Daily News of 2014-04-30
European Commission - MEX/14/0430 30/04/2014
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EXME 14 / 30.04
30 / 04 / 14
“United, we count much more in the world; united we are in a better position, not only to defend our interests but to promote our values.” – said Commission President José Manuel Barroso on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the reunification of Europe. Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle reminded that “the accession of 10 member states on the 1st of May 2004 has brought us shared stability, security and prosperity. It reunited Europe after years of artificial division during the cold war.” Ten years on, Europe is stronger, richer and safer – politically, economically and culturally. Enlargement has made the EU the world's biggest single market. Increased trade between Member States brings new jobs, investment and growth. It has further strengthened Europe's weight in the world. As a Union of now 500 million citizens, we make our voice heard across the globe.
Read the Statement by Commissioner Füle online .
For further information on the 10th enlargement anniversary, please refer to MEMO/14/325 .
President Barroso receives 2014 Atlantic Council award for Distinguished International Leadership
President Barroso has started his five-day visit to the U.S. in Washington, D.C., where he will today deliver a speech on "Toward a Europe Whole and Free" on 30 April, at 8:45 local time (14:45 Brussels time) at the Atlantic Council ’s “ Toward a Europe Whole and Free ” conference. He will then meet with Congressional leaders, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and mark the tenth anniversary of the EU’s 2004 enlargement as the honored guest at a reception on Capitol Hill, hosted by João Vale de Almeida , EU Ambassador to the U.S., to return to the Atlantic Council in the evening where he will be honored with the 2014 Distinguished Leadership Award for his “dedication to the cause of European integration and ensuring that the benefits of that integration—stability, prosperity, and democracy—reach across an ever-widening Europe.” His speeches will be published on RAPID . Following his visit to Washington, DC, President Barroso will continue to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The European Commission has today approved funding for new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union's environment fund. From 1 468 applications received in response to its latest call for proposals 225 were selected for co-funding through the programme’s three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance and LIFE+ Information and Communication. Overall, they represent a total investment of some €589.3 million, of which the EU will provide €282.6 million. For more details on all the new projects funded under LIFE+ see the MEMO/14/320 .
European Union signs Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to books for visually impaired persons
The Greek Presidency will today sign, on behalf of the European Union, the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled . The Treaty will ensure that books in formats such as Braille, large print, e-books and audio books with special navigation tools, produced under copyright exceptions, can be exchanged across borders not only within the EU but also between the EU and third countries. The Treaty was adopted on 27 June 2013 ( IP/13/624). The Commission presented its proposal for a Council Decision on the signature on 20 December 2013 and this was adopted by the Council on 14 April 2014. Once signed, the Marrakesh Treaty will enter into force after its ratification by twenty States. "Today's signature of the Marrakesh Treaty marks another important step on the road to full access for the visually impaired and print-disabled community to the same books as everyone else. The Marrakesh Treaty is not only of huge importance for visually impaired persons in Europe but also for potential beneficiaries living in developing countries", said Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier. Please find additional information on World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Treaties online .
The household saving rate in the euro area was 13.0% in the fourth quarter of 2013, stable compared with the third quarter of 2013. In the EU28, the household saving rate was 10.6%, compared with 10.8% in the previous quarter. These data come from a detailed set of seasonally adjusted quarterly European sector accounts released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union and the European Central Bank (ECB).
In the fourth quarter of 2013, the business investment rate was 19.5% in the euro area, compared with 19.2% in the third quarter of 2013. This rise was the result of a higher increase in investment (+1.6%) than in gross value added (+0.5%), while total stocks (materials, supplies and finished goods) fell. In the EU28 the investment rate was 19.4% in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with 19.1% in the previous quarter.
Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 0.7% in April 2014, up from 0.5% in March, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, services is expected to have the highest annual rate in April (1.6%, compared with 1.1% in March), followed by food, alcohol & tobacco (0.7%, compared with 1.0% in March), non-energy industrial goods (0.1%, compared with 0.2% in March) and energy (-1.2%, compared with -2.1% in March).
In 2011, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the EU28 represented 18.6% of the world's GDP, expressed in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS). The United States was the second biggest economy with a share of 17.1% and China the third biggest with 14.9%. These data were published today by the Global Office of the International Comparison Program (ICP), hosted by the World Bank2, and are the result of the 2011 round of the ICP.
Concentrations: La Commission européenne autorise l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint de la SOFIAP par La Banque Postale et la SNCF
La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint sur la Société Financière pour l'Accession à la Propriété S.A. (la "SOFIAP") par La Banque Postale S.A. et la Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer ("SNCF"), toutes ces sociétés étant actives en France. La SOFIAP, contrôlée jusqu'à présent par la société Crédit Immobilier de France Développement S.A, est une entreprise spécialisée dans l'octroi de crédits immobiliers et de crédits à la consommation, ainsi que dans la distribution de produits d'assurance associés à ces crédits, principalement aux employés de la SNCF, mais également à des clients tiers. L'opération conduit à des chevauchements d'activité entre la SOFIAP et La Banque Postale sur le marché des crédits à la consommation, des crédits immobiliers et de la distribution de produits d'assurance en France. Cependant, dans la mesure ou les parts de marché cumulées n'excèdent 5% sur aucun des marches ou segments de marché concernés, et les parties continueront à faire face à la concurrence de nombreux acteurs de taille significative, la Commission a conclu que la concentration n'était pas de nature à générer des problèmes de concurrence sur les marchés concernés. L'opération a été analysée par procédure simplifiée. Plus d'informations sont disponibles sur le site électronique concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre des affaires sous le numéro de cas M.7149
Football needs more female coaches, says Vassiliou
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for sport, will call for UEFA to do more to promote female coaches in football when she meets its President Michel Platini at a meeting of the UEFA Women in Football Leadership Programme in Switzerland this afternoon. Commissioner Vassiliou will propose strengthened cooperation between UEFA and the EU on gender issues, including the fight against discrimination and sexual harassment. Speaking ahead of the meeting at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, the Commissioner said: “The low number of female coaches means that European football teams are missing out on a lot of coaching talent, in both men's and women's football. More female coaches could also encourage more girls and women to take up the sport.” While football is an increasingly popular sport for girls and women, they are still under-represented on a professional basis and as volunteers. It is estimated that only 20-30% of all football coaches are female and 20 out of 52 European sport federations do not have a single woman on their board. To find out more: Commissioner Vassiliou's website ; European Commission: Sport website; Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU . Hashtag: #Womeninfootball