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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 09 / 04 / 2019

Brussels, 9 April 2019

EU-China Summit takes place in Brussels

This afternoon, the 21stEU-China Summit takes place in Brussels, bringing together the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the Premier of the People's Republic of China, Li Keqiang. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini,and Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, will also participate in the Summit. The Summit takes place one month after the Commission and the High Representativeset out 10 concrete actions to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by the EU-China relationship, and related Conclusions by the European Councilon 22 March. The Summit also follows a number of other strategic engagements on the topic of EU-China relations over the past months, namely the High-Level Strategic Dialogue,  the March Foreign Affairs Council, the Human Rights Dialogue, and the participation of President Juncker in a meeting on Global Governance with the leaders of France, China and Germany. At today's Summit, Leaders will address the most pressing issues in EU-China bilateral relations, such as, on the trade and investment agenda, the negotiations towards a Comprehensive Investment Agreement and an agreement on Geographical Indications. Global challenges and governance, for example cooperation on multilateralism, including through reform of the World Trade Organisation, tackling climate change, and increasing sustainable connectivity, will also be addressed, as will common foreign policy priorities such as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Iran nuclear deal, and Afghanistan. President Juncker, President Tusk and Premier Li will hold a press conference to conclude the Summit, which will be broadcast live on Europe by Satellite at 16:15 CET. A number of meetings will take place in the margins of the Summit, including the 8th Energy Dialogue with the participation of Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete, and Zhang Jianhua, the Administrator of the National Energy Administration of China; the 4th Innovation Cooperation Dialogue, co-chaired by the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, and Chinese Minister for Science and Technology Wang Zhigang; the Connectivity Platform, co-chaired by Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and the Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, He Lifeng; the 12th High-Level Competition Dialogue and 2nd High-Level Dialogue on State Aid Control and the Fair Competition Review System, co-chaired by Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, and the Director for the State Market Regulatory Administration, Zhang Mao; and the Regional and Urban Policy Dialogue, co-chaired by the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu, and the Vice-Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, Luo Wen. For more information on EU-China relations, visit the website of the EU Delegation in Beijing and view the dedicated factsheet. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas - Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Maja Kocijančič– Tel.: +32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski – Tel: +32 229 89359)

 

Brexit preparedness: EU preparations help safeguard citizens' social security entitlements

As part of its Brexit preparedness and contingency work, the European Commission has taken several measures to protect EU citizens and UK nationals who are or have been living or working in another Member State. While the European Commission remains committed to concluding the Withdrawal Agreement, it is still possible that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal. As many EU and UK citizens have made their life choices based on rights related to free movement under EU law, a “no-deal” withdrawal can have harsh consequences on their lives. To protect social security rights related to situations before the withdrawal date, the Commission has proposed an EU regulation, which has already been approved by the European Parliament and the Council. In addition to the Regulation, we have worked with EU-27 Member States to ensure a common approach. More concretely, we have recommended that Member States use national, unilateral measures to, amongst other things, continue to export old-age pension to persons residing in the United Kingdom, and to address ongoing medical treatments. The Commission has also published information for citizens on living, working and travelling in the EU and the UK. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “A “no-deal” is not the outcome we want, but it is a scenario we are preparing for. The millions of EU citizens who worked in the United Kingdom before the withdrawal will not lose these pension rights when retiring in the EU. Patients should be able to finalise ongoing medical treatment in the UK. Not everything will be smooth, but we will try to mitigate the negative impact of a “no-deal” Brexit. I believe that the Withdrawal Agreement remains the best possible outcome for everyone concerned, but the EU will put citizens first, whichever scenario occurs.” A range of factsheets can be consulted online and the text of the Contingency Regulation is available here. A press conference with Commissioner Thyssen, where further details of the EU's preparedness in the area of employment and social affairs will be presented, can be watched on EbS. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

The Energy Union: from vision to reality

The fourth report on the State of the Energy Union, adopted today, shows that the European Commission has fully delivered on its vision of an Energy Union strategy guaranteeing accessible, affordable, secure, competitive and sustainable energy for all Europeans. Europe is already a global leader in fighting climate change. European policies implemented over the last five years in all policy areas have put the EU on the right track to fully embrace the clean energy transition, seizing the economic opportunities that it offers, creating growth and jobs and a healthier environment for consumers. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, in charge of the Energy Union, said: "The Energy Union is Europe at its best: tackling together the big energy security and energy transition we can't solve within national borders. From the daunting challenge of the energy transition we made an economic opportunity for all Europeans. To do this, we had to truly transform our energy and climate policies: not just tweaks at the margins but systemic change. No Member State could have delivered on its own. Our report shows how all the Energy Union measures combine to make our policy fit for the future." Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Europe has now in place the world's most ambitious and advanced climate and energy framework. We agreed all the legislation to meet our 2030 targets, with higher targets for renewables and energy efficiency. But the Energy Union is more than rules and policies: we mobilised record levels of clean energy investments in Europe, we brokered the Paris Agreement and triggered its quick entry into force, we further integrated the European energy market, and we set a long-term vision for climate neutral Europe by 2050.” The report is accompanied by two documents showing progress made in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In parallel the Commission is also putting forward a report on the implementation of the strategic action plan on batteries and a communication for more efficient and democratic decision making in EU energy and climate policy. A press release and a Q&A are available online. More information can be found on the Website.(For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf - Tel.: +32 229 74959)

 

Plus de transparence dans les conditions et utilisation des données: Facebook répond aux demandes de la Commission européenne et des autorités de protection des consommateurs

Aujourd'hui, la Commission européenne et les autorités de protection des consommateurs se félicitent des mises à jour des conditions et des services de Facebook. Ils présentent désormais clairement comment l'entreprise utilise les données de ses utilisateurs pour développer les activités de profilage et de ciblage des publicités qui la financent. Les nouvelles conditions détaillent également les services, basés sur l'utilisation des données de consommateurs, que Facebook vend à des tiers, comment les consommateurs peuvent fermer leurs comptes et pour quelles raisons un compte peut être désactivé. Ces modifications interviennent après des échanges visant à obtenir une présentation du modèle économique de Facebook dans un langage clair et exhaustif à l'intention de ses utilisateurs. Vera Jourová, commissaire en charge de la justice, des consommateurs et de l'égalité des genres, a salué l'accord: « Aujourd'hui, Facebook témoigne de son engagement en faveur d'une plus grande transparence et d'un langage clair et simple pour ses conditions d'utilisation. Une entreprise qui souhaite rétablir la confiance chez ses consommateurs ne peut se cacher derrière un jargon juridique et compliqué pour expliquer comment elle fait des milliards à partir des données de ses utilisateurs. Ces derniers comprendront désormais que leurs données sont utilisées par le réseau social pour vendre des publicités ciblées. En unissant leurs forces, les autorités de consommateurs et la Commission européenne montrent qu'elles s'engagent pour les droits des consommateurs européens. » Au lendemain du scandale Cambridge Analytica et à la suite de l'enquête menée sur les plateformes de médias sociaux en 2018, la Commission et les autorités nationales de protection des consommateurs ont demandé à Facebook d'informer clairement les consommateurs sur la manière dont le réseau est financé et les revenus sont générés par l'utilisation de données des consommateurs. Ils ont également demandé à la plate-forme d'aligner le reste de ses conditions de service sur le droit de la consommation européen. Un communiqué de presse et une fiche d'information sont disponibles en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand - Tél .: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin - Tél .: +32 229 58659)

 

Union de la sécurité: la Commission européenne se félicite de l'adoption finale du nouveau système européen d'information sur les casiers judiciaires des ressortissants de pays tiers

Le Conseil européen a approuvé aujourd'hui la proposition de la Commission européenne de créer un système européen d'information sur les casiers judiciaires concernant les ressortissants condamnés issus de pays tiers. Ce système central vise à améliorer l'échange d'informations concernant les casiers judiciaires des personnes condamnées non ressortissantes de l'UE et des apatrides par le biais du système européen d'information sur les casiers judiciaires (ECRIS). Vĕra Jourová, commissaire en charge de la justice, des consommateurs et de l'égalité des genres, s'est félicitée de cette décision: "Le nouveau système permettra aux autorités judiciaires et de police de repérer plus facilement les ressortissants de pays tiers précédemment condamnés dans l'UE, en effectuant une simple recherche dans l'ECRIS. Cela permettra d'améliorer la coopération afin de mieux lutter contre la criminalité et le terrorisme dans l'ensemble de l'UE, faisant de l'Europe un endroit plus sûr pour tous ses citoyens." La base de données sera disponible en ligne et les autorités pourront effectuer facilement des recherches avec un mécanisme de recherche simple: il permettra d'identifier les États membres à partir desquels des informations complètes sur les casiers judiciaires d'une personne donnée peuvent être obtenues. Le système ne contiendra que des informations d'identité, notamment des empreintes digitales et, le cas échéant, des images faciales. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand - Tél .: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin - Tél .: +32 229 58659)

 

Cyclone Idai: €12 million EU assistance in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi

The European Union has announced today an additional €12 million in humanitarian support in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. This funding will assist people in need following cyclone Idai and the subsequent floods, and brings the total EU humanitarian assistance to over €15 million. “We continue to stand in solidarity with the people affected by cyclone Idai and the floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. There are still urgent humanitarian needs to be met and we are scaling up our efforts so that relief continues to be brought to the people in need,” says Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. From today's announcement, €7 million will benefit people in Mozambique,where up to 1.85 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. In Zimbabwe, €4 million will provide people affected by the flood with shelter, water and sanitation, as well as food assistance. In Malawi, people in need will benefit from assistance worth €1 million in the form of food aid and support to recover their livelihoods. Read the full press release here. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

European Commission launches a public consultation on the marketing of financial services in the EU 

Today, the European Commission is launching an online public consultation on EU rules on Distance Marketing of Financial Services. The current rules provide details on the information a consumer should receive about a financial service and the financial service provider before they conclude a distance contract. The public consultation is part of a bigger assessment to check whether the rules on distance marketing of financial services are still fit for purpose and meet the users' needs and expectations. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “Over the years, the retail financial sector has gone increasingly digital, opening an account or taking a loan is now a matter of a few clicks. This gives consumers easier access to these offers, but they should also have access to the right information, at the right time and in the right format to take informed decisions. We want EU rules to be adapted to today's online offers of financial services.”  Today,the European Commission also published the findings of a behavioural study on the commercial practices used by providers of retail financial services when marketing and selling their products online. The study shows that consumers make better choices when information is provided to them upfront, at the right time and in a format that helps comparison. It also suggests ways to improve how consumers are informed when they look for financial products online. These findings will feed into the ongoing evaluations of the Directives on Consumer Credit and Distance Marketing of Financial Services to be finalised at the end of 2019. Consumers, retail financial services professionals, national authorities and other interested stakeholders are invited to express their views on the relevance, effectiveness, pertinence and coherence of these rules through the consultation until the beginning of July. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioners participate in IMF/World Bank spring meetings with G20 Finance Ministers in Washington DC

Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Hahn, Commissioner Mimica and Commissioner Moscovici travel this week to Washington DC (USA) for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings on 10-13 April. The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings will also be held in the margins of this meeting. Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Financial Services and Financial Stability, Valdis Dombrovskis will meet a number of government and business leaders, including Mr Steven Mnuchin, United States Secretary of the Treasury; Ms Oksana Markarova, Minister of Finance of Ukraine; Mr Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council of the United States; Mr Randal K. Quarles, Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve and Mr Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City.  The Vice-President will also deliver a keynote speechat the Economic Club of New York conference, participate in the Atlantic Council discussion on "The EU and Brexit" and in theClimate Finance Ministerial meeting. Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will participate in the High Level Meeting with the European and International Financial Institutions and will have a series of bilateral meetings including with Mr Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Mr Philippe Le Houérou, Chief Executive Officer of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). He will meet with senior representatives of the US government including Dr Fiona Hill, Senior Director at the National Security Council (NSC), Jason Greenblatt, Special Representative for International Negotiations, and Kurt Volker, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. The Commissioner will deliver on Thursday a keynote speech on the Eastern Partnership at the Atlantic Council. Commissioner for International Cooperation  and Development Neven Mimica will participate in a number of high-level events focused, amongst others, on the Europe-Africa Alliance, on financing for development, education, the implementation of the sustainable development goals and investment in human capital. He will have bilateral meetings with a number of interlocutors, such as Mr David R Malpass, president of the World Bank, and Mr Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank. Commissioner Mimica will furthermore sign new financing agreements with international partners, the details of which will be made public in due time.  Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, Pierre Moscovici will meet, amongst others, Mr Steven Mnuchin, United States Secretary of the Treasury; Mr Liu Kun, Minister of Finance of China; Mr Jerome Powell, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, Mr Paulo Guedes, Minister for Finance of Brazil; Mr Taro Aso, Minister for Finance of Japan and Mr Zied Laâdhari, Minister for Development, Investment and International Cooperation of Tunisia. While in Washington DC, Commissioner Moscovici will also take part in a debate at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on “The future of European integration after 20 years of the Euro”. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Maja Kocijancic  – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194)

 

Commissioner Malmström visits Korea and Japan

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström is participating today in the 8th Trade Committee between the EU and Republic of Korea. The role of the Committee set up under the trade agreement in place since 2011 is to supervise the overall implementation of the agreement and provide a framework for discussion on any issues that may arise in the EU-Korea trade. Today's meeting will therefore cover, amongst others, questions related to EU beef exports to Korea, as well as implementation by Korea of the trade and sustainable development provisions of the agreement. Following this meeting, on 10 April 2019, the Commissioner will travel to Japan to Tokyo to co-chair the first meeting of the EU-Japan Joint Committee under the new EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. The Joint Committee is set to adopt decisions on procedures for implementation of the new agreement in place since February this year and kick-start bilateral cooperation to monitor and support its implementation.  Sectoral specialised committees and working groups will discuss the ways to ensure an effective implementation of the agreement in the area of product standards, customs procedures, public procurement markets, or trade and sustainable development priorities.For more information see Commissioner Malmström's statement today in Korea, as well as dedicated websites on EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and EU-Korea trade agreement. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

 

Commissioner Thyssen on visit in Romania

On 10 and 11 April, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, will travel to Romania. During her two-day visit, she will participate in the informal meeting of Ministers of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, taking place in Bucharest. Participants will discuss several issues related to gender equality, such as boosting women's participation in the labour market, women in management, the gender pay gap, and more. Commissioner Thyssen will give a key note speech which will be published here. A concluding press conference will take place on Thursday around 11:10 CET, available on EbS. Also on Thursday, the Commissioner will participate in a conference on the European Social Fund Plus, where she will give an opening speech which will be made available here. She will participate in a press conference on the topic around 09:45 CET. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

 

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

MEX/19/2074


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