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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 14 / 11 / 2018

Brussels, 14 November 2018

7th European Union–South Africa Summit: Strengthening the Strategic Partnership  

On 15 November, EU and South African Leaders will meet in Brussels for the 7th EU-South Africa Summit, taking place in the year of the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk will represent the EU, and South Africa will be represented by its President Cyril Ramaphosa. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmström, as well as South African Ministers will also attend the Summit. Taking place in the framework of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership signed in 2007, the Summit will be an opportunity for Leaders to discuss bilateral cooperation, notably on economic, trade and investment cooperation; development cooperation; global challenges such as climate change, migration and human rights; multilateralism and cooperation in multilateral fora; and on the situation in the neighborhoods of each partner. A press conference by Presidents Juncker, Tusk and Ramaphosa is due to take place at 13:10More information on the Summit and a Factsheet on EU-South African relations are available online. Photos and videos of the Summit will be available on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


Migration: Commission provides €43.7 million to increase reception capacity in mainland Greece

The European Commission has awarded an additional €43.7 million in emergency assistance to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support Greece in responding to migratory challenges. The grant has been awarded from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and will support the provision of emergency shelter for up to 6,000 asylum seekers and refugees by rapidly establishing places in temporary accommodation facilities. The funding aims to provide dignified accommodation as well as basic assistance and protection services to the most vulnerable migrants in Greece, especially in view of the upcoming winter months and the need to decongest reception facilities on the Greek islands. This funding decision comes on top of more than €1.6 billion of funding awarded by the Commission since 2015 to address migratory challenges in Greece. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423)


Commission reiterates strong support to the UN Global Compact on Migration

During the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday, the European Commission reiterated its strong support to the United Nations Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which is going to be adopted at an Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco on 10-11 December 2018. Speaking on behalf of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said:"In our globalised world, human mobility can only be addressed effectively by the international community as a whole. It is a global phenomenon that requires global solutions. No country can manage this alone, but together we can set up a humane, dignified and secure mechanism for governing human mobility. This is why the Commission strongly supports the Global Compacts and will be actively engaging in their follow up." The European Union and its Member States engaged in the discussions on the Global Compact on Migration from the very beginning, which resulted in a Global Compact that largely reflects European objectives. The Compact will allow to improve international cooperation in all its aspects. The full speech, the text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, as well as a Q&A on what the Global Compact is about are available online. (For more information:Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Esther Osorio - Tel.: +32 229 62076)


Agriculture: €191 million to promote agri-food products at home and abroad

The European Commission adopted the 2019 promotion policy work programme on 14 November, with €191.6million to be made available for programmes selected for EU co-financing - an increase of €12.5 million compared with 2018. €89 million will be allocated to campaigns in high growth countries such as Canada, China, Colombia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the United States. Some of the money will be earmarked to the promotion of specific products, like table olives. Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development said: “Europe is the world's top producer of quality food and drink. I am happy to say that, with an even greater emphasis on promotion efforts in 2019, we will increase awareness of this fact both in the EU and in third countries with high growth potential, to the benefit of our farmers and agrifood producers. Our increasing number of trade agreements means more opportunities for our producers to tap into and the Commission stands fully behind them to support them in the promotion and export of their products." Within the EU itself, the focus is on campaigns that promote the different EU quality schemes and labels, including protected designation of origins (PDOs), protected geographical indications (PGIs) and traditional specialty guaranteed (TSGs), as well as organic products. In addition, a share of the funding is targeted at certain specific sectors, like sustainably produced rice, and fruit and vegetables. The latter was specifically selected to promote healthy eating amongst EU consumers. The calls for proposals for specific campaigns will be published in January 2019. They will be open to a wide range of bodies, such as trade organisations, producer organisations and agri-food groups responsible for promotion activities. A press release is online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Clémence Robin - Tel.: +32 229 52509)


EU calls for renewed international action to protect nature on land and at sea

Amid recent alarming reports of the dramatic loss of wildlife and ecosystems worldwide, the European Union is calling for stronger global response to biodiversity concerns at the 14th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD COP 14) in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt. Representing the European Union at the High-Level Segment, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “The current rate at which we are losing our wildlife and ecosystems is an existential threat as worrying as climate change. I am encouraged by the growing awareness of the links between the two, also at high-level international events such as this one and the upcoming United Nations climate change conference in Poland. Protecting biodiversity on land as in the ocean is important for future generations, but also for our current wellbeing." The high-level biodiversity conference where the EU will be leading the international efforts for a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, is expected to create consensus on the urgency of achieving global biodiversity targets by 2020. Wider integration of biodiversity concerns in agriculture, energy, mining, industry and infrastructure projects is instrumental to keep global temperature increases well below 2°C, in line with the commitments of the Paris Agreement. Engaging more than EUR 350 million per year on biodiversity in developing countries, the EU is the biggest donor for the protection of biodiversity in the world. Growing awareness across Europe of the positive role of biodiversity and ecosystems for health and for food security means the European Union is well placed to provide global leadership. The business community is also realising how dependent they are on biodiversity with some businesses taking bold measures to consider their dependencies on natural capital. Capitalising on these positive examples, the European delegation, headed by Commissioner Vella, will aim to bring biodiversity policy to the political forefront in order to prepare for an ambitious and united outcome at the Conference of the Parties (COP15) in China in 2020. A press release is available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniela Stoycheva - Tel.: +32 229 53664)


European Commission participates in the US consultation on potential future privacy rules

In response to the US Department of Commerce request for comments, the European Commission has submitted its views on potential US federal privacy rules that would strengthen the protection of privacy. The European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová said: “The EU and U.S. face similar challenges when it comes to protection of privacy, especially in the online world. We want similar solutions on both sides of the Atlantic that would give more control to the individuals and increase trust in the digital revolution. This is not only an opportunity for increasing convergence between our two approaches on data protection, but also with many other countries that are putting in place similar rules, from Latin America to Asia. We hope that the US will join this global trend towards stronger privacy protections. That will reduce regulatory burden and facilitate data exchanges.The Commission offers its views on the basic elements of a modern, balanced and flexible privacy regime: an overarching law; a core set of data protection principles; enforceable individual rights; and finally, an independent supervisory authority with effective powers to ensure the enforcement of those rules. This consultation takes place in parallel with other initiatives, in particular the process of reflection started by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on the need for additional enforcement tools and powers to protect privacy. The Commission will closely follow these developments, also in the context of the monitoring of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The Commission's input is available here.(For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


State aid: Commission approves €107 million public support for greener buses in Germany

The European Commission has found German plans to support the retrofitting of diesel buses used for public transport to be in line with EU State aid rules. The scheme, with a budget of €107 million, will support the retrofitting of diesel buses used for public passenger transport in approximately 90 municipalities where the limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions were exceeded in 2016 or 2017. The public support will cover the costs of the retrofitting systems and their installation.The Commission considers that this public scheme will incentivise bus operators to invest in greener buses with significantly lower nitrogen oxides emission levels. The planned support for the retrofitting of up to 7,000 diesel buses is expected to lead to a reduction of an estimated 2,200 tonnes of nitrogen oxides per year. This should improve, in the short term, air quality and public health, in particular in cities. The measure is also in line with the Commission's 2018 Communication on "A Europe that protects: Clean air for all", which states that, under EU State aid rules, Member States may facilitate investments in low and zero emission mobility for the benefit of clean air, while promoting the competitiveness of our industry. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules because it contributes to EU environmental goals without unduly distorting competition. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "This is a good example of how to support our European objective of cleaner air for all. The German measure gives public transport operators an incentive to invest in greener vehicles, thereby improving air quality in German cities - fully in line with EU environmental goals". The full press release is available online in EN, DE, FR. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)


La Commission approuve une nouvelle appellation d'origine protégée pour un vin de Roumanie

La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d'inscription du vin roumain "Însurăţei"dans le registre des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP). Les vins produits sous l'appellation "Însurăţei" peuvent être blancs, rouges ou rosés. Les cépages doivent être cultivés et le vin produit dans le comté de Brăila dans l'est du pays. La culture de la vigne dans le vignoble d'Însurăței remonte à des temps anciens. L'utilisation de techniques agricoles spécifiques respectueuses de l'environnement contribue à maintenir l'équilibre de la faune et la flore de la région. Ce vin peut être commercialisé en tant que vin biologique en conformité avec les règles sur la production biologique en vigueur. Cette nouvelle appellation va rejoindre plus de 1750 vins déjà protégés dont la liste est disponible dans la base de données e-bacchus. Pour plus d'informations, voir aussi les pages sur la politique de qualité. (Pour plus d'information: Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 2 29 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52 509)


Eurostat: l'emploi en hausse de 0,2% tant dans la zone euro que dans l'UE28

Le nombre de personnes ayant un emploi a augmenté de 0,2% tant dans la zone euro (ZE19) que dans l'UE28 au troisième trimestre 2018 par rapport au trimestre précédent, selon une estimation rapide publiée par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. Au deuxième trimestre 2018, l'emploi avait progressé de 0,4% tant dans la zone euro (ZE19) que dans l'UE28. Ces chiffres sont corrigés des variations saisonnières. Par rapport au même trimestre de l'année précédente, l'emploi a augmenté de 1,3% dans la zone euro et de 1,2% dans l'UE28 au troisième trimestre 2018 (après respectivement +1,5% et +1,4% au deuxième trimestre 2018). Ceci est la première estimation rapide pour les données sur l'emploi publiée par Eurostat. Dans ce contexte, la Commissaire à l'Emploi, aux Affaires sociales, aux Compétences et à la Mobilité des travailleurs, Marianne Thyssen, a dit: "Je me réjouis qu'Eurostat avance d'un mois la publication des données sur emploi en Europe. Il est essentiel de disposer de données à jour, cohérentes et fiables, pour développer et soutenir le processus décisionnel. Nos efforts pour stimuler l'emploi et la croissance inclusive continuent à porter leurs fruits, vu la croissance des chiffres d'emploi à travers l'Europe." Les données sur l'emploi fournissent une mesure du volume de la main-d'œuvre qui est cohérente avec celle de la production et des revenus dans les comptes nationaux. Un communiqué de presse complet est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


Eurostat: le PIB en hausse de 0,2% dans la zone euro et de 0,3% dans l'UE28

Au cours du troisième trimestre 2018, le PIB corrigé des variations saisonnières a augmenté de 0,2% dans la zone euro (ZE19) et de 0,3% dans l'UE28 par rapport au trimestre précédent, selon l'estimation rapide publiée par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. Au cours du deuxième trimestre 2018, le PIB avait crû de 0,4% dans la zone euro et de 0,5% dans l'UE28. En comparaison avec le même trimestre de l'année précédente, le PIB corrigé des variations saisonnières a enregistré une hausse de 1,7% dans la zone euro et de 1,9% dans l'UE28 au troisième trimestre 2018, après respectivement +2,2% et +2,1% au deuxième trimestre 2018. Un communiqué de presse complet est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)


Eurostat: la production industrielle en baisse de 0,3% dans la zone euro, en baisse de 0,2% dans l'UE28

En septembre 2018 par rapport à août 2018, la production industrielle corrigée des variations saisonnières a diminué de 0,3% dans la zone euro (ZE19) et de 0,2% dans l'UE28, selon les estimations d'Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. En août 2018, la production industrielle avait augmenté de 1,1% dans la zone euro et de 0,8% dans l'UE28. En septembre 2018 par rapport à septembre 2017, la production industrielle a augmenté de 0,9% dans la zone euro et de 1,1% dans l'UE28. Un communiqué de presse complet est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tél.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tél.: +32 229 87278)




Startup Europe Summit in Sofia to focus on technology leadership, business growth and funding

The Startup Europe Summit, Europe's annual rally with innovators, investors and policy makers, will take place in Sofia tomorrow, 15 November 2018. The Summit, which this year will focus on the Central and Eastern European regions as well as the Western Balkans, will gather more than 500 representatives of the European entrepreneurial ecosystem spanning from investors, CEOs and accelerators to European authorities and technological journalists. On this occasion, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel said: "I am particularly pleased to host this year's Startup Europe Summit in Sofia with a special focus on the Central and Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans region. The summit will feature inspiring discussions and present further ideas to link up the potential, dynamism and creativity of startups in these regions with EU policy initiatives. One pertinent example is the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans, which we launched in June in Sofia with the Western Balkans' leaders aimed to support the regional partners to succeed their digital transformation and bring about benefits and opportunities to citizens and businesses.'' She will also announce the winners of the 2017 Startup Europe Awards an initiative of the Commission aimed to feature and honour the most outstanding startups in the EU and neighbouring countries.  For an overview on the EU's actions to create a strong startup ecosystem, more information will be available here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Marietta Grammenou- Tel.: +32 229 83583)



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


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