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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 05 / 09 / 2018

Brussels, 5 September 2018

International data flows: Commission launches the adoption of its adequacy decision on Japan

Following the conclusion of the EU-Japan talks on personal data protection in July 2018, the Commission launched today the procedure for the adoption of its adequacy decision. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, briefed the College on the next steps and the Commission is publishing the draft adequacy decision and the related documents. This includes the additional safeguards that Japan will apply to EU personal data transferred to Japan, as well as commitments regarding access to personal data by Japanese public authorities for law enforcement and national security purposes, guaranteeing that their level of data protection is adequate to that of the EU's. Japan is also going through a similar process to recognise the EU's data protection framework. Commissioner Jourová said: “We are creating the world's largest area of safe data flows. Personal data will be able to travel safely between the EU and Japan to the benefit of both our citizens and our economies. Our partnership will promote global standards for data protection and set an example for future partnerships in this key area.” Each side is now going through its internal procedures towards the final adoption of its reciprocal adequacy finding. For the EU, this involves obtaining an opinion from the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the green light from a committee composed of representatives of the EU Member States. Once this procedure will have been completed, the Commission will adopt the adequacy decision on Japan. A press release, a Q&A and a factsheet are available online(For more information Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)


College meeting: European Commission appoints new Director-General to its health and food safety department

Today, the European Commission decided to appoint Ms Anne Bucher to the position of Director-General in its Health and Food Safety department (DG SANTE) as of 1 October. Ms Bucher, a French national, has worked for the European Commission for 35 years. She has spent most of her career on management jobs in several Commission departments. Ms Bucher is currently the chair of the Commission's Regulatory Scrutiny Board. She will succeed Mr Xavier Prats Monné who will retire at the end of September. More information is available in the press release here. Also today, the Commission has decided to propose to the Administrative Board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to extend the term of office of its current Executive Director, Mr Bernhard Url, for a period of five years as of 1 June 2019. Mr Url has been managing EFSA since 2013, following a career with the Austrian food safety authorities. More information about Mr Url's professional background is available here(For more information: Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 299 32 65; Andreana Stankova - Tel.: +32 295 78 57)


European Citizens' Initiative: Commission registers 'End the Cage Age' initiative

The College of Commissioners has today decided to register a European Citizens' Initiative entitled 'End the Cage Age'. The stated objectives of the proposed Citizens' Initiative are to end "inhumane treatment of farm animals" kept in cages. The organisers are asking the Commission to propose legislation to prohibit the use of: cages for laying hens, rabbits, pullets, broiler breeders, layer breeders, quail, ducks and geese; farrowing crates for sows; sow stalls and individual calf pens ̶ where not already prohibited. The Commission's decision to register the Initiative concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The Commission has not analysed the substance at this stage. The registration of this Initiative will take place on 11 September 2018. Should the initiative receive one million statements of support within one year, from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react within three months. A full press release on this initiative is available here. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382;Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 299 63444)


La Commission approuve deux nouvelles indications géographiques protégéesd'Espagne et de Lettonie

La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d'inscription de la «Morcilla de Burgos» espagnole et du «Rucavas baltais sviests» letton dans le registre des indications géographiques protégées (IGP). La «Morcilla de Burgos» est un produit à base de viande, élaboré à partir d'oignons spécifiques, de saindoux ou suif, riz, sang, épices et sel. Elle se présente comme un cylindre, parfois courbé selon la forme du boyau utilisé, et sa couleur externe varie de marron à marron foncé. La «Morcilla de Burgos» est apparue peu après l'arrivée du riz dans la région de Burgos (Castille-et-León), au XVe siècle, mais la Première référence écrite remonte seulement à 1928. Produit dans le novads de Rucava, le «baltais sviests» est, quant à lui, un demi beurre à la saveur acidulée. Traditionnellement, il se mange immédiatement après le barattage, avec des pommes de terre vapeur ou en l'étalant sur du pain de seigle. Sa méthode de fabrication n'a pas changé depuis le XIXe siècle et il continue à être préparé, aujourd'hui encore, selon une recette transmise de génération en génération. Ces nouvelles appellations vont rejoindre plus de 1430 produits déjà protégés dont la liste est disponible dans la base de données DOOR. Pour plus d'informations, voir aussi les pages sur la politique de qualité. (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tél.: + 32 229 56185; Clémence Robin - Tél.: +32 229 52509)


Eurostat: Volume of retail trade down by 0.2% in euro area

In July 2018 compared with June 2018, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade decreased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19) and remained unchanged in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In June, the retail trade volume increased by 0.3% in the euro area and did not change in the EU28. In July 2018 compared with July 2017, the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 1.1% in the euro area and by 2.0% in the EU28.A Eurostat press release is available here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278)




European Year of Cultural Heritage: Commissioners Navracsics and Bieńkowska in Kraków to discuss Jewish heritage in Europe

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, and Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for  Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, will be in Kraków tomorrow to give keynote speeches at a conference on ‘Urban Jewish Heritage: Presence and Absence'. The conference, one of the highlights of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage in Poland,will address Jewish heritage in cities and the multi-layered issues it faces, from tourism and sustainability to conservation and representation. The event will bring together academics, city planners, policy makers and community leaders from 30 countries to discuss the past, present and future of cities with Jewish heritage, particularly in Europe. Commissioner Navracsics will use the occasion to underline the importance of the European Year for cultural heritage policies in Europe and recall that Jewish culture and cultural heritage are included in many initiatives supported by the EU. The tourism sector in the EU, which is under the responsibility of Commissioner Bieńkowska, is constantly growing and creating jobs. Cultural heritage is a major asset for EU and a driver for our economy and tourism. It is however important that tourism is developed in a sustainable, responsible way, with respect to local communities and their history. More information about the conference is online. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Lucia Caudet - Tel.: +32 229 56182)


Commissioner Thyssen participates in G20 of Education and Labour Ministers

On 6 and 7 September, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, will attend the G20 meeting of Ministers of Education and Labour taking place in Mendoza, Argentina. This year's G20 gathering will focus on "Fostering opportunities for an inclusive, fair and sustainable future of work". As these topics are at the core of the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Commissioner will take the opportunity to present European initiatives taken under the Juncker Commission in this area, including our proposal for a better balance between private life and professional career for working parents and carers, our proposal for more predictable and transparent working conditions, access to social protection for all workers and the self-employed, and more. Commissioner Thyssen will participate in working sessions on skills development, policy coordination between Labour and Education institutions, social dialogue, transitions between school and work, technological change, new forms of work, gender equality in the future labour market, removing barriers for people with disabilities, and more. The main outcomes of these discussions will be summarised in the "Mendoza Declaration". The gathering of Ministers will also be an occasion for Commissioner Thyssen to meet with the Argentinian Minister of Labour, Mr Jorge Triaca, as well as State Minister of Japan, Hideki Makihara, and the German State Secretary of Labour and Social Affairs, Mr Björn Boehning. (For more information:Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


Commissioner Moscovici meets Prime Minister Sánchez and Minister Calviño in Madrid

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, will be in Madrid tomorrow, 6 September. Commissioner Moscovici will meet Mr Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain, and Ms Nadia Calviño, Minister of Economy and Enterprise of Spain. He will also participate in a conference on the theme of "Growth and Social Inclusion" hosted by Funcas, a social and economic think tank. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)


Commissioner Bieńkowska in Poland to discuss the future of EU defence policy

Tomorrow, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska will be in Kielce (Poland) to visit the 26th edition of the International Defence Industry Exhibition, which annually welcomes hundreds of firms from the defence sector. The Commissioner will engage with the visitors in a Citizens' Dialogue on the future of EU defence policy, where she will deliver a speech with a specific focus on the European Defence Fund. In July the Commission tabled proposals to increase the EU's strategic autonomy, bolster its ability to protect European citizens and make the EU a stronger global actor. The European Defence Fund will enable cross-border investments in state-of-the-art and fully interoperable technology and equipment in areas such as encrypted software and drone technology. The proposal is now under negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council. Commissioner Bieńkowska will be joined on the podium by Mr Adam Jarubas, Marshal of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship. The event will be live streamed and Polish-English interpretation will be available. (For more information: Lucia Caudet - Tel.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278)


Commissioner Crețu visits the Czech Republic to talk about the post-2020 Cohesion Policy

Tomorrow, Commissioner for Regional Corina Crețu will travel to Prague, where she will meet Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Minister of Regional Development Klára Dostálová. The Commissioner will also meet Members of the EU Committee and Regional Development Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, and of the EU Committee of the Senate. Commissioner Crețu said: "My visit will focus on our proposal for the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy and what it means for the Czech Republic. EU funds will continue to be a driver of innovation and technological modernisation in the Czech Republic. In a competitive, globalised economy, Cohesion Policy will keep on giving Czech regions the right boost so they can grow even more and shape a better future for their inhabitants." More information on the Commission proposal for the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy is available here. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615, Andreana Stankova - Tel.: +32 229 57857)


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


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