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Brussels, Friday 12 July 2013
Top News from the European Commission
Background notes from the Spokesperson’s service for journalists
Tuesday 16 July: "Beyond 2015: Towards a comprehensive and integrated approach to financing poverty eradication and sustainable development" 2
Wednesday 17 July: European Commission proposes improving investigations and prosecutions against crimes to the EU budget 4
Friday 19 July: Debate "EU Regional Policy: a Motor for Growth or Waste of Money?" 5
Wednesday 24 July: The Commission presents the communication "Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector" 6
Wednesday 24 July: European Commission to propose 'Payments package' 8
Tuesday 16 July: "Beyond 2015: Towards a comprehensive and integrated approach to financing poverty eradication and sustainable development"
The European Commission is expected to adopt on 16 July a policy document to develop a common EU approach to financing poverty eradication and sustainable development after 2015, once the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reach their target date. Greatly inspired by the work of the High Level Panel for the Post MDGs' report, the Communication reflects on how a global approach could be structured, what resources are available and could be mobilised, which processes can lead there and what principles should guide this process. The Communication emphasises financing for developing countries, but the proposed approach can be considered universally applicable to all countries in the world, since resources can come from both public and private sources, at domestic and international level. This means that financing sources for all the global players are identified in the Communication, considering the internal resources of all the countries involved. The financing sources identified are, therefore, multiple but interlinked, because so are the challenges ahead.
In the next two years, international partners should prioritise decisive action to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The Communication 'A Decent life for all: Ending poverty and giving the world a sustainable future', endorsed last month by the Council, focused on the "what" of the global agenda after 2015. Today's Communication complements 'A Decent life' in a very useful way by focusing on the "how", on the means and resources to finance the post 2015 framework. The EU and its Member States need to step up their efforts to meet current commitments, including increased and more effective financing to support developing countries, as outlined in the “Agenda for Change” (the Commission’s blueprint on development policy which refocuses our aid to help those sectors and countries which need it most).
What: Statement at Midday Briefing by Spokesperson for Development, Alexandre Polack.
When: Tuesday 16/07/2013
Where: Berlaymont Press Room, in Brussels
IP and MEMO will be available on the day
Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG
Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs
Alexandre Polack +32 (0) 2 299 06 77
Maria Sanchez Aponte +32 (0) 2 298 10 35
Wednesday 17 July: European Commission proposes improving investigations and prosecutions against crimes to the EU budget
On Wednesday 17 July the European Commission will put forward proposals to set up the European Public Prosecutor's Office and strengthen Eurojust (the European Union's agency dealing with judicial co-operation in criminal matters). The setting up of the European Public Prosecutor's Office is called for by the Lisbon Treaty (article 86 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) as is the strengthening of Eurojust (article 85). The European Prosecutor will be competent only for the investigation, prosecution and bringing to justice of offences affecting the EU's budget. It will be set up using existing resources at European level, building on the experience of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and working in close cooperation with Eurojust.
In May 2011, the Commission adopted a Communication foreseeing several areas where criminal law could be further improved to protect the EU's financial interests, including setting up a specialised European Public Prosecutor's Office (see IP/11/644). President Barroso in his last State of the Union speech reiterated the importance of setting up the European Public Prosecutor's Office to better protect the financial interests of the EU (see SPEECH/12/296).
Vice-President Viviane Reding and Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta will hold a press conference on Wednesday 17 July at 12:30 CET in the Berlaymont press room, followed by a technical briefing off-the record with Commission experts. Press materials will also be made available on the day.
Information on Vice-President Reding:
Information on Commissioner Šemeta:
Mina Andreeva +32 2 299 13 82
Natasha Bertaud +32 2 296 74 56
Emer Traynor +32 2 292 15 48
Natasja Bohez-Rubiano +32 2 296 64 70
Friday 19 July: Debate "EU Regional Policy: a Motor for Growth or Waste of Money?"
Open Europe Berlin and the EC Representation in Berlin are jointly organising a debate on the future of the EU regional policy. Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Professor Michael Wohlgemuth are participating in the debate. Examples of questions that will be addressed during the debate are the following: What is the current balance of EU regional policy? How can the reform of the EU cohesion policy be more effective to promote growth and generate jobs? Moderator of the debate will be Dr. Ursula Weidenfeld.
This debate is timely in the context of the discussions on the reform of the EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020. At the last Council meeting in June 2013, the Member States came to an agreement on the 7-year financial framework for the European Union, which is now submitted to the European Parliament for formal endorsement. The multiannual framework budget provides for cohesion policy more than a third of the EU's total budget to address the challenges of the regions and increase their competitiveness.
Friday, 19 July, 11:00 – 12.30 a.m. – EC Representation Berlin, Unter den Linden 78, 10117 Berlin, Conference Room, 1st floor
Information on the event:
Information on Commissionner Hahn:
Shirin Wheeler +32 2 296 65 65
Annemarie Huber +32 2 299 33 10
Wednesday 24 July: The Commission presents the communication "Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector"
On 24 July the European Commission will adopt a communication announcing a set of measures to enhance the efficiency of Europe's defence and security sector. It will focus on a range of policy areas concerned by the sector including industrial policy, the single market (defence procurement) and research, as well as other areas such as space and energy. It will explore ways the EU can support Member States in strengthening the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and outline proposals for fostering innovation, growth and jobs, through the promotion of civilian / military synergies and measures to support defence-related SMEs.
The Communication will be the Commission's contribution to the upcoming European Council debate on defence in December 2013, in line with the Council Conclusions of 14 December 2012.
In October 2012 the Commission announced that it would prepare a Strategy for Europe's defence sector. The Commission's Defence Task Force, established in 2011, is playing a key role in this process and the European Defence Agency (EDA) and European External Action Service (EEAS) are closely associated with the Task Force's work.
The EU’s defence industry employs around 400,000 people and had a turnover of around €90bn in 2010. It drives innovation and develops the capabilities which are needed for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). At the same time, the sector suffers from budget constraints and market fragmentation. Action is therefore needed to maintain industrial and technological capabilities which are of strategic importance for the EU.
Press conference with Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Barnier preceded by a technical briefing – times to be confirmed.
A press release and the Communication will be available on the day.
Information on Europe’s Defence Industry:
Carlo Corazza +32 2 295 17 52
Sara Tironi +32 2 299 04 03
Chantal Hughes +32 2 296 44 50
Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94
Audrey Augier +32 2 297 16 07
Wednesday 24 July: European Commission to propose 'Payments package'
On 24 July, the European Commission will propose a revision of the Payment Services Directive. It will also present a paper on improving the governance of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Finally, it will present a Regulation on so-called interchange fees, the fees banks pay to each other in the framework of payment card schemes.
The proposed revision of the Payment Services Directive includes measures to:
- improve the level playing field for payment service providers (including new players);
- facilitate the emergence of common technical standards and interoperability;
- ensure a high level of consumer protection and of payments security and a robust governance model for retail payments in Europe.
The interchange fee Regulation is aimed at
- facilitating the internal market for card, internet and mobile payments
- and improving information on the fees charged in relation to such payments for the benefit of consumers and companies.
The review of the EU payments framework, especially the Payment Services Directive (PSD), and the responses to the Commission's Green Paper ‘Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments’ in 2012 (see IP/12/11), led to the conclusion that further measures and regulatory updates, including adjustments to the PSD, are required. This would help the payments framework to better serve the needs of an effective European payments market, fully contributing to a payments environment which nurtures competition, innovation and security. Modernisation of the legislative framework for retail payments was also defined as one of the key actions of the Commission Single Market Act II.
The SEPA paper is a response to the invitation addressed by the Council and the European Parliament at the time of the adoption of the 2012 SEPA end-date Regulation to review SEPA Governance.
Press conference by Commissioner Michel Barnier preceded by a technical briefing – details to be confirmed.
Press release and MEMO will be available on the day.
Information on Payment Services:
Information on Banking & Payment systems:
Chantal Hughes +32 2 296 44 50
Antoine Colombani + 32 2 297 45 13
Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94
Marisa Gonzalez +32 2 295 19 25