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European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 31 January 2014

Top News from the European Commission
1 – 28 February 2014

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

Monday 3 February: The European Commission presents its first ever Anti-Corruption Report 2

Thursday 6 - Friday 7 February: Brand new EU macro-regional strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian in Athens close to take off 3

Monday 3 February: The European Commission presents its first ever Anti-Corruption Report

The news:

Corruption continues to be one of the biggest challenges in the European Union - a phenomenon that costs the EU economy around 120 billion euros per year.

Despite the legal and policy initiatives undertaken so far by the Member States, the results of anti-corruption efforts across the EU remain rather unsatisfactory overall.

That is why, today, the European Commission is publishing its first EU Anti-Corruption report, which provides a clear state of play in each Member State: what is in place, what are the outstanding issues, what policies are working, what could be improved and how.

The background:

The Anti-corruption Report shows that the nature and scope of corruption varies from one Member State to another and that the effectiveness of anti-corruption policies can be quite different.

The EU Anti-Corruption Report covers all 28 EU Member States and includes:

  • A horizontal chapter summarising the main findings and describing corruption-related trends across the EU.

  • A thematic chapter focusing on public procurement and covering corruption and anti-corruption measures within national systems of public procurement.

  • Country chapters providing a snapshot of the general situation regarding corruption, identifying issues that require further attention, and highlighting good practices which might be inspiring for others.

The Report also includes the results of two Eurobarometer surveys on the perception of corruption amongst European citizens on the one hand and companies on the other hand.

The event:

IP and MEMO will be available on the day.

Press conference with Commissioner Cecilia Malmström at 12:30, followed by a technical briefing with experts from DG HOME (off the record)

  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

Thursday 6 - Friday 7 February: Brand new EU macro-regional strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian in Athens close to take off

The news:

From 6-7 February a high-level Stakeholder Conference will take place in Athens to further advance the new macro-regional strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian. The conference is hosted by the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. At the Conference, Commissioner Johannes Hahn for Regional Policy and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki are joining Foreign Ministers from the countries involved (Croatia, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro). Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece, will open the conference. More than 500 representatives from the national, regional and local administrations, businesses, civil society, academia, media and regional associations will be contributing to the discussions in the conference.

The background:

The conference marks the end of a wide consultation (September-December 2013) that has involved civil society and stakeholder across the 8 countries. This will feed into a former proposal later this year from Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn, for a tailor made strategy that reflects the needs and the capacities of the region. It follows a request from EU leaders in December 2012 to deliver the new macro-regional strategy by the end of 2014.

This is the first time in a macro-regional strategy that there has been an equal balance of EU countries (Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia) and non-EU-Countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia) working to meet common challenges and build on shared strengths. Crucially in a region that has seen some of Europe's most serious conflicts, the strategy will help to bring the Western Balkans closer to the European Union.

The Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, adopted by the Commission on 30 November 2012, is integrated in the Strategy which will be structured around four key areas: marine and maritime growth, connecting the region (transport and energy networks), environmental quality and sustainable tourism.

The European Council of 13-14 December 2012 formally requested the European Commission to bring forward an EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region before the end of 2014, building on the positive experiences of the Danube and Baltic Sea regions. These strategies are supported through Member States' regional funding allocation under Cohesion Policy. In the case of non-EU members, pre-accession funds (IPA) are available.

The event:

6-7 February: Stakeholder Conference in Athens

A press release will be available on 5 February

  1. Available on EbS

The sources:

Towards an EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region:

Stakeholder Conference on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region:

Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas:

Twitter: @EU_Regional @JHahnEU #EUSAIR

The contacts:

Shirin Wheeler +32 2 29 665 65

Annemarie Huber +32 2 29 933 10

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