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EXME 13 / 04.03

Midday Express of 2013-03-04

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

European Commission launches Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

Commission President José Manuel Barroso today called on Europe's digital businesses, governments, training and education sectors to join a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs to address up to 900 000 job vacancies expected to exist in Europe in Information and Communication technologies (ICT) by 2015. Despite the current levels of unemployment, the number of digital jobs is growing by more than 100 000 per year. Yet the number of fresh ICT graduates and skilled ICT workers is not keeping up. Vice-Presidents Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) and Antonio Tajani (Industry and Entrepreneurship) and Commission members László Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) and Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) also attended the launch of the Grand Coalition held today in Brussels, which is part of the Commission's drive to make Europe more competitive. UNDER EMBARGI UNTIL 13:45 CET

Launch of 'eTwinning Plus' virtual classroom network for schools

The European Commission’s ' eTwinning ' network, which has encouraged 100 000 schools in 33 European countries to talk to each other via the internet, will be extended from today to schools in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The launch of 'eTwinning Plus' will enable these countries to join a massive virtual classroom in which pupils and teachers can learn more about their counterparts and take part in interactive projects focused on language learning or maths, for instance. It is also an opportunity for youngsters to discover different cultures and traditions– as well as to find out what they have in common.

Customs: Towards safer trade between Canada and the EU

Today the EU and Canada agree to cooperate more closely to ensure the security of their supply chains. An agreement will be signed at 1 p.m. today by His Excellency Mr. Rory Montgomery, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the EU and Mr Heinz Zourek, Director General of DG Taxation and Customs Union in the European Commission, and by His Excellency Mr. David Plunkett, Ambassador of Canada to the EU.

Industrial producer prices up by 0.6% in both euro area and EU27 in January 2013

In January 2013, compared with December 2012, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.6% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In December 2012 prices fell by 0.2% in both zones. In January 2013 compared with January 2012, industrial producer prices gained 1.9% in the euro area and 1.8% in the EU27.

In 2011, 40% of treated municipal waste was recycled or composted, up from 27% in 2001

In the EU27, 503 kg of municipal waste was generated per person in 2011, while 486 kg of municipal waste was treated per person. This municipal waste was treated in different ways: 37% was landfilled, 23% incinerated, 25% recycled and 15% composted, compared with 56% landfilled, 17% incinerated, 17% recycled and 10% composted in 2001. The amount of municipal waste generated varies significantly across Member States. Denmark, with 718 kg per person, had the highest amount of waste generated in 2011, followed by Luxembourg, Cyprus and Ireland with values between 600 and 700 kg per person, and Germany, the Netherlands, Malta, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom and Finland with values between 500 and 600 kg. Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Sweden, Lithuania and Slovenia had values between 400 and 500 kg, while values of below 400 kg per person were recorded in Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland. This information is published by Eurostat.

Commissioner L. Andor and Vice –President N. Kroes: Bringing down unemployment by filling 900,000 vacancies in the ICT sector

Commissioners Andor and Kroes today deliver the message that the digital sector creates jobs, at the launch of a Grand Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs, and that companies, educators and the Commission need to do more to match people to the hundreds of thousands of vacancies that exist in the sector. "Unfortunately we now have over 26 million unemployed in the 27 member States. Yet despite restructuring and job cuts in the Information and Communication Technologies manufacturing industries in recent years, demand for personnel in software development, consulting and the ICT user industries has continued to grow. We have to work together to do all we can to meet this demand for the sake of getting more people into jobs and making Europe's ICT sector more competitive", Commissioner Andor will say. The Grand Coalition for Digital job brings together Europe's digital businesses, governments, training and education sectors to address the up to 900 000 job vacancies expected to exist in Europe in ICT. Neelie Kroes will say: "Doing nothing is not an option: and that is why we are here today. Not to talk and analyse but to decide, commit and act. To work together, in a totally new way, to deliver the jobs for our economic future, and to stem unemployment." See IP/13/182 , SPEECH/13/180 (embargo 13:45 CET) and SPEECH/13/181 (embargo 17:00 CET)

Increasing demand for more skilled professionals: European Vacancy Monitor indicates skills gap

Despite record unemployment in Europe, 1.85 million vacancies are unfilled throughout the EU. The European Commission has today published two reports to analyse the skills needs in Europe: the European Vacancy Monitor and the European Job Mobility Bulletin . Growth was measured in hiring in administration, teaching, business and health care, as well as engineering technicians and professionals. The March issue of the European Job Mobility Bulletin, based on an analysis of the vacancies published on the EURES portal , shows that more sectors are recovering from the economic crisis. Good job opportunities are also available for finance and sales associate professionals, shop salespersons, housekeeping and restaurant services workers and modern health associate professionals. However, the sector with the most vacancies is ICT: the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden have the highest need of computing professionals.

EU Geographical Indications worth about €54 billion worldwide

The Commission is publishing today a study analysing the value of the EU name protection scheme for all food and agricultural products ("geographic indications" or "GIs"), including wines and spirits. 60% of sales of European GI products took place in the country where these products originate, while 20% took place in other EU countries and a further 20% were exported outside of the EU. Extra-EU exports represented some € 11.5 billion, mainly destined to the US (30%), Switzerland and Singapore (7% each), Canada, China, Japan and Hong-Kong (6% each). Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, welcomed the findings: "Our GIs are worth €54.3 billion worldwide, and they represent 15 % of our total food and drinks exports. This shows their importance for the EU economy and the relevance of our efforts to promote and defend this scheme. GIs are key to generating local added-value - and jobs. They make farming in rural areas viable and the new Quality Regulation, which recently entered into force, will further reinforce this." Over the period 2005-2010, wines accounted for 56% of all sales of food and agricultural products with a protected name produced in the European Union (€30.4 billion), agricultural products and foodstuffs for 29% (€15.8 billion), spirit drinks for 15% (€8.1 billion) and aromatised wines for 0.1% (€31.3 million). The study also analyses the value premium of products bearing a GI, i.e. the premium that a GI can expect on the market, compared to similar non-GI products. In average GI products were estimated to be sold 2.23 times as high as compared to non-GI products. More information at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/external-studies/value-gi_en.htm

6th March: Roundtable on Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation – You can attend (Berlaymont, 11th floor meeting room. Translation will be provided in English, French and German).

On Wednesday 6 March, as a lead up to International Women's Day on 8 March, Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner will host a roundtable debate on eradicating the practice of female genital mutilation, in which Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs will also participate. Members of the European Parliament will participate in the roundtable, as well as the world’s leading anti-FGM campaigners, including ‘desert flower’ Waris Dirie, Khady Koita and Chantal Compaoré – First Lady of Burkina Faso. Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, Virginija Langbak, will present a new report on female genital mutilation in the EU. European Commission will launch a public consultation to gather views from governments, NGOs, those with direct experience of female genital mutilation and other interested parties. Launching a new awareness-raising campaign, the Commission will also make funding available in a call for proposals for awareness raising activities in Member States. There will be a press point before the roundtable at 15:00. Journalists can attend the roundtable but cannot film the debate. For accreditation please email: Joshua.Salsby@ec.europa.eu . On Twitter, use the hashtag #zeroFGM. Send in your 'Zero Tolerance' photo to join the campaign: COMM-SOCIAL-MEDIA-TEAM@ec.europa.eu

Autre matériel diffusé :

Déclaration du Président Barroso suite à sa rencontre avec M. Abdelilah Benkirane, Chef du gouvernement du Maroc - rediffusion

Memo "Q&A: European Commission study on the value of EU GIs"

Memo "La Ministre Marie-Arlette Carlotti et la Vice-présidente Viviane Reding veulent renforcer les droits des personnes handicapées en Europe"

Memo "Joint statement of Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, Rapporteur of the European Parliament on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Richard Howitt, and former President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, on their mission to Skopje" – rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President N. Kroes: "The digital economy delivers jobs: FACT" – UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 13:45 CET

Speech by Commissioner L. Andor: "Job creation needs a Grand Coalition" - UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 13:45 CET

Speech by Commissioner Karel De Gucht: "A European Perspective on Transatlantic Free Trade" – rediffusion


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