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Brussels, Friday 28 September 2012
Top News from the European Commission
29 September – 26 October 2012
Background notes from the Spokesperson’s service for journalists
Tuesday 2 October: 'Connecting Europe'- Conference on the Connecting Europe Facility 2
Tuesday 2 October: Liikanen High-level expert group on possible reforms to the structure of the EU banking sector presents its report 5
Wednesday 3 October: Single Market Act II: Together for new growth 6
Wednesday 3 October: Economic potential of nanomaterials and their safe use 9
Tuesday 9 October: Commission announces the winners of the European Union Prize for Literature at the Frankfurt Book Fair 10
Wednesday 10 October: “Industrial Policy Communication Update – A contribution to growth and economic recovery” 11
Wednesday 10 October: The European Commission adopts the 2012 Enlargement Package 12
October (date to be confirmed): European Commission adopts “CARS 2020: Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable automotive industry in Europe” 13
Tuesday 2 October: 'Connecting Europe'- Conference on the Connecting Europe Facility
Top business leaders and representatives from the EU institutions and Member States will discuss the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – a new instrument proposed by the European Commission under the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020.
Targeted investment of 50 billion euros from the EU budget would boost transport, energy and digital networks and consequently remove bottlenecks and fill missing links in the EU's Single Market. This would generate growth and jobs in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy and make work and travel easier for millions of European citizens and businesses. EU project bonds, whose pilot phase was endorsed by the June European Council, could complement the financing of this infrastructure from private sector funding.
After the opening of the event by José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President, Leif Johansson, Chairman of Ericsson and Chairman of the European Round Table, and Efthemios Flourentzou, Minister of Communications and Works, Republic of Cyprus, participants will debate the achievements and challenges of European funded infrastructure projects, the added value of the Connecting Europe Facility, and the increased efficiency and leverage of private sector funding through it.
Among the speakers will be:
Mr Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister of Estonia
Mr Efthemios Flourentzou, Minister of Communications and Works, Republic of Cyprus
Ms Amalia Sartori MEP, Chair EP Industry, Research and Energy Committee
Ms Adina Ioana Valean MEP, Rapporteur CEF, EP
Mr Wolfgang Kopf, Senior Vice President Public and Regulatory Affairs, Deutsche Telekom
Mr Maciej Witucki, President, Polish Telekom
Mr Marc Hamy, Chief Operating Officer, AirbusProSky
Mr Dermot Byrne, Chief Executive, EirGrid
Mr Pierre Mongin, Chairman and CEO of RATP Group
Mr Scott Dickens, Global Head of Structured Capital Markets, HSBC Bank
Mr Paul O'Neill, Global Head of Energy, Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty
Participants include leaders of many associations in the sectors concerned - transport, energy and telecommunications as well as representatives of companies and organisations such as the EIB, EBRD, Orange France Telecom, ThyssenKrupp, Telefonica, British Telecom, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Alcatel-Lucent, Renault.
Apart from President Barroso the following members of the European Commission will participate: Ms Neelie Kroes, Mr Siim Kallas, Mr Johannes Hahn and Mr Günther Oettinger.
The Commission presented its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework on 29 June 2011. The proposal for the CEF followed on 19 October 2011. Negotiations on the future EU budget are entering into their final phase now. On 22-23 November 2012 a special European Council is dedicated to the Multiannual Financial Framework. The Connecting Europe Facility, being an instrument of true and exclusive European added value, has few supporters so far.
2 October 2012, 10:00-16:30: Connecting Europe Facility – conference in Brussels, Berlaymont building, Schuman room. Journalists can register online at firstname.lastname@example.org (limited number of places available)
IP/11/1200 "Connecting Europe Facility: Commission adopts plan for €50 billion boost to European networks"
Website of the conference with updated programme: http://ec.europa.eu/bepa/expertise/conferences/index_en.htm
MFF website: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/reform
Pia Ahrenkilde +32 2 295 3070 email@example.com
Jens Mester +32 2 296 3973 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 2 October: Liikanen High-level expert group on possible reforms to the structure of the EU banking sector presents its report
The High-level expert Group on possible reforms to the structure of the EU banking sector, which was set up earlier this year, will present its report. Its mandate was to determine whether, in addition to on-going regulatory reforms, structural reforms of EU banks would strengthen financial stability and improve efficiency and consumer protection, and to make recommendations.
The decision to set up this Group was announced by Commissioner Barnier in November 2011. In agreement with President Barroso, he appointed Erkki Liikanen, Governor of the Bank of Finland and a former member of the European Commission, as Chairman in January. The members were chosen in February 2012 on the basis of their technical expertise and professional background, and were appointed in a personal capacity.
The Group held monthly meetings and invited different stakeholders to attend in the course of its mandate. It also conducted hearings and organised a public consultation in May.
This final report will conclude the mandate of the Group.
A press event will be organized with Commissioner Michel Barnier, responsible for Internal Market and Services and Erkki Liikanen, Governor of the Bank of Finland and Chairman of the high-level expert group.
The report and press material will be available on the day.
Stefaan de Rynck +32 2 296 3421 email@example.com
Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94 firstname.lastname@example.org
Audrey Augier +32 2 297 16 07 email@example.com
Wednesday 3 October: Single Market Act II: Together for new growth
On 3 October the European Commission will present the Single Market Act II: Together for new growth outlining new steps to deepen the Single Market in the service of growth, employment and cohesion.
The Commission has identified 12 priorities to boost growth, employment and social cohesion in the Single Market, under four main drivers:
- Developing fully integrated networks in the Single Market
- Fostering mobility of citizens and businesses across borders
- Supporting the digital economy across Europe
- Strengthening social entrepreneurship, social cohesion, and consumer confidence/non-discrimination.
The Commission is committed to delivering all key legislative proposals by spring 2013 and all non-legislative actions by the end of 2013 at the latest.
Thanks to the European Single Market, EU citizens can live, work, retire, study and shop in any EU country. EU businesses are free to sell their goods and services to 500 million consumers anywhere in the EU. This freedom means more choice and lower prices for consumers, more opportunities for businesses and more growth and jobs.
The Single Market is a main contributor to growth and employment in the EU. From 1992 to 2008 it generated an extra 2.77 million jobs and an additional 2.13% in GDP. Despite these benefits, the Single Market is not complete. It must respond to a constantly changing world where social, demographic and technological developments must be incorporated in policy thinking for the Single Market to continue to deliver growth, jobs and social cohesion.
On 13 April 2011, the European Commission presented the Single Market Act (IP/11/469) that outlined the Commission's commitment for re-launching the Single Market. The Communication included a list of key priority initiatives needed to unlock the Single Market's potential for European growth and to restore the confidence of the citizens and businesses in its benefits, as a key pillar under the EU 2020 Strategy. The Commission has presented the proposals for all 12 key actions.
12:30 Press conference by Commissioner Barnier at the Berlaymont press room in Brussels
11:30 Technical briefing off-the-record at the Berlaymont press room in Brussels
Press release and MEMO available on the day
For more information on the Single Market Act:
Commissioner Barnier's website:
Stefaan De Rynck +32 2 296 34 21 Stefaan.De-Rynck@ec.europa.eu
Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94 Carmel.Dunne@ec.europa.eu
Audrey Augier + 32 2 297 16 07 Audrey.Augier@ec.europa.eu
Wednesday 3 October: Economic potential of nanomaterials and their safe use
With the "Communication on the Second Regulatory Review on Nanomaterials", the European Commission will underline the potential of nanotechnology to create major technological breakthroughs, growth and jobs. At the same time, the Commission will set out the plans to improve EU legislation to ensure the safe use of nanomaterials.
The Communication constitutes a follow up to the 2008 Commission Communication on "Regulatory aspects of nanomaterials" to respond to the concerns raised by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee about the use and safety of nanomaterials.
The global market for nanomaterials and the number of workers employed directly by the nanomaterial sector in Europe are estimated to strongly increase in the future. Analysts are predicting explosive economic growth in the sector over the coming decade. At present, the market is dominated by materials which have been in use for decades, such as carbon black (mainly used in tyres) or synthetic amorphous silica (used in a wide variety of applications including tyres, as polymer filler, but also in toothpaste or as anticoagulant in food powders). However, other new nanomaterials and new uses are being developed rapidly, mainly used in innovative applications such as electronics, solar panels, batteries and biomedical applications.
A press release of the Communication and a MEMO will be produced.
Information about chemical and nanomaterials
Commission Communication on "Regulatory aspects of nanomaterials" (COM(2008) 366 final)
Carlo Corazza +32 2 295 17 52 Carlo.Corazza@ec.europa.eu
Sara Tironi +32 2 299 04 03 Sara.Tironi@ec.europa.eu
Tuesday 9 October: Commission announces the winners of the European Union Prize for Literature at the Frankfurt Book Fair
0n 9 October, European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou will announce the winners of the 2012 European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The 12 winners this year come from Austria, Croatia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden.
Supported by the Culture programme, the European Union Prize for Literature recognizes the best emerging authors in Europe. The prize is organised by the European Commission, with the European Booksellers' Federation, European Writers' Council and the Federation of European Publishers.
The competition is open to authors in the 37 countries involved in the EU Culture Programme: the 27 EU Member States, as well as Croatia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Iceland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. Each year, national juries in a third of these countries nominate the winning authors, so that all countries are represented over a three-year period.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will announce the winners during a press conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair on 9 October at 1.30 pm (Room Consens, Hall 4.C). A press release will be available on the day.
Information on the Culture programme:
Information on the EUPL:
Information on Commissioner Vassiliou:
Dennis Abbott +32 2 295 92 58 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dina Avraam +32 2 295 96 67 email@example.com
Wednesday 10 October: “Industrial Policy Communication Update – A contribution to growth and economic recovery”
With this communication, the Commission intends to create the conditions to maintain a strong industrial basis in Europe. It aims at strengthening industrial competitiveness to underpin growth and jobs and to enable the transition to an innovative and resource-efficient economy. The Commission identifies four priority areas, which need urgent attention as a result of the economic crisis: 1. Stimulate investments for promising target sectors such as clean products and vehicles, bio based products, key enabling technologies and smart grids. 2. Allow EU companies to derive maximum benefit from the international markets and the Internal Market, the last one by improving market surveillance, intellectual property rights, and by undertaking fitness checks to assess the overall legislative framework in a particular policy area and competitiveness proofing. 3. Concrete proposals to improve access to finance, particularly for SMEs. 4. Ensure that skills meet industry’s needs. The aim is to converge towards the on-going new industrial revolution.
The communication responds to the important challenges the European industry faces as a result of the current economic crisis making proposals that should have impacts on the short and medium term. It will review the situation of the EU industry since the Commission’s Industrial Policy "An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era" (COM(2010)614) adopted in October 2010, in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy. The economic and financial crisis has badly affected EU industry. Industrial production at the end of June 2012 is still 10% lower than pre-crisis. In addition, since the onset of the crisis, over three million industrial jobs have been lost, some 10% of the sector's employment. Total investment in the economy has fallen from 21.25% of GDP before the crisis (2007) to 18.6% (2011). It is critical for Europe to foster investment in new technologies that have reached the stage of industrial scale production, the stage where technological leadership translates into competitiveness, growth and jobs.
12:30 Press conference by Vice-President Antonio Tajani in the Berlaymont press room in Brussels
11:30 Technical briefing off-the-record in the Berlaymont press room in Brussels
In addition to the press release of the Communication, individual Memos will be produced for the accompanying reports.
"An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era":
Carlo Corazza: +32 (0)2 29 51 752 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Tironi: +32 (0)2 29 90 403 email@example.com
Wednesday 10 October: The European Commission adopts the 2012 Enlargement Package
On 10 October, the 2012 Enlargement package will be on the agenda of the Commission meeting. It will comprise three Communications: a Strategy Paper, a Feasibility Study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo, and the Main Findings of the Comprehensive monitoring report on Croatia's accession preparations; as well as seven Progress Reports on the other candidate countries and potential candidates and a Comprehensive Monitoring Report on Croatia.
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.
13:30 Press Conference by Commissioner Füle
IP, 9 MEMOs, 7 Progress reports, a Comprehensive monitoring report on Croatia's accession preparations, a Feasibility Study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo, a Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: ''Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2012-2013'' and a Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Main Findings of the Comprehensive Monitoring Report on Croatia's state of preparedness for EU membership.
Website of DG Enlargement:
Website of Commissioner Füle:
Peter Stano +32229 57484 Peter.Stano@ec.europa.eu
Anca Paduraru +32229 66430 Anca.Paduraru@ec.europa.eu
October (date to be confirmed): European Commission adopts “CARS 2020: Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable automotive industry in Europe”
The European Commission will adopt the “CARS 2020: Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable automotive industry in Europe”. The Commission aims to support the automotive sector in dealing with current adverse economic situation in Europe, and ensure the industry’s competitiveness and sustainability by 2020.
The actions should: 1. Enhance business conditions, in the context of the current cost pressure and necessary to maintain manufacturing base in Europe in the long term. 2. Improve competitiveness on global markets, to help the automotive industry strengthen its position in international trade via trade negotiations, bilateral dialogues and international harmonisation. 3. Drive sustainable mobility, by encouraging actions with a comprehensive approach to CO2, pollutant and noise emissions, as well as road safety, alternative fuels and infrastructure. 4. Prepare for the future, by promoting research, development and innovation for a more sustainable and efficient car, as well as investing in future skills.
The automotive industry is of strategic importance to the European economy, representing 12 million jobs, 4% GDP and 90 billion trade surpluses. Moreover, this industry is the biggest private investor in research and innovation. The coming decade is expected to lead to a specular increase in number cars in emerging countries, with high pressure on oil prices, sustainability problems and increasing global competition. Technological leadership will be essential to face these challenges and opportunities.
The Communication concludes the 2-year long work of the CARS 21 High-Level Group which started its work in October 2010. The Group involved seven Commissioners, nine Member States, and a broad, balanced group of stakeholder representatives. At its final meeting on 6 June 2012, the group adopted its Final Report which presents the consensus view of the strategic vision for the automotive sector in 2020 and specific recommendations on a number of policy areas. The Communication also translates the recommendations into commitments of the Commission to be implemented over the next years and calls on Member States and stakeholders to contribute to their implementation. In 2013 a high-level monitoring process called CARS 2020 will be set up in order to monitor the implementation of the CARS 21 strategy.
Vice President Antonio Tajani will present the Action Plan in a press conference, preceded by a technical briefing off the records. Press release and memo will also be available.
Information about CARS 21 process:
CARS 21 Final Report:
Carlo Corazza +32 2 295 17 52 Carlo.Corazza@ec.europa.eu
Sara Tironi +32 2 299 04 03 Sara.Tironi@ec.europa.eu