17 Sep 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 17 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
President Barroso and President Van Rompuy issued a statement yesterday, welcoming the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement : “We welcome the simultaneous ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement in the Verkhovna Rada and in the European Parliament today as an important step in Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the European Union. The Association Agreement will provide a blueprint for Ukraine’s transformation into a modern and prosperous European democracy.”
The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules the Italian map defining areas eligible for regional state aid between July 2014 and December 2020. The Commission found the Italian regional aid map to be in line with its regional aid guidelines, adopted in June 2013 (see IP/13/569). The guidelines set out the conditions under which Member States can grant state aid to companies for regional development purposes. They aim to foster growth and greater cohesion in the Single Market.
The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules the Dutch map for granting regional investment aid between 2014 and 2020. The map is based on the new regional aid guidelines adopted by the Commission in June 2013 (see IP/13/569). The new guidelines set out the conditions under which Member States can grant state aid to companies for regional development purposes. They aim to foster growth and greater cohesion in the Single Market.
The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules the Belgian map for granting regional investment aid between 2014 and 2020. The map is based on the new regional aid guidelines adopted by the Commission in June 2013 (see IP/13/569). The new guidelines set out the conditions under which Member States can grant state aid to companies for regional development purposes. They aim to foster growth and greater cohesion in the Single Market.
The European Commission has concluded that the aid granted by France to the Supergrid Institut pour la transition énergétique for a research project aimed at developing a new generation of long-distance energy transmission networks complies with the EU rules on State aid. It will promote important European objectives such as securing energy supplies and protecting the environment without unduly distorting competition.
Two new Deputy Directors-General for Trade
The Commission has appointed two new senior managers in the Trade Directorate-General. Both appointments take effect immediately. Mr Mauro PETRICCIONE has been appointed Deputy Director-General responsible for Services and Investment, Intellectual Property, Public Procurement, Asia and Latin America, Sustainable Development, Economic Partnership Agreements – African, Caribbean and Pacific, Agri-food and Fisheries. Mr Petriccione, an Italian national, already served in that role in an acting capacity. He has spent his entire career in DG Trade, since joining the Commission in 1987. His duties have included representing the European Commission in the GATT, the WTO and the OECD, and he was EU negotiator for a number of trade agreements including the WTO accession of Russia and Vietnam, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada. The second appointment concerns British national Mr Matthew BALDWIN, who becomes Deputy Director-General responsible for Neighbouring Countries, USA and Canada, WTO, Legal Affairs, Trade in Goods, Trade Strategy and Analysis, Market Access and Trade Defence. Mr Baldwin was previously Director for Aviation and International Transport Policy in the Mobility and Transport Directorate-General. He has also served as a Director in DG Trade, responsible for Market Access and Industry Matters, and as Deputy Head of Cabinet for former Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy. Before that, he was Head of Unit for market access and subsequently Head of Unit for WTO matters, also in DG Trade. Before joining the Commission in 1999, he worked for the British Government in a variety of posts in London, Brussels and Washington, dealing with issues such as US trade policy, competition, the Single Market, and energy.
The European Commission is increasing by €5 million its humanitarian funding in Mali. This will bring new European support to the victims of extreme food insecurity and renewed violence in the north of the country. The new funding will provide emergency food assistance to more than one million people. It brings the total humanitarian aid funding to Mali in 2014 to €40 million.
Euro area annual inflation was 0.4% in August 2014, unchanged compared to July. In August 2013 the rate was 1.3%. Monthly inflation was 0.1% in August 2014. European Union annual inflation was 0.5% in August 2014, unchanged compared to July. A year earlier the rate was 1.5%. Monthly inflation was 0.1% in August 2014.
In July 2014 compared with June 2014, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector remained stable in both the euro area (EA18) and the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In June 2014, production in construction fell by 0.4% and 0.1% respectively. In July 2014 compared with July 2013, production in construction increased by 0.4% in the euro area and by 0.6% in the EU28.
Commission hosts ‘Translating Europe’ forum
On 18 and 19 September, the European Commission will host the first ‘Translating Europe’ forum, bringing together universities, providers and purchasers of translation services, national administrations, private companies, language institutions and translators’ associations. The event aims to encourage innovative joint projects, the exchange of good practices, and to promote sustainable jobs in the language and translation professions. The forum will discuss innovation in the sector and how best to match the needs of the job market with the skills offered by university training, as well as EU funding opportunities. A new study, Translation and intellectual property rights, will be presented to the delegates. The study tackles issues such as how translations and databases are protected by copyright in the digital age and whether translators should be considered as authors. Watch the event online: Thursday 18 September, 9:00-18:00, Friday 19 September, 9:30-13:00 .
Today the European Commission launched the FIWARE Accelerator Programme. €80 million will be awarded to SMEs, Startups and web-entrepreneurs using FIWARE Technologies. The FIWARE Accelerator is a network of European organisations which has already launched first calls for proposals earlier this month. The remaining calls will be presented in Munich on 17th & 18th September on the occasion of the European Conference on Future Internet .
The European Commission has initiated two separate in-depth investigations in order to establish whether the loans and other measures granted by France to FagorBrandt and Mory-Ducros are compatible with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission will examine whether these measures were granted under market conditions, as the French authorities maintain. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested third parties an opportunity to submit their comments. It does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.
What Commissioners said
Speaking at the debate on the Roll-out of the European Youth Initiative in the European Parliament today, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor said: “Implementation of the Youth Guarantee is well on track and is already bringing results. Compared to other structural reforms in Europe, the Youth Guarantee is probably the most rapidly implemented”. Andor added: “I believe the Youth Guarantee will help to make an economic recovery job-rich and it will make a systemic and decisive improvement to school-to-work transitions. However, we should not forget that, in the absence of overall economic growth, it would be impossible for any labour market reform to solve an economic crisis of such a magnitude as we have experienced in Europe. In other words, the Youth Guarantee will deliver much more when it will be accompanied by adequate more supportive macroeconomic instruments.”