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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 23 / 04 / 2015

Brussels, 23 April 2015

State aid: Commission authorises Portuguese demonstration scheme for ocean energy technologies

The European Commission has found a Portuguese scheme aimed at promoting renewable energy technologies to be in line with EU state aid rules. The scheme will support demonstration projects producing renewable energy from the ocean (wave energy, tidal energy) and innovative offshore wind technologies. The Commission concluded in particular that the project would further EU energy and environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "The development of new renewable technologies is crucial to help Europe meet its environmental commitments. Today's approved scheme is an important step for bringing new technologies to the market."The press release is available online in EN, FR, DE and PT. (for more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

EUROSTAT: Fourth quarter of 2014 seasonally adjusted government deficit up to 2.4% of GDP in the euro area, deficit down to 2.6% of GDP in the EU28

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 2.4% in the euro area (EA19), an increase compared with 2.2% in the third quarter of 2014. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 2.6%, a decrease compared with 2.8% in the previous quarter. A EUROSTAT press release is available online. (for more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153)

Cohesion Policy in Italy: Commission ready to support Calabria, Campania and Sicily

On 23 and 24 April, Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu is in the South of Italy to address the main issues preventing the regions of Calabria, Campania and Sicily to fully exploit the potential of Cohesion Policy today, and to pave the way for the success of the Policy in the future. She will endorse the action plans for the 2007-2013 programmes for Calabria, Campania, Sicily and "Networks and Mobility", drawn within the framework of the Task Force on Better Implementation. She will also review the state-of-play of the discussions on the 2014-2020 programmes for the three regions, while stressing the importance for this matter of having solid Smart Specialisation Strategies in place and of enhancing administrative capacity. "Endorsing these action plans means that the Commission is ready to support the Italian authorities in improving their absorption capacity, while making clear that the applicable rules need to be respected at all times. I want to congratulate the authorities for the efforts they put in this exercise, which I consider of strategic importance to avoid the loss of fundamental resources for the future of these regions at a moment of economic and financial difficulties. We owe this to all EU citizens," the Commissioner said. More information on Cohesion Policy in Italy and on Regional Policy is available online. (for more information: Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

Commissioner Navracsics to discuss how to tackle youth radicalisation in meeting with youth organisations

Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, will today meet with youth organisations to discuss how best to encourage young people to play an active role in democratic society. The meeting follows the commitment made at an informal ministerial meeting in Paris on 17 March following the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist attacks, to strengthen Europe-wide efforts promoting tolerance, freedom of expression and social inclusion through education and youth action. Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said: "I look forward to today's meeting to listen and learn from young people's ideas about how to prevent more of their peers from turning to radical beliefs. Young people want opportunities – to get an education, to find decent jobs and to be active members of our society. Today I want to discuss how to translate this into concrete action. I want to support projects through Erasmus+ to help integrate young people better and prevent their marginalisation and discrimination in our society." The Commissioner will continue the discussion about further actions to tackle radicalisation at the high-level debate with youth stakeholders on 6 May, as part of the 2015 European Youth Week. Education ministers will also address radicalisation at the May Council on education, culture, youth and sport. In parallel, the Commission is today also publishing the results of the Eurobarometer survey on youth, which show the need to promote more opportunities for young people in our society. The results are available here. (for more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Bratoz – Tel.: +32 229 87278)

MEX/15/4839

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