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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 12 / 07 / 2019

Brussels, 12 July 2019

EU-U.S. trade talks: milestone reached in mutual recognition on pharmaceuticals

The European Union and the United States delivered on a significant element of the Joint Statement agreed by Presidents Juncker and Trump in July 2018. The positive transatlantic trade agenda established in the Joint Statement includes a commitment from both sides to reduce barriers and increase trade in a range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals. This Mutual Recognition Agreement is underpinned by robust evidence that the EU and the U.S. have comparable procedures to carry out good manufacturing practice inspections for human medicines. Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, in charge of Health and Food Safety said: "The completion of the Mutual Recognition Agreement is not only a step forward in the trade relations between the EU and the U.S., but it will also ensure high quality medicines for the benefit of patients. It means that, on both sides of the Atlantic, the authorities in charge of medicines can now rely on inspections results to replace their own inspections. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has completed the capability assessments of the 28 EU competent authorities, the result of five years of close transatlantic cooperation.” Together, Europe and the United States account for more than 80% of global sales of new medicines. As a result of the full implementation of this agreement, both the industry and public authorities on both sides will be able to free resources that could be used to inspect facilities in other large producing countries. This can make it faster and less costly for both sides to bring medicines to the market and benefit patients. A press release is available here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: + 32 2 229 87624)


European Commission supports seamless mobile phone use throughout Cyprus

As of yesterday, Cypriot mobile subscribers can use their phones throughout Cyprus without interruption. This confidence-building initiative was initially agreed in 2015 and reconfirmed by the two leaders, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı, on 26 February 2019. Its implementation has been made possible through separate agreements concluded by the operators in both communities with a hub, Comfone, and with support from the United Nations and the European Commission. Vice-President Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "I want to thank both leaders for their commitment and determination to see this important confidence building measure through. This initiative will have a positive impact on lives of Cypriots as it will lead to savings for mobile phone users when they cross the green line. This is also a symbolic measure as it enables greater interaction between the communities on the island." The Commission, through its Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS), has played an active role in supporting the negotiations between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus for a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus issue, held under the auspices of the United Nations. To support the conclusion of the agreement for seamless mobile phone use throughout Cyprus, the SRSS provided technical and legal advice, as well as financial resources from the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community. Calls are routed through a GSM roaming hub managed by Comfone from Bern, Switzerland. The prices are the same for all Cypriots and enable subscribers to call back home and use mobile data at a reasonable price. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 58615)


President Juncker consults the European Parliament on Kadri Simson and Ioan Mircea Paşcu as European Commissioners

Today, President Jean-Claude Juncker communicated to the European Parliament that he had the opportunity to assess the ability of Kadri Simson and Ioan Mircea Paşcu to serve as Members of the European Commission, in light of Article 17(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). The European Parliament is now being consulted on their appointment as Commissioners with Estonian and Romanian nationality, until the end of President Juncker's term on 31 October 2019. This comes after the Council of the European Union failed to reach unanimity on his proposal not to replace – for the remaining months – those outgoing Commissioners who were elected and have now become Members of the European Parliament. Оn 11 July, President Juncker interviewed the two candidates for Commissioners proposed by the Romanian and Estonian Governments. Following the interviews, President Juncker confirmed the candidates' competences as required under Article 17(3) TEU. He also decided not to allocate specific portfolios to the two Commissioners-designate in view of the short remainder of the mandate. They will, however, take part in collegiate activities and be able to participate in the project teams. In letters sent to the two Commissioners-designate today, President Juncker also reminded them of their responsibilities as Members of the Commission, including the obligation to abide by the highest possible professional and ethical standards. Procedurally, the new Members of the Commission are appointed by the Council of the EU by common accord with the President of the Commission after consultation of the European Parliament (Article 246, subparagraph 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). In addition, the Interinstitutional Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission specifies that the President of the Commission ‘will seriously consider' the results of the consultation of the European Parliament before giving his agreement to the Council's decision to appoint the new Commissioner (paragraph 6 of the Framework Agreement). President Juncker sent today a letter to David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, informing him of his decision. He also informed Antti Rinne, Prime Minister of Finland, currently holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union as well as Jüri Ratas and Viorica Dăncilă, the Prime Ministers of Estonia and Romania respectively. As the Council has already formally consulted the European Parliament, Kadri Simson and Ioan Mircea Paşcu are now Commissioners-designate. They have the right to draw on Commission support to prepare for their exchange of views with the European Parliament. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382)


The EU invests in a faster, more efficient rail network in Latvia

The Cohesion Fund is investing €318.5 million in Latvia in order to electrify 308 km of the country's main east-west railway network and replace diesel-powered locomotives. This will make rail transport faster in the country, align Latvia's infrastructure with the requirements of EU and national regulations for the development of core railway network and improve air quality in the long-term. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “The EU is funding a modern rail system in Latvia. By cutting costs and travel times, this Cohesion Policy project will boost jobs and Latvia's economy by facilitating transit traffic and trade through the Baltic States. At the same time, Latvians will breathe cleaner air and it will improve road safety. This is another powerful example of the benefits of the EU Cohesion Policy on the ground.” Works include the electrification of the Riga–Krustpils, Krustpils-Daugavpils and Krustpils-Rēzekne lines. The total length of Latvia's rail network is about 1,860 km, of which only about 14% is electrified. This is substantially lower than the EU average of 55%. Electric traction is currently only used for passenger transport, and diesel power for goods transport. This EU-funded project will greatly reduce the costs of freight transport, by cutting by three the costs of maintenance and allowing speed up to 160 km/h on parts of the network.  (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 2 295 00 55; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)


Concentrations: la Commission approuve la création d'une entreprise commune contrôlée par Sogeclair et AddUp

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du Règlement européen sur les concentrations, la création d'une entreprise commune, PrintSky, par Sogeclair SA et AddUp SAS, toutes basées en France. PrintSky sera active dans le développement et la commercialisation de solutions d'impression 3D sur métaux dans les secteurs de l'aéronautique, de l'aérospatiale et de la défense, en Europe et dans le monde entier. Sogeclair, appartenant au groupe Sogeclair, est une entreprise d'ingénierie aéronautique et spatiale active dans le monde entier. AddUp, appartenant aux groupes Michelin et Fives, est une société de fabrication de solutions industrielles d'impression 3D des métaux allant de la conception et la fabrication de machines, de lignes de fabrication et de services associés à la refonte et la fabrication de pièces métalliques. Elle est présente dans le monde entier dans le secteur industriel, automobile, médical, aéronautique, spatial et de luxe. La Commission a conclu que l'opération envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, compte tenu de la position sur le marché des entreprises concernées. 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 concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.9314. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Eurostat: La production industrielle en hausse de 0,9% dans la zone euro, et de 0,8% dans l'UE28

En mai 2019 par rapport à avril 2019, la production industrielle corrigée des variations saisonnières a augmenté de 0,9% dans la zone euro (ZE19) et de 0,8% dans l'UE28, selon les estimations d'Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. En avril 2019, la production industrielle avait reculé de 0,4% dans la zone euro et de 0,6% dans l'UE28. En mai 2019 par rapport à mai 2018, la production industrielle a diminué de 0,5% dans la zone euro et a augmenté de 0,4% dans l'UE28. Un communiqué de presse est à votre disposition en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tél.: +32 229 56182; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tél.: +32 229 56169)






High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on visit to Iraq and Kuwait

On 13-14 July, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, will be in Baghdad and in Kuwait City for official bilateral visits and to open the new EU Delegation in Kuwait. On 13 July, in Baghdad, Iraq, she will meet with President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Dr Adel Abdul Mahdi, Speaker of Parliament Muhammad al-Halbusi and Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim. On 13 and 14 July, the High Representative/Vice-President will be in Kuwait City to open the EU Delegation in Kuwait. The opening of the new Delegationmarks the EU's commitment to strengthening its relation with Kuwait and to further enhance its engagement with the region. The High Representative will be received by the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah. She will also meet with the Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah. Photos and videos of her visit to both Baghdad and Kuwait will be available on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)


Commissioner Oettinger travels to Finland to discuss the roadmap towards an agreement on EU's next long-term budget

On 15 July, European Commissioner in charge of Budget and Human Resources, Günther H. Oettinger, will travel to Finland to discuss the way forward towards an autumn agreement on the EU budget for 2021-2027, during the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In the capital Helsinki, Commissioner Oettinger will meet with Prime Minister Antti Rinne, Ms Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs, and Mr Kimmo Tiilikainen, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance. The meeting with senior government representatives from Finland – which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union – are part of the ongoing efforts of the Commission to support the negotiations on the EU's next long-term budget. Ahead of his visit, Commissioner Oettinger said: “I am very glad that the Finnish Presidency has declared concluding the negotiations on EU's next long-term budget as one of its strategic priorities. Less than two weeks into their Presidency, they have already demonstrated their strong commitment to deliver on this objective. The Commission will do everything that is necessary to support them in this very important task.” On 2 May 2018, the Commission put forward a proposal for a modern, balanced and fair long-term budget to deliver on Europe's priorities as set out by Leaders in Bratislava in 2016 and in Rome in 2017. Since then, the Commission has worked hand in hand with the rotating Presidencies of the Council, and in close collaboration with the European Parliament, to take the negotiations forward. In line with the conclusions from the European Council meeting of 20 and 21 June 2019, an agreement is due before the end of the year. The Commission shares the firm believe that sticking to this timeline is essential, for the hundreds of thousands of students, farmers and researchers across Europe, as well as everybody else who benefits from the EU budget. More information about why a timely agreement is of key importance is available here and here. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Andreana Stankova – Tel.: +32 2 29 57857)


Le commissaire Stylianides rencontre les autorités régionales de la protection civile à Lyon et visite l'exposition « L'UE sauve des vies »

Lundi, le 15 juillet, Christos Stylianides, le commissaire chargé de l'aide humanitaire et de la gestion des crises, s'est rendu à Lyon, France, pour rencontrer le Service départemental et métropolitain incendie et secours (SDMIS). Le commissaire rencontrera M. Georges Képénékian, premier adjoint au maire de Lyon, et échangera avec les jeunes pompiers locaux sur la protection civile de l'UE et sur rescEU. Le commissaire visitera également l'exposition itinérante « L'UE sauve des vies » de la Commission européenne en compagnie de Jean-Yves Sécheresse, président du SDMIS, et d'autres représentants de haut niveau de l'État et des régions. L'exposition sera ouverte aux visiteurs dans le centre commercial Ecully Grand Ouest près de Lyon, jusqu'au 21 juillet 2019. (Pour plus d'informations: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tél.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tél.: +32 229 69140)




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