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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 25 / 06 / 2015

Brussels, 25 June 2015

European Parliament adopts EFSI Regulation allowing implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe to begin

On Wednesday evening, the European Parliament plenary voted through the Regulation for a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Commission's €315 billion Investment Plan. Vice-President Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Now we must begin implementing the Investment Plan, and the Commission is already working on the next steps. In less than a month the Commission will be in a position to decide whether to extend the EU guarantee to the projects pre-financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF). The Commission will appoint their three members to the EFSI's Steering Board - alongside the EIB's member - and it will issue the Scoreboard for project criteria through a Delegated Act. The process for recruiting the members of the Investment Committee will be launched within two weeks, with a view to having the Committee in place by September. The European Parliament will have the occasion to hear and hopefully approve the candidates for the position of Managing Director and deputy Managing Director of the EFSI in September. We also plan to have the European Investment Advisory Hub up and running soon after the summer, and the European Investment Project Portal to be activated by end of the year." Read Vice-President Katainen's speech from the plenary debate and watch the video 'Staying ahead - Investing in Europe'. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhan Bright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

Aviation: Commission updates the EU Air Safety List

The European Commission has today updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. All airlines from the Philippines are now clear to operate in the EU, following the introduction of better oversight mechanisms in the country. In parallel, all local carriers of Ghana previously included in the list have now ceased operations, and have therefore been removed from the EU Air Safety List. The EU Air Safety list guarantees that all airlines flying into the EU match the highest safety standards. Further details can be found in a press release available in EN, FR and DE. (For more information: Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Alexis Perier – Tel.: +32 229 69143)

Education: EU schools need more teachers and training, two new EU reports find

More qualified teachers are needed in Europe to fill in the places of generations of older teachers once they retire, according to new EU studies on the teaching profession published today. Teachers also report the need for more diverse and continuous professional training, especially in areas like linking topics across study curricula, offering student career guidance and working with special needs children or in multicultural classrooms. The reports, drafted by the Eurydice network and the CRELL research centre, also provide an overview of teachers' international mobility, gender balance in the profession and teaching practices that can serve as a useful tool for countries aiming to improve their teacher education. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "Well qualified teachers need all our support in raising the next generations of creative and responsible Europeans. Together with Member States, we are working to equip teachers with the skills and expertise needed to respond to the diverse challenges of today's classrooms." More information about the reports is available here. See the full Eurydice and Crell reports online. Interested journalists are also welcome to attend the stakeholder briefing on the reports' main findings at the Madou Auditorium at 15:00 today. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278)                                                                                              

EUROSTAT: Summer accounts for more than half of the tourism activity of EU residents

A clear seasonal pattern on tourism activity of residents of the European Union (EU) can be observed. The summer season (June-September) accounts for more than half (51.9%) of the total number of tourism nights spent by EU residents during the whole year. A little more than 60% of these nights were spent in their own country (domestic), while almost 40% of summer season tourism nights were spent abroad (outbound). July (16.1%) and August (17.2%) are the two months when EU residents spent most tourism nights during the year. When looking at age groups, more than a third of all tourism nights for residents aged 15-29 (36%) and 30-64 (35%) are spent during July and August, while this share fell to around a quarter (27%) for residents aged 65 and over, who preferred to spread their holidays more evenly throughout the year. A Eurostat press release can be found here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182)


STATEMENTS

Statement by Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska on the Unitary Patent

"After decades of negotiating the Unitary Patent, on 24 June we took an important step towards making it happen. I strongly welcome the agreement reached by Member States yesterday on the level of renewal fees for the Unitary Patent. It means that a company protecting its innovation with the Unitary Patent will pay less than €5000 in renewal fees over 10 years covering a territory of 25 Member States, instead of the current level of around €30 000 which has proven to discourage companies from patenting in Europe. The agreed level of fees will reduce the gap between the cost of patent protection in Europe compared with the US, Japan and other third countries. I have always argued that an affordable level of renewal fees is a key element to ensure the attractiveness of the Unitary Patent to companies, especially start-ups. I have had very good discussions with Ministers on the issue and thank them for making Europe's competitiveness our main consideration. We need to keep the momentum and speed up the ratification process so that the Unitary Patent becomes effective as soon as possible. For my part, I will continue working on solutions to further minimise the cost of patent protection for SMEs." Further information here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Heli Pietila – Tel.: +32 229 64950)


ANNOUNCEMENTS

EU support for Nepal reconstruction process

Today European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, announced support worth €100 million for the reconstruction process in Nepal two months after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the country. Speaking at the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction in Kathmandu, Commissioner Mimica said: “It is very important for us to provide support over the longer term for the rehabilitation of Nepal. We want to underline our ongoing commitment to helping the people and government of Nepal over this very difficult time. Our support will help those who have been hardest hit by the earthquake – the poor, women and the agricultural sector." The European Commission is also doubling its humanitarian assistance from €6 million to €12 million, bringing early recovery funding for this disaster to humanitarian organisations. “The EU affirms its solidarity with the people and government of Nepal. It is important that while the remaining humanitarian needs are met, the focus is now on long-term reconstruction. The additional assistance will contribute towards building a more resilient Nepal and help families rebuild their lives”, said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. A press release is available online as well as a memo. (For more information: Alexandre Polack Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229 92256, Daniel Puglisi Tel.: +32 229 69140)

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