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Daily News of 2014-05-14

European Commission - MEX/14/0514   14/05/2014

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EXME 14 / 14.05

DAILY NEWS

14 / 05 / 14

Meeting between the European Commission and the Government of the Republic of Moldova tomorrow, 15 May

The European Commission will meet the Government of the Republic of Moldova, led by Prime Minister Leancă, tomorrow, 15 May in Brussels.

The meeting will take stock of the latest developments in the Republic of Moldova, address both sides’ preparations to ensure that the future EU-Moldova Association Agreement delivers growth and stability up to its full potential, and review the state of play with key reforms in Moldova’s justice sector, business environment and energy relations.

The meeting will be followed by a press point with President Barroso and Prime Minister Leancă, scheduled for 14:30 and live broadcast via EBS+ .

Other news

Message of Condolences from President Barroso to Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan

"I was deeply shocked to learn of the scale of the deaths and injuries caused by the terrible explosion at a coal mine in Western Turkey. Our thoughts this morning are with the families of the victims of this tragic accident, and with those still waiting to hear of the fate on their missing loved ones.

On behalf of the European Commission, and on my own behalf, I would like to convey my sincere condolences and solidarity with the people and Government of Turkey."

President Barroso to deliver keynote speech at European Business Summit

President Barroso will deliver the opening speech at the European Business Summit this evening in Brussels, on the subject of Europe's future. The speech will focus on what kind of Europe we need to strengthen our hand in tomorrow's world, and what policies we need to safeguard growth, competitiveness, innovation and jobs. His speech will be followed by a debate on ‘Moving beyond the crisis – What kind of Europe do we need'. Also participating in the session are: Michèle Sioen, President of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB), Didier Reynders, Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Emma Marcegaglia, President of BUSINESSEUROPE, Jo Deblaere, COO of Accenture and Group Chief Executive Europe, Nanni Becalli Falco, CEO and President of General Electric Europe, and Jeremy Rifkin, economist and writer.

The speech and debate will be broadcast live on EbS+ from 17:45.

Le Président Barroso participera à la présentation d'un livre sur l'histoire de la Commission européenne

Le livre "La Commission européenne. Histoire et mémoire d'une institution" sera officiellement présenté au public aujourd'hui, en présence du Président Barroso qui a aussi préfacé cette publication. Il s'agit du deuxième volume qui couvre les années 1973-1986. Cette période a ouvert des chantiers importants de la construction européenne, notamment les premiers élargissements de la Communauté et le nécessaire approfondissement institutionnel qui les accompagnait. Le livre met en évidence plusieurs avancées significatives initiées par la Commission qui ont jeté les bases d’une relance de l'intégration européenne conduisant à l’Acte unique de 1986. Le volume précèdent couvrait les années 1958-1972.

Le livre est disponible à la vente sur le site EU bookshop http://bookshop.europa.eu/histoire . Les deux volumes seront également téléchargeables gratuitement (versions PDF et e-book) à partir de ce site.

Voir aussi le discours du Président Barroso à Florence le 8 mai suite à la visite aux archives historiques de l'Union européenne.

Commissioner Piebalgs visits Mali on anniversary of donor conference

One year after the Donors' Conference for Mali that was held in Brussels and raised 3.3 billion euro to support the reconstruction of the country, EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, hosts an event in Bamako to follow-up on the commitment. The event, on May 15, will serve to discuss progress and challenges on issues ranging from the supply of basic services for the population, such as water and education, to the return of the administration in the north of Mali, efforts for national reconciliation and democracy. During his visit, the Commissioner will inaugurate the resumption of works on the road between Niono and Timbuktu, in the north of the country, which had been interrupted during occupation of the area by rebels and terrorist groups. The road will be the first and only paved link between the capital Bamako and Timbuktu. Works will be revamped in the presence of Malian Prime Minister Moussa Mara and French Secretary of State for Development, Annick Girardin.

March 2014 compared with February 2014: Industrial production down by 0.3% in euro area - Down by 0.2% in EU28

In March 2014 compared with February 2014, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.3% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.2% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In February 2014 industrial production rose by 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. In March 2014 compared with March 2013, industrial production dropped by 0.1% in the euro area and increased by 0.5% in the EU28.

Energy savings and reduced emissions from new efficiency requirements for transformers

The Ecodesign Regulation adopted today by the European Commission will ensure that transformers become progressively more efficient as new power transformers put into service in the EU internal market will have to fulfil minimum energy efficiency requirements from 1 July 2015. The resulting energy savings have been estimated at 16TWh per year from 2020 onwards, which corresponds to 3.7 Mt of avoided CO2 emissions which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of Denmark which is 32 TWh per year. Although power transformers are generally very efficient devices, cost-effective marginal improvements in their efficiency can yield substantial energy savings, given their typical service life of 30 years or more. Given that the number of installed transformers in Europe in 2011 has been estimated at 3.6 million, a figure that is expected to increase to almost 4.7 million in 2025, the impact of today's decision will be considerable.

Facebook chat: Erasmus+ open to the world

Did you know that, in addition to offering 4 million grants over the next seven years for exchanges within the EU and associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey), Erasmus+ will also fund 135 000 scholarships for short-term study or teaching opportunities involving countries worldwide? Who can apply and how? This will be the subject of a chat at 11am CET on 21 May via the Erasmus+ Facebook page . Commission experts will answer your questions on the scholarships, degree programmes, capacity-building projects and more that will be available for support under the global part of Erasmus+. Questions can also be posted in advance via Twitter or Facebook using the #ErasmusPlusChat hashtag. Erasmus+ is the European Union's new programme to support education, training, youth and sport. The programme has two budget lines: €14.7 billion will mostly be used for grants to enable 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad in the 28 Member States and programme countries listed above. It will also fund scholarships for students from all over the world to take part in joint master degrees. In addition, a further €1.7 billion (jointly funded through the Commission's external cooperation directorates - development , enlargement and the service for foreign policy instruments) is available for scholarships for worldwide exchanges and capacity building measures to modernise universities and support reforms. For more information: Commissioner Vassiliou's website , European Commission: Education and Training website and Erasmus+ , Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU

State aid: Commission approves amendments to restructuring plan of UK bank Lloyds Banking Group

The European Commission has concluded that proposals by the UK authorities to amend conditions for the divestment of Lloyds Banking Group's (LBG) UK retail business, in the context of LBG's restructuring plan, are in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission has found that a delay in the divestment of LBG's UK retail bank entity Verde (rebranded TSB), will not jeopardise the viability of the business. The Commission has also accepted changes in the scope of the divestment, in particular the removal of certain assets and liabilities, as they will leave TSB in a better financial position and will therefore reinforce its ability to effectively compete in the market despite a reduced balance sheet.

Bosnian film director Tanović to receive EU 'Prix MEDIA' at Cannes

The Oscar-winning Bosnian director Danis Tanović is the winner of the 2014 European Union 'Prix MEDIA', awarded to the best new film project eligible for support from the Creative Europe MEDIA programme . Tanović will receive the award from Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for culture, during a ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Saturday 17 May (11am, Café des Palmes, Palais des Festivals). The director shares the award with co-scriptwriter Predrag Kojovic and producer Amra Baksic Camo for What Are You Looking At?, a story he describes as being "about a city in an indefinitely prolonged post-war period, without heroes and with its values hijacked by corruption and crime". Tanović won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001 with No Man's Land. His 2013 film, An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, won the Jury Grand Prix at the Berlin Film Festival and the Silver Bear for Best Actor (Nazif Mujić).

European Maritime Day 2014: Innovating for a sustainable use of our oceans

Innovation and research in the maritime economy can drive a European growth and jobs recovery whilst securing a sustainable future for Europe's seas, oceans, and all those whose livelihoods depend on them. That is the focus of this year's European Maritime Day held in Bremen, Germany, on 19-20 May which will host an exchange of ideas between experts, stakeholders from all maritime sectors and policy makers from across the EU. Ahead of her participation on 19 May, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Europe's economy is still in choppy waters and we have a duty to maximise every drop of potential to help its recovery. Our seas and oceans have this potential in abundance. We are committed to exploring how best they can help us create jobs and growth – but in a way that does not compromise on our ecosystems. The European Maritime Day is an occasion for the maritime community to discuss how to make sure that growth and sustainability go hand in hand in the blue economy".

New Director in Directorate-General Home Affairs

The Commission has decided to appoint Luigi Soreca, an Italian national, to the post of Director of the Directorate "Internal Security" in Directorate-General Home Affairs. Luigi Soreca has a degree in law from the L.U.I.S.S University in Rome and he joined the Commission in 2001, working on the fight against organised crime and corruption. He was Assistant to the former Director General of DG JAI Jonathan Faull, and then Head of the Units in charge of strategic policy and international affairs in the same Directorate General, where he has mainly worked on inter-institutional relationships, visa liberalisation and mobility partnerships. He is currently Head of Unit in charge of police cooperation in DG HOME, where he is in charge of the implementation of the Internal Security Strategy. Prior to joining the Commission, Luigi Soreca worked from 1992 onwards for the Italian Ministry of the Interior, mostly on international cooperation in the area of law enforcement. This appointment will take effect on 16 May 2014.

Consumer Credit: consumer rights not fully respected

Creditors should make further efforts to ensure that rights given to EU citizens by the Consumer Credit Directive (2008) are respected. This is the conclusion of the report adopted today by the European Commission. Amongst the rights demanding follow-up action are those regulating advertisements and pre-contractual information: Creditors do not always inform consumers about their rights, such as the right to withdraw from the contract within 14 days and the right of early repayment. However, some Member States were late in putting the legislation into practice and creditors had less time to adjust their business practices to the provisions of the Directive. At this stage the European Commission will focus on raising awareness among consumers and creditors of their rights and obligations and surveying their correct application and enforcement. This is especially important for vulnerable consumers facing economic difficulties and using short term high interest loans. Check all linguistic versions of the report here

What Commissioners said

President Barroso following the meeting of the European Commission with the Ukrainian government

During the press conference following the meeting of the European Commission and the Ukrainian government in Brussels yesterday, President Barroso said: "Our joint meeting today was […] part of our continued support to this stable, sovereign, democratic and peaceful Ukraine. We are acting like never before to deliver short, medium and long term support measures worth €11 billion."

The video of the press conference is available online, just as the Joint statement after the meeting between the European Commission and the Ukrainian Government and the MEMO on European Commission's support for Ukraine


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