Brussels Daily
23 Sep 2014


Brussels Daily

UN Climate Summit

Today, President Barroso, Commissioner Hedegaard and Commissioner Piebalgs are attending the UN Secretary General’s Climate Leaders’ Summit .

In the morning, the President will participate in the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Summit. He will then deliver a speech at the Summit’s Plenary on National Action and Ambition Announcements, where he is expected to make an announcement regarding the EU contribution to the 2015 agreement and support for the Sustainable Energy for All and Climate Finance action areas.

In the afternoon, President Barroso and Commissioner Piebalgs will take part in the signature of the Sustainable Energy for all Joint Declaration with President François Hollande of France and President Ouattara of Ivory Coast.

At 17.45 (11.45am Brussels time) President Barroso will speak at the Energy Action Area, where he is expected to announce the EU contribution to the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

Other news

Steep rise in screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer in the EU foreseen for 2010 to 2020

Strong cooperation between the EU and Member States on cancer has led to improved screening rates according to a report on progress made under European Partnership on Cancer and the 2003 Council recommendation on cancer screening . The vast majority of Member States – 25 out of 28 – have met the target of putting in place a national cancer control plan. And well over 500 million screening examinations for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer are projected in the EU for the period 2010-2020. Reaching the target of a reduction of 15% in cancer incidence by 2020 is a major public health goal for the EU. In addition to coordination and support to Member States, in the last seven years the EU has invested more than €1.4 billion in cancer-related research, including finding new ways of fighting cancer and supporting patients.

More information on EU action on cancer and the full report are available online .

Employment: Official launch of the Public Employment Services Network

The European Commission welcomes today’s official launch of the Public Employment Services Network, a new cooperation structure helping Member States further coordinate their policies and actions against unemployment and reinforcing the European economic governance framework. Upgrading the support provided by Member States’ public employment services to young people is particularly important for the practical implementation of the Youth Guarantee . László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said: “Well-functioning and efficient public employment services are essential to facilitate quick access to jobs and training for unemployed people across Europe. The new Network will contribute to their modernisation and reform across the EU. A number of Member States also need to reform their public employment services to successfully implement the Youth Guarantee and to help young unemployed and inactive people get a job or training. The new Network sends yet another strong signal that Europe is using all available tools to fight unemployment.”

Energy Security: EU-Norway Energy Cooperation

Developments in the power and gas markets as well as security of supply issues will be main topics of the EU-Norway Energy Conference “A reinforced energy partnership between Norway and the EU” that takes place in Brussels on 25 September 2014. Vice-President Günther H. Oettinger and the Norwegian Minister for Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien will attend and subsequently meet in the framework of the EC-Norway Energy Dialogue. The Ministerial allows intensive discussion on key areas of energy cooperation such as security of supply, energy security and energy security stress tests, CCS and internal energy markets. Norway has been and will remain a key supplier of gas and oil for the EU: In 2013, 92% of oil exports and more than 98% of the gas exports from Norway were delivered to EU countries.

A joint press point by Vice-President Oettinger and the Norwegian Energy Minister Lien takes place on Thursday 25 September from 13:15-13:30 CET at the VIP corner in Commission’s Berlaymont Building.

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into acquisition of controlling stake in De Vijver Media by Liberty Global

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of joint control over De Vijver Media by Liberty Global, Corelio and Waterman & Waterman, is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. Liberty Global controls the Flemish cable operator Telenet, while De Vijver owns the Dutch-language TV-channels “Vier” and “Vijf”. The Commission has therefore concerns that the proposed transaction may lead to shutting out competitors of these companies from the TV sector in Flanders. The opening of an in-depth inquiry does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 5 February 2015, to take a final decision.

Digital tech gives you the keys to the Roman Empire

Would you like to discover secret treasures of the Roman Empire, guided by an old merchant and his nephew? New technologies make this incredible journey possible. An exciting new exhibition is being launched today in four different cities, representing key areas of the Roman Empire: Rome (Italy), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Alexandria (Egypt). ‘ Keys to Rome ’ ( #K2R) is organised by an EU-funded network of archaeologists, art historians, architects, computer scientists and communication experts.

Culture and heritage: Commissioner Vassiliou to address Italian Presidency conference and Ministerial meeting in Turin

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will give the keynote speech at the Italian EU Presidency conference Heritage Commons: Towards participative heritage governance in the third millennium, taking place in Turin today (23 September). She will present the Commission Communication on heritage , calling for stronger cooperation at EU level to share ideas and best practice, which can feed into national heritage strategies. The Commissioner will highlight the wealth of EU funding available to support heritage, including Creative Europe, Horizon 2020 and the European Structural and Investment Funds (this is detailed in a mapping report). See also IP/14/854 . On 24 September, Commissioner Vassiliou will participate in the Informal meeting of Ministers of Culture , who will discuss the transversal impact of cultural policies in preparation for the review of the Europe 2020 strategy, and the governance of heritage. Both events take place in the 17th century Venaria Reale , recently restored and opened to the public with €37 million in funding from the European Regional Development Fund – the EU’s biggest cultural restoration project to date.

Facebook chat: What’s the Plus in Erasmus+?

Did you know that, in addition to providing grants for 4 million people to study, train or gain experience abroad in the next seven years, Erasmus+ will also fund 135 000 scholarships for short-term study or teaching opportunities involving countries worldwide? Who can apply and how? This will be the subject of an hour-long? chat via the Erasmus+ Facebook page starting at 2pm CET tomorrow (24 September). Commission experts will answer your questions on scholarships, degree programmes, work placements and loan guarantees for master degrees funded under Erasmus+. Questions can also be posted in advance via Twitter or Facebook using #ErasmusPlusChat. Erasmus+ is the European Union’s new programme to support education, training, youth and sport. The programme has a budget of €14.7 billion, 40% more than before.

For more information: Commissioner Vassiliou’s website , European Commission: Education and Training website and Erasmus+ follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU .

Ryder Cup 2014: Come on Europe!

The European Ryder Cup golf team has received a good luck message from the European Commissioner responsible for sport, Androulla Vassiliou, ahead of their biennial match against the USA, which takes place at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland, from 23-28 September. Commissioner Vassiliou said: “The Ryder Cup is the only major sporting event where Europeans compete as a single team, united under the EU flag. My fingers are crossed for Team Europe, under the captaincy of Paul McGinley, to make it three wins in a row after their superb victories at Medinah in 2012 and Celtic Manor in 2010. I, like millions of other Europeans, will be rooting for them all the way. Come on Europe!” The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles is hosting the 40th Ryder Cup. The tournament has its roots in a match staged at the same venue in 1921 between Great Britain and the US. The match has been contested between the EU and Team Europe since 1979. See The 2014 Ryder Cup Teams .


What Commissioners said

“Why cultural heritage needs to move with the times”

Speaking at the opening of the EU Presidency Conference on Heritage Commons taking place today in Turin, Commissioner Androulla VASSILIOU said:”Europe’s cultural heritage is our common wealth, our inheritance from previous generations and our legacy to those to come. It is an irreplaceable repository of knowledge and a valuable resource for economic growth, employment and social cohesion. It is not a passive inheritance. Its survival depends on our capacity to face the many challenges of today: governments are cutting public budgets for culture and heritage; digitisation is shaking up traditional models of access to and participation in culture; valuable skills and craftsmanship are waning with time; global change and urbanisation are affecting environmental sustainability.” When I presented this summer the policy paper ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’, I pointed out that “we need to help the heritage sector move with the times”. “We need to make heritage more ‘people-centred’ and turn it into a driver of economic activity. Sites should become centres of knowledge and innovation, focal points of creativity and culture, and places of community interaction and social integration. In short, we need to make heritage a resource for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, in line with the objectives of the EU 2020 strategy. Protecting cultural heritage and making full use of its potential is above all a national responsibility, but the EU can and must help. It is important that together we look into how public policies at all levels could be better marshalled to this purpose, and develop a more integrated approach to its preservation, promotion and access.”

Vice-President Michel Barnier’s exchange of views with the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

In a speech to the ECON Committee, Vice-President Barnier outlined the challenges remaining for the financial reform agenda: sound implementation of the texts already voted with the adoption of level 2 measures; taking forward the files already on the table and remaining vigilant to the need to make further changes to the financial framework when necessary.

Joaquín Almunia at the ECON committee of the European Parliament

Commission Vice President Joaquín Almunia, in charge of competition policy, spoke this morning before the committee for economic affairs of the European Parliament. Thanking the Members of Parliament for the fruitful dialogue maintained during the mandate, he focused on some of the main achievements of the past years – such as the control by the Commission of the state aid granted to banks during the crisis, the broader overhaul of EU state aid rules through the State Aid Modernisation (SAM) package, the proposal for a directive on actions for private damages for victims of violations of antitrust rules, and the proposed regulation on multilateral interchange fees (MIFs). He also highlighted the importance of the antitrust enforcement carried out by the Commission in digital markets, and updated the Members of Parliament on the state of play of the ongoing Google investigation. He emphasised in particular the importance for the Commission to stand firm to preserve the independence, impartiality and objectivity of procedures and decisions in the antitrust field.

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