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European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 15 March 2013

Top News from the European Commission
16 March – 12 April 2013

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

Tuesday 19 March: Meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) - donor coordination group for the Palestinian people 3

Tuesday 19 March: EU reports on road deaths for 2012 and takes first steps towards an injuries strategy 4

Wednesday 20 March: Adoption of the 2013 European Neighbourhood Policy Package (Communication and Progress reports) 6

Wednesday 20 March: Commission sets out next steps to reinforce the Economic and Monetary Union 9

Thursday 21 March: The Commission adopts its monthly infringements package 11

Thursday 21-Friday 22 March 2013: European Commission and Russian Government executive-to-executive meeting in Moscow 12

Monday 25 March: Making the EU an accessible and attractive destination for foreign students and researchers 13

Monday 25 March (date to be confirmed): European Commission launches Green Paper consultation on long term financing of the European economy 15

Tuesday 26 March: Innovation Union Scoreboard reveals Member States' innovation performance in a global context 16

Wednesday 27 March (date to be confirmed): Proposals for modernisation of the trade mark system 17

Wednesday 27th March: Commission adopts proposal to cut the cost of broadband rollout 18

Wednesday 27 March: The European Union kicks-off public debate on 2030 energy and climate framework 19

Wednesday 27 March: European Commission to present first edition of the Justice Scoreboard 21

Date to be confirmed: Commission to propose measures to facilitate workers' mobility 22

Tuesday 19 March: Meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) - donor coordination group for the Palestinian people

The news:

The annual spring meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestinian people, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), will be held in Brussels on Tuesday 19 March 2013. The meeting is hosted by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, and presided over by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide in his capacity as the Chair of the AHLC. This is the third consecutive year that the spring AHLC meeting will be hosted by the High Representative in Brussels.

The background:

Since its establishment in 1993 the AHLC has served as the principal policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinian people. The strategic role of the AHLC is to underpin political efforts to achieve a two-state solution by supporting the strengthening of the institutional foundations for Palestinian statehood. At its last meetings, the donor group has reaffirmed its assessment of the state readiness of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the basis of the institutions studied.

At the upcoming meeting, the outlook for 2013 will be assessed with a focus on ways to address the serious financial situation of the PA, including strengthening its fiscal sustainability, improving the regularity and predictability of financial resources provided to the PA, increasing private sector- led growth, promoting access and movement throughout the Palestinian territory, facilitating Palestinian exports and improving the situation in the Gaza Strip. Developments since the last AHLC meeting in New York in September 2012 will be assessed based on evaluation reports from, among others, the World Bank, the IMF and the UN.

The event:

Annual spring meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestinian people.

The sources:

  • Doorstep statements by HR Ashton and FM Eide at VIP corner, Berlaymont, at 14.30.

  • Tour de table at the beginning of the meeting at 14.55 (meeting point for interested Photographers/cameramen at registration desk at the reception of the Berlaymont at 14.50).

  • Concluding remarks by FM Eide at the end of the meeting at approximately 18.30, foyer in front of the Schuman room, and availability for the press of selected participants.

  • Images will also be available on EbS.

  • Journalists not accredited to the EU institutions have to send an e-mail to Iulia.Costea@ec.europa.eu, if they wish access the Berlaymont press centre. They have to have a valid press card and a letter of recommendation from the editor.

The contacts:

Maja Kocijancic +32 2 298 65 70 Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu

Michael Mann +32 2 299 97 80 Michael.Mann@eeas.europa.eu

Lars-Erik Hauge +32 494 535 820 Lars-Erik.hauge@mfa.no

Tuesday 19 March: EU reports on road deaths for 2012 and takes first steps towards an injuries strategy

The news:

The European Commission will publish next Tuesday (19th March) annual figures for road deaths for all EU countries and report on progress made towards the goal of halving EU road deaths by 2020. In addition the Commission will publish a document on "serious road injuries" setting out the next steps to develop a comprehensive EU injuries strategy.

It is estimated that some 250 000 people are reported as seriously injured in road accidents each year. For every person killed in a road accident around forty more are slightly injured and ten more are seriously injured.

The background:

EU road safety action plan 2011-2020. In July 2010 the Commission adopted challenging plans to reduce the number of deaths on Europe's roads by half in the next 10 years. Initiatives proposed in the "European Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011-2020" range from setting higher standards for vehicle safety, to improving the training of road users, and increasing the enforcement of road rules. The Commission is working closely with Member States to implement this programme. The road safety action plan sets out a mix of initiatives focussing on making improvements to vehicles, infrastructure and road users' behaviour. Detailed measures for each strategic objective are listed in MEMO/10/343.

The event:

On 19 March, Vice-President Siim Kallas will give a statement at the beginning of the midday briefing presenting the statistics. An IP and Memo will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

  1. I-063776 Road Safety in Europe - Towards safer roads

  2. I-063739 Road Safety in Europe - Towards safer behaviours

  3. I-063738 Road Safety in Europe – Towards safer vehicles

DG MOVE website / Road Safety:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/index_en.htm

Vice President Siim Kallas website:

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

The contacts:

Helen Kearns +32 2 298 7638 helen.kearns@ec.europa.eu

Dale Kidd +32 2 295 7461 dale.kidd@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 20 March: Adoption of the 2013 European Neighbourhood Policy Package (Communication and Progress reports)

The news:

On 20 March the 2013 European Neighbourhood Policy Package will be adopted. This year's Package consists of a Joint Communication of the Commission and the High Representative and twelve Country Progress Reports assessing the implementation of the ENP in 2012 in the twelve neighbouring countries with which an ENP Action Plan or an Association Agenda has been agreed; two regional reports reviewing the progress made in 2012 in the implementation of the Eastern Partnership and the Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with southern Mediterranean partners; and a report with quantitative indicators of progress toward reform (Statistical Annex).

This year, the focus of the ENP communication and the progress reports will be the implementation of commitments, both on the EU's side and the partners' side. How well are ENP partner countries delivering on their reform agenda and in building sustainable democracies? How far is the EU delivering on its commitment to provide a stronger support (political, financial, economic integration) to those countries which were more ambitious in their reforms?

2012 has been a challenging year in our neighbourhood. Democratic transitions in southern neighbours are proving long and often difficult, despite some advances on democratic elections. In the Eastern neighbourhood also, the democratic transition remains uneven. How much is the EU making use of all its tools to offer a comprehensive approach and a stronger partnership to the ENP countries?

All these questions are at the heart of the 2013 ENP Package.

The background:

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was developed in 2004, with the objective of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours, aiming instead to increase the prosperity, stability and security of all.

In May 2011 the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission put forward a new policy response to a changing EU neighbourhood based on "more for more", mutual accountability and a shared commitment to the universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law and involving a much higher level of differentiation. In this way the EU responded to the Arab Spring and sent a clear message of solidarity and support to the peoples of the Southern Mediterranean. It also responded to EU Eastern Neighbours’ efforts towards closer political association and deeper economic integration.

The ENP framework is proposed to 16 of the EU's closest neighbours – Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.

The event:

14:00 Press Conference by Commissioner Stefan Füle.

1 IP, 16 MEMOS and the Joint Communication to the European Parliament and Council

will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For information ENP please see:

http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/policy_en.htm

The document of the Communication will be made available on:

http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm#1

European External Action Service website:

https://eeas.europa.eu

Commissioner Štefan Füle's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/fule/

The contacts:

Peter Stano +32 2 295 74 84 Peter.Stano@ec.europa.eu

Michael Mann +32 2 299 97 80 Michael.Mann@ec.europa.eu

Maja Kocijancic +32 2 298 65 70 Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu

Anca Paduraru +32 2 296 64 30 Anca.Paduraru@ec.europa.eu

Sebastien Brabant +32 2 298 64 33 Sebastien.Brabant@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 20 March: Commission sets out next steps to reinforce the Economic and Monetary Union

The news:

On 20 March, the European Commission will put forward two Communications to move forward the debate on the future of the Economic and Monetary Union.

One Communication will include concrete proposals to discuss, at EU level, the most important economic policy reforms that Member States plan to undertake before they take a final decision on these reforms at national level. That way, any positive or negative spillovers of the reforms on other EU countries can be properly taken into account early on in the decision-making process.

The other Communication will put forward options to set up a Competitiveness and Convergence Instrument. The Instrument would consist of two elements. First, it would invite Member States to commit to the timely implementation of a limited number of specific reforms through a contractual arrangement. Second, the Instrument would provide the possibility of financial support for accompanying measures that help smoothen implementation of these reforms; for example, for training or active labour market policies.

The background:

Last June, the European Council invited its President, in close collaboration with the Presidents of the Commission, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank, to present a specific and time-bound roadmap for the achievement of a genuine EMU.

On 28 November 2012, the European Commission adopted a Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union which sets out a vision for a strong and stable architecture in financial, fiscal, economic and political domains. It sets out incremental measures to be taken over the short, medium and longer term.

Amongst the short-term measures were the coordination of plans for major economic policy reforms and the introduction of a Competitiveness and Convergence Instrument, which the two Communications to be presented on the 20th March will take forward.

The future of the EMU will be discussed again at the European Council in June, which will decide on concrete measures and a time-bound roadmap.

The event:

12.30 Press Conference by Vice-President Rehn in the Berlaymont Press Room in Brussels. Press release with a link to the two Communications will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

IP/12/1272: A Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union: Launching a European debate

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-1272_en.htm

MEMO/12/909: A Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union: Frequently Asked Questions

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-909_en.htm

The contacts:

Simon O'Connor + 32 2 296 7359 simon.o'connor@ec.europa.eu

Vandna Kalia + 32 2 299 5824 vandna.kalia@ec.europa.eu

Audrey Augier + 32 2 297 1607 audrey.augier@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 21 March: The Commission adopts its monthly infringements package

The news:

On Thursday 21 March 2013, the European Commission will adopt its monthly infringements package. These decisions cover all Member States and most of EU policies and seek to enforce EU law across Europe in the interest of both citizens and businesses.

The background:

Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) gives the Commission the power to take legal action against a Member State that is not respecting its obligations under EU law.

There are three successive stages: Letter of formal notice, reasoned opinion and referral to the Court of Justice.

If, despite the ruling, a Member State still fails to act, the Commission may open a further infringement case under Article 260 of the TFEU. After only one written warning, Commission may refer a Member State back to the Court and it can propose that the Court imposes financial penalties based on the duration and severity on the infringement and the size of the Member State.

The event:

A comprehensive Memo on all referrals and reasoned opinions, specific IPs on each referral and a Memo on the procedure will be available on the day on Rapid:

http://europa.eu/rapid/

The sources:

For more information on infringements:
http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_en.htm

On the general infringement procedure: MEMO/12/12

The contacts:

Overall coordination:

Olivier Bailly +32 2 296 87 17 olivier.bailly@ec.europa.eu

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

On specific infringements, please contact the spokesperson in charge.

Thursday 21-Friday 22 March 2013: European Commission and Russian Government executive-to-executive meeting in Moscow

The news:

The European Commission and the Government of Russia will hold their regular executive-to-executive meeting on 21-22 March 2013 in Moscow.

The Commission delegation will be led by President Barroso and the Russian side by Prime Minister Medvedev.

The background:

Meetings between the Russian Government and the Commission have been held since 1997, most recently in Brussels in February 2011. This meeting between College of Commissioners and their counterpart Ministers of the Russian Federation will be the largest to date.

The event:

The meeting takes place over two days. A press conference will follow the meeting on Friday 22 March.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

EU relations with Russia: http://eeas.europa.eu/russia/index_en.htm

Press materials will be available via RAPID next week.

Background briefing on 19 March, 11:00, European Commission press room

The contacts:

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen +32 2 295 30 70 pia.ahrenkilde-hansen@ec.europa.eu

Leonor Ribeiro Da Silva +32 2 298 81 55 leonor.ribeiro-da-silva@ec.europa.eu

Raquel Patrício Gomes +32 2 297 48 14 raquel-maria.patricio-gomes@ec.europa.eu

Maja Kocijancic +32 2 298 65 70 maja.kocijancic@ec.europa.eu

Eamonn Prendergast +32 2 299 88 51 eamonn.prendergast@ec.europa.eu

Monday 25 March: Making the EU an accessible and attractive destination for foreign students and researchers

The news:

Every year, hundreds of thousands of foreign students and researchers are coming to Europe. This global mobility contributes to economic competitiveness and fosters the generation and acquisition of knowledge, skills and ideas.

However, foreign students and researchers are often faced with complex and unclear admission rules and procedures. To make Europe a more attractive destination for research and innovation, the Commission will propose to improve the current rules and conditions for third country national students, researchers and other groups, such as school pupils, trainees, volunteers and au pairs, to enter and stay in the EU.

The background:

The current EU framework consists of:

- Directive 2004/114/EC, which establishes common rules of admission for non EU nationals to an EU Member State for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service.

- Directive 2005/71/EC, which sets a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for more than three months for the purpose of scientific research.

A number of problems have been identified in the 'Students' and 'Researchers' Directives, which have been unevenly implemented across Member States.

The Commission will propose to improve those rules by addressing a number of weaknesses it had identified in 2011 (report on the 'Students Directive' and report on the 'Researchers Directive'). These concern mainly admission conditions, rights, procedural safeguards, students' access to the labour market during studies, intra-EU mobility provisions as well as a lack of harmonization, as coverage of some groups, such as volunteers, school pupils and unremunerated trainees was left optional to Member States.

The event:

Press conference by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs (details to be confirmed).

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/malmstrom/welcome/default_en.htm

Homepage DG Home Affairs:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Michele Cercone: +32 2 298 09 63 Michele.Cercone@ec.europa.eu

Tove Ernst: +32 2 298 67 64 Tove.Ernst@ec.europa.eu

Monday 25 March (date to be confirmed): European Commission launches Green Paper consultation on long term financing of the European economy

The news:

On 25 March, the European Commission will adopt a Green Paper on long-term financing of the European economy. The Commission’s aim is to start a broad debate on how to address the urgent challenges associated with financing long-term investment needs by governments and companies.

The background:

Europe’s most pressing priority is to put the EU back on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth - creating jobs and building on its areas of competitive advantage. In responding to this task, Europe faces large-scale, long-term investment needs. Long-term investment represents spending that enhances the productive and industrial capacity of the economy.

To fund these long-term investments, governments and businesses of all sizes need access to long-term financing. The capacity of the economy to make such long-term financing available depends on the capability of governments, companies and households to generate and mobilise savings and attract foreign investments. It also depends on its ability to channel the funds effectively and efficiently to the right users and uses – this can be carried out by various intermediaries, including banks, insurers and pension funds. However, Europe is confronted by a range of constraints that affect its long-term financing capacity. The Green Paper will identify issues that could be tackled in areas such as prudential rules, corporate governance, and financial markets for example.

The event:

11.30 Press conference by Commissioner Barnier, preceded by a technical briefing at 11.00.

The contacts:

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

Tuesday 26 March: Innovation Union Scoreboard reveals Member States' innovation performance in a global context

The news:

The European Commission will present the latest Innovation Union Scoreboard report (IUS) that benchmarks EU Member States' innovation performance and potential. The IUS 2013 will rank the EU Member States according to their innovation performance – indicating who the leaders, followers, moderate and modest innovators are. It will give the growth rate of EU's innovation performance as well as those of the individual Member States, over a period of five years and also since the launch of the EU2020 Innovation Union flagship strategy in 2010. The report will also look at the impact of the economic crisis on the EU's research and innovation landscape.

The background:

The Innovation Union Scoreboard contributes to the better implementation of the Europe 2020 flagship "Innovation Union" action. For more than 10 years this tool has examined the EU's and the Member States' innovation policy performance, using statistical analysis to track progress towards a more innovative European economy - a vital element of Europe 2020's smart growth objective.

It monitors innovation progress and performance based on twenty five indicators grouped in eight key dimensions relevant to European and national research and innovation systems, such as: human resources, open, excellent and attractive research systems, finance and support, investment by companies, linkages and entrepreneurship, intellectual assets, innovating enterprises and economic effects. The report covers the EU Member States, candidate and associated countries, and to a limited extent the EU's key economic global partners such as the US, Japan, South Korea and the BRICS countries.

The event:

A press conference by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani and European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is foreseen. IP and Memo will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For more information:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/innovation/facts-figures-analysis/innovation-scoreboard/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Carlo Corazza +32 (0)2 295 17 52 carlo.corazza@ec.europa.eu

Sara Tironi +32 (0)2 299 04 03 sara.tironi@ec.europa.eu

Michael Jennings +32 (0)2 296 33 88 michael.jennings@ec.europa.eu

Monika Wcislo +32 (0)2 295 56 04 monika.wcislo@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 27 March (date to be confirmed): Proposals for modernisation of the trade mark system

The news:

On 27 March the European Commission will adopt proposals to revise the existing EU legislation on trade marks. In order to improve conditions for business to innovate, the Commission considers that it is time for a review of the trade mark system in Europe, and for further improvement of cooperation between the EU Trade Marks and Designs Agency and national industrial property offices.

The background:

National trade mark registration in the EU Member States has been harmonised for 20 years and the unitary Community trade mark was created more than 15 years ago. Since then, almost 1 million Community trademarks have been registered, compared to the 9 million "national" trade marks currently registered at Member States' industrial property offices since the beginning of trademark registrations there, demonstrating the popularity of the Community trade mark. Community trademarks now represent around a quarter of all trade marks filed in the EU each year: in 2011, there were 105 000 applications for Community trade marks, against 435 000 applications for national trademarks.

The system is therefore popular and important for the European economy, which relies on powerful brands, requiring strong and effective trade mark protection. In 2009, the Commission launched a comprehensive study on the overall functioning of the trade mark system in Europe, and in 2010, in its Communication on Europe 2020, undertook to modernise trade mark rules in order to have more effective and efficient trade mark protection. Finally, in its 2011 IPR strategy for Europe, the Commission announced a review of the trade mark system in Europe with a view to modernising the system, both at EU and at national level, by making it more effective, efficient and consistent overall (see IP/11/630).

The main objective of the review is to foster innovation and economic growth by making trade mark systems all over the EU more accessible and efficient for businesses: lowering costs and complexity, and increasing speed and legal security (mainly by streamlining and harmonising national registration procedures, taking the Community system as benchmark).

The event:

Press details to be announced.

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For information on EU Trademark legislation and policy:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/indprop/tm/index_en.htm

Commissioner Michel Barnier's website:

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

The contacts:

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 27th March: Commission adopts proposal to cut the cost of broadband rollout

The news:

Civil engineering costs are estimated to make up to 80% of the cost of deploying high-speed broadband networks. But there is a potential for synergies with other civil works which often remains unused, not just between different telecom companies, but with other utilities like water, energy, or electricity, which often have separate infrastructures and separately dig up the road to install them. The Commission will propose a Regulation to try and make it easier to access, re-use and share this infrastructure by common civil works projects. It is estimated that by doing so, costs could be cut by up to 30%. The proposed Regulation will aim to scale up existing best practice and create more synergies between civil engineering projects by facilitating better coordination between the stakeholders involved.

The background:

In December 2013 the European Council endorsed the Commission's Single Market Act (SMA) II commitment to present relevant legislative proposals to reduce the cost of the deployment of high speed broadband by Spring 2013. At a conference in January 2013, Vice-President Neelie Kroes outlined 10 major steps needed to ensure fast broadband for all. "As well as cutting perceived project risk, though, I want to cut project costs. And much of that cost simply comes from civil engineering – the cost of mapping, of getting permits, of digging. If we cut those costs, we boost your business case – and that's just what our proposed legislation will do."

The event:

Press conference with Vice-President Neelie Kroes, tbc

IP and MEMO available on the day

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

  1. I-072544 EU: Telecommunications - 2012

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/broadband-boosting-growth-and-jobs

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-80_en.htm

The contacts:

Ryan Heath (+32 2 296 17 16), Twitter: @RyanHeathEU

Linda Cain (+32 2 299 90 19)

Wednesday 27 March: The European Union kicks-off public debate on 2030 energy and climate framework

The news:

On 27 March 2013 the European Commission will present

  • Green Paper on a 2030 Framework Energy and Climate policies

  • Renewable energy progress report

  • Consultative Communication on the future of Carbon Capture and Storage in Europe

The background:

Green Paper on 2030 Framework for Energy and Climate policies

The European Union currently has binding 2020 targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy, as well as a non-binding 2020 target for energy savings. This Green Paper launches the discussion on going beyond 2020 on the basis of the 2050 Roadmaps, to ensure investment certainty and reflect on how best to use energy and climate policy to make sufficient progress towards a competitive, sustainable and secure economy and energy system in a 2030 perspective. The paper will also look at the role of targets in meeting these objectives.

Communication "Renewable Energy Progress Report"

The report assesses Member States' progress towards their legally binding 2020 renewable energy targets and the need for further measures to mitigate any negative impacts of EU biofuel consumption. It looks at measures to remove administrative barriers, improve electricity grid operations, and enhance stability and transparency of support schemes.

Consultative Communication on the future of Carbon Capture and Storage in Europe

In order to meet its decarbonisation targets for 2050, the EU will only be able to continue using fossil fuels in energy and industry if coupled with carbon capture and storage (CCS), the only available CO2 reducing technology at the moment. The Consultative Communication starts a public consultation on if and how to ensure the timely development of CCS and what needs to be done to ensure a business case for CCS.

The event:

What: Joint Press Conference of EU Commissioners Hedegaard and Oettinger

When: Wednesday 27/03/2013 12:30

Where: Berlaymont Press Room, in Brussels

IP and MEMOs will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

  1. I-072796 EU - Energy 2012 (Part 1)

  2. I-074166 EU - Energy 2012 (Part 2)

  3. I-074167 EU - Energy 2012 (Part 3)

Commissioner Connie Hedegaard's website:

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

Commissioner Guenther Oettinger's website:
http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/oettinger/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Isaac Valero-Ladron +32 (0)2 296 49 71 Isaac.Valero-Ladron@ec.europa.eu

Stephanie Rhomberg +32 (0) 2 298 72 78 Stephanie.Rhomberg@ec.europa.eu

Marlene Holzner +32 (0)2 290 01 96 Marlene.Holzner@ec.europa.eu

Nicole Bockstaller +32 (0)2 295 25 89 Nicole.Bockstaller@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 27 March: European Commission to present first edition of the Justice Scoreboard

The news:

The Commission will present the first edition of the EU Justice Scoreboard, a tool to assist the EU and the Member States in improving the quality, independence and efficiency of national judicial systems.

The background:

The improvement of the quality, independence and efficiency of national judicial systems is a key priority in the European Semester – the EU annual cycle of economic policy coordination. An efficient and independent justice system, ensuring predictable, timely and enforceable judicial decisions, contributes to trust and stability, as well as increasing the attractiveness of a Member State as a place for foreign investors to do business. Well-functioning national justice systems therefore play a key role in restoring confidence and the return to growth.

The Justice Scoreboard is a cooperative mechanism, relying on data drawn from the Member States. It is to be operated as part of an open dialogue with Member States. While the Scoreboard includes a comparison on particular indicators, it is not intended to present an overall single ranking, or to promote any particular form of justice system.

The event:

Vice-President Reding will present the Communication at a press conference.

An IP will be available on the day.

The sources:

Justice Newsroom:

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/index_en.htm

Vice-President Reding's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/reding

The contacts:

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

Natasha Bertaud +32 2 296-7456 Natasha.Bertaud@ec.europa.eu

Date to be confirmed: Commission to propose measures to facilitate workers' mobility

The news:

The European Commission is due to adopt a Directive to facilitate the free movement of workers in the EU. The initiative aims to enhance labour mobility in the EU by preventing discrimination and reducing the incidence of unfair practices migrant workers face in Europe.

The proposal requires Member States to put in place measures to better apply and enforce the free movement of workers, for example through the creation of national bodies to inform EU migrant workers about their rights, the provision of redress mechanisms at national level, and the possibility for civil society organisations to engage in administrative or judicial procedures on behalf of individual workers in cases of discrimination.

Free movement of workers benefits the individuals concerned, the host countries, the home countries and the EU economy as a whole, notably by allowing for a better match between people with particular skills and employers looking for people with those skills.

The background:

Every EU citizen has the right to work and live in another Member State without being discriminated against on grounds of nationality, including when it comes to access to employment, remuneration and other conditions of work. This is enshrined in the EU Treaty and is a core principle of the Single Market.

However, in practice, mobile EU citizens often lack protection and information in their host country and are unable to overcome the obstacles they face, such as:

  • different recruitment conditions than nationals of the host country

  • nationality conditions to access certain jobs

  • nationality quotas in certain sectors (e.g. professional sport)

  • different working conditions (remuneration, career prospects, grade, etc.)

  • access to social advantages subject to conditions more easily met by nationals of the host country (e.g.; residence conditions)

  • recognition of professional experience and qualifications acquired in another country

These difficulties contribute to low labour mobility in the EU: according to the EU Labour Force survey, in 2011, only 3.1% of the working age European citizens (15-64) lived in another EU country than their own. A Eurobarometer survey (September 2001) indicates that 15% of European citizens would not consider working in another Member State because they feel there are too many obstacles.

The event:

The Commission will adopt the proposal for a directive on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers.

Press conference and technical briefing (details to be confirmed).

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Working in another EU country:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=25

Commissioner Andor's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/andor/

The contacts:

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

Cécile Dubois +32 2 295 18 83 Cecile.Dubois@ec.europa.eu


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