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Daily News

13 / 01 / 2017


Commission proposes EU Solidarity Fund assistance following the floods in the United Kingdom

Today the Commission has proposed aid to the United Kingdom worth €60 million from the EU Solidarity Fund following the floods in December 2015 and January 2016. The flooding affected essential infrastructure, especially for transport, as well as public buildings, private homes, businesses and farmland in several regions of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Creţu said: "The EU Solidarity Fund lends a helping hand to populations affected by natural disasters. This financial aid will help cover the costs of emergency measures, clean-up operations and of the restoration of vital infrastructure." The proposed aid of €60 million now has to be approved by the European Parliament and Council. A full press release is available online. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)


Commission proposes EUR 100 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Moldova

The European Commission has today granted a request by the Republic of Moldova by proposing a Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme of up to EUR 100 million. The proposed assistance would help the country meet its short-term financing needs. Up to EUR 40 million of the MFA would be provided in grants and up to EUR 60 million in medium-term loans at favourable financing conditions. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "This assistance will help Moldova meet its most immediate financing needs and stabilise its economy. At the same time, we are confident that the conditions related to this financing will contribute to improving economic governance in the country and encourage vital reforms." Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: "Moldova's recent efforts to pursue stability-oriented policies and tackle long-standing vulnerabilities must be sustained. Today the Commission is providing further support for the country as it works to preserve macroeconomic stability, improve governance and achieve more sustainable and inclusive growth." A full press release is available online. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)


Seafood: Survey on EU consumers' attitudes to seafood reveals some unsuspected shopping and eating habits

The majority of Europeans say they eat fish because it is healthy. Fish consumption is increasing, with 42% Europeans eating fish/aquaculture products at least once a week at home. This underlines the need to ensure sustainable supply of fish to the EU market. A new Eurobarometer survey on EU consumer choices regarding fishery and aquaculture products reveals that people in the EU eat seafood quite regularly, although how far people live from the sea plays a role in how often they eat fish. "This survey helps us see how Europeans choose their seafood. This helps inform our policies. We must make sure that consumers continue to have a wide range of high quality seafood to choose from. That is why we are determined to reach targets on sustainable fishing by 2020", stated Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella. For seafood, there is a strong preference for regional, national and European origin (80%). Reducing import dependency by developing sustainable fishing and aquaculture in the EU is again emphasised. 66% think the information on products is clear and easy to understand, showing that EU labelling rules are working. For more information see here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Iris Petsa - Tel.: +32 229 93321)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Endurance by Sompo

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Endurance of Bermuda by Sompo of Japan. Endurance is a global provider of speciality non-life insurance and reinsurance. Sompo is a global provider of a variety of insurance, reinsurance and financial services. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the overlaps between the companies' activities as well as their activities on vertically related markets are limited. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8275. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


EUROSTAT: Première diffusion pour le troisième trimestre 2016 - Le taux d'épargne des ménages stable à 12,6% dans la zone euro

Au troisième trimestre 2016, le taux d'épargne des ménages s'est établi dans la zone euroà 12,6%, stable par rapport au deuxième trimestre 2016. Le taux d'investissement des ménages a quant à lui été de 8,5% au troisième trimestre 2016 dans la zone euro, contre 8,6% 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 ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)


EUROSTAT: Première diffusion pour le troisième trimestre 2016 - Le taux d'investissement des entreprises en baisse à 21,9% dans la zone euro

Au troisième trimestre 2016, le taux d'investissement des entreprises s'est établi à 21,9% dans la zone euro, contre 22,2% au trimestre précédent. La part des profits des entreprises s'est quant à elle située à 40,6% au troisième trimestre 2016 dans la zone euro, contre 40,5% au deuxième trimestre 2016. 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 ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278)




The European Commission at the World Economic Forum in Davos:

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos will take place from 17 to 20 January. This year's meeting will put the focus on “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”. The Commission will contribute to this debate by explaining and promoting its priorities and policy actions to address challenges in areas like migration, security, economy, climate change and energy. First Vice-President Timmermans will lead the Commission delegation in Davos. Altogether, twelve Members of the College (First Vice-President Timmermans, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini, Vice-Presidents Ansip, Šefčovič and Dombrovskis, and Commissioners Oettinger, Hahn, Malmström, Bulc, Moscovici, Navracsics and Moedas) have accepted the invitation of the Forum and will participate in a range of sessions and meetings with leaders from politics, business and society from across the world. For details see the calendar of Commissioners' weekly activities and the web page of the World Economic Forum.Follow us under the Twitter hashtag: #EUatDavos.(For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Jens Mester – Tel.: +32 229 63973)


Le Commissaire Mimica sera à Bamako, Mali, pour participer au Sommet Afrique-France

Du vendredi 13 au samedi 14 janvier, le Commissaire à la coopération internationale et au développement, Neven Mimica, participera au Sommet Afrique-France accueilli par la République du Mali à Bamako. Le Commissaire Mimica prononcera un discours et tiendra des réunions  bilatérales à haut niveau pour souligner l'engagement fort de l'Union européenne en faveur de la paix, la sécurité et le développement durable de l'Afrique. L'Union européenne appuie la mise en œuvre des objectifs de développement durable et confirme sa volonté d'investir dans l'avenir de l'Afrique, notamment à travers le Plan d'Investissement Extérieur Européen. Un Plan qui soutiendra des secteurs clés, comme l'énergie, et les petites et moyennes entreprises, tout en créant des opportunités pour les femmes et pour les jeunes. La paix et la sécurité sont  aussi des facteurs fondamentaux pour améliorer les conditions de vie de la population africaine ainsi que le climat des affaires. Dans ce contexte, le Commissaire Mimica  soulignera la volonté de l'Europe de travailler avec l'Afrique dans un esprit de partenariat et d'amitié. Volonté qui sera de nouveau exprimée lors  du prochain Sommet UE-Afrique en novembre 2017 à Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. (Pour plus d'information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


Commissioner Avramopoulos in Greece

Today, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos is in Athens, Greece, where he will meet with Minister of Migration Policy Ioannis Mouzalas to discuss the immediate migratory challenges and humanitarian situation in Greece. Discussions will focus on the ongoing work by Greece to improve the standard of reception facilities and address the humanitarian needs on the ground, as well as on speeding up the absorption of EU funding. Overall, the European Union is providing over €1 billion in support for Greece in tackling the migration, borders and security challenges – making Greece the largest beneficiary of EU migration and home affairs funding. Since the beginning of 2015, the Commission has made available for Greece €352 million in emergency assistance from the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF). In addition, substantial EU funding, approximately €198 million, is being provided to humanitarian partners through the recently created EU Emergency Support Instrument. The emergency funding comes on top of the €509 million already allocated to Greece under the national programmes for 2014-2020 (€294.5 million from AMIF and €214.7 million from ISF). (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)


Commissaire Avramopoulos lundi à Paris

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissaire européen pour la migration, les affaires intérieures et la citoyenneté, sera à Paris lundi, où il rencontrera le Premier Ministre français, Bernard Cazeneuve, et le Ministre de l'intérieur, Bruno le Roux, pour discuter des questions relatives aux défis actuels de la migration et de la sécurité. Il se rendra au Sénat, où il rencontrera le Président du Sénat, Gérard Larcher, ainsi que Jean Bizet,  Président de la Commission des Affaires européennes, et François-Noël Buffet, Rapporteur de la Commission des questions juridiques. Le Commissaire donnera aussi le discours d'ouverture du Youth & Leader Summit 2017 à l'École des affaires internationales de Paris et participera au panel de haut niveau dédié à  "La crise migratoire: Gouvernements et Institutions dépassés". (Pour plus d'informations: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)


European Commission appoints new Head of Representation in Estonia

Mr Keit Kasemets has been appointed as the new Head of the Commission Representation in Tallinn. Mr Keit Kasemets will take up office as the new Head of the European Commission Representation in Estonia on 16 January 2017. He brings to his new role more than ten years of experience working in high-level positions for the Estonian government and in its administration, as well as a wide network of contacts with stakeholders from national and international environments. Since January 2016, Mr Kasemets has been Deputy Secretary-General in the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communications, where he was responsible for Internal Market issues and preparations for the upcoming Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. A full press release is available here. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 229 93265)


Commission appoints top scientists to the European Research Council's governing body

Today, the European Commission appointed four accomplished scientists to the governing body of the European Research Council (ERC), the Scientific Council, for a four-year term of office. At the same time it has also renewed the mandates of four members for two more years. The four new members are Paola Bovolenta, Professor and Head of the Biology and Biomedicine Area of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Eveline Crone, Professor in Neurocognitive Developmental Psychology at the Leiden University, Andrzej Jajszczyk, Professor at the AGH University of Science and Technology of Krakow and President of the Krakow Branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and Giulio Superti-Furga, Professor of Medical Systems Biology at the Center for Physiology and Pharmacology of the Medical University of Vienna and Scientific Director of the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In addition, two new Vice-Presidents of the ERC, Professor Éva Kondorosi and Professor Martin Stokhof, elected by the Scientific Council in 2016, have taken up their duties on 1 January 2017. The ERC Scientific Council is an independent body that decides the strategy and distribution of ERC funding. All of its members are selected by an independent Identification Committee. The ERC's main goal is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, on the basis of scientific excellence. An ERC press release is available online. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Joseph Waldstein +32 229 56184)



The Commissioners' weekly activities



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