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Top News from the European Commission 7 October – 4 November 2011

European Commission - AGENDA/11/32   07/10/2011

Other available languages: FR

AGENDA/11/32

Brussels, Friday 7 October 2011

Top News from the European Commission
7 October – 4 November 2011

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

Monday 10 October: OPEN DAYS 2011, the key rendezvous for Europe's regions and cities 2

Tuesday 11 October: Commission adopts revised proposals clarifying the information that can be supplied to the public on prescription-only medicines. 3

Tuesday 11 October: European Commission proposes European Contract law to boost trade and expand consumer choice 4

Wednesday 12 October: The Common Agriculture Policy after 2013 – towards an economically and ecologically competitive sector 5

Wednesday 12 October: The European Commission adopts the 2011 Enlargement Package 7

Thursday 13 October: Commissioner Piebalgs unveils the Agenda for change for the EU development policy: focus on fewer sectors, fewer countries, and higher impact of EU aid 8

Thursday 20 October: Commission proposes measures on securities markets and insider dealing 9

Thursday 20 October: Launch of first Galileo satellites for Europe's smart GPS! 11

Thursday 20 and Friday 21 October: Conference on the next Multiannual Financial Framework 12

Monday 10 October: OPEN DAYS 2011, the key rendezvous for Europe's regions and cities

The news

OPEN DAYS 2011, the European Week of Regions and Cities, will take place from 10 to 13 October: 206 regions and cities representing the 27 Member States and eight other countries will take part in the event.

This year, the OPEN DAYS will once again offer regions and cities the opportunity to discuss the future of cohesion policy a few days after the Commission presents the new legislative package for 2014-2020.

The background

The OPEN DAYS have been organised by the Commission and the Committee of the Regions since 2003. This is the biggest annual meeting of regional and European decision-makers, experts and representatives of business and civil society working in the regional policy field.

Nearly 6 000 participants will discuss three main themes:

Europe 2020: how does cohesion policy contribute to intelligent and sustainable growth for everyone?

More effective implementation: how can the European Union improve the implementation of cohesion policy now and after 2013?

Geographical aspects: what is the future of territorial cohesion, and what lessons can be learned from the experience of other countries?

The event will attract senior representatives and ministers to Brussels from countries such as Brazil, China, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.

In parallel, more than 250 events with a regional policy dimension will take place in 35 countries up to the end of November.

The event

10 October, 14:00-14:30, Committee of the Regions: press conference with Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, and Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions

10 October, 15:00-17:30: Opening session at the European Parliament

  • Available on EbS

Full media programme

Contact for accreditations: press@open-days.eu

Follow the event on Twitter: @EU_Regional (#euopendays)

The sources

The contacts

Ton Van Lierop +32 2 29 66565 Ton.van-Lierop@ec.europa.eu

Marie-Pierre Jouglain +32 2 29 84449 Marie-Pierre.Jouglain@ec.europa.eu

Tuesday 11 October: Commission adopts revised proposals clarifying the information that can be supplied to the public on prescription-only medicines.

The news:

On 11 October, the European Commission plans to adopt revised proposals concerning information to patients on prescription-only medicines. With these proposals, the European Commission sets out a clear framework whereby companies with marketing authorisation for a product provide good quality and objective information on their prescription-only medicines to the general public. The revised proposals will now be debated by both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers

The background:

The original proposals date back to December 2008. The Commission believes that the revised proposals strike the right balance between avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy while, at the same time, ensuring that patients have access to reliable information.

The event:

On Tuesday 11 October, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, will make a statement in the Berlaymont pressroom at 12h00.

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

For further information on EU pharmaceutical and health policy:

Commissioner John Dalli's website:

The contacts:

Frédéric Vincent: +32 2 298 71 66 Frederic.Vincent@ec.europa.eu

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

Tuesday 11 October: European Commission proposes European Contract law to boost trade and expand consumer choice

The news:

The European Commission will present proposals to bring more coherence to contract laws in the EU. Despite the success of the EU's Single Market, barriers to cross-border trade remain. Many of these result from divergent sales laws between the 27 Member States. They make selling abroad complicated and costly, especially for small firms. Traders who are dissuaded from cross-border transactions due to contract law obstacles forgo at least €26 billion in intra-EU trade every year. Meanwhile, 500 million consumers in Europe lose out on greater choice and lower prices because fewer firms compete, particularly in smaller national markets. The Commission's proposals will aim to break down these barriers.

The background:

Under the Europe 2020 strategy (IP/10/225), the Commission is tackling bottlenecks in the Single Market to drive economic recovery. This includes making progress towards a European contract law.

In July 2010, the Commission put forward several options in a Green Paper for a more coherent approach to contract law.

The event:

The Commission will present its proposals and publish two new Eurobarometer surveys.

12:30 Vice-President Reding will hold a press conference followed by a technical briefing.

An IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  • Available on EbS.

The sources:

Contract law in the EU:

Vice-President Reding's website:

The contacts:

Matthew Newman +32 2 296-2406 Matthew.Newman@ec.europa.eu

Mina Andreeva +32 2 299-1382 Mina.Andreeva@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 12 October: The Common Agriculture Policy after 2013 – towards an economically and ecologically competitive sector

The news:

The Commission is due to adopt the legislative proposals for the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) after 2013. The legislative proposals aim to:

- Address the food supply challenges of the 21st century;

- Enhance the sustainable management of natural resources across the whole of the EU;

- Strengthen territorial and social cohesion in the EU rural areas,

This will be achieved by:

- Making CAP support more balanced between sectors, regions and Member States;

-Making it more clearly linked to environmental public goods provided by farmers and better targeted to active farmers;

- Ensuring that European agriculture is more competitive on local, regional, national, European and world markets, while also being sustainable (ie addressing problems related to water, soil, biodiversity, climate change);

- making instruments available to help farmers cope with price volatility and the pressures of the food supply chain, and seeking to maintain agricultural production across the whole EU in all its diversity;

- Aiding investment and providing advice to address the environmental and economic challenges; encouraging young farms to enter the sector; supporting innovation, and seeking to accelerate the technological transfer from the laboratory to the field;

- Boosting the broader role of agriculture in the countryside and supporting initiatives to create jobs and boost the rural economy;

- Seeking to simplify the administrative burden for farmers and governments;

The background:

The Common Agricultural Policy is due to be reformed by the end of 2013.

In April 2010 Commissioner Cioloş launched an extensive public debate across the EU to seek views of both stakeholders and society at large on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy, its objectives, principles and contribution to the 'Europe 2020' strategy. It stimulated nearly 6000 contributions.

In July 2010, a Conference was organized with a view to bring together the varied opinions presented during the public debate and to provide the opportunity for further discussion around the 4 questions.

In November 2010, based on the public debate, the Commission presented a Communication on the CAP towards 2020 which outlined options for the future CAP. This was then debated by the Council, European Parliament, and other institutions.

In June 2011 the Commission presented its vision about the future EU budget for 2013-2020 of which CAP is one of the crucial policies.

The legal proposals will now be presented by the Commission and send to the Council and European Parliament under the co-decision procedure. 

The event:

Press conference by Commissioner Dacian Cioloş in the Berlaymont press room at 12:30, followed by a Technical briefing (Spokesman and DG AGRI experts).

IP, MEMO and documents will be available on the day.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

IP/10/1527: Commission outlines blueprint for forward-looking Common Agricultural Policy after 2013.

IP/10/958: Conference on CAP post-2013 to build on success from public debate

SPEECH/10/400 - Dacian Cioloş at the Conference "The CAP after 2013"

SPEECH/10/150 - Dacian Cioloş The future of CAP - Call for a public debate

For information on the CAP after 2013:

All documents and press information will be made available on the day of adoption at:

Commissioner Dacian Coiloş website:

  • I067699 Agriculture and Rural Development - Winter : 2011 STOCKSHOT

  • I066695 Agriculture and Rural Development - Autumn : 2010 STOCKSHOT

  • I066721 Agriculture and Rural Development - Summer : 2010 STOCKSHOT

  • I063778 Agriculture and rural development: Spring 2010 STOCKSHOT

The contacts:

Roger Waite: +32 2 296 14 04 roger.waite@ec.europa.eu

Johan Reyniers: +32 2 295 67 28 johan.reyniers@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 12 October: The European Commission adopts the 2011 Enlargement Package

The news:

On 12 October, the 2011 Enlargement package will be on the agenda of the Commission meeting. It will comprise a Strategy paper, an Opinion on the membership application by Serbia, a formal favourable Opinion on Croatia's accession and eight Progress Reports on the other candidate countries and potential candidates.

The background:

The Commission adopts its annual strategy document explaining its policy on EU enlargement. The document includes also a summary of the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate and potential candidate.

The current enlargement agenda covers the Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland.

The event:

14:00 Press Conference by Commissioner Füle in the Berlaymont press room.

IP, 9 MEMOs, 8 Progress reports, Opinion Serbia's membership application, a formal favourable Opinion on Croatia's accession, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: ''Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2011-2012''

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

Website of DG:

Website of Commissioner Füle:

The contacts:

Anca Paduraru +32229 66430 Anca.Paduraru@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 13 October: Commissioner Piebalgs unveils the Agenda for change for the EU development policy: focus on fewer sectors, fewer countries, and higher impact of EU aid

The news:

Commissioner Piebalgs will unveil proposals on how the EU can reprioritise its aid and increase the impact of its development policy. In the Communication "Agenda for Change" he calls for a more strategic EU approach to reducing poverty and a more targeted allocation of funding. This should involve a better focus on good governance and human rights and on sectors conducive to inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries. Social inclusion and human development should remain at the centre of policies while promoting a stronger business environment and enhanced regional integration could further help to increase growth and create jobs. More investments in sustainable agriculture and efficient renewable energy would help reduce exposure to price shocks and climate change. The EU should also explore how to better use innovative financing tools, such as the blending of grants and loans.

The second text, on modernising budget support, suggests improvements to how the EU provides direct funds to governments in developing countries to support them in implementing their own poverty reduction strategies. The proposals aim at making budget support a more effective tool to achieve sustainable development objectives and support policy reforms. EU budget support will focus even more on results and outcomes. Eligibility criteria and risk assessment will be strengthened and more emphasis will be put on accountability and transparency. The proposal explores how to tighten the link between general budget support and human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The background:

The EU is the world's biggest donor, providing €53.8 billion of aid in 2010, which amounts to more than half of total official aid worldwide. Budget support is one important instrument in the EU's policy which aims at delivering better aid to developing countries and giving them ownership for policy and reforms. In autumn 2010 the European Commission launched consultations on both the future of development policy in general and on budget support, to adapt to a changing world and future challenges.

The event:

Publication of IP and MEMO on 13 October

Press conference of Commissioner Piebalgs in the Berlaymont Press Room, 12h30-13h, 13 October

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

IP/10/1494 on the consultation of the future of EU development policy

Website of EuropeAid consultations and results

Website of DG Development and Co-operation EuropeAid:

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

The contacts:

Catherine Ray +32 2 296 99 21 catherine.ray@ec.europa.eu

Wojtek Talko +32 2 297 85 51 wojtek.talko@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 20 October: Commission proposes measures on securities markets and insider dealing

The news:

As part of its ongoing work to create a safer, sounder, more transparent and more responsible financial system, the Commission will propose new rules for securities markets by amending the 2004 Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). Over the years, financial markets have become increasingly complex due to the use of new types of financial instruments and new ways of trading.

The new rules aim to:

- ensure that the legislation is fully up-to-date concerning the latest technological developments and market developments, such as the emergence of new trading platforms and high frequency trading, in the interests of fair competition and efficient markets;

- implement important G20 commitments in the field of derivatives and commodity market transparency and oversight, complementing the ongoing work on regulating OTC derivatives trading as well as credit default swaps and short selling;

- repair specific shortcomings revealed by the financial crisis, whether in the field of investor protection or enforcement and supervision, including through the new European Financial Markets Authority (ESMA).

In addition, the Commission is to propose a revision of EU rules in order to better tackle market manipulation and insider dealing. The new framework would ensure that regulation keeps pace with market developments, strengthens the fight against market abuse across commodity and related derivative markets, reinforces the investigative and sanctioning powers of regulators and reduces administrative burdens on small and medium-sized issuers.

The background:

Adopted in 2004 by the European Parliament and the Council, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive came into force in 2007. Considered a boon for financial investors, it enabled competition among financial actors by giving them a financial passport to operate throughout the EU and eliminating the concentration rule for regulated markets, It also ensured high levels of investor protection.

The Market Abuse Directive was adopted in 2003 and introduced a framework to harmonise core concepts and rules on market abuse and strengthen cooperation between regulators.

The Commission will propose to revise both Directives to bring them in line with the G20 commitments made in London and Pittsburgh. The proposals are part of the legislative framework the EU is building to restore confidence in financial institutions and markets - including for example the newly created financial supervisors at EU level (MEMO/10/434), the regulation of OTC derivatives markets (IP/11/1125) as well as shorts selling and credit default swaps (IP/11/1126) and the revised capital requirements for banks (IP/11/915).

The event:

Press conference by Commissioner Michel Barnier, responsible for Internal Market and Services in the Berlaymont press room (time to be confirmed)

The conference will be preceded by a technical briefing by experts from the Commission Directorate General for Internal Market and Services.

Press material will be available on the day.

The sources:

Commissioner Barnier's web site:

Commission web site on securities (including MiFID and market abuse):

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

Thursday 20 October: Launch of first Galileo satellites for Europe's smart GPS!

The news:

The 20 of October at 12h34 CET the first two operational Galileo satellites will be launched from the space port of Kourou/French Guiana. European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani will be present to the event together with the European Space Agency director Jean-Jacques Dordain and other authorities. The launch constitutes the first real building blocks of the full constellation of the Galileo project leading to the provision of essential services by 2014. The two satellites, carrying the most precise Maser atomic clocks ever – accurate to one second in three million years – means that the validation of Europe’s future 30-satellite global navigation satellite constellation can now be accelerated.

The background:

The Galileo programme sets up an enhanced global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service. It is interoperable and compatible with GPS.

Europe’s satellite navigation system is on the road to becoming operational and so the focus must now turn to the provision of services for the benefit of European citizens and the economy, in line with the Commission's "Europe 2020" strategy. Galileo is expected to deliver €90 billion additional revenues for industry. The system underpins many sectors of the European economy through its services: electricity grids, fleet management companies, financial transactions, shipping industry, rescue operations, peace-keeping missions will all benefit from the free Open Service, the Public Regulated Service and the Search-and-Rescue service.

The event:

The launch will take place from Europe's spaceport in Kourou. A celebratory European event is taking place in Brussels with live retransmission from Kourou on the esplanade of the European Parliament opening at 11h00 with the launch at 12h34 CET (07h34 local time Kourou).

IP and Memo will be available on the day.

The sources:

The Galileo project: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/satnav/galileo/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Carlo Corazza: +32 (0)2 29 51 752 Carlo.Corazza@ec.europa.eu

Andrea Maresi: +32 (0)2 299 04 03 andrea.maresi@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 20 and Friday 21 October: Conference on the next Multiannual Financial Framework

The news:

On 20 and 21 October, the Polish Presidency of the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament will organise a conference on the next multiannual framework (2014 - 2020). The conference's main aim is to engage in a debate with representatives of national parliaments.

The background:

The Commission presented its proposal for the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework on 29 June 2011. As the negotiation process on the proposal has started within the Council (to be followed by the European Parliament's position), and as the financial framework is as much about political priorities as budgetary issues for the next 7 years, it is important to involve national parliaments in the debate.

The opening session and the plenary session will be open to the public.

The event:

Brussels (Charlemagne building + European Parliament)

IP + factsheets on the Commission's proposal for the next MFF

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

The contacts:

Jens Mester +32 2 296 39 73 jens.mester@ec.europa.eu

Patrizio Fiorilli +32 2 295 81 32 patrizio.fiorilli@ec.europa.eu


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