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Daily News of 2013-10-31
Commission Européenne - MEX/13/1031 31/10/2013
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EXME 13 / 31.10
31 / 10 / 13
The European Commission will allocate additional funding under the EU's Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) to support the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. It will help to address the needs of Serb majority municipalities throughout Kosovo.
President Barroso to host a meeting with the representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission will host on 5 November a 9th meeting with around twenty representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations in the Commission's headquarters in Brussels. This high-level meeting, taking place in the context of the European Year of Citizens 2013, was called under the motto 'Putting citizens at the heart of the European project in times of change'. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Vice-President of the European Parliament László Surján will co-chair the meeting. For more information on the European Commission's dialogue with philosophical and non-confessional organisations and churches, religious communities, visit: http://ec.europa.eu/bepa/activities/outreach-team/dialogue/index_en.htm. Information on the European Year of Citizens 2013 is available on the dedicated website: http://europa.eu/citizens-2013
President Barroso in Frankfurt on 5 November
President Barroso will travel to Frankfurt (Germany) on 5 November. In St. Paul's Church ("Paulskirche"), the seat of the first democratically elected parliament of Germany in 1848, President Barroso will deliver the first Frankfurt speech on Europe ("Erste Frankfurter Europarede"). This event is jointly organised by the government of the Land Hessen and the European Commission's regional Representation in Bonn in the context of the Hessian dialogue on Europe. In the speech, President Barroso is expected to present his view about the state of European affairs and the political priorities of the European Union in the months to come. After the German elections in September, the President is also expected to speak about the role of Germany in the European Union and express his expectations towards the new German government. The speech will be transmitted live on EbS at around 18.45 hours. In the margin of the event, President Barroso will also meet with the minister-president of Hessen, Volker Bouffier, and the deputy minister-president, Jörg-Uwe Hahn, to exchange views on current European affairs.
The European Commission has approved funding for 14 new research projects to shape a more resource-efficient economy in Europe. The projects, which involve the collaboration of over 140 partners from research organisations and private companies, will tackle the challenges of recycling waste materials from manufactured products and the agricultural sector to improve the quality of the environment and save money. Each project addresses a key issue such reusing discarded automobile tyres, recovering key elements from batteries, producing green fertiliser from animal waste, and generating renewable clean energy from food and plant waste. The €40 million funds are included in the 2013 Environment call of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and will involve partners from 19 European countries. The kick-off for these projects will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels (5-6 November), where the project coordinators will meet the European Commission to set the priorities and coordinate the work ahead.
The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.2% in September 2013, stable compared with August. The EU28 unemployment rate was 11.0%, also stable compared with August. In both zones, rates have risen compared with September 2012, when they were 11.6% and 10.6% respectively. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Commissioner László Andor's comments on September unemployment figures
László Andor commented: "The September 2013 unemployment figures confirm that the unacceptably high number of jobless people continues to threaten a robust economic recovery in the EU as a whole. Substantial economic growth in Europe cannot take off when there are more than 26.8 million European jobseekers unable to find employment. The figures for the young unemployed (5.6 million under the age of 25) continue to be alarming, with a real risk of them being scarred for life. It is crucially important that Member States pursue proactive employment policies aiming at improving the resilience of the labour market and at fighting unemployment. Member States have also to urgently implement the Youth Guarantee with the support of EU funding." Andor continued: "Work must continue on strengthening the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union, on the basis of the Commission's 2 October Communication on setting out ways to better take into account key employment and social challenges that affect the stability of the currency union." See September unemployment figures here .
Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 0.7% in October 2013, down from 1.1% in September, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
EC Report highlights the potential of Personalised Medicine
Today, the Commission publishes a report that takes stock of the progress made in personalised medicine, and the opportunities and challenges it presents for healthcare systems. The report focuses on: 1) the potential for, and issues with, the use of '-omics'* technologies in personalised medicine, and the related EU research funding, 2) recent developments in EU legislation for placing medicinal products and devices on the market, and 3) factors affecting the uptake of personalised medicine in health care systems. The report concludes that personalised medicine has the potential to offer new treatment opportunities for the benefit of patients, including better targeted treatment, avoiding medical errors and reducing adverse reactions to medicines. It also recognises the challenges (e.g. in research) to its successful incorporation into healthcare systems. To read the full report: http://ec.europa.eu/health/documents/new_en.htm
(*"'-omics' technologies" refers to a broad discipline in science and engineering for analysing the interactions of biological information objects in various 'omes' that include the genome, proteome, metabolome, transcriptome etc.)
2012 sees slowdown in the increase in global CO2 emissions
Actual global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached a new record of 34.5 billion tonnes in 2012. Yet, the increase in global CO2 emissions in that year slowed down to 1.1%, which was less than half the average annual increase of 2.9% over the last decade. This is remarkable, as the global economy grew by 3.5%. This development signals a shift towards less fossil-fuel-intensive activities, more use of renewable energy and increased energy saving. Increases in fossil-fuel consumption in 2012 were 2.2% for natural gas, 0.9% for oil products, and 0.6% for coal. The share of the 'new' renewable energy sources solar, wind and biofuel increased at an accelerating speed: from 1992 it took 15 years for the share to double from 0.5% to 1.1%, but only 6 more years to do so again, to 2.4% by 2012. These are some of the main findings in the annual report ‘Trends in global CO2 emissions’, released today by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. The full report is available here: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.php
Tomorrow, organisers of the first eight European Citizens' Initiatives (ECIs) run out of time to collect statements of support. Three groups claim to have reached the target of one million signatures. This includes a minimum number of signatures in at least seven Member States, as required by the ECI legislation. They include Right2Water, who believe 'water is a public good, not a commodity', One of Us, who seek to end EU financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos, and Stop Vivisection, who want to see an end to live animal experimentation.
Commissioners' weekly activities
Upcoming Commission activities for the weeks ahead