Speech by Commissioner Moscovici on “The battle against tax fraud and tax evasion”
Yesterday Commissioner Moscovici addressed the European Parliament on the ambitious European Commission’s agenda to fight against tax fraud tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. He presented the tools that are already available at EU level and he confirmed the strong commitment of the European Commission to put this agenda forward. In particular, “in line with the mandate given to me by President Juncker, I will give high priority to advancing the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base proposal (CCCTB).This proposal is not a mere technical one. Far from it. The CCCTB could fundamentally change the corporate tax environment in Europe, ensuring a closer link between taxation and economic activity and shutting off major channels of avoidance.“ He also confirmed that the European Commission decided to further enhance tax transparency, including through more information exchange and enhanced transparency on tax rulings. The full speech is available online.
Rosetta mission: an immense step in space science and space exploration
Following the landing of the Philae lander on 12 November, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska congratulated the European Space Agency and the Member States that participate in the Rosetta mission and the Philae lander. CommissionerBieńkowska said: “The Rosetta mission represents an immense step in space science and space exploration and will no doubt help us understand better the fabric of our Solar System. It has already started to provide invaluable data for our scientists to exploit in the future and we are awaiting further details by the ESA on the state of play and next steps of the Philae lander by the ESA. The EU attaches the greatest importance to space science and exploration as it lays down the foundations for further space activities from where ever deeper scientific knowledge as well as concrete benefits for citizens are derived. Space exploration is an engine for innovation creating synergies between space and non-space sectors that generate benefits to citizens. The EU also considers essential to further develop European exploration capacities as they represent an enormous potential not just for future space exploration missions but also to service space infrastructures and contribute to activities in space in general. For these reasons the Horizon 2020 Space provides financial support to projects in the fields of space exploration and science as well as space robotics. Some 30 million euros will be allocated to projects in these fields in 2014 and 2015, including in 2015 the possibility to support data exploitation from the Rosetta mission.”
Joint Statement by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on the US-China climate announcement
“We welcome the announcement today by the Presidents of the United States and China on their respective post-2020 actions on climate change. This comes ahead of the G20 Summit in Brisbane, and well in advance of the Conference of the Parties 21 in Paris next year. This announcement shows that the call by EU Leaders on 24 October to other countries to come forward quickly with their intended greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets is being answered. The European Union agreed in October ambitious targets for 2030 with a legally binding reduction of CO2 emissions of at least 40%, increases of renewable energy and energy efficiency of at least 27% and a boost of the internal European energy market through a boost of interconnection. The announcements to date cover around half of the global emissions. We urge others, especially the G20 members, to announce their targets in the first half of 2015 and transparently. Only then we can assess together if our collective efforts will allow us to fulfil the goal of keeping global temperature increases well below 2 degrees Celsius. The EU expects these targets to be part of a longer range effort to transition to low carbon economies. Now it will be important to maintain the level of ambition and aim for a credible and durable global climate agreement in Paris next year. In the multilateral UN negotiation process, Lima is the next milestone and we look forward to engaging with all our partners. The clock is ticking. It’s time to move to action.” The statement isavailable online.
Joint Statement by Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland
“On the occasion of our meeting today, we have confirmed our shared commitment to the protection of fundamental rights and the rule of law in Europe. The cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Union is strong and has provided excellent results. We should further intensify this cooperation in a spirit of complementarity and mutual support. We also confirm our conviction that the European Union should accede rapidly to the European Convention of Human Rights. We hope that the accession agreement negotiated in April 2013 can enter into force rapidly.”
Speech by Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans on “A new chapter for cross-border criminal justice”
On 13 November, at the Conference on the competence of the European Court of Justice in the area of freedom, security and justice in Rome, First Vice-President Timmersmans said: ” That’s where the added-value of the European Court of Justice and the Commission lies: quality-assurance. Guaranteeing, whenever measures are decided and countries commit to implement them, that there will be a quality check. And as prevention is always better than cure, the Commission is always there to help with transposition. That’s the whole point: making sure that more care is put into transposing common rules. And in any case, before any infringement proceedings, the first step will normally always be to have a constructive dialogue between the Commission and the Member State, through what we call ‘EU Pilot’.” Full speech is available online.
Speech by Elżbieta Bieńkowska on “An EU industrial policy fit for the 21st century”
Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowskaoutlined her “modern, pragmatic yet focused” industrial strategy at an EPC-EESC conference in Brussels on 12 November. She said: “Raising industry’s share of EU GDP towards 20% is not a goal in itself. The goal is to keep and create high-value jobs. This is the condition to improve productivity and manufacturing in Europe.” Commissioner Bieńkowska addressed a number of areas where concrete measures are needed, with a focus on the internal market for services, public procurement, intellectual property, and a favourable business environment. The Commissioner also announced that she will launch specific initiatives in the automotive, chemicals, defense, construction and space sectors. The speech is available online.
Vice-President Katainen participates in the TATRA Summit in Bratislava, 12 November 2014
“We are working very hard on developing the number one priority of the new Commission. And that is an ambitious plan to mobilise 300 billion euro in public and private investment in Europe over the next three years. The main focus of this additional investment should be in infrastructure, especially broadband and energy networks as well as transport infrastructure in industrial centres; education, research and innovation; and renewable energy. President Juncker is committed to presenting this EU Investment Plan before Christmas. It is my job to coordinate this ambitious and essential initiative in order to stimulate growth in Europe and, in turn, get more people into work. […] This Investment Plan needs to be seen as one key part of the overall economic strategy of this Commission and is based on 3 interlinked pillars: structural reforms, fiscal credibility and investment. […] We need to be realistic. This plan is about using all possibilities we have at our disposal – from regulation to deepen the Single Market to the EU budget to crowd-in more private investment – in order to make real investments a reality. […] While the ‘liquidity’ part of the package is attracting much of the attention, I believe that the removal of sector-specific and financial market barriers to investment, together with the deepening of the Single Market, has the potential to deliver much more.” The full speech is available online.
Energy Union Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on rebalancing the EU architecture
At theTATRA Summit in Bratislava today, Energy Union Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič delivered a key note speech “Towards a more powerful EU: rebalancing the EU architecture”. He said: “To deliver on these new priorities, the Commission is organised around project teams lead by Vice-Presidents. Let me say a word on this organisation which is quite original for a political institution. The objective is to break down silos and create synergies by steering and coordinating the work of a number of Commissioners in priority areas or projects such as jobs, growth, investment, a deeper and fairer EMU, a connected digital single market or a resilient Energy Union. Strong cooperation will be needed both within each project and also between projects. The major investment package under preparation, for instance, will rely extensively on the completion of the Energy Union. Not only will the focus of this package be notably on energy infrastructures, renewable energy and energy efficiency, but private investments will also need the right incentives through the completion of the single energy market and removal of remaining obstacles. The project team I have the honour of coordinating as Vice-President for the Energy Union thus has a major contribution to make. The Energy Union is an area with great potential on the impact on the life of citizens who – through their energy bills – pay a high price for our dependency.” The speech is available online.
Commissioner Hogan meets Norwegian Minister Sylvi Listhaug
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan will meet Norwegian Minister for Agriculture and Food, Sylvi Listhaug on Thursday 13 November at 12:30 CET. The discussion will focus on relations between the EU and Norway in the field of agriculture and in the context of the recent CAP reform. It will also focus on the expected upcoming EU-Norway Article 19 negotiations.
Energy Union Vice-President Šefčovič to visit Kiev
On Friday 14 November 2014, Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, responsible for Energy Union, will meet the President and the Prime Minister of Ukraine in Kiev. This inaugural visit aims at discussion a range of topical energy issues including the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transportation system as well as the follow-up to the trilateral gas talks. In addition to Vice-President Sefcovic’ talks with the President Poroshenko and the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, he will meet the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Prodan and representatives of Ukrainian energy companies. Media arrangements are under consideration.
Commissioner Hogan visits Germany on 14 November
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan will be traveling to Germany this week for one of the first trips of his mandate as Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development. During this visit he will meet with Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt in Berlin on Friday morning, and then move on to Munich, where he will be hosted by Bavarian agriculture minister Helmut Brunner and visit the public agricultural research centre in Weihenstephan. He will also meet a local MEP, EPP group chairman Manfred Weber and visit a farm.