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Top News from the European Commission 20 July – 6 September 2013

Commission Européenne - AGENDA/13/26   19/07/2013

Autres langues disponibles: FR

European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 19 July 2013

Top News from the European Commission
20 July – 6 September 2013

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

Wednesday 24 July: The European Commission presents the communication "Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector" 2

Wednesday 24 July: The European Commission to propose "Payments package" 4

Thursday 25 July: Commissioner Hahn presents Commission proposal to make the EU Solidarity Fund faster and simpler for support after disasters 6

Wednesday 4 September: The European Commission adopts communication on shadow banking and proposes draft regulation on money market funds 8

Wednesday 24 July: The European Commission presents the communication "Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector"

The news:

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.

The background:

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.

The event:

12:30 Press conference with Vice-President Antonio Tajani and Commissioner Michel Barnier followed by a technical briefing at 13:00.

A press release and the Communication will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Information on Europe’s Defence Industry:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/defence/index_en.htm

Defence procurement:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/publicprocurement/rules/defence_procurement/index_en.htm

The contacts:

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: The European Commission to propose "Payments package"

The news:

On 24 July, the European Commission will propose a revision of the Payment Services Directive. It will also 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 background:

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 event:

11:15 Press conference by Vice-President Joaquín Almunia and Commissioner Michel Barnier preceded by a technical briefing at 10:45.

  1. Available on EbS

Press release and MEMO will be available on the day.

The sources:

Information on Payment Services:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/index_en.htm

Information on Banking & Payment systems:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/sectors/financial_services/enforcement_en.html

The contacts:

Chantal Hughes +32 2 296 44 50

Antoine Colombani +32 2 297 45 13

Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94

Audrey Augier +32 2 297 16 07

Marisa Gonzalez +32 2 295 19 25

Thursday 25 July: Commissioner Hahn presents Commission proposal to make the EU Solidarity Fund faster and simpler for support after disasters

The news:

On 25 July 2013, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, will present the Commission’s proposal to amend the EU Solidarity Fund Regulation in order to significantly improve the functioning of the instrument. The proposal is expected to be adopted on Friday by the Commission as a formal legislative proposal. The main aim of the proposal is to facilitate faster and simpler use of the fund. Subject to approval from the European Parliament and Member States, the new legislation would mean more rapid payments of the aid, as well as introduction of advance payments, that Commission could make upon request. This would allow for a quicker reaction and presence in the areas affected by disasters. It's also designed to clarify eligibility, particularly in the case of regional disasters and to encourage Member States to implement more effective disaster risk prevention measures. The principles of the fund remain unchanged as do its financing method outside the normal EU budget.

The background:

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up in 2002 to enable the EU to respond to major natural disasters. The Fund was created as a reaction to the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. It grants financial aid to Member States and accession countries affected by major natural disasters.

Since then, it has been used for 52 disasters covering a range of different catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought. 23 different European countries have been supported so far.

On 6 October 2011, the Commission published a Communication on the Future of the Solidarity Fund. The amending regulation for the European Solidarity Fund will be presented by the Commission on 25 July. It will then be transmitted to the European Parliament and Council for adoption.

The event:

Thursday 25 July at 12:00, Midday, BERLAYMONT

Press Statement by EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn presenting the Commission proposal amending the EU Solidarity Fund Regulation. Experts from the DG will also be present after the presentation in case of technical questions.

The sources:

A press release (IP) will be published via RAPID: http://europa.eu/rapid/search.htm

  1. Video and photo coverage will be available on Ebs http://ec.europa.eu/avservices

For further information:

EU Solidarity Fund

The contacts:

Shirin Wheeler +32 2 296 65 65, mobile: +32460766565

Annemarie Huber +32 2 299 33 10, mobile: +32460793310

Wednesday 4 September: The European Commission adopts communication on shadow banking and proposes draft regulation on money market funds

The news:

On Wednesday 4 September, the Commission will adopt a communication on shadow banking. On the same day, the Commission will also present its proposal for a Regulation on Money Market Funds (MFF) – one of the areas for action outlined in the communication.

The background:

Shadow banking is the system of credit intermediation that involves entities and activities that are outside the regular banking system. Shadow banks are not regulated like banks; they operate outside the regular banking system and yet engage in bank-like activities. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has roughly estimated the size of the global shadow banking system at around €51 trillion in 2011, up from €21 trillion in 2002. This represents 25-30% of the total financial system and half the size of bank assets. Shadow banking is therefore of systemic importance for Europe's financial system.

Learning all the lessons from the financial crisis, the EU has been implementing regulatory reforms in the financial sector in general and in the banking sector in particular. However, the entire shadow bank sector is not yet properly regulated. We must ensure that risks are not accumulating in the unregulated shadow banking sector, in part because new banking rules could be pushing certain banking activities towards this non-regulated shadow banking sector. The Commission's communication is a follow-up to last year's Green Paper on Shadow Banking (see IP/12/253 and MEMO/12/191). It summarises the work undertaken so far and sets out possible further actions in this important area.

Money Market Funds (MMFs) are an important source of short-term financing for financial institutions, businesses and government. In Europe, around 22% of short-term debt securities issued by governments or by the corporate sector are held by MMFs. MMFs hold 38% of short-term debt issued by the banking sector. Because of the systemic interconnectedness of MMFs with the banking sector, and with corporate and government finance, the operation of MMFs has been at the core of the international work on shadow banking. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) and other institutions such as the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) have analysed the financial sector and concluded that MMFs, while of systemic importance, had not been addressed to a sufficient degree. The draft regulation will respond to the various recommendations that have been made.

The event:

Press conference by Commissioner Michel Barnier preceded by a technical briefing (details to be announced).

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Shadow banking:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/finances/shadow-banking/index_en.htm

Commissioner Michel Barnier's website:

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

The contacts:

Chantal Hughes +32 2 296 44 50

Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94

Audrey Augier +32 2 297 16 07


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