30 Oct 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 30 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
Today the Commission adopted a report containing a general assessment of the economic consequences of country-by-country reporting (CBCR) by banks and investment firms under Article 89 of Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD IV). The key objective of the Commission’s report is to assess whether CBCR leads to significant negative economic effects. The report, which draws on the results of a public consultation , a round table (and an external study , explains that stakeholders expect CBCR to have some positive impact on the transparency and accountability of, and on public confidence in, the European financial sector.
The EU28 seasonally adjusted external current account recorded a surplus of €32.6 billion (1.0% of GDP) in the second quarter of 2014, up from a surplus of €8.1 bn (0.2% of GDP) in the first quarter of 2014 and down from a surplus of €40.9 bn (1.3% of GDP) in the second quarter of 2013, according to a second estimate released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
In the second quarter of 2014 compared with the first quarter of 2014, based on seasonally adjusted data, the deficits of the goods account (from -€9.4 bn to -€7.6 bn) and secondary income account (from -€19.3 bn to -€18.8 bn) both decreased, while the deficit of the primary income account moved to surplus (from -€5.9 bn to +€17.5 bn). The surplus of the services account fell slightly (from +€42.8 bn to +€41.5 bn).
Commissioner De Gucht heading for an official visit to East Africa
EU-Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreements’ with Spain, Slovenia and Croatia on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020
The European Commission has adopted Partnership Agreements with six Member States today, setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds throughout the country. Today’s agreement paves the way for investments during the period 2014-2020 via the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) comprising the European Regional Development, the European Social Fund, The Cohesion Fund, The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The EU investments will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, towns and rural areas. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help to develop an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy. See also: IP/14/1223 , IP/14/1225 , IP/14/1226 and MEMO/13/331
President Barroso presents the Report of the Northern Ireland Task Force 2007-2014
President Barroso has today sent a copy of the report “Northern Ireland in Europe: Report of the Northern Ireland Task Force 2007-2014 to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. The report reflects the joint efforts of the European Commission and the Northern Ireland authorities to increase Northern Ireland’s engagement with the European Union institutions as an additional contribution to securing peace and prosperity in the region.
President Barroso stated “Thanks to the will and determination of the people of Northern Ireland, and to their political leaders, the history of violence has ended and this partnership has been able to prevail and prosper. Indeed not only has it prevailed, it has deepened over the years, and I have been pleased to contribute to this with the creation in 2007 of the Northern Ireland Task Force inside the European Commission, ably led by Commissioner Hahn”
Handover between President Barroso and President-elect Juncker
Today at 15.15 this afternoon President Barroso and President-elect Juncker will unveil a portrait of President Barroso which will then hang in the gallery of the Presidents in the Piazza of the Berlaymont. This will be the symbolic moment of handover between President Barroso and President-elect Juncker. Journalists are welcome to assist this ceremony.
President Barroso spoke a number of times yesterday with President Poroshenko during the parallel trilateral talks on gas that took place in Brussels. President Barroso emphasised that an agreement was within reach on the basis of the proposals put forward by the European Commission. He urged all sides to seize the opportunity and conclude the negotiations in order to secure a continuous, reliable and market based supply of gas to Ukraine.
Poverty: Commission adopts Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived programmes for Latvia and Lithuania
The European Commission has approved today the Latvian and the Lithuanian Operational Programmes to use the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). Latvia will receive €41 million and Lithuania will receive €77 million in the period 2014-2020 to support the provision of food and other basic hygiene and household items to those most in need in the country. In Latvia, this sum will be complemented by €7.2 million from national resources. In Lithuania, this sum will be complemented by €13 million from national resources. See IP/14/1233 and IP/14/1234 .
Ideas on how to ensure a simpler, more effective and more fraud-proof VAT system tailored to the Single Market in the EU have been outlined in a paper published by the Commission today. The aim is to create a “definitive VAT regime”, to replace the temporary and out-dated VAT system, which has been in place in the EU for over 2 decades. The future VAT regime should better meet the needs of businesses in the Single Market and be less susceptible to fraud than today’s system is. The Commission services document, which follows extensive consultations with Member States and stakeholders, sets out five options for shaping the future VAT regime. For more information, see the press release IP/14/1216 and the FAQ MEMO/14/607
More than 200 organisations and 400 cyber-security professionals from 29 European countries are testing their readiness to counter cyber-attacks in a day-long simulation, organised by the European Network and Information Security Agency ( ENISA). In Cyber Europe 2014 experts from the public and private sectors including cyber security agencies, national Computer Emergency Response Teams, ministries, telecoms companies, energy companies, financial institutions and internet service providers are testing their procedures and capabilities against in a life-like, large-scale cyber-security scenario.
The European Commission has today adopted its first ‘equivalence’ decisions for the regulatory regimes of central counterparties (CCPs) in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. The CCPs in these third country jurisdictions will be able to obtain recognition in the EU, and can therefore be used by market participants to clear standardised OTC derivatives as required by EU legislation, whilst remaining subject solely to the regulation and supervision of their home jurisdiction. Although rules may differ in the detail, international regulators are pursuing the same objectives to promote financial stability by promoting the use of CCPs that are subject to robust prudential requirements. Through the use of deference, as agreed by the G20, regulatory gaps, duplication, conflicts and inconsistencies which can lead to regulatory arbitrage and market fragmentation are limited.
On Friday, 31 October 2014, the EU Commissioner for Trade Karl De Gucht will travel to Kenya to meet with a number of high level government representatives in the area of foreign affairs and international trade, East African affairs, finance, industrialisation and agriculture.
The visit follows conclusion, two weeks ago, of the negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement with the East African Community, to which Kenya belongs. The agreement will play a crucial role in guaranteeing long-term access to the European market and enhance development prospects of the region. The meetings will be an occasion to encourage swift ratification and implementation of the agreement by our Partners and reassure the authorities of Kenya that the EU is taking all necessary steps to ensure continuity of duty-free access to its market during the period necessary for internal approval procedures to be accomplished.
The Eastern African Community (EAC) consists of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Total trade between the EU and the East African Community amounted to €5.8 billion in 2013.
In October, after four months of stagnation or decline, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) picked up in both the euro area (by 0.8 points to 100.7) and the EU (by 0.5 points to 104.0). The euro-area indicator thereby went back to just above its long-term average of 100.
The European Commission has today approved 27 programmes to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries. The total budget of the programmes, the grand majority of which will run for a period of three years, is € 77,4 million of which the EU contributes € 39 million. The selected programmes cover a variety of product categories, such as fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, dairy products, quality products (PDOs, PGIs, TSGsand organic products), flowers, quality meat, as well as, for the first time, sheepmeat.
The Commission decided today to request an opinion of the EU Court of Justice on the competence to sign and ratify a trade agreement with Singapore. Commissioner De Gucht said: ‘I have been saying for months that we need to clarify the interpretation of the Lisbon Treaty as regards trade matters. And this is what I have decided to do now. The Court can solve an ongoing difference of opinion between the Commission and the Council on the interpretation of the Lisbon Treaty, clarify which procedures to follow and increase EU predictability towards our trade partners.’