectives will help to produce real, actionable outcomes for future policy reflection.
This year the focus is on services that have the most direct relevance for consumers and where the biggest challenges remain, such as transport, energy and banking. Consequently, the agenda includes the transparency of bank services, the future of online services for consumers, sustainable urban transport and green energy. The outcome of the discussions, workshops and panels will feed directly into the Commission's policy reflections on a future strategy for consumer services
There is a dedicated media programme on the first day of the Summit. It includes a tailored media seminar on topical consumer issues. The seminar will offer senior editors and journalists interested in consumer issues background briefings on the latest and forthcoming initiatives in EU consumer policy. The briefings will be given by top Commission experts in specific fields of consumer policy, such as product safety, financial services, market monitoring, helping cross-border EU shoppers and enforcing consumer laws. The seminar format will be informal and interactive, with opportunities for open exchange.
The European Consumer Summit is an annual event organised by the European Commission. It is organised close to the World Consumer Rights Day (15 March). The first summit was organised on 1-2 April 2009 and was entitled "Consumer trust in the digital marketplace".
Health and Consumers Commissioner John Dalli will give a keynote address at the opening of the Summit on 18 March, in which he is expected to outline his vision for EU consumer policy for the next five years.
Website of the "European Consumer Summit":
European Commission's Website on Consumer Policy:
Frédéric Vincent +32 2 298 71 66 email@example.com
Friday 19 March: Conference on the construction of a new crisis management framework in the banking sector
On 19 March the European Commission will host a high level one-day conference on the construction of a new crisis management framework in the banking sector. The conference will provide an opportunity for the Commission to present the results of its recent public consultation and to set out its ideas on how to move forwards in this important policy area. It will also provide an opportunity for eminent speakers and panellists from different backgrounds to express their views about what should be done.
The conference will feature a mixture of keynote addresses and panel discussions. It will be divided into three sessions:
Keynote speakers include:
During the recent financial crisis, a number of governments had to take emergency action to stabilise banks. Without that government intervention, several banks might have failed. The fast and effective intervention by national governments avoided this and prevented serious financial meltdown. The unprecedented circumstances of the crisis justified that exceptional action. However, governments acted under national law. There is currently no EU framework for managing crises in the banking sector, and the crisis has clearly shown that the lack of an EU regime hampers the ability of governments to deal with problems in cross-border banks.
In October 2009, the Commission adopted a Communication on an EU framework for crisis management in the banking sector. The purpose of the Communication was to consult as widely as possible on a broad range of issues aimed at safeguarding financial stability and the continuity of banking services in a cross-border banking crisis. The Communication set out questions on the tools that the Commission considers would be necessary for an EU crisis management framework. These tools range from “early intervention” action by banking supervisors aimed at correcting irregularities at banks, to bank resolution measures which involve the reorganisation of ailing banks, to insolvency frameworks under which failed banks are wound up.
High-level conference in Alcide de Gasperi Auditorium, Charlemagne Building, 170 rue de la Loi, 1000 Brussels
IP/09/1549: Commission consults on the measures necessary for a new EU framework for Crisis Management in the Banking Sector
MEMO/09/468: An EU framework for Crisis Management in the Banking Sector – Frequently Asked Questions
European Commission Internal Market Website:
Commissioner Barnier's Website:
Chantal Hughes +32 2 296 44 50 firstname.lastname@example.org
Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94 email@example.com
Monday 22 to Friday 26 March: 4th EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) to take place in Brussels and across Europe
The fourth edition of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will take place in Brussels and other cities across Europe from Monday 22 to Friday 26 March 2010.
Commissioner for Energy Günther H. Oettinger will announce his plans for action on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources over the next five years.
EUSEW 2010 will cover a wide range of issues addressing Europe's sustainable energy future, including: energy efficient housing and lighting, renewable energy solutions (e.g. biomass, solar and wind energy), reductions of greenhouse emissions and energy efficient transport.
On Wednesday 24, four Commissioners will take a ride on electric bikes to demonstrate the benefits of sustainable mobility.
The EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is the key annual event of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign which contributes to achieving the EU 2020 energy policy targets.
Three years of growing success have proven that EUSEW is the reference event for sustainable energy issues in Europe and beyond. In 2010, EUSEW will feature nearly 300 events across Europe.
EUSEW is organised by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) on behalf of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy.
11h00: Technical briefing in the Berlaymont Press Room, Brussels
9h15: Opening conference "Europe 2015 and beyond" in the Charlemagne building, Brussels. Featuring Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer and ITRE Chair of the European Parliament Herbert Reul.
10h50: Press point by Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, Berlaymont, Brussels
19h00: Sustainable Energy Awards Ceremony, recognising Europe’s top achievements in energy efficiency and renewables. With Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger and MEP Fiona Hall.
13h00: Electric bike race with Commissioners Günther H. Oettinger, Janez Potočnik, Johannes Hahn, Connie Hedegaard in the esplanade of Berlaymont, Brussels.
Website of the event:
Commissioner Oettinger's website:
Marlene Holzner +32 2 296 01 96 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 March: Celebrating 25 years of the European Capital of Culture
2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the European Capitals of Culture: the European Commission will be hosting a celebration and a conference to mark the event, to look back at the achievements of the initiative and to reflect on its legacy and impact.
The conference will be opened by European Commission President President José Manuel Barroso, Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and former French culture minister Jack Lang, who helped launch the idea with his Greek counterpart, the late Melina Mercouri.
A conference exhibition (opens 23 March) will provide information for potential European Capitals of Culture and opportunities to exchange experience with other previous, current and future holders of the title.
The main conference, which takes place on 24 March, is expected to attract a wide range of stakeholders.
The European Capitals of Culture are a flagship initiative of the European Union and a golden opportunity to showcase Europe's cultural wealth and diversity, as well as the strong cultural ties which link Europeans together. The aim is to develop culture and tourism, and to improve the image of the chosen cities in the eyes of their citizens.
The event will take place in the Palais des Beaux-Arts (rue Ravenstein, 23) in Brussels on 23 and 24 March 2010.
European Commission's website:
Commissioner Vassiliou's Website :
Dennis Abbott +32 2 295 92 58 email@example.com
Dina Avraam +32 2 295 96 67 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 25 March: Commissioner Vassiliou presents prizes to EU's top young translators
Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will present awards to the best young translators in Europe at this ceremony. Twenty-seven students, one from each Member State, will receive a trophy and a diploma for producing the best translation in a translation contest for schools organised by the European Commission.
The Juvenes Translatores (latin for 'young translators') translation contest is organised every year to promote linguistic diversity and language learning. It is also an opportunity to try out the work of a professional translator and to test language skills acquired at school.
In the contest, pupils can choose a text in any of the 23 official languages of the EU, and translate it into any other of them. All the contests held since 2007 have been truly multilingual, as all 23 languages have been chosen.
The contest is organised and marked by the staff of the Commission's Directorate-General for Translation.
The contest has gained in popularity each year since its launch. For this third contest, there was a 30% increase inenrolments.
11h30 – 12h30: Award ceremony in the Charlemagne Building, Room Alcide de Gasperi. The event will also be webstreamed on the Juvenes Translatores website.
14h15: Photo opportunity with the 27 winners in front of the Berlaymont building.
IP/10/153: Top of the class: Young translators' contest winners announced
Juvenes Translatores website
European Commission's website on translation
Commissioner Vassiliou's website:
Friday 26 March: Conference "What future for milk?"
The European Commission will organise the Conference "What future for milk" in Brussels on 26 March. It will bring together leading representatives from the dairy sector. The objective of the Conference is to discuss different issues that emerged during the recent dairy crisis: Contractual relations between milk producers and dairies, bargaining power of milk producers, market instruments, information on markets and products, innovation and research.
The recent crisis in the dairy sector leads to questions about the future viability of this sector. In this context the Commission established a High Level Group (HLG) with the purpose of discussing mid-term and long term arrangements. In addition to the discussions within this HLG the Commission would also like to consult more widely, and this conference forms part of that wider consultation.
Conference in the Charlemagne building, GASP Room, Rue de la Loi 170, 1040 Brussels
IP/09/1172: Commission proposes measures to stabilise dairy market
IP/09/1420: Milk: High Level Group to look at long term future of dairy sector
IP/09/1501: Commission adopts latest proposals to support dairy farmers
European Commission's website on the Conference "What future for milk?"
European Commission's website on the dairy sector:
Commissioner Cioloş's website:
Roger Waite +32 2 299 24 21 email@example.com
Johan Reyniers +32 2 295 6728 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 30 March and Wednesday 31 March: Conference "Strengthening European small and medium sized enterprises in the defence sector"
The final conference in a series of seven on “Strengthening European small and medium sized enterprises in the defence sector”. will take place in Brussels on 30/31 March. The aim of the these conferences is make SMEs better aware of new opportunities in defence procurement as a result of the Defence Package which was adopted in 2007. The objective is to achieve tangible results and to improve access to the market, access to information and access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises operating in the defence sector. There will be new opportunities as the internal market for defence opens up.
In December 2007 the Commission adopted the Defence Package which consists of a Communication and two legislative proposals. The whole Defence Package aims to strengthen the European defence industry and encourages a more European approach to business cooperation in the currently segmented national defence markets. It also contains proposals for the support of SMEs.
Nevertheless, SMEs acting in the defence sector still face significant problems. They lack information on business and clustering/partnering opportunities and they experience difficulties to make primary defence companies and customers aware of their products and services.
In follow-up to the Defence Package, it was agreed to explore concrete ways to support these SMEs through a study on “the competitiveness of European SMEs in the defence sector” which was finalized in October 2009 and a series of seven conferences within Europe.
Conference "Strengthening European small and medium sized enterprises in the defence sector" in Hilton Hotel, Boulevard the Waterloo 38, 1050 Brussels.
The conference will be available on: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/defence/smes/conferences_smes_en.htm
IP/07/1860 – Commission proposes new competitive measures for defence industry and markets
MEMO/07/546 – Commission proposes cutting red tape in EU defence industry
Website of the conference:
DG Enterprise and Industry Website:
Commissioner Tajani's website:
Fabio Pirotta + 32 2 296 78 24 email@example.com
Andrea Maresi + 32 2 299 04 03 firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 09 April: Looking for a winner: European Entrepreneurship Video Award 2010
The European Commission is encouraging enterprising film lovers to prove their creativity and skills by producing a short video that deals with the following questions: What is entrepreneurship all about? What could encourage people to become entrepreneurs? What could counteract old prejudices and offer new visions of entrepreneurship?
The European Commission is awarding prizes in the following three categories:
The winning video in each of the three categories will be awarded € 3,333, the videos in second place will be awarded € 2,222, and those in third place will receive € 1,111. Each prize will be a lump sum and is not intended to cover the production costs of the videos or any other expenses.
Five additional "special winners" will be awarded € 555 each. These special prizes are reserved for persons aged 25 or younger.
The deadline for submissions is 9 April 2010.
The producers of the best videos will be invited to a special award ceremony on 25 May 2010 in Brussels, as part of the 2nd European SME Week.
European Entrepreneurship Video Award 2010 website:
Promotion sheet on the award:
Complete terms and conditions for the award:
European SME Week 2010:
Commissioner Tajani's website:
Fabio Pirotta + 32 2 296 78 24 email@example.com
Andrea Maresi + 32 2 299 04 03 firstname.lastname@example.org