Other available languages: FR
Brussels, Friday 18 July 2014
Top News from the European Commission
Background notes from the Spokesperson’s service for journalists
On Tuesday, 22 July, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn will officially launch a public consultation seeking the opinions of European citizens on a future EU Urban Agenda - what form it should take and how it should be put into action. The Commissioner is calling for a wide engagement by stakeholders and inhabitants of cities.
The public consultation marks the adoption by the Commission of a formal Communication: "The Urban Dimension of EU Policies", which proposes a set of questions for consultation aimed at further clarifying the need for an EU urban agenda, what its objectives should be and how it could function.
While 72 % of the total EU population live in cities, towns and suburbs, this proportion is likely to reach more than 80% by 2050. Currently, over two-thirds of all EU policies directly or indirectly affect towns and cities – such as in the fields of transport, energy, and environment. An Urban Agenda would aim for a more integrated approach to policy development, to ensure consistency and avoid contradictions.
A growing number of calls have come from the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, city associations and cities themselves for more involvement of cities in the design of EU policies and a greater coherence in the way Europe's institutions tackle urban challenges.
Commissioner Hahn will make a press statement at the European Commission midday briefing in Brussels on Tuesday 22 July.
IP and MEMO will be available on the day.
Shirin Wheeler +32 2 296 65 65
Annemarie Huber +32 2 299 33 10
On 23 July, the European Commission will adopt the Energy Efficiency Communication. The Communication consists of an in-depth analysis of the EU's progress towards its 2020 energy efficiency target and an energy efficiency framework for the following years up to 2030.
It includes an examination of the current and future benefits of energy efficiency for European citizens and the economy.
The Energy Efficiency Communication is an important follow-up to the 2030 communication on energy and climate change which proposed 2030 targets for greenhouse gas reductions and renewable energy – 40% and at least 27% respectively.
An IP and a MEMO will be available on the day.
For more information on the Energy Efficiency Communication:
For more information on the Energy Efficiency Directive:
Sabine Berger +32 2 299 27 92 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Bockstaller +32 2 295 25 89 email@example.com
The European Commission is set to publish its 6th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion on 23 July, analysing the evolution of regional disparities in the Union over the past 4 year and the varying degrees of success in overcoming the impact of the crisis.
While unemployment has grown in almost all regions over that time, the Report highlights how the reform of EU Cohesion Policy, and its closer alignment with the Europe2020 Strategy, is turning things around and delivering growth and creating jobs.
The report outlines how investments will be focused on key areas like energy efficiency, employment, social inclusion and SMEs to get the most out of investments to the benefit of citizens.
It also finds that Cohesion Policy has cushioned the dramatic decline of public investment, injecting much needed liquidity in many Member States and creating vital financial stability.
The last Cohesion Report came out in late 2010 and emphasised the need for investments to support the realisation of the Europe2020 growth goals, with stricter pre-conditions and an increased focus on results. EU Cohesion Policy, as reformed for the 20014-2020 period has become highly strategic and modernised, with measureable impacts.
Investments now focus even more on the low-carbon economy, innovation and SMEs, quality employment, skills and social inclusion Meanwhile, new rules and pre conditions for funding ensure that the right regulatory and macro-economic framework is in place so the Policy has an even greater impact for the European economy and its citizens.
The Report will be published on 23 July.
An IP will be available on the day.
The Sixth Cohesion Forum taking place in Brussels on 8-9 September 2014 will provide an opportunity to discuss the findings of the Report in the presence of high-level politicians and policy-makers.
Further information on EU Cohesion Policy and future events at:
Shirin Wheeler +32 2 296 65 65
Annemarie Huber +32 2 299 33 10
The President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council will represent the EU at this year’s G20 Summit, which will take place on 15 and 16 November in Brisbane, Australia. Leaders are expected, amongst others, to adopt the Brisbane Action Plan, putting in place concrete short and medium-term actions to develop comprehensive strategies to stimulate growth. These will include infrastructure investments, trade barrier reductions, employment and development measures. Furthermore, G20 leaders will discuss measures to make the global economy more resilient to deal with future shocks.
The Australian Presidency has now opened the procedure for media accreditation. Journalists can apply for official accreditation until 21 October 2014, 9:00 Brussels time, at https://www.g20.org/accreditation/media_registration. As the Australian government points out, it is important that media register for accreditation via the online accreditation portal as early as possible and then apply for their visa. Accreditation will only be confirmed once the applicant has an approved visa.
The Brisbane Summit is the 9th edition of the Group of 20 (G20) Summit of the world’s major advanced and emerging economies. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. Together, they represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. This year, Australia welcomes Spain as a permanent invitee; Mauritania as the 2014 chair of the African Union; Myanmar as the 2014 Chair of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN); Senegal, representing the New Partnership for Africa's Development; New Zealand; and Singapore. The 10th edition of the G20 Summit will be hosted by Turkey in 2015.
15 and 16 November 2014: 9th edition of the G20 Summit in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia, with the participation of the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council.
Press events ahead of and during the G20 Summit are to be confirmed. Press material about the EU at the G20 will be made available in the week before and during the Summit.
G20 2014 Media accreditation: https://www.g20.org/accreditation/media_registration
G20 website of the Australian Presidency: https://www.g20.org/
G20 section on President Barroso's website:
Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen firstname.lastname@example.org +32 (0)2 295 30 70
Jens Mester email@example.com +32 (0)2 296 39 73
Dirk Volckaerts firstname.lastname@example.org +32 (0)2 299 39 44