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eXME 11 / 08.09

Midday Express of 2011-09-08

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

Digital Agenda: Commission takes first step to ensure life-saving emergency call system for road accidents in place by 2015

The first measure to ensure that by 2015 your car can dial emergency services for you when you have a serious accident has been adopted by the European Commission today. The Commission wants the life-saving eCall system to be fitted to all new models of cars and light vehicles from 2015. eCall automatically dials Europe's single emergency number 112 in the event of a serious accident and communicates the vehicle's location to the emergency services. A Commission Recommendation adopted on 8th September, urges Member States to ensure that mobile phone network operators upgrade their infrastructure so that eCalls are efficiently passed on to emergency services.

Culture: Vassiliou and Barnier urge Ministers to back drive for digitisation of Europe's heritage

The challenge of making Europe's cultural heritage more accessible on-line and ensuring copyright rules are respected will be among the issues addressed when Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, join Ministers for Culture and Audiovisual Policy at their informal meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, on 9 September. Members of the Commission's expert group on digitisation will highlight their recommendations ( IP/11/17), which include making Europe's digital library Europeana the central reference point for cultural heritage and calling for Member States to do more to encourage public-private partnerships to drive digitisation and generate jobs. "Preservation of cultural heritage for future generations should be an imperative for every society," said Commissioner Vassiliou before the meeting. "New digital technologies facilitate not only the preservation of books, films, pictures, photographs and music but can also make them easily and instantly accessible." Commissioner Barnier will highlight the need for an appropriate copyright framework for the digital era, and in this context encourage all stakeholders to respond to the recently launched Green Paper on online distribution of audiovisual works. Commissioner Vassiliou will also draw attention to the Commission's proposal for a new "Creative Europe" funding programme in 2014-2020 to support Europe's fast growing cultural and creative sectors. ( IP/11/857). The informal meeting will take place in parallel with the European Culture Congress , which will bring together over 300 artists and intellectuals from worldwide.

Consultation shows broad support for European Institute of Innovation and Technology

Higher education, research and business organisations strongly support the mission of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to drive more and better cooperation between the worlds of academia, entrepreneurship, research and innovation. This is the result of a public consultation to which nearly 200 organisations and individuals responded. According to respondents, the EIT should play a distinctive role in 'Horizon 2020', the future EU Programme for Research and Innovation, and forge closer links with other European and national efforts. A majority of respondents praised the way in which the EIT ensures the participation of businesses in its work and urged the Institute to step up its outreach activities. The consultation will feed into a 'strategic innovation agenda' for the EIT which the Commission is due to propose by the end of this year.

Financial services: Commission wants more consumers and other payment users to serve on the board of Expert Group on payments

The European Commission is re-casting membership of the group of experts which helps in the preparation of legislative acts or policy initiatives in the area of payment systems (The Payment Systems Market Expert Group or PSMEG). The aim is to achieve a better balance between payment server users and providers, and to increase the participation of consumer representatives and civil society. First set up in 2009, the Payment Services Market Expert Group provides the Commission with insights on payment issues, including fraud prevention. Interested candidates are invited to send an application to the Commission by 7 October 2011. The call for applications is addressed to experts in payments, including fraud prevention, coming from the payment industry, the payment user side or the academic world. A maximum of 40 experts will be selected. More detailed information about the mandate of the group and the selection criteria for the members can be found in the documentation available at:

Transport: European Commission to bring forward new package of measures for ports in 2013

Visiting the port of Rotterdam today, European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas responsible for Transport announced his intention to bring forward in 2013 a package of proposals to help ports remain competitive and support the huge potential for growth in the port sector. The Vice President underlined his intention to bring forward measures: to support the reduction of the administrative burden in ports; proposals to improve the transparency of port financing; as well as proposals for measures on port services. EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas commended the Port of Rotterdam for its leadership, high performance and its capacity to adapt to change. However he underlined, the major challenges facing hundreds of seaports across Europe and the need to create the right regulatory conditions to allow ports to thrive.

The Internet of the future – Vice President Kroes at Paradiso conference

What will ICT and the Internet look like decades into the future? How will it change our world and our society? These were questions posed by Vice President Neelie Kroes today in a speech to the 2nd Annual Paradiso International Conference in Brussels in which she also set out how public authorities should consider "well-aimed, specific actions which can draw out the positive social benefits of ICT". Stressing that the future in this area is hard to predict, Neelie Kroes speculated about some of the potential future developments of technology, such as ICT integrated into the human eye, or even the brain. Such developments would not just have an affect on the technological world; rather "such extended awareness can have an impact on intelligence, our consciousness, and our society: on the very things which are fundamental to being human" she said. She also sketched out the implications for society – such as social inclusion, service continuity, support for European values like democracy, and enhanced quality of life - which public authorities will need to consider when deciding how to react to these changes.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Speech by President Barroso at the Auckland University - 2011 Europa lecture: "The European Union – a committed partner for New Zealand and the Pacific" – rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President Kroes: "Deploying the eCall life-saving emergency call system" at the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism

Speech by Mr. Olli Rehn: "Overcoming the Economic Crisis in Greece and Europe" at the "Reset Greece" ALDE Seminar in Brussels - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Damanaki: "Two continents, one purpose: defeating Illegal Fishing" at the Conference on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fisheries at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies – EMBARGO 16H00 CEST

Speech by Vice-President Kroes: “Internet and Societies: New Innovation Paths” at the Paradiso conference

Speech by Vice-President Almunia: "Policy Objectives in Merger Control" at the Fordham Competition Conference - EMBARGO 15H00 CEST

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