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Midday Express of 2012-06-04

European Commission - MEX/12/0604   04/06/2012

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EXME 12 / 04.06

Midday Express of 2012-06-04

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Digital Agenda: new Regulation to enable cross-border electronic signatures to get more value out of electronic identification in Digital Single Market

The European Commission has proposed new rules to enable cross-border and secure electronic transactions in Europe. The proposed Regulation will ensure people and businesses can use their own national electronic identification schemes (e-IDs) to access public services in other EU countries where e-IDs are available. It also creates an internal market for e-Signatures and related online trust services across borders, by ensuring these services will work across borders and have the same legal status as traditional paper based processes. This will give full effect to the major potential savings of eProcurement.

Employment: Commission proposes €6.4 million from Globalisation Fund for Danish shipbuilding workers

The European Commission has today proposed to provide Denmark with €6.5m from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 550 redundant workers in the shipbuilding sector with their re-integration into the labour market. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for their approval.

Catherine Ashton visits Pakistan

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, travels this week to Pakistan for a series of high-level meetings. In Islamabad on 5 June, she will launch the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue - based on the EU-Pakistan Five-Year Engagement Plan - with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. During her visit, the High Representative will also meet the Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Waheed Arshad, leaders of the parliamentary opposition and, during a visit to Lahore on 6 June, the Governor of Punjab, Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa.

Commissioner Dalli and UEFA President Michel Platini agree ‘smoke-free’ EURO 2012 will score goals for Europe’s health

Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli and UEFA President, Michel Platini, today announce their joint support of tobacco-free sporting events to help promote a smoke-free Europe. UEFA's decision to ban tobacco from the world's third-biggest sporting event aligns with the European Commission’s ongoing efforts in tobacco cessation and control and sends a strong and inspirational message to men and women across Europe about the value of a life without tobacco.

The EU starts a visa liberalisation dialogue with Georgia

Today, the European Commission started a dialogue on visa liberalisation with Georgia. The aim of the dialogue is to examine all the relevant conditions for visa-free travel to the EU for Georgian citizens. In doing so, the EU is living up to its commitment to closer cooperation and increased mobility in a secure environment with its Eastern neighbours, including Georgia, as asserted in the Warsaw Declaration of the Eastern Partnership summit in September 2011.

State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Irish guarantee scheme for credit institutions

The European Commission has approved, until 31 December 2012, the prolongation of the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee scheme that allows the Irish authorities to grant state guarantees to credit institutions in Ireland. This scheme was initially approved on 20 November 2009 (see IP/09/1787) and prolonged in May 2010 (see MEX/10/0531), June 2010 (see IP/10/854), September 2010 (see IP/10/1154), November 2010 (see MEX/10/1110), June 2011 (see IP/11/673) and December 2011 ( MEX/11/1208). The Commission found the prolongation of the measure to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1495 and IP/11/1488). In particular, the prolonged measure is well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission, therefore, concluded that the scheme is compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), that allows to grant aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.

April 2012 compared with March 2012 - Industrial producer prices stable in both euro area and EU27.

In April 2012, compared with March 2012, the industrial producer price index remained stable in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU272. In March prices increased by 0.5% in both zones.In April 2012 compared with April 2011, industrial producer prices gained 2.6% in the euro area and 2.8% in the EU27.

Commissioners Hedegaard and Piebalgs in Malta

Today, 4 June, Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action, and Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development are in Malta to address the annual Eurelectric conference on new energy challenges. Commissioner Piebalgs will stress the importance of providing universal access to energy for development in Africa and other developing regions, which is in line with an "Agenda for Change" – new direction of EU development policy. He will furthermore discuss the necessary involvement of the private sector in order to provide electricity for the poor. Commissioner Hedegaard will emphasize that energy issues can only be fully developed in the context of a strategy that covers action in both fields - climate and energy - together. Commissioner Piebalgs will also meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta, Dr. Tonio Borg to discuss the EU development policy. Commissioner Hedegard will furthermore meet Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs the Hon. George Pullicino.

Public consultation launched on future of EU Fruit & vegetable rules

The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on the future of the EU regime for fruit and vegetables. The responses will feed into a Commission report on the regime next May which will look at the 2007 reform, with proposals for further changes if necessary, which would apply from 2014. To stimulate responses, the Commission has published a consultation paper and now invites comments and suggestions from consumers, producers, distributors, and official authorities. The deadline for contributions is 9 September 2012. This paper raises a range of issues, including: Strengthening competitiveness, in terms of productivity and capacity of finding new outlets for products; Improving resilience of the sector, in terms of ability of producers to adapt and react to unexpected developments and market crises; Ensuring Production sustainability and resource efficiency; Increasing the share of value added for producers in the fruit and vegetables supply chain, for instance by improving the bargaining power of producers; Raising consumption of fruit and vegetables (fresh and processed); Controlling EU budget expenditure; Simplifying management of the EU regime in the fruit and vegetables sector. Next year’s report will also look at how the sector has responded to the 2007, for example the extent to which participation in producer organisations has increased. EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development Dacian Cioloș stated today: "While the ongoing CAP reform debate refers to the horizontal policy framework covering all farmers across the EU, we must not neglect our sectoral rules as these provide additional rules and mechanisms for a particular sector which complement the horizontal framework. And this report is a good opportunity to consider where improvements can be made." For more information, and to participate in the consultation, see the following site: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/fruit-and-vegetables/policy/consultation/index_en.htm

Rediffusion

Grand Prix winners of EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards announced

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.

Commission approves acquisition of International Aero Engines by Pratt & Whitney

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control by Pratt & Whitney of the US, ultimately controlled by United Technologies Corporation, over the joint venture International Aero Engines AG of Switzerland, by purchasing all of Rolls-Royce plc shares in IAE. P&W is active in the design, manufacture and servicing of aircraft engines, industrial gas turbines, and space propulsion. IAE is a joint venture whose principal activity involves the design, production, and sale of an engine used in large commercial narrow-body. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

A clean and open Internet: public consultation on procedures for dealing with illegal content on the Internet

On 4 June 2012, the European Commission is launching a public consultation on procedures for notifying and acting on illegal content hosted by online intermediaries. "Notice-and-action'' procedures begin when someone notifies a hosting service provider – for instance a social network, an e-commerce platform or a company that hosts websites – about illegal content on the internet. Such content could be, for example, racist content, child abuse content or 'phishing' websites (fake internet banking websites). The procedures are concluded when a hosting service provider acts against the alleged illegal content. European law (the " E-commerce Directive ") provides a basis for the development of these procedures, but does not regulate them in detail. Stakeholders have indicated that these procedures should lead to a quicker takedown of illegal content, should better respect fundamental rights (in particular the freedom of expression) and should increase legal certainty for online intermediaries. The Commission wants to collect comments from all stakeholders on how this can best be achieved. The consultation will cover the issue of notification of illegal content: for example, should all hosting service providers put in place mechanisms to notify illegal content that are easy to find and easy to use? And if so, should illegal content be notified exclusively by such mechanisms? It will also cover the issue of acting on illegal content: for instance, should hosting service providers consult the providers of alleged illegal content? Should they provide feedback to notice providers? The deadline for sending contributions is 3 September 2012. The public consultation is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2012/clean-and-open-internet_en.htm

Communication on e-commerce and other online services:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011:0942:FIN:EN:PDF

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo "Electronic identification, signatures and trust services: Questions & Answers"

Memo "Statement by the EC, ECB, and IMF on the Fourth Review Mission to Portugal"

Memo "Statement by Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment, on lack of progress in Rio+20 negotiations" –rediffusion


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