Daily News of 2014-07-18
European Commission - MEX/14/0718 18/07/2014
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EXME 14 / 18.07
18 / 07 / 14
"We are shocked by the crash of the Malaysian airliner in Ukraine and the tragic loss of so many lives. Citizens from many nationalities including from the European Union have been killed. On behalf of the European Union, we wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands, Malaysia, to the governments of all other affected nations, and to the families of the victims. We call for an immediate and thorough investigation into the causes of the crash. The facts and responsibilities need to be established as quickly as possible. The European Union will continue to follow this issue very closely."
Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, will visit Georgia today to participate in the ratification of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) by the Georgian Parliament.
During his visit, the Commissioner will also announce new EU financial support for Georgia that will target trade, private sector development and justice sector reform. The programme is designed to contribute to further political association and economic integration with the EU under the Eastern Partnership initiative.
Following a large number of complaints in EU countries concerning in-app purchases in online games and in particular inadvertent purchases by children, national authorities joined forces with the European Commission to find solutions. In December they asked Apple, Google and relevant trade associations to provide concrete solutions to the concerns raised, which were discussed at a meeting in February 2014 (See IP/14/187). Industry has made a number of engagements which seek to address consumer concerns. The coordinated enforcement action in the EU on in-app purchases in online and mobile games has made real progress in delivering tangible results. The action will increase consumer confidence in the fast-growing "app" sector.
The Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) of the European Commission has today finalised the review of the composition of the civil dialogue groups dealing with matters covered by the Common Agricultural Policy such as environment and climate change, animal products, organic farming, forest or quality and promotion. Civil dialogue groups provide an important forum for consultation, providing high-level input from a wide range of sources and stakeholders in the form of opinions, recommendations and reports, complementing other sources, consultations and in-house expertise of the European Commission. DG AGRI is fully committed to intensify the debate with the citizen trough civil dialogue groups and in other instances.
Eurostat - Quarterly balance of payments for the first quarter of 2014
The EU28 seasonally adjusted external current account2 recorded a surplus of €25.4 billion (0.8% of GDP) in the first quarter of 2014, down from a surplus of €32.7 bn (1.0% of GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2013 and from a surplus of €32.9 bn (1.0% of GDP) in the first quarter of 2013, according to a second estimate released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the first quarter of 2014 compared with the fourth quarter of 2013, based on seasonally adjusted data for the EU28, the surplus of the goods account fell (from +€7.7 bn to +€1.8 bn), while the surplus of the services account grew (from +€43.5 bn to +€45.9 bn). The surplus of the income account moved to deficit (from +€1.9 bn to -€1.8 bn) and the deficit of the current transfers account slightly increased (from -€20.3 bn to -€20.5 bn).
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner Johannes Hahn address national parliaments in Rome
Prospects for the EU after the European elections and European structural and investment funds 2014-2020 were on the agenda today, as Vice-President Šefčovič and Commissioner Hahn addressed national parliamentarians from across Europe in Rome. The meeting, hosted by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the Italian Senate, gathered together the chairs of European scrutiny committees from every Member State. Other speakers included the Italian Under-Secretary of State for European Affairs Sandro Gozi, and Italian Under-Secretary of State for Regional Cohesion Policies and Sport Graziano Delrio. See also: Speech of Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič ( SPEECH/14/559) and Speech of Commissioner Hahn ( SPEECH/14/558 - Embargo 13:00 CET)
Martine Reicherts has taken office as EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship in the European Commission. The European Parliament voted with a strong majority to elect Ms Reicherts on 16 July 2014, following an exchange of views with the LIBE, JURI and FEMM committees in Strasbourg on 14 July. Commissioner Reicherts said: "It is an honour to be the Luxembourger who will succeed Viviane Reding and precede Jean-Claude Juncker, President-elect of the European Commission. I am firmly committed to working with diligence, transparency and collegiality to safeguard the European fundamental values and the rights of EU citizens."
The Government of Fiji notified the European Union yesterday of its decision to apply the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union. The interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Fiji is therefore ready for implementation. The EPA provides for free access into the EU for all products from the countries concerned. In the Pacific region, Papua New Guinea has already ratified this agreement and implementation is on-going. An EU spokesperson for trade said: "Fiji's decision to apply the interim Economic Partnership Agreement is a very significant step in our relationship. This agreement is a true partnership for trade and development. The EPA is one of our main tools to assist developing countries, such as Fiji, on their path to economic growth and diversification of their economies."