|Reference: MEX/12/0824 Event Date: 24/08/2012|
EXME 12 / 24.08
Midday Express of 2012-08-24
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Strengthening social protection in the EU development cooperation
The Commission presented the first ever Commission Communication on social protection in international development. It outlines how future EU aid should work to help putting in place social protection policies and systems. Despite the recent growth in the world's economy, social protection still remains an unachieved goal for billions of people. Too often, the most vulnerable members of society (women, children, the disabled, the elderly, etc.) are left behind the creation of wealth. The lack of social protection represents a strong obstacle to the long-term and sustainable development of middle and low income countries. The Communication explains how EU development cooperation can support the strengthening of social protection policies and systems. It includes proposals such as supporting nationally-owned policies, introducing measures to support job creation and employment, bringing in the civil society and the private sector, and tackling the underlying causes of vulnerability – particularly those that affect women – to readdress the balance, but also sharing EU experience in the matter. These proposals have been made after a broad consultation process which over 250 stakeholders and 17 Member states took part in. They will be discussed by EU Development ministers and the European Parliament in the coming months. Link to the Communication: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/social-protection/documents/com_2012_446_en.pdf
In August 2012, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator declined markedly in both the EU (to -22.6 from -20.2 in July) and the euro area (to -24.6 from -21.5 in July).
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by the Dutch banks ABN AMRO, Rabobank and Friesland Bank together with the Icelandic bank Landsbanki of the Heiploeg Group, a Dutch supplier of shrimps. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the operation would not raise competition concerns because it will not significantly alter the market structure.
The European Commission today announced new funding for Azerbaijan to help reform the institutions responsible for bilateral relations with the EU; in particular those in the areas of justice and migration. This support will contribute to the implementation of the actions agreed in the context of the EU Azerbaijan Action Plan, including in streamlining the visa application process, which will help to increase mobility for Azerbaijani people.
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