Daily News of 2013-11-18
European Commission - MEX/13/1118 18/11/2013
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EXME 13 / 18.11
18 / 11 / 13
Commissioner Georgieva will brief the press after her trip to Manila, Cebu and Tacloban. She was in the Philippines over the weekend to assess the damage and amplify the European response to the devastating typhoon Haiyan. On the ground, Commissioner Georgieva announced a new boost in EU humanitarian assistance, bringing the Commission's support for the victims of this crisis to 20 million EUR. EU experts in humanitarian aid and civil protection have been in the Philippines for a week now, assessing the needs and coordinating the EU. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is activated to support material assistance offered by Member States.
Over the last decade, EU28 international trade in goods with Japan is characterised by a regular fall in the share of Japan in the EU28's total trade in goods, more significant for imports than for exports, and a continuous deficit. The share of exports to Japan in the EU28 total fell from 4.9% in 2002 to 3.3% in 2012 and the share of imports from Japan also dropped, from 7.9% to 3.6%. As a result, the EU28 trade deficit with Japan decreased from 30.3 bn euro in 2002 to 9.0 bn in 2012.
In the first six months of 2013, EU28 exports to Japan fell slightly compared with the same period of 2012 from 27.0 bn euro to 26.3 bn, while imports decreased more strongly, from 33.8 bn to 28.2 bn. Consequently, the EU28 trade deficit with Japan continued to drop, from 6.8 bn in the first half of 2012 to 1.9 bn in the same period of 2013. Japan was the EU28's 7th most important trading partner, accounting for around 3.2% of EU28 trade in goods.
The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in September 2013 gave a 13.1 billion euro surplus, compared with +8.6 bn in September 2012. The August 2013 balance was +6.9 bn, compared with +5.1 bn in August 2012. In September 2013 compared with August 2013, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.0% while imports fell by 0.3%. These data3 are released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The first estimate for the September 2013 extra-EU28 trade balance was a 0.6 bn euro surplus, compared with -14.5 bn in September 2012. In August 2013 the balance was -2.4 bn, compared with -14.5 bn in August 2012. In September 2013 compared with August 2013, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.2% while imports fell by 0.2%.
Today the European Commission proposed to include seafarers within the scope of five EU labour law Directives. The proposal would give seafarers the same information and consultation rights in all 28 EU Member States as on-shore workers in cases of collective redundancies and transfers of undertakings. They would also have the right to participate in European Works Councils. "Off-shore and on-shore workers should have equal rights, in particular when it comes to such a fundamental right as information and consultation. This proposal would improve the living and working conditions of seafarers and so help to attract more young people to work in the maritime sector” said László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. "It would also create a level playing field in Europe’s maritime sector, since all shipping and fisheries companies within the EU would have the same obligations".
Today, the European Commission, together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is launching a new online self-assessment tool for universities to measure how entrepreneurial they are. HEInnovate enables institutions to assess their performance in seven areas: leadership and governance, organisational capacity, teaching and learning, pathways for entrepreneurs, university-business exchange, the internationalised institution, and impact measurement.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Loro Piana by LVHM
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition of Loro Piana of Italy by LVMH, a part of Groupe Arnault of France. The parties produce and sell various luxury products, including luxury leather products. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the merged entity will have low market shares and will continue to face numerous competitors. The operation was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website in the public case register under the case number M.7020 .
For the first time since 2004, an EU company – the German carmaker Volkswagen – is the world’s largest private sector R&D investor. Volkswagen tops the European Commission's 2013 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard with an investment of €9.5bn in 2012. Overall, EU-based firms (527 companies) stepped up R&D investment by 6.3%, just above the average of the 2000 firms in the Scoreboard (+6.2%). However, like last year they lagged behind their US counterparts (+8.2%). EU companies also showed a mixed performance depending on the sector, with strong R&D growth in some but stagnation or decline elsewhere. EU Scoreboard companies surveyed expect to increase their R&D investments by 2.6 % on average per year for the period 2013-2015, a fall in expectations over the previous year. See also: MEMO/13/1000
The selection panel appointed to evaluate applications from Italian cities for the title of European Capital of Culture 2019 met in Rome today and recommended that Cagliari, Lecce, Matera, Perugia, Ravenna, and Siena should be short-listed. Once this recommendation has been confirmed by Italy, the preselected cities will complete their applications by next summer. The selection panel will meet again in the third quarter of 2014 to recommend the Italian city which will be the European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Three more days to go until European forum on the Future of EU Justice Policy: Tell us what comes next!
A look into the crystal ball: What will EU justice policy look like in 2020? This is the theme of a Europe-wide debate the European Commission has launched ( IP/13/919). The starting point for the discussion is a package of five discussion papers presented by the Commission covering European civil, criminal and administrative law, as well as the rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU. The Commission's papers and the preliminary input will be discussed at a European forum on the Future of EU Justice Policy on 21 – 22 November in Brussels. Distinguished speakers include national ministers, members of the European Parliament, judges from the European Court of Justice and from national Supreme Courts, academics and leading representatives of the legal profession. The event is also open for journalists, who can register by sending an email to Joshua.Salsby@ec.europa.eu . For more information, see http://ec.europa.eu/justice/events/assises-justice-2013/index_en.htm .
International conference on the role of employment in a country's development
Today, a two day conference on "Monitoring and assessing progress on decent work" (MAP) starts in Brussels that concludes a project of the European Commission and the International Labour Organization (ILO). This project supported nine pilot countries in better measuring and monitoring progress towards decent work: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Ukraine, Peru, Brazil, Niger and Zambia.
The conference will, among other things, discuss the role of employment for development, particularly within the context of a future global development agenda. The event will also look at possible next steps in mainstreaming the methodology in other countries. Participants will include representatives of governments, academia, international organizations and international confederations of social partners.
The European Union and the United States will meet in Washington, DC on 18 November 2013 to discuss issues of common interest in the field of justice and home affairs. Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner, and Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, will represent the European Commission. The Lithuanian Minister of Justice, Mr Juozas Bernatonis, and the Vice-Minister of the Interior of Lithuania, Elvinas Jankevičius, will attend on behalf of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The United States will be represented by Attorney General Eric Holder and by Rand Beers, Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The main Justice agenda items will be Data Protection, Judicial cooperation in criminal matters and rights of victims of crime. The main Home agenda items will be Mobility Migration and Borders; Counterterrorism and Security and Cybersecurity /Cyber Crime.
What Commissioners said
President Barroso visited Mongolia to held bilateral talks with President Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Altankhuyag. He opened the EU Film Festival at Ulan Bator and he gave a keynote speech at the National University of Mongolia, where he was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa.
This was the first visit of an EU high representative to the country, following the signed EU - Mongolia Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) in April this year.