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Top News from the European Commission 30 November – 3 January 2013

European Commission - AGENDA/13/42   29/11/2013

Other available languages: FR

European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 29 November 2013

Top News from the European Commission
30 November – 3 January 2013

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

Monday 2 December: EUROSUR enters into force 2

Wednesday 4 December: Commission to propose a Quality Framework for Traineeships 4

Wednesday 4 December: Force for the Mediterranean: state of play 6

Wednesday 11 December: First calls under Horizon 2020 7

Monday 2 December: EUROSUR enters into force

The news:

The European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) will become operational on 2 December 2013.

EUROSUR will address the challenges of cross border crime, the loss of lives of migrants at sea and irregular migration by focusing on the following issues:

  • Protecting and saving lives at the external borders by considerably diminishing the unacceptable death toll of migrants at sea;

  • Contributing to the management of migration flows in full respect of EU and international obligations on human rights, including the principle of non-refoulement;

  • Increasing the internal security of the European Union by preventing serious crime at the external borders of the Schengen area.

The background:

The recent tragedies in the Mediterranean reinforce the need for better coordination within and between Member States in managing migration flows and the need for enhanced life-saving capacities and EUROSUR is a part of these efforts.

On 12 December 2011, the Commission proposed to establish a coordination system for border surveillance in order to tackle serious crime and to diminish the death toll of migrants at sea. The EUROSUR regulation was adopted by the European Parliament on the 9th of October 2013.

After testing and implementation phases, EUROSUR will gradually enter into force from the 2 December and will be fully operational from the 1st of December 2014. It will initially include Member States with southern sea and eastern land external borders (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain), as well as Norway. The remaining Member States with external borders (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden) will join from the 1st of December 2014.

The event:

IP and MEMO will be available on the day

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs

Homepage DG Home Affairs:

The contacts:

Michele Cercone: +32 229-80963

Tove Ernst: +32 229-86764

Wednesday 4 December: Commission to propose a Quality Framework for Traineeships

The news:

On 4 December the Commission will present a proposal for a Council Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships. The Recommendation would set out guidelines to enable trainees to acquire high-quality work experience under safe conditions. The Recommendation would call on Member States to ensure national law or practice respects the principles set out in the guidelines, and to adapt their legislation where necessary. The Quality Framework would aim to increase transparency with regard to traineeship conditions, for example on remuneration/compensation and the prospects for possible longer term hiring by the company employing the trainee. The Framework would not cover traineeships that form part of an education course.

The idea of the Framework is to facilitate education-to-work transitions and to increase the employability of young people whilst ensuring that young people are not exploited. Traineeships are therefore a key element of the Youth Guarantee. The Quality Framework for Traineeships will also be key for facilitating mobility of young people through EURES.

The background:

The Quality Framework for Traineeships is one of the initiatives announced in the December 2012 Youth Employment Package (see IP/12/1311, MEMO/12/938).

The Youth Guarantee seeks to ensure that Member States offer all young people up to age 25 a good quality job offer, a traineeship, an apprenticeship or continued education, within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The Quality Framework will be an important reference point for determining a good quality offer of traineeships. The Youth Guarantee is one of the most crucial and urgent structural reforms that Member States must introduce to address youth unemployment and to improve school to work transitions (see MEMO/13/968 and MEMO/13/984).

A study on traineeships in all EU Member States was published by the Commission in July 2012. It recommended that traineeships offer more guarantees in terms of quality and perspectives for young people, and should be more responsive to labour market requirements (see IP/12/731).

The event:

László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion will present the proposal in the Commission's press room.

Press materials will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For more information on measures to tackle youth unemployment: MEMO/13/968

  1. I-075519 Youth Employment Package

  2. I-077033 EU : Youth Guarantee Scheme - 2013

The contacts:

Jonathan Todd +32 2 299 41 07

Cécile Dubois +32 2 295 1883

Wednesday 4 December: Force for the Mediterranean: state of play

The news:

In the aftermath of the Lampedusa tragedy, all EU Member States agreed on the need to show solidarity with the Mediterranean countries. Now it is time for them to put their words into action and concretely follow up on this commitment.

A number of measures have been identified in the framework of the Task Force. These include short term concrete measures such as increasing Frontex presence in the Mediterranean and implementing the EUROSUR system to better identify and assist boats. In the medium and long term the EU needs to cooperate better with third countries, to open more channels for regular migration and to effectively fight the criminal networks smuggling migrants.

The background:

Increasing the presence of Frontex in the Mediterranean, with more boats, planes and helicopters would help improve the surveillance of the EU borders and also identify migrants' boats before they run into trouble. The EUROSUR system will help ensure smooth operations at technical level, allowing a real time exchange of information within national authorities involved in maritime surveillance and between the EU countries' authorities. Agreements with the countries of transit and origin of migrants and asylum seekers will also allow the EU to better manage migratory flows and to fight more effectively the criminal networks of smugglers and traffickers that are behind these tragedies.

The event:

Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs will give a press conference on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Information on Commissioner Malmström:

Information on DG Home Affairs:

The contacts:

Michele Cercone +32 2 298 09 63

Tove Ernst +32 2 298 67 64

Wednesday 11 December: First calls under Horizon 2020

The news:

On December 11, the European Commission will announce the areas of research and innovation that it proposes to fund in the first two years of Horizon 2020, the biggest ever EU research framework programme with a seven year budget worth nearly €80 billion. Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will present an overview of the funding opportunities for researchers, universities and industry at a news conference in Brussels.

The background:

With a focus on delivering both economic and societal impacts, Horizon 2020 will tackle issues that matter most to people: stimulating growth, creating new and better jobs and finding answers to societal challenges. Funding will be available for cross-border collaborative research projects, also open to international partners; for public-private and public-public partnerships with specific goals, such as developing new medicines or hydrogen-powered cars; to support frontier research by world class scientists, or young researchers starting out on their careers; and small companies, through grants or indirect finance like loans and risk capital. The bulk of EU research funding is offered via competitive calls published on a dedicated website (the Participant Portal). The calls are evaluated by independent experts, ranked and then selected for funding. The aim of Horizon 2020 is to support the whole innovation chain – from bright idea to lab to market, thereby contributing to Europe's long term competitiveness. Horizon 2020 will also fund projects that aim to stimulate debate about the role of science within society and provide incentives to help less performing EU regions strengthen their science base.

The event:

Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will launch the first calls in a press conference. A technical, off-the-record briefing will take place for Brussels-based correspondents beforehand. Briefings will also take place at EC representations in a number of Member States.

A press release, MEMO and other background information will be available.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Horizon 2020:

Participant Portal:

  1. I-075812 EU: Research - Horizon 2020, 2013 (Part 1)

  2. I-077412 EU: Research - Horizon 2020, 2013 (Part 2)

The contacts:

Michael Jennings +32 2 296 33 88

Inma Martinez Garcia +32 2 298 73 03

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