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EXME 13 / 26.04
Midday Express of 2013-04-26
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Commission has today proposed measures to ensure the better application of EU law on people's right to work in another Member State and so make it easier for people to exercise their rights in practice. Currently there is a persistent problem with public and private employers' lack of awareness of EU rules, regardless of whether the national legislation is compliant or not. This lack of awareness or understanding of the rules is a major source of discrimination based on nationality. People also consider that they do not know where to turn to in the host Member State when faced with problems concerning their rights to free movement. The proposal aims to overcome these obstacles and to help to prevent discrimination against workers on the basis of nationality by proposing practical solutions.
The European Commission has today adopted a reprogramming plan that will help promote growth in Cyprus and strengthen the impact of EU regional funds there. The decision to redirect €21 million worth of Regional Funds is intended to help the country deal with the current socio-economic crisis and ensure a quicker delivery of available investments particularly when it comes to supporting small and medium sized business and the employment of young people. This revision was requested by Cyprus earlier this year and has been given added political momentum in the last few weeks The decision will see funds from lesser performing regional policy areas being redirected to where the funds are likely to have more impact for growth and jobs in the shorter term.
The European Commission has today presented the first Soil Atlas of Africa, highlighting a vital natural resource which provides food, fodder, fuel wood, reduces flood risk and protects water supplies. With full colour maps and illustrations, the atlas explains in a simple and clear manner the diversity of soil across the African continent and emphasizes the importance of this non-renewable resource. Coordinated by the European Commission's in-house science service, the JRC, an internationally renowned group of soil scientists from Africa and Europe has contributed to this atlas. The aim is to raise awareness at all levels – from politicians to the general public - of the significance of soil to life in Africa.
In 2011, energy from renewable sources was estimated to have contributed 13.0% of gross final energy consumption in the EU27, compared with 7.9% in 2004 and 12.1% in 2010. The share of renewables in gross final energy consumption is one of the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy. The target for the EU27 to be reached by 2020 is a share of 20% renewable energy use in gross final energy consumption. The national targets take into account the Member States' different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance. These figures highlight the development of renewable energy sources in energy consumption in the EU27 and the Member States.
Commission consults on the European System of Financial Supervision
Today the European Commission services are launching a consultation on the European System of Financial Supervision (see MEMO/10/434). Since the beginning of the crisis, the European Commission has tabled around 30 proposals to improve regulation of the financial system and benefit the real economy. In September 2009 the Commission brought forward proposals to replace the EU's existing supervisory architecture with a European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS), consisting of three European Supervisory Authorities – the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). The three European supervisory authorities (ESAs) and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) were established as from January 2011 and their main role is to upgrade the quality and consistency of national supervision, to strengthen oversight of cross-border groups, to establish a European single rule book applicable to all financial institutions in the financial market as well as to prevent and mitigate systemic risks to the financial stability of the Union. The 27 national supervisors are represented in all three supervising authorities. Individual ESAs have specific roles: for example ESMA is the EU supervisor of credit rating agencies, while EBA and EIOPA carry out "stress tests" of their respective sectors. ESMA can ban products that threaten the stability of the overall financial system in emergency situations. In addition, the ESRB has been tasked with the macro-prudential oversight of the financial system within the Union. The political agreement by the European Parliament and the Council on establishing a Single Supervisory Mechanism, with a core role for the European Central Bank (ECB), constitutes a first step towards a banking union. The ECB will carry out its tasks within the framework of the ESFS and will have to closely cooperate with the ESAs, in particular with the EBA. The legislative acts establishing the ESFS provide for a review by the Commission of the ESRB by 17 December 2013 and of the ESAs by 2 January 2014. The consultation is open to all stakeholders and will be available in all EU official languages. It will run until 19 July 2013. The results will provide important information on the effectiveness and efficiency of the ESAs and the ESRB within the ESFS and on the ESFS as a whole and will help the Commission to prepare the relevant reports. Additional information: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2013/esfs/index_en.htm
EU seeks more focused discussion at Bonn climate talks
United Nations talks to prepare a new international climate change agreement by 2015 and find ways to scale up global climate action over the rest of this decade resume on 29 April in Bonn, Germany. The week-long meeting, running until 3 May, is the first session of UN climate negotiations this year. The European Union will be working to ensure that, following initial discussions in 2012, the so-called Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) moves into a more focused way of working, as agreed at last December's Doha climate conference. The ADP has a dual mandate: to draw up the new international agreement applicable to all countries for adoption by 2015, and to identify and explore ways to close, before 2020, the 'ambition gap' between current global climate action and what is needed to keep global warming below 2°C compared with the pre-industrial temperature. The international agreement will apply from 2020. The European Commission is currently holding a public consultation on how best to shape the 2015 agreement, based on a Communication adopted last month (see IP/13/277).
Mr Neven Mimica has today been named by Croatia as Commissioner-designate. President Barroso has met with Mr Mimica and has confirmed his agreement for Mr Mimica's candidacy. President Barroso has indicated his intention to assign to Mr Mimica the portfolio of consumer protection.
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