Daily News 20 / 05 / 2019

Erasmus+: un tournant dans la vie de 5 millions d’étudiants européens

La Commission européenne a publié aujourd’hui deux études à grande échelle qui mesurent et analysent l’impact du programme Erasmus+ sur ses principaux bénéficiaires. Les résultats recueillis auprès de quelque 77 000 étudiants et membres du personnel et de plus de 500 organisations montrent qu’Erasmus+ contribue à préparer les jeunes Européens à la nouvelle ère numérique et les aide à réussir leur future carrière professionnelle. Les résultats montrent également que le programme financé par l’UE renforce la capacité d’innovation des universités, leur engagement international et leur aptitude à répondre aux besoins du marché du travail. Tibor Navracsics, commissaire pour l’éducation, la culture, la jeunesse et le sport, a déclaré: « On ne peut qu’admirer la façon dont Erasmus+ permet aux jeunes de réussir dans le monde du travail d’aujourd’hui et de s’épanouir dans une société plus diversifiée. Je suis heureux de constater que les diplômés Erasmus+ se sentent davantage prêts à relever de nouveaux défis, qu’ils ont de meilleures perspectives de carrière et sont plus conscients des retombées bénéfiques de l’UE dans leur vie quotidienne. Par ailleurs, les universités qui participent au programme Erasmus+ sont non seulement plus internationales, mais aussi mieux à même de répondre aux besoins du marché du travail. » Les deux études sont disponibles ici et ici. Le communiqué de presse dans toutes les langues et une fiche d’information sont disponibles en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tél.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein – Tél.: +32 229 56184)

Juncker Fund to mobilise almost €400 billion in investment after new projects approved

Following the latest meeting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Board of Directors, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the Juncker Fund – is now expected to trigger €398.6 billion in investments. As of May 2019, the deals approved under the Juncker Fund amount to €73.8 billion in financing and are located in all 28 Member States. Some 949,000 start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are expected to benefit from improved access to finance. Currently, the top five countries ranked in order of investment triggered relative to GDP are Greece, Estonia, Bulgaria, Portugal and Latvia. The EIB has approved €54.3 billion worth of financing for infrastructure and innovation projects, which should generate €249.7 billion of additional investments, while the European Investment Fund, which is part of the EIB Group, has approved €19.5 billion worth of agreements with intermediary banks and funds to finance SMEs, which are expected to generate €148.9 billion of additional investments. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

Agriculture: Commission publishes overview of EU feed supply

The European Commission published today its latest ‘EU Feed Protein Balance Sheet‘, which provides a comprehensive overview of EU feed supply. The publication of this balance sheet is a direct follow-up of the report on the development of plant proteins in the European Union published in November 2018 to reflect on how to further develop their production in an economically and environmentally sound way. One of the report’s proposals was to improve market analysis and market transparency through better monitoring tools which led to the publication of an updated balance sheet presenting the feed supply, demand and trade of various protein sources and including roughage for the first time. The figures show a contrasting situation with a high self-sufficiency rate for products low in protein content, such as roughage, but low for products with high protein content, such as soya beans. Looking at the total EU use of feed consumption, about 80% of the feed is from EU origin, which is a positive trend. More information is available online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52509)

 

The European system of tobacco traceability and security features operational as of today

The European system of tobacco traceability and security features has become operational today. The first producers in the EU have requested and received traceability markings for cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products. This means that consumers will soon see new traceability markings on the packs, together with the required security features. The markings will enable national authorities to track and trace the movements of these packs across the legal supply chain in the EU. While today is the legal launch date, the EU-wide system for tobacco traceability already started its operations on 10 May 2019. Over the past days, economic operators (producers, distributors, shop owners etc.) across the EU have begun to register themselves, and their facilities in the system. Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis said: “The establishment of the European system of tobacco traceability and security features marks an important milestone in the EU’s fight against illicit trade in tobacco products. This has been an extremely ambitious project, against a very tight timeline set by the co-legislators, and I am therefore especially pleased to see that the systems have started working. I would like to thank all actors involved who helped to make this happen, and I count on their continuous efforts in the initial days and weeks ahead of us, in order to ensure that this project is a success both for our Member States and the EU as a whole.” Member States are responsible for the establishment of an entity in charge of issuing the new traceability markings (“ID issuer”) and they have made substantial progress over the past months to issue these markings. The Commission is aware that one Member State has not yet been able to deliver on this obligation but, in the meantime, to enable the start of the system on time, the Commission adopted a decision authorizing economic operators to use the ID issuer services of other Member States. The Commission is monitoring the situation carefully and will use all means at its disposal to ensure the system is fully operational across all Member States as soon as possible. A MEMO is available. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Portuguese guarantee scheme on EIB lending

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a prolongation of a Portuguese guarantee scheme on European Investment Bank (EIB) lending until 20 November 2019. The scheme covers State guarantees to banks that guarantee EIB loans granted to companies in Portugal. The Commission found the prolongation of the scheme to be in line with its 2013 Banking Communication because it is well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. It was initially approved in June 2013 and prolonged several times, the last time in August 2018. The prolonged scheme will allow the continuation of funding provided by the EIB to the real economy and prevent the disruption of the credit granted by the EIB through the banks participating in the scheme. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the reference SA.53546. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel.: +32 229 55344)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of European and Thai Businesses of BRF by Tyson Foods

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of European and Thai Businesses of BRF S.A., of Brazil, by Tyson Foods, Inc., of the USA. BRF’s European and Thai businesses are active throughout the poultry supply chain in Thailand, and import into and further process poultry meat in the European Economic Area. Tyson Foods is a multinational food company, which primarily operates in beef, pork, chicken and prepared foods. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the overlaps were limited and, after the transaction, a number of players would remain in the market. 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.9300. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Eurostat: En 2018, l’euro a été la monnaie la plus utilisée pour les exportations de l’UE et le dollar américain pour les importations de l’UE

Les biens importés et exportés par l’Union européenne peuvent être facturés en différentes monnaies. En 2018, l’euro a été la monnaie la plus utilisée pour les exportations de l’UE, représentant une part de 48% du total des biens exportés vers des pays tiers, contre 35% facturées en dollars américains. Quant aux importations, c’est la situation inverse qui s’est produite, 56% d’entre elles ayant été payées en dollars américains et environ un tiers (35%) en euros. En ce qui concerne le total des échanges (somme des exportations et des importations), le dollar américain a été légèrement plus utilisé que l’euro (45% contre 41%). Ces chiffres sont publiés par Eurostat, l’Office statistique de l’Union européenne. Un communiqué de presse complet est en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Annika Breidthardt – Tél.: +32 229-56153; Annikky Lamp – Tél.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara – Tél.: +32 229 58615)

STATEMENTS

European Union marks the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

21 May is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. On the occasion, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Tibor Navracsics in a joint statement pay tribute to the essential role of cultural diversity in Europe and around the world for fostering dialogue, respect, and contributing to sustainable development and growth: “Europe is a continent of cultural diversity. Our societies, institutions and laws are the outcome of centuries of exchanges of ideas, values, traditions and memories. The European Union is preserving this longstanding tradition of cultural exchanges and contributing to the development of the creative industries and the preservation of cultural expressions in Europe throughout initiatives like the European Capitals of Culture, Erasmus+, Creative Europe or DiscoverEU […]. The new copyright directive ensures that in the future, libraries and other cultural heritage institutions, like archives or museums will be able to make copies of EU cultural heritage protected by copyright to preserve it, using modern digital techniques. The EU is furthermore strongly engaged in cultural diplomacy on the global scene as an investment in peace, conflict prevention, stability, development and reconciliation. The European Union’s work to promote cultural diversity worldwide has been especially fruitful during last year’s European Year of Cultural Heritage. […] Culture is also a source of sustainable growth and job creation. In this respect, the EU finances a series of projects across the world. […] And the European Union will keep promoting the preservation of cultural heritage and the memory of history, thanks to a strong cooperation with civil society organisations, as the pillars of our societies. […] Europe’s strength lies in its cultural diversity. This is why the EU together with its Member States and partners on the ground stays committed to support protection and promotion of cultural spaces and cultural exchanges as a powerful tool for dialogue and positive change locally, in Europe and worldwide.”The full statement is available online. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083)

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

 

High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini in the Horn of Africa

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini is travelling today on a visit to countries in the Horn of Africa region from 20 to 22 May. Federica Mogherini will visit Kenya, where she is due to meet President Kenyatta and Members of Government. In Kenya, she will also launch a cross border programme, meet with youth and civil society organisations as well as inaugurate the new EU Delegation offices in Nairobi. She will conclude her visit in Djibouti and Ethiopia. InDjibouti,she will meet President Ismail Omar Guelleh, Foreign and International Cooperation Minister Mahmoud Ali Yousouf, as well as Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mahboub Maalim. She will also visit the EU’s ATALANTA maritime security mission and a EU funded project of desalinisation. In Addis Ababa, she is due to meet African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat to discuss the next EU-African Union ministerial meeting and regional issues. Press points during the mission and photos will be made available on EbS. The EU is working actively to strengthen its partnership with the region which shares many common interests with the European Union, from tackling climate change to boosting investment, to better managing migration and creating opportunities for youth. The EU is a key partner for the region in many areas, in particular security with the three Common Security and Defence Policy missions: EUNAVFOR AtalantaEUTM Somalia and EUCAP Somalia. The EU is also a key supporter of Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the regional body in the Horn of Africa. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen in Finland for Citizens’ Dialogue on the future of EU and circular economy visits 

Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, is in Lahti, Finland, today to discuss the circular economy, the future of the EU and the upcoming European elections. In the morning he will visit Lahti Energy where he will discuss renewable and environment-friendly energy production. The Vice-President will also visit the Lahti University of Applied Sciences campus to get acquainted with projects related to circular economy. Hewill then attend a working lunch with the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme. In the afternoon, he will visit local businesses that create solutions to reuse waste energy. The day will finish with a Citizens’ Dialogue together with Finnish Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen and others on the future of the EU and the European elections. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

 

Vice-President Šefčovič in Kyiv for the inauguration of the new President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky

Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič is in Kyiv today, representing the European Union at the inauguration ceremony of the new President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, Recalling the letter by President Junker and President Tusk, Vice-President Šefčovič in charge of the Energy Union said: “It is with great honour that I am representing the EU at the inauguration ceremony. I will reiterate our appreciation for Ukraine’s strong attachment to democracy and the rule of law that the people demonstrated throughout the elections. Ukraine can count on the EU’s strong support to its reform path, including consolidating the rule of law, fighting corruption, maintaining macro-financial stability and pursuing the essential reform of the energy sector.” In Kyiv he will also hold bilateral meetings with President Zelenskyi, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and the CEO of Naftogaz Andriy Kobolyev that will particularly focus on reforms of the energy sector and on trilateral gas talks between the EU, Ukraine and Russia. More information on EU-Ukraine relations available here. More information on EU-Ukraine relations available here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

Commissioner Bieńkowska in Poland to discuss innovation and regional development

Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs continues her series of Citizens’ Dialogues. Today she is in Tarnów, Poland, to discuss innovation, regional development and EU regional policy. Together with Mr Roman Ciepiela, Mayor of Tarnów and Mr Marek Sowa, former Marshal of Lesser Poland she will debate the regional experience in light of 15 years of Poland’s membership in the EU and perspectives for the future. Since Poland’s accession to the EU the city of Tarnów has benefited from €3,7 billion of financing under the Juncker Plan set to trigger €18,3 billion in additional investments,over 300 projects co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and 9 Cohesion Fund projects reaching a total of €541 million (see factsheet on EU support to Poland since 2004). The Juncker Commission has been working on strengthening the innovation potential and regional development across the EU. In 2016, it launched the Smart Specialisation Platform for industrial modernisation, with an objective to facilitate interregional cooperation while enhancing innovation and competitiveness. As part of the proposals for the next EU budget for the years 2021-2027 the Commission also proposed €100 billion for research and innovation and another €373 billion for the future Regional Development and Cohesion Policy. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: + 32 229 56182; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tel.: +32 229 55040)

Commissioner Avramopoulos in Albania for the launch of the first European Border and Coast Guard operation in a non-EU country

Tomorrow, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos will be in Tirana, Albania, to participate in the launch of the first joint operation of the European Border and Coast Guard on the territory of a non-EU neighbouring country. This will be the first operation of its kind, marking a new phase for border cooperation between the EU and Western Balkan partners. The joint deployments of the European Border and Coast Guard teams and Albanian border guards will start on 22 May at the Albanian-Greek border. Commissioner Avramopoulos will deliver his speech alongside the Executive Director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Fabrice Leggeri, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and Minister of Interior of Albania Sandër Lleshaj, who will then jointly review the staff and equipment to be deployed at the Albanian-Greek border. A joint press conference will take place at 11:45 and will be available to follow live on EbS. The negotiations on a Status Agreement on border cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard and Albania started in December 2017. The Agreement was concluded on 5 October 2018 and entered into force on 1 May 2019, becoming the first agreement of its kind with a neighbouring non-EU country and an EU partner from the Western Balkans and the EU. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

Commissioner Hahn hosts ‘EU Med means business’ event in Brussels

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will host the event ‘EU Med means business’ – Shaping the future of entrepreneurship in the South’ on 21-22 May. The event will bring together young entrepreneurs, economic leaders and drivers of socio-economic change from the European Southern Neighbourhood to recommend ways to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and investment in the region. It is organised by the Commission (DG Near) and will take place in Brussels in connection with parallel events in Tunis (Tunisia), Cairo (Egypt), Irdib (Jordan) and Rabat (Morocco). Ahead of the Conference Commissioner Hahn said:  “I have been working for an EU-Southern Neighbourhood partnership in order to achieve progress in socio economic growth, opportunities for the people, empowerment of civil society. I am looking forward to this very special event, which brings together in Brussels and across the region many young, creative people with outstanding achievements, diverse experience and valuable insight on how best to create a new dynamics for the private sector. Their voice will be heard. We will make sure that all the discussions and recommendations will feed into strategic policy dialogues in the future“. Mr Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), will also participate at the event. To follow the event live, check our social media campaign (‪#‎EUMED4business) and to find all info about the event please visit the dedicated website. The infographic “EU cooperation on socio-economic development in the Southern Neighbourhood” is also available online. Videos and photos will be also available on EbS. (For more information – Maja Kocijancic Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)

Commissioner Andriukaitis in Geneva at the 72nd World Health Assembly

On 21 May, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis will travel to Geneva to participate at the 72nd World Health Assembly of the WHO gathering around 3,000 participants, including Heads of State and Ministers of Health. Commissioner Andriukaitis will speak at an official side event co-sponsored by the European Commission on “Promoting Vaccine Confidence: Enhancing Global Immunisation Efforts to Protect the Health of All Generations”. The event will aim at raising awareness of the need for global, regional and national focus on vaccine confidence as part of effective vaccination programming through community engagement, and other approaches toward continued progress against vaccine preventable diseases. The Commissioner will also hold bilateral meetings with Ministers and high-level delegates from different countries. Before the event Vytenis Andriukaitis said: “In 2018, there were more than 12,000 cases of measles leading to 35 deaths in the EU. This is unacceptable given that an effective vaccine exists since the 1960s. Only four EU Member States have achieved the necessary target of at least 95% of the population having received two doses of vaccines to get herd immunity. We need to work together to reach this target and I will redouble my efforts to make sure that vaccination remains a fundamental element of primary health care and a component of every health care package because it saves lives. The next stop for awareness raising and our common work together is a Global Summit on Vaccination co-organized by the European Commission and WHO, that will take place in Brussels, September 12.” Additional information on vaccination available here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229  91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

Releated

Ethiopian Air Force Modernized, Equipped with Technology after Reform: Top Military Officials

The Ethiopian Air Force has been modernized and equipped in all aspects following the reform, according to top military officials. President Sahlework Zewde, National Defense Force Chief of Staff Field Marshal Beranu Jula, and Ethiopian Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Yilma Merdasa presided over the graduation of pilots from Ethiopian Air Force Academy today. Speaking […]

Research Institutes Need Work on Water, Hydro-Diplomacy to Ascertain Nat’l Interest

Research institutions need to work on water and hydro-diplomacy communication with due attention in order to ascertain national interest, according to the Ministry of Water and Energy. The Ministry of Water and Energy is undertaking Water, Hydro-Diplomacy and Communication Advisory Forum and is attended by Water and Energy Minister Habtamu Etefa, members of the parliament, […]