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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 26 / 04 / 2017

Brussels, 26 April 2017

Commission presents European Pillar of Social Rights and launches reflection on the social dimension of Europe by 2025

Today, the European Commission presents the European Pillar of Social Rights. Building a fairer Europe and strengthening its social dimension is a key priority for this Commission. The Pillar sets out 20 key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The Pillar is designed as a compass for a renewed process of upward convergence towards better working and living conditions in Europe. It is primarily conceived for the euro area but applicable to all EU Member States wishing to be part of it. President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said: "As Commission President, I have been seeking to put social priorities at the heart of Europe's work, where they belong. With the European Pillar of Social Rights and the first set of initiatives that accompany it, we are delivering on our promises and we are opening a new chapter. We want to write this chapter together: Member States, EU institutions, the social partners and civil society all have to take on their responsibility. I would like to see the Pillar endorsed at the highest political level before the end of this year." The Pillar is presented both as a Commission Recommendation, effective as of today, and as a proposal for a joint proclamation by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The Commission will now enter into discussions with the European Parliament and all the Member States in the Council to work towards broad political support and high-level endorsement of the Pillar. More information on the European Pillar of Social Rights can be found in the press release and memo online. In addition, the Commission flanks the Pillar with a number of concrete legislative and non-legislative initiatives, such as on the work-life balance of parents and carers, on the information of workers, on access to social protection and on working time. More information can be found in this press release and memo. In parallel, following the launch of the discussion on the future of Europe via the Commission's White Paper presented on 1 March, today the Commission also zooms in on the social dimension of Europe by 2025. Today's reflection paper on Europe's social dimension will mark the start of a reflection process with citizens, social partners, the European institutions and governments, that seeks to identify responses to the challenges our societies and citizens face in the coming years. Today's paper is also an effort to clarify the contribution of the EU level in addressing these challenges. More information can be found in this press release. During the College readout, Vice-President Dombrovskis will present the reflection paper, and then Commissioners Thyssen and Jourová will present the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying initiatives (live here). First Vice-President Timmermans, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen will present the package to the European Parliament later this afternoon (live here). (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)


Hungary: Commission takes legal action on Higher Education Law and sets record straight on 'Stop Brussels' consultation [*updated 26/04/17 at 15:25]

The European Commission today followed up on its 12 April discussion on legal and fundamental values issues related to Hungary by taking action on two fronts: First, on the basis of an in-depth legal assessment of the Hungarian Higher Education Law of 4 April, the European Commission concluded that the law is not compatible with the fundamental internal market freedoms, notably the freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment but also with the right of academic freedom, the right to education and the freedom to conduct a business as provided by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as with the Union's legal obligations under international trade law. The College therefore decided to take legal action and sent a Letter of Formal Notice to the Hungarian Government on the Hungarian Higher Education Law. The Hungarian authorities will now have one month to respond to the legal concerns of the Commission. The Commission also decided to continue pursuing a dialogue with the Hungarian authorities on other outstanding concerns, including in the field of asylum and will continue to follow closely the draft law on registration of NGOs which has also raised concerns. Second, the European Commission will publish today its response to the false claims in the Hungarian Government's 'Stop Brussels' national consultation which was launched in April 2017. The Commission considers that the consultation is based on several factually incorrect or highly misleading claims and allegations and will therefore set the record straight in its response – based on hard facts – that has been made public at the start of First Vice-President Timmerman's intervention at the European Parliament Plenary debate today and is available here in English and Hungarian. The College decided on 12 April to continue to use all available means under the Treaties to uphold the EU's shared values and to engage in a broad political dialogue with the Hungarian authorities, the other Member States and the European Parliament. The first opportunity for a public dialogue will be at this afternoon's Plenary debate of the European Parliament, with the participation of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán. The Plenary debate can be watched live on EbS at 15.00. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)


Commission takes action to make garment sector more sustainable

Today, the European Commission presents a set of focused actions to make value chains in the garment sector more sustainable. This comes after we just marked the four year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. The Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, is presenting the Staff Working Document on "Sustainable Garment value chains through EU Development action" at an event organised jointly by the European Parliament and the Commission to honour the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster and discuss challenges and opportunities for creating sustainable supply chains in the garment sector. As a result of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, more than 1,100 people were killed and around 2,500 injured. Commissioner Neven Mimica said: "Tragedies like Rana Plaza have put the spotlight on the urgent need to improve the conditions in the garment sector. Many concrete actions to bring immediate improvements are possible and needed. This is what we aim to do. We need to turn tragedy into transformation and stand up for a fairer, safer and greener garment industry." The European Commission recently approved four new projects related to the garment sector, targeting in particular Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Mali and Pakistan. These projects of around EUR 45 million will contribute to improve sustainable business practices and working conditions in producing countries. Read also the Web Release and the Staff Working Document. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)


Concentrations: La Commission autorise l'acquisition de PGA par Emil Frey France

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de PGA par Emil Frey, les deux basées en France. PGA est actif dans la vente au détail d'automobiles neuves et d'occasion de diverses marques en France, en Pologne, aux Pays-Bas, en Belgique, en Espagne et en Italie, et ce y compris dans la distribution de pièces détachées d'origine. Emil Frey est actif dans la distribution, au niveau de gros et de détail, d'automobiles neuves et d'occasion de diverses marques en Suisse, en Allemagne, en France, en République tchèque, en Hongrie, en Pologne, en Croatie, en Serbie et en Slovaquie, et ce y compris dans la distribution de pièces détachées d'origine. La Commission a conclu que l'opération envisagée ne soulèverait aucun problème de concurrence compte tenu du caractère modéré des parts de marché cumulées des parties et du nombre d'acteurs puissants qui resteront sur le marché après la concentration. La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations. Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez consulter le registre publicdes affaires de concurrence sur le site web de la Commission consacré à la concurrence, sous le numéro M.8434. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Eurostat: Décisions sur les demandes d'asile dans l'UE - Les États membres de l'UE ont accordé en 2016 la protection à plus de 700 000 demandeurs d'asile - Plus de la moitié des bénéficiaires étaient Syriens

Les 28 États membres de l'Union européenne (UE) ont accordé le statut protecteur à 710 400 demandeurs d'asile en 2016, soit plus du double qu'en 2015. En plus de ces octrois de statuts protecteurs, les États membres de l'UE ont accueilli plus de 14 000 réfugiés réinstallés. Les principaux bénéficiaires d'un statut protecteur dans l'UE en 2016 étaient toujours les citoyens de Syrie (405 600 personnes, soit 57% du nombre total de personnes ayant obtenu un tel statut dans les États membres de l'UE), suivis par les citoyens d'Irak (65 800, soit 9%) et ceux d'Afghanistan (61 800, soit 9%). Le nombre de décisions accordant l'asile à des Syriens a plus que doublé par rapport à 2015: ils ont été en 2016 les principaux bénéficiaires d'un statut protecteur dans dix-neuf États membres. Parmi les 405 600 Syriens qui se sont vu accorder un statut protecteur dans l'UE, plus de 70% ont été enregistrés en Allemagne (294 700). Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423)


Eurostat: Toujours plus de diplômés de l'enseignement supérieur parmi les 30-34 ans dans l'UE et toujours moins de jeunes quittant prématurément l'éducation

Dans l'Union européenne (UE), la part des personnes âgées de 30 à 34 ans diplômées de l'enseignement supérieur continue d'augmenter: elle est ainsi passée de 23,6% en 2002, lorsque la série a débuté, à 39,1% en 2016. Cette tendance est encore plus significative pour les femmes (de 24,5% en 2002 à 43,9% en 2016, soit au-dessus de l'objectif global Europe 2020) que pour les hommes (de 22,6% à 34,4%, soit toujours en-dessous de l'objectif global Europe 2020). L'objectif de la stratégie Europe 2020 est qu'au moins 40% des 30-34 ans dans l'UE obtiennent, d'ici 2020, un diplôme d'enseignement supérieur. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.:+32 2 296 70 83; Inga HöglundTel.: +32 229 50698)




Vice-President Katainen visits Madrid to discuss the Investment Plan and the Defence Action Plan

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, will be in Madrid, Spain tomorrow. He will deliver a keynote address at an event focussed on the Investment Plan for Europe. The Investment Plan is already expected to trigger over EUR 27 billion in investments in Spain, out of an overall EUR 183.5 billion across the EU. He will also meet Mr. Luis de Guindos, Minister of Economic Affairs, Industry and Competitiveness for a working lunch to discuss opportunities for Spain under the Investment Plan for Europe, the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the European Defence Action Plan, especially the European Defence Fund. He will appear before the European affairs and competitiveness committees of the Spanish Parliament for an exchange of views on the Investment Plan for Europe. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 51496)


Le Commissaire Moscovici débattra de l'euro et de la situation de l'économie européenne à l'Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles

Le Commissaire européen aux affaires économiques et financières, à la fiscalité et à l'union douanière Pierre Moscovici participera cet après-midi à un dialogue citoyen à l'Université Saint-Louis, à Bruxelles. Au lendemain du 60ème anniversaire du Traité de Rome, le Commissaire discutera de la situation de l'économie européenne, des apports de l'euro et les priorités de l'UE en matière de politique économique. Il abordera également les propositions de la Commission européenne visant à améliorer la gouvernance de la zone euro. L'événement est organisé par le mouvement pro-européen Stand Up for Europe, Students for Europe Saint-Louis, en partenariat avec l'Institut des Etudes européennes et la Commission européenne. Suivez la discussion en direct à 17h30 CET. (Pour plus d'informations: Annika Breidthardt - Tél .: +32 229 56153; Vanessa Mock - Tél .: +32 229 56194)


La Commissaire Creţu en Croatie

Demain, la Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Creţu se rendra en Croatie, où elle rencontrera le Premier Ministre Andrej Plenković, la Ministre en charge du développement régional et des fonds européens, Gabrijela Žalac, ainsi que des membres du Sabor, le Parlement national. La Commissaire participera à la cérémonie de signature de neuf nouveaux projets cofinancés par l'UE, ainsi qu'à un Dialogue Citoyen sur le thème du futur de la politique de Cohésion, avec la Ministre Žalac. "Les fonds européens représentent près de trois quarts des investissements publics en Croatie, c'est pourquoi il est crucial d'assurer une exécution rapide et efficace des programmes sur le terrain," a déclaré la Commissaire Creţu, "Je viens apporter le soutien de la Commission aux autorités croates pour assurer les meilleurs résultats possibles et je les invite également à participer activement à la discussion sur le futur de l'Europe et sur le futur de la politique de Cohésion." Plus d'informations sur les Fonds structurels et d'investissement européens en Croatie sont disponibles ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tél.: +32 229 56169)


Commission appoints Director to its department for Environment

The Commission decided today to appoint Mr Gilles Gantelet to the position of Director for Policy in its department for Environment (DG ENV). Mr Gilles Gantelet, a French national, joined the Commission in 1994. His career at the Commission focused on communication policy, including as Spokesperson for former Commissioners Jacques Barrot and Loyola de Palacio. He covered a variety of other topics, including monitoring and implementation of various programmes and priority policies in different areas such as transport, energy, internal market, industry and environment as well as human resources and regional policy. In 2010, Mr Gantelet became Head of Unit for Communication and Interinstitutional Relations in the department for Energy (DG ENER). Since 2016, he is heading the unit in charge of Sustainable Developments Goals Strategy in the department for Environment. The appointment will take effect on 1 May 2017. (For more information: Alexander Winterstein – Tel.: +32 229 93265; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)



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