Midday Express of 2012-03-15
European Commission - MEX/12/0315 15/03/2012
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EXME 12 / 15.03
Midday Express of 2012-03-15
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
La Commission européenne a proposé aujourd’hui d’octroyer à l’Italie un montant de 18,06 millions d’euros provenant du Fonds de solidarité de l’UE (FSUE) à la suite des graves inondations qui sont survenues en Ligurie et en Toscane en octobre 2011. Ces fonds permettront de prendre en charge une partie des coûts supportés par les pouvoirs publics dans cette situation d’urgence, notamment pour remettre en état les infrastructures de base, comme l’approvisionnement en eau, en gaz et en électricité.
The number of persons employed decreased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.1% in the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the third quarter of 2011, employment decreased by 0.2% in both zones.
Hourly labour costs in the euro area (EA17) rose by 2.8% in the year up to the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 2.6% for the previous quarter. In the EU27, the annual rise was 2.7% up to the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 2.6% for the previous quarter.
EU Globalisation Fund pays €33.6 million to help 5 338 redundant workers in Austria, France, Italy and Portugal
The European Commission has made payments to Austria, France, Italy and Portugal from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund ( EGF). The total amount of €33.6 million will help 5,338 dismissed workers back into employment, following large-scale redundancies in the automotive industry, the construction and the road transport sectors. €24.5 million will help 3, 582 former workers of Renault in France. The economic crisis brought about a sharp drop in sales as most consumers decided to postpone the vehicle purchases, resulting in a large number of layoffs. The affected production plants of Renault and its affected subsidiaries are located in several regions of France, in particular in Ile-de-France, Haute-Normandie and Nord-Pas-de-Calais. €3.9 million will help 528 former construction workers in Italy. These redundancies were also a consequence of the crisis, as they followed the substantial decrease in demand for new houses and house renovation, mainly due to the decrease in private investment in the residential sector. The territories affected by the redundancies are the autonomous provinces of Trentino and Alto Adige/Südtirol. €3.6 million will help 502 dismissed workers from companies operating in road transport located in the regions of Niederösterreich and Oberösterreich in Austria. The dismissals were a consequence of the financial and economic crisis which resulted in a substantial decrease in goods production and subsequently in demand for freight transport. €1.5 million will help 726 former workers of three manufacturers of car components in Portugal: Leoni Wiring Systems Viana, Lda, Kromberg & Schubert Portugal, Lda, and Delphi Automotive Systems. The fall in demand for electrical equipment for cars, which followed the decline in demand for new motor vehicles in the EU combined with the impossibility of further reducing production costs and/or access to credit, resulted in the closure of the Lear production plant in Guarda and of Krombert & Schubert Portugal, Lda. The closure of Leoni Wiring Systems Viana, Lda was due to the combination of a difficult economic situation due to the crisis with the relocation of the production plant to Morocco. These payments follow the approval by the Budgetary Authority - the European Parliament and the Council. For more information see also: IP/11/852 regarding the Renault case; IP/11/1060 as regards Nieder- and Oberösterreich, Austria; IP/11/1190 concerning the Portuguese application; and IP/2011/1299 as regards the Italian application: Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol.
Connecting small enterprises to the digital supply chain of car industry
Small enterprises can now fully participate in the industry supply chain thereby overcoming the current incompatible information systems which make their business with big car manufacturers often burdensome. The European Commission presented today the Demonstration Action Auto-gration, aimed to facilitate small suppliers’ integration in the automotive supply chain, in a dedicated conference in Stuttgart. Today, an SME that wishes to collaborate with larger manufactures will often be forced to maintain several information systems in parallel, an effort that needlessly raises costs and reduces logistical flexibility. Auto-gration offers a simplified, easy to use and low-cost environment: a small supplier with no previous ICT equipment can get connected and digitally operational with all its different business partners in just two days, securing important administrative savings and efficiency gains. Initiated and financed by the European Commission, auto-gration is now passing to the hands of the automotive industry that takes the lead. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed among leading associations and ICT vendors and automotive stakeholders, to further promote the results and stimulate real market roll-out. The automotive sector is one of the most important sectors of the European economy and very SME-intensive. This project is part of the Commission’s eBSN policy initiative to “ promote the smart use of information technology and the integration of SMEs in global industrial value chains” .
Multilingualism: Impact of new technologies focus of universities and interpretation event
The European Commission is organising its 16th annual Interpretation - Universities Conference on 15-16 March in Brussels. The event brings together representatives from 80 universities which train interpreters and the interpreting services from different EU and international organisations. The theme of the conference is 'Tradition & Innovation'; the delegates will discuss the impact of new technologies, trends and developments in interpretation, and the use of social media as a recruitment tool. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will open the event. Among those attending the conference will be the three finalists for the Leopoldo Costa Prize , an annual essay contest for students receiving a bursary from the Commission's Directorate-General for Interpretation. They are: Jane Welton (London Metropolitan University, UK), Petra Leontic (Zagreb University, Croatia) and Slav Stantchev (Sofia University, Bulgaria). The winner will be announced on 16 March. Conference programme , Webstreaming
Enregistrement de deux dénominations de produits agricoles
La Commission européenne a ajouté deux dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires à la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP). Il s'agit, pour l'Italie, de la viande provenant de porcs charcutiers de race "Cinta Senese" et pour la France, de la pomme de terre primeur "Béa du Roussillon". Ces deux dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste de plus de 1000 produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur l'internet à l'adresse: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_fr.htm
Commissioner Damanaki in Rome to discuss Common Fisheries Policy reform
Today in Rome, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, will be discussing the Commission proposals for a new Common Fisheries Policy with Fisheries Minister Mario Catania and with the Italian Parliament. On Friday, the Commissioner will meet Italian fishermen and industry representatives, as well as environmental and consumers' organisations, which are involved in the debate on the reform. In July 2011, the Commission adopted an ambitious package of proposals for a new fisheries policy for the EU. The objective of the new policy is to end overfishing and make fishing sustainable - environmentally, economically and socially. The new policy aims to bring fish stocks back to sustainable levels by setting fishing opportunities based on scientific advice; provide EU citizens with a stable, secure and healthy food supply for the long term; bring new prosperity to the fishing sector; end dependence on subsidies and create new opportunities for jobs and growth in coastal areas. Ahead of her visit, Commissioner Damanaki said: "Sustainability requires a collective effort and the active role of the sector is paramount. There can be no sustainable fishing in the Mediterranean without the active involvement of the Italian fishing industry."
Connie Hedegaard will be in Cyprus 15-16 March to meet government ministers in view of Cyprus' first Presidency of the Council
The meetings in Cyprus will cover preparations for the Cypriot presidency, including the Informal Environment Council to be held in Nicosia on 7-8 July. Talks will focus on domestic climate-related issues, discussions in Council of climate-related files, and preparation of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June and of the UNFCCC climate change conference in Qatar in November. Commissioner Hedegaard will be meeting with Mr Sofoclis Aletraris, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment and Mr Efthymios Flourentzou, Minister of Communications and Works. The visit will include meetings with the Environment Committee of the House of Representatives chaired by Mr Adamos Adamou. Commissioner Hedegaard will also meet with representatives of the maritime industry, non-governmental organisations and the winners of the bi-communal photography and video competition on environment and climate change, organised last year by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus.
Quarterly GDP growth in the G20 slowed to +0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with +0.9% in the third quarter, according to provisional results. In 2011 as a whole, G20 GDP rose by 2.8%, a marked deceleration compared with the +5.0% growth recorded in 2010.
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