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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 26 / 09 / 2018

Brussels, 26 September 2018

EU@UNGA73 on Wednesday  

After the official opening of the 73rd UN General Assembly on Tuesday, attended by President Jean-Claude Juncker, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, alongside European Council President Donald Tusk, today the EU will on host a high-level ministerial event on Syria. Interventions by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini, Commissioner Christos Stylianides and UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will be streamed live on EbS (10:30 local time, 16:30 CET). The Bloomberg Global Business Forum in the sidelines of the 73rd UNGA debate today will see high level EU engagement: First Vice-President Timmermans, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini, Vice-President Sefčovič and Dombrovskis and Commissioners Moscovici and Vestager will intervene in different panels. Vice-Presidents Šefčovič and Dombrovskis,as well as Commissioner Neven Mimica, will address the One Planet Summit hosted by President Macron and Mayor Bloomberg. Commissioner Mimica will also address the Annual ministerial meeting of the Least Developed Countries Group and an EU co-hosted event on quality infrastructure, focusing on debt and Economic Governance. Commissioner Johannes Hahn will deliver a speech on "Exporting stability - Europe in a volatile world" at Princeton University. In the evening, he will attend the dinner with Western Balkans Prime Ministers, hosted by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini. Commissioner Stylianides will deliver the key-note address of the EU-hosted flagship event on Civilians Under Fire: Humanitarian Protection and Respect for International Humanitarian Law. He will also attend a number of high-level meetings on education: the Action for Refugee Education hosted by UNICEF, a meeting on political champions for Education in Conflict and the annual high-level Global Business Coalition for Education. Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos will represent the EU at the Global Counter Terrorism Forum Ministerial Plenary and address the high-level event Road to Marrakesh on the Global Compact on Migration. Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis will address a high-level meeting on tuberculosis on behalf of the European Union. In the evening, the annual EU reception will be attended by the high-level EU representatives and opened by First Vice-President Timmermans and with High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini. Coverage of the events as well as numerous bilateral meetings is available on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Esther Osorio – Tel.: +32 229 62076; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)


EU pushes for global action on plastic pollution at United Nations

At a flagship event with the UN Environment Programme yesterday, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans launched a global ‘Race to the Top' to tackle plastic pollution. Presenting the Commission's EU Plastics Strategy and legal proposals to tackle single use plastics as a gold standard, Timmermans invited government and industry panellists to work together to find innovative solutions to support the transition to a circular plastics economy. The Commission's strategy received strong endorsement from UN Environment, the President of the UN General Assembly and EU Member States speakers. The Commission will now continue its work with UN Environment in support of the Global Plastics Platform it announced at the event. The opening remarks of FVP Timmermans are available here. (For more information: Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)


TRADE: EU, Japan and US met at Ministerial level to tackle WTO reform and trade-distortive practices

In New York on 25 September, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström met with Hiroshige Sekō, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a continuation of the trilateral talks launched last year, to address issues such as trade-distortive practices. After their meeting, the three issued a joint statement, covering issues such as non-market-oriented policies, industrial subsidies and forced technology transfer policies, reform of the World Trade Organisation, and e-commerce. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)


One Planet Summit 2018: Europe sustains its leadership on climate action

In New York today, Vice-Presidents Maroš Šefčovič and Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Neven Mimica will update Heads of State and Government, businesses leaders and civil society on the main achievements to date on the ambitious initiatives the Commission presented last year in Paris in support of climate action. Vice-President Šefčovič will highlight the series of decisive, tailor-made steps taken in support of Europe's coal and carbon-intensive regions as well as the work carried out with cities to accelerate the deployment of disruptive clean technologies. Vice-President Dombrovskis will stress the importance of making sustainable finance the new normal, presenting the proposals the Commission put on the table in May to enable the EU financial sector to lead the way to a greener and cleaner economy. Meanwhile Commissioner Mimica will announce €10 million for the Pacific region under a joint initiative to build an international coalition to help the region adapt to the challenges climate change brings and to increase resilience. (For more information see the full press release or contact Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269)


EU contributes €70 million to strengthen global partnership against hunger

The European Commission and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have strengthened their partnership to boost the resilience of millions of people struggling with severe and often prolonged or recurrent food crises around the world. The agreement for €70 million contribution, signed by Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and the FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, contributes to the Global Network against Food Crises to promote sustainable solutions to food crises. Commissioner Mimica said: “The Global Network against Food Crises allowed us to take concrete and we need to scale this up. This additional contribution of €70 million to the FAO will further bolster our partnership and speed up the network's efforts to tackle hunger globally."In a separate event on Tuesday, the EU and the UN reconfirmed their mutual and firm commitment to reinforce the EU-UN strategic partnership on peace operations and crisis management for 2019-2021, in the margins of the UN Secretary-General's High-level event on Action for Peacekeeping. Read the full press release here and more information on the FAO and the EU is available online. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


Juncker Plan supports first European Investment Bank loan to social economy enterprise in Spain

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing Spanish social enterprise ILUNION with €35 million in financing with the objective of creating jobs for people with disabilities and investing in improving energy efficiency.  This is the first loan made by the EIB to a social economy enterprise in Spain and it receives the backing of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. The project is expected to create 200 new jobs. The agreement was signed in Brussels on Tuesday afternoon by Vice-President of the EIB, Emma Navarro, and President of ILUNION, Alberto Durán, during a ceremony attended by Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, and President of the ONCE Group, Miguel Carballeda. The financing will go towards renovating the group's chain of industrial laundrettes to incorporate more energy-efficient technologies, building a new hotel in Spain while renovating its existing ones, and developing of a range of devices to improve the lives of people with any type of disability. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness,said: "The project shows perfectly what the European Fund for Strategic Investments was created to support: it is highly innovative, promoting social inclusion, energy efficiency and job creation. ILUNION's success shows us once more that doing good and running a successful business are perfectly compatible. The Commission has put forward a pillar of social rights and is committed to increasing social investment, and this project is the embodiment of this commitment. And we aim to do even more to support the social economy in the future through the InvestEU Programme." As of September, the Juncker Plan has mobilised €38.7 billion of new investment in Spain and €344 billion across the EU. (Full press release can be found here. For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)


Commissioner Thyssen receives Michael O'Leary, CEO Ryanair

This morning, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, received Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair. The meeting took place upon request of Mr O'Leary, to discuss the current dispute at the airline company on the application of labour law and the steps Ryanair is taking. During the meeting, Commissioner Thyssen reiterated that EU rules on employment contracts for mobile air crews are clear: It's not the flag of the aircraft that determines the applicable law. It is the place from where the workers leaves in the morning and returns in the evening,without the employer having to cover the expenses. The Commissioner also stressed: "Respecting EU law is not something over which workers should have to negotiate, nor is it something which can be done differently from country to country. I made this very clear to Mr. O'Leary today. I am not against Ryanair or against the low-cost business model. But with great success also comes great responsibility. The internal market is not a jungle; it has clear rules on fair labour mobility and worker protection. This is not an academic debate, but about concrete social rights of worker."(For more information:Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


Concentrations: la Commission européenne autorise l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint de SFR Filiale par KKR et Altice

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint de SFR Filiale SAS, basée en France, par Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Inc., basée aux Etats Unis (ci-après désignée, avec ses filiales, "KKR"), et Altice S.A., basée en France. SFR Filiale comprend l'activité de pylônes de télécommunication de SFR S.A., société sous contrôle exclusif d'Altice en France. KKR est une société d'investissement mondiale. La Commission a conclu que l'opération envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence dans la mesure où KKR et SFR Filiale ne sont pas actives sur le même marché ou sur des marchés liés ou connexes. En outre, SFR Filiale faisant déjà partie du groupe Altice, l'opération n'entraînera aucun changement en termes de chevauchement des activités de SFR Filiale et d'Altice.La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet de la DG concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.9072. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Increased opportunities for small-scale fishermen in the Mediterranean and Black Sea

Ministers from EU Member States and third countries are adopting today an ambitious 10-year Regional Action Plan for sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The plan reinforces opportunities for small-scale fishermen by enhancing their capacities in contributing to food security while at the same time maintaining environmentally sustainable fishing practices. Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said: "Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Seas are predominantly small and family-run. But at the moment, they are facing serious challenges as more than 90% of assessed fish stocks are overfished. We need to work side by side with small-scale fishermen if we want healthy and sustainable seas, so that fishermen families can continue using their traditional source of living for generations ahead. After last year's MedFish4Ever Declaration and the Sofia Declaration earlier this year, today's high-level conference is the next important step towards this goal.'' The High Level Conference on sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Malta, with the financial support of the European Commission started yesterday and is concluding today with a press conference at around 13:15h. More information is available here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniela Stoycheva - Tel.: +32 229 53664)




Déclaration de la Commissaire Gabriel sur le Code de pratique sur la désinformation en ligne

Les plateformes en ligne et l'industrie de la publicité ont dévoilé aujourd'hui un Code de pratique auto-réglementé qui comprend un large éventail d'engagements pour lutter contre la désinformation en ligne. La commissaire chargée de l'économie et de la société numériques, Mariya Gabriel, a salué cette initiative comme un pas allant dans la bonne direction, mais exhorte les plateformes à intensifier leurs efforts pour lutter contre la diffusion de la désinformation en ligne:"Le Code de pratique présenté aujourd'hui par l'industrie est le premier résultat tangible de la communication adoptée par la Commission en avril dernier. C'est une étape importante dans la lutte contre un problème de plus en plus répandu et qui menace la confiance des Européens dans les processus et les institutions démocratiques. C'est la première fois que l'industrie s'accorde sur un ensemble de normes d'autorégulation pour lutter contre la désinformation dans le monde entier, sur une base volontaire. L'industrie s'engage dans un large éventail d'actions allant de la transparence dans la publicité politique à la fermeture de faux comptes et à la démonétisation des fournisseurs de désinformation, et nous nous en félicitons. Ces actions doivent contribuer à une réduction rapide et mesurable de la désinformation en ligne. À cette fin, la Commission accordera une attention particulière à sa mise en œuvre effective. J'exhorte les plateformes en ligne et le secteur de la publicité à commencer immédiatement à mettre en œuvre les actions convenues dans le Code de pratique afin de réaliser des progrès significatifs et des résultats mesurables au cours des prochains mois. Je m'attends également à ce que de plus en plus de plateformes en ligne, d'entreprises de publicité et d'annonceurs adhèrent au Code de pratique et j'encourage tout le monde à mettre tout en œuvre pour lutter contre la désinformation". La déclaration complète est disponible ici. En avril, la Commission européenne a présenté une série de mesures et d'outils d'autorégulation pour lutter contre la propagation et l'impact de la désinformation en ligne en Europe. La Commission suivra de près les progrès réalisés et analysera les premiers résultats du Code de pratique d'ici à la fin de 2018. Le Code de pratique est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'information : Nathalie Vandystadt – Tél.: +32 229 67083 ; Inga Höglund – Tél.: +32 229 50698) 




La Commissaire Malmström se rend au Canada pour faire le point sur les progrès de l'accord commercial UE-Canada

Le 21 septembre 2018 a marqué le premier anniversaire de l'Accord Economique et Commercial Global (CETA) entre l'UE et le Canada. La Commissaire européenne en charge du commerce, Cecilia Malmström, se rend aujourd'hui à Montréal pour évaluer les premiers résultats de la mise en œuvre de l'accord. Le mercredi 26 septembre, la Commissaire rencontrera le ministre canadien de la Diversification du commerce international, James Gordon Carr. Ensemble, ils présideront le premier comité mixte du CETA, qui supervise les différents groupes entre l'UE et le Canada qui suivent les questions liées à l'accord. La commissaire Malmström visitera ensuite deux entreprises qui bénéficient déjà de l'accord commercial. La première, PBSC Urban Solutions, est une entreprise canadienne qui fournit des systèmes de vélos partagés à de nombreuses villes dans le monde. Le jeudi 27 septembre, la Commissaire visitera Piano Vertu, un importateur canadien de pianos européens comme ceux d'Estonia Pianos, une des entreprises exportatrices bénéficiaires de l'accord. Après un événement public sur le CETA et une politique commerciale novatrice au Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal, la Commissaire donnera un discours intitulé: «Liens anciens, possibilités nouvelles» au Centre d'études européennes Jean Monnet de l'Université de Montréal. Des photos et des vidéos de la visite, ainsi que le discours de l'Université de Montréal, seront disponibles sur le site de la DG Commerce. Plus d'informations sur le CETA. (Pour plus d'information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)


Science is Wonder-ful event launches European Researchers' Night 2018

The 13th edition of European Researchers' Night takes place on Friday, 28 September. Events in more than 300 cities in 30 EU and neighbouring countries will give people the chance to discover science in a fun way. The European Commission supports all the events as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. A special launch event called "Science is Wonder-ful!" takes place at the Parlamentarium in Brussels for two days (25 and 26 September). Combining entertainment and education, Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows will be there to display their outstanding projects in interactive and engaging ways. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, will open a panel debate today on strengthening synergies between education, research and innovation. Ahead of the event, he said: "I am looking forward to my visit to Science is Wonder-ful. I am sure that the 70 researchers coming from all over Europe to present their experiments will inspire many young people to become the scientist of the future - turning their talents and ideas into solutions to the challenges facing our societies." More information on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions can be found in this factsheet(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel. +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein – Tel. +32 229 56184)


Commissioner Thyssen visits Croatia

Today and tomorrow, 26 and 27 September, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, will be in Zagreb, Croatia. This afternoon, the Commissioner will visit Kindergarten "Nemo", supported by European Social Fund. On Thursday, Commissioner Thyssen will participate in a conference on the challenges and impact of digitalisation on the Croatian labour force, and the roll-out of the European Pillar of Social Rights through the European Social Fund, where she will also give a keynote speech, which will be published here. The conference will be followed by a press statement around 12:15, in presence of Croatian Prime Minister, Mr Andrej Plenković, Croatian Minister of Labour and Pension systems, Mr Marko Pavić, and the Commissioner. During here two-day stay, Commissioner Thyssen will also have separate meetings with Prime Minister Plenković, Minister Pavić, and the Croatian Minister for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, Ms Nada Murganić. These meetings will be an opportunity to discuss the broader European social files, including the implementation of the Funds in Croatia under the current budgetary period, Croatia's performance as followed-up under the European Semester, and the roll-out of the legislative initiatives under the European Pillar of Social Rights. (For more information:Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


Vice-Presidents Šefčovič and Katainen and Commissioner Bieńkowska in Sopot, Poland, to attend the European Forum for New Ideas

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, will be in Sopot, Poland, on Thursday 27 September 2018, to attend the European Forum for New Ideas. At the event, the Vice-President will participate in a panel discussion entitled Facing the Great Disruption: Europe in Search of its Place with former Prime Ministers Enrico Letta of Italy, Herman Van Rompuy of Belgium, Jerzy Buzek of Poland, as well as former Deputy Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze of Ukraine. Vice-President Šefčovič and Commissioner Bieńkowska will also participate in the event. Vice-President Katainen will deliver keynote speeches on "Global Mega Trends and Their Impact on Business, Cultures and Society"; as well as on the circular economy in the panel Is this the Beginning of the End for the Plastic Era? Commissioner Bieńkowska will address the closing ceremony on Friday on the subject "Europe in 2019, a time of change. What will the European Union look like in the future?" Furthermore, Vice-President Katainen will attend a working lunch with Polish business representatives, he will meet with Mr Jerzy Kwieciński, Minister of Investment and Economic Development of Poland, and he will participate in a Citizens' Dialogue on the Future of Europe. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)


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


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