Chemin de navigation

Left navigation

Additional tools

Autres langues disponibles: FR

European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 8 March 2013

Top News from the European Commission
9 March – 5 April 2013

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

Monday 11 March: Commission to adopt a Communication on the full ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the EU 3

Tuesday 12 March: Making the conduct of the next European Parliament elections more democratic 4

Tuesday 12 March: Commission to propose rules to apply the Youth Employment Initiative 5

Tuesday 12 March: A negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States 6

Wednesday 13 March: Commission proposes new measures to help air passengers obtain their rights 7

Wednesday 13 March: Damaging late payment culture due to end on 16 March 8

Thursday 14 March: EU sets out priorities to dismantle trade barriers 9

Thursday 14 – Friday 15 March: "Enhancing Maternal and Child Nutrition in External Assistance: An EU Policy Framework" 10

Tuesday 19 March: Meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) - donor coordination group for the Palestinian people 13

Wednesday 20 March: Adoption of the 2013 European Neighbourhood Policy Package (Communication and Progress reports) 15

Wednesday 20 March (date to be confirmed): European Commission launches Green Paper consultation on long term financing of the European economy 18

Wednesday 20 March: Commission sets out next steps to reinforce the Economic and Monetary Union 19

Thursday 21 March: The Commission adopts its monthly infringements package 21

Monday 25 March: Making the EU an accessible and attractive destination for foreign students and researchers 22

Tuesday 26 March: Innovation Union Scoreboard reveals Member States' innovation performance in a global context 24

Wednesday 27 March (date to be confirmed): Proposals for modernisation of the trade mark system 25

Date to be confirmed: Commission to propose measures to facilitate workers' mobility 27

Monday 11 March: Commission to adopt a Communication on the full ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the EU

The news:

On Monday 11th March, the deadline for a full ban on animal testing for cosmetics to enter into force in the EU is expiring. The European Commission will adopt a Communication, which will set out the Commission's decision and address the priorities – namely research and development and the international co-operation. Monday 11th March will indeed mark the entry into force of the full ban of animal testing in the EU for cosmetics.

The background:

A 2003 legislation (Directive 2003/15/EC) introduced provisions in relation into animal testing into the Cosmetic Directive. Accordingly, animal testing in the Union is already prohibited since 2004 for cosmetic products and since 2009 for cosmetic ingredients ('testing ban'). As from March 2009, it is also prohibited to market, in the EU, cosmetic products containing ingredients which have been tested on animals ('marketing ban'). For the most complex human health effects (repeated-dose toxicity, including skin sensitisation and carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics) the deadline for the marketing ban was extended to 11 March 2013. The Commission's Communication will also outline the EU's contribution to the research into alternative methods.

The event:

What: Technical Briefing ON the record

When: Monday 11/03/2013, at 12h30

Where: Berlaymont Press Room, in Brussels

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

More information can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/sectors/cosmetics/animal-testing/index_en.htm

Commissioner Tonio Borg's website:

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

The contacts:

Frédéric Vincent: +32 2 298 71 66 Frederic.Vincent@ec.europa.eu

Aikaterini Apostola: +32 2 298 76 24 Aikaterini.Apostola@ec.europa.eu

Tuesday 12 March: Making the conduct of the next European Parliament elections more democratic

The news:

The Commission will present a Recommendation calling upon European political parties to nominate their candidate for the function of President of the European Commission. In addition, Member States and national political parties should ensure that citizens are informed of the links between national and European political parties.

The background:

The 2014 European elections will be all the more important as the European Union is taking major steps towards a genuine Economic and Monetary Union of which democratic legitimacy is a cornerstone. However, voter participation in the European elections has steadily decreased. In 2009 general turnout was 43%. Recent surveys confirm that 84% of citizens agree that turnout would be higher if more information was provided about the European Parliament elections, the impact of the EU on their daily life and on the programmes and objectives of candidates and parties in the European Parliament. 73% think that if political parties displayed in all campaign materials to which European party they were affiliated, voter turnout would be higher.

The event:

16.30 Vice-President Viviane Reding will give a press conference in Strasbourg.

IP will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

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

Tuesday 12 March: Commission to propose rules to apply the Youth Employment Initiative

The news:

On 12 March, the European Commission is due to propose rules on how EU structural funds due to be allocated to the Youth Employment Initiative can best be used by Member States to fight youth unemployment.

The 7-8 February 2013 European Council proposed to set up a Youth Employment Initiative with a budget of 6 billion euros for the period 2014-20. 3 billion would come from a dedicated Youth Employment budget line complemented by at least 3 billion coming from the European Social Fund. The aim is to reinforce and accelerate measures outlined in the December 2012 Youth Employment Package in regions with levels of youth unemployment above 25%.

In particular, the funds would be available for Member States to fund measures to support the implementation of the Youth Guarantee Recommendation agreed by the EU's Council of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers on 28 February.

The background:

The economic crisis has an exceptionally severe impact on young people: EU youth unemployment rate stood at 23.6% in January 2013, more than twice as the adult rate. 7.5 million young Europeans (aged 15-24) are neither in employment nor in education or training.

Under the Youth Guarantee, Member States should put in place measures to ensure that young people up to age 25 receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.

The event:

IP will be available on the day.

The sources:

Youth Employment Package:

Press release: IP/12/1311

Memo: MEMO/12/938

Speech: SPEECH/12/910

Youth Guarantee:

Memo: MEMO/13/152

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

Tuesday 12 March: A negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States

The news:

On Tuesday, the College will discuss the draft negotiating directives for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the deep and comprehensive free trade agreement envisaged between the EU and the United States, in view of presenting a mandate to the Council.

The Commission will also publish a study on the economic benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership for the European economy.

The background:

On 13 February 2013, President of the United States of America Barack Obama, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy decided to take their economic relationship to a higher level by agreeing to launch negotiations for a comprehensive trade and investment agreement. When negotiations are completed, this EU-US agreement would be the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated – and it could add 0.5% to the EU's annual economic output.

The event:

Karel De Gucht, EU Trade Commissioner, will give a press conference at 5.30pm at the European Parliament press room in Strasbourg.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

MEMO/13/95: European Union and United States to launch negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

More information on the EU's trade relations with the United States:

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/bilateral-relations/countries/united-states/

The contacts:

John Clancy +32 2 29 53773 john.clancy@ec.europa.eu

Helene Banner +32 2 29 52407 helene.banner@ext.ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 13 March: Commission proposes new measures to help air passengers obtain their rights

The news:

The European Commission will present a comprehensive package of measures to ensure that air passengers can actually obtain the rights to which they are entitled in cases of denied boarding, long delays cancellation or mishandled baggage.

The proposals focus on the areas of enforcement, extraordinary circumstances, time limits and re-routing. As well clarifying issues such are scheduling and enforcement of lost luggage rules.

The background:

Europe's success in securing and upholding passenger rights is one of the resounding achievements of EU transport policy.

The EU began work in this area in the early 1990s with rules for air passengers on denied boarding on aircraft caused by overbooking (EC Regulation 261). Since then, the Commission has worked to extend passenger rights across all types of transport.

Since aviation was the first sector to benefit from passenger rights rules, this is where we have the most and best experience. Many lessons have been learnt since air passenger rights first they entered force in 2005, which is why some changes are now needed.

The event:

12.00 Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner for transport, will present the new rules in the Berlaymont press room.

12.30 technical briefing off the record

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Air passenger rights in the EU

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/passengers/air/

Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner for mobility and transport

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

Website DG Mobility and Transport:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Helen Kearns +32 22 98 76 38 Helen.Kearns@ec.europa.eu

Dale Kidd +32 22 95 74 61 Dale.Kidd@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 13 March: Damaging late payment culture due to end on 16 March

The news:

Every day across Europe, dozens of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) go bankrupt as their invoices are not paid. The European Union therefore adopted legal provisions to end late payments. By 16th March 2013 Member States will need to have integrated the revised Late Payments Directive in commercial transactions into their national law. It obliges public authorities to pay for goods and services within 30 days or, in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days, the interest rate in case of non-compliance will be of at least 8%. Businesses should pay their invoices within 60 days, unless they expressly agree otherwise and if it is not grossly unfair to the creditor.

The background:

It is particularly difficult for SMEs to stand up for their right to prompt payment. Late payments can lead to high costs in terms of time and money, and a dispute can sour relations with customers. In the current economic situation this damaging payment culture in Europe is also often aggravated by difficulties of SMEs in obtaining access to credit.

Directive 2011/7/EU is the EU’s tool to combat overdue payments, providing a legal framework for pursuing debtors. The Directive’s main provisions include the setting of a maximum period for the receipt of payment for goods and services in commercial transactions with public authorities, conferring more rights to enterprises facing late payment, increasing transparency and awareness and increasing the statutory interest rate.

The event:

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

The sources:

More information on the Late Payments Directive and information seminars in Member States:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/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

Thursday 14 March: EU sets out priorities to dismantle trade barriers

The news:

The European Commission will present its annual "Trade and Investment Barriers Report" (TIBR) to the European Council. The report identifies market access barriers in six key trading partners of the EU - China, India, Japan, Mercosur, Russia and the US – and provides an assessment of the progress achieved in removing trade barriers. It is part of the Commission's broader enforcement strategy which aims at ensuring that the trade deals and rules the EU has negotiated with its trade partners are actually implemented on the ground.

The background:

The Trade and Investment Barriers Report was first issued in 2011 in an effort to implement the "EU 2020" Growth Strategy. It is being published at the annual European Spring Councils to move the dismantling of trade barriers to the top of the EU's political agenda.

The report is a vehicle to set priorities on an annual basis among the market access barriers to six key trading partners (China, India, Japan, Mercosur, Russia and the US). These countries together cover around 40% of the EU's exports of goods, commercial services and its outward flows of foreign direct investment.

The event:

11.00, Berlaymont Press Room: Technical briefing off the record.

A press release, the report and executive summaries will be available on the day.

The sources:

Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2012

http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/149143.htm

The contacts:

John Clancy +32 2 29 53773 john.clancy@ec.europa.eu

Helene Banner +32 2 29 52407 helene.banner@ext.ec.europa.eu

Thursday 14 – Friday 15 March: "Enhancing Maternal and Child Nutrition in External Assistance: An EU Policy Framework"

The news:

The European Commission (EC) is committed to help countries to reduce the number of children who are stunted (those whose physical and mental development has been compromised because of lack of nutritious food) by at least 7 million by 2025. To reach that result, the EC’s policy is to look at the root causes of malnutrition and to focus on three priorities that are relevant for both the humanitarian and the development perspectives. This effort is now consolidated in the Communication "Enhancing Maternal and Child Nutrition in External Assistance: An EU Policy Framework". The communication furthers Europe's fight against the biggest scourge of the 21st Century – child under nutrition. It will be discussed at an EC and Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) event taking place in Brussels on March, 14-15.

The background:

This Communication is another example of major role played by the Commission in supporting certain countries in their fight against malnutrition. Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs is a member of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, led by 33 countries, which aims to create innovative solutions to child under-nutrition. Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva was instrumental in the negotiations for a new Food Assistance Convention, an agreement confirming the international community’s commitment to fight against hunger and improve nutrition.

The event:

What: High Level Event on Nutrition

When: Thursday 14 March and Friday 15 March (Opening Speech by Host, Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on 14 March at 10.30)

Where: Autoworld, Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels

IP and MEMO will be available one day in advance.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Commissioner Andris Piebalgs' website:

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

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/food-security/index_en.htm

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva's website:

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

Website of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/policies/food_assistance_en.htm

Website of the Scaling Up Nutrition movement:

http://scalingupnutrition.org/

The contacts:

Alexandre Polack +32 2 299 06 77 Alexandre.Polack@ec.europa.eu

David Sharrock +32 2 296 89 09 David.Sharrock@ec.europa.eu

Irina Novakova +32 2 295 75 17 Irina.Novakova@ec.europa.eu

Tuesday 19 March: Meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) - donor coordination group for the Palestinian people

The news:

The annual spring meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestinian people, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), will be held in Brussels on Tuesday 19 March 2013. The meeting is hosted by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, and presided over by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide in his capacity as the Chair of the AHLC. This is the third consecutive year that the spring AHLC meeting will be hosted by the High Representative in Brussels.

The background:

Since its establishment in 1993 the AHLC has served as the principal policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinian people. The strategic role of the AHLC is to underpin political efforts to achieve a two-state solution by supporting the strengthening of the institutional foundations for Palestinian statehood. At its last meetings, the donor group has reaffirmed its assessment of the state readiness of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the basis of the institutions studied.

At the upcoming meeting, the outlook for 2013 will be assessed with a focus on ways to address the serious financial situation of the PA, including strengthening its fiscal sustainability, improving the regularity and predictability of financial resources provided to the PA, increasing private sector- led growth, promoting access and movement throughout the Palestinian territory, facilitating Palestinian exports and improving the situation in the Gaza Strip. Developments since the last AHLC meeting in New York in September 2012 will be assessed based on evaluation reports from, among others, the World Bank, the IMF and the UN.

The event:

Annual spring meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestinian people.

The sources:

  • Doorstep statements by HR Ashton and FM Eide at VIP corner, Berlaymont, at 14.30.

  • Tour de table at the beginning of the meeting at 14.55 (meeting point for interested Photographers/cameramen at registration desk at the reception of the Berlaymont at 14.50).

  • Concluding remarks by FM Eide at the end of the meeting at approximately 18.30, foyer in front of the Schuman room, and availability for the press of selected participants.

  • Images will also be available on EbS.

  • Journalists not accredited to the EU institutions have to send an e-mail to Iulia.Costea@ec.europa.eu, if they wish access the Berlaymont press centre. They have to have a valid press card and a letter of recommendation from the editor.

The contacts:

Maja Kocijancic +32 2 298 65 70 Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu

Michael Mann +32 2 299 97 80 Michael.Mann@eeas.europa.eu

Lars-Erik Hauge +32 494 535 820 Lars-Erik.hauge@mfa.no

Wednesday 20 March: Adoption of the 2013 European Neighbourhood Policy Package (Communication and Progress reports)

The news:

On 20 March the 2013 European Neighbourhood Policy Package will be adopted. This year's Package consists of a Joint Communication of the Commission and the High Representative and twelve Country Progress Reports assessing the implementation of the ENP in 2012 in the twelve neighbouring countries with which an ENP Action Plan or an Association Agenda has been agreed; two regional reports reviewing the progress made in 2012 in the implementation of the Eastern Partnership and the Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with southern Mediterranean partners; and a report with quantitative indicators of progress toward reform (Statistical Annex).

This year, the focus of the ENP communication and the progress reports will be the implementation of commitments, both on the EU's side and the partners' side. How well are ENP partner countries delivering on their reform agenda and in building sustainable democracies? How far is the EU delivering on its commitment to provide a stronger support (political, financial, economic integration) to those countries which were more ambitious in their reforms?

2012 has been a challenging year in our neighbourhood. Democratic transitions in southern neighbours are proving long and often difficult, despite some advances on democratic elections. In the Eastern neighbourhood also, the democratic transition remains uneven. How much is the EU making use of all its tools to offer a comprehensive approach and a stronger partnership to the ENP countries?

All these questions are at the heart of the 2013 ENP Package.

The background:

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was developed in 2004, with the objective of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours, aiming instead to increase the prosperity, stability and security of all.

In May 2011 the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission put forward a new policy response to a changing EU neighbourhood based on "more for more", mutual accountability and a shared commitment to the universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law and involving a much higher level of differentiation. In this way the EU responded to the Arab Spring and sent a clear message of solidarity and support to the peoples of the Southern Mediterranean. It also responded to EU Eastern Neighbours’ efforts towards closer political association and deeper economic integration.

The ENP framework is proposed to 16 of the EU's closest neighbours – Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.

The event:

14:00 Press Conference by Commissioner Stefan Füle.

1 IP, 16 MEMOS and the Joint Communication to the European Parliament and Council

will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For information ENP please see:

http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/policy_en.htm

The document of the Communication will be made available on:

http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm#1

European External Action Service website:

https://eeas.europa.eu

Commissioner Štefan Füle's website:

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

The contacts:

Peter Stano +32 2 295 74 84 Peter.Stano@ec.europa.eu

Michael Mann +32 2 299 97 80 Michael.Mann@ec.europa.eu

Maja Kocijancic +32 2 298 65 70 Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu

Anca Paduraru +32 2 296 64 30 Anca.Paduraru@ec.europa.eu

Sebastien Brabant +32 2 298 64 33 Sebastien.Brabant@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 20 March (date to be confirmed): European Commission launches Green Paper consultation on long term financing of the European economy

The news:

On 20 March, the European Commission will adopt a Green Paper on long-term financing of the European economy. The Commission’s aim is to start a broad debate on how to address the urgent challenges associated with financing long-term investment needs by governments and companies.

The background:

Europe’s most pressing priority is to put the EU back on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth - creating jobs and building on its areas of competitive advantage. In responding to this task, Europe faces large-scale, long-term investment needs. Long-term investment represents spending that enhances the productive and industrial capacity of the economy.

To fund these long-term investments, governments and businesses of all sizes need access to long-term financing. The capacity of the economy to make such long-term financing available depends on the capability of governments, comapnies and households to generate and mobilise savings and attract foreign investments. It also depends on its ability to channel the funds effectively and efficiently to the right users and uses – this can be carried out by various intermediaries, including banks, insurers and pension funds. However, Europe is confronted by a range of constraints that affect its long-term financing capacity. The Green Paper will identify issues that could be tackled in areas such as prudential rules, corporate governance, and financial markets for example.

The event:

Press details to be announced.

The contacts:

Stefaan De Rynck +32 2 296 34 21 Stefaan.De-Rynck@ec.europa.eu

Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94 Carmel.Dunne@ec.europa.eu

Audrey Augier +32 2 297 16 07 Audrey.Augier@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 20 March: Commission sets out next steps to reinforce the Economic and Monetary Union

The news:

On 20 March, the European Commission will put forward two Communications to move forward the debate on the future of the Economic and Monetary Union.

One Communication will include concrete proposals to discuss, at EU level, the most important economic policy reforms that Member States plan to undertake before they take a final decision on these reforms at national level. That way, any positive or negative spillovers of the reforms on other EU countries can be properly taken into account early on in the decision-making process.

The other Communication will put forward options to set up a Competitiveness and Convergence Instrument. The Instrument would consist of two elements. First, it would invite Member States to commit to the timely implementation of a limited number of specific reforms through a contractual arrangement. Second, the Instrument would provide the possibility of financial support for accompanying measures that help smoothen implementation of these reforms; for example, for training or active labour market policies.

The background:

Last June, the European Council invited its President, in close collaboration with the Presidents of the Commission, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank, to present a specific and time-bound roadmap for the achievement of a genuine EMU.

On 28 November 2012, the European Commission adopted a Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union which sets out a vision for a strong and stable architecture in financial, fiscal, economic and political domains. It sets out incremental measures to be taken over the short, medium and longer term.

Amongst the short-term measures were the coordination of plans for major economic policy reforms and the introduction of a Competitiveness and Convergence Instrument, which the two Communications to be presented on the 20th March will take forward.

The future of the EMU will be discussed again at the European Council in June, which will decide on concrete measures and a time-bound roadmap.

The event:

12.30 Press Conference by Vice-President Rehn in the Berlaymont Press Room in Brussels. Press release with a link to the two Communications will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

IP/12/1272: A Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union: Launching a European debate

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-1272_en.htm

MEMO/12/909: A Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union: Frequently Asked Questions

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-909_en.htm

The contacts:

Simon O'Connor + 32 2 296 7359 simon.o'connor@ec.europa.eu

Vandna Kalia + 32 2 299 5824 vandna.kalia@ec.europa.eu

Audrey Augier + 32 2 297 1607 audrey.augier@ec.europa.eu

Thursday 21 March: The Commission adopts its monthly infringements package

The news:

On Thursday 21 March 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 25 March: Making the EU an accessible and attractive destination for foreign students and researchers

The news:

Every year, hundreds of thousands of foreign students and researchers are coming to Europe. This global mobility contributes to economic competitiveness and fosters the generation and acquisition of knowledge, skills and ideas.

However, foreign students and researchers are often faced with complex and unclear admission rules and procedures. To make Europe a more attractive destination for research and innovation, the Commission will propose to improve the current rules and conditions for third country national students, researchers and other groups, such as school pupils, trainees, volunteers and au pairs, to enter and stay in the EU.

The background:

The current EU framework consists of:

- Directive 2004/114/EC, which establishes common rules of admission for non EU nationals to an EU Member State for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service.

- Directive 2005/71/EC, which sets a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for more than three months for the purpose of scientific research.

A number of problems have been identified in the 'Students' and 'Researchers' Directives, which have been unevenly implemented across Member States.

The Commission will propose to improve those rules by addressing a number of weaknesses it had identified in 2011 (report on the 'Students Directive' and report on the 'Researchers Directive'). These concern mainly admission conditions, rights, procedural safeguards, students' access to the labour market during studies, intra-EU mobility provisions as well as a lack of harmonization, as coverage of some groups, such as volunteers, school pupils and unremunerated trainees was left optional to Member States.

The event:

Press conference by Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs (details to be confirmed).

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/malmstrom/welcome/default_en.htm

Homepage DG Home Affairs:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Michele Cercone: +32 2 298 09 63 Michele.Cercone@ec.europa.eu

Tove Ernst: +32 2 298 67 64 Tove.Ernst@ec.europa.eu

Tuesday 26 March: Innovation Union Scoreboard reveals Member States' innovation performance in a global context

The news:

The European Commission will present the latest Innovation Union Scoreboard report (IUS) that benchmarks EU Member States' innovation performance and potential. The IUS 2013 will rank the EU Member States according to their innovation performance – indicating who the leaders, followers, moderate and modest innovators are. It will give the growth rate of EU's innovation performance as well as those of the individual Member States, over a period of five years and also since the launch of the EU2020 Innovation Union flagship strategy in 2010. The report will also look at the impact of the economic crisis on the EU's research and innovation landscape.

The background:

The Innovation Union Scoreboard contributes to the better implementation of the Europe 2020 flagship "Innovation Union" action. For more than 10 years this tool has examined the EU's and the Member States' innovation policy performance, using statistical analysis to track progress towards a more innovative European economy - a vital element of Europe 2020's smart growth objective.

It monitors innovation progress and performance based on twenty five indicators grouped in eight key dimensions relevant to European and national research and innovation systems, such as: human resources, open, excellent and attractive research systems, finance and support, investment by companies, linkages and entrepreneurship, intellectual assets, innovating enterprises and economic effects. The report covers the EU Member States, candidate and associated countries, and to a limited extent the EU's key economic global partners such as the US, Japan, South Korea and the BRICS countries.

The event:

A press conference by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani and European Commissioner Máire Geoghan Quinn is foreseen. IP and Memo will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For more information:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/innovation/facts-figures-analysis/innovation-scoreboard/index_en.htm

The contacts:

Carlo Corazza +32 (0)2 295 17 52 carlo.corazza@ec.europa.eu

Sara Tironi +32 (0)2 299 04 03 sara.tironi@ec.europa.eu

Michael Jennings +32 (0)2 296 33 88 michael.jennings@ec.europa.eu

Monika Wcislo +32 (0)2 295 56 04 monika.wcislo@ec.europa.eu

Wednesday 27 March (date to be confirmed): Proposals for modernisation of the trade mark system

The news:

On 27 March the European Commission will adopt proposals to revise the existing EU legislation on trade marks. In order to improve conditions for business to innovate, the Commission considers that it is time for a review of the trade mark system in Europe, and for further improvement of cooperation between the EU Trade Marks and Designs Agency and national industrial property offices.

The background:

National trade mark registration in the EU Member States has been harmonised for 20 years and the unitary Community trade mark was created more than 15 years ago. Since then, almost 1 million Community trademarks have been registered, compared to the 9 million "national" trade marks currently registered at Member States' industrial property offices since the beginning of trademark registrations there, demonstrating the popularity of the Community trade mark. Community trademarks now represent around a quarter of all trade marks filed in the EU each year: in 2011, there were 105 000 applications for Community trade marks, against 435 000 applications for national trademarks.

The system is therefore popular and important for the European economy, which relies on powerful brands, requiring strong and effective trade mark protection. In 2009, the Commission launched a comprehensive study on the overall functioning of the trade mark system in Europe, and in 2010, in its Communication on Europe 2020, undertook to modernise trade mark rules in order to have more effective and efficient trade mark protection. Finally, in its 2011 IPR strategy for Europe, the Commission announced a review of the trade mark system in Europe with a view to modernising the system, both at EU and at national level, by making it more effective, efficient and consistent overall (see IP/11/630).

The main objective of the review is to foster innovation and economic growth by making trade mark systems all over the EU more accessible and efficient for businesses: lowering costs and complexity, and increasing speed and legal security (mainly by streamlining and harmonising national registration procedures, taking the Community system as benchmark).

The event:

Press details to be announced.

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

For information on EU Trademark legislation and policy:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/indprop/tm/index_en.htm

Commissioner Michel Barnier's website:

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

The contacts:

Stefaan De Rynck +32 2 296 34 21 Stefaan.De-Rynck@ec.europa.eu

Carmel Dunne +32 2 299 88 94 Carmel.Dunne@ec.europa.eu

Audrey Augier + 32 2 297 16 07 Audrey.Augier@ec.europa.eu

Date to be confirmed: Commission to propose measures to facilitate workers' mobility

The news:

The European Commission is due to adopt a Directive to facilitate the free movement of workers in the EU. The initiative aims to enhance labour mobility in the EU by preventing discrimination and reducing the incidence of unfair practices migrant workers face in Europe.

The proposal requires Member States to put in place measures to better apply and enforce the free movement of workers, for example through the creation of national bodies to inform EU migrant workers about their rights, the provision of redress mechanisms at national level, and the possibility for civil society organisations to engage in administrative or judicial procedures on behalf of individual workers in cases of discrimination.

Free movement of workers benefits the individuals concerned, the host countries, the home countries and the EU economy as a whole, notably by allowing for a better match between people with particular skills and employers looking for people with those skills.

The background:

Every EU citizen has the right to work and live in another Member State without being discriminated against on grounds of nationality, including when it comes to access to employment, remuneration and other conditions of work. This is enshrined in the EU Treaty and is a core principle of the Single Market.

However, in practice, mobile EU citizens often lack protection and information in their host country and are unable to overcome the obstacles they face, such as:

  • different recruitment conditions than nationals of the host country

  • nationality conditions to access certain jobs

  • nationality quotas in certain sectors (e.g. professional sport)

  • different working conditions (remuneration, career prospects, grade, etc.)

  • access to social advantages subject to conditions more easily met by nationals of the host country (e.g.; residence conditions)

  • recognition of professional experience and qualifications acquired in another country

These difficulties contribute to low labour mobility in the EU: according to the EU Labour Force survey, in 2011, only 3.1% of the working age European citizens (15-64) lived in another EU country than their own. A Eurobarometer survey (September 2001) indicates that 15% of European citizens would not consider working in another Member State because they feel there are too many obstacles.

The event:

The Commission will adopt the proposal for a directive on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers.

Press conference and technical briefing (details to be confirmed).

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Working in another EU country:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=25

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


Side Bar

Mon compte

Gérez vos recherches et notifications par email


Aidez-nous à améliorer ce site