06 Oct 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 06 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
The regional yearbook 2014, published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, provides an overview of European regional statistics covering a wide range of fields. It thus gives a more detailed picture than national level data and helps in understanding the regional diversity that exists in the EU. The publication contains statistics for the 272 NUTS level 2 regions and, for some indicators, the 1 315 NUTS level 3 regions of the 28 Member States of the EU as well as, when available, the regions in EFTA and candidate countries. It also provides information to assess the quality of life in European towns and cities. In addition to the regional yearbook, Eurostat offers two interactive applications on its website for visualising and analysing sub-national data: Regional Statistics Illustrated and the Statistical Atlas .
Today the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso is in Lisbon to attend the high level conference on ” The Future of Europe is Science “. The conference, which takes place at the Champalimaud Foundation, gathers some 600 actors from the world of science, industry and society, aiming at take stock of European achievements in science over the past 10 years. World-class scientists, industrialists and political figures will also debate the role science, technology and innovation can play in societal well-being and its potential to stimulate growth, jobs and business development opportunities for Europe.
President Barroso will deliver the opening speech of the conference, to be followed by an address by the President of the Republic, Aníbal Cavaco Silva. The conference will also feature the Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, and Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard. Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the President, will open the second day of the conference with Professor Victor De Lorenzo, Co-chair of the Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC).
At this Conference, the European Commission will launch the report of the Science and Technology Advisory Council, the Council which advises the President on scientific matters. This report is entitled “The Future of Europe is Science”. It outlines some key opportunities for Europe that could be provided by science and technology, looking ahead to the year 2030. It is structured around citizens’ priorities, as identified by a new Eurobarometer survey which is also published today (Special Eurobarometer 419 on “Public perceptions of Science, Research and Innovation”). The survey found that health and medical care and job creation were seen by European citizens as the top priorities for science and technology innovation over the next 15 years.
Over 1.2 million counterfeit goods and 130 million cigarettes were seized during an international joint customs operation coordinated by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). The Operation, code-named REPLICA, targeted the import of counterfeit goods by sea. Under the coordination of OLAF, customs authorities carried out targeted physical or X-ray controls on several hundred selected containers. These checks uncovered a wide array of counterfeit goods including cigarettes, perfumes, car and bicycle spare parts, toys, fashion accessories and electric devices. The seizures of cigarettes alone prevented the loss of €25 million in customs duties and taxes. In fact, the amount of cigarettes seized is equivalent to what 17 000 people, smoking a packet a day, would consume in a year. In terms of overall seizures in this Operation, the value of the equivalent genuine products is estimated to be over €65 million.
The economic recovery which started in the spring of 2013 remains fragile and future employment developments remain uncertain, according the European Commission’s latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review.
The Review also takes a look at differences in income inequality among Member States, and underlines the relevance of investing in skills through life to increase the employability of workers.
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, commented: “Recent trends show that the economic recovery remains fragile and improvements are still timid. There is growth, but we still need to make sure that it becomes sustainable. Far from lowering our guard, we need to keep the efforts to support macro-economic and employment recovery in the EU”.
In order to increase predictability for fishermen and to ensure high, stable and sustainable catches, the European Commission has today proposed a multiannual fisheries management plan for the Baltic Sea that applies to cod, herring and sprat stocks. The plan will ensure the sustainable exploitation of these Baltic Sea stocks so that the fishing industry can enjoy stable fisheries with higher yields. For fishermen, it means clearer and simpler rules. The plan leaves room for manoeuver for Member States and stakeholders to decide about how to best implement the plan in their sea-basin. Since it applies to several fisheries, the plan ensures that the fisheries management is based on the most up to date scientific information on interactions within and between the stocks and with other aspects of the ecosystem and environment. European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: “This plan for the Baltic Sea gives power to regional actors, and instead of having year-on-year planning, this long term plan will help ensure the sustainability of our stocks in the Baltic and provide a reliable source of income from fishing for fishermen.”
What Commissioners said
Today, Monday 6th will see the opening of the 12th edition of OPEN DAYS – the world’s single largest event in Regional and Urban Policy. From Monday 6 to Thursday 9 October, some 6,000 policymakers and practitioners from across Europe will gather in Brussels. Opening the event will be co-hosts Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy and Michel Lebrun, President of the Committee of the Regions. Under the banner “Growing together – Smart investment for people , Commissioner Hahn will stress the importance of creating sustainable business opportunities and jobs for people in their regions – “turning brain drain into brain circulation”. In his key note address at today’s opening, Commissioner Hahn will present the already visible positive impact of the reform and point to the challenges of its implementation in the new funding period 2014 – 2020. Speaking ahead of the event, Commissioner Hahn commented: “This year’s OPEN DAYS is an important moment for regions and cities to consider how best to seize the opportunity that our reformed Cohesion Policy offers. We need to ensure the planned use of EU investments in Member States is going to deliver on Europe2020 goals, as we have designed the reformed Policy to do.”