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Daily News of 2013-11-12

European Commission - MEX/13/1112   12/11/2013

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EXME 13 / 12.11

DAILY NEWS

12 / 11 / 13

Agreement on EU budget 2014

"After over 16 hours of negotiations we have reached an agreement on the EU budget for 2014. I am pleased that the deal reached between the European Parliament and the Council provides much needed investment opportunities to Europe's businesses, scientists, towns, regions and students at a time when investing is much needed", said Commissioner Lewandowski. "Tonight's agreement also constitutes a crucial step in the direction of the adoption of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (the 2014-2020 MFF)", he added. Read the full statement .

The deal sees an overall level of commitments of EUR 142.6 bln and of payments of EUR 135.5 bln. It also includes an agreement on various pending amending budgets for 2013 (draft amending budgets 8 and 9), respectively EUR 3.9 bln to pay claims in Cohesion Policy and EUR 400 mln to compensate regions affected by violent floods last spring.

The institutions reached a political agreement today. Both the European Parliament and Council must still adopt it formally. Commissioner Lewandowski will make a statement on the budget today at 12:00.

EU mobilises new support to the Philippines' reconstruction

Ten million euros of additional EU aid for the rehabilitation of Typhoon Haiyan-affected areas of the Philippines have today been announced by EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, in his last day of visit to the country. The new funds come as a proof that the EU is looking at the fastest and most effective link between relief and rehabilitation to benefit the people on the ground within the shortest possible delay. Commissioner Piebalgs said: "Beyond humanitarian assistance, the EU is already making resources for rehabilitation and reconstruction available to ensure that there is a smooth transition from the crisis management to rebuilding people's lives. We would like to see no gap between the emergency relief and the longer-term actions, and we will work closely with the Government and other development partners for this to happen."

Areas for intervention can include water and sanitation rehabilitation, power grid repairs, basic health, livelihood support, shelter and repair of infrastructure that should be more resilient to future typhoons or earthquakes.

Président Barroso et commissaire Andor participeront à la 2ème Conférence européenne sur l'emploi des jeunes

Après une première rencontre à Berlin, en juillet, les chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement, les ministres du Travail et les hauts représentants des institutions de l'UE se réunissent aujourd'hui à Paris pour discuter la mise en œuvre des mesures concrètes de la lutte contre le chômage des jeunes. La Commission européenne a pris plusieurs initiatives pour compléter et soutenir les actions menées au plan national. Le Président Barroso appellera les Etats membres à plus de détermination pour tirer tout le potentiel des différents leviers permettant de lutter contre le chômage et notamment pour mettre en place les structures nécessaires pour faire de la Garantie Jeunesse une réalité dès que possible. "Il en va de l'avenir de notre jeunesse, à laquelle nous devons pouvoir offrir de véritables perspectives, des raisons d'espérer et d'avoir confiance dans l'Europe", a dit le Président.

Other news

European Semester 2014: Commission previews economy and budgets package

Today the European Commission previewed a series of decisions it will make this week on economic and budgetary matters in the EU. The series kicks off on 13 November with the Annual Growth Survey, the EU's general economic and social priorities for the coming year, and the Alert Mechanism Report, an early warning system for economic imbalances. The reports will be presented by President Barroso, Vice-President Rehn and Commissioner Andor in a press conference at 2pm (to be confirmed), along with two other reports on employment and social developments and single market integration.

On Friday 15 November, the Commission will focus on budgetary coordination in the euro area. For the first time, under new legislation known as the Two Pack, the Commission will issue opinions on each of the 13 draft budgetary plans it received from euro area Member States (those not subject to a macroeconomic adjustment programme), and proposals for Council opinions on 5 economic partnership programmes submitted by euro area Member States in the Excessive Deficit Procedure. The new autumn exercise is an important follow-up to the budgetary recommendations issued within the European Semester in the spring, and checks whether previous reform plans have been translated into action by the Member States. The Commission will also provide an overview of the budgetary outlook and the fiscal stance of the euro area as a whole and will examine progress made by certain non-euro area Member States under the Excessive Deficit Procedure. The package will be presented by Vice-President Rehn in a press conference at 11am (to be confirmed).

Read the factsheet explaining the new budgetary rules and how the European Semester works. Read the factsheet explaining the new budgetary rules and how the European Semester works here .

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Medini by KNB, UWI and Mitsui

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd of Malaysia by Khazanah Nasional Berhad of Malaysia, UWI Capital (One) Limited of British Virgin Islands and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. of Japan.  KNB is a government investment fund investing in real estate. UWI is an investment company engaged in land development. Mitsui is a trading house active among others in real estate. Medini is a company established for the purpose of developing and managing the Medini city project in Malaysia. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, in particular in view of the very limited activities of the parties in the European Economic Area (EEA). The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.6954

Recommendations on improving the EU's role in international accounting standard-setting

Philippe Maystadt, special adviser to Commissioner Michel Barnier, has presented his recommendations on strengthening the EU's contribution to International Financing Reporting Standards (IFRS). Mr Maystadt was asked to carry out this work by Mr Barnier in March 2013 and since then has held a series of interviews and consultations before drafting his report. The Commission will carry out an evaluation of the Regulation on the application of IFRS which will be based on Mr Maystadt's recommendations and complement them by providing factual data about implementing IFRS in Europe so far.

Commission publishes Facts and Figures on Organic Farming

There are more than 186 000 organic farms across Europe, cultivating an area of 9.6 million hectares, i.e. 5.4% of the total agricultural area in the European Union (EU), the report "Facts and Figures on Organic Farming" issued today by the European Commission points out. The report gives an overview of organic agriculture in Europe based on the data available and its evolution over recent years. It shows in particular that organic holdings are overall bigger than conventional farms in the EU and their managers are younger. Permanent pasture represents the biggest share of the organic area (about 45%), followed by cereals (around 15%) and permanent crops (about 13%). Besides poultry, which registers the highest number of animal organic heads, the rest of organic livestock is led by sheep (46%) and bovines (30%) at European level.

What Commissioners said

From Passengers to Captains of Europe's Baltic Sea Strategy

Speaking at the 4th Baltic Forum in Vilnius, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, stated:  "Now is the time to ensure the Baltic Sea Region strategy is fully embedded into the plans for the next financial period. The funds are available, but it is up to the Member States and regions to prioritise how they will be spent. Preparations are underway right now for the new Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes, and it is essential that European funds are mobilised in coordination with national, regional, and private resources to achieve the goals we have set ourselves. National allocations must be brought into play. Furthermore, it is time for all actors to take real ownership even if the Commission will continue to provide strategic coordination. The European funds will provide financing, but to ensure their most effective use, the investments need to be co-ordinated. The Baltic Sea Region Strategy has made an excellent start. But it will not continue to deliver if it goes on autopilot, or if it is assumed that the European commission will ship all the heavy cargo."

Speech by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström at Fundamental Rights Conference in Vilnius

Hate crimes attack the core of what we believe in as Europeans. They undermine values that we hold dear, values we have enshrined in the Treaty on European Union. Respect for human dignity, freedom, equality, and human rights. Each and every time a hate crime is committed, these values are put in danger. Hate crimes have their roots in intolerance and ignorance. I am very concerned that we are not just seeing more hate crime being committed. We are also seeing a shift in attitudes towards minorities. This trend is playing into the hands of populist parties. We have already seen a neo-Nazi party enter the parliament of an EU Member State. All over the EU, populist parties are gaining ground using rhetoric which is harmful to minorities. At the same time, mainstream political parties often fail to counter this populist shift. Politicians are no longer so willing to speak about the positive roles played by immigrants in European society. We need to ask how we can reverse the trends towards intolerance in the EU. We must think about how to protect our founding values in the face of hardship, demographic change, and pressure on resources resulting from climate change. This all boils down to leadership that has to be shown at all levels, from grassroots organisations all the way up to heads of state.


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