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Brussels, Friday 7 December 2012
Top News from the European Commission
Background notes from the Spokesperson’s service for journalists
Sunday 9 December – Tuesday 11 December: The European Union receives the Nobel Peace Prize 2012 2
Wednesday 12 December: Commission will present an Action Plan on European company law and corporate governance 4
Wednesday 19 December: The Commission adopts new Broadband Guidelines 5
Wednesday 19 December (to be confirmed): European action plan for entrepreneurs 6
Sunday 9 December – Tuesday 11 December: The European Union receives the Nobel Peace Prize 2012
The European Union receives the 2012 award for advancing for over six decades the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. In its announcement on 12 October, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said its decision was based on the stabilising role the European Union has played in transforming most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.
The prize will be conferred in Oslo on 10 December. Like all winners, the European Union will receive the prize from the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The European Union will be represented by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament. The traditional Nobel lecture, on behalf of the EU, will be given by President Van Rompuy and President Barroso. Four young Europeans, winners of the online contest organised by the EU, will be joining the EU Delegation in Oslo to collect the prize.
The European Union will give the award money (€930,000) to projects supporting children who are victims of war and conflicts.
Live transmission of the event will be available on Europe by Satellite and on the Newsroom web page on the Nobel Peace Prize, where you will also find the full press pack and a detailed programme of the events.
Nobel Peace Prize 2012 awarded to European Union – Press pack:
Dedicated web page on the Nobel Peace Prize:
Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen +32 2 295 30 70 Pia.Ahrenkilde-Hansen@ec.europa.eu
Dirk De Backer +32 2 281 97 68 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaume Duch +32 2 284 30 00 email@example.com
Letizia Gambine +32 491/041 378 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 12 December: Commission will present an Action Plan on European company law and corporate governance
On 12 December, the Commission will present an Action Plan outlining the initiatives that the Commission intends to take in order to modernise European rules on company law and corporate governance.
A modern and efficient set of rules on company law and corporate governance for European undertakings, investors and employees is a key element in helping build the trust of citizens in the single market and it also contributes to the competitiveness of European business.
In the context of the 2011 Green Paper on the EU corporate governance framework (see IP/11/404), the Commission initiated a reflection process to examine and evaluate the effectiveness of the current corporate governance framework for European companies. It also carried out an on-line public consultation on the future of European company law (see IP/12/149) which generated a large number of responses by a wide variety of stakeholders. On the basis of this reflection and the consultation, the Commission identified several lines of action in the area of company law and corporate governance that are fundamental to putting in place up to date legislation for sustainable and competitive companies.
Technical briefing off-the record in Brussels (time to be confirmed).
IP and MEMO will be available on the day.
For information on company law and corporate governance:
Commissioner Michel 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 19 December: The Commission adopts new Broadband Guidelines
On 19 December, the European Commission is due to adopt new Broadband Guidelines on state aid to broadband networks, replacing its current Broadband Guidelines of 2009 (see IP/09/1332 and MEMO/09/396).
The Broadband Guidelines set out the criteria under which public funding to the deployment of broadband networks in the EU is compatible with the internal market. In this context, the new Guidelines contribute to the objectives of the EU Digital Agenda (see IP/10/581 and MEMO/10/199) while limiting distortions of competition and disincentives to private investment.
The modernised Guidelines address the new market, technological and regulatory developments regarding, inter alia, the conditions for aid to next generation networks and the necessary wholesale access obligations to subsidised networks. Furthermore they aim at ensuring more transparency regarding aided projects.
The Commission has to review the current Broadband Guidelines within three years of their entry into force in 2009. The revision process was launched in April 2011 by the first of two rounds of public consultation. Based on the comments received and recommendations from a commissioned study, the Commission services published new draft Guidelines on 1 June 2012. The new Guidelines are part of the State Aid Modernisation package.
Vice-President Joaquin Almunia, the European Commissioner for Competition, will present the main elements of the proposals at the midday briefing in the Commission's press room (to be confirmed). A press release will be available on the day.
Public consultation on the revision of the Broadband Guidelines:
Information on State Aid Modernisation:
Information on Commissioner Almunia:
Antoine Colombani +32 2 297 45 13 Antoine.Colombani@ec.europa.eu
Maria Madrid Pina +32 2 295 45 30 Maria.Madrid-Pina@ec.europa.eu
Wednesday 19 December (to be confirmed): European action plan for entrepreneurs
To bring Europe back to growth, more entrepreneurs are needed. The Commission will propose a blueprint for a new culture of entrepreneurship in Europe, by mobilising Member States and all stakeholders to tap into the potential of millions of Europeans ready to become their own boss.
The Entrepreneurship action plan will highlight the need for a thorough cultural change in Europe, through effective entrepreneurship education. It will contain specific actions/measures to help budding entrepreneurs in specific societal groups, such as youths, women, seniors, migrants and the unemployed. It will also tackle obstacles to entrepreneurship such as the need for better access to finance, less bureaucracy, and second chances for honest bankruptcies.
Since 2008 Europe has been suffering the effects of the most severe economic crisis it has seen in 50 years: for the first time in Europe there are over 25 million unemployed and in the majority of Member States small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not yet been able to bounce back to their pre-crisis levels.
Entrepreneurship is a powerful driver of economic growth: it creates new companies and jobs, opens up new markets, and nurtures new skills and capabilities. Entrepreneurship makes economies more competitive and innovative. Commercialising new ideas improves productivity and creates wealth. Without the jobs from new firms, average net employment growth in Europe would be negative. New companies, especially SMEs, represent the most important source of new employment: they create more than 4 million new jobs every year in Europe.
Together with the action plan, the Commission will publish the 2012 Eurobarometer on attitudes of Europeans to entrepreneurship (see below).
Vice President Antonio Tajani, the European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, will present the main messages at a press conference the Commission's press room (to be confirmed). A press release, reports and executive summaries will be available on the day preceded by a technical briefing.
IP and Memo will be available on the day.
Carlo Corazza 32 2 29 51 752 Carlo.Corazza@ec.europa.eu
Sara Tironi 32 2 29 90 403 Sara.Tironi@ec.europa.eu