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EXME 12 / 05.10
Midday Express of 2012-10-05
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Brussels, 5 October 2012 - The European Commission is organising its sixth Brussels Job Day in the Commission's Berlaymont headquarters on 6th October. The event, which is one of the many Job Days organised throughout Europe, aims to showcase opportunities for jobseekers to link up with companies throughout the EU that want to recruit people, notably through the EURES network. Jobseekers will be able to meet face to face and connect online with advisers from the EURES network to find out more about opportunities to live and work in another EU country.
The biggest annual event in the world of regional and urban policy marks its 10th anniversary at a critical time. Talks on the EU budget are entering their final, crucial phase and major reforms of how the structural funds operate are on the table. More than 6,000 regional representatives from around Europe will join the call for a strong Regional Policy with a budget to match.
Insolvencies lead to the loss of 450,000 jobs in the EU and outstanding annual debts of €23.6 billion. 57% of businesses in Europe claim to have problems with liquidity due to late payments, an increase of 10% since last year. Every day across Europe, dozens of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) go bankrupt as their invoices are not paid. To end this damaging culture of late payment in Europe, European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani launched today in Rome an information campaign across all 27 EU Member States and Croatia, to encourage speedy incorporation of the Late Payment Directive into national law, even before the absolute deadline on 16th March 2013. Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment in commercial transactions is the EU’s tool to combat overdue payments. The Campaign puts particular importance on ensuring that SMEs know the new rights conferred by the directive and how to exercise these rights.
Sixteen European countries have reduced or frozen teachers' salaries in response to the economic downturn. Teachers in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Slovenia are the worst affected by budget restrictions and austerity measures, according to a report published by the European Commission to coincide with World Teachers' Day . Teachers' salaries in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Croatia and Liechtenstein have fallen slightly or stayed the same. However, the Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe 2011/12 report also shows that in four countries, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Iceland, teachers' salaries have increased since mid-2010, while pay in Romania is now almost back to pre-crisis levels.
According to the latest Labour Force Survey, almost 70% of employed persons (which includes both employees and self-employed) in the EU27 worked within the service sector in 2011, compared with 62% in 2000. Market services, such as trade, transportation, financial activities etc. accounted for 39% of persons employed in 2011, while mainly non-market services, such as public administration, education, health etc. accounted for 30%. The industry and construction sector accounted for 25% and agriculture for 5%.
Ministers to discuss potential for 'Blue Growth' in marine and maritime economy
On 7 and 8 October in Cyprus, Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, and Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, will represent the European Commission at the ministerial meeting organised by the Cypriot Presidency on the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy. This policy is among the priorities of the Cypriot Presidency and during the meeting, the Presidency is aiming to adopt the 'Limassol Declaration' on the future development of the policy and its contribution to creating growth and jobs. It is expected that the Declaration will be based on the Commission's recently adopted 'Blue Growth' initiative on opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth ( IP/12/955). Here the Commission sets out how maritime economic sectors can contribute to creating growth and jobs to back the Europe 2020 strategy. It focuses on action in selected, promising maritime sectors with the greatest potential: marine renewable energy, aquaculture, blue biotechnology, coastal tourism and sea bed mining. The Cyprus meeting will convene EU ministers in charge of maritime affairs and will be attended by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias. The EU Integrated Maritime Policy, created in 2007, aims at facilitating the cooperation of all maritime players across sectors and across borders for an environmentally sound development of the European maritime economy. More information at http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/blue_growth/index_en.htm and on Conference website: http://www.cy2012.eu/index.php/en/political-calendar/areas/transport-telecommunications-energy/informal-ministerial-meeting-on-eu-integrated-maritime-policy
Climate action: Commission teams up with businesses, environment groups and universities to promote climate solutions
On Monday 8 October Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, will launch a pan-European communication campaign on climate change solutions under the slogan A world you like. With a climate you like. The launch event, Visions for a world you like, will be held at London's City Hall. Citizens and partners in the campaign will join Commissioner Hedegaard, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey and other speakers to kick off the debate on solutions to climate change. The event will be streamed live on the campaign's Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/EUClimateAction) from 1100 Brussels time. Comments and questions can be submitted on Twitter at #worldulike.
The standards of safety of nuclear power plants in Europe are generally high but further improvements in the safety features of almost all European nuclear power plants are recommended. Nevertheless national safety authorities came to the conclusion that no closure of Nuclear Power Plants was warranted. This is the main message of today's European Commission communication on results of the nuclear stress tests. These tests have established that not all safety standards promoted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and not all international best practices are applied in all Member States. The Commission will follow closely the implementation of the recommendations and will at the same time propose legislative measures to further enhance nuclear safety in Europe.
Günther Oettinger said: "I strongly welcome the positive Council vote today on the Energy Efficiency Directive. The most important phase of the process – the implementation – will start soon. I call upon Member States and stakeholders for extra efforts to bring its provisions into life. The Commission also remains dedicated and committed to continue its support to the process.''
Günther Oettinger said: "This is a first pragmatic step to increase transparency on intergovernmental agreements in the energy field. It will help increase compliance and consistency with the EU legislation. It will also help provide legal certainty for investment decisions often underpinned by intergovernmental agreements and enhance the negotiating position of Member States. We will closely monitor the effectiveness of the legislation and continue to encourage a more ambitious approach, reflecting the EU's energy challenges and objectives."
The European Commission welcomes today's ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that finds that, by granting reduced fares on public transport only to students whose parents are in receipt of Austrian family allowances, Austria was in breach of the principle of equal treatment for EU citizens.
European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, today welcomed the final adoption of a new European law which will improve rights for an estimated 75 million crime victims across the EU each year. The EU directive on victims' rights was adopted today by the Council of Ministers, following an overwhelming majority vote (611 for, 9 against and 13 abstentions) by the European Parliament endorsing the new rules ( MEMO/12/659). The new EU directive sets out minimum rights for victims, wherever they are in the EU (see IP/11/585).
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