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|Référence: MEX/11/0301 Date de l'événement: 01/03/2011|
EXME 11 / 01.03
Midday Express of 2011-03-01
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
The economic recovery in the EU continues to make headway. After a strong performance in the first half of 2010, real GDP growth for both the EU and the euro area slowed down in the second half. The deceleration was expected and in line with the soft patch in global growth and trade that reflected the withdrawal of stimulus measures. Looking ahead, real GDP growth in 2011 is now forecast at 1.8% in the EU and 1.6% in the euro area, a slight upward revision compared to the autumn forecast. The improved outlook is supported by better prospects for the global economy and strong EU business sentiment. The recovery is expected to become more balanced towards domestic demand. Uncertainty remains high and developments across countries are uneven. The Commission's inflation forecast for 2011 has been revised up as compared to the autumn due mainly to higher energy and commodity prices. It now stands at 2.5% in the EU and 2.2% in the euro area.
L’Europe des entreprises reste un univers masculin: dans les conseils d’administration des grandes entreprises européennes, à peine un membre sur dix est une femme, et dans 97 % des cas, le PDG est un homme. Des études révèlent que les entreprises comptant davantage de femmes aux postes de direction obtiennent de meilleurs résultats que celles qui réservent ces fonctions aux hommes. Leur bénéfice d’exploitation est plus élevé et elles parviennent mieux à attirer les talents et à comprendre leurs clients. L'utilisation optimale des compétences féminines au sein de la main‑d'œuvre européenne est non seulement profitable aux entreprises, mais a des répercussions favorables sur l’économie et la société dans son ensemble. Si 60 % des diplômés de l’université sont des femmes, celles‑ci demeurent sous‑représentées aux postes de décision économique. Lors d’un sommet spécialement consacré à cette question à Bruxelles, aujourd’hui, la commissaire européenne Viviane Reding rencontrera des PDG et des membres de conseils d’administration d'entreprises cotées en bourse de dix pays européens (voir l’annexe). La vice‑présidente de la Commission présidera ce rassemblement de dirigeants d’entreprises, aux côtés de Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, membre du directoire de la Banque centrale européenne. Elles examineront, avec les participants, les moyens d’accroître la présence des femmes dans les fonctions de direction et chercheront à déterminer si l’autorégulation ou la réglementation sont la voie à suivre pour obtenir rapidement des changements significatifs. Au cours de l’après‑midi, les services de la DG Justice entendront brièvement les partenaires sociaux sur cette même question (voir l’annexe).
The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.9% in January 2011, compared with 10.0% in December 2010. It was 10.0% in January 2010. The EU27 unemployment rate was 9.5% in January 2011, compared with 9.6% in December 2010. It was 9.5% in January 2010. Eurostat estimates that 23.048 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 15.775 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in January 2011. Compared with December 2010, the number of persons unemployed fell by 43 000 in the EU27 and by 72 000 in the euro area. Compared with January 2010, unemployment rose by 99 000 in the EU27 and remained nearly stable in the euro area. These figures are published by Eurostat.
Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 2.4% in February 2011 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 2.3% in January 2011. Euro area inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro area. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (20 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate and 4 times differing by 0.1 over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.
Eurobarometer on Euro introduction in Estonia: Successful changeover
The present survey on Estonian citizens' attitudes toward new currency and the changeover process was conducted immediately after the euro's introduction. The main findings of the survey show that the vast majority (87%) of Estonians thought the changeover happened smoothly and efficiently. Most of Estonians found it easy to convert from kroon to euro and the usefulness of the dual display of prices was uncontested by overwhelm majority (88%). Clear majority also felt informed about the new currency, and a quarter described themselves as very well informed. In terms of concerns, slightly more than half of Estonians thought that the euro will increase inflation in their country. For the full reports: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/topics/euro_en.htm#309 and http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_309_sum_en.pdf
The European Commission has launched its annual call for proposals to be funded under the LIFE+ programme, the European fund for the environment. Proposals are welcome under one of the programme’s three components: Nature and Biodiversity, Environment Policy and Governance, and Information and Communication. A total of €267 million is available, in the form of co-funding for grant agreements. The call is open until 15 July 2011.
The European Commission is to give an additional €2 million to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in its Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories. Known as BEST, the Voluntary scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas will fund pilot projects in these areas, which are home to exceptional biodiversity, and host more endemic species than the whole of continental Europe combined. The financial support was originally suggested by the European Parliament.
Commission clears prolongation of Danish short-term export credit scheme
The European Commission has authorized under EU state aid rules an extension of the Danish scheme for short term export credit to cover all EU and OECD countries. The Commission found the prolongation of the scheme, initially approved on 6 May 2009 (IP/09/706) and prolonged until 31 December 2011 by Commission decision of 21 December 2010 (IP/10/1762) to be in line with the conditions of the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (see IP/10/1636). In particular, Denmark provided recent evidence proving to the Commission's satisfaction that the short-term export-credit insurance cover on the private markets is still unavailable. The Commission has therefore concluded that this measure represents an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Danish economy and as such is compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
CAP: European Commission launches a call for tenders for a study on measuring water content in poultry meat
The aim of this study is to analyse the physiological water content in poultry meat produced in the EU in order to assess whether the limits indicated in the current regulation (Commission Regulation No 543/2008) are still valid. The maximum budget attributed to this project is € 190 000. The deadline for submitting offers is 10 May, 2011. The Commission intends to award the contract during the third quarter of 2011, following the evaluation of the offers received. The contractor will have to carry out the study within 11 months from the signature of the contract. Details are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/agriculture/tenderdocs/2011/64729/index_en.htm
Where are we with the Digital Agenda?
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes today gave a “status update” on the Digital Agenda for Europe. In a “generally positive” update to the CEBIT conference in Hannover, Germany, where she is going to be awarded the “IT personality of the year” by ‘Chip’ magazine, Kroes said that 10% of the Digital Agenda was complete. Of the remaining 90%, 80% is on track and 10% is delayed. “We are not letting problems fester”, Kroes said. The biggest priorities in coming months will be lifting broadband investment and bringing down the costs of mobile roaming. “Broadband is Europe's digital oxygen, essential for our prosperity and well-being and it is the solid foundation that can get everyone online. A million jobs may depend on successful roll out of broadband.” “We all need to work together to invest in competitive broadband networks.” Kroes promised more details in the first Digital Agenda Scorecard to be published in May, and dialogue at a Digital Agenda Assembly, open to all-comers, on 16/17 June in Brussels. SPEECH/11/132
Commissioner Vassiliou urges young people to make Youth on the Move a reality
Action to tackle youth unemployment will be the focus of the EU Youth Conference in Budapest / Gödöllő, which brings together more than 100 youth representatives and policymakers on 2-4 March. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: 'Five million young people are out of work and the conference is a chance for youth representatives to make their voice heard in how Europe can best address this problem. The Commission is committed to helping young people gain the skills they need to get a job. Our Youth on the Move initiative, for instance, proposes measures to improve education and training, as well as raising awareness of the benefits that studying or training abroad can bring for employability and personal development. But we need young people to mobilize to make Youth on the Move a reality.' The conference forms part of the ‘structured dialogue’ between young people and policymakers. Bi-annual national consultations take place in all Member States and the results are discussed at EU Youth Conferences, which are organised under each EU Presidency with the support of the European Commission. In the context of the 2011 EU China Year of Youth, Chinese participants will also attend the conference. More information: www.mobilitas.hu/eutrio-youth.hu
To coincide with the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), the European Commission is launching the EU-ACP support programme for the ACP cultural sector totalling €30 million. The new programme will ensure that the achievements of the current film and cultural support programmes have a lasting legacy. These programmes have, for instance, made possible the Chad film "Un homme qui crie" by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Prix du Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, and "The last flight of the flamingo" by the Mozambique director, João Ribeiro, which won the award for best feature film at the 3rd International Film Festival of Luanda (Angola).
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control of Kew Green Hotels Limited (Kew Green) by Bank of Scotland plc, ultimately controlled by Lloyds Banking Group plc (LBG) and Barclays Bank plc (Barclays), all of the UK. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
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