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Daily News 

31/ 05 / 2017

 

 

Commission sets out possible ways forward for the deepening of Europe's Economic and Monetary Union

Today, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici presented the Reflection Paper on Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union. Following the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe presented on 1 March, the Commission now sets out possible ways forward for deepening Europe's Economic and Monetary Union. Today's reflection paper builds on the Five Presidents' Report of June 2015 and is intended both to stimulate the debate on the Economic and Monetary Union and to help reach a shared vision of its future design. Paying due attention to the debates in Member States and to the views of other EU institutions, the paper sets out concrete steps that could be taken by the European elections in 2019, as well as a series of options for the following years, when the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union would be completed. The options proposed in the reflection paper are intended to help build a broad consensus on how to take on the challenges ahead and to give a fresh impetus to this important debate. (Full opening remarks will be available on the Rapid database. For more information see the press release or contact Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Juliana Dahl – Tel.: +32 229 59914; Enda Mc Namara – Tel.: +32 229 64976) 

 

L'Europe en mouvement: la Commission prend des mesures en faveur d'une mobilité propre, compétitive et connectée

Aujourd'hui, la Commission européenne prend une série de mesures en vue de moderniser la mobilité et le transport en Europe, l'objectif étant d'aider le secteur à rester compétitif tout en garantissant une transition socialement équitable vers une énergie propre et la numérisation. «L'Europe en mouvement» est un vaste ensemble d'initiatives qui permettront de rendre le trafic plus sûr; d'encourager une tarification routière plus juste; de réduire les émissions de CO2, la pollution atmosphérique et la congestion; de réduire les formalités administratives pour les entreprises; de lutter contre le travail illégal et de garantir aux travailleurs des conditions d'emploi et des temps de repos adéquats. Les avantages à long terme de ces mesures iront bien au-delà du secteur des transports en promouvant l'emploi, la croissance et l'investissement, en renforçant l'équité sociale, en élargissant le choix offert aux consommateurs et en mettant l'Europe en bonne voie pour atteindre les objectifs d'émissions faibles. Plus d'information est disponible dans un communiqué de presse disponible dans toutes les langues, dans un Q&A en EN, FR et DE; ainsi que dans une série de "factsheet" sur la mobilité du futur: propre, compétitive et connectée. (Plus d'information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Alexis Perier – Tel.: +32 229 6 91 43)

 

Capital Markets Union: EU reaches agreement on reviving securitisation market

The European Commission has welcomed last night's agreement to revive the EU's securitisation market, in a move that will broaden investment opportunities for investors and boost lending to Europe's households and businesses. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed on a package that sets out criteria for simple, transparent and standardised securitisation (STS). The deal is one of the cornerstones of the Capital Markets Union (CMU), the Juncker Commission's pivotal project to build a single market for capital in the EU. The swift implementation of the securitisation package could unlock up to EUR 150 billion of additional funding to the real economy. Securitisation can allow diversification of funding sources and a broader distribution of risk by allowing banks to transfer the risk of some exposures to other institutions or long-term investors, such as insurance companies and asset managers. This allows banks to free the capital they set aside to cover for risks of those exposures, allowing them to generate new lending to households and SMEs. STS securitisations will also provide new investment opportunities for institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "This agreement marks another big step towards the creation of a Capital Markets Union. It will help build a sound and safe securitisation market in the EU, bringing real benefits to investment, jobs and growth. It will free up bank lending so that more financing can go towards supporting our companies and households." A full press release is available online. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194, Letizia Lupini– Tel: +32 229 51958)

 

Capital Markets Union: EU agrees to more support for venture capital and social enterprises

Small and growing companies and social enterprises will enjoy better access to finance, thanks to EU rules agreed yesterday by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The revamped rules are part of the Commission's drive to stimulate venture capital investments in the EU, a core objective of its Capital Markets Union (CMU) project. The Commission proposed an overhaul of the existing European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECA) and the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) regulations in 2016 as part of the CMU Action Plan. The objective of these reforms is to improve access to finance for small and growing companies and social enterprises to promote jobs and growth. The rules are also linked to the Investment Plan for Europe, which provides a comprehensive strategy to tackle the lack of finance that is holding back Europe's potential to grow. Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "Today's agreement removes another barrier to venture investment at EU level. The reforms we have agreed – expanding investment possibilities for funds, broadening the range of eligible managers, and simplifying administration, will help investor capital to reach the SMEs that need it." Today's agreement will open up EuVECA and EuSEF to fund managers of all sizes and it will allow a greater range of companies benefit from EuVECA investment. The EuVECA and EuSEF revamped rules offer to investors improved access to small and growing businesses as well to social ventures. The agreement also aims to make the cross-border marketing of EuVECA and EuSEF funds less costly and to simplify registration processes. The agreed text now follows ordinary legislative procedure before the final endorsements by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. A full press release is available here. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194, Letizia Lupini– Tel: +32 229 51958)

 

Des règles plus simples et un soutien renforcé pour les producteurs européens de fruits et légumes

Les organisations de producteurs de fruits et légumes européens bénéficieront dès le 1er juin 2017 de règles plus simples, d'une charge administrative allégée et d'un soutien financier accru en période de crise. Les nouvelles dispositions, qui rentrent en vigueur demain après avoir été adoptées en mars, renforceront le rôle des organisations de producteurs en les rendant plus attrayantes pour les producteurs non-membres, tout en améliorant le fonctionnement du système existant de gestion du marché.Chaque année, 3,4 millions d'exploitations réparties dans l'ensemble de l'Union, soit environ un quart de toutes les exploitations européennes, produisent des fruits et légumes pour une valeur de quelque 47 milliards d'euros. Selon les derniers chiffres disponibles, environ 1 500 organisations de producteurs couvrent 50 % de la production de fruits et légumes de l'Union.Outre les aides directes et le cofinancement par l'Union de projets de développement rural, les producteurs de fruits et légumes de l'Union ont bénéficié de mesures de soutien exceptionnelles se chiffrant au total à 430 millions d'euros depuis l'instauration par la Russie d'un embargo sur les exportations agroalimentaires de l'Union en août 2014. La Commission européenne assure également un financement supplémentaire aux organisations de producteurs, dont le montant s'élève chaque année à environ 700 millions d'euros. Au-delà de cette aide au marché permanente, les nouvelles règles contribuent entre autres à augmenter le prix de retrait que les producteurs reçoivent pour réguler les marchés et à encourager les circuits courts en adaptant les règles des organisations de producteurs. Plus d'informations sont disponibles en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 229 56 185; Clemence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52509)

 

Pologne: une initiative de la Commission aide les régions à bas revenus à rattraper leur retard

Dans le cadre de l'assistance sur mesure destinée aux régions de l'Union à faible croissance et bas revenus, des experts de la Commission et de la Banque mondiale ont travaillé avec les autorités nationales et locales polonaisesà la recherche de solutions pour stimuler le développement économique de deux régions à bas revenus, Podkarpackie et Świętokrzyskie, dans l'est de la Pologne. Après un an, l'initiative affiche des résultats prometteurs; les experts et les autorités locales ont défini des priorités stratégiques et des actions concrètes et rapidement réalisables pour répondre à trois besoins de développement spécifiques: transférer les savoirs du monde universitaire vers les entreprises locales, créer un environnement régional plus favorable aux entreprises et renforcer les compétences des travailleurs locaux.La Commissaire à la politique régionale, Corina Crețu, a déclaré «Les résultats de cette initiative pilote montrent que nous ne pouvons nous contenter de solutions toutes faites, décidées au sommet. Nous devons traiter les régions en partenaires et leur donner les moyens de réussir leur transition économique, grâce à des stratégies de développement adaptées à leurs besoins.» Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

Agriculture: the Commission approves three new geographical indications from France and the United Kingdom

The Commission has approved today the addition of three new products from France and the United Kingdom to the quality register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGI). To start with, the 'Charolais de Bourgogne' is beef meat of the Charolais breed type from animals reared ineight French departments in the wider region of Bourgogne. The region ranks among the most fertile in Europe hosting a system of extensive livestock farming. Also protected today are two beverages coming from the UK and most particularly Wales. The ‘Traditional Welsh Perry' (in Welsh ‘Perai Cymreig Traddodiadol') is the first pressed juice of perry pears grown in Wales. The Welsh county providing the majority of pears for ‘Traditional Welsh Perry' is eastern Monmouthshire where perry pear trees can be as old as 300 years old. The ‘Traditional Welsh Cider' (in Welsh ‘Seidr Cymreig Traddodiadol') is cider made from first-pressed juice of cider apples grown as well in Wales. In 2001 the Welsh Perry and Cider Society was formed and today there are approximately 50 cider makers and 20 perry makers in Wales. These new denominations will be added to the list of over 1,395 products already protected. More information: webpages on quality products and DOOR database of protected products. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 229 56 185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229)

 

Concentrations: la Commission autorise le rachat par Vivendi de Telecom Italia, sous réserve de certaines conditions

La Commission européenne a autorisé la prise de contrôle de fait de Telecom Italia par Vivendi. La Commission a estimé qu'à l'issue de l'opération, Vivendi aurait pu être tentée d'augmenter les prix facturés aux chaînes de télévision sur le marché de l'accès de gros aux réseaux terrestres numériques pour la diffusion de chaînes de télévision, dont Persidera (une filiale de Telecom Italia), et Mediaset (Vivendi détient une participation minoritaire non négligeable dans Mediaset) détiennent chacune une part importante. La Commission a également examiné si le lien entre les activités de Vivendi en Italie dans le secteur de la publicité, de la musique, de la télévision et des jeux mobiles et les activités de Telecom Italia dans le secteur des télécommunications fixes et mobiles posait des problèmes de concurrence. À cet égard, elle a conclu que Vivendi n'aurait pas la capacité ni la motivation d'exclure d'autres concurrents des marchés en cause. Afin de résoudre les problèmes de concurrence recensés par la Commission, Vivendi s'est engagée à céder la participation de Telecom Italia dans Persidera. La décision de la Commission est subordonnée au respect intégral des engagements contractés. Voir le communique de presse en ENFRDE(Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Eurostat: Avril 2017 - Le taux de chômage à 9,3% dans la zone euro - À 7,8% dans l'UE28

Dans la zone euro (ZE19), le taux de chômage corrigé des variations saisonnières s'est établi à 9,3% en avril 2017, en baisse par rapport au taux de 9,4% enregistré en mars 2017 et à celui de 10,2% d'avril 2016. Il s'agit du taux le plus faible enregistré dans la zone euro depuis mars 2009. Dans l'UE28, le taux de chômage s'est établi à 7,8% en avril 2017, en baisse par rapport au taux de 7,9% de mars 2017 et à celui de 8,7% d'avril 2016. Il s'agit du taux le plus faible enregistré dans l'UE28 depuis décembre 2008. Ces chiffres sont publiés par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. Eurostat estime qu'en avril 2017, 19,121 millions d'hommes et de femmes étaient au chômage dans l'UE28, dont 15,040 millions dans la zone euro. Par rapport à mars 2017, le nombre de chômeurs a diminué de 253 000 dans l'UE28 et de 233 000 dans la zone euro. Comparé à avril 2016, le chômage a baissé de 2,225 millions de personnes dans l'UE28 et de 1,529 million dans la zone euro. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: +32 229 67094)

 

Eurostat: Le taux d'inflation annuel de la zone euro en baisse à 1,4%

Le taux d'inflation annuel de la zone euro est estimé à 1,4% en mai 2017, contre 1,9% en avril 2017, selon une estimation rapide publiée par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. S'agissant des principales composantes de l'inflation de la zone euro, l'énergie devrait connaître le taux annuel le plus élevé en mai (4,6%, comparé à 7,6% en avril), suivie de l'alimentation, alcool & tabac (1,5%, stable comparé à avril), des services (1,3%, comparé à 1,8% en avril) et des biens industriels non énergétiques (0,3%, stable comparé à avril). Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Juliana Dahl – Tel.: +32 229 59914)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Participation of members of the European Commission at the Brussels Economic Forum on 1 June

Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will deliver keynote speeches at this year's Brussels Economic Forum, the flagship annual economic event of the European Commission, which will take place on 1 June in Brussels. The Forum is an opportunity to foster discussion on current economic developments, future challenges and policy priorities. The 17th edition of the Brussels Economic Forum focuses on how to fight inequalities in a context of modest growth; the future of the EU economy at 27; and migration and its effects on the European economy and society. This year the Tommaso Padoa Schioppa lecture will be delivered by Francois Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France. George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations, will deliver a keynote speech. Other distinguished European and international policymakers speaking at the BEF include: Alexander Stubb, MP and former Prime Minister, Foreign and Finance Minister of Finland; Pier Carlo Padoan, Minister of Finance of Italy; Johan Van Overtveldt, Minister of Finance of Belgium; Sylvie Mathérat, Chief Regulatory Officer of Deutsche Bank; Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland; and Kati Piri, MEP, the European Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey. The conference will be live-streamed and broadcast on Europe by Satellite (EbS). Further details and the programme are available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Juliana Dahl – Tel.: +32 229 59914; Enda Mc Namara – Tel.: +32 229 64976;  Letizia Lupini– Tel: +32 229 51958)

 

Vice-President Šefčovič in Denmark for Energy Union Tour

On 1 June Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will travel to Denmark for the second Energy Union Tour. Vice-President Šefčovič will meet the Danish Energy and Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt to discuss the Energy Union's governance and national energy and climate plans. The need to further connect Danish electricity grids to the networks of neighbouring countries and ways to lower the costs of the energy transition in Europe will also be important discussion points. In a Citizens' dialogue he will also engage in a wider debate with students and citizens about Denmark's role in reaching the Energy Union's goals. Ahead of the visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said: "Denmark already has a world class renewables industry. The framework put forward in the EU's Clean Energy for All Europeans package will support Denmark in reaching its very ambitious renewable energy target: at least 50% renewables by 2030.The country is also very strong in other key areas of the low carbon economy, ranging from bio-technology to engineering services. It is important that Denmark uses its role as a front-runner in energy technology to ensure that its citizens and businesses can fully benefit from affordable and clean energy”. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here. More information on the Energy Union is available here. The Citizens' dialogue will start at 11:00 CET and can be followed live. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.:+32 229 52589)

 

Energy Union: Copenhagen Forum to focus on investment needed in infrastructure for clean energy transition

On 1 June Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will attend the third Energy Infrastructure Forum in Copenhagen. The Forum will focus on energy infrastructure's role in the clean energy transition and discuss the best ways to finance this investment. Participants will also debate how to manage the costs of cross-border projects and examine best practice in funding and implementing infrastructure projects. The role of EU funding programmes and the public and private sectors in financing energy infrastructure will also be discussed. The Forum brings together representatives from Member States and EU Institutions as well as energy experts, investors, project promoters, Regulatory Authorities and non-governmental organisations. Ahead of the event, Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "We are making good progress in developing much needed infrastructure. Most recently, we have signed a grant agreements under the Connecting Europe Facility on the BalticConnector gas pipeline, which will connect Estonia and Finland, and a smart grid electricity project between Croatia and Slovenia. But more is required: €173 billion needs to be invested in electricity transmission systems and €78 billion in gas transmission systems by 2030. Furthermore, the synchronisation of the Baltic States electricity network into the European networks is key for the region and the EU as a whole. The Commission aims at reaching a final solution in form of a Memorandum of Understanding soon”. For more information consult the program of the Infrastructure Forum online. Europe by Satellite will transmit. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

 

Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Crețu in Finland for the Smart Regions 2.0 conference

The Smart Regions 2.0 conference, the second edition of the EU's top conference on regional innovation and smart specialisation, is taking place in Helsinki on 1 and 2 June. Smart specialisation strategies are national and regional roadmaps for EU and public investments in research and innovation. Hundreds of stakeholders involved in the implementation of the EU's 120 smart specialisation strategies are meeting in Helsinki to discuss best practices, network and reflect on how to maximise the potential of these regional innovation strategies in the future. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu will open the conference alongside President of the Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula and Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. Vice-President Katainen said: "Smart specialisation offers an opportunity for regions to focus on their strengths when it comes to innovation policy, thereby boosting both research output and local prosperity. I am delighted to participate in this conference to take stock of the progress that has been made in implementing our smart specialisation strategies." Commissioner Crețu added: "Smart specialisation boosts the competitiveness of regions by helping them identify their assets, design investment strategies and find opportunities for public-private partnerships. In a globalised economy, it is a key tool for each region to hold its own through innovation." The Vice-President and the Commissioner will also participate in a Citizens' Dialogue on the future of Europe and the future of Cohesion Policy and visit projects supported by the EU Structural funds and the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called "Juncker Plan". (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

Johannes Hahn visits Ukraine: focus on anti-corruption, decentralisation reforms and EU's assistance to the East

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations will visit Ukraine from 1 to 2 June. The objective of the visit is to discuss EU-Ukraine relations with a special focus on the reform agenda and to pay a visit to Mariupol and Dnipro in order to get a first-hand picture of the situation and pay attention to the reinforced EU's assistance to the East. Ahead of the mission, Commissioner Hahn said: "My programme carries a number of important messages: That reforms pay off, as one can see with visa-liberalisation and the Association Agreement. That reforms have to continue, notably in the fight against corruption, but also important socio-economic reforms such as health, pensions, land reform, and the creation of a better business environment. And last but not least my trip to the East will once again underline that the EU stands by Ukraine as a whole". On Thursday, 1 June, Commissioner Hahn and Deputy Prime Minister Klympush Tsinsadze will inaugurate the EU's Anti-corruption programme and will meet the leadership of Ukrainian anti-corruption institutions and non-governmental organisations active in this field. The Commissioner will meet the political representatives of the country including President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman as well as representatives of civil society organisations. On Friday, 2 June, Commissioner Hahn will take part in the Forum on the Donbass recovery and development in Mariupol and will visit an EU-financed reconstructed medical clinic and a social dormitory for internally displaced people in Mariupol together with Ms Gerashchenko, First Deputy Speaker of Verkhovna Rada, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Klimkin, Governor Zhebrivskiy and Mayor of Mariupol city Boychenko. Then, Commissioner Hahn and Deputy Prime Minister Zubko will travel to Dnipro to inaugurate an office of the Regional Centre of the Local Government Development Centre, established in the framework of the decentralisation programme "U-LEAD with Europe: Ukraine – Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Programme". Videos and photos of the visit will be available on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)

 

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