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EXME 13 / 21.02
Midday Express of 2013-02-21
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Commission has granted temporary approval to France, under the EU state aid rules, to provide Crédit Immobilier de France (CIF) with a €18 billion state guarantee. This guarantee is necessary to cover CIF's urgent liquidity needs and to give it time to draw up a restructuring or orderly resolution plan, which France undertook to submit to the Commission within six months from the date of the temporary approval decision.
In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions covering many sectors aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken today 151 decisions, including 15 reasoned opinions and 13 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice, out of which 2 include financial penalties. A summary of the main decisions can be found in the MEMO/13/122 . On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12 .
Commissioner Andor - Fighting poverty and preserving democracy through social investment
"In most Member States the poor are getting poorer, wage inequalities are growing and the risk of exclusion is increasing. These phenomena run counter to European values of fairness and dignity, but also pose a threat to democracy. To meet these challenges, the European social model must adapt". This is the key message that László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion is delivering today at the Council of Europe Conference on Poverty and Inequalities in Societies of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Andor highlighted the Social Investment Package adopted by the European Commission on 20 February 2013, which provides guidance to Member States to secure more participation in employment, more effective social spending and fairer taxation to help offset inequality and fight poverty across Europe. "We must take into account the human and social implications when deciding measures for fiscal consolidation and growth. Social investment is a win-win situation from which European societies' and citizens can benefit", Andor concludes. See SPEECH/13/148
High Level Steering Board of European Innovation Partnership "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability" meets for the first time
The European Commission is today bringing together experts to advise a new partnership in agriculture research and innovation. The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability" (EIP) was set up to help meet the challenges of food security, sustainable resource management and environment preservation. The EIP aims to ensure faster transfer of innovative research results from science into practice, encourages the sharing of knowledge and experience, and will help provide more systematic feedback to the scientific community about what research is needed. The High Level Steering Board that meets today is co-chaired by Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş and Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. The Board brings together 42 members, including Member State representatives at ministerial level, farm and forestry organisations, environmental and consumer organisations, advisory services, agri-business, and scientists. Today's meeting is aiming to get the EIP underway by establishing a strategic implementation plan and providing orientation on its main areas of work. More information, including the meeting's agenda and the Board's composition can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/eip/index_en.htm
The European Commission has called on Member States to prioritise social investment and to modernise their welfare states. This means better performing active inclusion strategies and a more efficient and more effective use of social budgets. The call features in a Communication on Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion just adopted by the Commission.
In February 2013, the DG ECFIN flash estimate1 of the consumer confidence indicator2 improved marginally in both the EU (-21.6 after -21.9 in January 2013) and the euro area (-23.6 after -23.9 in January 2013).
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