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EXME 10 / 06.10
Midday Express of 2010-10-06
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
The European Commission's "Innovation Union", tabled today, sets out a strategic approach to innovation, driven by the highest political level. The Innovation Union will focus Europe's efforts – and co-operation with third countries - on challenges like climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population. It will use public sector intervention to stimulate the private sector and to remove bottlenecks which stop ideas reaching the market. These include lack of finance, fragmented research systems and markets, under-use of public procurement for innovation and slow standard setting. The Innovation Union is a "flagship" in the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The European Commission announced the winning authors of the 2nd annual European Union Prize for Literature at the Frankfurt Book Fair today. The prize aims to draw attention to new talents and to promote the publication of their books in different countries, as well as celebrating European cultural diversity. The 11 winning authors were selected by national juries in Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They will receive their prize from Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, during a ceremony on 18 November in Brussels.
The European Commission proposes not to grant increases in fishing opportunities for deep-sea fish in EU waters and in international waters of the North-East Atlantic for 2011-2012 until positive trends in the abundance of deep-sea stocks have been properly identified. The Commission's proposal is based on scientific advice. However, some important Total Allowable Catches (TACs) will be kept stable. The Commission also remains committed to phasing out fishing for deep-sea sharks and orange roughy until there is clear evidence regarding the level of unavoidable by-catch of these valuable species.
Unlocking the full value of scientific data
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes today welcomes a High Level Report on Scientific Data which suggests that the EU should approach scientific data as an open infrastructure. Too much data is now hidden or duplicated because it is not openly available. Kroes says: "We cannot afford to keep publicly funded data locked away, and nor should we. Scientific data has the power to transform our lives for the better – it is too valuable to be locked away." Making the data generated by publicly-fund research available to all will help build a new generation of science, entrepreneurship, civic initiative and good government policy. Kroes says that today's report, tabled by Professor John Wood, will help formulate e-infrastructure policies for the EU's Eighth Research Framework Programme. See SPEECH/10/518
Commissioner Piebalgs visits the Czech Republic to promote development policy
Tomorrow, 7 October, Andris Piebalgs, the European Commissioner for Development will visit the Czech Republic to promote development policy and encourage the contribution of the Czech Republic. He will hold a bilateral meeting with Tomáš Dub, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the members of Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and European Affairs. The Commissioner will also meet representatives form the Czech Development Agency, Czech Council on Development Cooperation and different NGOs. Explaining the Commission's priorities of the upcoming months, engaging the Czech Republic in collective EU efforts towards reaching the Official Development Assistance commitments and other development issues will be discussed during this short visit in Prague.
Commission services launch public consultation on access to a basic payment account
The services of the European Commission have today launched a public consultation to seek stakeholders' views on possible measures to be taken to ensure access to a basic payment account for every consumer in the EU. The measures outlined in the consultation document could improve access to payment accounts and electronic means of payment, thus promoting the full participation of all consumers in the Internal Market, as well as financial and social inclusion. The replies received will feed into the Commission's work on developing a future legislative initiative in this area. Interested parties are invited to send their comments to the Commission by 17 November 2010. The consultation paper is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2010/payment_account_en.htm .
Euro area (EA16) and EU27 GDP increased by 1.0% during the second quarter of 2010, compared with the previous quarter, according to second estimates from Eurostat. In the first quarter of 2010, growth rates were +0.3% in the euro area and +0.4% in the EU27. In comparison with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP increased in the second quarter of 2010 by 1.9% in the euro area and by 2.0% in the EU27, after +0.8% and +0.7% respectively in the previous quarter. In the second quarter of 2010, Lithuania (+3.2%) recorded the highest growth rate compared with the previous quarter, followed by Germany (+2.2%), Estonia, Finland and Sweden (all +1.9%).
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