Brussels Daily
02 Sep 2014


Brussels Daily

President-elect Juncker interviews candidates for Commissioner

Starting today, President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker will interview each Member State’s candidate for Commissioner, before taking a final decision and communicating the list of Commissioners-designate to the Council of the European Union. The purpose of these interviews will be to determine each candidate’s ability to serve as a European Commissioner, particularly in light of Article 17(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which states that: “The members of the Commission shall be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt.”

The timing of the communication of the list of Commissioners-designate to the Council of the European Union will depend on the President-elect receiving candidates from all Member States. Belgium has yet to communicate a candidate. After the final list of Commissioners-designate is adopted in common accord with the Council of the European Union, in accordance with Article 17(7) of the Treaty on European Union, President-elect Juncker intends to announce the distribution of portfolios and the way he intends to organise the work of the next European Commission. This is not expected until mid-next week.

President Barroso to attend the NATO Summit in Wales

The President of the European Commission will join world leaders at the NATO Wales Summit on 4 and 5 September in Cardiff (UK) in a substantially different security environment caused mainly by the instability in Eastern Europe but also in the Middle East and North Africa.

President Barroso will take part at the session on Afghanistan , together with President Van Rompuy. High Representative/Vice-President Ashton will also take part in some sessions. President Barroso is expected to reiterate the EU long-term commitment to Afghanistan, exemplified in new stra and funding until 2020 – including for the policing commitments made at the Chicago Summit in 2012.

Leaders will also discuss the implications of Russia’s actions in Eastern Europe.

Vice President Kroes sets out her position at the Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul

Following on from the Commission’s Communication on Internet Governance in February, and its participation at NETmundial in May, today Vice President Kroes will speak at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2014 in Istanbul. Her objectives include showing EU support for the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance, and the critically important role of the IGF; influencing discussions on the expected changes to the US Government’s role in internet governance; and improving ICANN ‘s accountability and transparency, including unaccountable processes around domain name rights (such as the .wine and .vin issue). She will also press the Turkish government and other stakeholders on the need to respect media freedom and pluralism in Turkey, in light of incidents such as the attempted Twitter ban and jailing of journalists. Vice President Kroes will say:“We need to invest and build a governance structure for the Internet that people can trust! Trust, trust, trust is the key.” 

Commissioner Piebalgs signs Development programmes for 21 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries

Today, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and representatives from 21 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, have co-signed the National Indicative Programmes (NIP) under the 11th European Development Fund for the period 2014-2020 in Apia (Samoa), for a total amount of €339 million.

The signing ceremony took place in the margins of the UN Third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States. The list of signatory countries includes 10 Caribbean, 10 Pacific and one African country.

After the signing ceremony, Commissioner Piebalgs said: “Today’s signatures mark the official go-ahead to continue strengthening our development cooperation with the concerned countries. These documents lay down the priorities for our joint work for the next seven years and will allow us to move ahead with the preparations of the concrete projects and programmes.”

Antitrust: Commission closes case against MathWorks

The Commission decided, as a result of the formal investigation, to close the antitrust proceedings initiated on 29 February 2012 against MathWorks in case AT.39840 (see IP/12/208).

July 2014 compared with June 2014: Industrial producer prices down by 0.1% in euro area, down by 0.2% in EU28

In July 2014, compared with June 2014, industrial producer prices fell by 0.1% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.2% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In June prices rose by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU28. In July 2014, compared with July 2013, industrial producer prices decreased by 1.1% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28.

What Commissioners said

Vice President Kroes tells Turkey that freedom of expression is “no laughing matter”

This morning Vice President Kroes gave a speech at the Bilgi University in Istanbul during a conference on “Media Freedom in the Internet Age”. She said: “Free expression is a herald of liberty, and an essential ingredient of democracy; giving every citizen the right to share, express, and hear the views of others. I want the people of Turkey to enjoy the freedom and prosperity they deserve. It is in the interests of the new Government and President to deliver that promise to their people… The desire to communicate is human and universal; the technological options to enable it ever easier to find. Stopping people expressing themselves is futile: like telling women not to laugh in public. But I assure you, this is no laughing matter. More than ever it is clear that the Internet makes it much harder to censor and repress; Governments are increasingly powerless to prevent the free exchange of ideas.  Maybe those governments need to take the hint, and stop swimming against the tide.”

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