Brussels Daily
18 Sep 2014


Brussels Daily

Fisheries: Commission cooperates with Portugal to enforce fisheries rules

In its efforts to ensure that fisheries rules are respected across the EU, the European Commission has today adopted an action plan to help upgrading the Portuguese fisheries control system to European standards. This plan focuses on Portugal’s catch registration system and was prepared in partnership with the Portuguese authorities to ensure that Portugal complies fully with the requirements of the EU’s 2009 Fisheries Control Regulation and the new Common Fisheries Policy to achieve sustainable fishing. According to Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Commission “can also assist in financing this upgrading of the Portuguese fisheries control system through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).” See MEMO/14/532

Tech start-ups and SMEs share €90m of EU funds to disrupt the European markets

The European Commission is committing €90 million to Open and Disruptive Innovation over the next 12 months. A new tool to help doctors communicate with non-responsive patients; a cloud-based irrigation controller to improve water efficiency on farms by up to 30%; an “electronic nose” to better determine how fresh your food is – these are a few of the 30 tech SMEs and start-ups to receive EU funding. Find out who the tech winners are and what their idea is about in the Annex.

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges

To address the effects of population ageing, the EU will need to close the gender gap and increase the participation of young and older workers in the labour market, but mobility and migration also have a key role to play. This is the main finding of the joint Commission-OECD report on Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs published today.

Youth Guarantee: learning from the Finnish experience

Members States are meeting in Helsinki to review the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Finland, a pioneer country in developing this scheme. The meeting will give 13 EU countries (AT, BE, DK, EE, FR, DE, IE, LV, LT, LU, NL, PL, SE) an opportunity to learn from the Finnish experience in order to put the Youth Guarantee into practice. László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, commented: “Now that Member States are working to make the Youth Guarantee a reality, it is more important than ever that they use any opportunity to exchange good practices and learn from each other. Finland is a reference in this field and other Governments may find some elements of the Finnish scheme useful in their countries. This peer review is an example of the close contacts between the Commission and the Member States to speed up the implementation of the Youth Guarantee.  For more information on the Youth Guarantee, see MEMO/14/530 .

EU SME Instrument: first 155 winners of grants announced

The European Commission has today published a list of the 155 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that will be first to benefit from its new €3 billion SME Instrument. 155 SMEs from 21 countries will each receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies for their projects, and they can also benefit from up to three days of business coaching. After that, their projects may be considered for further financial support from the Commission worth up to €2.5 million.

EU-funded driving system to boost electric cars

While electric cars are on the rise, many drivers are still concerned about running out of juice. Six partners from Germany, France, Austria and Spain have cut the consumption of electric vehicles with a new intelligent energy management and recovery system. The OpEneR team developed new functions and connected better the components and systems, allowing the driver to receive braking tips based on traffic flows and advice on the best route to limit energy use. Up to 30% of energy can be saved without losing much time on the way. The new solutions will be progressively commercialised and integrated into production of new models, making electric cars even greener.

New milestone in the fight against match-fixing

The European Commission today welcomes a new milestone in the fight against match-fixing, with the launch of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions . The Convention will be declared open for signature this evening at a Council of Europe conference of Sport Ministers in Macolin, Switzerland. Over the past two years, the European Commission has played a key role in the preparation and negotiation of the agreement.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Lindorff Group by Nordic Capital

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Indif AB, Lindorff Institutional Management AB, Lindorff Coinvest AB and Lindorff AB (together the ‘Lindorff Group’) of Sweden by Nordic Capital VIII Limited of Jersey. The main activity of all four companies of the Lindorff Group is the provision of factoring services in several European countries. Nordic Capital is a private equity fund. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, in particular because there are no overlaps between the parties’ activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7371 .

New Head of European Commission Regional Office in Munich

The European Commission has appointed Mr Joachim Menze as Head of its Regional Office in Munich covering both Bavaria and Baden Württemberg.

What Commissioners said

László Andor: Towards a European Labour Model

“The main reason for Europe’s continuing jobs crisis has been and continues to be weak macroeconomic performance, and in particular less effective fiscal and monetary responses to the financial and economic crisis than we could observe in the US and Japan”, said László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the Brussels conference on “Labour Economics after the Crisis”. “The macroeconomic policy constraints faced by Europe are closely linked to the design of our EMU and I have long argued that it is primarily through a reform of the EMU that we can make meaningful progress towards our 2020 target of 75% employment. That said, I believe that the quality of employment and the quality of labour market policies continue to be the highest in Europe. I think we can confidently speak of a European labour model, namely a set of basic qualitative features which distinguish European labour markets from the rest of the world. The EU can and should maintain its commitment to high employment, including by having an ambitious target to raise the employment rate. This commitment can be and should be integrated into macroeconomic policy, including monetary policy. The EU can and should consolidate its specific instruments for investment and adjustment, and identify a European Labour Model”.


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