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European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 7 June 2013

Top News from the European Commission
8 June – 5 July 2013

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

Tuesday 11 June: Single Sky - Commission acts to unblock congestion in Europe's airspace 3

Tuesday 11 June: Action Plan to galvanise the EU’s steel industry 4

Tuesday 11 June: Commission adopts proposal on antitrust damages actions 5

Tuesday 11 June: Bringing a more coherent approach to collective redress in the European Union 6

Wednesday 12 June: Commission to propose extending automatic information exchange to combat tax fraud and evasion 7

Wednesday 12 – Friday 14 June: Commissioner Hahn visits Greece and Romania 8

Thursday 13 June: Commission to present 112 eCall facility for cars 10

Thursday 13 June: Commission to propose a new Nuclear Safety Directive 11

Monday 17 June: Commission to propose network of Public Employment Services to boost job creation 12

Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 June: G8 summit in Lough Erne (UK): Promoting global fairness through trade, taxation and transparency 14

Wednesday 19 June: The Commission adopts new Regional Aid Guidelines 16

Thursday 20 June: The Commission adopts its monthly infringements package 18

Monday 24 June to Friday 28 June: EU Sustainable Energy Week 2013 19

Wednesday 26 June: Progress report on national Roma integration strategies 20

Tuesday 11 June: Single Sky - Commission acts to unblock congestion in Europe's airspace

The news:

The European Commission will next Tuesday present proposals to speed up the reform of Europe's air traffic control system. Inefficiencies in Europe's fragmented airspace bring extra costs of close to 5 billion Euros each year to airlines and their customers. They add 42 kilometres to the distance of an average flight forcing aircraft to burn more fuel, generate more emissions, pay more in costly user charges and suffer greater delays. The United States controls the same amount of airspace, with more traffic, at almost half the cost.

The background:

European skies and airports risk saturation. Already some 1.4 billion passengers pass through Europe's more than 440 airports every year. Each day there are around 27,000 controlled flights – that means about 9 million cross Europe's skies each year. 80% of these flights are operated within the EU.

The central problem is that Europe's air traffic management systems are fragmented and inefficient.

In the late 1990s, proposals were formed to create a Single European Sky (SES), removing national boundaries in the air, to create a single airspace:

a) improving safety tenfold,

b) tripling airspace capacity,

c) reducing air traffic management costs by 50%,

d) reducing the environmental impact by 10%.

The event:

16.30 Press conference by Vice-President Siim Kallas (pressroom, Strasbourg).

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Website of Vice-President Siim Kallas:

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

A Single European Sky:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/single_european_sky/

The contacts:

Helen Kearns +32 2 298 76 38 helen.kearns@ec.europa.eu

Dale Kidd +32 2 295 74 61 dale.kidd@ec.europa.eu

Tuesday 11 June: Action Plan to galvanise the EU’s steel industry

The news:

The European Commission will issue the Action plan for the European Steel Industry, aiming to help the steel sector confront its current challenges and foster innovation, growth and employment. The Commission’s Steel Action Plan would imply reinforcing of the sector-specific component of relevant policy areas such as better regulation, climate change, energy, trade, resource efficiency, raw materials and competition.

The background:

With employment of 360,000 people, turnover of around €170 bn and a presence in the manufacturing value chain of many downstream sectors, the steel industry has a strategic place in the EU economy. But developments over the past few years – fierce global competition, the economic crisis, the evolution of prices of raw materials and energy, and some excessive legislation - have presented new challenges for EU steel producers. Since 2011, several steelmakers in the EU therefore took decisions to reduce output and temporary or permanent steel plant closures affected several EU countries.

In 2012 and early 2013, European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Laszlo Andor, held four High-level Roundtable meetings on the future of the European Steel Industry with the aim of offering a platform for dialogue between industry, the trade unions and the Commission. The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the steel industry in December 2012, in which it welcomed the Commission's initiative of quickly developing a European action plan to preserve and enhance the competitiveness of the steel sector. The Competitiveness Council of February 2013 also supported the action plan’s presentation.

The event:

16.00 Press conference with Vice-President Tajani will be held on 11 June 2013 in Strasbourg. A press release, a press MEMO and the Communication itself will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Information on the EU’s steel industry and policies:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/metals-minerals/steel/index_en.htm

The contacts:

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 11 June: Commission adopts proposal on antitrust damages actions

The news:

On 11 June, the European Commission is due to adopt a proposal for a Directive on antitrust damages actions. The initiative is meant to remove existing obstacles to effective compensation for victims of antitrust infringements.

Anyone who suffers harm as a result of an infringement of EU competition law is entitled to compensation for that harm. Examples of such harm are price increases suffered as a result of a cartel, or lost profits suffered as a result of an abuse of a dominant market position. The right to compensation has been stressed by the EU Court of Justice in different cases, as a matter of effective enforcement of the EU antitrust rules.

The Commission's proposal contains specific measures to improve the national legal frameworks governing actions for damages. After the adoption of the measures by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers, Member States will have two years to implement them in their national legal frameworks.

Moreover, the Commission is due to adopt a Communication on quantifying the harm caused by antitrust infringements. This specifically addresses the problem of determining the specific amount of harm suffered, which is currently one of the main obstacles to effective compensation.

The background:

The Commission's initiative follows up on earlier policy initiatives, such as a 2005 Green Paper (IP/05/1634, MEMO/05/489), a 2008 White Paper (IP/08/515, MEMO/08/216), and a 2011 Draft Guidance Paper by DG Competition. These initiatives, as well as other relevant documents, are available on the Commission's website at the pages listed below.

The event:

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

Technical briefing at 11:00 on the 11 June.

The sources:

Information on antitrust damages actions and the Commission's initiatives in this field:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/actionsdamages/index.html

Information on quantifying antitrust harm:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/actionsdamages/quantification_en.html

Information on Vice-President Almunia:

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

The contacts:

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

Tuesday 11 June: Bringing a more coherent approach to collective redress in the European Union

The news:

The European Commission will set out a series of common, non-binding principles for collective redress mechanisms in the Member States so that citizens and companies can enforce the rights granted to them under EU law where these have been infringed. The Recommendation aims to ensure a coherent horizontal approach to collective redress in the European Union across the range of areas where rights are granted under EU law without harmonising Member States' systems.

The background:

Collective redress is a broad concept that includes injunctive relief (lawsuits seeking to stop illegal behaviour) and compensatory relief (lawsuits seeking damages for the harm caused). It needs to be clearly distinguished from so-called "class actions" that are common under the US legal system. In Europe, the approach taken to collective redress in the Member States is divergent.

The Commission has worked for several years on developing European standards of collective redress. The Commission adopted a Green Paper on antitrust damages actions in 2005 and a White Paper in 2008, both of which include a chapter on collective redress. In 2011, the Commission carried out a public consultation, in which around 300 institutions and experts as well as 10,000 citizens expressed their views on the European framework for collective redress.

The event:

IP and MEMO 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 13 82 Mina.Andreeva@ec.europa.eu

Natasha Bertaud +32 2 296 74 56 Natasha.Bertaud@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 12 June: Commission to propose extending automatic information exchange to combat tax fraud and evasion

The news:

On 12 June the European Commission will adopt a proposal for a Directive which could extend the automatic exchange of tax information to cover the full range of income.

The background:

In recent years, tax fraud and evasion have taken place on a such a scale that they are now an issue of major concern for the European Union and the world as a whole. On 6 December 2012 the Commission put forward an action plan to boost efforts to combat tax fraud and evasion. This plan underlines the importance of the automatic exchange of information on this subject.

At the European Council meeting on 22 May, which focused on tax fraud and evasion, the Commission undertook to present a legislative proposal to ensure the automatic exchange of information on a wide range of income.

The event:

12.00 Algirdas Šemeta, the European Commissioner responsible for taxation and customs union, audit, anti-fraud and statistics, will present the proposal in the Commission press room. A press release will be made available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Information on combating tax fraud and evasion:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/tax_fraud_evasion/index_en.htm

Information on Mr Šemeta:
http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/semeta/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Emer Traynor +32 2 292 15 48 emer.traynor@ec.europa.eu

Natsja Bohez-Rubianio +32 2 296 64 70 natasja.bohez-rubiano@ext.ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 12 – Friday 14 June: Commissioner Hahn visits Greece and Romania

The news:

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn will be in Greece from 12 to 13 June 2013. The main objective of this visit is to take stock of the progress regarding structural funds implementation as well as discussions on the forthcoming funding period. The Commissioner will start his programme with a visit to the region Eastern Macedonia-Thrace and then will continue in Athens where he will meet Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Minister for Regional Development Kostis Hatzidakis. He will also discuss challenges for cohesion policy and structural funds in Greece with Members of Hellenic Parliament.

On 14 June the Commissioner will travel to Romania to attend, together with the Prime Minister of Romania and the President of Bulgaria, the inauguration of the "Calafat-Vidin"– bridge, an EU funded cross-border project. Afterwards he will visit the innovative technology project "LASER ELI-NP" in Magurele. The visit will also be an opportunity to discuss with other Ministers and political representatives the implementation of structural funds under the current financial framework as well as the preparations for the forthcoming funding period.

The background:

Greece:

As in his previous visits to Greece, Commissioner Hahn will pay a visit to one of the Greek regions. This time he will be in the region of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace where he will meet the Governor of the Region, Aristidis Giannakidis, as well as representatives of the regional and local authorities. Finally the Commissioner will visit several projects of the region, amongst others the Alexandroupolis Port and several companies.

On the second day, apart from the bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Samaras and Minister for Regional Developments Kostis Hatzidakis, Commissioner Hahn was invited to meet Members of Hellenic Parliament of European Affairs, Regional Development and Environment Committees.

Romania:

Vidin/Calafat Bridge: As the second international bridge over the Danube linking Romania and Bulgaria, the Calafat-Vidin bridge is a strategic link in the road and rail Trans-European Corridors connecting South-Eastern and Central Europe, and funded by the Cohesion Fund. The European Union has actively encouraged both the Romanian and Bulgarian authorities to closely cooperate on the construction of this important transport infrastructure and on setting-up its operations management structure. The bridge itself is 1300 meters long and the project includes substantial investments in the adjoining infrastructure. Construction work began in 2007, but planning had started in 1993. Total investment is 226 million EUR, partly co-financed by EU sources.

The event:

Wednesday 12th – Visit of the Greek region Eastern-Macedonia-Thrace

Thursday 13th - Meeting with Minister Hazidakis (8.45 a.m.) and Prime Minister Samaras (time to be confirmed) in Athens. Key note speech at the Greek Parliament at 10.00 a.m.

Friday 14th - Launch of the Romanian project "LASER ELI NP" in Magurele followed by press statements. Inauguration of the "Calafat-Vidin" bridge in Calafat (time of events will still be confirmed)

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For further information:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/hahn/index_en.cfm

http://ec.europa.eu/ellada/index_el.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.cfm

The contacts:

Shirin Wheeler +32 2 296 65 65, +32 460 766 565, Shirin.Wheeler@ec.europa.eu

Annemarie Huber +32 2 299 33 10, +32 460 793 310, Annemarie.Huber@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 13 June: Commission to present 112 eCall facility for cars

The news:

On 13 June the European Commission will propose to fit new passenger cars and light vehicles from 2015 with the eCall system, which will become mandatory in order to obtain EU-wide type approval. The “eCall” system automatically connects car occupants to emergency services after a severe accident and speeds up the arrival of emergency teams by giving the location of the vehicle. To ensure the interoperability and continuity of the EU-wide eCall service, the Commission also proposes infrastructure for the proper handling of eCalls in national emergency response centres. Once fully operational eCall is expected to save hundreds of lives each year.

The background:

The EU is fully committed to reducing the number of road accidents and mitigating their consequences.

The EU-wide, harmonised implementation of an interoperable eCall service has been in the agenda of the Commission since 2005 and is a priority action for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems. As an important road safety measure, the deployment of the eCall system is also a priority for the EU automotive sector, within the CARS 2020 action plan, presented by the Commission in November 2012.

In September 2011, the European Commission approved Recommendations to Member States to ensure that mobile operators upgraded their infrastructure so that eCalls could efficiently be passed on to emergency services and that mobile operators treated calls from eCall devices like other 112 calls.

The event:

The European Commission Vice Presidents Antonio Tajani and Siim Kallas will present the proposals at the midday briefing in the Commission's press room. A press release and memo will be available on the day. Experts from the DGs involved will be present for a technical briefing.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

More information on eCall:

http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/ecall-time-saved-lives-saved http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/about-112.

The contacts:

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

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

Thursday 13 June: Commission to propose a new Nuclear Safety Directive

The news:

The European Commission will adopt a draft proposal for an amended EU directive on nuclear safety. This new proposal substantially strengthens the provisions of the existing directive from 2009.

The background:

Following the nuclear accident in Fukushima in March 2011, the EU Heads of State and Government asked the Commission to carry out stress tests, together with the European Nuclear Safety Regulators' Group (ENSREG), and to review the EU nuclear safety legislation.

The European Commission received a clear mandate from the European Council "to review the existing legal and regulatory framework for the safety of nuclear installations" and propose any improvements that may be necessary.

The proposed new Directive is a key result of this review.

The event:

14.00 Press Conference of EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger in the Commission's Berlaymont press room.

10.00 Technical briefing off-the record

  1. Available on EbS

IP and a MEMO will be available on the day.

The sources:

For more information on the new safety directive see DG energy website:

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/safety/safety_en.htm

The contacts:

Marlene Holzner +32 2 296 01 96 Marlene.Holzner@ec.europa.eu

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

Monday 17 June: Commission to propose network of Public Employment Services to boost job creation

The news:

On 17 June, the European Commission is due to propose a Decision to establish a network of Public Employment Services (PES). The proposed Decision, that would be presented to the EU's Council of Ministers and European Parliament for adoption, would formalise the existing PES network and more clearly define its role.

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Public Employment Services, which have a key role to play in active labour market policies, is essential to address the economic crisis, particularly in countries most hit by high unemployment rates. Public Employment Services should connect people with particular skills with employers looking for those skills and advise people on the most appropriate training opportunities to improve their chances of finding a job.

In particular, Public Employment Services have a critical role to play in the practical implementation by Member States of the Youth Guarantee agreed by the EU's Council of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers, which calls on Member States to ensure that young people are offered a job, further education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving school (see IP/12/1311, MEMO/12/938, SPEECH/12/910, MEMO/13/152).

The Public Employment Services network would provide a platform for comparing PES performance at European level against relevant benchmarks, identify best practices and foster mutual learning, and so contribute to strengthening coordination at EU level of employment policies. The members of the PES network would also be invited to provide mutual assistance, either in the form of peer-to-peer or group activities, through cooperation and through exchanges of information, experience and staff. The Network would also facilitate the implementation of PES-related country-specific recommendations issued by the Council in the frame of the European Semester (see IP/13/463).

The background:

Co-operation between Public Employment Services at EU level dates back to 1997 when the Commission set up an informal advisory group to promote voluntary co-operation. The proposed Decision would make this cooperation more structured and more efficient.

An efficient PES Network would be able enable more jobseekers to find jobs and give early warning of where Public Employment Services could be improved.

Strengthening cooperation between PES is a crucial element to achieve the Europe 2020 employment target of 75% employment rate for the working-age population (20-64 years).

The event:

12h30: Press conference by Commissioner László Andor in the Berlaymont press room

  1. Available on EbS

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

The sources:

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

Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 June: G8 summit in Lough Erne (UK): Promoting global fairness through trade, taxation and transparency

The news:

The G8 summit will take place from 17 to 18 June in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland (UK) under UK presidency. The European Union will be represented by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.

The main topics on the agenda of this 39th edition of the G8, as set out by the UK presidency, are:

  • Advancing global trade as an engine for global growth and job creation facilitating trade in Africa;

  • Ensuring tax compliance, by pushing, amongst others, for a global standard for the automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation and improving the reporting of multinationals to tax authorities;

  • Promoting greater transparency regarding the revenues from extractive industries and forestry, land governance and government data.

Leaders will also discuss the global economy and will exchange views on foreign affairs and security issues. Food security, the transition in North Africa and climate change will also be important topics on the G8 agenda. All these themes will be of particular relevance also to the world's poorest countries.

The background:

The G8 summit continues to play an important role in shaping global responses to global challenges, complementing the global economic coordination carried out by the G20. The European Union is a full member of the G8, alongside with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso participates for the 9th time in the G8. Last year's G8 summit was held in Camp David (United States) and the 2014 edition will be hosted by Russia.

The event:

Participation of the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, in the G8 summit in Lough Erne (Northern Ireland, UK), on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 June 2013.

The summit will be preceded by a stakeholder event on 15 June 2013 in London to discuss tax, trade and transparency with business, civil society and governments. For the Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes will participate.

Press events at the G8 summit in Lough Erne: details to be confirmed.

G8 media accreditation has been closed. Please note that the G20 media accreditation deadline is 15 July. All media interested in covering the G20 Leaders’ Summit in St-Petersburg, Russia, on 5 and 6 September are invited to fill out the online press accreditation form at http://en.g20russia.ru/accred/.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Press material on the 2013 G8 summit (forthcoming)

G8/G20 section on President Barroso's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/president/g20/index_en.htm

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BarrosoEU

Website of the UK presidency of the G8 2013: http://www.gov.uk/g8

The contacts:

Koen Doens +32 2 298 15 66, +32 498 981 566, koen.doens@ec.europa.eu, @ECspokesKoen

Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen +32 2 295 30 70, +32 498 953 070, pia.ahrenkilde-hansen@ec.europa.eu, @ECspokesPia

Jens Mester+32 2 296 39 73, +32 498 982 884, jens.mester@ec.europa.eu, @ECspokesJens

Dirk Volckaerts +32 2 299 39 44, +32 460 793 944, dirk.volckaerts@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 19 June: The Commission adopts new Regional Aid Guidelines

The news:

On 19 June, the European Commission is due to adopt new Guidelines on state aid aiming to promote the regional development of disadvantaged areas, replacing its current Guidelines of 2007 and Communication of 2009 (see IP/05/1653, and IP/09/993).

The Guidelines set out the criteria under which areas could qualify for regional aid due to their disadvantaged socio-economic situation compared to the EU and national average. In addition, the guidelines lay down the principles under which the Commission will assess the compatibility of notified regional aid (both for schemes and individual aid).

The modernised Guidelines aim to target the areas most in need at both EU and national level and to ensure that regional aid goes to investments that would not take place without the aid in disadvantaged regions, therefore bringing real value added for regional development. The new guidelines reflect the principles laid down in the state aid modernisation (SAM) strategy adopted by the Commission in May 2012, which aims to foster growth in the Single Market by encouraging an effective and efficient design of aid measures, focusing scrutiny by the Commission on cases with the biggest impact on the internal market, streamlining rules and allowing for faster decisions by the Commission.

The background:

The Commission needs to review the current regional aid Guidelines in due time and before the end of 2013 so as to allow Member States sufficient time to identify the regions most in need for the next programming period 2014-2020 and to prepare their regional development strategy after 2013. The revision process was launched in January 2011 with a workshop with Member States followed by two rounds of public consultations in January 2012 and January 2013. Based on the comments received and recommendations from a commissioned study and other available studies, the Commission services published a draft of the new Guidelines on 14 January 2013.

The event:

Vice-President Joaquín Almunia, the European Commissioner for Competition, will present the main elements of the Guidelines in the Commission's press room (to be confirmed). A press release will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Public consultation on the revision of the Regional aid Guidelines

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consultations/2013_regional_aid_guidelines/index_en.html

Information on State Aid Modernisation:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/modernisation/index_en.html

Information on Commissioner Almunia:

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

The contacts:

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

Thursday 20 June: The Commission adopts its monthly infringements package

The news:

On Thursday 20 June 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.

Monday 24 June to Friday 28 June: EU Sustainable Energy Week 2013

The news:

Sustainable energy is at the heart of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. To underline the importance of moving towards more energy efficiency and renewables, the European Commission (DG Energy and EACI, Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation) organises the eighth edition of the EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels.

The background:

This year's main theme is 'Financing and Sustainable Energy'. At the centre of the discussions is the role the private sector can play as an important source of financing and how public funds available at national and European level can be used in the most efficient way. The agenda will include presentations of best financing practices and a debate on how to improve regulatory frameworks. Once more, the EU Sustainable Energy Week will be an excellent opportunity to raise awareness, engage in discussions, present and promote the latest and most innovative sustainable energy technologies.

The event:

At the core of the week is a high-level policy conference from 25 to 27 June, with more than 40 different sessions taking place in the European Commission’s Charlemagne building and in the Committee of the Regions.

On 24 June, EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger will open the Week at the prestigious Sustainable Energy Europe and ManagEnergy Awards Ceremony, which will take place at the Viage Theatre in Galerie Anspach. The Commissioner and Member of European Parliament Maria Da Graça Carvalho will award six prizes: five to the winners of the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards (categories: Communicating, Consuming, Learning, Living and Travelling) and one to the winner of the ManagEnergy Award, recognising the best practice in local and regional energy action.

In parallel and during the whole week, hundreds of events and activities related to sustainable energy will take place in around forty countries in Europe and beyond, not only in capitals but also in towns and villages. These will include interesting exhibitions and workshops and will show how small businesses and households can contribute to the collective energy efficiency effort.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For more details on Energy Days, the Conference programme and how to register, visit the EUSEW website: http://www.eusew.eu/

The contacts:

Marlene Holzner +32 2 296 01 96 Marlene.Holzner@ec.europa.eu

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

Wednesday 26 June: Progress report on national Roma integration strategies

The news:

The European Commission will present its latest progress report on Roma integration within the Member States. The report takes stock of how Member States are implementing their national plans to improve the lives of Roma communities in their country under the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies.

At the same time, the Commission will give yet another push to Roma integration by presenting a Recommendation to Member States, to be adopted by the Council.

The background:

Roma integration is in the interest of Member States, especially for those with a large Roma minority. Roma represent a significant and growing proportion of the school age population and the future workforce. In countries like Bulgaria and Romania, one in every four to five new labour market entrants are Roma. Efficient labour activation policies and individualised and accessible support services for Roma job seekers are crucial to allow Roma people to live up to their potential and actively and equally participate in society.

In a report on 23 May 2012, the European Commission called on EU Member States to implement their national strategies to improve the economic and social integration of Europe's 10 to 12 million Roma. Member States developed these plans in response to the Commission's EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies adopted on 5 April 2011 (see IP/11/400, MEMO/11/216) which was endorsed by EU leaders soon afterwards (IP/11/789).

On 15 May 2013, the Commission met with key players from Roma civil society at the Roma Roundtable to help prepare the latest progress report (IP/13/437).

The event:

Vice-President Reding and Commissioner Andor will give a press conference.

  1. Available on EbS

IP will be published 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

Commissioner Andor's website:

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

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

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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