Brussels Daily
09 Jan 2015


Brussels Daily

EU-Ukraine: Commission proposes further € 1.8 billion in macro-financial assistance

Yesterday, the European Commission proposed new macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Ukraine of up to €1.8 billion in medium-term loans. The new MFA programme, which is to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the EU, is intended to assist Ukraine economically and financially with the critical challenges the country is facing, such as a weak balance of payments and fiscal situation. The intention is also to help the new reform-orientated government strengthen the country and deal with economic and political challenges. The macro-financial assistance proposed yesterday will be linked to certain reform actions. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Ukraine is not alone. Europe stands united behind Ukraine and the reform agenda of the new government. Our actions speak louder than our words. The European Union has provided unprecedented financial support and today’s proposal proves that we are ready to continue providing that support. This is European solidarity in action. As always, solidarity goes hand in hand with commitment to reform, which is urgently needed in Ukraine. We want to help the Ukrainian government to put its reform agenda into practice and trigger real change for the country and its people.” See press release.



Cutting red tape: Savings of up to €48 million thanks to new rules for cross-border judgments

New rules applying as of tomorrow mean businesses and consumers will be able to resolve cross-border legal disputes more easily – bringing expected savings of up to €48 million each year in the EU. The rules abolish the costly and lengthy procedure, which is currently used 10,000 times per year to get judgments in civil and commercial matters recognised in other EU countries. “This is very good news for Europe’s citizens and SMEs”, Věra Jourová, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said. “These new rules could bring savings of between €2,000 and €12,000 per individual case.” See full press release.

Better protection for victims of violence anywhere in the EU

As of this Sunday, victims of violence – notably those who have suffered domestic violence or stalking – will be able to guarantee themselves better protection in any EU Member State. Restraining, protection and barring orders issued in one Member State will now quickly and be easily recognisable across the EU through simple certification. “Rights of victims of violence will now be guaranteed outside their own country too, wherever they are in Europe”, said Věra Jourová, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. “They will be able to choose to live in another EU Member State or to travel on holiday without fearing for their safety.” See full press release.

Ready, set, innovate: Commission steps up support to innovative companies

Today the European Commission is announcing new support for innovative companies around Europe through two initiatives. One of these is a new €200 million Fast Track to Innovation initiative launched today by the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas. This instrument will promote innovation by reducing the time it takes to bring innovative ideas to market. In parallel, the Commission also announces that over 275 European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been selected to receive new grants of €117 million in total to finance innovation activities and the development of their business plans, or feasibility studies for their projects. All of these grants are awarded under the EU’s SME Instrument. Both the FTI initiative and the SME Instrument are run under the EU’s research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020, and are designed to better and faster exploit excellent ideas on the market and help generate jobs and growth for Europe. News announcements for the FTI launch and the latest results of the SME Instrument callsare available online.

Eurostat: Amounts sent abroad by EU residents dropped to €28.3 bn in 2013

In 2013, flows of money sent by EU28 residents to a non-EU country, referred to as personal transfers, amounted to €28.3 billion, while inflows to the EU28 totalled €10.3 bn. This resulted in a negative balance (-€18.0 bn) for the EU28 with the rest of the world. The majority of personal transfers consist of flows of money sent by migrants to their country of origin. See Eurostat press release.



Our world, our dignity, our future: President Juncker launches the European Year for Development 2015

Today, 9 January 2015, President Jean-Claude Juncker together with the High Representative Vice-President Federica Mogherini, and the Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma launched the first European Year of Development during the visit by the College of Commissioners to Riga. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, were also present. 2015 is set to be a special year for development, as the deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals; and for the next set of goals – the Sustainable Development Goals – to be put in place. At the event in the national Library of Latvia, President Juncker said: “One of my priorities for this Commission is to strengthen Europe as a global actor. Europe can only be a global actor if Europeans understand how the role of the European Union and its Member States benefits us all in our interdependent world. And since 2015 is an important year in this regard, it is very timely to have a European Year for Development that will seek to foster the direct engagement of our citizens.” The President’s full speech is available online, as well as Commissioner Vella’s speech and the event will be broadcast on EBS. More information on the European Year for Development can be found online.


International Ministerial Meeting on Charlie Hebdo: Commissioner Avramopoulos meets Interior ministers on Sunday 11 January in Paris

Following the horrific terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France’s Minister of Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, will host an International Ministerial Meeting in Paris to discuss counterterrorism and foreign fighters. The meeting will take place this Sunday, 11 January, at the French Ministry of Interior and will be attended by the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos. This meeting will bring together European Ministers of Interior and the United States Attorney General in order to discuss EU and international efforts to tackle challenges of common concern. The meeting will be followed by press conferences from Bernard Cazeneuve, Dimitris Avramopoulos and other Ministers. Afterwards, the participants will be invited to attend a silent march, which will be attended by President François Hollande, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and many political leaders


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