Following two discussions of the College of Commissioners, most recently in Strasbourg on 25 October, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will today set out the Commission's new approach on ecodesign, at an event hosted by the European consumer organisation, BEUC. The College agreed, on the proposal of President Juncker, to take a package-based approach going forward and to ensure that the Commission works in particular on those products where there is a clear benefit for European consumers in terms of energy and cost savings, job creation and revenue benefits for European industry, and energy or resource efficiency which contributes to the fight against climate change and the transition to a circular economy. Implementing the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives can save Europe's consumers €490 per year on their energy bills and generate revenues of €55 billion for industry. These policies also help to deliver nearly half of the EU's energy savings targets by 2020, and one quarter of the EU's emissions reduction targets by 2020. Today the First Vice-President and the Vice-President will present the next steps in the decision-making process and the Commission's intentions for the next Ecodesign Working Plan, including the potential contribution to our new 2030 targets and the implementation of the COP21 Paris Agreement. Remarks of First Vice-President Timmermans and Vice-President Katainen will be available online here this afternoon. You can find more information about the benefits of ecodesign and energy labelling policies in this factsheet. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 2 29 58602)
The European Commission has proposed to provide Spain with €856,800 from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 250 former car workers in the Spanish community Comunidad Valenciana (Spain) to find new jobs. Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, commented: "Comunidad Valenciana has already made good use of the opportunities offered by the European Globalisation Fund. I am confident that these new measures targeted at the automotive sector, which has been hit by the effects of globalisation across the EU, will help the redundant workers to find suitable new jobs." Spain applied for support from the EGF after 250 workers were made redundant by 29 enterprises operating in the automotive sector in Comunidad Valenciana. The measures co-financed by the EGF are intended to help the workers to find new jobs by providing them with active career guidance, job-search support, vocational training and training in transversal skills, promotion of entrepreneurship and contributions to business start-ups. The total estimated cost of the package is approximately €1.4 million, of which the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund will pay €856,800. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for approval. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)
The Commission is calling for vigilance by Member States' authorities and the poultry sector in the EU, and for the stepping up of biosecurity on poultry farms. Following confirmation on 4 November of the highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5N8 on a turkey fattening farm in Tótkomlós, Békés County, the Hungarian authorities immediately applied control measures as laid down in EU legislation. This outbreak is caused by the same strain of Asian origin detected in a wild bird in the same area the week before. This and other outbreaks throughout the EU mark the seasonal circulation of avian influenza viruses. The protective measures to respond to the outbreak for the affected areas were reviewed and supported at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) on Monday 7 November. During the same meeting, the Commission also presented an update of EU control measures to combat the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, following the recent inter-ministerial meeting which took place in Warsaw. The new measures take account of the positive evolution of the situation in the domestic pig sector in Latvia and Lithuania, thus lifting some of the existing restrictions on pig farming. At the same time new ASF cases were registered in wild boar in Latvia and Poland, leading to an adjustment of the restricted areas in these two countries. The Commission insisted on the importance of higher biosecurity in pig farms and the need for targeted depopulation measures for wild boars avoiding counterproductive massive hunting. For more information see here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Aikaterini Apostola - Tel.: +32 229 87624)
La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu des règles de l'UE en matière d'aides d'État, le projet français de mécanisme de capacité. Au cours de l'enquête, la France a accepté de modifier la mesure en cause. La Commission a conclu que la mesure révisée améliorait la sécurité de l'approvisionnement en électricité tout en maintenant la concurrence. Mme Margrethe Vestager, commissaire chargée de la politique de concurrence, a déclaré à ce propos: «Le mécanisme de capacité français sera ouvert à tous les fournisseurs de capacité, y compris ceux situés à l'étranger, et permettra l'entrée de nouveaux acteurs sur le marché. La mesure présente ainsi un bon rapport coût-efficacité et préserve la concurrence. L'autorisation accordée aujourd'hui garantit la maîtrise des tarifs de l'électricité pour les consommateurs. Nous avons œuvré de concert avec les autorités françaises pour rendre le mécanisme envisagé conforme aux règles de l'UE en matière d'aides d'État.» Un communiqué de presse est disponible en FR, EN et DE. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)
Today, Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre (JRC), is participating in the second edition of the 'Science meets Parliaments' initiative. This event brings together European and national parliamentarians, regional authorities, civil servants and leading scientists from across Europe to foster a regular dialogue between policy makers and the European scientific community. 'Science meets Parliaments' is also in line with the European Commission's efforts to foster 'better regulation' principles and practices, by promoting the use of evidence in preparing, implementing and evaluating initiatives and policies. Commissioner Navracsics said: "Informed and responsible policy decisions need to be based on solid facts, but channelling scientific evidence into the democratic process remains a challenge. We therefore need to keep building a new dialogue between scientists and policy makers at all levels. I welcome the openness of all partners to continue the discussions started last year. And I am pleased to see that throughout the year this initiative has been rolled out at the regional level, with several Science meets Regions meetings having taken place recently." The 'Science meets Parliaments' initiative was jointly launched by the JRC and the European Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) in September 2015. Today's event was preceded by yesterday's first 'Science meets Regions' event, with representatives from European regions which spearheaded similar events with the JRC in 2016 to promote a better understanding between scientists and policy making as well as a culture of evidence-based policy making on a regional level. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184).
Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)