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EXME 12 / 08.11
Midday Express of 2012-11-08
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
With 12 million sector-related jobs the automotive industry is vital for Europe's prosperity and job creation. The EU needs to maintain a world-class car industry, producing the most energy efficient and safe vehicles globally and providing high-skilled jobs to millions. To make this happen, the European Commission tabled today the CARS 2020 Action Plan aimed at reinforcing this industry's competitiveness and sustainability heading towards 2020.
Today, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, announces a new €42 million programme during a meeting with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner. The new EU funding will contribute to halving maternal mortality rate to 375 per 100,000 live births from the current level of 770 per 100,000 (one of the highest in the world). These funds will be used for rehabilitating health centres, providing medical equipment, training health staff and many other activities aimed at improving health services in the country. This EU funding is part of the EU's €1 billion MDG initiative to foster global progress on the Millennium Development Goals before 2015.
The European Commission announced today the launching of a new civil protection programme in the Mediterranean region, building on the achievements of the successful Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters (PPRD).
In response to serious damages caused by Hurricane Sandy, the European has released €6 million to bring immediate relief to the most vulnerable population severely affected by the hurricane in the Caribbean.
Registration of six food names as protected denominations
The European Commission has added six denominations of agricultural and food products to the list of protected denominations of origin (PDOs) and protected geographical indications (PGIs). These are, for Germany, asparagus from the Abensberg region, " Abensberger Spargel / Abensberger Qualitätsspargel " (PGI) ; for Italy, cherries " Ciliegia di Vignola (PGI) ; for Portugal, goat meat (of the Serpentina breed), Cabrito do Alentejo (PGI) as well as sheep meat (of the Churra Galega Mirandesa breed), " Cordeiro Mirandês / Canhono Mirandês " (PDO) ; for the UK, queen scallops from Isle of Man waters, Isle of Man Queenies(PDO) and for Slovenia, " Kraška panceta " (PGI), a traditional dried pork meat product. These denominations have been added to the list of more than 1,000 products already protected by the legislation on protection of geographical indications, denominations of origin and traditional specialties. More information on quality products as well as the list of protected denominations are available at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_en.htm
The short-term outlook for the EU economy remains fragile, but a gradual return to GDP growth is projected for 2013, with further strengthening in 2014. On an annual basis, GDP is set to contract by 0.3% in the EU and 0.4% in the euro area in 2012. GDP growth for 2013 is projected at 0.4% in the EU and 0.1% in the euro area. Unemployment in the EU is expected to remain very high.
The Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative, which aims to improve capital market financing of infrastructure, passed its final approval stage today. Following signature of a Cooperation Agreement between the European Commission and European Investment Bank, clarifying risk sharing, the pilot phase of the project bond initiative is ready for roll-out.
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