07 Nov 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 07 NOVEMBERBrussels Daily
A quick and simple guide on current EU budget issues
Autumn and the beginning of winter are traditionally the “EU budget season” as most pending issues of the current year’s budget usually are negotiated together with the following year’s budget. However, the number of such pending issues couples with their technicalities may combine to make it difficult to understand what is negotiated and why. Hence this quick and (hopefully) simple guide ahead of the 7 of November Economic and Finance Ministers Council, in which VP Georgieva will take part. MEMO/14/1487
The November Agriculture and Fisheries Council will take place in Brussels on 10-11th November 2014 with the Commission represented for the first time by Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan and Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis. A press conference will be held at the end of the discussions on Monday late afternoon (for Agriculture) and Tuesday lunchtime (Fisheries). The public debates and the press conferences can be followed by video streaming.
The EU at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia – Supporting global recovery
On the 15 and 16 November 2014 European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will participate in the 9th edition of the G20 summit in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia. The European Union’s views on the key issues on the summit agenda are reflected in the joint letter by the two Presidents to EU Heads of State and Government of 21 October 2014. A background briefing by Commission and Council representatives will be held in the Berlaymont press room (for accredited journalists only) on Monday 10 November at 9am. More information is available online.
Remarks by Commissioner Moscovici at the Eurogroup Press Conference
“Comme le Président Juncker l’a dit, et je partage pleinement ce sentiment, notre Commission sera celle de la dernière chance. Pourquoi? Nous avons le sentiment de l’urgence. Il n’y a en effet pas de temps à perdre si on veut redonner de l’espoir à nos citoyens. Il y a un sentiment de déception par rapport au projet européen, d’éloignement de l’Europe chez beaucoup, notamment chez les plus jeunes, le sentiment que l’Europe est devenue une contrainte ou une punition, qu’elle n’est plus un espoir ou une solution. C’est cela que nous avons le devoir collectif de renverser dans les cinq ans qui viennent; le message des dernières élections européennes a été un message préoccupant, alors si on n’arrive pas à renverser cette tendance, le message des prochaines élections sera celui du rejet. il faut que nous nous situions à cette hauteur-là. Nous devons rendre l’espoir à nos jeunes et aussi à nos entreprises. C’est la tâche qui est celle de la Commission parmi les autres institutions. Nous avons devant nous un défi énorme: relancer la croissance et l’emploi, à travers plus d’investissements, plus de compétitivité, des réformes plus ambitieuses et des finances publiques plus solides. Earlier this week, together with Jyrki Katainen, I presented the Commission’s Autumn Economic Forecast. The message was clear: the economic pick-up in Europe is not happening as fast or as strongly as was expected and hoped for in the spring. A recession at the euro area level is not on the horizon, but the current growth levels are not going to be enough to sustainably reduce unemployment, a dramatic social situation that we cannot accept. Neither is deflation the main risk, if you consider deflation as a self-sustained process of falling prices, but if we are going to identify the challenge, I would say that the risk in front of us, could be a long period of low inflation, low growth, and high unemployment, which of course would be a threat to the European project and to the lives of Europeans. That is why we need a robust and ambitious policy response. The full speech is available online.
Statement by European Commissioner for Competition Margarethe Vestager on tax state aid investigations
Tax rulings as such are common practice in Member States. However, if in a tax ruling, the tax authorities of a Member State accept that a tax base of a specific company is calculated in a favourable way which does not correspond to market conditions, it may give to the company a more favourable treatment than what other companies would normally get under the country’s tax rules, and this could constitute State aid. The Commission is already looking at Member States’ tax rulings practice that could favour some companies: the Commission has recently opened formal investigation procedures on this area in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and has sent information requests to other Member States. For Luxembourg the two on-going investigations concern the tax rulings of Amazon and Fiat Finance & Trade (FFT). I cannot comment on on-going investigation cases as we cannot prejudge the outcome of the investigations. The Commission is in close cooperation with the Luxembourg authorities to proceed in a constructive and cooperative manner in this area. We have not seen all the information published yesterday, and we have at this stage not yet formed an opinion about these rulings and a possible formal follow-up by the Commission. On a more general note, my services have asked information to Luxembourg and to other countries and we will be vigilant to enforce state aid control in fair and justified manner.
Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in the G6 Ministerial meeting in Paris
Following his participation in the G6 ministerial meeting of Interior Ministers in Paris, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos made the following statement: “I am particularly pleased to have made my first official trip as Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship here in Paris, to represent the European Commission at the G6 meeting. During this meeting, I had the opportunity to discuss with Ministers from France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Canada and the United States, a number of important issues, which are central to my Commission portfolio, including the management of migration flows, foreign fighters and the use of the Internet for radicalization, propaganda, recruitment and terror. With regard to the management of migration flows, I discussed – in the framework of the G6 meeting and in bilateral meetings – issues of common concern. The discussions also produced many interesting ideas, some of which I intend to consider for the ‘comprehensive approach on migration’, which I am currently preparing. We have to better protect our shared borders by pooling more resources. We have to reinforce cooperation with third and transit countries. We must be more willing to show more solidarity towards those Member States which face the burden of irregular migration and receive most of the asylum seekers and, at the same time, to offer more solidarity to the affected peoples. We should communicate openly and extensively to the European public about the challenges of migration and security in order to fight racism, fear and radicalisation. I also had a friendly and open discussion with the Spanish Minister of the Interior Jorge Fernández Díaz. He invited me to visit Melilla, which I intend to do. Contacts will continue on this matter. Finally, I want to take this opportunity to warmly thank Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, for hosting such an excellent event and for his hospitality.”