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Midday Express of 2012-06-01

European Commission - MEX/12/0601   01/06/2012

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EXME 12 / 01.06

Midday Express of 2012-06-01

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

New report and survey give a snapshot of migration, asylum and free movement in the EU

Today, the Commission is publishing a Report on the 2011 developments in the areas of immigration and asylum, accompanied by a Eurobarometer on European citizens' attitudes towards cross-border mobility, migration and security. According to the survey, 8 out of 10 Europeans agree that EU Member States should offer protection and asylum to those in need and that rules for admitting asylum seekers should be the same across the EU. A large majority of Europeans (67%) think it is important to be able to travel within the EU without internal border controls.

European Commission appoints new Head of the Office in Cardiff

Today, Mr. David Hughes takes office as the Head of the Office of the European Commission in Cardiff. Mr. Hughes, currently Head of Sector at the Directorate General of Education and culture of the European Commission, brings to this new appointment over 17 years of experience in the Commission.

Structural funds: Commission approves major EU co-funded priority project in Greece

The European Commission today approved the allocation of €180.9 million to build a major trunk road to connect the Aktio area with the Western North-South Axis in Greece. This is part of the priority projects presented by the Commission last November in order to accelerate the return of growth in Greece, by investing structural funds.

EU-US security agreement allows more efficient air cargo operations

The European Commission and the U.S. Transport Security Administration (TSA) have agreed to recognise each other's air cargo security regimes from 1 June 2012 on. This recognition will eliminate duplication of security controls and the need to implement different regimes depending on the destination of air cargo. It will substantially cut cargo operators' costs and save time.

"Discrimination hampers development" – Commissioner Piebalgs launches a new initiative to fight discrimination in developing countries

EU Commissioner Piebalgs today unveiled the launch of a new €20 million package to help fight against any kind of discrimination - whether based on gender or sexual orientation, religion or belief, race or ethnic origin, or disability - which affects millions of people around the world.

State aid: Commission consults on draft Guidelines for broadband networks

The European Commission is inviting comments on the application of EU state aid rules to the public funding of broadband networks. The key issue for discussion is how to adapt the current Guidelines to the objectives of the EU Digital Agenda (see IP/10/581 and MEMO/10/199). In line with the Commission's state aid modernisation package (see IP/12/458), the proposed changes aim to ensure that state aid policy in the broadband sector focusses on facilitating well-designed aid targeted at market failures and objectives of common European interest, streamlining rules and taking faster decisions. Comments on the draft guidelines should be submitted by 3 September. On the basis of the comments received, the Commission intends to adopt definitive Broadband Guidelines in December 2012.

European Commission and UEFA launch "Consumer Tips" for fans travelling to EURO 2012

Today, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli and UEFA President, Michel Platini launch an EU–UEFA consumer information campaign to advise fans travelling to the EURO 2012 Championship. A website, opened today, accessible from the UEFA Euro 2012 homepage, and from many other websites - including those of the European Consumer Centres - offers tips on how best to prepare your trip and what to do if you have consumer problems when in (or back from) Poland. http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer/uefa_euro_2012/index_en.htm). The Europe Direct Contact Centre services will answer any on-line query on general EU consumer rights in 23 languages while a consumer Infoline in English – operated by the Polish consumer organisation Federacja Konsumentów – will provide legal support to those who run into consumer problems in Poland. Posters about these services will be displayed for the benefit of fans at popular hotels.

Grand Prix winners of EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards announced (EMBARGO 21:00 CET)

The names of the winners of the public choice award and six 'Grand Prix' laureates in the 2012 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards will be announced this evening at the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, in the presence of Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned tenor and President of Europa Nostra. The ceremony will be attended by an audience of 1200 people including Aníbal Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal, and Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias.

Kallas seeks to boost Eurasia rail transport connections

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, participated in the 7th rail business forum "Strategic Partnership 1520" in Sochi, Russia. Vice-President Kallas seized this opportunity to lead fruitful discussions on the way forward to boost East-West rail traffic towards Russia and China and to spur modal shift on these routes.

April 2012 - Euro area unemployment rate at 11.0% - EU27 at 10.3%

The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.0% in April 2012, stable compared with March. It was 9.9% in April 2011. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.3% in April 2012, compared with 10.2% in March. It was 9.5% in April 2011. Eurostat estimates that 24.667 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 17.405 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in April 2012. Compared with March 2012, the number of persons unemployed increased by 102 000 in the EU27 and by 110 000 in the euro area. Compared with April 2011, unemployment rose by 1.932 million in the EU27 and by 1.797 million in the euro area.

EU-Russia summit - Strong recovery of trade in goods between EU27 and Russia in 2011 - An EU27 deficit of 91 bn euro with Russia in 2011

Following a sharp fall in 2009, EU27 trade in goods with Russia grew strongly in 2010 and 2011 to reach record levels. EU27 exports to Russia fell from 105 billion euro in 2008 to 66 bn in 2009, then rose to 86 bn in 2010 and 108 bn in 2011. Imports decreased from 178 bn in 2008 to 118 bn in 2009, then increased to 160 bn in 2010 and 199 bn in 2011. As a result, the EU27 trade deficit with Russia rose from 52 bn in 2009 to 74 bn in 2010 and 91 bn in 2011. This increased deficit was due to EU27 imports of energy from Russia, which grew from 120 bn in 2010 to 158 bn in 2011, partially offset by EU27 exports of manufactured goods to Russia, which rose from 74 bn to 95 bn. In 2011, Russia was the EU27's third most important trading partner after the USA and China, accounting for 7% of EU27 exports and 12% of EU27 imports. On the occasion of the 29th European Union - Russia summit, which will take place on 3 and 4 June in St Petersburg in Russia, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, issues the latest data on trade and investments between Russia and the EU.

Commission set to boost inland waterway transport

Today the European Commission took a step towards a substantial revision of NAIADES, the action programme in support of inland waterway transport, running until 2013. This revision will focus on concrete actions that will help realise the potential of inland waterway transport and boost its contribution to sustainable and efficient transport. The revision of NAIADES action programme is expected to lead to the adoption of the NAIADES II communication foreseen in 2013. The Commission also invites authorities and bodies at national, EU and international level active in the field of inland navigation to find ways to streamline the activities and coordinate them with EU action to achieve maximum synergies for the benefit of the inland navigation sector. This could be reflected in the NAIADES II communication. Consultation meetings will be set up with the sector in order to discuss the implementation of the actions and roles that the various stakeholders can play. More information available at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/inland/promotion/naiades_en.htm

Commissioner Vassiliou visits Guimarães (Portugal) European Capital of Culture 2012

On 2-3 June, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will visit Guimarães (Portugal), this year's European Capital of Culture with Maribor (Slovenia). The Commissioner will be officially welcomed to the city by mayor António Magalhães and the President of the Guimarães Foundation, João Serra. Her visit starts with a presentation on 'Guimarães 2012' by executive director Carlos Martins, and the Commissioner will also open the 'Flatlund Edux' exhibition at the Vila Flor Cultural Centre and attend a performance by the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra. On 3 June, the Commissioner will visit the ASA Factory project and Campurbis/Design Institute, before participating in a conference addressing challenges and opportunities in funding of the arts and culture. Speaking ahead of her visit, Commissioner Vassiliou said: "As European Capital of Culture, Guimarães has increased its international profile and I am looking forward to discovering how the title has boosted the social, economic and urban transformation of the city. As many Capitals have demonstrated in the past, the title brings remarkable long-term benefits, jobs and growth." Commisioner Vassiliou is in Lisbon today (1 June) with Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned tenor and President of Europa Nostra, to host the 2012 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards . The ceremony, at the Jerónimos Monastery, will be attended by 1200 people including Aníbal Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal, and Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias (see IP/12/551). The Commissioner returns to Lisbon on 4 June for meetings with Nuno Crato, Minister for Education and Science, João Queiró, Secretary of State for Higher Education, and Isabel Leite, Secretary of State for Basic and Secondary Education, as well as Francisco José Viegas, Secretary of State for Culture. The focus of their discussions will be 'Erasmus for All' , the proposed new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, and 'Creative Europe' , which encompasses the existing Culture and MEDIA programmes together with a new loan guarantee scheme for the cultural and creative sectors. To find out more: Guimarães European Capital of Culture ; DG Education and Culture ; Commissioner Vassiliou's website ; Twitter @VassiliouEU

Rediffusion

EU-Russia Summit (St Petersburg, 3-4 June 2012)

The next European Union–Russia Summit will take place on 3 and 4 June in St Petersburg. The EU will be represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger will also take part. Russia will be represented by President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and several other Russian ministers.

Aides d'Etat: La Commission étend la procedure formelle d'investigation du plan de résolution ordonnée du groupe Dexia et approuve temporairement la prolongation des garanties sur le refinancement de Dexia SA et DCL

La Commission a décidé d'étendre sa procédure formelle d'investigation de Dexia et de sa filiale, Dexia Crédit Local (DCL) afin d'examiner formellement le plan de résolution ordonnée du groupe Dexia soumis par la Belgique, la France et le Luxembourg les 21 et 22 mars 2012. Elle a également invité les trois Etats Membres à commenter la participation d'Arcofin à la recapitalisation de Dexia SA qui a eu lieu en octobre 2008. Par ailleurs, dans une décision séparée, la Commission a décidé d'approuver la prolongation jusqu'au 30 septembre 2012 de la garantie des trois Etats Membres sur Dexia SA et DCL couvrant les besoins de financement du groupe.

Discrimination hampers development" – Commissioner Piebalgs launches a new initiative to fight discrimination in developing countries

EU Commissioner Piebalgs today unveiled the launch of a new €20 million package to help fight against any kind of discrimination - whether based on gender or sexual orientation, religion or belief, race or ethnic origin, or disability - which affects millions of people around the world.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo "EU-RUSSIA SUMMIT (St Petersburg, 3/4 June 2012)" – rediffusion

Memo "Financial assistance to non-EU countries in the area of migration and mobility"

Memo "EU-US security agreement allows cheaper and faster air cargo operations"

Memo "State aid: Commission revises Guidelines for funding broadband networks – frequently asked questions"

Memo "State aid: Overview of decisions and on-going in-depth investigations in the context of the financial crisis"

Memo "Frequently Asked Questions: European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/ Europa Nostra Awards"

Speech by Commissioner Damanaki: "Making Regional Fisheries Management Organisations fit for the future"

Speech by Vice-President Olli Rehn: "Action for Growth Stability and Jobs" - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Michel Barnier, "Insurance reforms: putting the European economy back on the path towards sustainable growth"

Speech by Commissioner Malmström: "The way forward for the Family Reunification Directive" - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Malmström: "Public-private cooperation in the fight against cybercrime" - rediffusion

Top News from the European Commission

Calendrier hebdomadaire du 4 au 10 juin 2012


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