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EXME 12 / 11.04

Midday Express of 2012-04-11

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Anti-Money Laundering: creating a modern EU framework capable of responding to new threats

Without effective rules to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, the soundness, integrity and stability of the financial system could be seriously compromised. The threats associated with money laundering and terrorist financing are constantly evolving, which requires periodic revision of the legal framework. In light of the recent adoption of revised international standards ( MEMO/12/113) and of the Commission's own review process, a report on the application of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive was adopted by the Commission today.

'Generation 1992': European Commission reaches out to young people with a creativity competition on the single market

Having grown up in a world where the free movement of people, goods, services and capital between the 27 countries of the European Union has always been a fact of life, young adults born in 1992 are in a unique position of being able to offer a fresh perspective on the European single market. For this reason, the European Commission is targeting this 'Generation 1992' with a creativity competition aimed at tapping into the views, experiences, insights and expectations of what the single market means to young Europeans today. The competition, which is being launched today, is open to all European citizens born between 1 January and 31 December 1992. Entrants can submit an original essay, video, photograph, cartoon or smart phone application and can chose to focus on one of four categories: education and citizenship; jobs and entrepreneurship; culture and leisure and consumers and environment.

Kroes warns on regulator independence and urges Italians to go digital to aid recovery

Vice President Neelie Kroes will today join the Italian ICT sector in urging Italians to go digital to aid national recovery, and will warn that national regulators need full independence. Kroes will say that "investing in Information and Communications Technology pays off: ICT offers a bigger return than most other capital investment," noting that broadband usage in Italy is 10 percentage points behind French and German levels, meaning Italy is missing out on an extra 1 to 1.5% of GDP. Meanwhile the ICT job market is booming. With a shortage of 700,000 ICT professionals expected by 2015, this is "huge opportunity for Italy and Italian youth because the share of Italian graduates studying computing is just a third of what it is in other big western European countries." Kroes will also argue that while "41% of Italian adults have never used the Internet, every Italian could benefit from the internet." For example, new e-Health services could help the one in three Italian adults who will be aged 65 or more in coming years. For its part the EU is working to complete the single market in electronic communications to deliver a €110 billion euro a year economic boost – Kroes will day Italy must plan to take its share of this jackpot. While Kroes will welcome the Monti Government's emphasis on the digital single market and smart cities, she will express her concern at recently passed legislation affecting the telecoms regulator AGCOM. "National regulators are independent and should have the powers and the discretion to take effective decisions. That is why I have concerns on the impact the recent Italian parliamentary amendment might have on the margin of discretion of the regulator's powers … I hope that we can find a swift means of resolving these concerns in a way that avoids ambiguity." SPEECH/12/259

CAP: Commission launches a call for tenders for an evaluation of EU organic farming legislation

The European Commission has launched a call for tenders for an evaluation of the EU organic farming legislation. The aim of this evaluation is to examine the relevance and effectiveness of the EU regulatory framework for organic farming. The evaluation will assess whether the scope of the legislation matches the needs of the organic sector and those of European consumers, and will analyse the adequacy of the production rules, control system and import regime applied to organic products under Council Regulation 834/2007. It will also assess whether the current legislation has contributed to a simplified administration and management of the measures applied to the various actors in the organic supply chain, and analyse consumer perceptions and attitudes towards organic farming and the European organic logo. The deadline for the submission of offers is 4 June 2012.

Details are available at


EU and US adopt blueprint for open and stable investment climates

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States Michael Froman agreed on an ambitious set of investment principles and openly invite other countries to follow suit. In the framework of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), the EU and the US have developed a blueprint for creating and maintaining stable, predictable and transparent investment regimes. The principles cover the elements which the EU and the US believe are necessary to attract long-term sustainable investment.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo: "European Commission report on the application of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive - Frequently asked questions"

Speech by Vice-President Kroes at the Italian Digital Agenda Annual Forum (Confindustria Digitale) in Rome: "Ingredients for ICT success in Italy" – UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 13:30 CET

Speech by Vice-President Kroes at the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities Annual Meeting in Rome: "Opening Science Through e‑Infrastructures"

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