|Reference: MEX/12/0618 Event Date: 18/06/2012|
EXME 12 / 18.06
Midday Express of 2012-06-18
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Europe's citizens, businesses and innovato r s are generating enough digital demand to put Europe into sustainable economic growth, but failure to supply enough fast internet, online content, research and relevant skills is undermining this potential. Greater data consumption and a shift to mobile technologies (such as smartphones) and mobile services (such as 3G internet, music streaming and webmail) are the most significant trends in the information & communications technologies (ICT) sector, which now accounts for 8 million jobs and 6% of EU GDP.
The European Commission has today proposed to provide Spain with €1.3 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 320 redundant workers in the construction 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.
The European Commission has made legally binding commitments offered by Siemens AG and Areva SA to reduce the product scope and duration of a non-compete obligation in the market for nuclear technologies. The Commission had concerns that the non-compete obligation might prevent competition, in breach of EU antitrust rules. After market testing the commitments offered by Siemens and Areva (see IP/12/243), the Commission is satisfied that they address its concerns and has closed its investigation.
Between 18 and 22 June 2012, an estimated 150,000 people across Europe will discuss energy efficiency and renewables during the seventh edition of the EU Sustainable Energy Week. The European Commission is organising a high-level policy conference in Brussels which would allow for a first public debate on the issue of investing in higher energy efficiencies and a wider use of renewable energy sources.
In 2010, energy from renewable sources was estimated to have contributed 12.4% of gross final energy consumption in the EU27, compared with 11.7% in 2009 and 10.5% in 2008. The 2009 Directive on renewable energy set individual targets for all Member States, such that the EU will reach a 20% share of total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. These targets take into account the Member States' different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance.
Plant Health: New emergency measures against pine wood nematode approved
On Friday afternoon, the Standing Committee on Plant Health approved the draft Commission Decision on emergency measures against the pine wood nematode (PWN) – a worm that affects pine trees and causes widespread damage to Europe's forests and economy. New measures which will apply to all Member States include the immediate elimination of all coniferous trees in the infested area and the demarcation of a much larger area with strict conditions for intensive monitoring, removal of all declining trees and heat treatment of all coniferous wood leaving that area. The aim is twofold: 1) to better ensure that the current outbreak remains confined to Portugal and 2) to provide a detailed legal framework for full eradication in case of outbreaks in other Member States. Effective control of PWN is important to protect Europe's pine forests. PWN, which threatens 13 million hectares of coniferous forests in southern Europe, carries with it a potential economic loss of up to 49 billion € annually due to loss of revenue from forestry. The Commission has committed 38.4 million € to co-finance the implementation of mandatory measures approved today. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/organisms/index_en.htm
Vice-President Kallas, EU Commissioner responsible for Transport, has today provided the European Parliament and Council with an interpretation of the Directive on weights and dimensions of road vehicles1 and the conditions to be met when adjacent Member States wish to authorise longer trucks to cross the border between them.
Autre matériel diffusé :
Memo "Joint statement by EU High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the appointment of the new Secretary-General of the Regional Cooperation Council" - rediffusion