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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 29 / 03 / 2016

Brussels, 29 March 2016

EU-India Summit - Brussels, 30 March 2016

The 13th bilateral summit between the European Union and the Republic of India will take place in Brussels on Wednesday, 30 March 2016. The EU will be represented by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. India will be represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini will also participate.The Summit will be the first in four years between the EU and India, and will be the first visit by Prime Minister Modi in his current capacity. It will provide an opportunity to discuss bilateral relations between the EU and India, as well as to make concrete progress in areas of common interest such as trade and investment, energy, water, migration, climate change and sustainable development. For more information see the Factsheet on EU-India relations; EU-India EEAS website; and the Summit website. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359)


Refugee crisis: Commission supports aid deliveries to Greece via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Today, two trucks have arrived in Greece loaded with 150 electric heaters, 100 beds, 50 tents, 150 fire alarms, 32 fire extinguishers and 500 blankets provided by Sweden, as well as 100 field beds and 1000 pillows offered by Germany, as part of the latest batch of material assistance recently made available via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The transport costs of this latest delivery were co-financed by the European Commission. Over the past week, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden, as well as Norway have delivered thousands of urgently needed items to Greece. This material assistance includes accommodation containers and winter tents, beds, sleeping bags and blankets, heaters, power generators, water tanks and pumps. The majority of the transport costs were co-financed by the European Commission. European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, welcomed the substantial level of offers saying: "Since Greece activated the Civil Protection Mechanism in December last year to support refugees, 17 countries have made offers, helping deliver over 87,000 items. I thank all the countries that have channelled support so far and in particular their civil protection authorities. More offers are needed since there's no doubt humanitarian needs of refugees in Greece remain high." The Civil Protection Mechanism can be activated by a Member State or a country outside the EU if it feels overwhelmed by a crisis. The European Commission then coordinates the offers made by participating states, and can co-finance the transport of relief items and experts to the country in question up to a rate of 85%. In addition to Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Serbia have activated the Mechanism since June 2015.  Unlike the new instrument proposed by the Commission for emergency support, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) relies on voluntary offers from participating states. The new emergency support instrument will allow the EU to directly finance humanitarian activities inside the EU. The table with the latest offers via the Civil Protection Mechanism is available here. (For more information: Alexandre Polack – Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229 92256)


The SME Initiative comes to Romania: new opportunities for economic growth and jobs

Today, the European Commission welcomes the adoption of the operational programme "SME Initiative" for Romania to implement the SME Initiative in Romania. This innovative instrument will unlock up to 400 million euro of lending for Romanian small businesses. Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, said: "Today's adoption is great news for entrepreneurs in Romania. The SME initiative is a concrete example of how ESI Fund programmes contribute to growth and jobs creation". More information on the SME initiative and on ESI Funds in Romania is available online. (For more information: Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)




Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva attends the inauguration of Central African Republic’s President on March 30

Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva will attend the inauguration of Faustin-Archange Touadera, President-elect of the Central African Republic (CAR), on 30 March. Her participation is a sign of the commitment of the European Union towards the country, which is recovering from the impact of the recent conflict. In addition to the inauguration ceremony, Vice-President Georgieva will co-host an event with the United Nations and the World Bank to discuss how international donors can support CAR in its future development. She will meet with beneficiaries from therein as well as representatives of the International Organisation for Migration during a joint visit to an EU-funded infrastructure project. Vice-President Georgieva is travelling to Bangui to represent the European Union, which, together with its Member States, is the largest donor of life-saving assistance to CAR. (For more information: Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 229 93265; Alexandre Polack – Tel.: +32 229 90677; Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69921)


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