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Midday Express of 2013-06-06
Commission Européenne - MEX/13/0606 06/06/2013
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EXME 13 / 06.06
06 / 06 / 13
European Industrial Policy - A Partnership for Growth
Today's conference "An industrial renaissance" is hosted by European Commission President Barroso and Vice President Tajani. Several EU Industry Ministers and EU business leaders discuss how to put industry at the heart of the EU policy. The conference looks at the progress made since autumn 2012, when the Commission adopted the objective of raising industry’s contribution to EU GDP from 15.2% to 20% by 2020.
Speaking at the Industrial Policy Conference, President Barroso outlined the role of industry in the Commission's strategy for growth and jobs. 'Uncertainty and the lack of confidence are the main obstacles for EU industry at this moment,' he stated, 'but investors from within and outside Europe still believe in our industry's growth potential, and rightly so'. In his speech (available later) President Barroso also underlined the main issues the Commission is working on that support EU industry in dealing with the challenges it currently faces.
EU announces €31.5 billion for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries
The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)-EU Council of Ministers is expected to approve that €31.5 billion euros will be allocated to EU development cooperation with the ACP region between 2014 – 2020. The ACP-EU Council takes place this afternoon and tomorrow (6-7 June), after which a statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will be issued. The EU will also take the opportunity to exchange views with the ACP group on the post-2015 framework, as well as trade, nutrition and the private sector. Once the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) is signed and ratified, the European Commission and ACP countries will proceed with the programming of funds in line with ACP strategies and the changing development needs in the region, as well as priorities reflected in the European Commission’s recent Agenda for Change (which sets out how to make development aid more effective by prioritising those countries and sectors most in need). For more information on the Agenda for Change, click here .
Better protection for victims of domestic violence under new EU law adopted today
The European Commission's proposal for a regulation for an EU wide protection order was adopted by Justice Ministers today. This will allow people who have suffered from violence to rely on a restraining order obtained in their home country wherever they are in the EU. "The European Protection Order adopted today will help to protect victims of crime and victims of violence, wherever they go in Europe: the protection will travel with the citizen. This is an excellent example of how Europe is working for its citizens," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU's Justice Commissioner.
Joining forces to overcome the crisis
Today the European Commission President Barroso and Committee of the Regions President Valcárcel will discuss the main economic, social and political challenges the European Union.
The on-going efforts for growth and jobs and the path towards a deeper integrated economic and monetary union will be at the heart of the discussion.
The bilateral meeting between the two Presidents will be followed by a working lunch hosted by President Barroso with seven major Local and Regional Associations. Both meetings take place in the framework of the "structural dialogue" between the European Commission, the Committee of Regions and European Associations of Local and Regional Authorities.
Press material available after 14:30.
Today the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive package to step up its fight against illicit tobacco trade, especially cigarette smuggling. The illicit tobacco trade is a global threat depriving Member States and the EU of over €10 billion revenue every year in terms of unpaid taxes and duties. Not only does this hit national revenues hard, illicit trade also fuels the shadow economy since it is almost exclusively the domain of organised criminal groups operating across borders. Furthermore, it also undermines health policy initiatives aimed at discouraging the consumption of tobacco products and legitimate business as most illicit products are not made in line with EU rules on tobacco products. To effectively tackle the problem of illicit tobacco trade, the Commission's strategy sets out a number of coordinated measures at national, EU and international level. See also MEMO/13/509
The European Commission wants to know whether you think the recycling targets in EU waste legislation need reviewing, and how. The results of the consultation will be used to help develop potential new legislation to prevent waste and boost re-use and recycling, as part of a wider review of waste policies in 2014. Citizens, businesses, NGOs, public authorities and other interested parties are welcome to contribute their views until mid-September 2013.
The European Commission will fund three projects in Mozambique that will potentially provide 50,000 people with access to clean water; increase trade opportunities by improving an international transport corridor, and support the finalisation of the construction of two hospitals. Despite economic growth, Mozambique still faces enormous challenges, ranging from weak infrastructure to high poverty rates and inadequate access to education and healthcare. The EU will help to tackle some of those issues by supporting three concrete actions, worth a total of €93 million. "These new programmes are clear proof of the EU's commitment to supporting Mozambique in achieving the social and economic infrastructure that is necessary to fight poverty in the country. And I sincerely hope that this support will be accompanied by other investments that will multiply its positive impact", said Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs.
The European Commission today announced the winners of the European Prize for Innovation in Public Administration. This prize celebrates the most innovative, forward-looking public initiatives which benefit citizens, firms, or the education and research sector. Nine initiatives from Croatia, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain (two winners), Sweden and the UK were awarded EUR 100 000 each ( MEMO/13/503). Winning initiatives included integrated healthcare information accessible on a phone, a web-based platform for funding opportunities for firms, and a plagiarism detection system for higher education institutions. The awards were made by Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn during the Week of Innovative Regions Europe IV (WIRE IV) Conference in Cork, Ireland.
The winners of the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture/ Mies van der Rohe Award will be honoured at a ceremony in Barcelona tomorrow. The winners of this year's main prize are Henning Larsen Architects, Studio Olafur Eliasson and Batteríið Architects for Harpa, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Iceland (see IP/13/376). The Emerging Architect Special Mention award goes to María Langarita and Víctor Navarro for the Nave de Música Matadero (Red Bull Music Academy), which was built to host a music festival in Madrid.
The European Commission has today paved the way for a new pilot project to improve communication between the European institutions and the deaf and hard of hearing. Today’s financing decision means the pilot project, for which the European Parliament has allocated a budget of EUR 750,000, can be implemented. "Every EU citizen has an equal right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. But some of our citizens face barriers in doing so, and this is something we must address," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner.
The Energy Council will be held on 7 June 2013 in Luxembourg. Following the Commission's Communication "Making the Internal Energy Market work" the Energy Council will adopt Council conclusions which take into account the guidance provided by the 22nd of May European Council. The Commission will welcome the emphasis given to the fact that a functioning Internal Energy Market is the cornerstone of European energy policy and underline that the fragile progress made so far need to be preserved if we want to complete the Internal Energy Market by 2014.
Interest representatives should be rewarded for ethical behaviour, says Vice-President Šefčovič
"There should be a real benefit for ethical and transparent behaviour by organisations engaged in the European policy-making process", said Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič. That is the main message he took away from a meeting yesterday with major stakeholders involved in the Commission and European Parliament's Joint Transparency Register (of organisations involved in interest representation, advocacy, lobbying etc.). During more than two hours of discussions, professional lobbying associations, social and economic associations, civil society organisations, and associations of regions, raised a wide range of issues. These included among other things: a global assessment of the system, a mandatory register versus a voluntary register, whether any differentiation of treatment is possible between registered and non-registered organisations, how to ensure stronger compliance by registrants and stronger enforcement by the institutions, the level of detail and scope of the Code of Conduct, and the "self-regulation" dimension: what are the organisations themselves prepared to do to stimulate registration among their members? Together with the public consultation held last year, a report prepared by the register's Joint Secretariat, as well as academic work in the field, this listening exercise provided valuable input for the European Parliament and Commission before they launch a review of the joint Transparency Register in the coming months.
What Commissioners said
"The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are now delivering their first results. They are very promising. More than 1900 students have benefited from innovative courses combining excellence in science and entrepreneurship. 27 start-ups and 35 patents have also already been created so far, and many more potential start-ups are in the pipeline. Poland's involvement in the EIT is central. The co-location centre, Poland Plus, involves key innovation organisations of the Polish energy system. This helps KIC InnoEnergy to be a leading engine of innovation in the field of sustainable energy." For more information: