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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 19 / 01 / 2018

Brussels, 19 January 2018

Lutter contre les discours haineux en ligne: l'initiative de la Commission enregistre des progrès

La troisième évaluation du code de conduite visant à lutter contre les discours haineux illégaux en ligne, réalisé des ONGs et institutions publiques, indique que les plateformes de médias sociaux ont supprimé en moyenne 70% du discours haineux illégal qui leur a été notifié. Depuis mai 2016, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube et Microsoft se sont engagés à lutter contre ce type de discours en Europe par le biais du code de conduite. Cette troisième évaluation montre que ces entreprises respectent de mieux en mieux leurs engagements visant à éliminer la majorité du discours haineux illégal dans les 24 heures. Cependant, certains défis subsistent, tel que le manque de retour systématique aux utilisateurs. Instagram a annoncé aujourd'hui son adhésion au code de conduite, augmentant ainsi le nombre d'utilisateurs couverts par le code. Andrus Ansip, Vice-Président du marché unique numérique, a salué ces améliorations: "Les résultats d'aujourd'hui montrent clairement que les plateformes en ligne prennent au sérieux leurs engagements concernant l'analyse des signalements et la suppression des discours de haine illégaux dans les 24 heures."Vĕra Jourová, Commissaire européenne à la Justice, aux Consommateurs et à l'Egalité des genres, a dit: "Internet doit être un endroit plus sûr, exempt de discours de haine illégaux, ainsi que de contenu xénophobe et raciste. Le code de conduite s'avère être un outil précieux pour lutter rapidement et efficacement contre le contenu illégal." Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne, ainsi qu'un memo contenant plus de détails. La conférence de presse de la Commissaire Jourová peut être suivie en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)


Commissioner Vella calls air quality ministerial summit on 30 January, and announces new measures to help Member States comply with environmental laws

In a final push to find solutions to address the serious problem of air pollution in the European Union, Commissioner for Environment, Karmenu Vella has invited ministers from 9 Member States to convene in Brussels on Tuesday, 30 January. The 9 Member States, namely the Czech Republic,  Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, face infringement procedures for exceeding agreed air pollution limits. The meeting gives an opportunity to Member States to prove that additional adequate steps will be taken to redress the current situation without delay and comply with European law. The European Commission today also adopted a Compliance Assurance Action Plan which is a set of specific measures to help Member States promote, monitor and enforce compliance with EU environmental rules that prevent pollution or environmental harm. A press release is available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Iris Petsa - Tel.: +32 229 93321)


Report: EU trade schemes promote economic development and human rights

The report published today jointly by the European Commission and the European External Action Service shows the positive impact of the European Union's duty-rebate schemes on developing economies. Trade acts as an engine for growth and helps promote human and labour rights, good governance and sustainable development principles. Today's report points out the progress made on issues such as women's empowerment, child and forced labour, torture, illegal drugs trafficking and climate change. A publication accompanying the report also identifies the progress and shortcomings specifically in the countries participating in the Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance, known as GSP+. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said: "The Generalised Scheme of Preference complements the European Union's political engagement with its partners. As a result, we have contributed to the strengthening of civil society and independent voices and to the better protection of human rights through national legislation in partner countries." Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "Our policies offer generous access to the EU market, coupled with strong engagement with national authorities. We're now seeing positive changes in many places around the world." Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen said: "We are encouraged to see positive developments and to have an open dialogue on important labour rights issues, such as eliminating child labour. As significant challenges remain, it is even more so important to step up our efforts." The EU will continue engaging with each beneficiary country on the necessary priority actions and organise monitoring missions targeting specifically those countries where strengthened efforts are required. See the press release, a Q&A and the factsheet for more information about the findings of the report. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)


EU-Canada trade agreement – stakeholders invited to suggest areas for future cooperation

The Commission has officially launched a call for proposals to identify sectors and issues where there is high interest for regulatory cooperation with Canada. The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) entered into force provisionally on 21 September 2017. As part of the agreement, the EU and Canada agreed to set up a Regulatory Cooperation Forum. All stakeholders are invited to submit their ideas, including representatives from academia, think tanks, civil society, NGOs, trade unions, businesses and consumer organisations. The aim of this forum is to cooperate on areas of mutual interest, which in turn can contribute to safer food and better protection for the environment. It also aims at avoiding unnecessary regulatory differences, reducing administrative burden and making trade between the two countries operate more smoothly. The cooperation in the forum is always voluntary and in no way limits the ability of the EU or Canada to regulate on behalf of their citizens as they see fit. For further details, please see the TRADE website. The deadline for submissions is 16 February 2018 (For more information: Daniel Rosario: + 32 2 2956185, Kinga Malinowska: +32 2 2951383)


Nijmegen becomes European Green Capital for 2018

Tomorrow the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands will officially become the European Green Capital for 2018. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will hand over the title for 2018 from Essen to Nijmegen. With more than two thirds of Europeans living in towns or cities, addressing environmental challenges is of outmost importance for the health and wellbeing of citizens. The European Green Capital Award recognises the important role of cities as drivers of sustainable development and rewards cities for their commitment to improving their urban environments. Commissioner Vella said: "It is with great honour that I pass the title of European Green Capital to Nijmegen, the first Dutch city to win the award. Nijmegen has shown what true collaboration can achieve. From its ambitious energy targets and commitment to circular economy, remarkable cycling movement and green transport, to impressive flood protection measures at the River Waal, Nijmegen has proven itself as a leader in urban sustainability. I am confident it will inspire and support other European cities on their path towards a greener future. I wish Mayor Bruls, his team and the people of Nijmegen the very best." Nijmegen will act as role model for sustainable urban development, sharing and promoting best practices that have been tried and tested in this Dutch city. More information here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Iris Petsa - Tel.: +32 229 93321)


Mergers: Commission approves Qualcomm's acquisition of NXP, subject to conditions

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of NXP, based in the Netherlands, by Qualcomm of the US. The approval is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by Qualcomm. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "We use our smartphones for many different things and now also more and more as mobile wallets, to pay for public transport or make other secure payments. With this decision, we ensure that Qualcomm's takeover of NXP will not prevent consumers from continuing to enjoy the benefits of these innovative technologies at competitive prices." Qualcomm and NXP have dominant or strong market positions with highly complementary products and own a significant amount of intellectual property relevant to smartphone manufacturers. Following its in-depth market investigation, the Commission had a number of competition concerns with the transaction as notified, which Qualcomm addressed by a set of commitments. Qualcomm committed to offer licenses to NXP's MIFARE technology and trademarks, for an eight-year period, on terms that are at least as advantageous as those available today.  It also Qualcomm committed to ensure that, for an eight-year period, it would provide the same level of interoperability between its own baseband chipset and the near-field communication (NFC) and secure element (SE) chips it acquires from NXP with the corresponding products of other companies.  Finally, Qualcomm made a number of commitments to address the Commission's competition concerns in relation to the licensing of NXP's NFC patents. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. The Commission's decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments. The full press release is available online in EN, FR, DE and NL. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Loders by Bunge and IOI

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Loders Croklaan Group B.V. ("Loders") by Koninklijke Bunge B.V. ("Bunge"), both of the Netherlands and by IOI Corporation Berhad ("IOI") of Malaysia. Loders produces and supplies high-end semi-specialty and specialty edible oils and fats to industry customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. Bunge trades and mills oil seeds, grains and cereals and produces and markets edible oils. IOI is a Malaysian conglomerate active, amongst others, as a vertically integrated palm oil producer owning and operating palm oil plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the very limited horizontal overlaps and vertical links between the companies' activities. 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.8686. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)




Commissioners Avramopoulos, Jourová and King receive U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security in Brussels

On Monday 22 January, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová and Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King will receive Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in her first visit to Brussels since taking up duties. Discussions will focus on EU-U.S. cooperation on security as well as on visa reciprocity and data protection. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 2 298 67 64; Christian Wigand Tel.: +32 2 29 62253)


Commissioner Navracsics in Malta to launch Valletta's European Capital of Culture 2018

Valletta in Malta and Leeuwarden in The Netherlands are the two European Capitals of Culture in 2018. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, will be in Malta tomorrow to take part in the official opening ceremony in Valletta. This launch event is the culmination of a week of opening celebrations which have been taking place across the city, inspired by the traditional Maltese festa (village feast). Ahead of the event, Commissioner Navracsics said: "Valletta's title of European Capital of Culture coincides with a special year for Europe: the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Both are unique opportunities to promote Europe's cultural diversity, highlight its common values and showcase how culture contributes to the European economy and society and helps us build a better Europe for the future. I am delighted that I will be in Valletta at such an important moment." During his visit, Commissioner Navracsics will also meet representatives of the National Youth Council of Malta and the European Democrat Students' organisation. More information on the European Capitals of Culture can be found here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)


Le Commissaire Hahn en Algérie pour participer à la réunion ministérielle "Dialogue 5+5" (Méditerranée occidentale)

Johannes Hahn, Commissaire pour la Politique Européenne de Voisinage et les négociations de l'élargissement, se rendra à Alger ce dimanche 21 janvier pour participer à la 14e réunion des Ministres des Affaires étrangères du "Dialogue 5+5" (Méditerranée occidentale). S'adressant à la session plénière, le Commissaire Hahn contribuera aux discussions sur la manière de stimuler le développement socio-économique, promouvoir l'investissement pour une croissance durable, et favoriser l'interconnectivité entre les deux côtés de la Méditerranée. La coopération en matière de sécurité, les défis auxquels sont confrontés les jeunes de la région, notamment en matière d'emploi, et la coopération régionale seront également à l'ordre du jour. En marge de la réunion, le Commissaire aura plusieurs réunions bilatérales sur les relations avec les différents pays participants. Des vidéos et des photos de la visite seront disponibles surEbS. (Pour plus d'informations: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)


Commissioner Thyssen in Berlin

On Monday, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, will be in Berlin, Germany, on the occasion of the yearly Franco-German Day. It will be an opportunity for the Commissioner to meet with four leaders of French and German trade unions and employer organisations, in the presence of German State Secretary Mr Thorben Albrecht. The aim of the meeting is to discuss EU's social dimension, in particular the European Pillar of Social Rights, its implementation via the European Semester and related initiatives such as the Commission's Work-Life Balance proposal and the Directive on Predictable Working Conditions. The meeting will also touch upon the topic of labour mobility. After the meeting, Commissioner Thyssen will visit Vattenfall, an enterprise active in apprenticeships, to get more insight in Germany's dual education system. To conclude her visit, the Commissioner will give a keynote speech at the Franco-German Day event on apprenticeships in Europe at the French Embassy in Berlin. The speech will be published here. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)



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