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EXME 11 / 13.09

Midday Express of 2011-09-13

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

Task Force Chief's kick start on coordinating technical assistance for Greece

The Commission Task Force on Greece has started its work, coordinating technical assistance to support Greece's growth, investment and employment, in particular through a better and more effective use of EU structural funds. Mr Reichenbach – head of the Task Force - will be visiting Athens on 13 – 15 September to set out the strategy for the work to be done and together with the Greek authorities to identify the priorities for the delivery of the technical assistance Greece needs as well as joint work on accelerating use of the structural funds in view of jobs and growth in Greece. Mr Reichenbach will hold meetings with the Vice-President of the Hellenic Government and several Ministers, with main opposition party New Democracy and social partners. A Press Conference will be organised on Thursday 15 September at 12:30 – 13:30 at the premises of the European Commission Representation in Athens.

Stratégie numérique: Selon un rapport de la Commission, des efforts sont encore nécessaires pour protéger les enfants

Dans un rapport publié aujourd'hui, la Commission européenne analyse la manière dont les États membres mettent en œuvre les recommandations de l'UE dont l'objectif est que les enfants puissent profiter du monde numérique en toute confiance et en toute sécurité. Les États membres déploient de plus en plus d'efforts pour mettre en œuvre les recommandations relatives à la protection des mineurs utilisant les services audiovisuels et en ligne, qui ont été formulées par l'UE en 1998 et 2006. Mais, d'une manière générale, les mesures prises ont été insuffisantes.

Education trends report highlights need for effective funding for schools and universities

The European Commission today welcomed the launch of 'Education at a Glance 2011', a new report which gathers statistical data on investment in education, student-teacher ratios, teaching hours, graduate numbers and results. 21 EU countries are covered by the report, which is compiled annually by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), drawing on data jointly collected with Eurostat and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Breaking down barriers to research – consultation on the European Research Area

The scientific community and other interested groups and individuals are today being asked to help redefine the research landscape in Europe. The European Commission has launched a public consultation to find out how the European research environment can be radically improved. The goal is to achieve the European Research Area (ERA) by 2014, creating a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation. This will enable researchers, research institutions and businesses to circulate, compete, and co-operate across borders, increasing growth potential.

European Commission sets goal of training 700,000 legal professionals in EU law by 2020

The European Commission has set a clear target for increasing the numbers of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other legal practitioners trained in European law. In a policy paper agreed today, the European Commission aims to ensure that half of all legal practitioners in the European Union – around 700,000 – participate in some form of European judicial training by 2020. The aim is to equip legal practitioners to apply European law – which is part of their role as judges and lawyers at national level. It will also help to build mutual trust between Europe's different legal systems and improve the implementation of European legislation. This will benefit people and businesses in Europe, who will be able to rely on swift decisions and proper respect for the rules.

La Commission fait rapport sur les progrès réalisés dans la mise au point de méthodes de substitution à l’expérimentation animale pour les cosmétiques

La Commission européenne a présenté aujourd’hui au Parlement européen et au Conseil son rapport annuel sur les méthodes de substitution à l’expérimentation animale dans le domaine des cosmétiques. La directive relative aux produits cosmétiques interdit l’expérimentation animale au sein de l’UE depuis 2004 pour les cosmétiques finis, et depuis 2009 pour leurs ingrédients. Il est également interdit de vendre, dans l’UE, des produits cosmétiques contenant des ingrédients testés sur des animaux après mars 2009, et ceci quel que soit le lieu de l’expérimentation. Des méthodes de substitution ont déjà été développées et validées pour un grand nombre des tests requis pour garantir la sécurité des produits cosmétiques. Toutefois, les efforts se poursuivent pour combler les lacunes qui subsistent concernant les quelques effets sur la santé les plus complexes, pour lesquels l'interdiction de commercialisation entrera en vigueur en mars 2013.

New Forum to speed up electronic invoicing - first meeting today

To make a reality of its objective to make e-invoicing the main method for invoicing in Europe, the European Commission has convened the new European Multi-Stakeholder Forum for its first meeting in Brussels today. Composed of representatives of national e-invoicing fora, both from the private and public sector, the Forum provides a platform to exchange experiences and best practices which can pave the way to the broad-scale adoption of e-invoicing at both national and EU level. The Forum, which consists of 63 members representing public administrations, standardisation bodies and the user and provider sides of the market, will monitor the uptake of e-invoicing in all Member States. It should also help the Commission in identifying further measures to facilitate the mass adoption of e-invoicing across borders. The establishment of the “European Multi-Stakeholder Forum” goes back to the Communication “Reaping the benefits of electronic invoicing for Europe” presented by Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship and Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services in December last year (see IP/10/1645). More detailed information on the activities of the European Multi-Stakeholder Forum is available at: and

EU27 surplus in trade of goods with South Africa continued to grow in the first half of 2011

After EU27 trade in goods with South Africa dropped in 2009, both exports and imports showed a renewed growth in 2010. The value of EU27 exports to South Africa increased by one third and reached a peak of 21.4 billion euro in 2010, while imports rose by 20% to 17.9 bn, still not reaching the level of imports recorded in 2006. The first half of 2011 showed a sustained growth in EU27 trade with South Africa, compared with the first half of 2010. Exports rose from 10.1 bn in the first six month of 2010 to 12.3 bn in the first half of 2011, and imports from 8.8 bn to 9.1 bn. As a result, the EU27 surplus in trade of goods with South Africa increased from 1.2 bn in the first half of 2010 to 3.2 bn in the same period of 2011. South Africa accounted for around 1.4% of the EU27's external trade in goods, and was the EU27's fifteenth most important trading partner in the first six months of 2011.On the occasion of the fourth European Union - South Africa summit, which will take place on 15 September in South Africa, Eurostat issues data on trade and investments between South Africa and the EU.


EU starts negotiations on Caspian pipeline to bring gas to Europe

Today the European Union has adopted a mandate to negotiate a legally binding treaty between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build a Trans Caspian Pipeline System. This is the first time that the European Union has proposed a treaty in support of an infrastructure project. The treaty will be concluded by the EU after decision by all 27 Member States that the European Commission should lead the negotiations on behalf of them all.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Statement of President Barroso after his meeting with Chancellor Merkel in Berlin - rediffusion

Memo "Questions and Answers on the Task Force for Greece"

Memo "Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2006/116/EC on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights – Frequently Asked Questions" - rediffusion

Memo "EU to issue new 10 year benchmark bond for Portugal this week" - rediffusion

Memo "Breaking down barriers to research – consultation on the European Research Area"

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