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EXME 10 / 10.09

Midday Express of 2010-09-10

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

La sécurité alimentaire reste une priorité dans l’UE et les pays tiers

En 2009, le nombre de notifications dans le cadre du système d’alerte rapide pour les denrées alimentaires et les aliments pour animaux (RASFF) a atteint un total proche de 8 000, soit une hausse de 12 % par rapport à 2008 et le chiffre le plus élevé jamais enregistré. Ce chiffre record provient du fait que les membres du RASFF ont envoyé davantage de notifications de suivi, y compris pour des problèmes moins urgents. Les notifications d’alerte signalant des risques graves associés à des produits présents sur le marché ont été au nombre de 557, soit une légère augmentation par rapport à 2008.

EU steps up academic co-operation with the USA and Canada

The European Commission and the governments of the USA and Canada will jointly invest €15 million on new transatlantic education partnerships involving 160 universities and training institutions and thousands of students on both sides of the Atlantic. The European Union will contribute €7.5m for the initiative, with €6m coming from the US and €1.5m from Canada. The funding will support student exchanges, joint degrees and better policy co-operation. The partnerships focus on a range of fields including energy efficiency, computing robotics, climate change, forestry management, languages and cinema studies. For the first time a transatlantic degree programme is established between the EU and Canada.

Statement by Connie Hedegaard on the estimates for EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 published by the European Environment Agency

In response to the estimates for EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 published by the European Environment Agency today, Commissioner Hedegaard made the following statement: "The sharp drop in overall EU greenhouse gas emissions last year is not a surprise seen in the light of the economic crisis. But the EU emissions had already been falling steadily for several years before the recession hit, putting us well on track to meet or even over-achieve our Kyoto Protocol targets. This is thanks to the armoury of policies and measures implemented over the past decade, which have succeeded in breaking the automatic link that used to mean that economic growth translated into higher emissions. However, as the economy picks up again we can expect the drop in emissions to level off or even be reversed temporarily. It is therefore very important that the EU and Member States continue implementing the climate and energy package and the other measures needed to meet our 2020 targets. And of course I hope that the new strong figures also can inspire the necessary debate on how fast the EU can reach even more ambitious targets." Link:

Commission launches public consultation on whether to include land use and forestry in EU 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target

The European Commission today launched a public consultation on whether emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHG) related to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) should be covered by the EU's target of cutting GHG emissions to 20%, or, if the conditions are right, to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. The LULUCF sector comprises, for example, trees, other living biomass and organic soil carbon, all of which can either absorb CO2 from the atmosphere or emit it to a varying extent, depending on how they are managed and other factors. The sector was estimated to be responsible for net removals of GHG from the atmosphere of around 410 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in the EU-27 in 2008, or some 8% of the EU's total emissions. However, the picture varies between Member States, with LULUCF causing large net removals in some and small net removals or even net emissions in others. The sector is currently not part of the 2020 target, but the climate and energy package adopted last year requires the Commission to assess ways of counting LULUCF towards the EU's reduction commitment and, depending on its findings, to make a legislative proposal. The public consultation aims to gather views from stakeholders and the public on the potential opportunities and challenges of including LULUCF in the emissions target and on ways this could be done. The consultation, which runs until 5 November, takes the form of an online questionnaire. The questionnaire is accompanied by a background note on LULUCF. Both are posted online at

EU27 current account deficit 50.8 bn euro

The EU27 external current account recorded a deficit of 50.8 billion euro in the second quarter of 2010, compared with a deficit of 44.7 bn in the second quarter of 2009 and a deficit of 34.8 bn in the first quarter of 2010. In the second quarter of 2010, the EU27 external balance of trade in services recorded a surplus of 18.6 bn euro, compared with a surplus of 16.4 bn in the second quarter of 2009 and a surplus of 10.8 bn in the first quarter of 2010. These provisional data, issued by Eurostat, will be subject to revision.

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