18 Dec 2015
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 18 DECEMBERBrussels Daily
President Juncker welcomes European Council progress on protecting the EU’s external borders and commitments to safeguard Schengen
Progress was made last night on the management of the refugee crisis, in particular on the protection of the EU’s external borders. The European Council notably agreed on the importance to protect Schengen as a major achievement of the European Union, including by ensuring systematic security checks at its external borders with relevant databases, and to address deficiencies as regards hotspots, relocation and returns. Leaders also agreed to rapidly examine the Commission’s proposals of 15 December 2015, including the European Border and Coast Guard, the targeted revision of the Schengen Borders Code, a voluntary humanitarian admission scheme for refugees from Turkey, and travel documents for returns. In the press conference following the first day of the summit, President Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed a broad positive response from leaders on the Commission’s proposals for a European Border and Coast Guard and the commitment to adopt all texts under the Dutch Presidency of the Council, by the end of June 2016. He also reiterated the need for implementing swiftly the decisions already taken and to reach agreement on the list of safe countries. He reminded of the Commission’s intention to come forward with proposals on a revision of the Dublin system and on legal migration in the first half of 2016. The European Council also held a substantive political exchange of views on UK plans for an EU membership referendum after which they agreed to work closely together to find mutually satisfactory solutions in all four areas by the 2016 February European Council.
Commission leads by example on energy and resource efficiency
Following the presentation of an ambitious Circular Economy package at the beginning of the month and the historic climate deal in Paris last week, the European Commission is marking ten years of reducing its own environmental footprint. Thanks to European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (“EMAS”) – one of the top environmental management tools in Europe – the European Commission is continuously reducing its environmental impact. For example, since 2005 in Brussels it increased energy efficiency by 65%, and made better use of natural resources (by using 59% less water, 58% less paper and generating 28% less waste), while reducing CO2 emissions by 88%. Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva in charge of budget and human resources said: “The ambitious climate deal reached at COP21 in Paris needs everyone to take the right measures. At the European Commission we have reduced our environmental footprint substantially will continue to do so in the years to come.” By the end of this year, most Commission sites – covering 92% of its office space – should be applying the EMAS standards. Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella, in charge of overseeing EMAS, said: “As the European economy begins the transition to a more circular economy I am delighted that the Commission can hold its head up high and say we are committed to following our own advice.” More information is available under the following link. You can learn more about EMAS here.
- Commission launches public consultation on long-term and sustainable investment
- EUROSTAT: Foreign citizens accounted for fewer than 7% of persons living in the EU Member States in 2014
|Read today’s edition in full: Daily News 18 – 12 – 2015|