|Future of EU finances – Commissioner Oettinger visits Ireland and Croatia
Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, in charge of Budget and Human Resources, is visiting Ireland and Croatia on 6 and 8 March respectively, as part of his tour across EU Member States (#MFFtour27) aimed at gathering views on the future of EU finances and the EU’s multiannual budget post-2020 (#EUbudget). In Ireland, the Commissioner meets Tánaiste (Deputy PM) and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Mr Simon Coveney. He is also meeting with Taoiseach, Mr Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Paschal Donohoe. The Commissioner participates in an event to promote career opportunities in the EU institutions, with Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Mr Joe McHugh. He also addresses the Oireachtas Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee and delivers a speech at a European Chamber of Ireland event. In Croatia, Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger is meeting with the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. He is also meeting Prime Minister, Mr Andrej Plenković, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Ms Marija Pejčinović Burić, Minister of Economy, Ms Martina Dalić, Minister of Finance, Mr Zdravko Marić and Minister of EU Funds, Ms Gabrijela Žalac. He also meets representatives of the European Affairs Committee, Finance and Central Budget Committee and Committee on Regional Development and European Union Funds at the Croatian Parliament. Last but not lease, the Commissioner is planning to meet with representatives of women’s organisations. The Commission kicked off this debate on 28 June 2017 with the publication of its Reflection paper on the future of EU finances, available in all EU languages. Then, on 14 February 2018, the Commission presented the Communication “A new, modern Multiannual Financial Framework for a EU that delivers efficiently on its priorities post-2020”. Stakeholders’ views will be taken into account when preparing the next MFF, to be presented in May 2018. See a speech “A Budget Matching our Ambitions” given by Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger at the conference “Shaping our Future” on 8 January 2018.
EUROSTAT: January 2018 compared with December 2017-Volume of retail trade down by 0.1% in both euro area and EU28
In January 2018 compared with December 2017, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade decreased by 0.1% in both the euro area (EA19) and in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In December 2017, the retail trade volume fell by 1.0% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU28.
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Ten years of REACH: making chemicals safer for consumers, workers and the environment
Chemicals are present in every aspect of our lives, at work and also in consumer goods such as clothes, toys, furniture and electrical appliances. But certain substances may pose risks to human health and the environment. The REACH review published today shows that thanks to the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) EU companies and authorities are ensuring the safe use of chemicals and the phase-out of dangerous substances. For the last 10 years, the key EU law on chemicals has indeed significantly enhanced the protection of human health and the environment and promoted alternatives to animal testing. Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: “REACH is the most advanced and comprehensive chemical legislation in the world. We need to build on this success and ensure that EU manufacturers do not face competitive disadvantages compared to non-EU manufacturers.” Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella said: “A majority of Europeans are worried about being exposed to hazardous chemicals. Through REACH, the EU is successfully addressing their concerns, generating knowledge about chemicals and banning harmful ones on the EU market. REACH is already inspiring chemical legislation in other countries and further improvements will allow us to protect our citizens’ health and the environment even better.” Building on this, the Commission today proposes actions to further facilitate its implementation by companies, including SMEs, and Member States. More information here and here.
Startup Europe Week begins: hundreds of events all over Europe to inform entrepreneurs of available support
Today begun the third edition of the Startup Europe Week, combining hundreds of events all over Europe and beyond. The Startup Europe Week is now organised in more than 50 countries, with additional global events taking place in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The initiative aims to inform entrepreneurs of the support and resources available at city and regional level. Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “Investments in digital companies and access to capital are always needed for helping startups to grow. But startups also need supportive policies. Linking and networking them will unlock more of their potential, and offer the scale necessary to compete with other ecosystems around the world.” Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel added: “This grassroots movement helps those interested in entrepreneurship to make the first steps to bring their dream projects to life. The initiative fosters creativity as well as more entrepreneurial spirit for continuing the success story of the European startup scene.” In 2017, Startup Europe Week reached with the help of more than 280 co-organisers in more than 40 countries over 100,000 entrepreneurs across Europe. More information about this year’s Startup Europe Week is available here, various events can be found here. Read also a recent blog post about the initiative in Vice-President Ansip’s blog.
One Oscar and 15 Césars for EU supported films
Creative Europe MEDIA programme supported films won over the weekend numerous awards. Last night in the 90th Academy Awards “Call me by your name” (directed by Luca Guadagnino) won the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay, which was written by James Ivory. On Friday night, five MEDIA-supported films celebrated its success in Césars Awards. “120 Battements par minute/BPM” (directed by Robin Campillo) won six awards: Best Film, Best Male Newcomer with Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Best Supporting Actor with Antoine Reinartz, Best Editing by Robin Campillo, Best Original Score by Arnaud Rebotini, and Best Original Screenplay by Robin Campillo. “Au revoir là-haut” (directed by Albert Dupontel) received five Césars: Best Director, Best Costumes by Mimi Lempicka, Best Set Decoration by Pierre Quefféléan, Best Cinematography by Vincent Mathias, and Best Adapted Screenplay by Albert Dupontel and Pierre Lemaitre. “Barbara” (directed by Mathieu Amalric) won Best Actress with Jeanne Balibar and Best Sound by Olivier Mauvezin, Nicolas Moreau and Stéphane Thiébaut. “I Am Not Your Negro” (directed by Raoul Peck) received the Best documentary César. “Le brio” (directed by Yvan Attal) was acknowledged with Best Female Newcomer award for Camélia Jordana. Further details about MEDIA programme supported films in Academy Awards and Césars Awards can be found here and here. More information on the MEDIA programme is available in the factsheet.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of a newly created joint venture by Singapore Airlines and CAE
The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over a newly created full function joint venture by Singapore Airlines Limited (“SIA”) of Singapore and CAE International Holdings Limited (“CAE”) of Canada. The joint venture will establish, develop and operate a commercial flight training centre in Singapore. SIA supplies passenger and cargo air transportation, engineering services, training of pilots, air charters and tour wholesaling and related activities. CAE is an investment holding company of the CAE group which designs, manufactures and supplies simulation equipment, provides training, and develops integrated solutions for defence and security markets, commercial airlines, business aircraft operators, helicopter operators, aircraft manufacturers and for healthcare education and service providers. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given that the joint venture has no actual or foreseen activities within the European Economic Area. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8768.
Eurostat: Janvier 2018 comparé à décembre 2017 – Le volume des ventes du commerce de détail en baisse de 0,1% tant dans la zone euro que dans l’UE28
En janvier 2018 par rapport à décembre 2017, le volume des ventes du commerce de détail corrigé des variations saisonnières a diminué de 0,1% tant dans la zone euro (ZE19) que dans l’UE28, selon les estimations d’Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne. En décembre 2017, le commerce de détail avait reculé de 1,0% dans la zone euro et de 0,9% dans l’UE28. En janvier 2018 par rapport à janvier 2017, l’indice corrigées des effets de calendrier des ventes de détail s’est accru de 2,3% dans la zone euro et de 2,7% dans l’UE28. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne.
First Vice-President Timmermans visits Portugal and France
On Sunday afternoon, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans travelled to Lisbon where he met with Mr Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal. This morning he met with Mr Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal and shortly after 12.00 he will deliver a keynote speech on Defending European Democracy at a conference on ‘Invigorating and Strengthening European Democracy‘ at the Institute Jacques Delors with the Gulbenkian Foundation. The First Vice-President’s speech will be livestreamed here and will be published on his website later. From Lisbon, the First Vice-President travels to Paris tonight, and will meet with President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday afternoon. In Paris, First Vice-President Timmermans will also meet Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for European and Foreign Affairs and Sabine Thillaye, President of the European Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.
Commissioner Moscovici in Hamburg, Germany
Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs will be in Hamburg tomorrow, 6 March 2017. In this, the 50th year of the EU’s Customs Union, the Commissioner will tour the Port of Hamburg’s customs centre and visit Airbus’ manufacturing facility. He will also participate in a number of meetings, including with Mr Olaf Scholz, the First Mayor of Hamburg.