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EXME 12 / 29.10
Midday Express of 2012-10-29
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Following the recent entry into force of the new Financial Regulation the Commission has adopted its new detailed Rules of application. The delivery of EU funds to businesses, NGOs, researchers, students, municipalities and other recipients will be improved as of 1 January 2013 thanks to simplified procedures. The new legislation increases transparency and introduces higher accountability for anyone dealing with EU finances. It includes wider possibilities to use lump sums and flat rates for smaller amounts, eliminates the need to fill in the same details every time you apply for EU funds and introduces on-line applications as well as many other new features.
Tomorrow, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will begin a two-day visit to Ghana. He will meet with the Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, and acknowledge the smooth political transition after the passing of the late President Atta Mills.
Between 2000 and 2011, the share in EU27 international trade in goods of the 19 partner countries taking part in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) increased steadily. From 2000 to 2011, the share of the ASEM partners in EU27 exports rose from 22% to 30%, and in imports from 36% to 44%. The EU27 registered a trade deficit with the ASEM partners during the whole period, growing from 174 billion euro in 2000 to a peak of 300 bn in 2008, before falling to 280 bn in 2011. On the occasion of the 9th ASEM Summit, which will take place on 5 and 6 November 2012 in Laos, Eurostat issues data on international trade in goods between the 27 Member States of the EU and the 19 partner countries taking part in ASEM.
Commissioner Hedegaard to visit Dublin on 30 October
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, will visit Dublin on 30 October for talks with Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan. The working lunch will focus on preparations for Ireland's presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2013. During her visit Commissioner Hedegaard will also have a meeting on EU climate policy with members of Parliament, industry representatives and non-governmental organisations, and will give a speech to students at Trinity College.
Plant Health: Experts endorse emergency measures to combat kiwi fruit bacteria outbreak
Emergency measures proposed by the Commission to tackle a harmful bacterium not native to Europe that attacks kiwi plant species were endorsed by the Standing Committee on Plant Health (SCPH). The kiwi fruit canker pathogen (Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae) is a plant disease which does not affect public health but attacks kiwi plants causing high losses to kiwi fruit production. This disease has been observed in some southern European countries (France, Italy, Portugal and Spain) causing concern over the future of kiwi fruit production. Italy is the biggest global producer of kiwi fruit (416.000 tonnes in 2010) and France, Spain, and Greece (who is so far free from the bacterium), rank amongst the world's top 10 producers of kiwi fruit (with 70.000 tonnes, 23.000 tonnes and 116.000 tonnes of kiwi fruit produced respectively in 2010). The new EU measures will apply from the date of their publication in the Official Journal in November 2012. They require that kiwi plants and pollen for pollination of kiwi's needs to come from countries or areas that are either bacteria free or that comply with strict requirements to protect against the spread of this disease. Member States will also be able to apply protected zones to bacteria free areas and carry out inspections to better map the extent of the disease. The measures will not apply to the trade of kiwi fruit as the bacterium is not transmitted through the fruit. EU financial assistance is available to Member States to implement their eradication campaigns. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/organisms/index_en.htm
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