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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 04 / 10 / 2018

Brussels, 4 October 2018

La Cour des comptes européenne valide les comptes de l'Union pour la 11e année consécutive

Pour la onzième année consécutive, la Cour des comptes européenne a décerné son satisfecit aux comptes annuels de l'Union, qu'elle a jugés fidèles et sincères. Le commissaire Günther H. Oettinger, chargé du budget et des ressources humaines, a déclaré à ce propos: «J'accueille avec satisfaction les conclusions de la Cour; le rapport prouve que nous dépensons l'argent correctement. Le budget de l'Union est modeste - mais il fait une grande différence pour des millions d'Européens. C'est un outil unique qui permet de protéger et de défendre nos citoyens et qui leur donne les moyens d'agir, dans un monde en mutation rapide où les enjeux les plus pressants dépassent les frontières d'un seul pays. Ceci explique également pourquoi la Commission met tout en œuvre pour garantir que le budget de l'Union apporte une véritable valeur ajoutée. Bien sûr, si nous voulons continuer à produire des résultats pour tous les citoyens de l'Union après 2020, nous avons besoin du soutien du Parlement européen et du Conseil afin que le prochain budget à long terme soit adopté en temps voulu.» En tant que gestionnaire du budget de l'Union, la Commission a pour objectif de veiller à ce qu'une fois un programme clôturé et tous les contrôles effectués, le niveau d'erreur reste sous la barre des 2 %, niveau considéré comme significatif par la Cour. Ce résultat a été atteint en 2017, le taux d'erreur s'étant établi à un niveau historiquement bas. La Commission estime qu'après les corrections et les recouvrements, le taux d'erreur restant pour les dépenses de 2017 sera inférieur à 1 %. Plus d'informations sont disponibles ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Alexander Winterstein - Tél.: +32 229 93265; Andreana Stankova - Tél.: +32 229 57857)

 

Commission proposes €2.3 million from European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help former workers in the Greek publishing sector

The European Commission has proposed to mobilise €2.3 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 550 workers made redundant in the publishing sector in Attica (Greece). The funds will help the workers in their transition to new jobs. EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen commented: "Greece was the country hit hardest by the economic and financial crisis that started a decade ago, and has only very recently come out of the support programme. But as we have always said: the EU's support for Greece doesn't stop and we must use all tools from our box to continue to help the Greek people. One of these tools is the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which will help to prepare over 500 former workers in the Greek publishing sector for new jobs, thanks to today's decision." Greece applied for support from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund following the dismissal of 550 workers in three media companies. The measures co-financed by the Fund would help the workers find new jobs by providing them with occupational guidance, training, retraining and vocational training, specific advice towards entrepreneurship, contributions to business start-up and a variety of allowances. All the redundant workers are expected to participate in the measures. The total estimated cost of the package is €3.8 million, of which the European Globalisation Adjustment would provide €2.3 million (60%). The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for approval. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

European Solidarity Corps: wide array of new projects can officially start up

Today, the Regulation providing the European Solidarity Corps with a dedicated legal base and own budget has been published in the Official Journal of the EU. This means that as of tomorrow, 5 October, the Regulation enters into force, which makes it possible for a wide array of new projects to take off. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: "I am very pleased that the European Solidarity Corps now has its own funds and legal framework thanks to this Regulation adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. It will enable at least 100,000 young people to take part in solidarity projects until the end of 2020, creating fresh opportunities for young people to help build a cohesive Europe.“ The European Solidarity Corps allows young people to contribute to actions that help people and communities in need, while enhancing their own skills and competences. In May 2017, the Commission put forward a proposal to dedicate more than €340 million to the European Solidarity Corps until 2020, and to give it its own legal structure. A first call for projects under this new structure is already underway. Furthermore, for the period 2021–2027, the Commission has proposed to allocate €1.26 billion to the Corps. A factsheet showcasing examples of activities is available online(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel. +32 229 67083; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

EU mobilises further support to Indonesia

Following Indonesia's request to activate the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, further assistance has now been offered by Germany, France, Spain and the U.K. in addition to that already offered by Belgium and Denmark. The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is coordinating the offers of assistance to the areas affected by the deadly earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi. "I commend the generosity and solidarity of our Member States. The European Union was swift in helping our friends in Indonesia during this moment of need. Our support will provide crucial assistance to the people affected on the ground," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. Support offered via the Mechanism includes water purification equipment, emergency shelters, generators and other essential supplies. Copernicus, the Commission's emergency satellite mapping services, has produced 10 maps of the areas near the earthquake's epicentre. Additionally, the Commission and several Member States have collectively pledged an amount of approximately €8 million in humanitarian assistance to Indonesia for this disaster. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322 ; Daniel Puglisi –  Tel.: +32 229 69140) 

 

EU scales up humanitarian support to Afghanistan                                           

The Commission has allocated an additional €20 million in emergency aid to Afghanistan as the humanitarian situation has worsened since the beginning of 2018, due in part a severe drought affecting large parts of the country. This brings total EU humanitarian aid for Afghanistan to €47 million in 2018. "The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan shows little sign of improvement. Conflict has intensified since the beginning of the year and a severedrought is taking hold. The most vulnerable communities are hardest hit so the EU is stepping up support to help those most in need. Our new aid package aims to reach 400,000 people in need of assistance," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. The EU humanitarian assistance announced today will support communities affected by the drought, civilian war casualties, and displaced populations. Part of the assistance will be channelled through the EU funded Emergency Response Mechanism, which ensures emergency assistance to vulnerable displaced communities. The full press release is available here. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Strengthening the fight against crime and terrorism: Commission welcomes Parliament vote on the confiscation of assets across borders

Today, the European Parliament adopted the EU regulation on the freezing and confiscation of assets across borders. The Commission had put forward this proposal as part of the Action Plan to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing. It contributes to completing the Security Union by ensuring that criminals are deprived of their assets. Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “At the moment, 99% of criminal proceeds remain in the hands of criminals and terrorists. This puts our security at risk. The new legislation will close existing loopholes. It will allow judicial authorities to swiftly act also across borders, thanks to standardised documents, clear deadlines and easier communication between national authorities." The new regulation will set a deadline of 48 hours to recognise and execute freezing orders. It will widen the scope of current rules on cross-border recognition: criminals can be deprived of criminal assets, even when the assets belong to their relatives. Finally, in cases of cross-border execution of confiscation orders, the victim's right to compensation will have priority over States' claims. Following this vote, the Regulation is expected to be finally approved by the Council early November and will enter into force a few weeks later. (For more information Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

State aid: Commission approves Slovakia's €125 million investment aid to Jaguar Land Rover

The European Commission has concluded that Slovakia's €125 million investment aid to Jaguar Land Rover is in line with EU State aid rules. Jaguar Land Rover is investing €1.4 billion to build a car manufacturing facility in the region of Nitra (Slovakia), an area eligible for regional aid under EU State aid rules. Slovakia notified the Commission of its plans to grant €125 million of public support for the project. This represents the maximum aid that can be granted for such a project under the Commission's Guidelines on Regional State Aid for 2014-2020, which enable Member States to support economic development and employment in EU's less developed regions and to foster regional cohesion in the Single Market. The Commission's in-depth investigation opened in May 2017 established that without the investment aid, the project would not have been carried out in Nitra or more generally Europe but in Mexico. It also showed that the aid was limited to the minimum necessary to trigger the decision by Jaguar Land Rover to carry out the investment in Slovakia rather than Mexico. Finally, the Commission found that the investment aid will contribute to job creation as well as to the economic development and to the competitiveness of a disadvantaged region, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: "Our investigation confirmed that Slovakia's €125 million public support to Jaguar Land Rover for its project to build a new car plant in the region of Nitra is in line with our State aid rules. Our investigation revealed that the aid was necessary for Jaguar Land Rover to invest in Europe rather than in Mexico. We also found that the measure will contribute to job creation and to the economic development of a disadvantaged region without unduly distorting competition." The full press release is available online in EN, FR, DE, SK. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Eurostat: Le taux d'épargne des ménages quasiment stable à 12,1% dans la zone euro, taux d'investissement des ménages stable à 9,0% (Première diffusion pour le deuxième trimestre 2018)

Au deuxième trimestre 2018, le taux d'épargne des ménages a été de 12,1% dans la zone euro, contre 12,0% au premier trimestre 2018. Le taux d'investissement des ménages a quant à lui été de 9,0% au deuxième 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 Eurostat est à votre disposition en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations:Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182)

 

Eurostat: Business investment rate stable at 23.0% in the euro area, business profit share down to 40.6% (First release for the second quarter of 2018)

In the second quarter of 2018, the business investment rate was 23.0% in the euro area, stable compared with the previous quarter. The business profit share in the euro area was 40.6% in the second quarter of 2018, compared with 41.0% in the first quarter of 2018. These data come from a first release of seasonally adjusted quarterly European sector accounts from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and the European Central Bank (ECB). A Eurostat press release is available online. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182)

 

STATEMENTS

 

Coopération judiciaire: déclaration commune de la Commissaire Jourová et du Président d'Eurojust accueillant le vote du Parlement européen sur la réforme d'Eurojust  

Le Parlement européen a approuvé aujourd'hui la réforme d'Eurojust, l'agence de l'Union européenne responsable de la coopération judiciaire. La mission d'Eurojust consiste à renforcer l'efficacité des autorités nationales chargées des enquêtes et des poursuites dans les dossiers de criminalité transfrontalière grave et de criminalité organisée et de traduire les criminels en justice de façon rapide et efficace.  La Commissaire européenne à la justice, aux consommateurs et à l'égalité des genres, Vera Jourová a dit: “ En 2017, l'agence a apporté son soutien dans le cadre de  4 125 enquêtes, impliquant différents Etats membres. Eurojust joue déjà un rôle clé pour garantir la sécurité des Européens. Le vote du Parlement va donner la possibilité à Eurojust de poursuivre efficacement sa mission dans la lutte contre le crime transfrontalier et le terrorisme. Avec une agence plus forte, la sécurité des européens sera améliorée.”Ladislav Hamran, Président d'Eurojust, a ajouté: " Le besoin d'une coopération renforcée entre procureurs au-delà des frontières n'a jamais été aussi important qu'aujourd'hui. Obtenir L'obtention depreuves solides permet d'envoyer les criminels derrière les barreaux, le rôle d'Eurojust est essentiel dans les cas ayant une dimension internationale." La réforme permettra à Eurojust de collaborer avec le nouveau parquet européen, elle adaptera les règles de protection des données aux nouvelles règles en vigueur depuis mai et donnera davantage de contrôle au Parlement européen et aux parlements nationaux sur les activités de l'agence. Le Conseil de l'UE devrait adopter le règlement début novembre, qui sera ensuite publié au Journal Officiel. La déclaration jointe est disponible en ligne et sur le site d'Eurojust. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

Joint statement by Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Gabriel on the European Parliament's vote on the new EU rules facilitating the free flow of non-personal data

The European Parliament adopted today a Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data proposed by the European Commission in September 2017. Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip and Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel welcomed the outcome in a joint statement: "We welcome today's vote at the European Parliament. A digital economy and society cannot exist without data and this Regulation concludes another key pillar of the Digital Single Market. Only if data flows freely can Europe get the best from the opportunities offered by digital progress and technologies such as artificial intelligence and supercomputers. This Regulation does for non-personal data what the General Data Protection Regulation has already done for personal data: freeand safe movement across the European Union. With its vote, the European Parliament has sent a clear signal to all businesses of Europe: it makes no difference where in the EU you store and process your data – data localisation requirements within the Member States are a thing of the past.” The full statement and further details can be found here(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Le commissaire Stylianides en Grèce

Le commissaire chargé de l'aide humanitaire et de la gestion de crises, Christos Stylianides, sera demain en Grèce pour rencontrer Olga Gerovasili, ministre grecque pour la protection citoyenne et Dimitris Vitsas, ministre grec en charge de la politique migratoire. Avec la ministre Gerovasili, le commissaire Stylianides s'entretiendra de rescEU, la proposition de la Commission pour renforcer les capacités de l'UE à gérer des catastrophes naturelles. La proposition prévoit de consolider le mécanisme européen de protection civil existant afin de faire face plus efficacement aux catastrophes d'origine humaine ou naturelle, telles que les inondations, les incendies de forêt, les tremblements de terre et les épidémies. Avec la mise en œuvre de rescEU, la Grèce, ainsi que les autres Etats membres de l'UE, sera capable de limiter et de se préparer davantage aux incendies de forêts et autres catastrophes. La rencontre avec le ministre Vitsas sera l'occasion pour le commissaire Stylianides de discuter du soutien apporté aux réfugiés et migrants en Grèce, à travers l'instrument d'aide d'urgence (ESI) de la Commission. Le commissaire rencontrera également le professeur Christos Zerefos, à la tête du centre de recherche pour la physique atmosphérique et la climatologie à l'Académie d'Athènes. (Pour plus d'informations: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140).

 

Commissioner Navracsics celebrates ten years of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Budapest

Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, is in Budapest today attending INNOVEIT 2018, an innovation forum marking the 10th anniversary of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). He will participate in a panel on ‘The EIT@10: what does it bring to Europeans?' before attending the EIT Awards ceremony where he will present the EIT Woman Award. This is one of four prizes to be handed out on the day that recognise successful entrepreneurs and innovators who have graduated from an EIT-labelled education programme or benefitted from support through the EIT's Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). The other awards are the EIT CHANGE Award, the EIT Innovators Award and the EIT Venture Award. In addition, the public had the opportunity to vote for their favourite who will receive the EIT Public Choice Award. Ahead of the event, Commissioner Navracsics, responsible for the EIT, said: "Through the EIT, the EU has invested in entrepreneurs all over Europe, building a unique network, helping to create an entrepreneurial culture and providing critical support as ventures expand globally – my congratulations to them all!" The EIT's KICs create networks of businesses, education institutions and research institutes that offer innovators targeted support, legal advice, training and coaching or office space to help them bring their ideas to the market and turn them into successful ventures. The innovations represented at the awards include new cancer treatment using peptides, insect meal for animal feed and a micro hydropower plant which is eco-friendly and easy to install. The conference will be streamed live here, and the names of the winners will be available here at 20.00 CET tonight. More information on the EIT is available in this factsheet and infographic(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Antonis Raphael Stylianou – Tel: +32 229 13 261)

 

TRADE: Commissioner Malmström meets with civil society in Austria

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will meet this afternoon with civil society representatives in Innsbruck (Austria). The meeting organised in the framework of Citizens' Dialogueswill take place a day before the Council's meeting planned in Innsbruck for Friday, 5 October, where EU Trade Ministers will be discussing topics such as EU-US trade relations, modernisation of the WTO, state of play of ongoing EU negotiations and public perception of EU trade policy. The public debate today with Commissioner Malmström, the Austrian minister of economy Ms Margarete Schramböck, and the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Tirol, Mr Jürgen Bodenseer, will allow for a useful exchange ahead of that ministerial meeting. The Citizens' Dialogue will be live streamed. For more information and registration see here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

 

Commissioner Jourová on official visit to Albania

Commissioner Jourová will be in Tirana tomorrow, where she will meet Albania's Primer Minister Edi Rama. She will also meet the Minister of Justice, Etilda Gjonaj, with whom she will attend the signing ceremony of the Eurojust – Albania cooperation agreement along with the President of Eurojust, Ladislav Hamran. This agreement will facilitate the cooperation between Albanian judicial authorities and Eurojust to better fight crime. Commissioner Jourová will then deliver a speech and debate with students at the inaugural session of the School of Magistrates. Her visit also includes a meeting with representatives of judicial vetting institutions and of the International Monitoring Operation (IMO). Finally, she will exchange with civil society on LGBTI equality and Roma inclusion, and visit an EU-funded project on womens' rights. A press release on the Eurojust- Albania cooperation agreement will be available online. (For more information Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

 

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

MEX/18/6025


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