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Daily News of 2014-08-13

European Commission - MEX/14/0813   13/08/2014

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EXME 14 / 13.08

DAILY NEWS

13 / 08 / 14

Two Fields Medals 2014 awarded to EU-funded mathematicians

The 2014 Fields Medals were awarded today to four outstanding mathematicians, of whom two are grantees of the European Research Council (ERC): Prof. Artur Avila (Brazil-France), an ERC Starting grant holder since 2010, and Prof. Martin Hairer (Austria) has been selected for funding under an ERC Consolidator grant in 2013. They received the prize respectively for their work on dynamical systems and probability, and on stochastic analysis. The other two laureates are Prof. Manjul Barghava (Canada-US) and Prof. Maryam Mirzakhani (Iran). The Medals were announced at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) taking place from 13 – 21 August in Seoul, South Korea.

Statement following yesterday's extraordinary meeting of the EU's Political and Security Committee: Iraq, Ukraine, Gaza

Following yesterday's extraordinary meeting of the EU's Political and Security Committee (PSC), the spokesperson of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued a statement on the three major crises which were discussed.

On Iraq, he stated that "there was unanimous agreement on the need for urgent and increased international coordinated humanitarian support, as well as the necessity to access the increasing number of people forced to flee the conflict, in particular those blocked on Sinjar mountain, adding to the already very large number of internally displaced people." On Ukraine, the PSC addressed the humanitarian situation and had a preliminary discussion about the impact of Russian retaliation to EU sanctions and its legality. On Gaza, the PSC "had an exchange of views on possible EU action. At the invitation of the PSC, the EEAS will develop options for an EU contribution in the post-ceasefire scenario, taking into account the PSC discussion and several written contributions by Member States."

The full statement is available online .


Other news

June 2014 compared with May 2014: Industrial production down by 0.3% in euro area, down by 0.1% in EU28

In June 2014 compared with May 2014, seasonally adjusted industrial production1 fell by 0.3% in the euro area2 (EA18) and by 0.1% in the EU282, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In May 20143 industrial production decreased by 1.1% in both zones. In June 2014 compared with June 20134, industrial production remained stable in the euro area and rose by 0.7% in the EU28.

Mind over matter: EU researchers use brainpower to get moving

Grabbing a glass or typing an email: these are some everyday gestures that are not possible for people with serious physical impairments – even though they have the will and the brainpower to do so. EU-funded projects such as TOBI (Tools for Brain-Computer Interaction) are working on technologies that could greatly improve the quality of life of people such as 20-year-old Francesco or 53-year-old Jean-Luc. Brain-Computer Interaction has allowed them to regain control of paralysed limbs, surf the web and take 'virtual' walks with their thought. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes says: "The EU is helping new innovations be an opportunity, not a barrier, for people with disabilities. Technologies can enable greater autonomy and social inclusion."

State aid: Commission approves Abanka's restructuring plan

The European Commission has concluded that the restructuring plan of the Slovenian bank Abanka Vipa (Abanka) is in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission has found, in particular, that the restructuring plan will enable Abanka to become viable in the long term without continued state support, while mitigating the distortions of competition brought about by the aid granted to the bank. Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: "Abanka's restructuring plan is designed to ensure that the bank becomes viable again. After our decisions on NLB and NKBM, today's decision will further strengthen the confidence in the Slovenian banking system."

State aid: Overview of decisions and on-going in-depth investigations in the context of the financial crisis

In 2008/2009, the Commission adopted a temporary state aid framework to enable Member States to deal with financial problems in systemic banks, as well as support access to finance for real economy firms. The crisis rules for banks, which were tightened in July and December 2010, were extended on 1 December 2011. The Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis expired in December 2011.


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