26 Sep 2017


Brussels, Brussels Daily, IFA in Brussels


Dual quality food products: Commission guides Member States to better tackle unfair practices

Today the Commission issued a set of guidelines on the application of EU food and consumer laws to dual quality products, as announced by President Juncker in this year’s State of the Union speech.

The guidelines will help national authorities to determine whether a company is breaking EU laws when selling products of dual quality in different countries.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said on the occasion of the State of the Union speech: “I will not accept that in some parts of Europe, people are sold food of lower quality than in other countries, despite the packaging and branding being identical. We must now equip national authorities with stronger powers to cut out any illegal practices wherever they exist”.  You can find more information in a press release.  Read Factsheet here and State of the Union 2017: factsheet on dual quality of products

First summer without roaming charges: Europeans see benefits of the new rules

The first summer without roaming charges shows that a large majority of Europeans recognise the benefits of the new rules and have started changing their habits when travelling abroad in the EU, according to a Flash Eurobarometer survey published today. Thanks to the new EU roaming rules, in place since 15 June 2017, consumers can use their mobile phone while travelling abroad in the EU as they would do at home, without paying extra charges. Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “We see that people are keen to use their phones like at home when travelling in the EU without the fear of a bill-shock. And mobile operators are investing in networks to meet increased demand. Our new EU telecoms rules will encourage such investments; they should be adopted by the European Parliament and Member States as soon as possible.” Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, added: “This is an example of an EU that concretely improves the life of European citizens. Roam like at home is working: customers are appreciating it, consumption is up and the demand for mobile services while travelling in the EU is very high. It benefits consumers and operators alike.” The Eurobarometer survey shows that 71% of Europeans are aware that roaming charges have ended and 72% think they, or someone they know, will benefit. Awareness of the new rules rises to 86% amongst those who have travelled since 15 June. You can find more information in a press release.


Commission proposes €3.3 million from Globalisation Fund to support former workers of enterprise Almaviva in Italy

Today the Commission proposes to provide Italy with €3.3 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 1,610 former workers at Almaviva Contact, a company operating in the call centre sector, find new jobs. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, commented: “Solidarity is a core value of the EU, and an important way to display this is through helping those most in need. By offering €3.3 million in financial support to help former Almaviva workers with their job search, through training, individual orientation and support for business start-up, the reintegration of these workers into employment will be considerably facilitated.” Italy applied for support from the Globalisation Fund following the closure of Almaviva Contact’s premises in Rome and the dismissal of 1,646 workers that followed. These job losses were the result of a mix of adverse conditions triggered by the economic and financial crisis. The measures co-financed by the EGF would help 1,610 workers by providing them with individual orientation; job search; reemployment voucher; a variety of trainings; promotion of entrepreneurship and support for business start-up, along with contribution to commuting expenses and reimbursement of the expenses for carers of dependent persons. The total estimated cost of the package is €5.5 million, of which the EGF would provide €3.3 million (60%). The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers for approval.


Commissioner Navracsics attends inauguration of new liaison office of European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Brussels

The new Brussels premises of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)will be opened today. An independent EU body based in Budapest, the EIT plays a vital role in supporting the EU’s objective of boosting economic growth and job creation by enabling entrepreneurs and innovators to turn their ideas into products and services. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, responsible for the EIT, said ahead of the event: “We have built a successful EIT community of universities, research organisations, high growth businesses, start-ups, NGOs, cities and regions, and I welcome the opening of EIT House as a crucial step in the development of that community. Better representation in Brussels will create more synergies with other EU programmes, further reinforcing our efforts to foster entrepreneurial mind-sets and enable young people to help build a better Europe.” The EIT Community currently brings together more than 1,000 partners across Europe and beyond, six Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) and more than 40 co-location centres to tackle major societal challenges such as sustainable energy and healthcare systems, digitalisation, or climate change. More information on the EIT can be found in this factsheet.




Vice-President Šefčovič in Romania for second Energy Union Tour

From 27-28 September, Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will be visiting Romania for the second Energy Union Tour. Vice-President will meet Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, Minister for Energy Toma Petcu and members of the Energy and Transport, Industry and Services and European Affairs Committees of the Romanian Parliament. Their discussions will focus on Romania’s involvement in regional energy markets and regional cooperation as well as the progress it is making in meeting its 2020 climate and energy targets and in contributing to the goals of the Energy Union. The Vice-President will also deliver a keynote speech and participate in a roundtable debate at the Aspen Energy Summit, in addition to meeting with start-ups and researchers on social innovation for sustainable energy. On 28 September, he will attend the Central and South Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity conference (CESEC) in Bucharest. Ahead of his visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said: “I congratulate Romania for having already met its 2020 renewables target and for making excellent progress towards its energy efficiency target and I look forward to discussing how the Clean Energy for All Europeans package can further help Romania pursue its energy transition. Let me also stress the need to continue with plans to reform its energy market, including the development of a forward-looking regulatory framework, in addition to improving interconnectivity with neighbouring countries”. More information about Romania in the context of the Energy Union here.
Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here. More information on the Energy Union is available here.

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