Daily News of 2013-09-30
European Commission - MEX/13/0930 30/09/2013
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EXME 13 / 30.09
30 / 09 / 13
The European Commission today welcomed the publication of a study on Intellectual Property Rights, which was carried out jointly by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Benôit Battistelli, President of the EPO and António Campinos, President of OHIM presented the study to Commissioner Barnier at a press event this morning in the Berlaymont. This study, “Intellectual Property Rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in Europe” (September 2013), measures the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the EU economy. Key findings of the study are that about 39% of total economic activity in the EU (worth some €4.7 trillion annually) is generated by IPR-intensive industries, and approximately 26% of all employment in the EU (56 million jobs) is provided directly by these industries, while a further 9% of jobs in the EU stems indirectly from IPR-intensive industries.
Trade barriers between the EU, Costa Rica and El Salvador will be lifted as of tomorrow 1 October 2013, when the trade pillar of the EU–Central America Association Agreement enters into application with these countries. The EU and Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama have been applying the Agreement since 1 August. Guatemala is finalising procedures to allow for provisional application soon. This ambitious trade partnership will open up new markets and simplify rules, boosting trade and investments in both regions. Central America's economy is expected to grow by over €2.5 billion a year once the agreement applies to the entire region
Europe keeps world leading position in solar panel installations
Despite a crisis-driven decline in investment, global production of photovoltaic (PV) cells grew by 10% in 2012. Europe remains leader in newly installed capacities with over half (51.7%) of the new worldwide capacity of 30 GW. This brought the total solar PV systems capacity in Europe to 69 GW, enough to meet 2.4% of Europe's electricity demand or to power all Italian households. Within the EU, Germany remains on top with an additional 7.6 GW. Italy can now cover over 7% of its electricity demand thanks to newly installed 3.5 GW. The increasing role of PV energy systems in the transition to a low carbon energy economy is evident: Production of PV cells and modules has gone from 46 MW in 1990 to 38.5 GW in 2012. These are some of the highlights of the 12th edition of the PV Status Report released today by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC). To find more information on this overview of the global PV market, including graphical displays of developments and comparisons, see http://www.jrc.ec.europa.eu/press/pv-status-report-2013
Today the European Union and Indonesia signed a trade agreement which will contribute to halting the trade in illegal timber. Under the agreement, only verified legal timber and timber products will be exported to the EU. Indonesia is the first Asian country to enter into such an agreement, and by far the largest Asian timber exporter to the EU. Since the 1990s Indonesia has suffered from severe illegal logging and rapid deforestation that have resulted in a loss of economic opportunities, social problems and environmental degradation. To tackle these problems, in 2003 Indonesian stakeholders started a process to find a definition of legal timber production for the forest industry. A broad agreement was reached in 2007, which allowed the Indonesian government to set up a country-wide system to verify and provide assurance that its timber production is legal. This system is now being implemented. This also formed the basis for the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement between Indonesia and the EU. The EU is a key market for Indonesian forest products with the total average annual value of timber and paper exports from Indonesia reaching US$ 1.2 billion which is around 15% of Indonesia’s exports.
Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.1% in September 2013, down from 1.3% in August, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, food, alcohol & tobacco is expected to have the highest annual rate in September (2.6%, compared with 3.2% in August), followed by services (1.5%, compared with 1.4% in August), non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, compared with 0.4% in August), and energy (-0.9%, compared with -0.3% in August).
There are many and varied ways to create much needed new businesses and jobs. Some outstanding initiatives to promote entrepreneurship recently competed in national competitions for a chance to represent their country in the 2013 European Enterprise Promotion Awards. Out of several hundred candidates, nineteen projects were shortlisted in six categories. Shortlisted projects came from Belgium (2 projects), Cyprus, Denmark (2 projects), Finland, France, Ireland (2 projects), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Serbia (2 projects), Slovakia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Winners for each of the six categories will be announced by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani at the SME Assembly on 25 November 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania. One project will also receive the prestigious Grand Jury Prize.
Meeting of national Roma contact points, 30 September 2013
Today, representatives from the bodies tasked with implementing national Roma integration strategies in the 28 Member States – the so called “National Roma Contact Points” – will meet in Brussels to pool experience and discuss ways forward for Roma integration in the EU. Representatives of local and regional authorities from all Member States have been invited to join the meeting to provide an insight into the challenges for implementing Roma integration policies at the local level. The meeting will also share expertise and good practices on how to step up Roma integration in the Member States. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/roma
What Commissioners said
Targets are still a useful driver for investment in better waste management, but the real driver leading us towards a circular economy is the economic rationale for treating our waste as a resource. Just implementing existing waste legislation properly would create 400,000 jobs in the EU. The benefits in terms of materials savings and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are also significant. But the potential of moving towards a truly circular economy – where materials are used again and again instead of going on a one-way trip – is huge. I believe that with the Green Paper on plastic waste in the environment this debate has gained momentum and that it will help us to move another step closer to a circular economy.
Addressing EU Foreign and Europe Ministers today at the General Affairs Council in Brussels, Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn said Member States and the European Parliament must bridge their differences on the reform of cohesion policy ahead of critical talks later this week. Agreement on the plans to reform the policy and to create a common set of rules for EU funds is also necessary for final approval of the EU's 2014-20 budget. Commissioner Hahn said, "There is a real urgency now to strike a deal and find a reasonable compromise. Every institution - member states, parliament and we at the commission has duty to move in order to reach agreement. The longer we delay, the more we put in question the impact of more than 400 billion of investments around Europe and the possibility of recovery and growth."