Daily News 11 / 09 / 2019


COLLEGE MEETING: The European Union continues to lead the global fight against climate change

The European Commission today adopted a Communication reaffirming the EU’s commitment to accelerated climate ambition. Preparing for the Climate Action Summit by the United Nations Secretary General in New York on 23 September, the Commission recalls that the European Union has been at the forefront of global climate action, while acting domestically with unity, speed and decisiveness. The EU has put concrete actions behind its Paris Agreement commitments, in line with the Juncker Commission priority of establishing an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy. The Commission presented its vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy in November 2018 and a large majority of member states endorsed this vision in June 2019. According to the special Eurobarometer published today, 92% of Europeans support making the EU climate-neutral by 2050. A press release is available online. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)


COLLEGE MEETING: The European Fiscal Board publishes its assessment of EU fiscal rules

The European Fiscal Board has today published an assessment of the EU fiscal rules with a particular focus on the six and two-pack legislation. Mr Niels Thygesen, Chair of the European Fiscal Board, presented the report at today’s College meeting. As part of its work on deepening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union, the Commission has acknowledged the need to review the current EU fiscal rules, including in the Five Presidents’ Report in 2015 and the roadmap for deepening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union presented in 2017. In this context, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker invited the European Fiscal Board in January to carry out the assessment that has been published today. The assessment includes a backward-looking part reviewing the effectiveness of the current set of EU fiscal rules and a forward-looking part with ideas on how the rules could evolve. The European Fiscal Board is an independent body mandated to advise the European Commission on the overall direction of fiscal policy of the euro area and to evaluate the implementation of the EU fiscal governance framework. The report is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)


COLLEGE MEETING: European Commission appoints Principal Adviser in DG DEVCO, proposes to extend the term of office of railway agency Executive Director

The European Commission has today appointed Ms Arianna Vannini to the position of a Principal Adviser “Investment strategy for development and innovative financing” in its department for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO). Ms Vannini, an Italian national, joined the Commission from the Bank of Italy in 1995. Over the years, she worked in the private offices of Commissioner Mario Monti responsible for the internal market and for competition; of Vice-President Antonio Tajani in charge of transport, and of the former Commission President José Manuel Barroso. Ms Vannini first became Head of Unit in the Commission Competition policy department (DG COMP) in 2004. Over the years, she held several management positions in the Commission’s departments for competition and for human resources. She is currently Economic Advisor in the private office of High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini, in charge of, among others, the external financing aspects of EU’s next long-term budget. Also today, the Commission has decided to propose to the Management Board of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) to extend the term of office of its current Executive Director, Mr Josef Doppelbauer, for a period of five years as of 1 January 2020. Mr Doppelbauer has been managing ERA since 2015, following some 25 years of experience in the railway technology sector. More information about Mr Doppelbauer’s professional background is available here(For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Andreana Stankova – Tel.: +32 2 29 57857)


EU invests to improve road connection between Hungary and Slovakia

The EU invests €552.6 million to expand the M30 motorway and connect the city of Miskolc in Hungary and the town of Tornyosnémeti, at the border with Slovakia. This Cohesion Fund investment will allow traffic to move faster, improve road safety and reduce congestion. The project will bring closer to fruition the European transport network plan known as ‘Via Carpathia’, linking the Baltic with the Black and Aegean seas. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “This road connection was long awaited and will directly benefit the one million inhabitants of the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén area, with faster, safer and more comfortable travel conditions. Ultimately, Hungary and Slovakia will benefit from the positive spillovers of better connectivity in terms of jobs, growth, tourism and trade.” EU-funded works include the construction of a 60-km motorway stretch and of 48 bridges. The construction will involve local companies and should be completed in February 2022. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 2 295 00 55; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)


The EU steps up support to prevent violent extremism and radicalisation in Central Asia

The European Commission has mobilised additional €4 million to support the media, civil society organisations, and active citizens in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to prevent violent extremism and counter radicalisation. The new projects will support trainings and professionalisation of local journalists, activists and press officers to produce high-quality content, while fact-checking platforms to flag fake news will be created. The action, through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, will also contribute to fighting disinformation, increasing resilience of local population and minorities, and developing counter-narratives. The support announced today will consolidate and advance activities started through a previous collaboration with the NGO Internews, promoting regional collaboration and the co-production of content related to peace and stability. Today’s conference at the European Endowment for Democracy in Brussels will present and showcase the main achievements and results of the first phase. More information is available here. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)

Mergers: Commission clears the creation of a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic Corporation

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic Corporation, both of Japan. The joint venture will be engaged in research and development, manufacture and sale of prismatic automotive batteries, as well as research and development into other automotive battery technologies. Toyota Motor Corporation designs, develops and sells automobiles, automotive components, and accessories. It also provides financing services, as well as leasing services for vehicles and equipment. Panasonic Corporation develops, manufactures and sells electrical and electronic products worldwide. Amongst a number of other products, it develops, manufactures and sells automotive batteries. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the limited activities of the joint venture in the European Economic Area. 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.9446(For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Commissioner Stylianides welcomes Greek contribution to rescEU and addresses ELIAMEP Foundation

Tomorrow, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides visits Athens to welcome Greece’s contribution to the rescEU initial transition fleet during a special visit at the Elefsina air base together with Mr Michalis Chrisochoidis, Minister of Citizens’ Protection of Greece to mark an even closer cooperation in fighting forest fires in Europe and discuss the next steps for rescEU. He will also visit the Civil Protection Operations Centre (GSCP). Under the new rescEU programme Greece has put two firefighting airplanes at the disposal of the rescEU initial firefighting fleet which serves as an extra layer of citizen protection by the European Union. rescEU transition fleet has already been mobilised to tackle forest fires ravaging several areas of Greece in August this year for the first time in history. Commissioner Stylianides will also visit ‘Elpida’, the first oncological hospital for children in Athens, Greece where he will be honoured for his work by Ms Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, President of the homonymous Foundation, of the ‘ELPIDA (HOPE) Friends’ Association of Children with cancer’ and of the ‘Orama ELIDAS’ Association. The same week Commissioner Stylianides will attend the 15th European Seminar organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) to speak about ‘Europe’s New Agenda’ in Nafplio. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

Le commissaire Moscovici à Istanbul (Turquie) demain

Pierre Moscovici, commissaire en charge des affaires économiques et financières, de la fiscalité et des douanes, est aujourd’hui et demain à Istanbul, en Turquie, où il prononcera le discours d’ouverture lors d’un séminaire annuel organisé par l’Institut du Bosphore sur le thème « Turquie – France – Union européenne, Tendance Actuelles : Pour un Avenir Intelligent Durable Inclusif ». Lors de son séjour à Istanbul, le Commissaire rencontrera également des représentants de TÜSİAD, une organisation représentant les entrepreneurs turcs, ainsi que le maire d’Istanbul, M. Ekrem İmamoğlu. (Pour plus d’informations: Annika Breidthardt Tél.: +32 229 56153; Vanessa Mock Tél.: +32 229 56194; Patrick McCullough Tél.: +32 229 87183)

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

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