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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 04 / 04 / 2019

Brussels, 4 April 2019

Brexit preparedness: EU prepared for possible “no-deal” scenario in the area of public health and food safety

The EU regrets, but respects the UK's decision to leave the EU. While the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and the UK remains the best possible outcome, the EU is prepared for a possible “no-deal” scenario in the area of public health, in particular on the crucial topics of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, as well as on food safety. At a press conference today in Brussels, Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the Commission, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, currently also in charge of the Health & Food Safety portfolio, said:“Health and food safety are two areas which have an immense impact on citizens' daily life, but also on the functioning of countless operators and businesses. This is why the Commission and the EU-27 have been working extensively for the past two years to face the challenge of a no-deal scenario. My message is simple: the EU and the Member States are there to tackle the most disruptive changes, and we will be ready to manage. Safety of medicines will remain unchanged and Member States and the European Medicines Agency are constantly monitoring the situation and liaising with industry to ensure availability of medicines in the EU. As regards pets, they will still be allowed to travel, but the conditions will change since new controls will have to be carried out at the EU's borders with the UK”. Pharmaceuticals were carefully considered throughout the preparation of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The European Medicines Agency has published a Q&A, prepared with the Commission and the Member States' pharmaceutical authorities, on prevention of medicines shortages. Rules for citizens and businesses that need to get prepared for the movement of live animals and animal by products and transporters are available on the SANTE website. The full speech of Vice-President Katainen is available online. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)


Brexit preparedness: Commissioner Bulc presents preparations in the transport sector for possible “no-deal” Brexit scenario

Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, today presented the EU's contingency and preparedness measures in the transport sector given the increasing risk of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. These measures have been agreed by Member States and the European Parliament in record time and aim at limiting the most significant disruptions caused by a possible “no-deal” scenario. The measures on air, road and rail transport allow for the continuation of safe basic connectivity between the EU and the UK for a limited period of time, provided that the UK maintains an adequate level of safety standards and gives reciprocal treatment to EU companies and operators. The re-alignment of the North Sea – Mediterranean Core Network Corridor adds new maritime links between Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands to the core network, and introduces a new funding priority to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF): adapting transport infrastructure for security and external border check purposes. Finally, the revision of the Regulation on ship inspection and survey organisations aims to ensure legal certainty and secure business continuity in shipping. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Stephan Meder – Tel.: +32 229 13917)


Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed   

Fewer people died on European roads last year but more efforts are needed to make a big leap forward, according to new, preliminary figures on road fatalities for 2018 published today by the European Commission. In 2018, there were around 25 100 fatalities in road accidents in the EU 28. This is a decrease of 21% compared to 2010, and 1% compared to 2017. With an average of 49road deaths per one million inhabitants, this confirms that European roads are by far the safest in the world. But it also shows we are off track to reach our target of halving the number of road deaths by 2020. This underlines the need for swift action by Member States and the entire road safety community to deliver on the EU's strategic road safety action plan, published in May 2018 as part of the Juncker Commission's 'Europe on the Move' package, which set out specific actions envisaged under the current Commission mandate. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "While I of course welcome any reduction in road traffic fatality figures, even a single road death is unacceptable. We have been assertive and ambitious in tackling road safety, adopting a strategic action plan, concrete actions on vehicle and infrastructure safety, and a policy framework for the next decade. As we continue to work towards ‘Vision Zero' – zero road deaths by 2050, we are committed to working with all Member States, as well as the Parliament and road safety community, to provide a level of safety that EU citizens demand and deserve.” A press release and MEMO are available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Stephan Meder - Tel.: +32 229 13917)


Eurogroup and informal ECOFIN meetings, 5 and 6 April 2019

Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Oettinger and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the Commission at this week's Eurogroup and informal ECOFIN meetings taking place in Bucharest, Romania. At the Eurogroup, the Commission will brief participants on the progress the Greek authorities have made in implementing reform commitments on the basis of the update to the second Enhanced Surveillance Report published earlier this week. The ministers will also discuss the updated Draft Budgetary Plan of Luxembourg for 2019, following the adoption of the Commission's Opinion in March. The Chair of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, Andrea Enria, will make a presentation on the ongoing activities of the Single Supervisory Mechanism. The meeting will also be informed of the ongoing activities of the Single Resolution Board by its Chair, Elke König. Roberto Gualtieri, Chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, will be present for an exchange of views on the euro area's economic outlook and challenges. The Eurogroup will then continue in an inclusive format to follow up on the December 2018 Euro Summit. As part of the ongoing work on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union, the Eurogroup will discuss governance issues related to the Budgetary Instrument for Competitiveness and Convergence. The Chair of High Level Working Group on European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) will update participants on progress with the discussions on a roadmap to start political negotiations on EDIS. Commissioner Moscovici will participate in the press conference following the meeting. At the informal ECOFIN starting on Friday afternoon, EU Ministers, joined by the Governors of Central Banks from EU Member States, will hold a discussion on future priorities, including the way forward for the Capital Markets Union. Ministers will also discuss some elements of EU's next long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), including the link with the European Semester and the financing of the EU budget. A press conference with Vice-President Dombrovskis will follow this first session. Saturday's session will begin with a discussion on the impact of labour mobility on the tax bases of Member States. Ministers will then exchange views on the role of taxation in supporting economic growth, based on a Commission non-paper. Finally, ministers should agree on the EU's Terms of Reference ahead of the April G20 and IMF ministerial meetings. A press conference with Vice-President Dombrovskis will follow the meeting. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229-56153; Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)


Secure ID cards and residence documents: Commission welcomes Parliament's vote

Today, the European Parliament voted on a new Regulation, which will strengthen the security of identity cards and residence documents throughout the European Union. The weak security features of ID cards in some Member States, still issuing paper ID cards, represent a serious security risk, as they can easily be falsified and could be used by terrorists and other criminals to enter in the EU. The Regulation will introduce minimum common security standards making them secure and reliable. Welcoming this vote, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “In the future, all ID cards and residence documents issued in the EU should have the same minimum security standards. This will help us detect and prevent terrorists and criminals from using forged ID cards and from crossing our borders, whilst safeguarding the rights and freedoms of our citizens, including their mobility." Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová said: "ID cards with stronger security features will allow citizens to travel more smoothly across the EU. It will also guarantee that the ID documents of all countries have the same strong security features, closing any loophole or weak link that terrorists and other criminals could exploit." Security features of ID cards will be aligned with those of passports, as both types of travel documents will now contain a highly secure contactless chip with the holder's photo and fingerprints. Member States will start to issue the new ID cards in two years. ID cards currently in circulation that do not conform to the new standards will have to be replaced within five or ten years, depending on their security level. There will be an exception for ID cards whose holders are over 70 years of age. The fullpress release and a factsheet are available online. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)


The EU invests in fast broadband for all in Italy

Today the Commission adopted a Cohesion Policy project worth more than 573 million of EU funds to support the deployment of fast broadband in Italy. The EU funding, covering 60% of the project's eligible costs, will help bring fast internet access to areas where it is currently not available.More than 7000 Italian municipalities will be covered, totalling 12.5 million inhabitants and almost 1 million companies. Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy said: “This EU-funded broadband project, which covers 20% of the Italian population, means unprecedented business opportunities, better public services and better quality of life for the Italian people. It shows what the EU is really about: working to improve everyday life for all citizens, very concretely.” Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: “A high quality broadband infrastructure is essential in today's economy and society. Citizens will benefit fully from the Digital Single Market once they have unrestricted access to the best performing networks, which enable the widespread access to new products, services and applications. Such projects lay the foundations for an inclusive and competitive digital Europe.” The project will in particular cover so-called “white areas”, where market forces cannot deliver the necessary infrastructure upgrade, in all 20 Italian regions. The project should be completed end of 2020. A press release is available here. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 2 295 00 55; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)


Plan Juncker: près de 170 millions d'euros pour les petites et moyennes entreprises en Roumanie

Le Plan d'Investissement pour l'Europe – le Plan Juncker – soutient trois accords entre le groupe Banque européenne d'investissement (BEI) et les banques CEC Bank S.A, Deutsche Leasing Romania IFN S.A. et Libra Internet Bank pour un montant total de 168 millions d'euros. 3 000 petites et moyennes entreprises roumaines devraient ainsi bénéficier d'un meilleur accès au financement. Le Groupe BEI a par ailleurs signé un accord avec l'institution financière FINS d'un montant de 4,5 millions d'euros sous le programme Erasmus+. L'accord donnera à près de 450 étudiants roumains un coup de pouce financier pour vivre et étudier ailleurs en Europe. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. Le Plan Juncker a déjà généré près de 390 milliards d'euros d'investissement, dont 2,6 milliards en Roumanie, et soutenu 929 000 entreprises dans toute l'Europe. (Pour plus d'informations: Annika Breidthardt – Tél.: +32 229-56153; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tél.: +32 229 56169)


Iran: EU provides €1.2 million in emergency support following floods

Today the European Commission has announced an initial amount of €1.2 million in response to the devastating floods that have recently affected northern and south western parts of Iran, in emergency funding to assist the most vulnerable communities. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides said: “We stand in full solidarity with the Iranian people at this difficult time. Our thoughts are with the thousands of families affected by the deadly floods as well as with the brave responders on the ground. The EU will help deliver essential support in the impacted areas.” The new funding will support humanitarian partners, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in delivering much needed relief assistance which will allow the most in need to cover their urgent needs. For over 20 years the EU has funded humanitarian operations in Iran, providing assistance to the most vulnerable refugees, including protection, shelter, water and sanitation, food security, and access to basic education and healthcare services. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


Les pays d'Europe, d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique achèvent un deuxième cycle de négociations en vue d'un nouveau partenariat ambitieux

Aujourd'hui, les négociateurs en chef ont souligné les progrès accomplis et lancé la phase suivante des négociations. À terme, cette nouvelle étape aboutira à la création de piliers sur mesure pour chaque région, lesquels figurent parmi les nouveautés qui seront introduites dans le futur accord ACP-UE. Le négociateur en chef de l'UE, le commissaire chargé de la coopération internationale et du développement, M. Neven Mimica, a tenu aujourd'hui les propos suivants à N'Djamena, au Tchad: « La rédaction du texte de base avance bien, et nous sommes à présent ravis de nous engager dans une nouvelle voie avec la négociation des piliers UE-Afrique, UE-Caraïbes et UE-Pacifique. Non seulement ces piliers stimuleront notre coopération en lui insufflant une nouvelle dynamique, mais ils nous permettront aussi, en fin de compte, d'accroître nos réalisations en apportant une réponse adaptée aux besoins et aux défis propres à chaque partenaire. » Tandis que le processus de rédaction suit son cours, l'UE et les pays ACP poursuivent les consultations relatives aux piliers régionaux avec chaque région. Comme l'a montré le dialogue de haut niveau avec les dirigeants du Pacifique le 26 février, ces consultations offrent un espace privilégié pour approfondir la discussion sur les besoins et les priorités de chaque région. Des réunions similaires avec les partenaires des Caraïbes et d'Afrique doivent avoir lieu prochainement. Un communiqué de presse et un mémo sont disponibles en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tél.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tél.: +32 229 92256)


Union for the Mediterranean commits to tackling employment challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean region

At the fourth Ministerial Conference on Employment and Labour in Portugal, the member states of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) gave a new impulse to social and economic integration in the Euro-Mediterranean region.Participants at the conference discussed the most pressing labour market needs in the Euro-Mediterranean region, in particular the persistent inequality in access to jobs, mostly for women and young people. Echoing this, the Ministers stressed that economic progress and social cohesion should go hand in hand. They reiterated their commitment to creating the conditions to mainstream gender in employment and labour policies. The Ministers highlighted 4 priorities for action, stressed the need to measure the impact of policies and agreed to launch a “Community of Practice” to exchange best practices. Following the conference, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, MarianneThyssen stated: “We need to encourage positive results on the ground in the Mediterranean region. Despite progress, too many women, young people and vulnerable persons still remain out of a decent job. At the same time, we need to equip people with digital skills, which are increasingly in demand. This is a joint responsibility at all levels; with employers, unions and civil society organisations. With new tools to exchange best practices and monitor progress, we aim to gear up our joint work on fair jobs and growth on both sides of the Mediterranean.”A joint statement is available online. The press conference following the Conference is available on EbS. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


Prix européen pour les femmes innovatrices : les noms des finalistes dévoilés

La Commission européenne a dévoilé aujourd'hui les noms des 13 femmes finalistes, installées dans l'Union européenne et dans les pays associés, de l'édition 2019 du Prix européen des femmes innovatrices, un prix financé dans le cadre du programme européen de recherche et d'innovation Horizon 2020. Les femmes sélectionnées ont fondé ou cofondé des entreprises sur la base de leurs idées novatrices. Elles ont développé des modèles commerciaux innovants dans une variété de domaines incluant des alternatives biotechnologiques aux pesticides, des solutions plus rapides pour le diagnostic médical, la simulation sur ordinateur utilisée pour développer des médicaments ou la première agence de consulting en sécurité informatique sans but lucratif dans le monde. Carlos Moedas, le commissaire en charge de la recherche, de la science et de l'innovation, qui a annoncé les finalistes, a déclaré : "Cette année, de très nombreuses formidables innovatrices nous ont soumis leur candidature. Cela montre qu'il y a beaucoup de femmes qui méritent d'être reconnues pour leurs idées et pour l'impact qu'elles ont sur notre vie quotidienne. Pourtant, il reste encore beaucoup de potentiel et de talent inexploités et j'espère que nos finalistes inspireront d'autres femmes à devenir elles-mêmes des innovatrices". Les femmes concourent pour trois prix d'une valeur de 100 000 euros chacun et un prix de 50 000 euros. Les noms des quatre gagnantes seront annoncés le 16 mai. Bien que les femmes soient de plus en plus actives dans la recherche, elles sont encore peu nombreuses à créer des entreprises innovantes. L'Europe doit encourager toutes ses ressources humaines afin de rester compétitive et de trouver des solutions aux défis urgents. Le prix de l'UE pour les femmes innovatrices sensibilise le public à ce besoin et récompense les femmes qui ont réussi dans l'innovation. Plus d'informations sont disponibles dans un article en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucia Caudet – Tél.: +32 229 56182; Victoria von Hammerstein-Gesmold - Tél.: +32 229 55040)


Competition: Commission publishes Special Advisers' report on competition policy and digitisation

The European Commission has published today the report “Competition policy for the digital era” delivered by the three Special Advisers on the future challenges of digitisation for competition policy appointed by Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager last year: Professors Heike Schweitzer and Jacques Crémer, and Assistant Professor Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye. In their report, the three Special Advisers: (i) identify what they see as the main specific features of digital markets; (ii) provide their views on the goals of EU competition law in the digital era; and (iii) discuss the application of competition rules to digital platforms and data, as well as the role of merger control in preserving competition and innovation. Together with the call for public contributions, which took place from 7 July to 30 September 2018, and the conference "Shaping competition policy in the era of digitisation", which took place in Brussels on 17 January 2019, the report is designed to provide input to the Commission's ongoing reflection process about how competition policy can best serve European consumers in a fast-changing world. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Eurostat : Le taux d'épargne des ménages quasiment stable à 12,3% dans la zone euro, le taux d'investissement des ménages stable à 9,0%

Au quatrième trimestre 2018, le taux d'épargne des ménages a été de 12,3% dans la zone euro, contre 12,2% au troisième trimestre 2018. Le taux d'investissement des ménages a quant à lui été de 9,0% au quatrième trimestre 2018 dans la zone euro, stable par rapport au trimestre précédent. Ces informations, qui proviennent de la première diffusion de données, corrigées des variations saisonnières, sur les comptes européens trimestriels des secteurs, sont publiées par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne, et la Banque centrale européenne (BCE). Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182)


Eurostat : Le taux d'investissement des entreprises en hausse à 23,7% dans la zone euro, la part des profits des entreprises quasiment stable à 39,9%

Au quatrième trimestre 2018, le taux d'investissement des entreprises s'est établi à 23,7% dans la zone euro, contre 23,4% au trimestre précédent. La part des profits des entreprises s'est quant à elle située à 39,9% au quatrième trimestre 2018 dans la zone euro, contre 40,0% au troisième trimestre 2018. Ces informations, qui proviennent de la première diffusion de données, corrigées des variations saisonnières, sur les comptes européens trimestriels des secteurs, sont publiées par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne, et la Banque centrale européenne (BCE). Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182)




Marché unique numérique: la Commission se félicite du vote du Parlement européen sur les nouvelles règles relatives au partage des données du secteur public

Le Parlement européen a approuvé aujourd'hui la Directive sur les données ouvertes et les informations du secteur public, qui améliorera considérablement l'accessibilité et l'utilisation innovante des données du secteur public et des données obtenues au moyen de fonds publics, contribuant par là même au développement de technologies à forte intensité de données, telles que l'intelligence artificielle. Le vice-président pour le marché unique numérique, Andrus Ansip, et la commissaire pour l'économie et la société numériques, Mariya Gabriel, ont salué l'issue du vote dans une déclaration conjointe : « Nous nous réjouissons du soutien massif apporté par les membres du Parlement européen à la Directive sur les données ouvertes. Produites en grande partie par le secteur public, les données sont un atout essentiel de l'économie numérique. Pour exploiter pleinement leur potentiel d'innovation, il est essentiel que les citoyens et les entreprises de l'UE puissent accéder facilement aux données du secteur public ou acquises au moyen de fonds publics ». La déclaration complète est disponible ici. Plus d'informations sur la nouvelle Directive sont disponibles dans cette fiche d'information et ce communiqué de presse récent. (Pour plus d'informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)




Third meeting of the European election cooperation network to guarantee free and fair European elections

Today, national representatives from across the EU Member States meet as the European cooperation network on elections for the third time ahead of the European elections in May. This last exchange before the elections focuses on the fight against disinformation, following up on the launch of the Rapid Alert System on disinformation. The network will also discuss how to raise awareness of citizens, political parties and the media around the challenges surrounding the elections and how to better involve civil society. Another topic on the agenda is data protection and how data protection rules can apply to micro-targeting. As part of the wider efforts of the Commission to protect elections, some weeks ago Commissioner Jourová has written to national political parties, calling on them to ensure transparency of political advertising, to be ready to face cyberattacks and to respect European data protection rules during the campaign (see press release). All information on the network is available online. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)


Commissioners Jourová and Vestager participate in the European Consumer and Competition Day Conference

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumersand Gender Equality and Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition will deliver keynote speeches at the European Consumer and Competition Day Conference today in Bucharest. The conference brings together experts from Member States' competition and consumer authorities, EU institutions, as well as from universities. The discussions at the conference will focus on improving the enforcement of consumer protection and competition across the EU, the cooperation amongst authorities and how to deal with challenges brought by e-commerce. Tomorrow, Commissioner Jourová will present the Safety Gate 2018 report (former Rapid Alert System for dangerous products) in Bucharest at 9:30 (8:30 Brussels Time). (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659; Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Commissioner Vestager to hold a Citizens' Dialogue in Bucharest, Romania

Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager holds a Citizens' Dialogue today at 15:50 (14:50 Brussels time) at the Instituto Cervantes de Bucarest in Bucharest, Romania, on questions related to the competition portfolio as well as on topics currently at the top of the EU's agenda. The Citizens' Dialogue can be followed live here. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Commissioner Stylianides visits Upper Austria and Baden-Württemberg to discuss the EU's strengthened Union Civil Protection Mechanism

Today, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides visits Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, to meet Deputy Landeshauptmann Christine Haberlander and regional civil protection teams, and take part in a citizens' dialogue at the Johannes-Kepler University. On Friday the Commissioner continues his travel to Baden-Württemberg to meet Deputy Minister-President and Minister of the Interior, Thomas Strobl, and to answers citizens' questions in Schwäbisch-Gmünd. Commissioner Stylianides will discuss the enhanced Union Civil Protection Mechanism that strengthens the EU's ability to deal with disasters more effectively. The Land Baden-Württemberg will present the Commissioner its ambitions to intensify cooperation on disaster prevention and preparedness, namely by working together on a European-wide Knowledge Network for civil protection practitioners. On this occasion the Commissioner will also be awarded the medal ''Goldenes Ehrenzeichen'' by the President of the German civil protection organisation Technisches Hilfswerk (THW), Albrecht Broemme and State Secretary Stephan Mayer of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


Commissioner Arias Cañete in the Netherlands to present the strategy for a climate neutral Europe by 2050

Today, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, will be in the Netherlands to present the European Commission's strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050, published by the Commission last November. His visit will start with a meeting with Ed Nijpels, former Minister for Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment and current member of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands, to present the Commission's vision for a climate-neutral Europe. Later that day, Commissioner Arias Cañete will appear in front of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Dutch Parliament to discuss the opportunities for European industry in the modernisation and transition towards a climate neutral economy. The Commissioner will also meet the regional ministers Tjisse Stelpstra (Drenthe) and Patrick Brouns (Groningen).  Finally, the Commissioner will meet with Eric Wiebes Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, and Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management to discuss climate neutrality objectives. This is the fifth of a number of visits that the Commissioner is planning in the coming weeks and months to highlight the EU's long-term vision, aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)


Commissioner Gabriel attends Western Balkans Digital Summit in Belgrade

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel is today in Belgrade, Serbia to participate in the second Western Balkans Digital Summit. This morning the Commissioner delivered a keynote speech at the opening session and witnessed the signing ceremony of the Regional Roaming Agreement, which was part of the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans presented last year in May and officially launched June 2018. Commissioner Gabriel said after the signing ceremony: “I am very pleased to see that the Western Balkan Partners have reached an agreement to lower the roaming costs in the region. We have fully supported this process facilitated by the Regional Cooperation Council. This is not ours, it is Western Balkans Partners' agreement, which will bring significant benefits to citizens and businesses in the region. This signature is a solid demonstration of strong political will towards achieving a robust digital regional integration. This will bring the Western Balkan Partners yet another step closer to enhanced engagement with the EU.” This year's Western Balkans Digital Summit is dedicated to digital skills, networks and connectivity, trust and security and digital economy and society. More information on the strategy for the Western Balkans is available here and on the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)


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


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