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MEX 14 / 22.10
22 / 10 / 14
Speaking before the European Parliament plenary ahead of the vote on the Juncker Commission, President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Citizens are losing faith, extremists on the left and right are nipping at our heels, our competitors are taking liberties. It is time we breathed a new lease of life into the European project. Huge challenges await us. It is up to us to shape these challenges. If we want a role to play in the future we have to play it now. It is up to us to ensure that the handwriting of the European Social Model is clearly visible in everything we do. Because Europe is the protective shield for all of us who can call this magnificent continent their home. I stand here in front of you, in this House that is the beacon of European democracy, and call upon you to set Europe in motion again."
Read the President-elect's main messages in 22 languages here: SPEECH/14/705
The plenary vote by the European Parliament on the Juncker Commission is expected for 12:00 CET today and will be live broadcast via EBS+ .
Artists, scientists and intellectuals present their contributions to a new narrative for Europe
On 28 October, "The Mind and Body of Europe: a new narrative" will be presented at the Bozar in Brussels with the participation of the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. After unveiling the final declaration earlier this year in Berlin, this book constitutes a further milestone in the implementation of the "New Narrative for Europe" project to which artists, scientists and intellectuals have contributed since 2013.
The event in Bozar will feature those who contributed to the project and will include an artistic performance and a presentation of the results of a social media campaign that was based on the project's 'Declaration on the Mind and Body of Europe'.
The New Narrative for Europe project is an initiative designed to give a voice to the artistic, cultural, scientific and intellectual communities in the debate about the future of Europe, so as to help connect the general public with the European integration project via the arts and sciences. Central to the project is the aim to identify a new narrative for future European integration – one that helps to equip Europe and its citizens to tackle the challenges of the globalised world in the 21st century together, one that complements not substitutes the paradigm of peace through economic and political integration.
Journalists can register by sending an e-mail to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org . Accreditation on the spot is possible upon presentation of a valid press badge and subject to availability of places.
Further information: http://ec.europa.eu/debate-future-europe/new-narrative/index_en.htm
In 2013, 2.36 million first residence permits were issued in the EU28 to non-EU citizens, up by 12.5% compared with 2012 but down by 7.0% compared with 2008. The decrease recorded from 2008 is mainly due to the fall in the number of first permits issued for employment reasons (from 0.8 million in 2008 to 0.5 million in 2013). In 2013, 28.5% of first residence permits were issued for family reasons, 19.7% for education, 22.7% for employment reasons and 29.1% for other reasons.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of CHC Group by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of CHC Group Ltd. of the Cayman Islands, by a fund managed by an affiliate of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice of USA. CHC Group is a commercial operator of helicopters. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private equity investment group. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because the parties are not engaged in business activities in the same or in connected markets. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7397 .
New Director for Agriculture
Ms Christina BORCHMANN has been appointed as Director of "Audit of agricultural expenditure" in the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. Ms Borchmann, who is Danish, is currently Head of Unit for "Implementation Support, Monitoring, Integrated Administration and Control System and Land Parcel Identification System" in the same DG. She was previously Head of Unit for Budget Management, also in the same DG. Ms Borchmann started her more than 20-year career in the European Commission in the audit department of DG Agriculture and Rural Development. She has since worked in the Cabinets of three former Commissioners (Anita Gradin, Poul Nielson and Mariann Fischer Boel) and also in the audit department of the Regional Policy Directorate-General. Before joining the European Commission, Ms Borchmann worked in the Danish National Audit Office. Ms Borchmann holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Århus and has also studied at Harvard University. The date of effect will be 1 December 2014.
The European Union's High-Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education publishes its report today on 'new modes of learning and teaching in universities'. The group, chaired by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, makes 15 recommendations highlighting the need for better targeting of resources to promote the development and use of more flexible digital learning and teaching methods in higher education.
Yesterday the European Commission adopted a delegated act and a draft proposal for a Council implementing act to calculate the contributions of banks to the national resolution funds and to the Single Resolution Fund respectively. These texts specify the methodology for these contributions in order to meet the target levels for the resolution funds set respectively by the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and by the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRM). Vice-President Michel Barnier, responsible for Internal Market and Services said: "To respond to the financial crisis, we have worked hard to improve the financial system so that banks pay for themselves if they have problems, and not the taxpayers. The detailed rules on resolution funds financed by the banking sector, adopted today, are an important step to making that a reality. The approach chosen is fair as each bank will contribute in proportion to its size and risk profile. It is also proportionate as the smallest banks have their own adjusted regime of contributions. In addition, these new rules pave the way for an operational Single Resolution Fund, a key element of the Banking Union". See MEMO/14/597 .
Yesterday, President Barroso gave a valedictory speech at the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg, as his second term of office draws to a close. President Barroso set out the key role the European Commission has played during the 2004-2014 decade to keep Europe united and open and make it stronger.
President Barroso said: "When I leave this office, with all my colleagues at the Commission, I can tell you that we have not achieved everything we could, or everything we would have liked to have achieved, but I think we have worked with the right conscience, putting the global interest of the European Union above specific interests. And I believe that now there are conditions to continue to do work for a united, open and stronger Europe."