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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 10 / 02 / 2015

Brussels, 10 February 2015

EU disburses 100 million euros in Macro-Financial Assistance to Jordan

The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union (EU), today disbursed 100 million euros in the form of loans to Jordan. This is the first tranche of the Macro-financial assistance (MFA) programme to Jordan, which amounts to 180 million euros in total. Commissioner Moscovici, said: "This disbursement is a concrete sign of Europe's solidarity with the Jordanian people, who are exposed to severe tensions and the knock-on effects of regional crises. We are living up to our promise to help the country, an important partner for the EU, to support its economic reforms and create the conditions for sustainable growth and employment." The Commission continues to assist the government of Jordan in its on-going reform efforts in key sectors, ranging from renewable energy and energy efficiency to employment and private sector development. A press release is available here. (for more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153)

Transparency in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP: publication of EU proposal on regulatory cooperation

In its ongoing effort to make negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US more transparent, today the European Commission publishes the EU legal textual proposal on regulatory cooperation. The EU proposal, which was formally tabled during the last round of TTIP talks, a fact sheet as well as a detailed explanatory document, will be available on the Directorate General for Trade website. (for more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185, Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)

Eurobarometer survey: EU citizens very concerned about cybercrime

On the occasion of Safer Internet Day – a day which promotes safer and more responsible use of online technology – a new Eurobarometer on cyber-security survey has just been published, which shows that Internet users in the EU remain very concerned about cybercrime. Specifically, 85% of Internet users across the EU agree that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime is increasing (a 9% increase from a similar study in 2013). The levels of concern about each specific type of cybercrime (e.g. identity theft; hacking of email/social media account; being a victim of bank card or online banking fraud) are also considerably higher than in 2013. "Cybercrime undermines consumer confidence in the use of Internet, hampering both our digital economy and our online lives. Our priority is to create a safer Internet for all users by preventing and combating cybercrime in all its forms, to enable users to reap the full benefits of the digital internal market and to exercise their fundamental rights online. We will be taking a renewed look at how we deal with cyber-security in our preparation of the European Agenda on Security," said Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. In order to combat cybercrime, the EU has implemented legislation and supported operational cooperation, as part of the EU's ongoing Cyber-security Strategy. A dedicated European Cybercrime Centre within Europol started its operation in January 2013. For more information: The 2014 Eurobarometer on cyber-security, The 2013 survey (for more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 296 74 56; Milica Petrovic – Tel.: +32 2 296 30 20)

EU assists in response to floods in Albania

The European Union is supporting Albania in the response to the recent floods which forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. Austria and Slovakia are sending material support via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism: blankets, beds, tents, generators and winter clothing. The aid from the EU, coordinated by the Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), is on its way to where it is most needed in Albania. The ERCC is closely monitoring the flood situation in the Balkans. In case further assistance is needed, it remains in contact with the Albanian authorities and the members of the Civil Protection Mechanism. (for more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Irina Novakova, +32 2 295 75 17)

State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Portuguese Guarantee Scheme on European Investment Bank lending

The European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, a prolongation of a Portuguese guarantee scheme on European Investment Bank (EIB) lending until 30 June 2015. The scheme covers State guarantees to banks that guarantee European Investment Bank (EIB) loans for companies in Portugal. It was initially approved in 27 June 2013 and prolonged twice, last time in July 2014. The Commission found the prolongation of the scheme to be in line with its guidelines on state aid to banks during the crisis because it is well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The prolonged scheme will allow the continuation of funding provided by the EIB to the real economy and prevent the disruption of the credit granted by the EIB through the banks participating in the scheme. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register, under the case number SA.39958. (for more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

EUROSTAT: First time release of data on contingent liabilities and non-performing loans in EU Member States

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes for the first time today relevant information on contingent liabilities and non-performing government loans. These data have been provided by the EU Member States in the context of the Enhanced Economic Governance package (the “six pack”). This new data collection represents a step towards further transparency of public finances in the EU by giving a more comprehensive picture of EU Member States’ financial positions. A full press release is available online. (for more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153)




Southern Gas Corridor: Energy Union Vice-President Šefčovič attends Ministerial Meeting in Baku

Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will attend the first founding meeting of the Advisory Council on the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) on 12 February in Baku/Azerbaijan. Setting up an Advisory Council is a joint initiative of the European Commission and Azerbaijan, agreed by Vice-President Šefčovič and the Azeri President Aliyev in Baku in November 2014. The aim of the Council is to steer the implementation of the project at political level in order to have the Southern Gas Corridor operational by 2019-2020. The Baku Ministerial is hosted by Azerbaijan. Ministers from transit countries such as Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Albania and Bulgaria will attend. In line with the European Energy Security Strategy, the Southern Gas Corridor remains key for the common objective of diversification of sources and suppliers. Initially, approximately 10 billion cubic meters of gas will flow along this route when it opens in 2019-2020. Given the potential supplies from the Caspian Region, the Middle East, and the East Mediterranean, however, the EU aims to increase this volume in the long-term. (for more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)


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