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EXME 12 / 31.10

Midday Express of 2012-10-31

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Cars safer from 1 November 2012

Europe takes a major step forward in vehicle safety on 1 November 2012 as a basket of new safety requirements for new types of motor vehicles comes into force. Measures which become mandatory include safety belt reminders, safety requirements for electric vehicles, easier child seat anchorages (ISOFIX), better protection of passengers against the displacement of luggage in case of the accident and tyre pressure monitoring system. In addition, cars will be also equipped with gear shift indicators to help drivers save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. These new features are required under the General Safety Regulation, adopted in 2009. This one regulation replaced more than 50 directives without weakening any safety standard. It thus constitutes a sweeping simplification of European legislation and reduction of regulatory and administrative burden for the vehicle industry.

The EU publishes revised preferential import scheme for developing countries

The EU has issued today its revised import preference scheme - known as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) - for developing countries most in need which will take effect from 1 January 2014. Following agreement with the Council and European Parliament, today's publication contains the specific tariff preferences granted under the GSP in the form of reduced or zero tariff rates and the final criteria for which developing countries will benefit. The new scheme will be focused on fewer beneficiaries (89 countries) to ensure more impact on countries most in need.

Euro area inflation estimated at 2.5% in October 2012

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 2.5% in October 2012, down from 2.6% in September, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, energy (7.8% compared with 9.1% in September) is expected to have the highest annual rate in October, followed by food, alcohol & tobacco (3.2% compared with 2.9%), services (1.8% compared with 1.7%) and non-energy industrial goods (1.1% compared with 1.2%).

Euro area unemployment rate at 11.6% and EU27 at 10.6% in September 2012

The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.6% in September 2012, up from 11.5% in August. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.6% in September 2012, stable compared with August. In both zones, rates have risen significantly compared with September 2011, when they were 10.3% and 9.8% respectively. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Eurostat estimates that 25.751 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 18.490 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in September 2012. Compared with August 2012, the number of persons unemployed increased by 169 000 in the EU27 and by 146 000 in the euro area. Compared with September 2011, unemployment rose by 2.145 million in the EU27 and by 2.174 million in the euro area.

Commissioner Vassiliou attends EuroMed 2012 conference on cultural heritage

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will highlight the importance of EU investment in research and technology when she addresses the EuroMed 2012 conference in Limassol (Cyprus) on 1 November. The event focuses on the impact of technology and innovation in the protection, restoration, preservation, digitization and presentation of cultural heritage. "The EU's Marie Curie researchers contribute greatly to the preservation of European heritage and this is not always sufficiently recognised," said the Commissioner." EuroMed 2012 is also an opportunity to raise awareness among decision-makers and the public about the value of cultural heritage for society and the European economy. We have a shared responsibility to protect it for future generations. Cultural heritage is a priority for our Culture Programme and the future Creative Europe programme. It is vital that we also continue to invest seriously in the Marie Curie Actions through the new Horizon 2020 programme and that the link between heritage, jobs and growth is fully recognised in the new generation of cohesion policy funds," she added. To find out more: The Euromed 2012 Conference , Marie Curie Actions , DG Education and Culture ; Commissioner Vassiliou's website , Twitter @VassiliouEU

Enregistrement de trois dénominations de produits agricoles

La Commission européenne a ajouté trois dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires à la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et des indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit, pour l'Allemagne, des cônes de houblon séchés et produits dérivés " Spalt Spalter " (AOP) et de la carpe miroir " Fränkischer Karpfen / Frankenkarpfen / Karpfen aus Franken " (carpe de Franconie, IGP) et pour l'Espagne, des pommes de terre issues des variétés cultivées dans les îles Canaries " Papas Antiguas de Canarias " (AOP). Ces dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste de plus de 1000 produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur l'internet à l'adresse:

New EU tyres labelling – Saving fuel and money with better tyres

As from 1 November 2012, the EU regulation on labelling of tyres will apply. The new label, displaying information on three essential aspects of the performance of a tyre (fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise) by way of clear and easy-to-understand pictograms, will help consumers make informed choices when buying tyres. Similar to the well-known energy label for household appliances it ranks product performance on a scale from G (bad) to A (best). As tyres account for 20 % to 30 % of the fuel consumption of vehicles, choosing a tyre rated ‘A’ for its energy efficiency can help you make fuel cost savings in the range of €170-€230 per year compared to the least performing model. When taking into account the higher price of ‘A’ class tyres compared to ‘G’ class (€240-€320 for a set of four) break-even point is reached in the course of the second year following your purchase, i.e. well before the end of life of high-quality tyres. The new label helps saving energy in a sector dominated by a single fossil fuel and marked by its high CO2 emissions, making road transport cleaner while reducing our dependency on imported oil. Informed consumers going for better quality in tyres are likely to encourage manufacturers to optimise the three tyre parameters. This will increase competitiveness of the industry and pave the way for more sustainable consumption and production. Learn more about the labelling scheme and download a Q&A here:

Commission clears creation of oil and gas exploration joint venture

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed creation of a Kazakh joint venture by Hungarian company MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc and Kazakh company JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production. The joint venture's purpose will be to explore for oil and gas within the North Karpovsky block in Kazakhstan. KMG EP and MOL are both active in oil and gas exploration and production and related activities in different regions of the world. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission clears the creation of a JV between SK Innovation and Continental AG

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by SK Innovation Co. Ltd. of the Republic of Korea and Continental AG of Germany, of joint control of newly created joint venture SK Continental E-Motion Pte Ltd.. SK is mainly active in petroleum exploration and the production, development and manufacture of materials for electronic products and of batteries for automotive and energy storage applications. Continental is a supplier of the automotive industry active internationally. SK Continental E-Motion of Singapore will develop, produce and sell Li-ion battery systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo "More benefits from preferential trade tariffs for countries most in need: Reform of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences"

Memo "Statement by Kristalina Georgieva, European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response on the effects of Hurricane Sandy" – rediffusion

Discours du Commissaire Barnier au VIIème Forum sur l'innovation et la recherche à Paris: "Mettre l'Europe au service de la compétitivité et de l'innovation" - rediffusion

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