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European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 13 July 2012

Top News from the European Commission

14 July – 7 September 2012

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

Tuesday 17 July: Completing a single market for innovation 2

Tuesday 17 July: Commission boosts clinical research in Europe by simplifying the rules for conducting clinical trials 4

Wednesday 18 July: Progress reports under the cooperation and verification mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania 5

Monday 30 July: The Commission presents an Industrial Policy for the Security Industry 6

Tuesday 31 July: Commission presents construction sector action plan 8

Thursday 6 September: EU High Level Group presents recommendations to increase level of literacy in Europe 9

Tuesday 17 July: Completing a single market for innovation

The news:

The European Commission will set out steps needed to complete the European Research Area (ERA) and present its policy on access to scientific information, including open access to the results of publicly funded research. ERA means a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation in Europe, which will enable researchers, research institutions and businesses to better move, compete and co-operate across borders. The deadline to complete ERA is 2014. Proposals will cover measures to remove barriers to researcher careers and mobility in the EU, to encourage more cross-border cooperation and funding of research into common challenges and to make the results of EU-funded research more widely available.

At the same time, the Commission will unveil a series of measures to improve the access to, and the long term preservation of, research results across the EU. The Commission initiative on scientific information aims at promoting 'open access' to research publications from EU-funded projects, as well as from nationally funded research. That means having these publications freely accessible on the internet. It will also address better availability of raw research data and preservation of digital research publications and data.

The background:

Stakeholders suggest that the main issues holding back cross-border research cooperation are barriers to research careers and mobility and cross-border access to research funding programmes and infrastructures. Stakeholders stress that access to research publications needs to be improved, in order to accelerate research and the take up of research results in new products and services. Currently many researchers, but also SMEs, do not have access to the information they need, a problem that is exacerbated by rising journal prices and declining budgets of academic libraries.

On 17 July, the Commission will set out its strategy and a series of concrete measures in a Communication to the European Parliament and Council on the European Research Area, and a Communication and Commission Recommendation on the access to, and preservation of, scientific information.

The event:

11.15 Press conference with Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes and European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, preceded by a technical briefing off the record at 10:45.

IP + MEMO available on the day.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

ERA page on DG Research and Innovation website: http://ec.europa.eu/research/era

Innovation Union: http://ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-union/index_en.cfm

Digital Agenda: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/cf/dae-homepage.cfm

Open Access:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.topic&id=1294&lang=1

March 2012 European Council conclusions:

http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/12/st00/st00004-re02.en12.pdf

February 2011 European Council conclusions:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/119175.pdf

  • I-073793 European Research Area 2012

The contacts:

Michael Jennings +32 (0)22963388 michael.jennings@ec.europa.eu

Monika Wcislo +32 (0)22955604 monika.wcislo@ec.europa.eu

Ryan Heath +32 (0)22961716 ryan.heath@ec.europa.eu

Linda Cain +32 (0)22999019 linda.cain@ec.europa.eu

Tuesday 17 July: Commission boosts clinical research in Europe by simplifying the rules for conducting clinical trials

The news:

On 17 July, the European Commission will present its proposal concerning the rules on trials with medicines. The objective is to foster EU's attractiveness in clinical research. Clinical trials are a vital step in the development and improvement of medicines and are necessary to improve, refine and compare in medical treatment. The new legislation proposed by the Commission will take the form of a Regulation. This will ensure that the rules for conducting clinical trials are identical throughout the EU. Once implemented, the measures proposed today will speed up and simplify the authorisation and reporting procedures, while maintaining the highest standards of patient safety and robustness and reliability of data.

The background:

Clinical trials test medicines and medical treatments on humans. The data they generate is used by pharmaceutical companies applying for marketing authorisation, and by researchers publishing data in medical journals. They give patients access to new and improved medicines and treatments – for example when a trial shows that combining 2 medicines can cut the risk of heart attack. Moreover, clinical trials make a significant contribution to pharmaceutical innovation and investment in healthcare in Europe (over €20bn spent every year on healthcare-related R&D). Nevertheless, the number of clinical trials in the EU has fallen by 25% in recent years. In order to tackle this issue, the Commission intends to streamline the rules.

The event:

What: Statement by Commissioner John Dalli

When: Tuesday 17/07/2012 at the beginning of the Midday Briefing

Where: Berlaymont Press Room, in Brussels

  • Available on EbS

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

The sources:

For more information please see:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/human-use/clinical-trials/index_en.htm

Commissioner John Dalli's website:

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

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

Wednesday 18 July: Progress reports under the cooperation and verification mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania

The news:

The Commission will adopt its progress reports under the cooperation and verification mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania. This will look at the progress made over the five years since the cooperation and verification process began. The reports will make an assessment and indicate the next steps to be taken.

The background:

The co-operation and verification mechanism (CVM) was established on the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU to help both countries put in place an impartial, independent and effective judicial and administrative system similar to those of other Member States and capable of meeting the obligations of EU membership. This included the capacity to fight corruption and in the case of Bulgaria, the fight against organised crime. Progress is assessed against the commitments made by the two countries which are set out in four benchmarks for Romania and six benchmarks for Bulgaria.

The event:

IP, MEMOs and Reports will be available on the day.

Technical briefing on-the-record in the Berlaymont press room (time to be confirmed)

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

European Commission's website on the cooperation and verification mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/cvm/index_en.htm

The contacts:

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

Mark Gray +32 2 298 8644 mark-stephen.gray@ec.europa.eu

Monday 30 July: The Commission presents an Industrial Policy for the Security Industry

The news:

On 30 July, the European Commission will publish a dedicated industrial policy initiative to boost the European security industry, which is one of the sectors with the highest potential for growth and employment in the EU.

The main priority will be to overcome the fragmentation of the EU security markets and to create a true Single Market for security technologies.

The background:

Over the last ten years the global security market has grown nearly tenfold from some €10 billion to some €100 billion in 2011 with an annual turnover in the EU of around €30 billion. The security sector can broadly be subdivided into the following areas: aviation security, maritime security, border security, critical infrastructure protection, counter-terror intelligence (including cyber security and communication), physical security protection; and protective clothing.

However, as recent market evolutions indicate, the global market shares of European companies could drop significantly over the next years if no action is launched to enhance their competitiveness.

In response to this significant potential for market growth, the Commission made the security industry one of the essential parts of the EU 2020 flagship initiative "An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era Putting Competitiveness and Sustainability at Centre Stage", which announced the launch of a dedicated initiative on a Security Industry Policy.

The event:

Antonio Tajani, the Vice-President of the European Commission for Enterprise and Industry, will announce on 30 July the adoption by the Commission of a dedicated industrial policy initiative for the security industry. A press release and the industrial policy initiative will be available on the day.

The sources:

EU 2020 flagship initiative "An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era Putting Competitiveness and Sustainability at Centre Stage":

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0614:FIN:EN:PDF

DG ENTR website on the security industry:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/security/industrial-policy/index_en.htm

Studies, workshops and reports on the security industry:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/security/documents/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Carlo Corazza: +32 (0)2 29 51752 carlo.corazza@ec.europa.eu

Sara Tironi: +32 (0)2 29 90403 sara.tironi@ec.europa.eu

Tuesday 31 July: Commission presents construction sector action plan

The news:

On 31 July, the European Commission will publish a strategy to boost the competitiveness of the construction sector. Proposed actions will include: 1) stimulating favourable investment conditions, in particular in the renovation and maintenance of buildings and infrastructures; 2) boosting innovation and improving worker's qualifications by promoting mobility; 3) improving resource efficiency and environmental performance, promoting mutual recognition of sustainable construction systems in the EU; 4) providing standard design codes of practice to construction companies making it easier for them to work in other Member States; 5) fostering the global position of European construction enterprises to stimulate good performance and sustainable standards in third country markets.

The background:

The construction sector plays a very important role in the European economy, generating almost 10% of EU GDP and providing 20 million jobs, mainly in micro and small enterprises. The performance of the construction sector can significantly influence the development of the overall economy. The energy performance of buildings and resource efficiency in manufacturing, transport and the use of products for the construction of buildings and infrastructures have an important impact on the quality of life of Europeans. The competitiveness of construction companies is therefore an important issue not only for growth and employment in general but also to ensure the sustainability of the sector.

The event:

Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, will present the Commission action plan at a press conference.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

Information on EU construction policy:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/construction/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Carlo Corazza: +32 (0)2 29 51752 carlo.corazza@ec.europa.eu

Sara Tironi: +32 (0)2 29 90403 sara.tironi@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 6 September: EU High Level Group presents recommendations to increase level of literacy in Europe

The news:

The EU high level group of experts on literacy will present recommendations on how to tackle low literacy levels in Europe. H.R.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, who chaired the group, will hand over its final report to Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou at a Presidency conference on literacy in Cyprus.

The background:

73 million adults in the EU are low-skilled, and the results of the most recent PISA (programme for international student assessment) survey show that one in five 15 year olds in the EU has poor reading skills. EU countries therefore need to step up their efforts significantly if they are to reach their joint target for reducing the ratio of low performers in reading, maths and science to less than 15% by 2020.

Launched in February 2011, the high level group has examined research, gathered evidence and analysed the most successful literacy programmes and policy initiatives in Europe. The report's recommendations reflect discussions within the group as well as the input received through their consultations with a wide variety of other experts, organisations and stakeholders.

The members of the group are experts on literacy from academia, politics and business. They met eight times over the past 18 months.

The event:

Press Conference with Commissioner Vassiliou and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Nicosia, Cyprus, 6 September, 13.00 local time.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

IP/11/115: Commission launches high-level expert group on literacy chaired by Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands

European Commission's website on literacy

Commissioner Vassiliou's website

The contacts:

Dennis Abbott: +32 2 295 92 58 dennis.abbott@ec.europa.eu

Dina Avraam: +32 2 295 96 67 dina.avraam@ec.europa.eu


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