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European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 29 August 2014

Top News from the European Commission
30 August – 26 September 2014

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

Monday 22 September: Commission publishes findings from the Erasmus Impact Study

The news:

The Commission will present the main findings from the Erasmus Impact Study on 22 September. This study, compiled by independent experts, measures the impact of the Erasmus exchange programme on the employability and skills of students. It also examines the extent to which an Erasmus experience makes it more likely that a student will work abroad in their future career.

The background:

The Erasmus programme (2007-2013) has enabled more than three million students to study or train abroad since its launch 27 years ago. Numerous testimonies from students on how Erasmus changed their lives and opened their minds already exist. The Erasmus Impact Study goes further by providing detailed evidence of how Erasmus students fare better on the job market after graduation. They are more confident after their Erasmus experience, more tolerant towards other cultures, more curious, quicker to solve problems, better equipped to adapt to new situations and have improved their organisational skills.

A record 268,000 students received Erasmus grants in the 2012-2013 academic year. Erasmus+, the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, will enable a further 2 million higher education students and 300 000 higher education staff to study or train abroad between 2014 and 2020.

The event:

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will present the main findings from the Erasmus Impact Study at a press conference to be held in the Berlaymont Commission's building. A press release will be available on the day.

The sources:

Information on Erasmus+:

Information on Commissioner Vassiliou:

The contacts:

Dennis Abbott +32 2 295 92 58

Dina Avraam +32 2 295 96 67

Mid-September: EU and Member States' industrial competitiveness

The news:

Mid-September, the European Commission will release two annual publications on the current state of EU industrial competitiveness: The European Competitiveness Report and the Member States' Competitiveness Report. The aim of the reports is to give an overview of the performance of EU manufacturing industries so as to provide evidence-based indicators for the evaluation of EU industrial policy targets.

The European Competitiveness Report gives a quantitative assessment of the competitive performance of EU industries. It focuses on policies that help firms grow. In particular, it looks at drivers of growth of firms such as access to various forms of funding, the role of public administration, the role of innovation, the impact and drivers of SME internationalization, and the impact of energy costs.

The Member States’ Competitiveness Report outlines the current situation of European industry and compares progress achieved by Member States. This scoreboard, which gives a country by country breakdown, is based on indicators in the area of investment and access to finance; innovation and skills; energy, raw materials and sustainability; and access to markets infrastructure and services. It also looks at how industrial policy has been implemented at European level and in the Member States. This years’ report focuses on improving the business environment through growth friendly public administration.

The background:

The results of the reports are used in evidence-based policy-making and will serve as an input into the discussion of the Competitiveness Council on 25-26 September 2014 and in the European Semester process.

The event:

European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, will present the main findings of the reports in a press conference. A technical briefing will also be held. A press release and two press memos (one for each report) will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Information on previous European Competitiveness Reports:

Information on previous Member States competitiveness performance and policies:

The contacts:

Miguel Sagredo (+32 2 296 85 89)

Sara Tironi (+32 2 299 04 03)

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 November: The EU at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia – media accreditation open

The news:

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 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 background:

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.

The event:

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.

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

G20 2014 Media accreditation:

G20 website of the Australian Presidency:

G20 section on President Barroso's website:

The contacts:

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen +32 (0)2 295 30 70

Jens Mester +32 (0)2 296 39 73

Dirk Volckaerts +32 (0)2 299 39 44

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