25 Nov 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 25 NOVEMBERBrussels Daily
Investment Plan for Europe
Tomorrow, Wednesday 26 November, President Juncker will present his Investment Plan for Europe at 9:00 CET in the European Parliament’s Plenary session, jointly with Vice-President Katainen and in the presence of European Investment Bank (EIB) President Hoyer. At 10:00 CET, all communication material will be released online on a dedicated website and sent via notification. A joint press conference by President Juncker, EIB President Hoyer and Vice-President Katainen on the same topic is scheduled for 11:00 in the European Parliament and will be live broadcast by EBS as well as into the European Commission’s press room.
Transparency initiative – Press conference by Commissioner Malmström
At the College meeting this early afternoon in Strasbourg, President Juncker and the College of Commissioners will follow up on their debate last week on how to reinforce transparency within the European Commission and in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. The Transparency Initiative which is an important part of President Juncker’s Political Guidelines, consists of two Commission Decisions, which are to be adopted today following an initial orientation debate among the College of Commissioners last week. Details of this debate were presented by First Vice-President Timmermans during the College readout of 19 November. The Decisions to be adopted today will confirm the type of information which the Commission must publish on meetings with interest representatives. Today, a press conference with Commissioner Malmström and the Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, MEP Bernd Lange, will present the College’s decisions on transparency in TTIP initiatives. A press release with detailed information will be made available at the same time. The press conference will be broadcasted live by EBS.
State aid: Commission approves German aid scheme for renewable energy (EEG 2012) and orders partial recovery; also approves EEG 2014 benefitting railway companies
Following an in-depth investigation the European Commission has concluded that aid granted for the production of energy from renewable energy sources under the German Renewable Energy Act of 2012 (EEG 2012) was in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission has also approved the majority of reductions granted to energy-intensive companies on a surcharge to finance the support for renewables. This surcharge was imposed on electricity suppliers and passed on to end consumers (EEG-surcharge). However, a limited portion of the reductions exceeded what is permitted under EU state aid rules. The beneficiaries now have to pay this excess back to remedy the distortion of competition. The recovery only concerns 2013 and 2014. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “I want to strike a balance between several needs: to promote renewable energy and ensure its stable financing. At the same time we need to make sure that contribution by SMEs and consumers is fair, and that we protect the competitiveness of European industry. Today’s decision achieves this.” The Commission has separately concluded that a German scheme promoting electricity production from renewable energy sources and benefitting railway companies (EEG 2014) is in line with EU state aid rules. See press release on the German aid scheme to renewable energy and a press release on German renewable energy law for railway sector
State aid: Commission approves state aid measures for Bulgarian First Investment Bank
The European Commission has found that liquidity measures granted by Bulgaria in favour of First Investment Bank (FIB) in Bulgaria were in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission concluded that the measures were necessary to preserve the financial stability of the Bulgarian economy and financial system. Furthermore, FIB’s restructuring plan will ensure that the bank continues to be viable in the long-term without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. See press release
Causes of death in the EU28 in 2011: 1 in 4 deaths caused by cancer in the EU28
In the EU28 in 2011, cancer was the cause of death1 for 1.281 million persons, responsible for more than a quarter of all deaths (26.3%). Over the past ten years, while the total number of deaths slightly decreased (-0.5%), the number of deaths due to cancer increased by 6.3% (from 1.206 million in 2002 to 1.281 million in 2011), at a slightly higher pace for females (+6.6%) than for males (+6.0%). However, the number of deaths due to cancer remained higher in 2011 among the male population (718 000 deaths due to cancer) than among the female population (563 000). In 2011, cancer represented 37.1% of all causes of death for the EU28 population aged less than 65, while this level was only 23.8% for the older population (those aged 65 years and over). See full press release
First estimate for the third quarter of 2014: EU28 current account surplus €7.8 bn
The EU28 seasonally adjusted external current account recorded a surplus of €7.8 billion in the third quarter of 2014, compared with a surpluses of €21.2 bn in the second quarter of 2014 and of €17.3 bn in the third quarter of 2013, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.In the third quarter of 2014, compared with the second quarter of 2014, based on seasonally adjusted data, the deficits of the goods account (from -€8.3 bn to -€22.2 bn) and secondary income account (from -€22.1 bn to -€23.0 bn) both increased, while the surplus of the primary income account fell (from +€10.4 bn to +€6.0 bn). The surplus of the services account grew (from +€41.2 bn to +€47.0 bn). These data are subject to revision. See full press release is available here.
Energy Union Vice-President Šefčovič to travel to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan from 26-28 November
From 26 to 28 November Vice-President Šefčovič will be travelling to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. On 27 November he participates and delivers a key note speech in a Ministerial meeting of the Energy Charter Conference in Astana, Kazakhstan. In the margins of the conference, bilateral meetings are foreseen with the Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov and Georgian Vice-Prime Minister Kakha Kaladze. He continues his trip to Baku, Azerbaijan, on 28 November where Vice-President Šefčovič will meet with Azeri Prime Minister Ilham Aliyev, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov as well as industry representatives.