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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 06 / 10 / 2017

Brussels, 6 October 2017

EU - India Summit: strengthening our strategic partnership and moving forward with our common agenda

The 14th Summit between the European Union and India was held today in New Delhi, marking 55 years of diplomatic relations between the world's two largest democracies. The European Union was represented at the Summit by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. India was represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini also attended. "We are the world's two largest democracies. We are two of the world's biggest economies. We share the same values and the belief in freedom, equality, tolerance and the rule of law. Working together with a like-minded partner like India simply makes sense. It is natural", said the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.  "We agreed that we should take our trading relationship to the next level. It is high time for a Free Trade Agreement between India and the EU. Once the circumstances are right – and only once the circumstances are right – we will resume. Today's Summit is an important step in the right direction and after hearing Prime Minister Modi I am confident we can move forward. Our chief negotiators will next sit down in November to chart a way forward." The full remarks of President Juncker at the joint press conference following the Summit are available online. The Summit provided an opportunity for leaders to take stock of EU-India cooperation across the full spectrum of our cooperation, including tackling global challenges, the economic relationship, and sectoral cooperation. A number of substantial, concrete deliverables were agreed by the leaders at the Summit, and are detailed in a Joint Summit Statement. Joint statements on combatting terrorism; on clean energy and climate change; and on smart and sustainable urbanisation were also adopted. A full press release on the Summit outcomes is available online. After the Summit, President Juncker will deliver the keynote speech at the EU-India Business Forum. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski – Tel: +32 229 89359)   


Our Ocean 2017: European Union leads the way on global actions for better governance of the oceans

More than six billion euros have been committed by public and private actors at the European Union-hosted conference in Malta, to better manage the oceans. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries have announced yesterday on behalf of the EU over €550 million of EU-funded initiatives to tackle global oceans challenges. At the conference, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will announce that the European Commission will phase out by end 2017 all single-use plastic cups in water fountains and vending machines in its buildings in Brussels. Furthermore, Commissioner for Development, Neven Mimica reaffirmed on behalf of the EU and its African, Caribbean, and Pacific partners their commitment for sustainable ocean governance. Read the joint statement here. Following the strong message sent by the EU to step up action for better governance of our ocean, the total commitments made by other public and private actors from 112 countries around the world reached over €6 billion. The resources will be invested to strengthen the fight against marine pollution and enlarge protected areas, reinforce security of the oceans, foster blue economy initiatives and sustainable fisheries and intensify the EU efforts against climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals under Agenda 2030. Participants also announced the creation of new Marine Protected Areas spanning more than 2.5 million km², or more than half the size of the entire European Union. The full list of over 400 commitments (36 from the EU, over 200 from third country governments, more than 100 from business and several others from NGOs, foundations, research institutes and international organisations) are available online. A press release and memo are available online. A press conference with First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Vella can be followed live here at 13:00 CET. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Iris Petsa - Tel.: +32 229 93321)


Commission welcomes the Tallinn Declaration on e-government

European Ministers responsible for e-government pledged today at the Ministerial eGovernment Conference in Tallinn, Estonia to accelerate wider use of electronic identification means across the EU. This is an important step to complete the formal notification of electronic identification means under the regulation on the electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS), which makes it possible for Europeans to access online services in other Member States just as they do at home and for European businesses to make easy electronic transactions in the internal market. Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Gabriel welcomed this step with a joint statement, saying: "European Ministers responsible for e-government committed today to accelerate wider use of electronic identification means across the EU. The Tallinn Declaration marks therefore serious progress for our citizens and businesses. […] The Commission will continue to work closely with the Member States to accelerate this process." The full statement is available here. Another declaration was signed yesterday in Tallinn at the second Eastern Partnership Ministerial meeting on the digital economy. Ministers from EU Member States as well as from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine signed a declaration agreeing to specific targets that reflect a shared willingness to deepen their cooperation in six priority areas: electronic communications and infrastructure; trust and security; eTrade; digital skills; ICT innovation, and start up ecosystems; and eHealth. Read more here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)


Trade defence: Commission imposes anti-dumping measures on steel producers from four countries

The Commission today imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of hot rolled flat steel products from Brazil, Iran, Russia and Ukraine. Hot rolled flat steel products from these countries will face duties ranging between €17.6 and €96.5 per tonne after an investigation conducted by the Commission. Serbian imports to the EU, although initially part of the investigation, were not included in the final regulation because their volume was considered negligible. This action is yet another one taken by the EU to protect European jobs and industry from unfair trade practices and brings the total number of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures in place on steel products to 48. The goal is to provide a level playing field and conditions of fair competition for European companies. In addition to this, the EU is tackling the root causes of overcapacity in the global steel industry through its active involvement in the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity created last December.The text of the regulation is available in the EU Official Journal. (For more information: Daniel Rosario - Tel.: +32 229 56185 and Kinga Malinowska – Tel.: + 32 229 51383)


Investment Plan for Europe: €260 million for SMEs in Hungary

Today the European Investment Fund has signed an agreement with Hungarian guarantee institution Garantiqa to provide HUF 80 billion (ca. €260 million) to some 3,500 small and medium-sized businesses in Hungary. The agreement is covered by the guarantee of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Juncker Plan. The deal will help reduce the administrative burden involved in getting a loan. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “The agreement signed today by the European Investment Fund and Garantiqa is very good news for small Hungarian businesses. Thanks to support from the Investment Plan for Europe, not only will 3,500 small businesses have access to HUF 80 billion in finance to grow their companies, but the deal will also help reduce the administrative burden involved in getting a loan. I encourage SMEs in Hungary with an investment proposal to use this opportunity and apply to Garantiqa.” (For more information about any of the projects and the latest Investment Plan results see the Investment Plan website or contact Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)


Fourth successful European Citizens' Initiative submitted to the Commission [added on 06/10/2017 at 13:11]

The European Commission has officially received this morning the submission of the 4th successful European Citizens' Initiative. By supporting the 'Stop Glyphosate' European Citizens' Initiative, over 1 million citizens from at least 7 Member States have called on the European Commission "to propose to Member States a ban on glyphosate, to reform the pesticide approval procedure, and to set EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use". A total of 1,070,865 statements of support have been received from 22 Member States so far, and have been checked and validated by national authorities. The European Commission will now invite the organisers within the next 3 months to present their ideas in more depth. A public hearing will be arranged in the European Parliament to allow all stakeholders to present their views, and then the Commission will decide whether to act by proposing legislation, act in some other way to achieve the goals of the Initiative, or not act at all; all three options are possible under Article 11(4) of the Treaty of the European Union. After having listened to stakeholders, the Commission will present a Communication explaining its reasoning. The European Citizens' Initiative is a valuable tool in the hands of citizens and allows them to contribute to shaping EU law and policy. The Commission recently presented a proposal to modify the Citizens' Initiative Regulation, to make the tool even more accessible to citizens and to encourage its wider use. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tim McPhie - +32 229 58602)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Ambry Genetics by Konica Minolta and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Ambry Genetics of the US by Konica Minolta Inc. and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), both of Japan. Ambry Genetics is a healthcare company which provides genetic laboratory testing services and is active in related genetic research activities. Its business is focused on the US and Canada with negligible activities in the EU. Konica Minolta is a technology company specialising in imaging products, data analysis optics and nano-fabrication. It is active in 150 countries globally. INCJ is a public-private partnership of the Japanese Government and 26 private companies. It pursues investment activities by providing financial, technological and management support to next generation businesses. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the transaction's limited impact on the market structure. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8613. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Novae by Axis

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Novae Group PLC of the UK by Axis Capital Holdings Limited of Bermuda. Novae underwrites both insurance and reinsurance through its syndicate at Lloyds (Syndicate 2007). Axis is a global (re)insurance company providing a range of specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance with activities in several countries, including the UK. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because of the very limited overlaps between the companies' activities and its limited impact on the market structure. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8585. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)  




Apprendre à programmer un robot? La semaine européenne du code se déroulera du 7 au 22 octobre

La cinquième édition de la semaine européenne du "code" et de la programmation numérique s'étalera exceptionnellement sur deux semaines, du 7 au 22 octobre 2017. Ce sont plus de milliers d'activités qui vont faire vivre le monde numérique aux quatre coins de l'Europe et au-delà. La semaine européenne du code est une initiative organisée par des bénévoles et coordonnée par les Ambassadeurs numériques. Elle encourage chacun à découvrir la programmation numérique à travers des manifestations où jeunes, adultes et personnes âgées pourront apprendre à créer leurs propres applications, à programmer un robot ou encore à créer un site web. En parcourant la carte vous trouverez des événements organisés dans votre région par des écoles, des organisations sans but lucratif, des entreprises, des bibliothèques et d'autres amateurs de programmation numérique. Dans le cadre de sa stratégie pour un marché unique numérique, la Commission européenne encourage la semaine européenne du code ainsi que d'autres initiatives indépendantes visant à renforcer les compétences numériquesde chacun. La Commission organisera un événement pour fêter le cinquième anniversaire de la semaine européenne du code le 9 octobre 2017 au Berlaymont en présence de la Commissaire Gabriel en charge de l'économie et de la société numériques et du Commissaire Navracsics chargé de l'éducation, de la culture, de la jeunesse du sport. Tous deux participeront à un atelier de programmation numérique et les visiteurs pourront tester des projets conçus par les étudiants d'associations telles que  BeCode, Le Wagon, MolenGeek, Techies Lab, comme des robots, des imprimantes 3Det d'autres outils informatiques. (Pour plus d'information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698; Julia-Henriette Bräuer – Tel.: +32 229 80707)


La Semaine européenne des régions s'ouvre lundi à Bruxelles

La Commission, le Parlement européen et le Comité des Régions donneront ensemble le coup d'envoi lundi à 14h30 de la Semaine européenne des régions et des villes. Cette année, le thème principal sera l'avenir de la politique de Cohésion. Des centaines d'élus nationaux et locaux et de gestionnaires de projets se retrouveront toute la semaine pour discuter de ce qui a été accompli au cours de la décennie précédente avec les investissements de l'UE, sur la base du 7e rapport Cohésion qui sera présenté lundi, et de ce qu'il faut parachever dans la période post 2020. "Tous les participants savent à quel point la politique de Cohésion est vitale pour nos régions," a commenté la Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Creţu, "Et nous devons relayer le message le plus largement possible. C'est pourquoi je me réjouis du lancement, ce lundi, de l'alliance pour la cohésion. Cette alliance devra réunir les bénéficiaires des fonds de la politique de cohésion, villes et régions mais aussi des représentants du secteur privé, de la santé et de l'éducation, pour promouvoir une politique de cohésion forte dans la prochaine période financière." Au cours de cette semaine, vous aurez l'occasion d'échanger avec des élus et des experts de la politique de cohésion dans votre pays, d'assister à la traditionnelle cérémonie des RegioStars Awards et de participer à un séminaire sur l'avenir de la politique de cohésion. Le programme média complet est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)



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