29 Sep 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 29 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
7th TTIP round
Today the seventh round of EU-US negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement will start in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The talks will last the entire week, until Friday 3rd October.
During this round, discussions will focus on many areas which still require technical groundwork. This is the case in particular for the regulatory pillar.
As per usual practice during previous rounds, two stakeholder events will be organised on Wednesday 1 October. Also, a press conference will be organised on Friday at the end of the round, and it will be web streamed on EBS.
Message from Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy to Dr Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and to Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of the new Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
“On behalf of the European Union, we would like to extend to you our congratulations following the elections of 14 June 2014.
We trust that all Afghans will unite in addressing the important economic and security challenges. The European Union will continue its long-term engagement to assist the people of Afghanistan on the path towards peace and prosperity.
We are committed to working closely with you and the new Afghan government to implement urgently needed political and economic reforms, strengthen the rule of law and foster full respect for human rights, in particular the rights of women and girls.
The European Union looks forward to further consolidating cooperation, partnership and friendship with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”
The European Commission has launched an on-line consultation to help define criteria for endocrine disruptors as required by the regulations on biocidal and plant protection products.
Launching the consultation, European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said: “Endocrine disrupting chemicals have triggered a substantial debate: there are strong signals from science, there is increasing public and political concern and awareness, while some stakeholders still have doubts. Europe is watching – we need these criteria to improve protection and give industry the certainty it requires. Citizens and stakeholders can help us make an informed decision.”
EU Commissioner in charge of Health, Tonio Borg said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of an online public consultation on endocrine disruptors. This is an opportunity for all parties to openly share their views on this complex issue and marks another important step in the policy-making process.”
Input is sought from stakeholders and the public on various options for the criteria and for their implementation. The consultation will be open until 16 January 2015.
Alternative transport fuels are crucial in the effort to reduce the impact of transport on the environment and to boost EU competitiveness. Under new rules adopted today, EU Member States will have to provide a minimum level of infrastructure for alternative fuels, as well as common EU-wide standards for equipment and user information. The rules cover the following alternative fuels: electricity, liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), and hydrogen. The directive also ensures that clear information is given to consumers about the fuels that can be used by a vehicle, with standardized labelling in vehicle manuals, at dealerships and on recharging and refuelling stations.
Today the EU adopted legislation that will tackle the rapidly growing threat to biodiversity from invasive species. European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “This new Regulation fills a long-recognised gap in EU biodiversity protection. It is carefully targeted, focusing on the most serious threats from invasive species. By working together within the EU to tackle a problem estimated to cost EUR 12 billion every year, we are taking a decisive step towards meeting our objective of halting the loss of biodiversity in the EU by 2020.” The Regulation equips Europe with an effective system that will prevent the introduction and spread of species that can cause significant adverse impacts on the environment, the economy, and human health.
President Barroso addresses the World Economic Forum
Today, President Barroso will be in Istanbul to take part in the World Economic Forum’s Special Meeting on Unlocking Resources for Regional Development .
WEF is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation. This World Economic Forum Special Meeting is an opportunity for senior global and regional stakeholders to better understand, adapt to and shape these national and regional transformations by engaging with key economic decision-makers and other leaders from business, government and civil society. Over the meeting in Istanbul, participants will have the chance to build national and cross-regional initiatives and alliances, thereby unlocking underemployed economic resources for the benefit of all.
President Barroso will meet Prime Minister Davutoglu. He will also meet with members of the civil society representing think tanks, academics and NGOs working on different sectors. Their discussion will cover fundamental rights, overall EU-Turkey relations and the role of civil society in the country. In the evening, President Barroso will address the business community.
President Barroso receives Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala
On 30 September, President Barroso receives Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. President Barroso is expected to confirm the EU’s commitment to support Nepal’s political transition and economic development. The leaders will EU-Nepal relations, Nepal’s democratisation process and the drafting of the new Constitution. They will also touch upon regional integration in South Asia, as well as recent EU developments and the situation in Ukraine.
The press point will take place at 6.30 pm at the Berlaymont building in Brussels.
The European Commission will be hosting the “Third Forum of the Outermost Regions” in Brussels on 30 September-1 October to discuss joint efforts towards more dynamic economic and social development in the outermost regions and to realize their full potential. The event brings together the Presidents of Europe’s outermost regions, representatives from their three Member States, members of civil society and the business sector as well as representatives of the EU institutions: José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Michel Lebrun, President of the Committee of the Regions, Rossella Rusca, Representative of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Louis-Joseph Manscour, member of European Parliament.
The Forum is expected to facilitate important exchanges on how to help the nine regions (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion, Martinique, St Martin, the Azores, Madeira, Mayotte and the Canary Islands) to target resources and investments in the most optimal way, capitalising on their specific characteristics and strengths.
The outermost regions as well as all the other European regions benefit hugely from the new Cohesion Policy, whose recent reform was spearheaded by Commissioner Johannes Hahn. Cohesion Policy has become the main investment instrument of the EU aimed at reducing economic and social disparities across Europe. With a total budget of around €352 billion for the 2014–2020 programming period, Cohesion Policy plays a vital role in key areas like energy efficiency, social inclusion and SMEs, making a real contribution to the Europe 2020’s goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
More than €6.6 billion will be allocated to the outermost regions for the period 2014-2020 under Cohesion Policy via the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.
In September the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased in both the euro area (by 0.7 points to 99.9) and the EU (by 1.0 point to 103.6). The euro-area indicator fell slightly below its long-term average of 100, which it had surpassed only in December 2013. The negative developments in the EU and the euro area indicator mainly reflect more cautious views of consumers and the retail trade sector.
In September 2014 the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area decreased slightly by 0.09 points to +0.07. Managers’ evaluation of the level of past production, export order books and, to a lesser extent, the stocks of finished products, as well as overall order books deteriorated. By contrast, production expectations brightened somewhat.
What Commissioners said
László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, will be giving a speech on “Basic European unemployment insurance: Countering divergences within the Economic and Monetary Union” at the Vienna University of Economics and Business today. “The unprecedented divergence in economic and social outcomes across the euro zone has called into question the ability of the European Union to achieve its core objectives as agreed within the Treaties, in particular balanced economic growth, full employment, social progress and the well-being of its peoples”, will Andor say. “If our Economic and Monetary Union is meant to be irreversible, it must also be fair and it must be based on solidarity. We must pay attention to the employment and social outcomes, and try to prevent lasting divergence. For that, an automatic fiscal stabiliser is needed at the euro zone level