22 Sep 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 22 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
Product Market Reform Report
Today, the European Commission published its Product Market Reform Report,which looks at key reforms undertaken in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece over recent years as a central part of the response to the crisis. The report estimates the major potential economic effects of certain key market reforms in these four countries. Market reforms for goods and services help boost long-term economic growth through their impact on productivity. Product market reforms deliver their full effects in the medium to long term. But the report shows that reforms underway in four of Europe’s most vulnerable economies are showing early signs of success.
Link to the report:
Young people who study or train abroad not only gain knowledge in specific disciplines, but also strengthen key transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. A new study on the impact of the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. They are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not studied or trained abroad and, five years after graduation, their unemployment rate is 23% lower. The study, compiled by independent experts, is the largest of its kind and received feedback from nearly 80 000 respondents including students and businesses. (see also MEMO/14/534)
UN General Assembly – President Barroso at University of Yale
This week, President Barroso is in NY to attend the 69th session of the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary General’s Climate Leaders’ Summit.
Today, he will have lunch with students of the University of Yale. At 3pm local time (9 pm Brussels) he will deliver a speech on “EU in the new World Order” at the same University, followed by a debate.
Tomorrow, the President takes part at the UN Climate Summit and will have several bilateral meetings.
European Commission and Red Cross raise awareness about disaster preparedness
The world is increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters. From European citizens to policy-makers, everybody needs to be better informed and prepared. To stimulate the discussion and boost awareness about upward disaster trends and the efforts needed to mitigate them, the European Commission, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) together with 12 European Red Cross Societies are launching a joint campaign about the importance of preparing for disasters and strengthening community resilience. Launched today, The Disaster Resilience Journal, an interactive web documentary, shows how individuals, communities and countries around the world are strengthening their resilience. For 42 days, the Journal will detail through short stories, video essays, interviews, games or quizzes, what are the challenges that communities face, what steps are they taking to prepare for disasters and what resilience means and look like. Learn more at: www.disaster-resilience.com
Energy Community to discuss security of supply in Kiev
On 23 September 2014 the Energy Community Ministerial Council will take place in Kiev. The Council meeting will be chaired by Commission’s Vice-President Günter H. Oettinger and the Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, representing the current presidency-in-office of the Energy Community. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will attend and speak at the Opening of the Council meeting. The meeting will focus on the functioning of the Energy Community and its reform under the Presidency of Ukraine. Special attention will be given to the future shape of the Energy Community in light of the challenges to the security of supply in Europe.The meeting will be followed by a press conference with VP Oettinger, Minister Prodan and the Energy Community Secretariat Chief Janez Kopač. For any additional information please contact Barbora Jaksova, press office Energy Community Secretariat (+43 1 535 2222 15 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Trilateral gas talks to continue on 26 September in Berlin
The next trilateral meeting on security of gas supply is scheduled for Friday 26 September 2014 in Berlin. The meeting takes place on ministerial level with the participation of Commission’s Vice-President Günther H. Oettinger, the Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan and the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak. The aim of the trilateral meetings is to ensure continued gas supplies and transit. The meeting takes place in the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin and will be followed by an EbS LIVE streamed press point as of 14:30 CET.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will tomorrow co-sign joint declarations in New York to reinforce energy cooperation with five African countries: Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Togo and Rwanda. This shows that EU’s commitment to helping developing countries provide access to sustainable energy for all is stronger than ever; as the agreements aim to increase access to sustainable energy sources by engaging with the private sector and improving the conditions for investment and funding on this area. Welcoming the initiative, President Barroso said: “I am delighted that we are now joining forces with European and African countries that have decided to take the lead in the fight against energy poverty.” The EU plans to allocate more than 3.3 billion euro worth of grants in the 2014-2020 financial period to support sustainable energy projects all over the world. Around 2 billion euro will be dedicated to African countries.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of ADVO by MVD and Postcon
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of ADVO Sansula GmbH by Märkische Verlags- und Druckgesellschaft mbH Potsdam (MVD) and Postcon Deutschland B.V. & Co GmbH, all of Germany. ADVO supplies mail delivery services. MVD publishes printed and digital information. Postcon offers postal services to business clients. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, given the companies’ limited combined market positions after the transaction. 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.7341 .
EU to observe elections in Mozambique
Following an invitation from the Mozambican authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Mozambique to observe the Presidential, Legislative and Provincial Elections scheduled for 15 October 2014.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, appointed Judith Sargentini, Member of the European Parliament, to lead the EOM as Chief Observer. She will travel to Maputo on 22 September. The deployment of a European Observation Mission confirms the European Union’s commitment to the strengthening of an open political system in Mozambique and the consolidation of an inclusive democracy.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt today launches a new series of essays edited by Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes – “Digital Minds for a New Europe”
Schmidt weighs into Europe’s political debate with his ideas on how to lower Europe’s chronically high unemployment (which he believes could become stuck at double the levels of United States unemployment) through disruptive innovation. 25 years after the world wide web was invented100 million Europeans have still never visited the Internet. This series of 40 articles by the world’s best digital minds shares their visions of how to boost Digital Europe. A new article will be published each day between today and 1 November, here . Future contributors will include Herman Van Rompuy, internet founder Vint Cerf, globally renowned architect Rem Koolhaas and members of the Obama Administration.
What Commissioners said
EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta has welcomed the package of measures to tackle international corporate tax avoidance, which was endorsed today by the G20 Finance Ministers in Cairns, Australia. The Ministers agreed on a first set of recommendations to address key areas in the OECD’s Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) which, once implemented, should ensure fairer taxation and fairer competition globally. The EU has been actively involved in the OECD’s work on the BEPS Action Plan, while also pushing forward its own ambitious measures to fight tax avoidance in Europe.
G20 press conference with Vice-President Katainen, and ECB Executive Board Member, Benoît Coeuré
Commission Vice-President Katainen and ECB Executive Board Member, Mr Benoît Coeuré, held a joint press conference at the close of the G20 yesterday. Vice-President Katainen highlighted four key priorities the Commission is pursuing to consolidate growth and create more jobs in the EU. He welcomed the G20 commitment to develop new measures that aim to lift collective GDP by over 2% by 2018. He emphasised the key is now implementation of agreed reforms, based on the following elements, in parallel with the monetary policy decisions of the ECB: first, the need for structural reforms to improve competitiveness; second, the need for sound fiscal policy to bring down deficits and debt levels in a growth-friendly way to improve confidence and credibility. This means consolidation should be prioritised in areas that can create economic growth and jobs; and third, delivering on the €300billion investment package announced by President-elect Juncker to encourage investments and create a better single market, particularly by strengthening the lending capacity of public financial institutions to, for instance SMEs, cross-border investments and investments in infrastructure.
Link to the press conference: https://www.g20.org/news/video_gallery