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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 07 / 07 / 2016

Brussels, 7 July 2016

EU leaders travel to Warsaw for NATO Summit and EU-US leaders' meeting

On Friday 8 and Saturday 9 July, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker,and High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, alongside the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will travel to Warsaw for the NATO Summit and for the EU-US leaders' meeting. On Friday morning, Presidents Juncker and Tusk as well as the High Representative/Vice-President will meet the US delegation, led by the President of the United States, Barack Obama. The meeting will provide an opportunity to underline transatlantic unity and to discuss common political, economic and international security challenges. It will provide a first opportunity for the leaders to discuss the outcome of the UK referendum together, following the meeting of the High Representative/Vice-President and the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, at the end of June. Read the remarks of the High Representative/Vice-President on that occasion here. The leaders' meeting will be followed by joint press statements, foreseen for 10:50. Coverage will be live on EbS. For more information on EU-US relations, visit the website. Ahead of the NATO Summit, Presidents Juncker and Tusk, alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, will sign an EU-NATO Joint Declaration. The first of its kind, the Joint Declaration follows the discussion on EU-NATO cooperation at the last European Council on 28 June 2016, and, in line with the call from EU Heads of State or Government, will mark the importance of further strengthening EU-NATO cooperation at a time of unprecedented security challenges from the East and the South. The signature will be followed by joint press statements, also available live on EbS. Starting on Friday afternoon and continuing on Saturday 9 July, President Juncker, President Tusk and High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will represent the European Union at the NATO Warsaw Summit, where they will participate in working sessions on projecting stability to the East and to the South, as well as on Afghanistan. In the margins of the Summit, a number of bilateral meetings are foreseen, including that of the High Representative/Vice-President and a delegation from Afghanistan, led by President Ashraf Ghani. The meeting is expected to serve as a platform to continue preparations for the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, to be held on 4-5 October in Brussels, and to discuss issues of importance for EU-Afghanistan bilateral relations, as well as regional and international matters. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359)


Commission presents an update on the fiscal situation of Spain and Portugal

The European Commission will today come back to the fiscal situation of Spain and Portugal, as pledged in its Communication of 18 May. Commission Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will come to the press room at 16:00 CET to present an update for these two countries, based on the recommendations that were adopted by the College today by written procedure. The event can also be followed live on EbS. A press pack will be available online shortly after the start of the press conference. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Audrey Augier – Tel.: +32 460 75 21 97)


Investment Plan for Europe: EUR 200 million for Austrian SMEs

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and UniCredit Bank Austria have signed the first InnovFin agreement in Austria to provide EUR 200 million in loans to innovative small and medium-sized businesses in Austria. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, said: “I am very proud to be here in Vienna to participate in the signing event between the EIF and Bank Austria for this first SME agreement under the Investment Plan in Austria. The agreement signed today will provide Austrian SMEs with access to EUR 200 million in new loans to expand their businesses which is an excellent start.” (For more information see here or contact Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: + 32 229 57361)


Commission reports on Member State implementation of EU law on the fight against organised crime Updated: [07/07/2016 at 12:41]

The European Commission has today adopted an implementation report on the 2008 Council Framework Decision on the fight against organised crime. The report finds that the Framework Decision, which provides for the approximation of the definition of offences linked to participation in a criminal organisation, has been largely transposed into national law. However, more work is needed to reduce remaining divergences. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “The fight against organised crime is one of the priorities of our European Agenda on Security and has a strong cross-border dimension where the EU can make a real difference. There are links between terrorism and organised crime and many terrorists have a long track record in criminal activities. It is therefore high time that Member States fully live up to their obligations in EU legislation on the criminalisation of participation in organised crime. The Commission stands ready to continue supporting the Members States in this endeavour but also to monitor their compliance and to use all its powers under the Treaties to ensure this.” The European Agenda on Security highlights the need to help Member States develop greater mutual trust, make full use of existing tools for sharing information and foster cross-border operational cooperation between competent authorities. This is to be achieved through effective implementation of existing EU legal instruments in all Member States. For this reason the Commission, acting as guardian of the Treaties, monitors the transposition of the relevant EU instruments. This work will also contribute to the assessment of the necessity and the opportunity to review the Framework Decision on the fight against organised crime. The report is available here. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423)


Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by container liner shipping companies on price transparency

The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by fourteen container liner shipping companies. Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said: "Container shipping accounts for the vast majority of the non-bulk freight carried by sea to and from Europe. Competitive shipping services are therefore essential for European companies and for the EU's economy as a whole. The commitments offered by 14 carriers will make prices for these services more transparent and increase competition". Container liner shipping is the transport of containers by ship according to a fixed time schedule on a specific route between a range of ports at one end (e.g. Shanghai - Hong Kong - Singapore) and another range of ports at the other end (e.g. Rotterdam – Hamburg - Southampton). The Commission had concerns that container liner shipping companies' practice of publishing their future price increase intentions may harm competition and customers by raising prices for their services to and from Europe, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The commitments address the Commission's concerns and aim to increase price transparency for customers and to reduce the likelihood of coordinating prices. A full press release is available online in EN, FR, DE and DA. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Komel – Tel.: +32 229 61175)


New Commission app measuresinternet signal to map connection quality across the EU

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed an application that will help EU citizens travelling abroad in Europe to see the quality of Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G, and GSM signals they can get in their surroundings. ‘netBravo’allows the user to monitor different variables including signal strength, speed and channel usage, which are then shown in various colours depending on their quality, on a map of Europe. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the JRC, said: "As we head into summer and many European citizens will be travelling, the netBravo application will be a useful tool to help consumers make the best choice of operators, wherever they are in the EU. It will also help build a reliable picture of broadband quality across the EU. This makes netBravo an excellent example of how scientific advances can benefit both policy-making and services available to consumers.” The application has a strong privacy policy and does not collect any personal data. It is available for iOS and Android systems. You can download ‘netBravo’ here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)


EUROSTAT: Comptes de l'environnement - La productivité des ressources en hausse de 35% dans l'UE en 2015 par rapport à 2000

Dans l'Union européenne (UE), la productivité des ressources a augmenté, passant de 1,48 euro/kg en 2000 à 2,00 euros/kg en 2015, soit une hausse de 35,4% en termes réels. La productivité des ressources permet de quantifier le degré d’efficacité dans l’utilisation des ressources naturelles et indique si la croissance économique est compatible avec un usage plus efficace des ressources naturelles présentes dans l'environnement. Depuis 2008, la productivité des ressources a progressé dans l'UE, soutenue à la fois par la croissance de l'activité économique, telle que mesurée par le PIB, et par une réduction de l'extraction de matières, telle que mesurée par la consommation intérieure de matières (CIM). Lors de la période précédente, de 2000 à 2008, le PIB et la consommation intérieure de matières avaient augmenté en parallèle dans l’UE, ce qui s'est traduit par une productivité des ressources relativement constante. Un communiqué EUROSTAT est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Iris Petsa - Tel.: +32 229 93321)




Commissioner Oettinger discusses industry recommendations on 5G

Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther H. Oettinger will discuss this afternoon the "5G Manifesto for timely deployment of 5G in Europe" with industry representatives. This Manifesto has been developed by key players in telecoms and in sectors which will use 5G technologies and services in the future - such as automotive, health, energy, media and manufacturing (see names of signatories and endorsers in the Manifesto to be published at 14:00 CET). It responds to Commissioner Oettinger's call at the Mobile World Congress in February (see hisblog postpublished during the event). The 5G Manifesto outlines the main opportunities and challenges linked to the deployment of 5G infrastructure in Europe. In particular, it provides recommendations for a common vision and a calendar for deployment in Europe, investments, standards and the synchronised introduction of services. It underlines the need for the coordination of radio frequencies and improved regulatory conditions to support innovation. Ahead of the meeting, Commissioner Oettinger said: "I very much welcome the 5G Manifesto and discussions today with the high-level industry group. These will help us focus on the key levers to ensure European digital leadership in 5G. I will come forward with a 5G Action Plan in the autumn." (A blog post will be available later this afternoon). The Commission will consider ideas and recommendations from the 5G Manifesto, as well as other contributions - in particular from the consultation open until 11 July - when drawing up its 5G Action Plan. This Plan will be presented in the autumn, together with the review of the EU telecoms regulatory framework. More information. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Marie Frenay - Tel.: +32 229 64532)


"Invest and Connect" - European Summit of Regions and Cities in Bratislava tackles investment challenge

This year’s European Summit of Regions and Cities will take place from 8-9 July in Bratislava in the framework of the Slovak Presidency. The European Commission will be represented by Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. Investment, both private and public, is key to future growth and job creation, and is therefore crucial for long-term economic, social and territorial cohesion. Europe’s regions and cities play an important role in addressing the investment gap. The Commission's representatives will re-iterate how particular EU funding programmes such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) ease access to EU funding, promoting combinations of EU funds and enhancing the knowledge base regarding urban matters and the exchange of best practices. Unlocking the investment potential and tackling growing regional disparity among Europe’s cities and regions is one of the objectives of the recently agreed "Pact of Amsterdam" which sets out the key principles of the Urban Agenda of the EU. The Summit is jointly organised by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the Bratislava Region and City of Bratislava, and provides a platform for high-level discussions between the EU institutions, local politicians and other experts and stakeholders. Please consult the conference website for the full programme.Follow the event on twitter: #BratislavaSummit @eu2016sk (For more information: Jakub Adamowicz - Tel.: +32 229 50595, Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194, Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186)


Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)


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