Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 259

Posts Tagged ‘commission’

Commission adopts a report calling on EU Member States to ratify STCW-F Convention as soon as possible

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 aprile 2019

The STCW-F Convention sets standards of training for personnel on board of fishing vessels and is an important contribution to the promotion of safety at sea. It contains stricter provisions for vessels of 24 meters in length or above, but it also contains important provisions on basic safety training and watch keeping applying to all fishing vessels regardless of their size.In 2015, Council Decision 2015/799 authorised Member States to ratify the STWC-F Convention in the interest of the European Union, and encouraged them to do so by May 2017. Today, the European Commission adopted a report to the Council reviewing Member States’ progress in the ratification of the STCW-F Convention.The report shows that only nine EU Member States have become Parties to the STCW-F Convention (Belgium, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain).Ratifying and implementing international standards on safety and working conditions in fishing is of utmost importance to protect the lives of the more than 150 000 fishers in the EU and the livelihoods of their families. Therefore, Member States are encouraged to ratify the STCW-F Convention, without further delay.Fishing is one of the most hazardous professions in Europe and according to EMSA report on marine casualties and incidents of 2018, almost 60% of the accidents are due to human error.National regulations on occupational health and safety in fishing, when they exist, vary widely between countries. Moreover, fishing being an international sector, most of its regulatory provisions are set at international level with the aim of creating a level playing field.

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World Bank and European Commission promote blue economy through new tool

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 2 marzo 2019

The World Bank and the European Commission have launched the Blue Economy Development Framework (BEDF). The Framework is a novelty in the area of international ocean governance. It helps (developing) coastal states transition to diverse and sustainable blue economies while building resilience to climate change.
This transition starts with data and knowledge collection about the marine environment and ocean sectors. The first output of the BEDF will therefore be a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of the conditions that could enable or restrict blue growth. This can be ecological, economic or social factors, but it also relates to the policy and regulatory environment.The outcome of this diagnostic process will lead to a roadmap that assists governments to prepare policy, fiscal, and administrative reforms identify value creation opportunities from blue economy sectors identify strategic financial investments
In short, the BEDF will help coastal countries and regions to develop evidence-based investment and policy reform plans for its coastal and ocean resources. In 2019, the BEDF will be piloted in three coastal countries: India, Vietnam and Kiribati. Further potential regional focus areas are in the South Atlantic, South-East Asia, and other Small Islands Developing States. The pilot studies will generate important lessons for the growing community of blue donors around the world.

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Black Sea: Commission proposes sustainable fishing opportunities for 2019

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 novembre 2018

Bruxelles. The Commission has adopted a proposal on fishing opportunities in 2019 for the commercially most important fish stocks in the Black Sea. The catch limit and quota for the two species, sprat and turbot, are shared between Bulgaria and Romania.
The proposal is a roll-over from 2018 and is based on the scientific advice from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). It follows the multiannual management plan for turbot fisheries in the Black Sea, approved in 2017 by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).For turbot, the Commission transposes the GFCM multiannual management plan by proposing a catch limit of 114 tonnes, which will be distributed equally between Bulgaria and Romania, as well as a limitation of turbot fishing to 180 days per year and the complete ban over a 2-month period (15 April – 15 June) . These measures should allow for the recovery of this iconic Black Sea species.
For sprat, the Commission proposes to maintain a catch limit of 11,475 tonnes, of which 70% will be allocated to Bulgaria and 30% to Romania. The Commission’s proposal will be examined by the Member States at the December Council on Agriculture and Fisheries (17-18 December).

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Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 novembre 2018

Brussels. Today the Commission presents its proposal ahead of the December Fisheries Council where Member States should agree next year’s fishing quotas.The European Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 89 stocks: for 62 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same, for 22 stocks is reduced and for 5 the Commission proposes new by-catch quotas at low level to reduce the fishing pressure.The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most commercial fish stocks that keep the stocks healthy, while allowing the fishing industry to profit from fishing the highest amount of fish. As the size of some key fish stocks is increasing – notably for Norway lobster in Skagerrak/Kattegat, Northern hake and Southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated EUR 1.4 billion profit for 2018.Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Next year will be a milestone year for European fisheries. Our collective duty is to ensure a good transition to the full landing obligation as of 1st January 2019 while continuing our progress to achieve sustainable fishing by 2020. With this proposal, the Commission puts forward concrete solutions to advance on both fronts.”In order to put an end to the wasteful practice of discarding fish, as of 1st January 2019, the landing obligation will apply fully to all EU fishing fleets. This means that all catches of regulated commercial species taken on-board (including by-catch) are to be landed and counted against each Member States’ respective quotas. In today’s proposal the Commission has already deducted the amounts corresponding to the agreed exemptions to the landing obligation from the advised catches.Substantial progress can be observed in the EU with regards to sustainable fishing: 53 stocks are now fishedat Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels compared to only 5 in 2009 and 44 in 2017. This means that the fishing pressure on the stock is limited to a level that will allow a healthy future for the fish stock’s biomass, while taking into account socioeconomic factors. The Commission is working with Member States to support the fishermen in reaching the objective of having all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020, as set by the Common Fisheries Policy.Today’s proposal will be submitted for discussion and decision by the Member States at the December Fisheries Council on 17-18 December in Brussels, to be applied as of 1 January 2019.

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The Commission has adopted a proposal for fishing opportunities for 2019

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 settembre 2018

For the commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea.In particular, the Commission proposes to increase catches for plaice, Western cod, sprat, Gulf of Riga herring and the Main Basin salmon stocks. For the remaining stocks covered by the proposal the Commission proposes a reduction in catches.Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said: “We are proposing a balanced package that will ensure sustainable fisheries in the Baltic Sea. The good news is that important quotas for Western Baltic cod can be increased, after several years of hardship for the fishermen. The sacrifices are paying off as the stock is recovering. As per usual, the picture is mixed, as this year we will have to reduce the quotas for Western herring in order to make sure that it is soon in a better state.”The proposed total allowable catches (TAC) are based on scientific advice from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas and follow the Baltic multiannual management plan adopted in 2016 by Member States and the European Parliament.Efforts by stakeholders in recent years have already succeeded in rebuilding important stocks in the Baltic Sea and in allowing that, where complete scientific advice is available, 7 out of 8 catch limits are set in line with the principle of maximum sustainable yield, covering 95% of fish landings in volume. But further action remains necessary to ensure all stocks grow to levels that allow for sustainable exploitation.The Council will now examine the Commission proposal, and European Ministers for Fisheries aim at adopting it during their meeting of 15-16 October.

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Commission sets direction for sustainable fisheries and launches consultations on the 2019 fishing opportunities

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 giugno 2018

Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Restoring the health of our seas and oceans is not a choice, it’s an imperative, and the EU must continue to lead by example. The laudable efforts of our fishermen over the last decade are starting to pay off: Many of our fish stocks, though far from all, are returning to sustainable levels. Yet, now is not a time for complacency. 2019 will be a crucial year for achieving our shared objectives. Working hand-in-hand – fishermen, industry, civil society and authorities – let us keep up the efforts and keep our ambitions high for our ocean. I look forward to working closely with all parties.” The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy sets the objective of reaching maximum sustain­able yield (MSY) as soon as possible and by 2020 at the latest. MSY contributes to the sus­tainable conservation of the stocks and allows for maximisation of fish supply from fishing. This in turn contributes to securing a profitable EU fishing industry and thriving coastal areas for the future – and to achieving good environmental status in European seas by 2020. Recent years have seen significant progress towards the CFP objectives, notably in northern and western waters, where overfishing has decreased considerably, whilst biomass has increased and in 2016 on average was nearly 39% above 2003 levels.By contrast, moving towards sustainable exploitation in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas remains challenging. This is largely due to the multispecies nature of fisheries, the fact that several fish stocks are shared with third countries and the low number of fish stocks assessed yearly by scientific bodies. While a small number of stocks are being exploited at sustainable levels – for example, deep-sea pink shrimp and red mullet in the south and central Tyrrhenian Sea – the average biomass in the Mediterranean does not show any improvement since 2003. Nonetheless, important efforts are deployed to reverse the situation, both at the EU level and with our international partners. These initiatives give way to cautious optimism. Only last week, Black with an ambitious 10-year action plan on sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. This followed on from the 2017 Medfish4ever declaration, which commits countries around the Mediterranean to restore fish stocks in this important basin.Over recent years, EU Fleet has also registered significant improvement in its overall economic performance, with record net profits of EUR 1.3 billion in 2016. Average salaries and labour productivity have also increased. The overall improvement in profitability coincides with an increase in the number of stocks fished at rates consistent with the objective of achieving MSY and an associated increase in the biomass of these stocks. This confirms that sustainable fisheries address not only environmental but also social and economic concerns.From 2019, the landing obligation – i.e. the requirement for EU vessels to avoid discards and bring to harbour all catches – must be fully phased in. This will be a key achievement in pursuing sustainable EU fisheries and important progress has been made. For pelagic fisheries and fisheries in the Baltic and Black Sea, the landing obligation is already fully implemented. For demersal fisheries, there has been an overall increase of the scope of the landing obligation in volume from 35% to 44% since 2017. In the Mediterranean, around 66 % of the total landings are currently under the landing obligation. In the Black Sea, since 2017, the landing obligation covers all catches of the species subject to TAC, i.e. sprat and turbot. But additional efforts will be needed to reach the agreed 2019 deadline. The EU stands ready to support fishermen in this process, including through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Likewise, the Commission’s recent proposal to improve the EU’s fisheries control system will among other things, facilitate the implementation of the landing obligation.

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La Commission enregistre une nouvelle spécialité traditionnelle de République tchèque

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 aprile 2018

La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d’inscription du «Pražská šunka» dans le registre des Spécialités Traditionnelles Garanties (STG). Le «Pražská šunka» (Jambon de Prague) est un jambon élaboré à partir de parties de cuisses de porc parées, cuites et fumées. Sa production repose, depuis son origine, sur la sélection des matières premières et sur la méthode de salaison. La dénomination «Pražská šunka» est utilisée depuis les années 1860 pour désigner ce qui est l’un des produits les plus renommés de la République tchèque, et de Prague en particulier. Le label “Spécialité Traditionnelle Garantie” met l’accent sur la tradition plutôt que sur l’origine et désigne des produits dont la composition ou les moyens de production présentent un caractère traditionnel. Il s’agit du 5ème produit tchèque à être enregistré comme Spécialité Traditionnelle Garantie. Cette nouvelle appellation va rejoindre plus de 1425 produits déjà protégés dont la liste est disponible dans la base de données DOOR.

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State aid: Commission approves reductions on offshore surcharge for electro-intensive and railway companies in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 aprile 2018

The European Commission has found German plans to grant reductions on an offshore surcharge to electro-intensive users and railways to be in line with EU State aid rules. The measure will contribute to the competitiveness of these companies without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. Following an amendment to the German Energy Act (EnWG), as of 2019 the costs of connecting offshore wind installations to the main electricity grid will be financed via an offshore surcharge (Offshore-Netzumlage), to be paid by electricity consumers. The amended German Energy Act also provides for reductions from this offshore surcharge for certain electro-intensive industrial users, as well as for railway companies. The reductions will confer an advantage to these companies, as it will lower their financial burden compared to other companies that will not benefit from them. The Commission has assessed the measure under both its Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020 as well as its Guidelines on State aid for railways undertaking and concluded that the German plans to grant reductions on offshore surcharges to electro-intensive users and railways are in line with EU State aid rules, because they will contribute to the competitiveness of these companies without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

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Commission welcomes ambitious agreement on first ever EU legislation to monitor and report CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 aprile 2018

Representatives from the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the Regulation for monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data from new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), i.e. lorries, buses and coaches. This is the first ever EU legislation focusing on the CO2 emissions from these vehicles. The new rules are part of the EU’s Strategy on low-emission mobility and Communication on delivering on low-emission mobility laying out actions for a fundamental modernisation of European mobility and transport. Welcoming the political agreement, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “This agreement is proof of Europe’s firm intention to curb the growing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. I thank the European Parliament and the Council for their work to reach this ambitious outcome. With this new robust, reliable and transparent monitoring and reporting system, we are on track for the next step: CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles to be proposed in May 2018.” Accelerating the shift to clean and sustainable mobility is essential to improve the quality of life and health of citizens and contribute to the EU’s climate objectives under the Paris Agreement. The clean mobility transition offers major opportunities for the European economy and reinforces the EU’s global leadership in clean vehicles. Monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new heavy-duty vehicles will also increase transparency enabling transport operators to make well-informed purchasing decisions and save fuel costs. It will also drive innovation amongst European manufacturers.

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Rule of law in Poland: MEPs to monitor Commission’s work on Article 7

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 9 marzo 2018

Parliament will closely monitor the European Commission’s follow-up work on the situation of the rule of law in Poland.Following the Commission’s decision to trigger Article 7 of the EU Treaty to determine whether Poland is at risk of a serious breach of EU values, Civil Liberties MEPs have elected the Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) as the standing LIBE Rapporteur in view of the consent procedure. Moraes will be responsible for monitoring and reporting back to Parliament on the work of the Commission and the Council. “This is not about criticism of Poland but about us demanding that the rights accorded to Polish citizens by their membership of the European Union are protected. It is crucial to ensure that the Parliament continues to monitor the Commission’s assessment of whether there has been a clear breach of EU fundamental principles and values”, Moraes said.”We need a clear and unambiguous position, from the Parliament, the Commission and Council: the rule of law must be upheld in all EU countries”, he added.On 20 December, the European Commission proposed activating Article 7 (1) of the EU Treaty. Parliament backed on 1 March the Commission’s proposal, calling on the Council to swiftly determine whether Poland is at risk of a serious breach of EU values and if so, to propose solutions. The European Parliament would have to give its consent and the Civil Liberties Committee would be in charge of initiating such a procedure.

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Commission’s top scientific advisers publish opinion on Food from the Oceans

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 dicembre 2017

ciboThe High Level Group of the Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism has published a new scientific opinion on ‘Food from the Oceans’. The advisers were asked to look at how more food and biomass can be obtained from the oceans in a way that does not deprive future generations of their benefits.
The High Level Group formulates policy recommendations to help meet the demands of a global population approaching 10 billion by 2050. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “The growing global population can’t be fed by agriculture alone. Luckily, there is vast potential in the ocean. This report will help in two ways. It points to how we can get more food from the ocean. And it indicates how to do that sustainably.”
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, added: “This substantive opinion and comprehensive evidence review shows that the Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism is going from strength to strength. I am confident that the value of this opinion will be recognised not just by European policy makers, but also by national governments and all those who care about the future of our oceans.”Spotlight on the recommendations: take into account producer and consumer needs for a balanced food production framework – expand consumption of species lower in the food chain (i.e. algae and shellfish) – consider fish farming in sustainable fisheries partnership agreements between the EU and southern partner countries.As announced by President Juncker on 13 May 2015, the Commission set up the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) to contribute to the quality of EU legislation with scientific expertise. It has already presented valuable opinions in areas such as CO2 emissions from cars, cybersecurity and biotech. A news item and the scientific opinion are available online.

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Agreement on Commission proposal for a multi-annual fisheries management plan for the North Sea

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 dicembre 2017

european parliamentThe European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached a political agreement on a multi-annual management plan for demersal fish stocks in the North Sea. This comprehensive plan covers more than 70% of the fishing sector, sets catch limits based on science and brings decision-making closer to the fisherman.
The EU co-legislators have reached an agreement during an informal trilogue, on the Commission’s proposal from August 2016. The new North Sea plan is the first comprehensive plan for this sea basin and the second multiannual plan for the EU, following the one for the Baltic Sea reached in 2016.
Commissioner Karmenu Vella stated: “I am very pleased with today’s political agreement, as it signals the EU’s determination to protect the future of our fishing industry and coastal communities. The North Sea is one of Europe’s richest fishing grounds and only with long-term and sound planning, we can provide the necessary predictability and profitability to our fishermen for the long run. Today’s agreement shows that the EU lives up and continues to pursue its ambitious commitments for more sustainable fisheries made at the Our Ocean Conference 2017 in Malta”.The fisheries of the North Sea are highly complex, involving vessels from at least seven coastal Member States, as well as Norway. Vessels use a variety of fishing equipment and their catches consist of a mix of different species, such as cod and haddock, or plaice and sole. Today’s agreement is for a plan for demersal fish stocks, i.e. fish that live and feed near the bottom of the sea.The agreement includes ranges within which sustainable catch limits can be set on the basis of the best available scientific advice, as well as rules on recreational fisheries where it has a significant impact on the relevant stocks.

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Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2018

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 25 novembre 2017

european commissionThe Commission presents its proposal for fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 2018. The Commission proposes quotas for 78 stocks: for 53 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same and for 25 stocks is reduced.The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most commercial fish stocks that keep the stocks healthy, while allowing the fishing industry to profit from fishing the highest amount of fish.As the size of some key fish stocks is increasing – notably for sole in the North Sea, northern hake and southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated EUR 1.5 billion profit for 2017.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Our fleet is becoming more profitable and that is because some of the EU’s key fish stocks are healthier and more abundant. The perseverance of the fishermen and the responsible fisheries management decisions stand to prove that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand. That being said now is not the time for complacency. We must continue our joint efforts to manage our seas and oceans in a way that works for the environment, for the economy and for future generations.” Today’s proposal will be submitted for discussion and decision by the Member States at the December Fisheries Council (11-12 December in Brussels), to be applied as from 1 January 2018.

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Dorsey Partner Peggy Hunt Appointed to Utah Securities Commission

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 8 novembre 2017

Peggy HuntInternational law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP announced today that Peggy Hunt, a partner in the Firm’s Salt Lake City office, has been appointed to the Utah Securities Commission by Governor Gary R. Herbert. Ms. Hunt joins four other Utah citizens to support the Utah Division of Securities in setting policy, adopting rules, and adjudicating enforcement actions brought by the Division. Each member is appointed by the governor and serves a four-year term.Ms. Hunt has been working in the area of bankruptcy and receivership law for more than 25 years and is a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. She serves as a Panel Chapter 7 trustee for the District of Utah, and she has represented distressed companies, banks and other creditors, equity holders and Chapter 11 and 7 trustees in all aspects of the workout, restructuring and liquidating process, including in related litigation. Ms. Hunt also serves as lead counsel to trustees and equity receivers appointed in some of the largest Ponzi and securities fraud cases in Utah.“I’m honored to receive this appointment and look forward to working with the great staff at the Utah Division of Securities and other members of the Securities Commission to make Utah’s investment markets free of fraud,” said Ms. Hunt. Clients have relied on Dorsey since 1912 as a valued business partner. With locations across the United States and in Canada, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, Dorsey provides an integrated, proactive approach to its clients’ legal and business needs. Dorsey represents a number of the world’s most successful companies from a wide range of industries, including leaders in the banking, energy, food and agribusiness, health care, mining and natural resources, and public-private project development sectors, as well as major non-profit and government entities. (photo: Peggy Hunt)

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L’avenir du budget européen: que signifie le Livre blanc de la Commission pour les finances de l’UE?

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 29 giugno 2017

future of europeDans son «Livre blanc sur l’avenir de l’Europe», la Commission européenne présente différents scénarios pour l’avenir de l’intégration européenne et imagine ce à quoi l’UE pourrait ressembler d’ici 2025. Dans ce Policy Paper, Eulalia Rubio, chercheur senior à l’Institut Jacques Delors, et Jörg Haas, chercheur à notre bureau en Allemagne, le Jacques Delors Institute – Berlin, discutent des implications de ces différents scénarios pour le budget de l’UE.
• Poursuivre le chemin de réforme actuel tout en adaptant le budget marginalement (scénario 1) ne fonctionnera probablement pas. Les dépenses prévues pour les nouvelles priorités stratégiques combinées à la baisse des revenus après Brexit signifient que les 27 États membres de l’UE devrait accepter des contributions plus élevées ou réduire les ambitions de l’UE.
• Recentrer le budget pour soutenir uniquement le marché unique (scénario 2) ne serait pas forcément synonyme de baisse de budget. Il faudrait non seulement préserver les quatre libertés, mais aussi financer la recherche, l’infrastructure et la convergence.
• Une UE « différenciée » où certains États membres souhaitent faire plus ensemble (le scénario 3) devrait dépendre encore plus de mécanismes financiers placés hors budget de l’UE, en particulier pour mettre en place des opérations militaires conjointes et pour financer une UEM plus résiliente.
• Une UE qui fait progresser l’intégration dans certains domaines et renvoie d’autres compétences aux États membres (scénario 4) devrait dépenser davantage pour la migration et la défense tout en réduisant les dépenses consacrées aux dépenses agricoles et de cohésion dans les pays riches.
• Une UE qui facilite l’intégration dans tous les domaines politiques (scénario 5) nécessiterait non seulement un budget considérablement plus important pour répondre aux besoins de la zone euro, mais devrait également réviser ses processus budgétaires, sa gouvernance et son système de financement. (photo: europe)

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Privacy Shield: key deficiencies urgently need to be resolved, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 marzo 2017

european commissionThe EU Commission must ensure that the EU – US Privacy Shield for data transfers for commercial purposes provides sufficient personal data protection to comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the new EU data protection rules, said Civil Liberties Committee MEPs voting a resolution on Thursday. The first joint annual review of the Privacy Shield framework is expected this summer.“The Civil Liberties Committee resolution adopted today sends a clear message that, while the Privacy Shield contains significant improvements compared to the former EU-US Safe Harbour, key deficiencies remain to be urgently resolved”, said Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes after the vote.“Both citizens and tech companies relying on transatlantic data flows need the certainty of a robust legal framework and our text calls on the Commission to conduct a proper assessment to ensure this certainty”, he added.Among the remaining concerns that MEPs list are:
· the lack of specific rules on automated decision-making or the general right to object, and the lack of clear principles on how the Privacy Shield Principles apply to data processors,
· that “bulk surveillance” remain possible as regards national security and surveillance,
· that neither the Privacy Shield Principles nor letters from the US administration demonstrate the existence of effective judicial redress rights for individuals in the EU whose personal data are transferred to the US, and
· the Ombudsperson mechanism set up by the US Department of State is not sufficiently independent and is not vested with sufficient effective powers to carry out its duties.
MEPs also express alarm at recent revelations about surveillance activities conducted by a US electronic communications service provider at the request of the NSA and FBI as late as 2015, one year after the Presidential Policy Directive 28 was adopted, and insist that the Commission seeks full clarification from the US authorities.
The Commission should also immediately assess whether new US rules approved in January 2017 allowing the NSA to share vast amounts of private data, gathered without warrant, court orders or congressional authorisation, with 16 other agencies, including the FBI, are compatible with the commitments made by US authorities under the Privacy Shield, they say. The resolution was passed by 29 votes to 25, with 1 abstention.

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Une Commission politique grâce à une nouvelle organisation. “Cette fois, c’est différent”. Vraiment?/A Political European Commission through a new organisation “This Time it’s Different”. Really?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 febbraio 2017

commission-europeenneEn 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker, président de la Commission européenne, a déclaré qu’il souhaitait faire de la Commission une institution « plus politique ». En créant des équipes de projet dirigées par des vice-présidents, le président Juncker a mis en place une nouvelle structure organisationnelle instituant une nouvelle hiérarchie politique et tendant vers un processus décisionnel interne plus politique. Cette expérience répond-elle à l’ambition première du président Juncker? Doit-elle être maintenue dans les futures Commissions ?Dans ce Policy Paper, Marine Borchardt, diplômée du Collège d’Europe et lauréate du Prix Jacques Delors 2016, examine la nouvelle hiérarchie politique mise en place, les évolutions du processus décisionnel interne et la coopération entre vice-présidents et commissaires au sein de ces équipes de projet. Le Policy Paper conclue que la nouvelle organisation répond à l’ambition de rendre la Commission plus politique, tout en soulignant les problèmes devant encore être résolus, notamment concernant la mise en œuvre de la structure en pratique.
In 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said he wanted to make the Commission ‘more political’. He created project teams led by Vice-Presidents, and so implemented a new organisational structure that has instituted a new political hierarchy and a more political internal decision-making process. Does this new organisation deliver on President Juncker’s ambition? Will it continue to exist in future Commissions?
In this Policy Paper, Marine Borchardt, alumna of the College of Europe, winner of the Jacques Delors Prize 2016, reviews the new political hierarchy in the Commission, the evolutions of the internal decision-making process and the cooperation between Vice-Presidents and Commissioners within the project teams. The Policy Paper concludes that the new organisation delivers on President Juncker’s ambition to make the Commission more political. However, there are some misgivings that have to be solved, particularly concerning the implementation of the structure in practice. (photo: Commission européenne)

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Commission brings FARMEDintheEU aquaculture campaign to Spain

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 dicembre 2016

madridSpanish authorities, producer organisations and research institutes are organising open door visits and conferences across Spain today to celebrate the annual “Día de la Acuicultura”. This year, the European Commission joined in the celebrations, supporting the “Di sí a la acuicultura sostenible” (“Say yes to sustainable aquaculture”) competition launched by the Observatorio Español de Acuicultura from Fundación Biodiversidad (Mapama).As part of the campaign, the “FARMED in the EU” schoolkit developed by the European Commission was promoted to hundreds of schools across the country. To date, more than 1700 Spanish pupils from 37 schools and 27 aquaculture experts (producers, scientists, officials) have been involved in 62 workshops under the label #CRIADOenlaUE. The campaign, which started in September, will continue until May.The winners for best drawings and best projects were announced at an event in Madrid on Monday. The European Commission underlined the exemplary campaign carried out by the Spanish authorities, emphasising the sustainability of these “farmers in the water”. In a video message, Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Karmenu Vella congratulated the organisers on the campaign’s success, while emphasising the crucial role of teachers as the link between youth, science and industry.Spain is the EU’s number 1 in terms of aquaculture production (226 000 tonnes in 2013) and jobs (20 000 producers out of 85 000) and is among EU leaders in research. Under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), funding worth €206m will go to more than 850 aquaculture projects in Spain. The Spanish multiannual plan for the development of sustainable aquaculture aims to increase Spain’s production volume by 20% by 2020, and its value by 26%.

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Abide by the rules and start pressing US for full visa reciprocity, MEPs ask the Commission

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 ottobre 2016

europa-261011-cThe European Commission should abide by the rules and adopt legal measures temporarily suspending the visa waivers for the US and Canada as a way to put pressure on both countries so they stop requesting the citizens of some EU countries visa to enter their territory. In a debate on Wednesday, Civil Liberties MEPs urged the Commission to act and made clear that it does not have “more room for manoeuvre”.
MEPs refused to discuss the possible consequences of reimposing visa requirements to the US and Canada and agreed that the procedure to follow when a third country does not offer the EU visa reciprocity is clear. Some speakers suggested that the Parliament may bring the Commission to court given its failure to respect legislation.Commissioner Avramopoulos underlined that adopting a delegated act, as established in the legislation, suspending the visa exemption for US and Canadian citizens due to the lack of full visa reciprocity would be “highly counterproductive” and insisted that the best approach is “patient diplomacy”. He explained that this strategy is likely to bear fruit soon in the case of Canada, but admitted the lack of progress with the US.According to the Commissioner, the US could retaliate suspending the visa waiver for all EU citizens. “We will exhaust all negotation means”, Avramopoulos said, adding that it is key to choose the right timing. He also noted that it is not in the interest of any European institution to bring this matter to the European Court of Justice. The Committee´s Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) announced the question will be discussed in a coming plenary session.

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Commission proposes to lift ‘red card’ from Republic of Guinea after it steps up fight against illegal fishing

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 luglio 2016

fish1The Commission has proposed to lift the “red card” and the associated trade measures for fisheries products from the Republic of Guinea, following significant improvements to its national fisheries governance to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “This is an important decision for the Commission and for the Republic of Guinea, and good news for sustainable fisheries around the globe. After a long dialogue process Guinea has shown real commitment to fighting illegal fishing. We encourage them to join us in our ongoing work to promote improved ocean governance, including legal and sustainable fisheries worldwide.”
The Republic of Guinea was warned by the Commission in November 2012 of the risk of being considered a non-cooperating country, with the so called “yellow card”. It was listed or “red-carded” by the Council for inadequate action in November 2013.
Today’s good news follows several years of dialogue with Guinea, which has now successfully addressed the shortcomings in its fisheries governance. In particular, Guinea has revised its legal framework to combat IUU fishing, strengthened its sanctioning system, improved monitoring and control of its fleet and waters, and is now complying with international law.
Guinea has also ratified the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), an important tool under the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that prevents illegal fish from being landed in the country’s ports. This international agreement entered into force last month. As a result of these changes the Commission has proposed to end formal discussions with Guinea and remove it from the list of non-cooperating countries. The Commission looks forward to continued cooperation with this partner in the fight against IUU fishing.
Fighting illegal fishing is part of the EU’s commitment to ensure the sustainable use of the sea and its resources under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, and in the context of better governance of the oceans worldwide.
Today’s Decision is based on the EU’s ‘IUU Regulation’, which entered into force in 2010. This key instrument in the fight against illegal fishing ensures that only fisheries products that have been certified as legal can access the EU market.
The global value of IUU fishing is estimated at approximately 10 billion euros per year. Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish are caught illegally a year, corresponding to at least 15% of world catches. The EU is the world’s biggest importer of fisheries products.

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