Brussels Daily
30 Jun 2016


Brussels Daily


Draft EU Budget 2017: Commission proposes a budget focused on priorities – growth, jobs and a solid response to the refugee crisis

The Commission has today proposed the 2017 draft EU Budget focusing on the two main policy priorities for Europe: supporting the ongoing recovery of the European economy and addressing the security and humanitarian challenges in our neighbourhood. Increased funding will go to investments in growth, jobs and competitiveness in the European Union and to secure the necessary resources to protect the external borders of the EU, to reinforce security inside and outside the Union, to provide support for the reception and integration of refugees, and to address the root causes in the countries of origin and transit. At 13:00 Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva will be in the European Parliament to present the Draft EU Budget 2017 in detail. The session will be broadcast live here. A press point will follow at 14:00, next to room PHS 3C50 in the European Parliament in Brussels. It will also be broadcast live on EbS. A press release in all languages and a MEMO will be made available at 13:00.

Agriculture: Commission further increases dairy intervention ceilings

The European Commission further increased the public intervention ceiling for skimmed milk powder from 218,000 tonnes to 350,000 tonnes. The original ceiling of 109,000 tonnes had already been doubled in April but due to its quick uptake, the European Commission had announced early on its intention to further increase it to support EU dairy farmers facing difficulties with the agricultural markets. The dairy market trends monitored by the Milk Market Observatory show that there is still a need to rebalance supply and demand. At the Council of Agriculture Ministers taking place on Monday 27 June in Luxembourg, Commissioner Hogan declared that “the Commission is working on a support package for the dairy sector, with financial resources if necessary” and that “any new package will, in addition to addressing stabilisation and reduction of production, also have to be equitable in its treatment of dairy farmers throughout the Union.” The increase formally enters into force today resulting in the closing of the tendering system under which intervention buying-in of skimmed milk powder was happening. The fixed intervention price system therefore resumes. The detailed breakdown of the quantities bought-in under public intervention and/or stored in private storage per week and per Member State can be found online. More information on accepted bids can be found online.

New EU rules for consumer-friendly information on retail investment products

The European Commission has today adopted new rules specifying the content and underlying methodology of the so-called Key Information Document (KID) that will have to be provided to retail consumers when they buy certain investment products, as of 31 December 2016. These include asset management products and other “packaged” investment products sold by banks or insurance companies. The KID, introduced by the Regulation on Key Information Documents for Packaged Retail and Insurance-Based Investment Products (PRIIPS), is a standardised and simple document which is designed to present the main features of an investment product in a consumer-friendly manner, allowing consumers across the EU to compare investment-linked insurance policies, investment funds and investment products. Today’s Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) specify the exact contents of the KID: it must outline the product’s aims, how risky it is, when investors can get their money back, how much it costs and its expected returns. All of this information must be set out in a standard way, regardless of the type of investment product. The European Parliament and Council now have a two-month scrutiny period, which they can extend for a further month

Commission proposes new rules to better protect children in cross-border family proceedings

The European Commission presented today its proposal on improvements of EU rules to better protect children in the context of cross-border parental responsibility disputes related to custody, access rights and child abduction. The new rules will speed up the legal and administrative proceedings and ensure that the child’s best interest is always taken into account. When families have disputes or international couples separate, cross-border judicial cooperation is crucial to give children a secure legal environment to maintain relations with both parents (and guardians) who may live in different European countries. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “There are few things more traumatic for a child than seeing disputes between their parents. When these disputes end in legal proceedings with a cross-border dimension, the EU has a responsibility to ensure that they are solved as smoothly as possible. We need to make sure that different legal regimes are compatible to minimise complications, delays, distress and uncertainty. By building bridges between the different justice systems, children and families will be better protected.” Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vĕra Jourová added: “Children are at the heart of this reform. The separation of their parents is difficult enough. The children concerned deserve judicial proceedings that clarify their situation as quickly as possible and take into account their best interest. We propose today to upgrade the existing rules on the basis of practical experience during the past 10 years. The focus of this reform is clear: we need to speed up the cross-border cases. Time is of the essence for children’s welfare, so we need these new rules quickly.” The updated rules are based on the assessment of the existing rules and aim to remedy the identified shortcomings. Specifically, the new rules propose more efficient procedures to tackle cross-border parental child abduction, rapid enforcement of decisions in other Member States as well as better cooperation among them, and ensure that the child is heard. These new rules will bring benefits to families and children as they will gain from reduced timelines for solving proceedings and will avoid the heavy costs usually linked to such procedures. A press release, a Q&A and a factsheet with concrete examples are available online. Commissioner Jourová‘s press statement is available on EbS


BXL DAILY NEWS THURSDAY 1  Daily News 30 – 06 – 2016

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