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EXME 14 / 10.03
10 / 03 / 14
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Commission welcomes today's adoption of the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), which will provide over €3.8 billion to help Europe's most deprived. It will help Member States to provide a broad range of non-financial material assistance including food, clothing and other essential goods for personal use such as shoes, soap and shampoo to people most in need. European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor said: "I welcome the adoption and the agreement on the significantly raised budget for the FEAD, which will ensure that up to 4 million people will benefit from immediate assistance. I urge Member States to make full use of the Fund and to implement it according to their specific needs." See also MEMO/14/170 .
In 2012, energy from renewable sources was estimated to have contributed 14.1% of gross final energy consumption in the EU28, compared with 8.3% in 2004, the first year for which this data is available. The share of renewables in gross final energy consumption is one of the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy. The target to be reached by 2020 for the EU28 is a share of 20% renewable energy use in gross final energy consumption. The national targets take into account the Member States' different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance.
German biopharmaceutical company CureVac GmbH has won the EU's first ever innovation inducement prize. The company received the prize for progress towards a novel technology to bring life-saving vaccines to people across the planet in safe and affordable ways. The European Commission offered the €2 million prize to encourage inventors to overcome one of the biggest barriers to using vaccines in developing countries: the need to keep them stable at any ambient temperature. See also MEMO/14/169 .
More than three quarters (77%) of Europeans consider that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) benefits all citizens in the EU. And more than 90% support main orientations of the new CAP such as fairer and more targeted support (92%) and the "Greening" concept of establishing a link between the financial support to farmers and the respect of agricultural practices benefitting environment (91%). These are the main results from a new Eurobarometer survey on the CAP published today by the European Commission.
The European Parliament will vote today on the proposals to strengthen the European Union’s ability to respond to new psychoactive substances used as alternatives to illicit drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy. The new rules proposed by the Commission will equip the EU with a quicker and smarter system to help protect more than 2 million people in Europe who take pills or powders sold to them as ‘legal’. "Legal highs are not legal: they are lethal", said Vice-President Viviane Reding. "Drugs don't stop at national borders. In a borderless internal market, we need common EU rules to tackle legal highs.
EU funding into emerging technologies is to be tripled under Horizon 2020. A total of €2.7 billion will be available (from 2014 – 2020) to fund research projects which could lead to pioneering new technologies. Ana Maiques, who received the European Women Innovator Award today, made use of this funding to do research into neuroelectrics, and has since set up her own spin-off company, proving that this original backing from the EU can lead to promising new businesses for innovators.
The education and employment prospects of Romania's young people will be the focus of a visit to Bucharest next week by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. On 10 March, the Commissioner will address an event organised by the Ministry of National Education and the European Commission on tackling the challenges faced by 'NEETs' (young people not in employment, education or training). The following day, she will launch Erasmus+, the EU's new funding programme for education, training, youth and sport, which will provide grants for 120 000 Romanians to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad over the next seven years – 50% more than under previous EU programmes. The Commissioner will also visit Roma projects in the capital with Hungarian-born philanthropist George Soros, a long-time campaigner for Roma rights.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani will travel to Chile to attend the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of Michele Bachelet on behalf of the European Union. Michele Bachelet has been elected as new President of the Republic of Chile following Parliamentary and Presidential elections in Chile on 17 November and 15 December 2013.
What Commissioners said
The EU and Member States must re-double their efforts to address the hardships faced by 'NEETs' (young people not in education, employment or training). In a speech in Bucharest, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, highlights five areas which can make a difference: first, ensure more young people stay in school for longer to maximise the benefit they get from their education; second, full implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee to ensure no young person is unemployed or inactive for longer than four months; third, more emphasis on youth work to bridge the gap between young people and the labour market; fourth, increase the quality and supply of apprenticeships and dual learning schemes; fifth, make the most of opportunities under Erasmus+ for non-formal learning mobility, for example through the European Voluntary Service, which strengthens young people's skills and self-confidence. 'The social inclusion of NEETs is an urgent matter that we must address now, not later. Europe's future depends on it,' the Commissioner concludes. EMBARGO 13.30 CET.