Midday Express of 2013-04-07
European Commission - MEX/13/0407 07/05/2013
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EXME 13 / 07.05
07 / 05 / 13
Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Vice-President Olli Rehn today hosted a high-level conference on a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union. The debate follows six months after the publication of the Commission's Blueprint on EMU, which sets out the Commission's vision for future integration in the financial, fiscal, economic and political fields. "We do not have either the intention or the insolence to suggest we have all the answers. No - we want to start and fuel a democratic debate on where the future of Europe should lie," President Barroso told the conference. Vice-President Olli Rehn stressed that we now have a more robust and credible system to ensure sound public finances, a framework for preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances, and to advance structural reforms. This provides a solid basis for the further steps necessary to rebuild the EMU. Read President Barroso's speech: SPEECH/13/387 . Read Vice-President Rehn's speech: SPEECH/13/389 .
The current economic crisis has highlighted the necessity for radical change in the way we approach our social and economic challenges. Across Europe millions of people are unemployed, they feel that they are stuck in low-paid jobs or that they have few opportunities in the job market. Social innovation can stimulate a more dynamic, inclusive and sustainable social market economy creating new products, services and businesses. To boost social innovation, the European Commission has launched the Social Innovation Competition in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos on the 1 October 2012. Europeans were invited to develop solutions for creating new opportunities for work, and for better work. As a result over 600 proposals were received out of which ten finalists have been selected. Three of them will each be awarded with a prize of €20,000 at the European Social Innovation Awards Ceremony in Brussels on 29 May 2013.
More than eight in ten people involved in the EU's 'Comenius' initiative, aimed at encouraging innovative teaching and school partnerships, say the scheme had a positive and lasting impact on them, according to a new survey. Comenius allocates around €13 million a year to universities, teacher training institutions, NGOs and schools, to support the development of new teaching methods.
Le "Porc du Sud-Ouest" et le "Fin Gras du Mézenc" reconnus comme dénominations protégées
La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d'enregistrement de deux produits français dans la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et des indications géographiques protégées (IGP): le " Fin Gras / Fin Gras du Mézenc " (AOP), viande provenant de génisses et bouvillons élevés à l'herbe et au foin sur le plateau du Mézenc et le " Porc du Sud-Ouest " (IGP), viande issue de porcs nourris surtout de maïs denté et autres céréales dans les régions Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées et Poitou-Charentes . Cette décision devrait être publiée dans les prochains jours dans le Journal Officiel de l'Union Européenne. Ces 3 noms rejoindront alors la liste de plus de 1100 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 en ligne à l'adresse: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_fr.htm
Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, today announced that the European Union will further support the justice system and police force in Somalia with €44 million. The pledge was made during the Somalia conference in London, which aims to provide support for the Government of Somalia as they rebuild their country after two decades of conflict. "There can be no development without security; in Somalia like anywhere else. But in this particular country we have seen some encouraging advances. Larger territories are under the authority of the Federal Government, displaced people are able to go back home. Our new support demonstrates the EU continues to be the first supporter of Somalia's return to stability, security and prosperity", said Commissioner Piebalgs. For more information see also MEMO/13/407: The EU's development work in Somalia.
Media Advisory on the G8 Summit: press registration deadline extended
This year's G8 Summit will take place on 17-18 June in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will represent the European Union. The UK, as host of the G8 2013 summit, has announced that the deadline for applying for media accreditation has been extended to Friday 10 May at 00:01. Journalists can apply for accreditation at https://www.g8summitreg.com . More information can be found in our Memo ( MEMO/13/397) published on 2 May.
Animal Health: new rules on the import of non-domestic ungulates
A Commission proposal to establish new animal health import requirements for non-domestic ungulates destined to approved bodies, institutes and centres in the EU was endorsed today by Member States experts at the meeting of the Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCOFCAH). Typical examples of non-domestic ungulates are animals such as: elephants; rhinos; camels; hippos; giraffes and antelopes. The new rules will simplify the safe import of these animals and reduce the risk of illegal imports. The animals covered by the new rules are not intended to enter the food chain, but only for public display, education, conservation of the species and other scientific purposes. Until now, the import conditions which have applied to these animals have been very stringent, hindering imports of these animals which are often endangered species and may need to be imported to undergo conservation programmes. The new rules will provide for more flexibility to EU countries that may authorise the import of these animals if they were kept in protected structures approved by the authorities of the exporting country. Their import will also be subject to specific tests and certification. On arrival into the EU, these animals will be housed in places such as zoos that are approved by the veterinary services in which quarantine and biosecurity measures are strictly applied.
What Commissioners said:
Speaking at the London School of Economics today, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor will highlight that robust long-term architecture for EMU is essential for Europe's recovery. Andor will underline that the policy focus must be broadened from fiscal discipline to the real economy and the systemic crisis of the euro. He will review the Commission’s structural reform agenda set out in the Employment, Youth Employment and Social Investment Packages and outline on-going work on the social dimension of EMU. He will also emphasise the need for symmetrical rebalancing within the euro area, with fiscal consolidation in the periphery balanced by expansion of internal demand and higher inflation in ‘core’ countries. “A monetary union is only sustainable if its Member States are able to collectively manage the economic fundamentals in a way that each country maintains opportunities to create prosperity and social progress,” Andor will conclude. See SPEECH/13/388 – Embargo 14.30 CET
Vice-President Rehn addressed the European Parliament's Budgets Committee this morning on measures to boost growth and help cut unemployment through the European Investment Bank. The address and ensuing exchange of views took place together with the EIB President, Werner Hoyer. Vice-President Rehn highlighted the Commission's initiative for an increase in the EIB's capital, agreed by the European Council in June 2012 as part of the Compact for Growth and Jobs. He stressed the potential of using the EU budget in combination with the resources of the EIB to help small businesses to access finance, while in parallel addressing long-term investment needs to respond to challenges like climate change, ageing, completing the Single Market and the shift to a knowledge-based economy.
"We need to develop in the coming decade a truly European research and innovation ecosystem in the energy sector that builds on national capacities and covers the entire innovation chain from blue sky research to market up-take measures.", according to Máire Geoghegan-Quinn European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. Speaking today in Dublin at the opening of sixth Conference of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn argues that the previous model of national energy innovation "…had its roots in an earlier era of cheap energy and fewer carbon constraints." The SET Plan was designed to bring about the changes required of the energy sector in the 21st century that delivers more efficient and cost-effective low carbon energy technologies. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn pledges increased funding for energy research and innovation in the EU's next research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.