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EXME 12 / 23.07

Midday Express of 2012-07-23

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Europe responds to the acute humanitarian needs in Syria

The European Commission is doubling its aid for emergency medical care, shelter, food and water to those Syrians most affected by the ever-worsening crisis, both inside and outside the country. An additional €20 million of relief aid will bring the European Commission's total assistance in this crisis to €63 million (€40 million in humanitarian aid and € 23in complementary assistance to support livelihoods). The EU Member States have contributed to date € 27.5 million in humanitarian aid.

Digital Agenda: Commission opens public consultation on preservation of the open internet (net neutrality)

The European Commission is today launching a public consultation seeking answers to questions on transparency, switching and certain aspects of internet traffic management, with a view to its commitment to preserve the open and neutral character of the Internet.

Digital Agenda – Commission consults on a future EU Network and Information Security legislative initiative

The European Commission is seeking the views of governments, businesses, citizens about their experiences and EU possible responses to cyber incidents which cause disruption to essential Network and Information Systems (NIS), including the internet.

Digital Agenda - Commission seeks information from four Member States on their implementation of Audiovisual Media Services Directive

The European Commission has written to Portugal, Slovenia, Finland (concerning the autonomous region of Åland) and the United Kingdom (concerning the British overseas territory Gibraltar) seeking information about their implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive. The Commission has asked the responsible authorities to reply within 10 weeks. The fact-finding letters are part of the Commission's efforts to ensure that the national media laws of all Member States correctly implement all aspects of the AVMS rules. The requests for information do not imply that the Directive has been incorrectly implemented but simply that, at this stage, the Commission has some outstanding questions concerning their implementation of the Directive.

European Commission publishes key consumer tips for visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games

Visitors to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will no doubt want to purchase many attractive goods and use all different kinds of services. It is useful for them to know that the EU has strict rules in place to protect the rights of consumers on its territory. Yet having rights is one thing; knowing them and knowing how to use them is quite another business. The European Commission is aware of the challenges which sport fans may face when attending the biggest sporting event on the planet. To make life easier for them, the Commission has put together a webpage with key consumer tips on how to plan a successful, stress-free trip to the Olympics – and avoid consumer hassle with travel, accommodation or shopping. This page offers essential, hands-on information and links to services that can help visitors in case of a problem. Top tips include: check the special webpages of the UK European Consumer Centre to avoid any accommodation pitfalls that may arise; while departing from a EU airport, you are protected by EU passenger rights in case of delays, cancellations or denied boarding; goods purchased on the EU territory are submitted to a legal guarantee: the seller must repair or replace faulty products free of charge. If that is not possible within reasonable time or without inconvenience, you may ask for a refund or a price reduction; consult our website or write via web request for any consumer-related problems you encounter; citizens from the European Economic Area and Switzerland should get from their social security a European Health Insurance Card to access state healthcare in the UK at reduced fees or for free. If you are from another part of the World, travel insurance is advisable. The Commission also thought it worthwhile to make visitors from around the globe familiar with our successful EU-wide emergency number, the 112. This webpage of tips ( is established in partnership with Europe Direct, the Commission information service, the UK Citizens’ advice bureau and the Network of European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net).

First quarter 2012 compared with fourth quarter 2011 - Euro area government debt up to 88.2% of GDP and EU27 up to 83.4%

At the end of the first quarter of 2012, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA17) stood at 88.2%, compared with 87.3% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011. In the EU27 the ratio increased from 82.5% to 83.4%. Compared with the first quarter of 2011, the government debt to GDP ratio rose in both the euro area (from 86.2% to 88.2%) and the EU27 (from 80.4% to 83.4%).

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