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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 30 / 03 / 2016

Brussels, 30 March 2016

EU to provide milk to 350,000 Syrian children

Today the European Commission adopted a €30 million programme to provide 350,000 Syrian children with drinking milk, as part of the already substantial aid provided by the EU  to those in need as a consequence of the crisis in the region.  The funding for this latest programme is part of the €500 million support package for European farmers presented by the Commission in 2015, which represented a substantial response by the Commission to support European farmers.  It will be used to buy milk which should originate in the EU.  As well as supporting European farmers through the purchase of drinking milk, the €30 million programme will also contribute significantly to the major challenge posed to the EU by the refugee crisis.  The milk will be distributed to Syrian children and will reinforce an already operating food distribution programme for school children financed by the EU in Syria. "This new programme will help hundreds of thousands of Syrian children in need. We must remain committed to helping the most vulnerable victims of the conflict. This additional support will go to humanitarian partner organisations working in the country." said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.  EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan also said:  "I am pleased that the Commission has today adopted this programme, which is an integral part of the Commission's €500 million support package for European farmers. This new programme delivers on two Commission priorities – to support farmers at a very difficult time, while also ensuring that we remain fully focused on the major challenge posed by the ongoing refugee crisis."  More information in the press release and factsheet is available online. (For more information: Alexandre Polack Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229 92256; Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 229 56 185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52 509)


Commissioner Avramopoulos attends UNHCR high-level meeting on the admission of Syrian refugees in Geneva

Today Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos is attending the UNHCR high-level conference on ''Global responsibility sharing through pathways for admission of Syrian refugees'' in Geneva. The objective of the meeting is to explore mechanisms for the admission of Syrian refugees and how to relieve pressure from the countries which are currently hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees. During his intervention, Commissioner Avramopoulos said: The global community expects the EU to deliver. Europe and the UNHCR share the same goal and objective: Protecting people in line with European and international standards. The migration and refugee crisis is a global challenge, and requires a global response." The Commissioner's speech is available here. A press statement by Commissioner Avramopoulos will be broadcast here at 13h30. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764)


Investment Plan for Europe: €150 million for SMEs in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Pohjola Bank have signed an InnovFin agreement in Finland to provide €150 million in loans to innovative small and medium sized businesses in Finland and the Baltic states over the next two years. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “The agreement being signed today between the EIF and Pohjola Bank will make new risk financing available to small businesses in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These countries have thriving start-up scenes and excellent credentials when it comes to innovation. With the support of the Investment Plan, we will help SMEs in the Baltic states grow their businesses and create more jobs locally." (For more information see here or contact Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: + 32 229 57361)


EUROSTAT: EU trade in goods with India in slight deficit in 2015 for a third consecutive year with a small surplus for trade in services

On the occasion of the European Union – India summit, which takes place on 30 March in Brussels, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has issued data on economic relations between India and the EU. A Eurostat press release is available here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Clemence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52509)




Vice-President Dombrovskis in Paris

On Thursday, Vice-President Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, is in Paris to speak at the G20 high-level seminar on International Financial Architecture. In his intervention, the Vice-President will address the current challenges to the international monetary and financial system.  On the margins of the seminar, Vice-President Dombrovskis will meet with Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs; Michel Sapin, French Minister of Finance and Public Accounts; and Luis de Guindos, Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness. (For more information contact Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: + 32 229 57361)


Commissioner Johannes Hahn visits Albania for the Western Balkan 6 meeting

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, is paying an official visit to Tirana and Durrës on 29-31 March. The Commissioner is meeting key interlocutors of Albania, including President Bujar Nishani, Speaker Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama, opposition chair Lulzim Basha, chair of the ad-hoc committee on Justice Reform Fatmir Xhafaj, to discuss about the latest developments, the country authorities' efforts to the reform path and to urge strongly for a swift adoption of the comprehensive justice reform. Johannes Hahn will also co-chair the High-Level Dialogue on key reform priorities, which will be followed by a press conference. Commissioner Hahn will attend the Western Balkans 6 ministerial meeting with Foreign Ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia and the Prime Minister of Albania to discuss improved infrastructure and connectivity in the region, focusing on transport and energy. Videos and photos of the visit will be available on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)


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