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Midday Express of 2013-03-15

European Commission - MEX/13/0315   15/03/2013

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EXME 13 / 15.03

Midday Express of 2013-03-15

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Marie Curie Actions: Commission invites bids for €227m in research grants

The European Commission is inviting bids for the final tranche of Marie Curie fellowship grants allotted under the current seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7, 2007-13). Some €227 million, the highest single amount made available through the Marie Curie Actions fund, will be awarded to around 1 000 experienced researchers this year. The application process runs until 14 August 2013.

EU Consumer Summit 2013: Europe joining forces to enforce consumers' rights

14 EU Ministers and State secretaries in charge of consumer affairs will join the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs, Tonio Borg, as well as some 450 stakeholders representing consumer and business associations, enforcement and regulatory authorities and European Consumer Centres, for a summit dedicated to the enforcement of EU consumer rights on 18-19 March 2013 in which Vice-President Reding will also participate. This year's event will focus on how Member States can enhance their cooperation to improve efficiency and reduce costs in consumer legislation enforcement.

The donor coordination group for the Palestinian people, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), meets in Brussels on 19 March

The annual spring meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestinian people, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), will be held in Brussels on 19 March 2013. The meeting will be hosted by Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, and presided by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide in his capacity as chair of the AHLC. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will attend the meeting.

Fourth quarter of 2012 compared with fourth quarter of 2011 - Euro area and EU27 hourly labour costs up by 1.3%

Hourly labour costs in the euro area (EA17) rose by 1.3% in the year up to the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 1.8% for the third quarter of 2012. In the EU27, the annual rise was also 1.3% up to the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 1.8% in the previous quarter. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, wages & salaries per hour worked grew by 1.4% and the non-wage component by 1.0% in the year up to the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 2.0% and 1.4% respectively for the previous quarter. In the EU27, hourly wages & salaries rose by 1.4% and the non-wage component by 1.2% in the year up to the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 1.9% and 1.7% respectively for the third quarter of 2012.

February 2013 - Euro area annual inflation down to 1.8% - EU down to 2.0%

Euro area annual inflation was 1.8% in February 2013, down from 2.0% in January. A year earlier the rate was 2.7%. Monthly inflation was 0.4% in February 2013. European Union annual inflation was 2.0% in February 2013, down from 2.1% in January. A year earlier the rate was 2.9%. Monthly inflation was 0.4% in February 2013.

Anti-money laundering as part of the fight against organised crime - EMBARGO 14:30

Commissioner Malmström, together with Commissioner Barnier, will speak at the European Commission Conference on "Fighting money laundering and terrorist financing: new framework, future challenges", addressing the topic from the aspect of internal security and the protection of the EU's economy against serious and organised crime, saying: "The European Police Office, Europol, completed earlier this week a large report on crime in the EU, the Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment. Money laundering is listed as one of the main crime threats to the EU." "Organised crime is driven by profit, which tend to be very large – not to say huge - and most of those profits are laundered in one way or another." "Serious and organised crime creates great damage, both to innocent victims and to the EU's economy as a whole." "Organised crime groups are becoming increasingly complex, sophisticated and international in the way they operate." "Following the money of criminal networks is of central importance. Tracing the illicit proceeds of crime back to the criminal networks is necessary both to detect, prosecute and dismantle those networks and to seize and confiscate their criminal wealth." "I will continue to push forward the Commission's work to support law enforcement authorities' efforts to follow the money, disrupt criminal groups and confiscate their illicit wealth." EMBARGO UNTIL 14:30

Vassiliou urges French universities to join U-Multirank

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou will urge French higher education institutions to participate in U-Multirank, the new EU-backed university ranking, when she visits Paris on 18-19 March. The Commissioner will hold meetings with Bernard Cazeneuve, the Minister for European Affairs, Geneviève Fioraso, Minister for Higher Education and Research, and Valérie Fourneyron, Minister in charge of youth and sports. The new ranking, launched by Commissioner Vassiliou and the Irish EU Presidency in January ( IP/13/66), will rate university performance in five areas: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer and contribution to regional growth. During the visit, Commissioner Vassiliou will also give her backing to CERES (Cartographie des établissements d’enseignement supérieur et de recherche), an initiative led by French universities to map the country's higher education system, and welcome France's support for the new 'Erasmus for All' programme. Eight EU Higher Education Ministers (France, UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Portugal) have sent letters to the President of the European Parliament expressing their preference for the Erasmus for All name.To know more:DG Education and Culture's youth website, Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou's website, Twitter @VassiliouEU

Consumer policy : new website for teachers

Today the European Commission is launching the Consumer Classroom - a new website for teachers. The Consumer Classroom will provide high quality resources and interactive tools teaching 12 to 18 year olds knowledge and practical consumer skills. The Consumer Classroom will cover a wide range of consumer education themes, from sustainable consumption to financial literacy. It will also invite teachers to join a dynamic web community. The launch will be celebrated with an Inter-Schools Competition. This way the EU wants to encourage schools to create educational projects on consumer issues with the help of the tools available in the Consumer Classroom. Teachers will be able to sign up for the competition at the launch date. The first prize for the best collaborative project of teachers and pupils will be a class trip to Brussels. The Consumer Classroom is being launched in collaboration with eTwinning, an EU funded site that has over 190,000 registered teachers and 100,000 registered schools ( http://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/index.htm). The Classroom also forms part of the Teachers' corner of the European Commission website, which helps teachers by equipping them with ready-to-use material about Europe ( http://europa.eu/teachers-corner/index_en.htm). JOIN OUR CLASSROOM TODAY: www.consumerclassroom.eu

Vassiliou urges French universities to join U-Multirank

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou will urge French higher education institutions to participate in U-Multirank, the new EU-backed university ranking, when she visits Paris on 18-19 March. The Commissioner will hold meetings with Bernard Cazeneuve, the Minister for European Affairs, Geneviève Fioraso, Minister for Higher Education and Research, and Valérie Fourneyron, Minister in charge of youth and sports. The new ranking, launched by Commissioner Vassiliou and the Irish EU Presidency in January (IP/13/66), will rate university performance in five areas: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer and contribution to regional growth. During the visit, Commissioner Vassiliou will also give her backing to CERES (Cartographie des établissements d’enseignement supérieur et de recherche), an initiative led by French universities to map the country's higher education system, and welcome France's support for the new 'Erasmus for All' programme. Eight EU Higher Education Ministers (France, UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Portugal) have sent letters to the President of the European Parliament expressing their preference for the Erasmus for All name.To know more:DG Education and Culture's youth website, Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou's website, Twitter @VassiliouEU

Animal Health: EU earmarks €15 million to support EU Reference Laboratories for food and feed safety

Today, the European Commission adopted a financial decision to grant a total of €15 million for 2013 to support the 44 EU Reference Laboratories (EU-RLs) designated for food and feed safety and animal health. The purpose of providing financial support - which applies from 1 January 2013 - is to encourage the Reference Laboratories to continue their active contribution in providing technical support to both the Commission and Member States in implementing EU policies in these areas. EU-RLs provide essential scientific and technical support in the area of feed and food safety and animal health and are the main pillar of the EU laboratory network which also comprises National reference Laboratories and Routine Laboratories. Reference Laboratories are co-financed by an annual EU grant and the Member States hosting the EU-RL. The Commission has assessed the 2013 programmes and corresponding budget estimates taking into account EU priorities and Member State needs, in particular on: research; development and distribution of analytical methods; organisation of proficiency tests; and training. In summary, activities aim to ensure high-quality and uniform testing in the EU and to support the Commission on risk management and risk assessment in the area of laboratory analysis which are a fundamental part for the protection of consumers and animal health in the EU. For the 2013 programmes: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/controls/reference_laboratories/funding_en.htm ; for more information on EU-RLs: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/controls/reference_laboratories/index_en.htm

Maritime transport: Commission launches cooperation on "places of refuge" in case of shipping accidents

Today the Commission launched the "Cooperation Group on Places of Refuge", a forum for Member State authorities dealing with ships in need of assistance. The group met in Brussels for the first time, with the participation of more than 20 Member States and EFTA countries, as well as representatives of the Commission and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The group will consider last year's accident involving an explosion and subsequent fire on the container ship 'MSC Flaminia' in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "We have an opportunity to look at the 'MSC Flaminia' incident and possibly learn from it collectively. This group has the broad mandate to address any specific questions arising in relation to places of refuge. I look forward to constructive suggestions for improvement actions we can take up together." The Flaminia accident highlighted the need to enhance cooperation and communication channels between Member States in case of similar incidents posing a threat to safety at sea or the environment. The cooperation group will look into the implementation of current EU legislation and offer clarifications and guidance on existing provisions. If need be, the group will also advise or make recommendations for a revision of the relevant EU directive regarding "places of refuge". Since incidents involving a ship in need of assistance often have an international character – occurring beyond one state's jurisdiction or involving more than one state, the group will also consider the applicable international law (i.e. IMO conventions and guidelines). The group will be invited to produce suggestions on these matters and to present them in the context of the stakeholder consultation on the review of Directive 2002/59/EC which will take place this summer.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Statement by President Barroso following the first session of the European Council – rediffusion

Joint letter of President José Manuel Barroso and President Herman Van Rompuy to H.E. Mr Xi Jinping - rediffusion

Speech by President Barroso at the Tripartite Social Summit - rediffusion

Social Summit: statements by President Barroso and Commissioner Andor - rediffusion

Memo "Preparation of Agriculture and Fisheries Council, 18-19 March 2013"

Discours par le Commissaire Barnier: "Lutte contre le blanchiment d’argent et le financement du terrorisme : une priorité pour l’Europe"

Speech by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn:"European Union must deliver economic recovery if it is to prove its relevance to all the people" - rediffusion

Top News from the European Commission

Calendrier hebdomadaire du 18 au 24 mars 2013


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