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European Commission

Top News

Brussels, Friday 21 February 2014

Top News from the European Commission
22 February – 21 March 2014

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

Tuesday 25 February: European Economic Forecast

The news:

On 25 February, the Commission will publish its winter economic forecast for 2013-2014-2015 covering Gross Domestic Product (GDP), inflation, employment and public budget deficits and debt, amongst others. These forecasts focus on all 28 EU Member States, plus the candidate countries as well as some non-EU countries.

The background:

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Monetary Affairs produces short-term macroeconomic forecasts three times year: in the spring, autumn and in the winter. They serve as a basis for various economic surveillance procedures, such as in the context of the European Semester.

Each forecast has at least a two-year time horizon (with an additional year added each autumn) covering the current year and the next.

The event:

13:45 Press Conference by Vice-President Rehn in the European Parliament Press Room in Strasbourg. Press release with a link to the report will be available on the day.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

IP/13/1025 - Autumn EU Economic Forecast (5 November 2013)

European Commission websites:

The contacts:

Simon O'Connor + 32 2 296 7359 simon.o'

Vandna Kalia + 32 2 299 5824

Audrey Augier + 32 2 297 1607

Saturday 1 March: Artists, scientists and intellectuals unveil the final declaration on the "New Narrative for Europe" in the presence of President Barroso and Chancellor Merkel in Berlin

The news:

Artists, scientists and intellectuals across Europe have worked hard during the past months to discuss a New Narrative for Europe, which mobilises the cultural sector and citizens for Europe by identifying the reasons why Europe matters today and why it is important to stand up against nationalism and populism and for our common European future.

On 1 March, the final declaration on the "New Narrative for Europe" will be unveiled in the presence of Commission President Barroso and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the 3rd and final general assembly of the project in the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. The declaration has been coordinated by a Cultural Committee consisting of eminent representatives from the cultural and artistic world that steers the project. The event is organised by the European Commission.

The background:

The New Narrative for Europe is a project proposed by the European Parliament and implemented by the European Commission following the call issued by Commission President Barroso in his 2012 State of the Union Address to artists, writers, thinkers, scientists and cultural practitioners who are committed to the future of Europe and the European project.

President Barroso has stated during the launch event in April 2013: "We need to continue to tell the story of Europe. Like a book it cannot only stay in the first pages, even if the first pages were extremely beautiful. We have to continue our narrative, continue to write the book of the present and of the future. This is why we need a new narrative for Europe.”

After the launch event in Brussels on 23 April 2013 and two general assemblies held in Warsaw (11 July 2013) and Milan (8-9 December 2013), the 3rd and final general assembly taking place in Berlin will mark the completion of the first stage of the New Narrative project entitled 'Forms of Imagination and Thinking for Europe'. The event in Berlin will be completed by an artistic performance showing the link between culture and the European project.

The event:

1 March, Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin: Unveiling the final declaration on the "New Narrative for Europe" in the presence of President Barroso and Chancellor Merkel.

09:15 – 10:00: Registration and entry controls

10:15: Photo and film opportunity: President Barroso welcomes Chancellor Merkel, followed by the presentation of the declaration "A New Narrative for Europe" by the coordinator of the culture committee, Paul Dujardin, and speeches by President Barroso and Chancellor Merkel.

12:00: End of the event

Media advisory: The event is open to journalists. Prior online accreditation is necessary, deadline Wednesday, 26 February, 8:00 p.m. Please consult the following link:

  1. The event will be live streamed at


The sources:

Contacts for press inquiries (Brussels):

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen +32 2 295 30 70

Jens Mester +32 2 296 39 73

Cezary Lewanowicz +32 2 299 30 50

Contacts for press inquiries (Berlin):

Reinhard Hoenighaus +49 30 22802000

Katrin Abele +49 30 22802000

March (date TBC): Spotlight on the innovation performance of EU Member States and regions

The news:

On March the European Commission will present the 2014 Innovation Union Scoreboard and the Regional Innovation Scoreboard reports that benchmark innovation performance and potential of EU Member States and regions. The reports rank Member States and regions according to their innovation performance – indicating the leaders, followers, moderate and modest innovators. The reports also review the development of innovation performance in the EU, at national and regional levels, over a period of eight years.

The background:

For more than a decade the Innovation Union Scoreboard has examined the EU's and 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 strategy.

It monitors innovation progress and performance on the basis of twenty five indicators grouped in eight areas relevant to European national research and innovation systems and business activity, 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 EU Member States, candidate and associated countries, and to a limited extent the EU's main global economic partners, such as the US, Japan, South Korea and the BRICS countries.

Every two years, the Innovation Union Scoreboard is accompanied by the Regional Innovation Scoreboard. The 2014 Regional Innovation Scoreboard provides a comparative assessment of innovation performance across 190 regions of the European Union, Norway and Switzerland using a number of research and innovation indicators.

The event:

Press conference by Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on the day of the publication.

IP and Memo will be available on the day.

  1. Available on EbS.

The sources:

The contacts:

Carlo Corazza +32 (0)2 295 17 52

Michael Jennings +32 (0)2 296 3388

Shirin Wheeler +32 (0)2 296 2876

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