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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 27 / 03 / 2017

Brussels, 27 March 2017

Commission gives a boost to youth mobility in Europe

The European Commission presented today an initiative under the Erasmus+ programme which further supports learning and mobility of young Europeans. Called "Move2Learn, Learn2Move", it will enable at least 5,000 young citizens to travel to another EU country in a sustainable manner – individually or together with their school class. The one-off initiative, which is linked to the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme, is consistent with two central priorities of the Commission: to put a renewed focus on Europe's youth, and to facilitate EU citizens' mobility, particularly low emission mobility. Move2Learn, Learn2Move builds on an idea put forward by the European Parliament in 2016. It will be implemented through eTwinning, the world's biggest teachers' network. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: "Building on the success of eTwinning, this initiative will enable young people to discover and experience first-hand different countries and cultures across Europe. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Erasmus, this will be another example of this EU success story bringing people together, helping them to develop a feeling of what it means to be European.“ Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Transport is not about tracks, ships or motorways; it is about people. We want to give young Europeans the chance to discover Europe. We also want to encourage them to travel in an environmentally friendly way, which is why CO2 emissions will be taken into account. I am also happy that we can count on the active participation of transport operators to help strengthen the initiative." More information is available in a press release in all languages, in a Q&A in ENFR, DE and in this factsheet on eTwinning. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt  Tel.: +32 229 67083; Anna-Kaisa Itkonen  Tel.: +32 229 56186; Joseph Waldstein  Tel.: +32 229 56184; Alexis Perier  Tel.: +32 229 69143)

 

Digital Single Market: Commission launches public consultation on review of Significant Market Power Guidelines

The European Commission has today launched a public consultation to prepare the review of the Significant Market Power (SMP) Guidelines, dating from 2002. The goal is to update the guidelines in time for the implementation of the new European Electronic Communications Code. Vice-President for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "Telecommunications are the backbone of the Digital Single Market, which is why we have to check thoroughly how best to regulate markets in this fast-paced environment and how to ensure a level playing field for all operators, whether big or small. The consultation will support us in making our Guidelines fit for the future." The SMP Guidelines set out principles for use by the national telecoms regulators under the European regulatory framework for electronic communications in relation to market-based analysis and assessment of significant market power, to guide regulators in their decisions whether and when to intervene in markets. The update of the guidelines shall take into account changes in the telecoms markets and recent developments in regulatory and competition law. Member States, national regulatory authorities, national competition authorities, as well as electronic communications providers, academics in law and economics, and consumers are invited to express their opinion. The public consultation will be open until 26 June 2017. More details are available here. An overview on the progress made with the Digital Single Market can be found in this factsheet. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: + 32 229 67083; Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Latest figures show that EU agri-food exports started 2017 at high level

The monthly value of EU agri-food exports in January 2017 reached a level of €10.3 billion, which is almost €1 billion higher than in January 2016, according to the latest agri-food trade report published today. USA remains the most important destination for EU agri-food exports with the highest increases in monthly export values (January 2017 compared to January 2016) being recorded for that country (€+206 million) followed by China(€+120 million). The highest increases in monthly export values were achieved for wine (€+127 million), pork (€+112 million) and spirits and liqueurs (€+83 million). EU agri-food exports to Russia increased in value by 3.6%. Thus, Russia remains on rank number 5 of EU export destinations for agri-food products, behind the USA, China, Switzerland and Japan. The full report is online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Axel Fougner  Tel.: +32 229 57276

 

State aid: Commission approves €12 million aid scheme for new air routes to Italian region of Calabria

The European Commission has found that an Italian scheme aimed at providing start-up aid to airlines launching new routes to the region of Calabria is in line with EU state aid rules. The scheme will allow the Calabria regional government to subsidise up to half of the airport charges paid by airlines for the operation of new routes to or from the airports of Lamezia Terme, Reggio Calabria and Crotone for a period of up to three years. The routes must be genuinely new routes to destinations not currently connected to the region of Calabria. The aid, with a total budget of up to €12 million, will be granted to airlines following a call for proposals. The Commission has concluded that the project will improve connections with the Calabria region, in line with EU objectives, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. Under the Aviation guidelines, airlines may receive start-up aid that gives them the necessary incentive to create new routes from regional airports, increases the mobility of EU citizens by establishing access points for intra-EU flights and stimulates regional development. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.46709. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

Concentrations: la Commission autorise l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint de RTE par la Caisse des dépôts et consignations

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint de RTE Réseau de transport d'électricité par la Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC), toutes deux basées en France. RTE est propriétaire et gestionnaire du réseau français de transport d'électricité et est actuellement sous le contrôle exclusif d'Electricité de France (EDF). CDC gère diverses participations de l'état français, notamment dans des projets d'intérêt général. La Commission a conclu que l'acquisition envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problèmes de concurrence au regard des chevauchements limités entre les activités d'EDF, CDC et RTE dans le secteur des services d'ingénierie. Les relations verticales entre les parties ne sont également pas susceptibles d'affaiblir la concurrence dans la production et la fourniture en gros d'électricité, ainsi que dans les secteurs des services d'ingénierie et de l'équipement électrique. La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure normale de contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous la référence M.8270. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni  Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Concentrations: la Commission autorise l'acquisition de Pioneer par Amundi

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition de Pioneer (Italie) par Amundi (France). Pioneer est la branche gestion d'actifs d'UniCredit et est active sur de nombreux marchés, notamment en Europe. Amundi, filiale du Crédit Agricole, est active dans la gestion d'actifs dans le monde entier. La Commission a conclu que l'acquisition envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence compte tenu de la complémentarité entre les activités des entreprises, du faible accroissement résultant de la transaction et de l'existence d'un certain nombre de concurrents, assurant un choix suffisant pour les clients. La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure normale du contrôle des concentrations. Des plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires, sous le numéro d'affaire M.8359. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni  Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

 

STATEMENTS

 

Statement by Commissioner Avramopoulos following the meeting with five Member States on progress towards full visa reciprocity with the United States

Yesterday, Commissioner Avramopoulos met with the Bulgarian Minister of the Interior, Plamen Uzunov, the Romanian Minister of the Interior, Carmen-Daniela Dan, the Croatian Minister of Interior, Vlaho Orepic, the Polish Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jan Dziedziczak and the Cypriot Deputy Permanent Representative to the European Union, Olympia Neocleous, to discuss progress towards achieving full visa reciprocity with the United States. In a statement issued following the meeting, Commissioner Avramopoulos said: "Reciprocity is a cornerstone of EU visa policy, and we are committed to continue working in a constructive and positive spirit, in close coordination between us, and the United States, to achieve this goal as soon as possible, including searching for mutually acceptable interim steps. We discussed steps that could be taken on the EU side to fulfil the criteria of the US Visa Waiver Program. We will continue to engage closely with the United States, both at political and technical level, in view of a solution which is to the mutual benefit of European and American citizens, as well as for our close strategic relations more widely." The full statement is available here. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456 ; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 58602)

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Energy Union Vice-President Šefčovič and Bertrand Piccard's World Alliance for Efficient Solutions to launch partnership

On 28 March, the Energy Union Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Professor Bertrand Piccard, Chair of the Solar Impulse Foundation, will inaugurate an exhibition in the European Commission's Berlaymont building (11:45 CET; floor -1, near the press room). The exhibition is dedicated to the zero fuel airplane, Solar Impulse, that Bertrand Piccard flew around the World. Vice-President Šefčovič said: "We will launch a partnership with the World Alliance for Efficient solutions, to provide our innovators in Europe with international reach and make sure that the members of the Alliance work well with our Smart cities and regions. I am also delighted that Bertrand Piccard will join me on some destinations of the Energy Union Tour to jointly engage with citizens, civil society and businesses on how to make the energy transition a tangible reality. Solar flight illustrates the potential of energy efficiency. Using energy in an efficient manner is central to our Energy Union strategy because it helps cutting emissions, brings savings to consumers, and reduces the EU's fossil fuel import dependency". The event will also provide an opportunity for Professor Piccard to present the World Alliance for Efficient solutions, a global initiative to demonstrate that concrete, tangible and efficient solutions can help reach our goals for a more sustainable future. The strong links between the World Alliance agenda and that of the Energy Union will be showcased with concrete projects, and a partnership will be announced between the Commission and the World Alliance to help foster EU innovative solutions that will make a difference globally. A VIP corner with Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Professor Piccard is scheduled at 13:00 CET. Media can follow live on Europe by Satellite. More information about Solar Impulse is online. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen  Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

 

Commissioner Avramopoulos in Budapest             

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos will be in Budapest, Hungary tomorrow where he will meet with the Hungarian Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér to discuss EU migration and border policy. A joint press conference with Minister Pintér will take place at 10:00 CET and can be followed live on EbS. Commissioner Avramopoulos will also visit the Budapest headquarters of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), which provides training to law enforcement officials in order to enhance the sharing of information and best practices among Member State authorities. More information on CEPOL's work is available here. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456 ; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 58602)

 

Commissioner Stylianides in Turkey today: attends Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction and visits EU aid projects

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is in Turkey today to attend the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in Istanbul and visit EU humanitarian aid projects funded via the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey. Commissioner Stylianides said: "With natural disasters increasingly affecting us both at home and abroad, we need to continue to invest in prevention to save lives and make communities better prepared in the future. The disaster risk forum is a key event to bringpublic, private, NGO and international stakeholders together to ensure we invest in reducing the risk and impact of disasters throughout Europe." Commissioner Stylianides' speech is available here. The European Commissionalso supports disaster prevention and preparedness efforts of participating states through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, of which Turkey is a member. A factsheet on disaster risk reduction is available here. "During my visit in Turkey, I will also take the opportunity to see the impact of the EU's humanitarian cash assistance programme which has now reached over 400,000 refugees."Commissioner Stylianides added. The Commission's largest ever humanitarian aid programme in Turkey worth €348 million was launched in September 2016. Known as the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), the scheme provides a monthly electronic cash grant to the most vulnerable refugees. (For more information: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

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

MEX/17/773


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