10 Apr 2018


Brussels, Brussels Daily


EUROSTAT: Fourth quarter of 2017 – EU28 current account surplus €63.5 bn – €49.7 bn surplus for trade in services

The EU28 seasonally adjusted current account of the balance of payments recorded a surplus of €63.5 billion (1.6% of GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2017, down from a surplus of €67.4 billion (1.8% of GDP) in the third quarter of 2017 and from a surplus of €64.4 billion (1.7% of GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Full text available here.

Road safety statistics for 2017

European roads remain the safest in the world: in 2017, the EU counted 49 road fatalities per one million inhabitants, against 174 deaths per million globally. According to data from the World Health Organisation[1], about 1.3 million people die each year on the world’s roads, of which 25.300 lost their lives in the EU last year. Thanks to decisive action at local, national and EU level, the EU has made impressive progress over the past decades. However, the progress rate has lately slowed down. After two years of stagnation (2014 and 2015), the number of road fatalities was reduced by 2% in 2016, and by another 2% in 2017. While the last two years give rise to some optimism, it will be very challenging for the EU to reach its ambitious target of halving the number of road deaths between 2010 and 2020[2]. Further efforts are therefore needed by all actors to improve road safety. More information here

VentureEU: €2.1 billion to boost venture capital investment in Europe’s innovative start-ups

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have launched a Pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme (VentureEU) to boost investment in innovative start-up and scale-up companies across Europe. The announcement was made today at a press conference with Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas and Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund Pier Luigi Gilibert. The Commission and the EIF have announced six participating funds to receive EU support in their mission to invest in the European venture capital market. Backed by EU funding to the tune of €410 million, the funds are aiming to raise up to €2.1 billion of public and private investment. In turn this is expected to trigger an estimated €6.5 billion of new investment in innovative start-up and scale-up companies across Europe, doubling the amount of venture capital currently available in Europe. A dedicated technical briefing will take place at approximately 13:00 in Aquarium 5 (after the midday press briefing). More information is available in a press release and FAQs together with two factsheets on VentureEU and the broader EU ecosystem for companies.


EU remains the world’s leading donor of development assistance: €75.7 billion in 2017

The European Union and its Member States continue to be the world’s leading provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) with an overall amount of €75.7 billion in 2017, confirm the newly released figures by the OECD-DAC.This amount represents 0.50% of EU Gross National Income (GNI) and is significantly above the 0.21% average of the non-EU members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), despite a small decrease compared to the previous year. Global ODA decreased from €131 billion in 2016 to €130 billion in 2017. EU collective ODA constituted 57% of global ODA in 2017. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “The EU and its Member States continue to provide over half of the total Official Development Assistance globally, investing in people, stronger institutions and societies. However, I am strongly concerned about the decrease of EU collective ODA and of development assistance worldwide. Achieving sustainable development requires a persistent collective effort. We know we need to do more. As the world’s

leading ODA provider the EU must show leadership and responsibility.” The EU and its Members States have been consistently in the lead of global efforts on development financing. Since 2015, year of the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, EU collective aid has grown by €7.8 billion that is 12%, while the ODA/GNI ratio grew by 6%, underpinning the EU’s and Member States’ sustained efforts to promote prosperity, peace, and sustainable development worldwide. A press release and a memo are available online.


Easier digital procedures within EU Single Market: 10 years of the Internal Market Information System

Since being established 10 years ago, the Internal Market Information System (IMI) has helped make it easier for EU citizens to live, work and do business in another EU country. The multilingual online tool allows for faster, smoother and more efficient cooperation between authorities in different EU countries, ultimately improving lives of Europeans. Since 2008, it facilitated over 110,000 information exchanges between authorities, on topics such as the provision of services, applications for the European Professional Card (EPC) and the recognition of professional qualifications. Ahead of a conference organised today by the Commission, Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said: “An efficient Single Market is key for growth and prosperity in the EU. We must make the most use of the latest digital technology to speed up administrative procedures and lighten burdens. The IMI has been essential to do this for 10 years now and for the last two years has been a major factor in the success of the EPC. It could also serve as a supporting platform for new innovative tools aiming to facilitate movements of service providers across the EU, such as the e-Card“. Today the Commission also published an assessment of stakeholders’ experience with the EPC and the alert mechanism procedures. Launched in January 2016, the card has been available for five very mobile professions (nurses responsible for general care, pharmacists, physiotherapists, mountain guides and real estate agents) who want to work in another Member State. The alert mechanism requires EU countries to warn each other through the IMI about professionals working in the fields of health or education of minors who have been prohibited or restricted from practice in one EU country. The assessment shows that the EPC and the alert mechanism have further enhanced safe professional mobility and provided added value compared to traditional recognition processes. Stakeholder feedback also confirmed that the alert mechanism strengthens cooperation and trust among national authorities for safe mobility of professionals. See more information on the IMI system and ;EPC statistics.


European Commission hands awards to 28 Europe’s best young translators in the 11th annual translation contest ‘Juvenes Translatores’

Today, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Günther H. Oettinger, awards a trophy and a diploma to the 28 winners of the European Commission’s annual translation contest ‘Juvenes Translatores‘. The 28 secondary school students, one from each Member State, won in a competition with over 3 300 participants from 744 schools across the continent. They all translated a one-page text on the subject of the 60th anniversary of the European Union. The participants could choose from any of the 552 possible combinations between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages. This year, students sat the competition in 144 language combinations, including translating from Polish into Finnish, and from Czech into Greek. All winners chose to translate into their strongest language or mother tongue, as the staff translators in EU Institutions do. The translations were checked by the Commission’s in-house translators. ‘Juvenes Translatores‘ (Latin for ‘young translators’) is a competition to reward the best young translators in the EU. The Commission’s Translation department has been organising the contest every year since 2007 to promote language learning in schools and give young people a taste of what it is like to be a translator. The award ceremony will be live streamed(11:00 CET) and the names of the winners are available online.





Vice-President Ansip in the UK at the London Book Fair to give Charles Clark Memorial Lecture

Vice-President Ansip visits the UK today to discuss the latest developments related to the Digital Single Market at the London Book Fair. The Vice-President will attend the opening ceremony at 15:30 CET, joined by Ministers of Culture of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, highlighting the significance of the publishing sector as one of Europe’s top cultural and creative industries. Later in the afternoon Vice-President Ansip will deliver the Charles Clark Memorial annual lecture concerning the modernisation of EU copyright rules. His speaking points will be published here at around 17:30. On the sidelines of the event, he will meet Publishers Association members and General Counsel William Bowes and Chief Executive Stephen Lotinga, to discuss some of the Digital Single Market policies relevant to the publishing sector, including copyright and ePrivacy. Real time updates of the event are available on @Ansip_EU.

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