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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 24 / 10 / 2018

Brussels, 24 October 2018

Erasmus+: un budget de 3 milliards d'euros devrait être investi dans les jeunes européens et aider à créer des universités européennes en 2019

La Commission a publié aujourd'hui son appel à propositions pour le programme Erasmus+ 2019.  Sur un budget prévu de 3 milliards d'euros pour l'année prochaine, 30 millions d'euros ont été réservés aux Universités européennes. Cette nouvelle initiative a été approuvée par les dirigeants de l'Union européenne lors du sommet social de Göteborg en novembre dernier et s'inscrit dans la volonté de créer un espace européen de l'éducation d'ici 2025. Tibor Navracsics, commissaire chargé de l'éducation, de la culture, de la jeunesse et du sport, a déclaré: "Un an après, la Commission européenne concrétise l'engagement pris auprès des États membres de construire un espace européen de l'éducation d'ici 2025. Nous œuvrons en faveur d'une Europe où l'apprentissage, l'étude et la recherche ne sont pas bloqués par des frontières. Aucun obstacle à l'excellence, à l'innovation et à l'inclusion dans l'éducation. Les universités européennes ont un potentiel réel pour transformer le paysage de l'enseignement supérieur en Europe et je suis fier que nous leur donnions une impulsion forte à travers le programme Erasmus +." Parallèlement à l'appel à propositions, la Commission a également publié aujourd'hui le guide du programme Erasmus + dans toutes les langues officielles de l'UE, qui fournit aux candidats des informations détaillées sur toutes les opportunités offertes aux étudiants, au personnel, aux stagiaires, aux enseignants et d'autres ressources disponibles dans Erasmus + pour 2019. Un communiqué de presse est disponible avec plus de détails. (Pour plus d'informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tél.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein – Tél.: +32 229 56184)

 

Black Sea: Commission proposes sustainable fishing opportunities for 2019

Today, the Commission has adopted a proposal on fishing opportunities in 2019 for the most important commercial fish stocks in the Black Sea. The catch limit and quota for the two species, sprat and turbot, are shared between Bulgaria and Romania. The proposal is based on the scientific advice from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), and follows the multiannual management plan for turbot fisheries in the Black Sea, approved by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). For turbot, the Commission reflects the GFCM multiannual management plan by proposing a catch limit of 114 tonnes, equally distributed between Bulgaria and Romania. Considering the stable stock for sprat, the Commission proposes to maintain a catch limit of 11,475 tonnes, of which 70% will be allocated to Bulgaria and 30% to Romania. Since 2017, the Commission promotes an enhanced multilateral and cooperative approach to fisheries management in the Black Sea, which builds on the Bucharest Declaration and the Malta MedFish4ever Declaration. For the first time, in 2018, management and control measures for turbot are being implemented at regional level, which is attestation of the shared regional interest to ensure sustainable fisheries on which significant jobs and industries depend. Their effective application is enforced through an international joint control and inspection pilot project. Established with the assistance of the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), it contributes to the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in the basin. The Commission's proposal will be examined by the Member States at the December Council on Agriculture and Fisheries (17-18 December). More information is available here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniela Stoycheva - Tel.: +32 229 53664)

 

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: Commission welcomes support for dismissed workers in the clothing sector in Portugal

The Commission welcomes that the European Parliament and the Council approved €4.7 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 730 displaced workers in the Portuguese clothing sector of Portuguese regions Centro, Norte and Lisbon to find new jobs. The Commission proposed this financial support provide the dismissed workers with various possibilities to improve their skills, including through vocational training, and help those who want to start a business. Portugal makes also use of the possibility to boost the job prospects of additional 730 young people who are not in employment, education or training. The total cost of this package is about €7.7 million, of which the EU will provide 60 %. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “These workers in Portugal lost their previous employment due to increased international competition. The support from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund is a concrete expression of European solidarity with them and with the young persons living in areas of high youth unemployment. The Fund has proven its value again and again in recent years. With the new long-term EU budget 2021-2027 we will be able to support even more workers that were made redundant thanks to simpler and more efficient rules.” The Commission will make the funding available within the coming weeks. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

Publication of latest agri-food trade figures: EU exports are stable

The latest monthly agri-food trade report published today shows stable EU exports compared with last year's high performance, at a value of €136.6 billion for the 12-months period of September 2017 to August 2018. Major gains in annual values have been achieved in agri-food exports to Japan, Ukraine, Russia, Singapore and Turkey. The USA remains one of the most important sources for EU agri-food imports, with notably a significant increase in imports of US soybeans in the month of August 2018. Over the past 12 months (Sept. 2017-August 2018), wine sugar and spirits and liqueurs have been performing well in term of exports, joined in this positive trend by pasta and pastry, infant food, pet food, waters and soft drinks. Exports decreased on the other hand for wheat, milk powder and pork meat. The monthly report provides a table presenting the trade balance and its development by product category from June 2016 to August 2018. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52509)

 

Final agreement reached on strengthening EU support for reforms in Member States [updated on 24/10/2018 at 15:40]

The European Commission welcomes yesterday's signature between the European Parliament and the Council, sealing an agreement on increasing the budget of the Structural Reform Support Programme. It will enable the EU to respond to higher-than-expected demand from Member States and allow targeted support to Member States wishing to adopt the euro. The signature comes at a time when the Commission's Structural Reform Support Service reaches an important milestone – 3 years since its establishment. Over this period, the service has successfully provided support, through the Structural Reform Support Programme and other sources, for almost 500 reform projects in 25 EU Member States. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "Our economic destinies are bound together by the internal market and the euro. Reforms have therefore become a matter of common concern. EU support for reforms in Member States has proven effective – in the first three years since the establishment of our Structural Reform Support Service, we have engaged in almost 500 reform projects in 25 Member States. Today's final agreement on the strengthening of the Structural Reform Support Programme is a major step towards enabling us to step up our support, and further help modernise European economies and boost their competitiveness, growth potential and capacity to adjust to changing times." The proposal to strengthen the Structural Reform Support Programme is part of European Commission's package of proposals of 6 December 2017 to deepen Europe's Economic and Monetary Union. The Structural Reform Support Programme entered into force in May 2017 with a budget of €142.8 million for the years 2017-2020. The Programme is available to all EU Member States upon their request and provides tailor-made expertise on the practical aspects of reforms. With today's agreement, the budget will increase to €222.8 million until 2020 and also provide targeted support for reforms in Member States wishing to adopt the euro. The report on the 3 years of the SRSS is available here(For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)

 

State aid: Commission approves €45 million extension of biogas support scheme in Luxembourg

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, the extension of an aid scheme to support biogas production in Luxembourg for six years. The objective of the measure is to ensure a stable remuneration for biogas plants, which produce biogas from biomass and inject it in the natural gas network. The Commission assessed the prolongation of the scheme approved today under EU State aid rules, and in particular the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy, which allow Member States to support the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, subject to certain conditions. The Commission concluded that the prolongation of the scheme will help Luxembourg boost the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources to meet its climate targets, in line with the environmental objectives of the EU, without unduly distorting competition. The extended scheme, which will cover the period from January 2017 to December 2022, has an estimated budget of €45 million. The measure was initially approved by the Commission in 2011 and subsequently modified in 2015. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.51971. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

State aid: Commission approves €70 million public support to promote shift of freight traffic from road to rail and inland waterways in Belgium

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a €70 million aid scheme to encourage the shift of freight traffic from road to rail and inland waterways in Belgium. The scheme, which will run until the end of October 2023, provides aid to (i) rail operators and (ii) consolidation terminals for barges that engage in the bundling of freight volumes transported to and from Flemish seaports in Belgium. The aid takes the form of a subsidy (per train or per container), designed to cover the additional costs incurred by rail operators and consolidation terminals for barges for efficiently combining freight volumes transported to and from Flemish seaports. This bundling of freight volumes will make rail and inland waterways more time-efficient, less costly and therefore more attractive and competitive for shippers compared to transport by road. The Commission found that the measure is necessary to provide the right incentives to shippers to opt for less polluting modes of transport (rail or inland waterways), while at the same time reducing road congestion. The measure will therefore be beneficial both for the environment and for mobility. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure is compatible with EU State aid rules, in particular Article 93 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union regarding transport coordination and the Commission Guidelines on State aid for railway undertakings. More information will be available on the Commission's competition's website in the public case register under the case number SA.50584 once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Vice-President Ansip in New Delhi, India, for the India Mobile Congress

Today until Friday, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market will be in New Delhi, India for the India Mobile Congress, gathering thought leaders from across the world to discuss current trends and the future outlook for the telecommunications, media, information and communication technology sectors. Today, Vice-President Ansip will meet with India's Communications minister Manoj Sinha. Tomorrow morning, he will visit the exhibition of the congress, along with Prime Minister Narenda Modi, who will then inaugurate the congress. In the afternoon, Ansip will deliver a keynote speech in plenary session on the evolving regulatory landscape in the new digital ecosystem. On Friday, hewill attend a luncheon meeting hosted by the European Business Group (EBG) Telecom Sector Committee, and will meet with industrial leaders. Ahead of this year's Congress, Vice-President Ansip stressed “We see India as an important partner in agreeing on global standards and spectrum for emerging communication technologies like 5G. At the same time, keeping data safe and secure is another condition for stable and competitive global commercial flows. EU's data landscape changed dramatically in May when the GDPR came into full effect. I am pleased to see India's progress in drafting a national data protection law. This could hopefully pave the way for greater data flows between EU and IndiaThe Vice-President's speech will be online tomorrow. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

Commissioner Navracsics in Warsaw, Poland, tomorrow for series of events

Tomorrow, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, will be in Warsaw to address the annual eTwinning conference alongside Polish Minister of National Education, Anna Zalewska. Funded by Erasmus+, eTwinning is the world's largest teachers' network. It enables teachers to communicate, share ideas and run online collaborative projects with classes in other countries through a free and safe web-based platform. To mark the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, the theme of this year's conference is ‘eTwinning and our heritage: where the past meets the future'. Before the conference, the Commissioner and the Minister will visit the Klementyna Hoffmanowa High School where the Commissioner will launch the new SELFIE (Self-reflection on Effective Learning by Fostering the use of Innovative Educational Technologies) tool. Developed by the Commission, it will support all schools in the EU, Russia, Georgia and Serbia in assessing how they use digital technologies for teaching and learning. In the EU, SELFIE will be offered to 76.7 million students and teachers in 250,000 schools on a voluntary basis. It is being launched in 24 EU languages with more language versions to follow. During his visit to Warsaw, the Commissioner will also have a working lunch with Witold Bańka, Polish Minister of Sport and Tourism. The Commissioner's final engagement will be the College of Europe, Natolin Campus, where he will meet Vice-Rector Ewa Osniecka-Tamecka before delivering a speech to students, academic staff, and Poland's diplomatic corps, as he speaks at the opening ceremony of the academic year 2018-19. A full press release and factsheet with more information on how SELFIE works will be available tomorrow here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

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

MEX/18/6201


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