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Daily News

03 / 04 / 2017


EU and Member States agree to step up efforts to protect oceans

EU Ministers today welcomed the Communication on International Ocean Governance, adopted by the Commission and the High Representative in November 2016, calling it a “timely and relevant contribution to achieving […]better coordination and cooperation to ensure that oceans are safe, secure, conserved and sustainably used and managed." The Ministers stressed the urgent need for the EU and its Member States to step up efforts to protect the oceans and seas. Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Environment Karmenu Vella welcomed the news at the 8th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative on ocean management and conservation. The event is co-organised by the Monaco Oceanographic Institute, the Foundation Albert I, the Prince of Monaco, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundationand this year's focus will be on Marine Protected Areas. Commissioner Vella said: “The EU and its Member States are taking a leading role as global actors to strengthen international ocean governance. Delivering on our agenda for the future of our oceans will allow us to conserve and better use our precious marine resources.” This year's focus will be on Marine Protected Areas. The Commissioner’s speech at the Blue Initiative event is available here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Iris Petsa – Tel.: + 32 229 93321)


Bridging gaps in data to save Mediterranean fish stocks – first follow-up to Medfish4Ever political declaration

Studies by the Commission's Scientific Technical Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) show that fish stocks in the Mediterranean are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Better data collection is one of the key preconditions to save these fish stocks, as acknowledged by the Medfish4Ever political declaration, signed by Mediterranean basin Ministers last week (30 May). To support work towards this objective, the JRC has developed a public database which is now online to help monitor the status of fish stocks in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the JRC, said: "The collection of fisheries data is indispensable for the long-term sustainability of the sector. The online database developed by the Joint Research Centre is a step in the right direction. It contains almost 10 years' worth of fish stock assessments in the Mediterranean Sea. This data and the scientific advice accompanying it will enable a more accurate analysis of existing fish stocks and thus contribute to the overall fisheries management in the Mediterranean, for the benefit of the environment and citizens." Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: "Last week in Malta the European Commission and Mediterranean countries from around the sea basin signed the Medfish4Ever Declaration, a 10-year action plan for sustainable fisheries. The JRC database is yet more evidence of the need for urgent action. Our joined up approach matches scientific evidence with political will." More details are available here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Enrico Brivio - Tel.: +32 229 56172; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184; Iris Petsa - Tel. +32 229 93321)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Chemtura by Lanxess

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Chemtura of the United States, by Lanxess of Germany. Both Chemtura and Lanxess are global specialty chemicals companies active in the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical components. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, given the companies' activities are mostly complementary and because of the presence of a number of strong competitors in the market. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8261. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Eurostat: Les prix à la production industrielle stables dans la zone euro - En hausse de 0,1% dans l'UE28

En février 2017 par rapport à janvier 2017, les prix à la production industrielle sont restés stables dans la zone euro (ZE19), tandis qu'ils ont augmenté de 0,1% dans l'UE28, selon les estimations d’Eurostat, l’office statistique de l'Union européenne. En janvier 2017, les prix avaient progressé de 1,1% dans les deux zones. En février 2017 par rapport à février 2016, les prix à la production industrielle ont augmenté de 4,5% dans la zone euro et de 5,3% dans l’UE28. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: + 32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278; Maud Noyon – Tel.: +32 473 865656)


Eurostat: Février 2017 - Le taux de chômage à 9,5% dans la zone euro - À 8,0% dans l'UE28

Dans la zone euro (ZE19), le taux de chômage corrigé des variations saisonnières s’est établi à 9,5% en février 2017, en baisse par rapport au taux de 9,6% enregistré en janvier 2017 et à celui de 10,3% de février 2016. Il s'agit toujours du taux le plus faible enregistré dans la zone euro depuis mai 2009. Dans l’UE28, le taux de chômage s’est établi à 8,0% en février 2017, en baisse par rapport au taux de 8,1% de janvier 2017 et à celui de 8,9% de février 2016. Cela demeure le taux le plus faible enregistré dans l'UE28 depuis janvier 2009. Ces chiffres sont publiés par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)




Le Vice-Président Ansip au Luxembourg pour discuter du marché unique numérique et du pôle numérique de la Commission

Andrus Ansip, Vice-Président pour le marché unique numérique, est aujourd'hui au Luxembourg pour une série de rencontres sur les initiatives européennes dans le domaine numérique et le développement du pôle numérique de la Commission dans le pays. Il a rencontré ce matin Xavier Bettel, le Premier ministre du Luxembourg, ainsi que les députés des Commissions des Affaires étrangères et européennes, Juridique, de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et des Médias. Cet après-midi, il participera à une conférence sur le thème des données avec des représentants des autorités luxembourgeoises et des membres du personnel de la Commission (son discours sera disponible ici vers 15h). Les discussions porteront également sur le développement du pôle numérique de la Commission au Luxembourg, avec une présence renforcée notamment dans les domaines du calcul haute performance, de l'informatique en nuage, des services publics en ligne et de l'e-santé (plus d'informations). Ce développement se fait en étroite coopération avec le Luxembourg et renforce les initiatives nationales telles que celle du Grand-Duché, Digital Lëtzebuerg. La Commission va également consolider ses centres de données dans le pays, grâce à des infrastructures de pointe (plus d'informations). Plus de détails sont disponibles via @Ansip_EU. Plus d'information sur la Stratégie numérique européenne est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations : Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: + 32 229 67083 ; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)


Energy Union Vice-President Sefčovič in New York for Sustainable Energy for All Forum

Energy Union Vice-President Maros Sefčovič will travel to New York from 3-4 April to attend the Sustainable Energy for All Forum of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. The Vice-President will open the Forum together with both co-chairs of the Global Covenant of Mayors, Michael Bloomberg and Christiana Figueres. Objective of the Forum is to discuss how policymakers can transform energy and transport systems while creating jobs and economic growth. Vice-President Maros Sefčovič will highlight the EU leadership in the clean energy transition (see Clean Energy Package for all Europeans IP/16/4009) and re-iterate the EU's readiness to share a wealth of unique experiences, knowledge and best practice on unlocking the market potential including on a governance model with the participation of the private sector and the consumers. Vice-President Sefčovič said: “We take note of what is happening across the Atlantic, and of course we regret it. But I can be very clear on Europe's role in the fight against climate change: count on us, count the European Union. We stand ready to defend Paris, implement Paris and continue global leadership in the field of climate action. That's why I will go to New York, to participate in the Sustainable Energy for All - Summit, where I will share Europe's experience on the low-carbon transition to our partners outside the EU. That's why we have established the Global Covenant of Mayors, because cities will continue to take ambitious action on climate, also – and more than ever – in the US.” The Forum is hosted by the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. SE4All has been launched by the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to raise awareness of the importance of energy for development before the adoption of the 2030 Agenda with a specific Sustainable Development Goal on energy. The EU has strongly supported SE4All from its very start by Ban Ki-moon as its objectives were perfectly aligned with the EU's development policy on energy. Find more information about the Sustainable Energy for All and the Global Covenant of the Mayors online. Get the program of the Forum here. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel. +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller - Tel.: +32 229 52589)


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