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EXME 13 / 05.07
Midday Express of 2013-07-05
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The College travels to Vilnius for the traditional meeting with the incoming Presidency of the Council. This is Lithuania's first presidency and the first with 28 Member States. President Barroso will underline that the Lithuanian Presidency has a particular responsibility as the last Presidency under the current financial cycle and almost at the end of the institutional cycle.
This meeting is, important to discuss the Presidency's ambitious work programme: from continuing work on implementing the growth and jobs agenda to the next steps on deepening EMU. There is also a focus on the Eastern Partnership with the Presidency keen to intensify efforts to support our eastern neighbours as they take up our fundamental values and undertake economic reform.
Joint press conference of President Barroso and the President of the Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė will be transmitted live at 12.10 CET on EbS+. President Barroso's press statement will be available afterwards.
According to a new survey, most Europeans would be prepared to change their purchasing habits and buy more environmentally-friendly products, but many feel they lack information and distrust manufacturers' environmental claims. The survey on the "Attitudes of Europeans towards building the single market for green products" indicates that more than three-quarters of respondents are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products if they were confident that the products are truly environmentally-friendly (77%). However, only slightly more than half of EU citizens feel informed (55%) about the environmental impacts of the products they buy and use. Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "Of course we all want to see more green products on shelves, but this survey shows that most of us are confused by green claims and don't trust them. That's not good for consumers, and it is not rewarding those companies that are really making an effort. We are working with companies and other stakeholders to develop the credible information consumers are looking for when they buy products. This will help develop markets and open up opportunities for innovation and investment in the green economy."
The European Commission has opened formal proceedings to investigate whether Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), its gas supply subsidiary Bulgargaz and its gas infrastructure subsidiary Bulgartransgaz might be hindering competitors from accessing key gas infrastructures in Bulgaria, in breach of EU antitrust rules. An opening of proceedings does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
Employment: EU Globalisation Fund pays €12.5 million to help 2,643 redundant workers in Austria and Italy
The European Commission has made payments to Austria and Italy from the European Globalisation adjustment Fund (EGF). The total amount of €12.5 million will help 2,643 dismissed workers in those two countries back into employment, following their dismissals in the information technology, domestic appliances and tobacco manufacturing sectors. €3.9 million will help 270 former workers of Austria Tabak GmbH, €5 million will help 1,517 former workers of Antonio Merloni SpA, and €3.6 million will help 856 former workers of Agile S.r.l. For more details about the measures, see IP/13/131 (Antonio Merloni), IP/13/207 (Agile) and IP/13/206 (Austria Tabak). The Commission had made the EGF support proposals on 20 February and 7 March 2013 respectively, which have been approved by the European Parliament and the Council.
Commission seeks public input on European approach to business insolvency
The European Commission has launched a public consultation today on a European approach to business failure and insolvency, which focusses on helping sound businesses to survive and honest entrepreneurs to get a second chance while protecting creditors' right to get their money back. Today's consultation will seek the views of stakeholders on how best to respond to these challenges. "Europe needs a ‘rescue and recovery’ culture for viable businesses and individuals in financial difficulties," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner. "Honest business owners should get a second chance, so that insolvency does not become a life-sentence if things go wrong." For more information IP/13/655 .
Commissioners' weekly activities
Upcoming Commission activities for the weeks ahead
What Commissioners said
"The EU needs a more effective and more strategic use of cohesion policy funds and in particular of the European Social Fund. We must draw lessons from the past and improve what can be improved", said Commissioner László Andor at an international conference on the evaluation of the Structural Funds in Vilnius today. "Up to now, the measure of success of this policy was based more on absorption than on results. This needs to change. We should not only know how many people we helped, but we should be able to say how the European Social Fund helped to change their lives and employment perspectives. In short, I wish that in the course of the next seven years, we benefit from a much more robust assessment of the effects of ESF interventions", added Andor.