EU budget: Transfer of unused 2014 EU budget commitments
The European Commission is seeking the approval of the European Parliament and the Council to transfer unused commitments for funds under shared management of 21 billion euro from 2014 to the budgets of 2015-2017. Shared management funds are when individual countries distribute funding, such as for rural development or regional development. This is a one-off transfer which will ensure funding is still available for programmes which could not be finalised in 2014, due to the late approval of the seven-year framework for the EU budget. No additional money is requested for the EU budget as today’s proposal does not affect the total amounts for the 2014-2020 period. The same procedure was applied at the start of the two previous budget cycles (2000-2006 and 2007-2013). It is foreseen in the rules for the EU budget as agreed by the European Parliament and EU Member States in 2013.More information is available online here and here.
Plant Health: Experts endorse the lift of the import ban of mango fruits from India
A proposal by the Commission to lift the import ban of mango fruits from India was today endorsed by Member State experts meeting at the relevant Regulatory Committee concerned with Plant Health. The import into the EU territory of certain fruit and vegetables [taro, eddo (Colocasia sp), mango (Mangifera sp), bitter gourd (Momordica sp), eggplant (Solanum melongena) and snake gourd (Trichosanthes sp)] from India was prohibited last April due to a high number of consignments intercepted at arrival in the EU infested with quarantine pests, mainly insects, not known to occur in the Union which may establish and threaten the European productions. An audit carried out by the Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office in India in September 2014 showed significant improvements in the phytosanitary export certification system. India has also provided assurances that appropriate measures are now available to ensure that the exports of mango fruits are free from quarantine pest, like the fruit flies not known to occur in the Union. The measures will allow the import of mango fruits before the start of the next import season in March 2015. At later stage, when more evidence is collected regarding the Indian phytosanitary certification, the prohibition of the vegetables will be reviewed. More information is available online.
EUROSTAT: Seasonally adjusted government deficit down to 2.3% of GDP in the euro area
In the third quarter of 2014, the seasonally adjustedgeneral government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 2.3% in the euro area (EA18), a decrease compared with 2.5% in the second quarter of 2014. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio also fell slightly to 2.9% of GDP, from 3.0% in the previous quarter. Eurostat press release available here.
EUROSTAT: Household saving rate nearly stable at 13.1% in the euro area
The household saving rate in the euro area was 13.1% in the third quarter of 2014, compared with 13.0% in the second quarter of 2014. The household investment rate in the euro area was 8.3% in the third quarter of 2014, stable compared with the previous quarter. These data come from a first release of seasonally adjusted quarterly European sector accounts released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union and the European Central Bank (ECB). Eurostat press release available here.
EUROSTAT: Business investment rate nearly stable at 21.7% in the euro area
In the third quarter of 2014, the business investment rate was 21.7% in the euro area, compared with 21.6% in the second quarter of 2014. The business profit share in the euro area was 38.8% in the third quarter of 2014, compared with 38.9% in the previous quarter. These data come from a first release of seasonally adjusted quarterly European sector accounts released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and the European Central Bank (ECB).Eurostat press release available here.
Speech by Marianne Thyssen – Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility: “Avoiding a “Lost Generation”: what (more) can the EU do tackle youth unemployment?”
“It is unacceptable that today more than every fifth young person on the labour market cannot find a job. Despite being the generation with the highest education attainment ever, today’s young have paid the highest price for the crisis. The pace of job creation has decreased as companies lack confidence in the business environment and access to the financial resources to hire new staff. However, high levels of unemployment co-exist with 2 million unfilled vacancies, an indicator that some people lack the right skills or the mobility to take up available jobs. EU growth is further hampered by the increasing numbers of people who are working below their potential. These people are often excluded from opportunities to upgrade their skills. Labour markets have to be more efficient but also more inclusive and fairer. Nobody should be left vulnerable. Too many undeclared workers are today in very precarious, unacceptable situations, with no social protection. These situations affect all types of population, including young people. This Commission has made a clear commitment: We want a fresh start for Europe.” Full speech available here.
Commissioner Cecilia Malmström travels to Vienna on Tuesday 19th of January
Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will be traveling to Vienna. During this visit the Commissioner will be meeting Reinhold Mitterlehner, the Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Science, Research and Economy. Commissioner Malmström will also meet Members of the Austrian Parliament as well as hold a public debate with social partners and civil society on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States.