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Top News from the European Commission 13 September to 3 October 2010

European Commission - AGENDA/10/28   10/09/2010

Other available languages: FR

AGENDA/10/28

Brussels, Friday 10 September 2010

Top News from the European Commission
13 September to 3 October 2010

Background notes from the Spokespersons' service for journalists.
The European Commission reserves the right to make changes

Monday 13 September 2010: Interim Economic Forecasts 2

Monday 13 September 2010: Special Eurobarometer on Europeans and the Millennium Development Goals 3

Wednesday 15 September 2010: Youth on the Move: initiative to support young people's access to the job market through better education, training and mobility 4

Wednesday 15 September 2010: European Commission will propose measures on derivatives, Credit Default Swaps and short selling to restore confidence in financial markets 5

Wednesday 15 September 2010: Neelie Kroes to outline the EU's actions on innovation in digital solutions to help the elderly 7

Thursday 16 September 2010: Commissioner Dalli will announce the final results of the electronic goods sweep and the first results of a new sweep targeting events ticketing sites 9

Thursday 16 – Wednesday 22 September 2010: European Mobility Week – 'Travel Smarter, Live Better' 10

Monday 20 September 2010: Delivering broadband access for all 11

Monday 20 – Wednesday 22 September 2010: High Level Meeting on Millennium Development Goals in New York 13

Monday 20 - Tuesday 21 September 2010: European Commission is organising a public hearing on the review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) 15

Tuesday 21 September 2010: New Commission strategy on gender equality 17

Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 September 2010: Celebrating the European Day of Languages 18

Monday 27 - Wednesday 29 September 2010: ICT 2010 - Digitally Driven: Europe's biggest forum for research and innovation in Information and Communication Technologies 20

Monday 13 September 2010: Interim Economic Forecasts

The news:

The Commission will publish its September 2010 interim economic forecast, updating the outlook for GDP growth and inflation in 2010 for Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland as well as the EU and Euro area aggregates.

The background:

The Commission publishes economic forecasts four times a year. The Spring and Autumn forecasts are comprehensive exercises for all EU countries and cover a variety of indicators from growth, inflation and employment to public budget deficits and debts. The interim forecasts published in between, in February and September, are lighter exercises, but representative nevertheless. The seven countries concerned represent 79% of the EU and almost 83% of the euro area in terms of nominal GDP. The next fully-fledged forecast will come out end November 2010.

The event:

11h15: Press Conference by Commissioner Olli Rehn at the Berlaymont in Brussels. IP and economic forecasts on the day.

  • Video and photo coverage by EbS

The sources:

Website of DG ECFIN:

Commissioner Rehn's website:

The contacts:

Amadeu Altafaj + 32 2 295 2658 amadeu.altafaj-tardio@ec.europa.eu

Pia Seppälä + 32 2 299 2488 pia.seppala@ec.europa.eu

Monday 13 September 2010: Special Eurobarometer on Europeans and the Millennium Development Goals

The news:

Ahead of the Summit on Millennium Development Goals in New York (20-22 September), a special Eurobarometer has been carried out among 26,500 Europeans. The results will present a profound insight into what the European public expects from world leaders when they come together to discuss progress and commitments in the fight against poverty. The survey examines citizens' views on different questions related to Development aid, such as: What importance do Europeans assign to helping developing countries? How involved are they personally? Which actors are best placed to help developing countries?

The background:

World leaders will gather in New York to negotiate the way forward in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, the main goal being to eradicate extreme poverty. The EU is firmly committed to support the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.

Special Eurobarometer reports in-depth studies on select topics which are carried out for various services of the European Commission or other EU Institutions. The last special Eurobarometer regarding Europeans' views of development aid was presented in October 2009.

The event:

Presentation of the results during the Midday press briefing in the Berlaymont in Brussels (tbc).

IP and MEMO on the day.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

IP/10/1540 - Nine out of ten Europeans still strongly support development aid despite the downturn

The Eurobarometer website:

Website of DG Development:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

  • I-066317 – VNR: Responding to the global food crisis - EU Food Facility Programme

  • I-056970 – Archives: Millennium development goals

  • I-064367 – Stockshots: European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion – Part 1

  • I-065996 – Stockshots: European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010 - Part 2

The contacts:

Catherine Ray +32 2 29 69921 catherine.ray@ec.europa.eu

Wojtek Talko +32 2 29 78551 wojtek.talko@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 15 September 2010: Youth on the Move: initiative to support young people's access to the job market through better education, training and mobility

The news:

The 'Youth on the Move' initiative will promote the mobility and employment prospects of young people. It will define what needs to be done at EU level to unleash the potential of young people to achieve smart, inclusive and sustainable growth in the EU.

Among other things, it will encourage actions to tackle the high level of early school leaving, promote apprenticeship-type vocational training, get more people into higher education and back a more user-friendly system for benchmarking universities. A dedicated Youth on the Move website will provide a one-stop-shop for access to information on EU mobility and learning opportunities and the Commission will propose a Youth on the Move card to promote study or training abroad.

In terms of employment, a new EU job mobility scheme – 'Your first EURES job' – will be created to encourage young people to work abroad and the European Microfinance Facility will support potential young entrepreneurs. The Commission will also encourage Member States to take concrete action to boost youth employment, in particular through Youth Guarantees to ensure young people are in a job or further education within four months of leaving school.

The background:

The Commission's Youth on the Move proposal is a flagship initiative in the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth.

The event:

Commission adopts Communication on 'Youth on the Move'.

Press Conference by Commissioners Androulla Vassiliou and László Andor.

Commissioner Vassiliou will participate in a live webstreamed debate on Youth on the Move on 17 September (15:00 – 16:00). This event is open to the media.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

Commissioner Vassiliou's website:

Commissioner Andor's website:

European Commission's DG Education and Culture and DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities website:

European Commission's DG Employment, Social affairs, Equal Opportunities website:

The contacts:

Dennis Abbott + 32.2.295.9258 dennis.abbott@ec.europa.eu

Dina Avraam + 32 2 295 9667 dina.avraam@ec.europa.eu

Cristina Arigho +32 2 298 53 99 cristina.arigho@ec.europa.eu

Maria Javorova +32 2 299 89 03 maria.javorova@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 15 September 2010: European Commission will propose measures on derivatives, Credit Default Swaps and short selling to restore confidence in financial markets

The news:

In further response to the financial crisis, the European Commission is due to adopt a number of key legislative proposals on 15 September. The aim is to restore confidence in financial markets by improving transparency on derivatives trading in the EU. The proposals will also contain measures on short selling and Credit Default Swaps (CDS). The legislative package will feature:

  • A proposal on derivatives: A derivative is a financial contract between two parties linked to the future value or status of the underlying to which it refers (e.g. the development of interest rates or of a currency value, or the possible bankruptcy of a debtor). While derivatives play an important role in the economy, they are associated with certain risks that have aggravated the recent financial crisis for example. The Commission is now coming forward with a proposal to ensure that derivatives trading becomes more safe, sound and efficient.

  • A proposal on short selling and CDS: Short selling is the sale of a security that the seller does not own, with the intention of buying back an identical security at a later point in time in order to be able to deliver the security. Meanwhile, CDS are derivatives which are often regarded as a form of insurance against the risk of credit default of a corporate or government (or sovereign) bond. While they bring liquidity to the markets, they also entail certain risks that were illustrated during the recent debt crisis. The Commission is to come forward with a proposal that will set common standards in the EU on short selling activities and CDS trading. The measures are to bring more transparency to financial markets, while giving more powers to financial supervisors in the EU.

The background:

The recent market turbulence has confirmed for the Commission the need to advance swiftly to complete the necessary reforms to ensure the soundness and stability of the financial system at the European and global level. In its Communication of 2 June 2010, "Regulating Financial Services for Sustainable Growth" (see IP/10/656); the Commission committed itself to table the remaining proposals for financial reform in the next six to nine months. The package adopted for 15 September now further responds to this commitment.

The event:

11h30: Press conference with Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier in the Berlaymont press room

10h45: Technical briefing

  • Available on EbS

IPs and MEMOs available on the day

The sources:

Website of DG Internal Market and Services:

Web site of Commissioner Michel Barnier:

  • I-062908 – Stockshots: EU: Financial market supervision

  • I-061596 – Stockshots: New EU Financial Supervision

The contacts:

Chantal Hughes +32 2 296 44 50 chantal.hughes@ec.europa.eu

Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94 carmel.dunne@ec.europa.eu

Catherine Bunyan +32 2 299 65 12 catherine.bunyan@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 15 September 2010: Neelie Kroes to outline the EU's actions on innovation in digital solutions to help the elderly

The news:

European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, will outline Europe's actions and next steps for Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to help the elderly at a forum in Odense, Denmark, on 15 September 2010. This is one of the key objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe, the European Commission's action plan to maximise the benefits of ICTs for job creation, sustainability and social inclusion.

Helping the elderly stay independent for longer and lead an active, high-quality life is one of the biggest challenges for Europe. The EU's 60-plus population is increasing by about 2 million a year and our 80-plus population is expected to double by 2020. With more retired people and less workers in the care sector, the pressure is on to find effective solutions to support elderly people and their community, to increase the efficiency of the care systems and to promote a flourishing EU industry for independent and active "ageing" products and services.

The background:

Tackling demographic ageing is a priority for the European Commission. That is why the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), which runs from 2007 to 2013, has allocated about €400 million to research ICT for Independent Living and Inclusion. The Commission's strategy on “ICT for Ageing Well” supports investments in digital solutions for elderly people and carers. The aim is to provide ICT solutions suited to their needs, allowing elderly to live independently in their own living environment, as well as to stimulate the large scale uptake of proven ICT solutions for ageing across Europe.

The event:

The AAL 2010 Forum, 15-17 September 2010, Odense (Denmark)

The event is organised by the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme (AAL JP) for applied research, a programme of 23 European countries supported by the European Commission to develop ICT-based solutions for elderly people. With more than 800 participants expected and over 30 exhibitors, the Forum will provide users, entrepreneurs, service providers, ICT industry, scientists and policy makers with the opportunity to discuss key issues like:

  • How can ICT-related improvements to their quality of life be brought to the largest number of elderly people and their community?

  • How can ICT for Ageing Well help to ensure the sustainability of social and health care by improving efficiency and reducing costs?

  • How can market opportunities be maximised for Europe's AAL industry and service providers to create a true Single Market for AAL solutions?

Key-note speakers include: Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda; Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Danish Minister of Finance, Meglena Kuneva former EU Consumer Commissioner and inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil.

A press conference with Neelie Kroes at the Odense conference centre will precede the opening of the AAL Forum on 15 September at 12.00.

An exhibition will showcase AAL technologies in real-life settings with projects supported by the AAL JP, such as service robots and smart home settings providing a safe daily living environment for the elderly. Next to the exhibition, the Innovation World (Stadium Arena Fyn, Odense) will let visitors experience different welfare technologies, e.g. take a walk in a “smart” apartment, consult the doctor from home via interactive media and relax in an "intelligent" bed.

In connection with the AAL 2010 Forum, the first AAL Investment Forum will run from 14th to 15th September in Odense. The event will give participants the opportunity to discuss market and investment issues related to the so-called "silver economy" and to listen to success stories from businesses.

Where

Odense Congress Centre - Ørbækvej 350

DK-5220 Odense SØ - Denmark

Programme

AAL Forum: www.aalforum.eu/page/programme-1

AAL Investment Forum: www.aal-invest.eu/page/investment-forum-programme

Media registration

AAL Forum: www.aalforum.eu/page/invited-guests

The sources:

AAL Forum website:

AAL Investment Forum website:

AAL Joint Programme:

Commissioner Kroes' website:

The contacts:

Jonathan Todd +32 2 299 41 07 Jonathan.Todd@ec.europa.eu

Linda Cain +32 2 299 90 19 Linda.Cain@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 16 September 2010: Commissioner Dalli will announce the final results of the electronic goods sweep and the first results of a new sweep targeting events ticketing sites

The news:

Commissioner John Dalli will call a press conference to announce the enforcement results of the EU-wide 'sweep' investigation into breaches of EU consumer rules on websites selling popular electronic goods such as digital cameras and personal music players. John Dalli will also present the results of the first phase of a new sweep, targeting websites selling tickets to sports and cultural events.

The background:

The original enquiry was carried out in 2009 by a network of national enforcers in 26 Member States, Norway and Iceland. The 2009 crackdown showed that only 45% of the sites checked complied with EU consumer laws. Since then, national authorities have followed up on suspected irregularities. It is expected that the enforcement results will show a very substantial improvement in compliance. John Dalli will also present the results of the first phase of a new sweep, targeting websites selling tickets to sports and cultural events.

The event:

12h30: Press conference by Commissioner Dalli in the Berlaymont press room

  • Live streaming available on EbS

The sources:

EU Sweeps website:

Website of Commissioner Dalli:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/dalli/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Frederic Vincent +32 2 298 7166 frederic.vincent@ec.europa.eu

Aikaterini Apostola +32 2 298 76 24 aikaterini.apostola@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 16 – Wednesday 22 September 2010: European Mobility Week – 'Travel Smarter, Live Better'

The news:

More than 200 million people across Europe and beyond are expected to take part in European Mobility Week, the largest global event dedicated to sustainable urban travel, from 16-22 September 2010.

This year's theme, 'Travel Smarter, Live Better', recognises the detrimental effects that urban transport trends have on citizens' health. The aim is to encourage local authorities to promote sustainable travel – walking, cycling and public transport – and highlight their positive impact on public health.

The background:

European Mobility Week started in 2002 and aims to encourage citizens to change their travel behaviour and shift towards more sustainable modes of transport. Each year local authorities all over Europe and across the world organise activities and launch permanent measures which will continue long after the week is over.

The week culminates in Car Free Day, officially designated as 22 September, when participating towns and cities set aside areas solely for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

European Mobility Week is coordinated by three non-governmental organisations specialising in urban environmental issues: Eurocities, Energie-Cités and Climate Alliance. The European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment provides financial support and organises the annual European Mobility Week Awards for the best programme of activities and measures.

The sources:

To see which towns and cities have signed up so far, visit:

Commissioner Potočnik website:

  • I-062885 – Archives: Urban Mobility

  • I-054859 – Stockshots: Urban transport: Air monitoring

  • I-063650 – Stockshots: Green economy: products and transport

The contacts:

Joe Hennon +32 2 295 35 93 Joseph.Hennon@ec.europa.eu

Monica Westeren +32 2 299 18 30 monica.westeren@ext.ec.europa.eu

Monday 20 September 2010: Delivering broadband access for all

The news:

Three complementary initiatives to accelerate the roll-out and take up of fast and ultra fast internet in the EU are due to be adopted by the European Commission. These measures will aim to help the EU achieve the commitment in the Digital Agenda for Europe that every European should have access to a basic broadband by 2013, to fast broadband by 2020 with half of European households having access to ultra-fast broadband by 2020. The three measures comprise a Communication on promoting investment in broadband networks, a Commission Recommendation on Regulated access to Next Generation Access (NGA) networks and a proposal to establish a Radio Spectrum Policy Programme whereby Member States would ensure inter alia that spectrum was available for wireless broadband.

The background:

Giving all citizens and businesses access to a high-speed internet address is one of the key objectives of the Commission's Digital Agenda for Europe, as endorsed by the European Council and the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (see IP/10/225).

Although Europe as a region has the highest average levels of broadband penetration worldwide (24.8%) its networks need to be further developed and upgraded, the current divide between urban and rural/remote areas must be reduced. Today only 1% of Europeans have an ultra fast internet connection.

Fast and ultra-fast internet access for all is central to Europe's economic recovery, to our industrial and creative productivity and to enable all EU citizens to fully engage in today's digital society.

The Commission's package will consist of three separate elements to address tackling the challenge at European, national and regional levels:

  • A Communication outlining how best to encourage public and private investment in fast and ultra fast networks

  • A Commission Recommendation on Regulated access to Next Generation Access (NGA) networks setting out a common regulatory approach concerning the access to new high-speed fibre networks, requiring Member States' telecoms regulators to ensure an appropriate balance between the need to encourage investment and the need to safeguard competition.

  • A proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision to establish a Radio Spectrum Policy Programme whereby Member States would ensure inter alia that spectrum is available for wireless broadband.

Bringing high speed access to all parts of Europe will require investment of between €180 and €270 billion.

The event:

12h30: Press conference by Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes in the Berlaymont press room

The sources:

IP/10/581 - Digital Agenda: Commission outlines action plan to boost Europe's prosperity and well-being

MEMO/10/200 - Digital Agenda for Europe: key initiatives

MEMO/10/199 - Digital Agenda for Europe: what would it do for me?

European Commission's website on the Digital Agenda for Europe:

Commissioner Kroes' website:

The contacts:

Jonathan Todd +32 2 299 41 07 Jonathan.Todd@ec.europa.eu

Linda Cain +32 2 299 90 19 Linda.Cain@ec.europa.eu

Monday 20 – Wednesday 22 September 2010: High Level Meeting on Millennium Development Goals in New York

The news:

World leaders will gather in New York to negotiate the way forward in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, the main goal being to eradicate extreme poverty. Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva will attend the High Level Meeting. The EU is firmly committed to support the achievement of the MDGs globally by 2015. This is still possible, if all partners demonstrate strong political commitment, implement necessary policy changes and take concrete action. Progress has been uneven across the MDGs and across regions, as well as between and within countries. Good progress has been made on some MDGs, such as access to primary education. Others (e.g., child and maternal mortality, sanitation) remain off track and should now be prioritised. Efforts should focus on regions and countries that lag behind the most. Countries in situations of conflict and fragility need special attention. And from the developing countries' side it is about more ownership and leadership, notably by incorporating the MDGs into national development strategies.

The EU remains convinced that the MDGs are interlinked, mutually dependent and reinforcing and therefore require a holistic, rights-based approach which takes into account local contexts. The European position is that MDGs are interdependent with human rights, gender equality, democracy, good governance, development, peace and security, as well as climate and energy.

The background:

The eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders in 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, set quantitative benchmarks for, among other things, the reduction of poverty and hunger, child and maternal mortality and the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as other diseases. They further formulate goals for primary education, employment, gender equality and environmental sustainability.

As part of MDGs, the EU has committed to increase spending on official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015. Since 2000, Europe has doubled its aid to developing countries. In 2009, the EU aid level was €49bn. This corresponds to 0.42% of EU GNI. While the EU remains the most generous global donor, providing more than half of development aid, it missed the collective EU intermediate target of 0,56% ODA/GNI for 2010.

On 21 April the European Commission adopted an ambitious twelve-point plan for EU action to speed up progress on the Millennium Development Goals. The document was broadly welcomed by the Foreign Ministers Council in June.

The event:

17 September 2010, 11h30: Technical briefing in the Berlaymont Press Room

Press conferences and briefings in New York (date and time to be confirmed)

  • EbS will accompany President Barroso, Commissioner Piebalgs and Commissioner Georgieva to New York

The sources:

IP/10/451 - Development aid and Millennium Development Goals: Commission calls Member States to get back on track for more and better aid

MEMO/10/145 - The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Frequently Asked Questions and examples of EU-funded projects

The Action Plan of the Commission in support of the Millennium Development Goals:

Website of President Barroso:

Website of DG Development:

Website of Commissioner Piebalgs:

Website of Commissioner Georgieva:

  • I-056970 – Archives: Millennium development goals

The contacts:

Pia Ahrenkilde +32 2 295 3070 pia.ahrenkilde-hansen@ec.europa.eu

Michael Karnitschnig +32 2 299 6066 michael.karnitschnig@ec.europa.eu

Catherine Ray +32 2 296 9921 catherine.ray@ec.europa.eu

Ferran Tarradellas +32 2 296 6293 ferran.tarradellas@ec.europa.eu

Wojtek Talko +32 2 297 8551 wojtek.talko@ec.europa.eu

Monday 20 - Tuesday 21 September 2010: European Commission is organising a public hearing on the review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID)

The news:

On 20-21 September 2010, the European Commission will organise a public hearing on the review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2004/39/EC (MiFID). The public hearing will provide an opportunity for the Commission to get input about the way forward for the ongoing review of MIFID. It will bring together senior policy makers, regulators, industry experts and academics.

The conference will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions and takes place over 2 days:

Day 1: Five panels on the main issues in the ongoing review of MiFID:

  • Derivative market reform and increasing trading on organised platforms,

  • Ensuring transparency and efficiency are balanced in the trading of financial instruments,

  • Changes in market structure and competition between trading venues,

  • Investor protection after the crisis,

  • Improving market data consolidation.

Day 2: Four panels specifically on commodity and exotic derivatives:

  • The outlook for commodity markets today,

  • Global regulatory perspectives as regards commodity derivatives,

  • Ensuring the interests of users and producers of commodities,

  • The road ahead in EU energy and emission allowance markets.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Michel Barnier – Commissioner for Internal Market and Services

  • Dacian Cioloş – Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

  • Sharon Bowles MEP - Chair of the European Parliament Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in the European Parliament.

The background:

The MiFID sets out a comprehensive regulatory regime for investment services and financial markets in Europe. It contains measures to at strengthen investor protection, eliminate barriers to cross-border trading, enhance competition in the EU securities industry and, ultimately, encourage the integration of EU capital markets.

Two years after the implementation of the MiFID in the EU, a number of objectives have been met. The common rules introduced by MiFID have made the cross-border provision of services smoother while increasing protection to clients. The emergence of new trading systems (Multilateral trading facilities or MTF and systematic internalisers) has increased competition and abolished monopolies of traditional stock exchanges. This has also allowed the decrease of trading costs.

The initial political objectives still remain valid; however, there is certainly room for improvement and modifications. A review is also necessary in order to address specific weaknesses and flaws of financial markets emerged as a result of the crisis.

The legislative proposal to review MIFID is expected in the beginning of 2011.

The event:

High-level conference at the European Commission premises, Charlemagne building, Salle de Gasperi, 170 Rue de la Loi, Brussels from 8.30-17.00. Attendance is free, prior registration needed by using this link: http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=mifid

The sources:

More information and conference programme – European Commission, Internal Market and Services Directorate General website:

Website of Commissioner Barnier:

The contacts:

Chantal Hughes +32 2 296 44 50 chantal.hughes@ec.europa.eu

Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94 carmel.dunne@ec.europa.eu

Catherine Bunyan +32 2 299 65 12 catherine.bunyan@ec.europa.eu

Tuesday 21 September 2010: New Commission strategy on gender equality

The news:

The European Commission will adopt a new strategy to promote equality between women and men over the next five years. The strategy spells out a series of actions based around five priorities: equal economic independence for women and men; equal pay for work of equal value; equality in decision-making; dignity, integrity and ending gender violence; and promoting gender equality beyond the EU. It also highlights the contribution of gender equality to economic growth and sustainable development, and supports the implementation of Europe 2020 Strategy.

These areas take up the priorities already set out by the Commission in its Women's Charter, adopted in March 2010. The new strategy represents the Commission's work programme on gender equality for 2010-2015 and builds on the previous roadmap for equality covering 2006-2010.

The Commission will also present the results of a new Eurobarometer survey on attitudes to domestic violence in Europe – the first such EU-wide survey in more than a decade.

The background:

Equality between women and men is a fundamental right and a common value of the EU. Since 1957, EU Treaties have provided a legal basis for policy and action on gender equality.

Despite remarkable progress towards equality between women and men over the past 50 years, significant inequalities persist at global and EU levels, clashing with the EU’s fundamental goals. EU action on gender equality is needed to protect fundamental rights, combat discrimination, strengthen social cohesion and reaffirm shared values, but also to mobilise women’s full potential to help boost EU competitiveness, growth and prosperity.

The current Commission that took office in 2010 affirmed its commitment to equality between women and men by adopting a “Women’s Charter,” which identifies five priority areas that will underpin actions during this Commission’s term of office. The Strategy for the period 2010-2015 implements the Women's Charter.

The event:

Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, will present the new strategy for gender equality as well as the Eurobarometer results at a press conference in Strasbourg (time to be confirmed).

The sources:

The Commission's Women's Charter:

More information on equality between women and men in the EU:

Vice-President Reding's website:

  • I-056402 - VNR: Waging war on the pay gap

  • I-060551 - VNR: Fighting the gender pay gap in Europe

  • I-063950 – VNR: Gender stereotypes in the labour market

  • I-060553 – VNR: Women to the top

The contacts:

Matthew Newman +32 2 296 24 06 matthew.newman@ec.europa.eu

Mina Andreeva +32 2 299 13 82 mina.andreeva@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 September 2010: Celebrating the European Day of Languages

The news:

The Commission is organising a series of activities around 26 September, the annual European Day of Languages (EDL). This year, the main theme is languages for business. On 24 September, Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will lead a round-table discussion on languages, competitiveness and employability.

The background:

26 September was designated as the European Day of Languages by the Council of Europe and the European Commission. The purpose is to draw attention to the importance of language learning, raise awareness of all the languages spoken in Europe and encourage lifelong language learning.

The event:

23 September

Conference on "Languages for jobs" in Brussels with stakeholders, government experts and entrepreneurs from small and medium sized companies that have successfully used language strategies for their businesses. Venue: Berlaymont, Schuman room, 9.30-17.00.

24 September

Commissioner Vassiliou participates in a round-table discussion in Brussels with entrepreneurs and representatives of SMEs about how multilingualism can help business. Please register at: http://languagesforsme.teamwork.fr/ (Password: BRUSSELS). Commission representations will also participate in the debate via video link. Venue: Breydel building, Auditorium, 10.30-12.00.

The Commission launches a contest to highlight how speaking foreign languages can open doors in your professional and private life. The Commission will invite contributions on 'my favourite foreign language story'. The authors of the best stories will be invited to Brussels for an award ceremony around Europe Day in May 2011.

Launch of the Commission's new on-line Language Quiz available in 22 different languages.

Awareness-raising campaign for the recruitment of Italian interpreters will be launched in Rome.

27 September

Conferences in Member States on the benefits of multilingualism. For example, a conference in Warsaw will discuss the effects of multilingualism on social inclusion; in Berlin, a high-level meeting will focus on bilingual education; in Pisa and Lucca, the Italian Minister of European Affairs, Andrea Ronchi and author/semiologist Umberto Eco will discuss the contribution of languages to European integration.

Special radio broadcasts in Bulgaria and Lithuania, online language competitions in the Czech Republic, poetry recitals in Denmark, storytelling in Finland, a film festival in Poland, language fairs, language taster classes and workshops.

The sources:

Commissioner Vassiliou Website:

Web site of the multilingualism policy unit:

Commission's Representations in the Member States Website:

Translation DG Website:

Interpretation DG Website:

The contacts:

Dennis Abbot +32 29 59258 dennis.abbot@ec.europa.eu

Dina Avraam +32 29 59 667 dina.avraam@ec.europa.eu

Monday 27 - Wednesday 29 September 2010: ICT 2010 - Digitally Driven: Europe's biggest forum for research and innovation in Information and Communication Technologies

The news:

From 27th to 29th September, more than 5000 European researchers, business people, investors, and high-level policy makers will gather at Brussels Expo for Europe's largest forum for ICT research and innovation, "ICT 2010 – Digitally Driven". ICTs are the nervous system of our society - they make smart phones, smart houses and smart cars run and are integrated in most of our daily activities which is why research and innovation are key policy areas of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

More than 100 exhibits will be showcased of the latest advances in EU-funded ICT research. For examples, visitors will be invited to meet intelligent robots able to detect and adapt to their emotions, step into a green home that analyses and alerts them to their energy consumption or ride a safe motorbike that reduces the risk of accidents.

Major themes of the conference will be research for sustainable growth in a low-carbon economy, the constructive impact of ICTs in everyday life and the importance of public funding and support in ICT research and innovation. Conference keynote speakers include:

The background:

ICT research is crucial to driving economic productivity and growth, improving quality of life and meeting social challenges. Today's high-tech world is the result of bright scientists who converted ideas into innovative technologies with financial support from the public and private sector. That is why improving and developing research and innovation in ICT is a key objective of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

The EU has contributed more than €20 billion to ICT research funding in the past 25 years. But to be competitive in the 21st century means leading in ICT and making the right investments at the right time. Europe lags behind in investment to produce the growth needed for the future and spends just 40% as much as the US in ICT research. The Digital Agenda for Europe seeks a doubling of public spending on ICT research in the EU by 2020.

The event:

ICT 2010 will take place at Brussels Expo from 27 to 29 September 2010 in halls 7, 10, and 11. It is organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the Belgian Presidency of the European Union. ICT in Belgium will also be on display. More than 30 exhibits will put the spotlight on innovative digital solutions 'made in Belgium'. Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes will make the opening speech at 10 am on 27 September in the Amphitheatre. A press tour will follow at 12h30.

Journalists are invited to register online free of charge via

Pre-registration is required for the press tour of exhibits via INFSO-press@ec.europa.eu

Journalists wishing to interview some of the conference keynote speakers and VIPs should contact INFSO-press@ec.europa.eu

A press room will be available in hall 11on the 1st floor.

ICT 2010 Media Centre:

ICT 2010 website:

The sources:

IP/10/966 - €6.4 billion for smart growth and jobs – Europe's biggest ever investment in research and innovation

MEMO/10/339 - Europe’s biggest ever package of research and innovation investment

IP/10/581 - Digital Agenda: Commission outlines action plan to boost Europe's prosperity and well-being

MEMO/10/199 - Digital Agenda for Europe: what would it do for me?

MEMO/10/200 - Digital Agenda for Europe: key initiatives

Digital Agenda for Europe website:

Commissioner Kroes' website:

  • I-061097 – Stockshots: Future and emerging technologies

  • I-065546 – Stockshots: Digital Agenda

The contacts:

Jonathan Todd +32 2 299 41 07 Jonathan.Todd@ec.europa.eu

Linda Cain +32 2 299 90 19 Linda.Cain@ec.europa.eu


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