Brussels Daily
01 Dec 2014


Brussels Daily

Budget 2015: Commission makes new proposal to Parliament and Council

On Friday 28 November, the European Commission adopted a new draft EU budget for 2015 after negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council (the EU Member States) did not result in an agreement at the end of the budgetary conciliation period on 17 November. The new draft budget for 2015 foresees €145.2 billion in commitments (+1.8% on 2014) and €141.3 billion in payments (+0.7% on 2014). The proposal has been transmitted to the European Parliament and the Council and with a view to continuing negotiations early next week. Vice-President Georgieva will do a press point in the Commission’s VIP corner tomorrow 02 December at 10:00 CET which will be broadcast live by EBS. See  Press Release

A new era for EU Justice and Home Affairs policies

Today marks a milestone for police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the European Union. As of today, 1 December 2014, 5 years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the normal powers of the Commission and of the Court of Justice will apply to the acts in this field, in the same way as in any other area of EU law. See press release is available online.  


Commissioner Hahn following his visit to Ukraine

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn will be in the Commission’s press room today at 12:00 CET and his statement will be live broadcast on EBS. Commissioner Hahn has been visiting Ukraine from 27-28 November, where he signed a Financing Agreement to launch a new programme “Support to Ukraine’s Regional Policy” with Valery Pyatnitsky, Acting Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. The programme will support Ukraine’s Decentralisation and Regional Policy reforms with 55 million euros. See press release is available online.

European Commission appoints Head of the new European Political Strategy Centre

President Juncker appointed today Ann Mettler as Head of the European Commission’s new European Political Strategy Centre. The EPSC is the Commission’s in-house think-tank providing specialised policy advice and forward-looking studies to the President and the College. See full press release

Commission proposes to ban two dangerous new psychoactive substances

The European Commission today proposed to ban two harmful new psychoactive substances, which have caused dozens of deaths in the EU over the past years. One of the substances (4,4′-DMAR) is a stimulant, likeecstasy, while the other (MT-45), is a potent opioid, like morphine. The new rules would specifically ban the manufacturing and the marketing of the two new psychoactive substances, which have caused serious concern in the EU: (1) which has been detected in nine Member States, has posed significant health problems since it was first detected in the EU in 2012. There have been 31 deaths associated with 4,4′-DMAR registered in three Member States over a period of approximately one year and one non-fatal intoxication. (2) MT-45 seems to present a much higher acute toxicity than morphine. A total of 28 deaths associated with MT-45 as well as 18 non-fatal intoxications have been reported since it was detected in the EU in October 2013. Today’s proposal follows the procedure for risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances set up by the Council: Decision 2005/387/JHA. It is now for the EU Ministers in the Council to agree on implementing this ban, voting by a qualified majority. Last year, the European Commission also proposed to speed up the Union’s action preventing harmful new substances from being sold to consumers, and providing for a graduated and proportionate approach that responds to the risks of new substances in a targeted way.  


Statement by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the entry into force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights

“Today is the fifth anniversary of the day on which the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union became legally binding. Indeed, with the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty, the Charter became part of our primary law, at the same level as the EU Treaties. This was the successful outcome of a longer process. The Charter was proclaimed in 2000, based on the work of a Convention of representatives of Member States, of the European Parliament, national parliaments, and the Commission. It brought together in a single document the fundamental rights protected in the EU under six headings – Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizens’ Rights, and Justice. Even though the protection of fundamental rights in the EU of course goes further back, the Charter’s entry into force was a change of great significance to the EU. It brought more clarity, more legal certainty, and more transparency for citizens, by making clear that the Charter must be observed by all EU institutions and by the Member States when they are implementing EU law. EU and Member States courts’ can rely on the Charter in order to verify that EU institutions and Member States respect fundamental rights. My priority is now to complete EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. We will take the next steps after the EU Court of Justice has given its opinion. This will be another milestone in the protection of Fundamental Rights in the EU.”

Statement by Commissioner Jonathan Hill on Insurance stress tests

Last night the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) released the results of its 2014 stress tests of insurers. These were carried out against the background of the implementation of Solvency II, the new risk-based regulatory regime for insurance and reinsurance, which will be fully applied in the EU from 1 January 2016. Welcoming the results of these stress tests, Commissioner Jonathan Hill said in a statement: “These were serious and thorough stress tests. The results show that the European insurance sector is, broadly speaking, in good health although vulnerabilities have been identified, in particular for some smaller insurers. The new Solvency II framework – to be fully applied from early 2016 – will introduce a new regulatory system in the European Union. It is designed to prevent some of the issues detected in these stress tests, so public authorities and insurers should press on with their preparations for 2016.”

Statement by Commissioner Corina Creţu on the EU macro-regional Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP)

Speaking today at a high-level stakeholder conference on the development of the EU macro regional Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) jointly organised by the Italian Presidency, the Lombardy Region and the Commission in Milan, Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Creţu said: “The partner countries in this new Alpine Strategy are highly developed with competitive, market-oriented and specialised economies. Their citizens enjoy a high quality of life, as well as social and political stability. The EUSALP must capitalise on the efficiency and experience of these regions, both EU and non-member country alike, to ensure that no locality, region or resident is left behind in this renewed drive for prosperity. The Alps are one of the most famous and intensely-used mountain regions in the world. Their natural beauty and cultural assets must be enjoyed and preserved with care, and above all, with respect for the lives of the region’s citizens. As a major crossroads of Europe’s transport links, with local, regional, national and international traffic streams, the Alpine region has become an environmental challenge. We need the political commitment of national and regional partners to work together, across borders, in order to ensure that policies are consistently designed to counter this congestion.” 


First Vice-President Timmermans attends Conference of European Affairs Committees’ Plenary in Rome

European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will attend the Conference of European Affairs Committees (COSAC) plenary session in Rome on 1 December, and participate in a debate with representatives of national Parliaments from across the European Union. Deepening the relationships between national Parliaments and the European Commission is a priority of the Juncker Commission. This meeting is a good opportunity to share views with Parliamentarians on how best to achieve this goal. In the Mission Letter addressed to Mr Timmermans by President Juncker, he is charged with “coordinating and strengthening the interaction of all Commissioners with national Parliaments as a way of bringing the European Union closer to citizens and forging a new partnership with national Parliaments.”

Commissioner Navracsics sets out priorities at EU Sports Forum in Milan

Today, Commissioner Navracsics is delivering a keynote speech at the EU Sport Forum in Milan, the annual event organised by the European Commission gathering representatives of sports governing organisations and other sports-related stakeholders. The Commissioner will outline his priorities in the area of sports for the next five years, including tackling racism, match-fixing, corruption, violence and other big threats to sports. The Commissioner will also sign letters of intent with partner organisations like the European Olympic Committee, Special Olympics, UEFA, European Non-Governmental Sport Organisations and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industryto launch the first European Week of Sport in September 2015. The Commissioner’s speech can be followed live at 14:30 CET here

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