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European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 13 December 2013

Top News from the European Commission
14 December – 17 January 2013

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

Wednesday 18 December: The Commission presents air quality package 2

January (date to be confirmed): Commission to propose a Regulation to strengthen EURES, the network of European employment services 4

Wednesday 18 December: The Commission presents air quality package

The news:

On 18 December, the European Commission will set out a review of the air quality legislation and a strategy for improvements until the year 2030. This new air quality strategy will include:

  • a revised National Emission Ceilings Directive to implement reductions up to 2030;

  • ratification of the Gothenburg Protocol; and

  • legislative proposal to reduce air emissions from medium scale combustion installations.

The background:

Air pollution is the number one environmental cause of death in the EU. Each year, 400,000 people in Europe die prematurely due to diseases linked to air pollution. At the same time, poor air quality causes huge economic and environmental costs. Successful EU and international policies have reduced some air pollution problems in recent decades. Despite that, the EU is far short of its long-term objective, which is to achieve levels of air quality that do not have significant negative impacts on human health and the environment. In this context, the Commission aims at updating and improving EU policy on air quality by developing an air quality package which targets to get all the polluted zones in compliance by 2020 and to set Europe on the pathway towards achieving the WHO guidelines beyond 2030. Air pollution is transboundary – it does not stop at the country borders. Therefore national action needs to be complemented by effective cooperation both at EU and international level too.

The event:

11:00 (timing to be confirmed) Press conference with Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for Environment, in the Berlaymont press room: Commissioner will present the main elements of the air quality review. More specific details will be provided during a technical briefing on the record (11:30 - timing to be confirmed).

A joint press release and a MEMO Q&A will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Review of the EU Air policy:

  1. I-078828 Every breath you take (documentary)

The contacts:

Joe Hennon +32 2 295 35 93

Julija Perlova +32 2 291 37 63

Frédéric Vincent +32 2 298 71 66

Aikaterini Apostola +32 2 298 76 24

January (date to be confirmed): Commission to propose a Regulation to strengthen EURES, the network of European employment services

The news:

In January (date to be confirmed) the Commission is due to present a proposal for a Regulation to modernise EURES, the pan-European job search network, in order to strengthen its service to job seekers and employers. The revamped EURES would:

  • provide every EU jobseeker with better online access to more employment opportunities across Europe

  • offer automated matching between CVs and suitable job vacancies across Europe

  • provide personalised support to mobile jobseekers

  • provide specialised services to employers willing to recruit people from all over Europe

  • deliver better information on living and working conditions in the Member States.

In particular, the Regulation would open up the network to a variety of new actors including social partners and private employment services. It would also spell out the minimum level of services to be available for all job seekers willing to work in another Member State. The new Regulation will also open up EURES to apprenticeships and traineeships. 

The background:

Labour mobility can help to reduce the wide differences in youth unemployment rates across Europe and fill labour shortages that exist in some sectors. The Commission is working to help those who are willing to move to another country to find a job abroad. The proposed new EURES Regulation is one of the measures that would facilitate free movement of workers, together with the Commission's April 2013 proposal to improve the application of workers' rights to free movement (IP/13/372, MEMO/13/384), and the recent Communication on free movement of people (IP/13/1151, MEMO/13/1041).

The EURES network of European employment services was first established in 1993. On 3 December 2013 EURES featured 2 185 278 job vacancies, 1 234 922 CVs and 32 335 employers registered in 32 European countries.

The event:

Press materials will be available on the day.

The sources:

More information on EURES.

  1. I-081748 EURES, YOUR JOB IN EUROPE: What we can do for you

The contacts:

Jonathan Todd +32 2 299 41 07

Cécile Dubois +32 2 295 18 83

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