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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 30 / 09 / 2016

Brussels, 30 September 2016

Investment Plan for Europe: EUR 65 million for innovative businesses in Bulgaria and Slovakia as EIF and CIBANK sign agreement

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and CIBANK have signed an InnovFin agreement to enhance access to finance to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps in Bulgaria and Slovakia. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe and is expected to generate a portfolio of EUR 65 million of loans. European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Today’s agreement between EIF and CIBANK re-affirms our commitment to further improve the geographical coverage of the SMEs benefiting from EFSI across Europe. The EFSI will continue to play a crucial role in helping innovative SMEs in Bulgaria, Slovakia and beyond gain access to vital financing solutions.” (For more information see here or contact Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: + 32 229 57361)


Commission finds that Lithuania's public support to Science and Technology Parks is not state aid

The European Commission has adopted a decision recognising that Lithuania's planned public support to Science and Technology Parks is not state aid liable to distort competition in the EU's Single Market. This is because the public support will be fully transferred by Science and Technology Parks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Commission decision acknowledges the important role that innovation intermediaries, and in particular Science and Technology Parks, can play in promoting the creation and growth of innovation-oriented SMEs. Innovation intermediaries put at the disposal of such SMEs both physical facilities and technical knowledge to overcome the most common hurdles hindering SMEs' initial development. The Commission decision finds that the public support is fully passed-on to the start-up SMEs and that the Science and Technology Parks are not themselves beneficiaries of State aid. At the same time, the Commission has also ensured that the pass-on of the public support is designed so as not to distort competition between the providers of support services for the SMEs. In particular, the Commission has requested that Lithuania (i) ensures that the State support in the form of rent-free use of buildings is fully passed-on to the start-up SMEs, (ii) claws-back any residual advantage at the level of the Science and Technology Parks, and (iii) ensures full transparency of the support to SMEs, in particular to guarantee that it meets the conditions required for de minimis support (for example, no more than €200 000 per SME over three years). Further information will be available on the Commission's website, under the case number SA.41540. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)


Commissioner Malmström visits Kyiv and unveils proposal to increase Ukrainian exports [Updated: 30/09/2016 at 12:50]

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is in Kyiv today to discuss the progress in putting into practice the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, in particular the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. During her visit, Malmström is meeting Prime Minister Groysman, Deputy Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, and Minister of Agriculture Taras Kutovyy, as well as parliamentarians and business representatives. In Kyiv, Malmström is also announcing the EU's readiness to offer further market openings to Ukrainian agricultural and industrial products, on top of what is already offered under the Association Agreement. The European Commission is proposing to increase the quantities of duty-free imports from Ukraine for agricultural products such as honey, cereals and processed tomatoes. This one-way measure would also significantly improve the conditions for Ukrainian exports of fertilisers, footwear, certain metals and electronic equipment. Commissioner Malmström said: "We hope this can give a positive boost to the Ukrainian economy. Our progress so far is clear, but much work still remains to unleash the full potential of our free trade area." The Ukrainian economy is growing again. Its duty-free exports to the EU increased by 5% in the first months since the Association Agreement with came into effect, and the EU has reinforced its position as Ukraine's biggest trading partner. Issues that require more effort include the fight against corruption, the creation of more transparent and predictable legislation, as well as the removal of measures that hinder trade and go against Ukraine's international commitments, such as certain food safety measures and the export ban on wood. Commissioner Malmström blogged today about her visit to Ukraine. Video on EbS from the press conference and other events in Kyiv will also be made available, as well as the proposal for additional market opening. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Axel Fougner - Tel.: +32 229 57276)


EUROSTAT: Flash estimate - September 2016, Euro area annual inflation up to 0.4%

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 0.4% in September 2016, up from 0.2% in August 2016, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, services is expected to have the highest annual rate in September (1.2%, compared with 1.1% in August), followed by food, alcohol & tobacco (0.7%, compared with 1.3% in August), non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, stable compared with August) and energy (-3.0%, compared with ‑5.6% in August). A full EUROSTAT press release is available online. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: + 32 229 56151)


EUROSTAT: Août 2016: Le taux de chômage à 10,1% dans la zone euro, à 8,6% dans l'UE28

Dans la zone euro (ZE19), le taux de chômage corrigé des variations saisonnières s’est établi à 10,1% en août 2016, stable par rapport à juillet 2016 et en baisse par rapport au taux de 10,7% enregistré en août 2015. Il s’agit toujours du taux le plus faible enregistré dans la zone euro depuis juillet 2011. Dans l’UE28, le taux de chômage s’est établi à 8,6% en août 2016, stable par rapport à juillet 2016 et en baisse par rapport au taux de 9,3% d'août 2015. Cela reste le taux le plus faible enregistré dans l'UE28 depuis mars 2009. Eurostat estime qu’en août 2016, 20,973 millions d’hommes et de femmes étaient au chômage dans l’UE28, dont 16,326 millions dans la zone euro. Par rapport à juillet 2016, le nombre de chômeurs a diminué de 40 000 dans l’UE28, tandis qu'il a augmenté de 8 000 dans la zone euro. Comparé à août 2015, le chômage a baissé de 1,587 million de personnes dans l’UE28 et de 875 000 dans la zone euro. Un communiqué de presse EUROSTAT est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: +32 229 67094)




Statement on the humanitarian situation in Aleppo, Syria

Yesterday, 29 September, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, has issued a statement on the urgent need for humanitarian access in Aleppo. "The need for humanitarian access in Aleppo, Syria could not be more urgent.I am outraged by the unprecedented attacks that have targeted civilians and humanitarian infrastructures. (…). No aid at all is getting in at the moment. (…).The European Union, as the leading donor in the international response to the Syria crisis, has been constantly working with humanitarian partners like the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and international NGOs, to prepare stocks and vital items for Aleppo, including life-saving essentials like food, medical supplies and water.These emergency materials are ready to be delivered through all possible means.(…)" Read the full statement here (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


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