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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 21 / 04 / 2017

Brussels, 21 April 2017

La Commission européenne lance un programme d'échange pour les jeunes agriculteurs européens avec la Chine

Le Commissaire à l'agriculture Phil Hogan et le ministre de l'agriculture chinois ont officiellement lancé aujourd'hui un programme pour les jeunes agriculteurs européens et chinois. Reconnaissant les défis qui se posent pour maintenir la vitalité et l'attractivité des zones rurales, pour pallier au manque de renouvellement des générations en agriculture et pour promouvoir un secteur agricole durable, compétitif et moderne, ce programme visera à approfondir la coopération bilatérale entre les deux blocs et à générer des enseignements communs. Durant la cérémonie de lancement, le Commissaire Hogan a dit: "Que ce soit en Europe ou en Chine, et même dans toutes les autres régions du monde, nous devons encourager une nouvelle génération de jeunes agro-entrepreneurs à développer le secteur agro-alimentaire du XXIème siècle. Je suis reconnaissant pour cette opportunité d'approfondir la relation très positive et constructive entamée durant mes visites en Chine l'année dernière." Dans le cadre de visites d'études, les participants auront l'occasion d'échanger des bonnes pratiques, notamment en ce qui concerne les techniques environnementales, et d'accroître leur compréhension mutuelle entre jeunes agriculteurs confrontés à des problématiques similaires. Les conclusions de ces visites pourront servir de base de réflexion aux législateurs sur le sujet des pratiques agricoles durables. Ce programme d'échanges s'inscrit pleinement dans le cadre du plan de coopération entre l'UE et la Chine dans les domaines de l'agriculture et du développement rural. L'appel aux candidatures pour participer aux visites ouvrira cet été. Plus d'informations sont disponibles en ligne. Le discours du Commissaire Hogan à l'occasion du lancement est également en ligne ainsi que la déclaration commune publiée à cette occasion. (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 229 56 185; Clemence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52509)

 

Juncker Plan: EUR 150 million to finance more sustainable shipping

The Juncker Plan has backed a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan agreement with ABN Amro, a Dutch bank, to unlock EUR 150 million in financing to support green shipping. The loan will support the refurbishment of older shipping units and the construction of new ones that so as to reduce the sector's carbon footprint. This is in line with the Strategy for low-emission mobility adopted by the Commission in June 2016. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Juncker Plan, was a crucial factor in making this loan agreement possible. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Financing the transition to more sustainable transport systems and networks requires a commitment to invest. Today's agreement demonstrates that the Investment Plan can play an important role in mobilising private finance to support this transition." The Juncker Plan is now expected to trigger around EUR 183.5 billion across Europe. For the latest figures country-by-country, see here. A full press release is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Alexis Perier – Tel.: +32 229 64913)

 

Commissioner Navracsics announces the winners of the 2017 European Union Prize for Literature

The European Union Prize for Literature is awarded annually to new and emerging authors, recognising literary talent from all corners of Europe. The 12 authors selected in 2017 are: Rudi Erebara (Albania), Ina Vultchanova (Bulgaria), Bianca Bellová (Czech Republic), Kallia Papadaki, (Greece), Halldóra K. Thoroddsen (Iceland), Osvalds Zebris (Latvia), Walid Nabhan (Malta), Aleksandar Bečanović (Montenegro), Jamal Ouariachi (The Netherlands), Darko Tuševljaković (Serbia), Sine Ergün (Turkey) and Sunjeev Sahota (United Kingdom). Launched by the European Commission in 2009 and supported by the Creative Europe programme, the European Union Prize for Literature is organised in partnership with the book industry. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said: "With the European Union Prize for Literature we shine the spotlight one emerging literary talents from all over Europe. We recognise the importance of the European book sector and help authors, publishers, translators and booksellers reach new readers across borders and offer readers more choice. I extend my warmest congratulations to all this year's prize winners." The competition is open to the countries involved in Creative Europe. The winners from each of the participating countries – 12 different countries each year - are selected by national juries comprised of publishers, booksellers, authors and critics. The winners will receive their awards at a ceremony hosted by Commissioner Navracsics in Brussels on 23 May 2017. Each winner will also receive a prize of 5,000 euro. More information on the European Union Prize for Literature as well as on the 2017 winning authors and their books can be found here(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083)

 

The European Union increases its support for Haiti

During an official visit to Haiti after the appointment of a new Government, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimicaannounced a new EU aid package. The first of which is a special allocation of €18.5 million in response to Hurricane Matthew which hit the island in October 2016. The EU had also provided initial emergency relief last year when the hurricane struck the country. The second part of support through the signature with the Prime Minister S.E.M Jack Guy Lafontant is a €45 million agreement for the construction of the National Road #3, connecting Port-au-Prince to the northern town of Cap Haitian, the second biggest town and port of Haiti. Commissioner Mimica said: "Through our new support we clearly show the solidarity of the European Union towards Haiti. We remain committed to supporting the Haitian population and the reconstruction and stabilisation of the country." Read the full press release here. (For more information: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Commissioner Malmström discusses trade policy with consumer organisations

EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström is meeting today with representatives of the European Consumer Organisations (BEUC) and the European Board of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD). The meeting will focus on how to best take account of consumers' interests while shaping EU trade policy. Today's exchange will build upon prior technical consultations between the Commission and these organisations. Engagement with stakeholders, including consumer organisations, NGOs, trade unions, as well as business representatives has been at the heart of the Commission's effort for a more responsible, inclusive and transparent trade and investment policy. Based on its commitment to engage more closely with civil society, as expressed in the 2015 policy strategy paper "Trade for All", the Commission has been intensifying its outreach activities in and outside Brussels, engaging through civil society dialogues, citizens' dialogues, specific stakeholder meetings and public consultations. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska - Tel.: +32 229 51383)

 

State aid: Commission endorses reform of UK Levy scheme on horserace betting

The European Commission has endorsed a reform of the existing UK Horserace Betting Levy scheme as in line with EU state aid rules. The reform will subject off-shore bookmakers to the levy whereas currently only bookmakers based in the UK contribute to the financing of horse racing. It will establish a 10% levy on the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) applied to all betting operators for their part of the GGY above a de minimis threshold of £500,000/year. The Commission has approved the measure because it recognises that it is essential for the improvement of horse breeding and horseracing without giving rise to undue distortions of competition. The measure also creates a level playing field among betting operators while at the same time supporting entry of new operators and the development of competition between betting operators, thanks to the de minimis threshold. This Commission decision will apply until the UK ceases to be a member of the EU. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.46216. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

Eurostat: Acquisitions de nationalité dans l'UE: Les États membres de l'UE ont octroyé la nationalité à moins de personnes en 2015 - Marocains, Albanais et Turcs demeurent les principaux bénéficiaires

En 2015, quelque 840 000 personnes ont acquis la nationalité d'un État membre de l'Union européenne (UE), un chiffre en baisse par rapport à 2014 (où il s'établissait à 890 000) et à 2013 (980 000). Depuis 2010, plus de 5 millions de personnes au total se sont vu octroyer la nationalité d'un État membre de l'UE. Parmi les personnes ayant obtenu la nationalité d'un État membre de l'UE en 2015, 87% n'étaient initialement pas ressortissants de l'UE. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'information: Christian Wigand – Tel: +32 229 62253;Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen attend Annual Convention for Inclusive Growth

On Monday 24 April, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Valdis Dombrovskis, and Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, will attend the Annual Convention for Inclusive Growth, in presence of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Convention was first organised on 21 March 2016 as the central element of the Commission's renewed approach to civil dialogue, by bringing together policy makers and civil society to discuss what the EU can do to ensure that all citizens reap the benefits of truly inclusive growth. This year's edition will focus on theme "Youth and social exclusion". The aim is to have a discussion on the December Youth initiative and to discuss issues such as investing in children, inter-generational fairness, social inclusion challenges in urban areas and social inclusion challenges for persons with disabilities. Commissioner Thyssen will give a keynote speech opening the Convention, which will be made available here. Vice-President Dombrovskis will present closing remarks, which will be published here. More information on the Convention can be found here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153;Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

Vice-President Katainen in Bratislava to discuss the Future of Europe with Speakers of National Parliaments

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, will be in Bratislava, Slovakia on Monday, 24 April, where he will participate in the Conference of Speakers of Parliaments in the European Union. During the event, the Vice-President will deliver a keynote address on the Future of Europe, as well as participate in a debate on the "Future of the EU as a global player in the context of the current global changes and the role of national Parliaments." Following the conference he will participate in a working lunch with business representatives to discuss theInvestment Plan For Europeas well as the Future of Europe. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

 

Commission representation at the Hannover Fair 2017

From 23-24 April, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioners Günther H. Oettinger and Elżbieta Bieńkowska will represent the European Commission at this year's “Hannover Messe”. Vice-President Šefčovič and Commissioners Oettinger and Bieńkowska will take part in the official opening ceremony with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło. Poland is the partner country of this year's edition of the largest industrial fair in the world. The Energy Union Vice-President Šefčovič will bilaterally meet with the Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development and Finance Mateusz Morawiecki. In the context of Energy Union governance, he will deliver a speech “National energy and climate plans: European perspective, please!” and discuss with various exhibitors innovations for a clean energy transition in industry and transport. Commissioner Oettinger, together with Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Szydło will visit the stands, and also deliver a speech on the "Future of Europe" at the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) pavilion. He will also participate in a discussion on the "Crisis of the EU - what does this mean for SMEs" organised by Deutsche Messe and the Association of German Machine and Plant Engineering (VDMA). Commissioner Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, will meet with industry exhibitors with special focus on industry 4.0 and the digital manufacturing. Furthermore, she will join a special display with “Young Tech Enterprises” and hold a bilateral meeting with Polish Prime Minister Szydło at the Polish Pavilion.  More information and event programme on the website of Hannover Messe. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

 

Calendar

The Commissioners' weekly activities

 

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

MEX/17/1062


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