Daily News of 2014-03-13
European Commission - MEX/14/0313 13/03/2014
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EXME 14 / 13.03
13 / 03 / 14
The European Commission has adopted a package of Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) needed to implement important provisions of the Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive (CRR/CRD). The nine RTS define the ways in which competent authorities and market participants must, inter alia, handle disclosures linked to securitisation instruments, measure potential losses from derivative positions and counterparty failure, as well as specifying the types of instruments that can be used for paying bonuses. These RTS were developed by the European Banking Authority (EBA). They draw on the experience of EU Member State banking supervisors and take account of the results of stakeholder consultations. They have now been endorsed by the European Commission. See MEMO/14/181 .
M. Andris Piebalgs, commissaire européen au développement, annoncera aujourd’hui l'octroi, par l’UE, d'une nouvelle aide de 81 millions € à la République centrafricaine, à l'occasion d'une visite conjointe (les 13 et 14 mars) avec M. Pascal Canfin, ministre français du développement, et M. Gerd Müller, ministre allemand de la coopération. Ce montant contribuera à rétablir les services sociaux de base et les moyens de subsistance, en particulier dans les domaines de l’éducation, de la santé et de la sécurité alimentaire et de la nutrition. Avant son départ, le commissaire Piebalgs s'est exprimé en ces termes: "La République centrafricaine et ses citoyens font face à des défis sans précédent et, plus que jamais, nous devons agir maintenant pour jeter les bases de la stabilité et du développement futur".
The European Commission has concluded that an amendment to Banco CEISS' restructuring plan, following its recent acquisition by Unicaja Banco, was in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission found that the integration into Unicaja Banco, a Spanish retail bank that received no state aid during the financial crisis, will ensure that Banco CEISS becomes a viable retail banking business in the long term.
A new arrangement on the management of shared fish stocks in the North Sea was concluded in London on 12 March between the European Union and Norway for 2014. Total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for the shared stocks in the North Sea were established and an agreement was also reached on the exchange of reciprocal fishing possibilities in each other's waters.
The European Commission has welcomed the five-year arrangement for mackerel in the North-East Atlantic, which was reached in London on 12 March between the EU, Faroe Islands and Norway.
The arrangement, which makes room for another Coastal State to join at a later stage, establishes a number of important principles, including a commitment to sustainable fisheries, a sharing between the Parties, and a commitment to establish a new long-term management plan in 2014 following ICES advice.
Like in many regions in the European Union, companies in Campania have suffered a lot from the economic crisis in recent years. Between 2008 and 2012 about 8 400 companies disappeared from the market in Campania each year. To help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Campania emerge from the downturn and participate in the next economic growth cycle, the Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship is travelling to Naples today. He will be accompanied by representatives of about 360 European companies, who will participate in more than 600 bilateral meetings with SMEs from Campania, to form new partnerships and discuss opportunities for collaboration in key sectors active in the region; such as aerospace, agro food, biotechnology and fashion industries.
The European Commission welcomed the European Parliament vote today in favour of a Commission proposal to grant greater independence for the security accreditation aspect of the EU's satellite navigation programmes, as operated by the EU's GNSS Agency (GSA). The GSA's main tasks include assisting with the market development of the EU's satellite navigation system products and also ensuring security accreditation for aspects such as satellites, launchers and sites. The amendment to the GSA regulation will eliminate any potential conflicts of interest by reinforcing the 'Chinese wall' between the part of the GSA that deals with the security accreditation of operations, and the sections that verify compliance with the security rules in place - such as that of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. The proposed amendment will also align the GSA with the principles of the Common Approach agreed by European institutions for decentralised EU agencies and allow it to recruit necessary additional technical staff.
The European Commission welcomed today's vote of the European Parliament on the Copernicus Regulation. Copernicus, the EU's Earth Observation Programme, will ensure the regular observation and monitoring of Earth sub-systems, the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and will provide reliable, validated and guaranteed information in support of a broad range of environmental and security applications and decisions. Today's vote marks a major milestone for Copernicus. Indeed, the adoption of the Regulation paves the way for the continuous development of the programme. This text, which still needs to be adopted by the Council, defines Copernicus objectives, governance and funding (some € 4.3 billion euros) for the period 2014-2020.
Commissioner Vassiliou opens EIT info day in Budapest
European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou will open an 'info day' event on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in Budapest tomorrow, 14 March. The event, gathering 400 stakeholders from across Europe, is aimed at raising awareness of the launch of a selection process to set up two new EIT 'Knowledge and Innovation Communities', with partners from higher education, research and business. The two KICs will focus on innovation for healthy living and active ageing, and on raw materials – sustainable exploration, extraction processing, recycling and substitution. The application process is open until 10 September (see IP/14/149). During her visit to Budapest, the Commissioner met members of the governing board of the EIT and staff. She also held talks with Zoltán Cséfalvay, Hungary's Minister of State for Economic Strategy, whose responsibilities also cover science and the EIT.
Vice-President Rehn's remarks in the European Parliament debate on the Troika
Vice-President Rehn participated in yesterday's European Parliament debate on the role and operations of the Troika with regard to the euro area programme countries. During the debate he said, "When facing a sudden, even existential crisis, decisions had to be taken under extreme circumstances which necessarily involved difficult choices. Let's not forget that the aim of the economic adjustment programme was to avert a default by the countries on their social and economic obligations - which include the welfare benefits of their citizens and the wages of their public employees. In other words, the programmes did not mark the beginning of the crises, but the start of their resolution. In combatting the crisis, Europe's strategy has been based on extending solidarity in return for solidity. It is only fair that the reports recognise the emergency in which Europe had to suddenly create - from scratch - the stability mechanisms through which solidarity could be extended. The Troika was created to bring together strong economic policy expertise and multiple sources of funding in order to prevent an economic meltdown in Europe. Yes, it has been a difficult journey and the painful process of adjustment is behind us in many countries; but the economic turnaround is now tangible and visible. The European economy did not collapse, nor did the euro break up. The economic recovery is now gaining ground and firming up."
The EU Council of Transport Ministers will meet in Brussels tomorrow Friday 14 March under the Greek Presidency of the EU. Ministers will discuss the Fourth Railway Package, a proposal to establish the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking and the Urban Mobility Package. Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, will represent the European Commission.