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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 07 / 06 / 2018

Brussels, 7 June 2018

Le Président Juncker participe au sommet du G7 (8-9 juin)

Le Président Juncker est actuellement en route pour Charlevoix au Canada, pour participer au sommet du G7 qui y aura lieu le 8 et 9 juin 2018. Il y représentera l'Union européenne conjointement avec le Président Tusk dans les discussions des dirigeants sur les défis planétaires, notamment l'économie mondiale, la sécurité et les relations internationales, mais aussi la promotion de l'égalité des sexes et de l'autonomisation des femmes et la protection de l'environnement. Les développements récents dans le domaine du commerce seront aussi abordés par les leaders. Des réunions bilatérales, entre autres avec le Premier ministre canadien, Justin Trudeau ainsi qu'avec le nouveau Premier ministre italien, Giuseppe Conte, sont aussi prévus. L'Union européenne est membre à part entière du G7, et a participé à chaque sommet depuis 1977. Vendredi, 8 juin, à 10:00 heures heure locale / 16:00 CET, les Présidents Juncker et Tusk tiendront une conférence de presse qui sera transmise par EbS. (Pour plus d'information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382)


EU budget: Commission proposes most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet

For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing €100 billion for research and innovation. A new programme – Horizon Europe – will build on the achievements and success of the previous research and innovation programme (Horizon 2020) and keep the EU at the forefront of global research and innovation. Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said “Investing in research and innovation is investing in Europe's future. With Horizon Europe, we want to build on this success and continue to make a real difference in the lives of citizens and society as a whole.” Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, added: "We want to increase funding for the European Research Council to strengthen the EU's global scientific leadership, and reengage citizens by setting ambitious new missions for EU research. We are also proposing a new European Innovation Council to modernise funding for ground-breaking innovation in Europe". While continuing to drive scientific excellence through the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships and exchanges, Horizon Europe will introduce the following main new features: a European Innovation Council (EIC), new EU-wide research and innovation missions, maximising the innovation potential across the EU, more openness, a new generation of European Partnerships and increased collaboration with other EU programmes. More details on the proposal and past successful EU-funded research projects are available here and here. The press conference by Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Moedas starting at 12.00 CET can be followed live here. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Maud Noyon – Tel. +32 229-80379; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tel.: +32 229 55040)


EU budget: New Single Market programme to empower and protect Europeans

For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing a new, dedicated €4 billion programme to empower and protect consumers, promote human, animal and plant health, support Europe's many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and establish a framework for financing European statistics. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: "The Single Market is the beating heart of the EU. In the 25 years of its existence it has brought enormous benefits to EU citizens and businesses. For the Single Market to stay fit for purpose, we need to look after it properly. Today we are proposing a new programme to further increase the positive impact on Europeans". Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, added: "We need to ensure that consumers are able to benefit from their rights. This means providing them with practical advice on consumer issues and removing dangerous products from the market. This is what the new Single Market Programme will achieve. For the first time, we will also fund collective redress procedures, as we announced in the New Deal for Consumers." Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, added: "I am pleased that the food safety pillar is one of the main beneficiaries of the New Single Market Programme. This is the recognition of the importance of securing the smooth functioning of the internal market in food products, by preventing and when necessary combating animal and plant diseases that can have major consequences for public health and the EU economy. It allows us to strengthen further our efforts in the areas of animal welfare, food waste and the fight against fraud."A full press release and a factsheet are available online. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tel.: +32 229 55040; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)                                                                                               


EU trade defence: stronger and more effective rules enter into force

The modernised anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules will become effective as of tomorrow, 8 June. They will apply to all new investigations initiated on or after this date. The changes enable the EU to impose higher duties in some cases by changing the 'lesser duty rule'; shorten the investigation period to accelerate the procedure; increase transparency and predictability of the system for EU firms; and reflect the high environmental and social standards applied in the EU. They conclude a major overhaul of the EU's trade defence instruments, including also a new anti-dumping methodology put in place in December of last year. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: "The EU believes in open and fair trade but we are not naïve free traders. We have shown our teeth when we had to by adopting anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures. And now we have new and improved trade defence rules in our arsenal to face down some of today's challenges in global trade. Make no mistake – we will do whatever it takes to defend European producers and workers when others distort the market or don't play by the rules." Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: "Finally, this long-awaited reform can be rolled out and put into action. European companies have been looking for a modern set of rules. I am very confident that this provides us with the necessary tools to efficiently defend our industries from unfair trade practices. We believe in open, rules-based trade. Now, we are better equipped to stand up for our companies if other countries don't stick to the rules." Together with the new anti-dumping methodology, already in force, this is the first major overhaul of the EU's anti-dumping and anti-subsidy instruments in 15 years. It is the result of almost five years of work, including broad consultations with multiple stakeholders and negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council. For more information a press release, a factsheet and a guide for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are available online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)


Procédures d'infraction du mois de juin: la Commission prend des mesures en vue d'une mise en œuvre complète, correcte et en temps utile du droit de l'Union dans l'intérêt des citoyens et des entreprises

Pour aider les citoyens et les entreprises à tirer pleinement profit du marché intérieur, la Commission européenne noue un dialogue permanent avec les États membres qui ne respectent pas le droit européen et, au besoin, ouvre des procédures d'infraction à leur égard. Les décisions prises aujourd'hui, dans le cadre des décisions régulières d'infraction, comprennent 24 lettres de mise en demeure, 12 avis motivés et 1 renvois à la Cour de justice de l'UE. Elle clôt également 104 dossiers en cours lorsque l'État membre concerné, en coopération avec la Commission, a résolu le problème et assuré le respect du droit de l'Union et que, dès lors, une saisine de la Cour de justice de l'Union européenne n'est pas nécessaire. Un résumé des principales décisions et les références des communiqués de presse correspondants figurent ici. Les aspects essentiels des procédures d'infraction de l'UE sont énoncés ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 229 93265; Uldis Šalajevs – Tel.: +32 229 67560)


Launch of the European Drug Report 2018

Today, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and the Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Alexis Goosdeel launched the European Drug Report 2018. Commissioner Avramopoulos said: "We are seeing higher drug production and availability in Europe today. On top of that, the illicit drug market is highly dynamic and adaptable — and therefore all the more dangerous. If we want to stay ahead of the game, our efforts must focus on building both resilience and responsiveness, not least because of the growing importance of the online market and the development of new types of drugs. With the new rules on new psychoactive substances entering into force by the end of the year, Europe will be equipped with additional, stronger tools to tackle those challenges more effectively and better protect European citizens against dangerous drugs." The European Drug Report provides a comprehensive analysis of recent drug trends across the 28 EU Member States, Turkey and Norway. In particular, the 2018 report highlights an increased availability of cocaine in Europe, with around 2.3 million young adults having used the drug in the last year, and explores challenges associated with new psychoactive substances. The report is accompanied by the 2018 Statistical Bulletin and 30 Country Drug Reports presenting summaries of national drug phenomena (in the EU 28, Turkey and Norway). A press point took place today at 10 am and can be re-watched on EbS. The European Drug Report 2018 and the full press release are available online. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)


Audiovisual media services: EU institutions agree on modern and fairer rules

Yesterday evening the European Parliament and the Council confirmed the preliminary political agreement reached on 26 April 2018 on the revised rules that will apply to audiovisual media across Europe.This marks the successful conclusion of the negotiations with last pending technical issues solved. The revised rules will strengthen the country of origin principle (with more clarity on which Member State's rules apply in each case), extend the European audiovisual rules to video-sharing platforms, ensure a better protection of minors against harmful content, include stronger rules against hate speech and public provocation to commit terrorist offences, enhance the promotion of European works, ensure more flexibility in television advertising and reinforce the independence of audiovisual regulators. After formal confirmation by the Council and the European Parliament's plenary vote, the new rules will have to be transposed into national law. The revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) will come into force in 21 months after the formal confirmation. The revision of the Directive was proposed by the Commission in May 2016. Further details are available in a recent press release and updated Q&A.(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)


L'UE reste en tête du commerce agroalimentaire mondial

L'Union européenne a maintenu en 2017 sa place de premier exportateur et importateur mondial de produits agroalimentaires avec 138 milliards d'euros d'exportations et 117 milliards d'euros d'importations. Le rapport annuel 2017 sur le commerce agro-alimentaire de l'UE publié aujourd'hui montre par ailleurs que le secteur agro-alimentaire européen a une grande importance économique puisque la chaîne de production et de transformation alimentaire représente 7,5% de l'emploi total dans l'UE. La part des exportations dans la chaîne de valeur de la production continue d'augmenter et, à ce titre, les exportations sont un moteur de création d'emplois et de croissance pour le secteur agroalimentaire européen. Phil Hogan, Commissaire à l'agriculture, a déclaré: "Le succès du commerce agricole est clairement lié aux réformes de la PAC qui permettent aux producteurs européens d'être compétitifs sur les marchés internationaux. Mais c'est aussi grâce à la réputation mondiale des produits de l'UE qui sont de grande qualité, sains et produits de manière durable. Notre programme commercial ambitieux - avec des succès récents dans les négociations avec le Canada, le Japon et le Mexique - aide les agriculteurs et les producteurs alimentaires de l'UE à tirer pleinement parti des opportunités sur les marchés internationaux tout en instaurant des garanties nécessaires pour les produits les plus sensibles." L'UE exporte un large éventail de produits, dont les principaux en terme de valeur sont les vins et spiritueux, les aliments pour bébés, les préparations alimentaires, le chocolat et la viande de porc. Un communiqué de presse est en ligne ainsi que le rapport qui, en plus des flux principaux d'exportations et d'importations, détaille les relations avec les principaux partenaires commerciaux agro-alimentaires de l'UE. (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 229 56 185; Clemence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52509)


Eurostat: GDP up by 0.4% in both euro area and EU28

Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.4% in both the euro area (EA19) and the EU28 during the first quarter of 2018, compared with the previous quarter, according to an estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the fourth quarter of 2017, GDP had grown by 0.7% in both zones. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 2.5% in the euro area and by 2.4% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2018, after +2.8% and +2.7% respectively in the previous quarter. A Eurostat press release is available here. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055)


EU provides €1.5 million in humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Commission has announced today €1.5 million in humanitarian aid to address the increasing needs of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants stranded in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This brings Commission humanitarian funding to €30.5 million to address the needs in Western Balkans since the start of the refugee crisis. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said:“The number of refugees and migrants arriving in Bosnia and Herzegovina has increased and we must act swiftly. We are committed to help Bosnia and Herzegovina deal with this situation and deliver assistance to the most vulnerable refugees and migrants. Our funding will support their basic needs and provide emergency shelter, food and health assistance, as well as protection.” Read the full press release here.(for more information:Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi –Tel.: +32 229 69140)


Venezuela crisis: EU announces over €35 million in humanitarian and development assistance

As the socio-economic situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate with dire consequences both in Venezuela and the neighbouring countries, the Commission announces today a package of €35.1 million in emergency aid and medium-term development assistance to support the Venezuelan people and the neighbouring countries affected by this crisis. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "Venezuela and Europe have always been incredibly close. We have cultural, historic and family ties with them. […] This new package is for those who are in the country and those who fled. Venezuela's neighbours are showing great solidarity: we are with them, as partners, to support their hospitality while also strengthening the local communities' economy and resilience." Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides underlined: "During my visit to Colombia and the Venezuelan border just a few months ago, I saw first-hand the consequences of the crisis and its destabilising effects in neighbouring countries. Many people are lacking crucial medicines and are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Venezuela. We cannot remain bystanders to this human tragedy." Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added: "We are very concerned about the critical situation in Venezuela and its impact in neighbouring countries […]. This package will improve the Venezuelan people's access to food and nutrition, as well as basic services like water, sanitation and hygiene. The EU's support will also help Venezuelan migrants and host communities to build resilience to respond to the increasing migratory pressures." The full press release is available here. (for more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256; Daniel Puglisi –Tel.: +32 229 69140)


Clean Air Outlook: New report shows EU measures on emissions, climate and energy could reduce premature deaths by half in 2030

A new Commission report, Clean Air Outlook, shows that the number of premature deaths due to air pollution in 2030 could be reduced by more than half, if Member States fully applied EU policies on emissions, climate and energy. The analysis looks at Europe's air from now up to 2030 and how it's affected by the implementation of the National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NEC). It shows that the joint effect of new EU measures put in place since 2014 to reduce emissions from different sources (such as, medium combustion plants, non-road mobile machinery or fuel-burning appliances) and introduced as part of Energy Union can significantly improve air quality at a lower cost to society than initially expected. Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, said: "While ensuring clean air for our citizens requires urgent action from Member States now, action to reduce air pollution will also pay off in the long run. This report shows that, at the EU-level, we have the right policies working in the right direction, and that multiple benefits are possible. We are clearly on the right path. Now we have to make sure that these policies are fully implemented. For only one euro per citizen per year, thousands of premature deaths due to poor air quality could be prevented by 2030. This is really encouraging news for all Europeans concerned about air pollution, and for Member States authorities developing measures to deliver clean air to their citizens." The Clean Air Outlook will help Member States develop their National Air Pollution Control Programmes due by 1 April 2019 under the NEC Directive. The next Clean Air Outlook is foreseen for 2020.More information here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321)


Black Sea countries pledge to promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

The European Commission and the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) have secured today a 10-year pledge to rebuild the fish stocks in the Black sea, protect the region's ecological and economic wealth and boost sustainable aquaculture. The Ministerial Conference  co-organised by the GFCM and the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council resulted in a joint political declaration, signed by the European Commission, ministerial representatives from Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia,  Moldova, Turkey and supported by a number of other countries in the region. Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said: "Today's declaration is a historic step towards more sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Black Sea. Sustainable exploitation of our seas goes hand in hand with more viable livelihoods for our fishermen and thriving coastal communities. We now have a detailed plan. Let's turn it into action.” The Declaration sets out a detailed work plan for the next 10 years, which includes actions to: improve fisheries data collection; establish a multi-annual fisheries management plan and marine protected areas; develop a culture of compliance and eradicate illegal fishing; and support small-scale fishermen and aquaculture producers. More information here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321)


State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Greek bank guarantee scheme

The European Commission has authorised the prolongation of the Greek guarantee scheme for credit institutions until 30 November 2018 under EU State aid rules. The liquidity situation of the Greek banks is gradually improving, but challenges still remain. In this context, the Commission has found that the prolongation of the guarantee scheme is in line with EU State aid rules, i.e. the 2013 Banking Communication, in particular because the prolonged measure is targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission is authorising guarantee schemes on banks' liabilities for successive periods of six months in order to be able to monitor developments and adjust conditions accordingly. The scheme is available for banks with no capital shortfall. The Greek guarantee scheme was initially approved in November 2008. The authorisation of the scheme was prolonged several times, the last time in December 2017. The Commission has approved similar schemes in several other Member States. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.51087. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Severin Topco by Onex and Vista

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Severin Topco LLC by Vista Private Equity ("Vista"), both of the US and Onex Corporation ("Onex") of Canada. Severin Topco is a provider of application software and talent management software for school systems under the names PowerSchool and PeopleAdmin. Onex is a corporation listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange that invests in companies through a number of private equity funds. Vista is an investment firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because there are no overlaps between the activities of the companies. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competitionwebsite, in the public case register under the case number M.8921. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)


Concentrations: la Commission autorise la création d'une entreprise commune entre Kennedy Wilson et AXA

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, la création d'une entreprise commune entre Kennedy Wilson Holdings, Inc., basée aux Etats-Unis et le groupe AXA, basée en France. L'entreprise commune fournira des services immobiliers en Irlande. Kennedy Wilson est une société active dans l'acquisition, le développement et la gestion d'actifs immobiliers aux Etats-Unis, au Japon et en Europe. AXA est un groupe global actif dans le secteur de l'assurance ainsi que dans la gestion d'investissements. La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, compte tenu de son absence d'impact sur la structure du marché. L'opération a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée de contrôle des concentrations. De 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.8882. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)




Security Union: Commission welcomes agreement on stronger rules criminalising money laundering

The Commission welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the EU Member States on strengthened criminal law measures to counter money laundering. The new rules, proposed by the Commission in December 2016, will harmonise offences and sanctions for money laundering, ensuring that dangerous criminals and terrorists face equally severe penalties for their crimes across the whole EU. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “Over the past three years we have done our utmost to close down the space in which terrorists operate. With stronger and uniform rules on money-laundering across the European Union, we have tightened those screws even harder, making it more difficult for terrorists and criminals to get away with the profits of crime. Following the money of criminals and terrorists is an essential part of a Europe that protects and we will continue to deliver its building blocks, including this agreement, which I very much welcome." Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: "We need to hit terrorists and criminals in their pockets – cutting off their access to money is a vital part of preventing their crimes. The new rules agreed today are an important step in the fight against the financing of terrorism, helping to pave the way towards an effective and genuine Security Union." The full joint statement is available online. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)




High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini participates in the Symposium Military Mobility – Key to European Security

Today, High Representative/Vice-President and Head of the European Defence Agency (EDA) Federica Mogherini is participating in the Symposium "Military Mobility – Key to European Security", co-organised by the EDA and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, in Brussels. Facilitating the movement of military troops and assets is essential to ensure the security of European citizens, and to build a more effective, responsive and joined-up Union. The EU's Action Plan on Military Mobility, presented by HR/VP Mogherini and the European Commission in March 2018, outlines the steps to take to improve military mobility. Today's symposium gathers relevant political and military decision-makers to assess the progresses achieved so far and to exchange on the ways forward regarding the implementation of the Action Plan. Particular attention will be dedicated to exploring synergies and ways for coordination, and military requirements. Watch the keynote speech of HR/VP Mogherini on EbS; the full remarks will be available shortly here. For more information on military mobility see our factsheet. Join the conversation online with #militarymobility and #EUDefence. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Esther Osorio – Tel.: +32 229 62076)  


Vice-President Katainen in Finland to discuss InvestEU and Future of Europe

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, will be in Finland on 8-10 June. The purpose of the mission is to discuss investment, competitiveness, the new Multiannual Financial Framework and the Future of Europe. The Vice-President will be in Helsinki on 8 June, where he will deliver a keynote speech at the 85th Euroconstruct Conference  on the outlook for construction investment in Europe. He will also participate in the seminar on the EU's long-term financing, organised by the European Parliament's Liaison Office in Helsinki, where he will discuss the Commission's proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework. Furthermore, Vice-President Katainen will deliver a keynote speech at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Baltic Connector gas pipeline in Inkoo. On 9 June the Vice-President will participate in the party conference of the Finnish National Coalition Party, where he will deliver speeches at the opening ceremony and at an event on the Future of Europe. He will also visit the Meyer Turku Oy shipyard, where he will meet Dr. Bernard Meyer, CEO Jan Meyer and Deputy CEO Tapani Pulli. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)


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


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