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EXME 12 / 15.06
Midday Express of 2012-06-15
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The discussion on the global economy and on a framework for growth will be high on the agenda of the G20 Summit, which will be held on 18 and 19 June in Los Cabos, Mexico.
The next European Union–Mexico Summit will take place on 17 June in Los Cabos, Mexico, in the margins of the G20 Summit hosted by the Mexican Presidency. The EU will be represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, accompanied by EEAS Secretary General Pierre Vimont. Mexico will be represented by President Felipe Calderon, accompanied by Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa.
Today the Commission launches the search to find the city that will win the European Green Capital title in 2015. The European Green Capital Award recognises cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living and which can act as role-models to inspire other cities. The annual award is intended to spur European cities to become more attractive and healthy places – “fit for life”.
On the occasion of the fourth meeting of the European SME envoys held in Malta today, European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani announced a series of new initiatives and planned actions to improve access of SMEs to finance, to boost entrepreneurship and to go international. To facilitate access to finance, the European Commission published today a practical guide providing information on how to access over €50 billion of public finance in the 27 Member States. Secondly the Commission launched a European wide training campaign for the Enterprise Europe Network to help SMEs get access to finance. SMEs can contact one of 600 Enterprise Europe Network partners, who will be able to provide information on EU and national sources of finance. Thirdly the Commission published today a call for proposals to select new IPR Helpdesks in the ASEAN and MERCOSUR countries to help European SMEs to expand their activities to these regions. Vice President Tajani will also discuss with the SME envoys possible elements for an entrepreneurship action plan which Mr Tajani aims to table after the summer break to encourage the creation of new businesses and jobs. The plan intends to address obstacles, which hinder would-be entrepreneurs to set up their own business. It will also include measures to make the option of becoming his or her own boss a more widespread option.
Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, today formally launches an important new project which will bring China and the European Union together to collaborate on disaster risk management.
The number of persons employed decreased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA17) and remained stable in the EU27 in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the fourth quarter of 2011, employment fell by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU27. These figures are seasonally adjusted. The largest fall in employment was recorded in construction (-1.3% in the euro area and -0.8% in the EU27) and the highest increase in information & communication (+1.0% and +1.3% respectively).Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment fell by 0.5% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU27 in the first quarter of 2012.Eurostat estimates that, in the first quarter of 2012, 222.9 million men and women were employed in the EU27, of which 146.1 million in the euro area. These figures are seasonally adjusted. These quarterly data on employment provide a picture of labour input consistent with the output and income measure of national accounts.
The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in April 2012 gave a 5.2 bn euro surplus, compared with -4.5 bn in April 2011. The March 2012 balance was +7.5 bn, compared with +0.9 bn in March 2011. In April 2012 compared with March 2012, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.3% and imports by 3.0%. The first estimate for the April 2012 extra-EU27 trade in goods balance was a 12.0 bn euro deficit, compared with -17.2 bn in April 2011. In March 20122 the balance was -7.3 bn, compared with -13.1 bn in March 2011. In April 2012 compared with March 2012, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.8% and imports by 2.2%. (for more information: STAT/12/92 - E. Traynor - Tel. +32 229 21548 - Mobile +32 498 98 3871)
Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, releases today the publication "Figures for the Future – 20 years of sustainable development in Europe? A guide for citizens", in connection with the Rio+20 summit, the United Nations conference on sustainable development which will take place on 20-22 June 2012. This publication of 160 pages presents 70 of the EU Sustainable Development Indicators3 (SDIs) which are used to measure and monitor the EU Sustainable Development Strategy4, in a new and easy-to-understand style.
Joint declaration of EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries on Rio+20
Today, at the EU-ACP Ministerial meeting in Vanuatu, Ministers of the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries agreed on a joint declaration ahead of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. The EU is represented by the EU Danish Presidency, with Mr Christian Friis Bach, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs and the European Commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs. Commissioner Piebalgs stated: "This joint statement is a very positive signal that the EU and the ACP countries have many converging views and share the objective of a sustainable development of the planet". Both parties reaffirmed their "strong belief that the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is a unique opportunity to ensure a renewed political and international commitment for advancing the sustainable development agenda based on the assessment of progress, in the fulfilment of those commitments made to date as well as on new and emerging challenges". They also "acknowledge that a global transition to an all inclusive green economy could contribute to achieving sustainable development through inter alia, poverty alleviation, increased employment, improved land management, forest conservation, enhanced food security, improved management of water resources, resource efficiency and increased access to sustainable energy, while integrating and building on the value of natural capital and thus sustaining environmental resources and ecological services essential for development". To read the whole declaration: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm
Quality agricultural products: Chinese vinegar receives protected status in the EU
The term " 镇江香醋 (Zhenjiang Xiang Cu)" has been formally registered as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for a Chinese vinegar. It has been added to the more than 1000 names of agricultural products and foodstuffs (among them 9 non-EU products) protected as PGI or PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). It is the seventh Chinese name of a product receiving the protected status, after the garlic Jinxiang Da Suan (PGI), the green tea Longjing cha (PDO), the fruit Guanxi Mi You (PDO), the apple Shaanxi ping guo (PDO), the yam Lixian Ma Shan Yao (PGI) and the pastas Longkou Fen Sia garlic (PGI). For more information on the European system for geographical indications, see at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_en.htm
Enregistrement d'une dénomination de produit agricole
La Commission européenne a ajouté une dénomination à la liste des indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit, pour la Slovénie, du jambon "Kraški pršut". Cette dénomination s'ajoute 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
Animal Health: EFSA Report findings back Commission's stance on Schmallenberg virus
A report published yesterday by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) adds to the knowledge base on the evolution and impact of the Schmallenberg virus (SBV) on animal health in the EU. It supports a balanced approach to SBV and call for careful consideration of the context before placing trade restrictions due to the virus. he EFSA report demonstrates a clear decline in the number of sick animals after February 2012. This is the third in a series of reports produced by EFSA, following the Commission's request for scientific advice. The report should be of major interest to all third countries following the evolution of the SBV situation in the EU. The Commission is encouraged to note that the findings of this Report support the position taken by the Commission and the EU Member States on SBV. EFSA's assessment together with the outcome of the World Organisation for Animal Health's (OIE) 2012 World Assembly that took place on 20-25 May confirms the Commission's view that trade restrictions applied by third countries on imports in live ruminants and their genetic material from the EU are disproportionate and unjustified. Other initiatives taken at EU level in collaboration with Member States are the co-financing of scientific studies to gather more information of this relatively new infection, and a series of multi-lateral and bi-lateral talks with our global trading partners to lessen the impact of SBV on trade. The EFSA Report is available at: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/2768.pdf . For more information on EU position on Schmallenberg virus: http://ec.europa.eu/food/sbv . Coordinated position of EU Chief Veterinary Officers: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/schmallenberg_virus/docs/statement_cvo_june_en.pdf
The Commissioner for Research and Innovation to visit Slovakia
European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will visit Slovakia on Monday for the first time since the country's new government took office in April. Slovakia has one of the lowest levels of R&D spending in the European Union but has ambitions to raise that. As well as meeting Dušan Čaplovič, the new Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport, the commissioner will speak at the annual meeting of the Slovak research and development funding agency (APVV) and at a conference on the Europe 2020 strategy. Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič will also participate at both events, delivering the opening speech at the Europe 2020 conference, and highlighting cohesion policy and opportunities for smart growth in Slovakia at the APVV meeting.
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