Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 259

Posts Tagged ‘european commission’

European Commission launches Blue Economy Report at European Maritime Day in Lisbon

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 29 maggio 2019

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella has opened the 2019 European Maritime Day conference in Lisbon. This year, the main focus is on boosting a “blue” economy, the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, through entrepreneurship, investment, and research and innovation. On this occasion, the European Commission launches the second edition of its Blue Economy Report.
Commissioner Vella said: “Coastal regions are home to 214 million people and generate 43% of EU GDP. Today’s report confirms the blue economy’s role as an exciting growth sector, with opportunities both in established sectors like tourism and shipbuilding, and in emerging areas like ocean energy or the blue bioeconomy. Yet we also know that blue economy start-ups and small companies often struggle to get their good ideas off the ground. That is why the European Commission is currently developing an investment-readiness support tool to help them mature and eventually access the funding they need to scale up.” Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, instrumental in drafting the Blue Economy Report added: “Though our oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface, we know less about what lies beneath the waves than we do about faraway planets. This prevents us from making the most of our resources while protecting marine ecosystems. The second Report on the European Blue Economy aims to change that. It reflects the importance that the European Commission attaches to a robust, evidence-based approach. Our oceans and seas can help us in tackling the challenges facing humanity; creating prosperity without endangering that of future generations.”Using the opportunities of the oceans sustainably was also at the heart of Commissioner Vella’s speech at today’s international ministerial conference on smart ocean governance, organised by Portugal. He reiterated the key role of oceans – in particular ocean energy – towards achieving a carbon-free Europe by 2050. This year’s blue economy report incorporates various new elements and content, including the maritime defence and the maritime equipment sectors. A preliminary analysis by sea basin has been added, as well as a number of in-depth case studies, e.g. on the economic impacts of marine protected areas or the contribution of the research and education sector to blue economy jobs. Finally, the second edition comprises a section on ecosystem services and natural capital, addressing the costs and economic impact of climate change and mitigation measures.

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European Commission adopts two contingency proposals to help mitigate impact of “no-deal” Brexit on EU fisheries

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 31 gennaio 2019

Given the continued uncertainty in the UK surrounding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Commission has today adopted two legislative proposals to help mitigate the significant impact that a “no-deal” Brexit would have on EU fisheries.This is part of the Commission’s ongoing preparedness and contingency work and will help ensure a coordinated EU-wide approach in such a scenario. The first proposal is to allow fishermen and operators from EU Members States to receive compensation under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the temporary cessation of fishing activities. This will help off-set some of the impact of a sudden closure of UK waters to EU fishing vessels in a no-deal scenario.The second proposal amends the Regulation on the Sustainable Management of the External Fleets. The aim of this proposal is to ensure that the EU is in a position to grant UK vessels access to EU waters until the end of 2019, on the condition that EU vessels are also granted reciprocal access to UK waters. The proposal also provides for a simplified procedure to authorise UK vessels to fish in EU waters and EU vessels to fish in UK waters – should the UK grant that access. This proposal is limited to 2019 and is based on the agreement in the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of 17 and 18 December 2018 on the fishing opportunities for 2019. These contingency measures cannot mitigate the overall impact of a “no-deal” scenario, nor do they in any way replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the terms of any transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. They are limited to these specific areas where it is absolutely necessary to protect the vital interests of the EU and where preparedness measures on their own are not sufficient. As a rule, they will be temporary in nature, limited in scope and adopted unilaterally by the EU.
These proposals are subject to the co-decision procedure. The Commission will work with the European Parliament and the Council to ensure the adoption of the proposed legislative acts so that they are in force by 29 March 2019.

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Churches discuss future of Europe at European Commission

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 10 ottobre 2018

Brussels. Representatives from some of the CEC Member Churches participated at the European Commission Annual High-Level Meeting with Religious Leaders in Brussels.The meeting was held on 8 October hosted by the First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. The event addressed the theme “The Future of Europe: addressing challenges through concrete actions” bringing together heads of religious organisations from across Europe.In follow up to the discussions last year the religious leaders spoke about the concrete actions that should be taken to respond effectively to the challenges faced by Europe.Among issues that were discussed included migration, social integration and sustainability of way of life and the upcoming European Parliament elections, which remained a priority matter. The religious leaders also reviewed European Union’s response to these issues.“As churches we feel very concerned about the challenges faced by Europe, not only that we raised in the CEC open letter and process Future of Europe, but also issues related to labour and most importantly how we deal with the fears. We need to work towards trust in our common future and common good of Europe,” said CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger.Bishop Mariano Crociata, Bishop of Latina, First Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union said, “We must listen and understand the elements that constitute fear. These are the fears that are expressed in the political reactions. We must not simply deny these fears but we must recognise these fears and address in our communities.”
The high-level meetings and discussions are held regularly between the European Commission and churches and religious, philosophical and non-confessional organisations. The meetings were launched by the Commission in 2009 when such dialogue was enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty (Article 17 TFEU). The dialogue is now under the responsibility of First Vice-President Timmermans.

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A recovering industry and a valuable source of healthy food – European Commission calls on regions to embrace aquaculture

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 28 febbraio 2018

After more than a decade of stagnation, EU aquaculture is finally showing signs of recovery. With 4% growth in volume and 8% in value between 2014 and 2015, and profits exceeding 400 million euro, the sector is generating more value than ever before.The success is in part due to strong cooperation over the last years between the European Commission and national authorities to remove barriers to growth. As a result, many governments have been taking steps to cut red tape, which clearly has been paying off.At FARMEDintheEU Regions, a conference organized by the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions showcasing some of the success stories of European aquaculture, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, today stressed the need for even greater buy-in from the EU regions.“Aquaculture can deliver local food and local jobs in an environment-friendly way. The planning, authorisation, and ultimately the success of aquaculture in the EU lie in the hands of our regions and Member States. We count on you to support investment in this promising industry”, Commissioner Vella said.With global population expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, Commissioner Vella sees aquaculture as a key pillar of global and European food security. “We need to plan ahead now to provide more fish, shellfish and algae in a sustainable, responsible way”, Commissioner Vella said. “Of course we must continue our work on sustainable wild fisheries, but if we are to get more seafood, it has to come from farming. Having many small, well-planned farming actions at regional scale, and helping consumers to make informed, responsible choices is the key to success.”

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Sicurezza dei prodotti nel mercato unico UE

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 dicembre 2017

european commissionBruxelles. La Commissione presenta due proposte legislative finalizzate a rendere più facile per le imprese, in particolare le PMI, vendere i propri prodotti in Europa e a rafforzare i controlli da parte delle autorità nazionali e dei funzionari doganali per impedire la vendita ai consumatori europei di prodotti non sicuri.
Le iniziative sono intese a migliorare due aspetti della libera circolazione delle merci nell’UE:
Rendere più facile la vendita di un prodotto in un altro Stato membro
Il principio del “reciproco riconoscimento” garantisce che i prodotti che non sono soggetti a una regolamentazione a livello dell’UE possano, in linea di principio, circolare liberamente all’interno del mercato unico se sono legalmente commercializzati in uno Stato membro. Questo principio dovrebbe consentire ai fabbricanti di vendere i loro prodotti in Europa, senza sottostare a ulteriori prescrizioni. Per applicare il principio in modo più rapido, più semplice e più chiaro, la Commissione propone un nuovo regolamento sul reciproco riconoscimento delle merci.
Rafforzare i controlli delle autorità nazionali volti a garantire che i prodotti siano sicuri e conformi alle norme.Sono ancora troppi i prodotti non sicuri e non conformi venduti sul mercato dell’UE: ad esempio, risulta dalle ispezioni che il 32% dei giocattoli, il 58% dei dispositivi elettronici, il 47% dei prodotti da costruzione e il 40% dei dispositivi di protezione individuale non soddisfano i requisiti in tema di sicurezza o di informazioni ai consumatori previsti nella legislazione dell’UE. Oltre a rappresentare un rischio per i consumatori, tali prodotti pongono in una situazione di svantaggio competitivo le imprese virtuose.
Il mercato unico, che celebrerà il suo 25º anniversario nel 2018 ed è uno dei maggiori successi dell’Europa, assicura la libera circolazione delle merci, dei servizi, dei capitali e delle persone. Se ai consumatori garantisce una scelta più ampia e prezzi più bassi, ai professionisti e alle imprese esso apre nuove opportunità. Consente alle persone di viaggiare, vivere, lavorare e studiare ovunque lo desiderino.
Gli scambi di merci costituiscono il 75% del commercio intra UE e rappresentano circa il 25% del PIL dell’UE. Le regole sui prodotti dell’UE valgono per la grande maggioranza di tutti i prodotti fabbricati nell’Unione. Tali prodotti hanno un valore di 2 400 miliardi di euro e sono fabbricati o distribuiti da circa 5 milioni di imprese. Le norme europee assicurano la libera circolazione dei prodotti in tutta l’Unione, garantendo al contempo un elevato livello di protezione dell’ambiente, della salute e della sicurezza. Ad esempio, la legislazione dell’UE in settori come quelli dei giocattoli e delle sostanze chimiche è fra le più rigorose al mondo.

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European Commission Grants Approval for Mavenclad

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 28 agosto 2017

medicines agencyDARMSTADT, Germany, /PRNewswire/ First oral short-course treatment for highly active relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) now approved in Europe MAVENCLAD® has shown sustained clinical efficacy for up to 4 years with a maximum of 20 days of oral treatment over 2 years Marketing authorization includes the 28 countries of the European Union (EU), with first launches in the UK and in Germany Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted marketing authorization for MAVENCLAD® 10mg (Cladribine Tablets) for the treatment of highly active relapsing multiple sclerosis* (RMS) in the 28 countries of the European Union (EU) in addition to Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. MAVENCLAD® is the first oral short-course treatment to provide efficacy across key measures of disease activity in patients with highly active RMS, including disability progression, annualized relapse rate and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity. “Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the world’s most common neurological disorders. With the approval of MAVENCLAD® in the European Union, we are pleased to offer patients and clinicians an innovative agent with a simplified dosing schedule as a new approach to managing active relapsing MS,” said Belén Garijo, CEO Healthcare and Member of the Executive Board of Merck. “This is a pivotal change in the treatment of MS which further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to advancing patient care.”
MAVENCLAD®’s marketing authorization is based on more than 10,000 patient years of data with over 2,700 patients included in the clinical trial program, and up to 10 years of observation in some patients. The clinical development program included data from three Phase III trials, CLARITY, CLARITY EXTENSION and ORACLE MS; the Phase II ONWARD study; and long-term follow-up data from the 8-year prospective registry, PREMIERE. The efficacy and safety results of these studies allowed a full characterization of the benefit-to-risk profile of MAVENCLAD®.”This is an exciting moment and one that will change the way we treat MS,” said Gavin Giovannoni, Professor of Neurology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. “MAVENCLAD® is a selective immune reconstitution therapy (SIRT) which simplifies treatment administration, by giving patients just two short annual courses of tablets in four years. Patients can benefit from the treatment over a longer period of time without having to continually take medication and without the need for frequent monitoring.”The authorization follows a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) that was received in June 2017. MAVENCLAD® is expected to become commercially available to patients in Europe by prescription within the coming months, with initial launches in Germany and UK expected as early as September 2017. In addition, Merck plans additional filings for regulatory approval in other countries, including the United States.”Multiple Sclerosis affects more than 700,000 people across Europe and has no cure to date,” said Anne Winslow, President of the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform. “New treatment options will significantly help improve the quality of life of people living with active relapsing MS.”In patients with high disease activity, post hoc analyses of the two-year Phase III CLARITY trial, demonstrated that MAVENCLAD® reduced the annualised relapse rate by 67% and the risk of 6-month confirmed EDSS progression by 82% versus placebo. As demonstrated in the Phase III CLARITY EXTENSION study, no further MAVENCLAD® treatment was required in Years 3 and 4. The comprehensive dataset has informed the posology and monitoring requirements. The most clinically relevant adverse reactions were lymphopenia and herpes zoster. Lymphocyte counts must be assessed before, and during, treatment with MAVENCLAD®. MAVENCLAD® is contraindicated in certain groups including immunocompromised patients and pregnant women. (photo. medicines agency)

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La Commissione europea stabilisce le basi per un’azione futura nel settore del diritto dei consumatori dell’UE

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 31 maggio 2017

Bruxelles. Oggi la Commissione europea presenta un’analisi delle norme dell’UE in materia di consumatori e di marketing, che servirà da base per migliorare il quadro giuridico per i consumatori e le imprese. Dai risultati dell’analisi emerge che, sebbene i consumatori europei beneficino già di diritti forti, vi sono margini di miglioramento, ad esempio per quanto riguarda il rispetto dei diritti dei consumatori e il loro adattamento all’era digitale. Un aggiornamento delle norme garantirebbe inoltre maggiore chiarezza giuridica per le imprese che operano a livello transfrontaliero. european commissionVĕra Jourová, Commissaria europea per la Giustizia e i consumatori, ha dichiarato: “I consumatori europei sono tra i più protetti al mondo. Godono di diritti forti sia quando acquistano nel loro paese sia quando acquistano all’estero. Dobbiamo garantire che tali diritti possano essere debitamente fatti valere e che tengano il passo dell’era digitale. Con le prossime proposte faremo in modo che questi diritti diventino una realtà online e offline.” Le norme dell’UE in materia di consumo hanno contribuito a migliorare la fiducia dei consumatori: nel 2016 quasi 6 consumatori su 10 (58%) si sono sentiti ben protetti nei loro acquisti online da un altro Stato membro, rispetto a solo uno su dieci (10%) nel 2003. 10 persone su 7 hanno dichiarato di aver beneficiato del diritto alla garanzia gratuita minima di due anni per i beni acquistati.L’analisi della Commissione ha individuato le seguenti problematiche da affrontare: possibilità di ricorso limitate: solo pochi paesi offrono rimedi efficaci di diritto civile ai consumatori che sono vittime di pratiche commerciali sleali. In alcuni paesi le imprese e le organizzazioni dei consumatori non possono proporre provvedimenti inibitori per segnalare le irregolarità. Gli Stati membri continuano a mantenere approcci diversi in materia di ricorso collettivo;
livello di applicazione divergente tra gli Stati membri: il livello delle sanzioni per violazione del diritto dei consumatori dell’UE da parte di un’impresa varia notevolmente tra gli Stati membri, con conseguente divergenza del livello di tutela dei consumatori e assenza di condizioni eque per le imprese;
diritti non pienamente adattati al mondo digitale: quando sottoscrivono servizi online gratuiti (ad esempio servizi di cloud computing, media sociali, ecc.) i consumatori non beneficiano degli stessi diritti di informazione precontrattuale e del diritto di recesso garantiti per i servizi a pagamento. Non c’è inoltre trasparenza sugli intermediari online, il che rende difficile per i consumatori far valere i propri diritti;
poca consapevolezza sui diritti dei consumatori: solo quattro persone su dieci (41%) sanno di avere diritto alla riparazione o alla sostituzione gratuita in caso di prodotto difettoso, e solo un terzo (33%) sa di non dover pagare per prodotti non richiesti o per la loro restituzione.
In che modo intende procedere la Commissione? La Commissione esaminerà come procedere per:
concedere alle vittime di pratiche commerciali sleali il diritto a rimedi contrattuali e/o extracontrattuali (ad esempio il diritto di porre fine al contratto e ottenere il rimborso del prezzo pagato); estendere la protezione prevista dalla direttiva sui diritti dei consumatori (ad esempio l’informazione precontrattuale e il diritto di recesso) ai servizi online per i quali il consumatore paga fornendo i suoi dati;
assicurare che i consumatori che utilizzano piattaforme online (ad esempio i negozi online) sappiano se stanno acquistando da un professionista o da un altro consumatore e se beneficiano delle norme a tutela dei consumatori; rafforzare e armonizzare meglio il livello delle sanzioni per violazione del diritto dei consumatori; migliorare la procedura per l’azione inibitoria a tutela dei consumatori; analizzare i risultati della valutazione del ricorso collettivo nell’UE.
Per esaminare l’opportunità di eventuali modifiche della legislazione, nel 2017 la Commissione: pubblicherà una “valutazione d’impatto iniziale” che delineerà la portata e le opzioni per una futura azione legislativa; organizzerà una consultazione pubblica online; preparerà una valutazione d’impatto, sulla base dei cui risultati presenterà una proposta legislativa. La Commissione sta già lavorando all’aggiornamento di alcuni strumenti normativi per la tutela dei consumatori:
La Commissione ha aggiornato gli orientamenti sulla direttiva relativa alle pratiche commerciali sleali, che costituisce la base giuridica per molte azioni coordinate a livello dell’UE per garantire il rispetto dei diritti dei consumatori.
La Commissione ha proposto norme moderne per i contratti del settore digitale (IP/15/6264), che, una volta adottate, stabiliranno regole chiare per proteggere meglio i consumatori che acquistano contenuti digitali. Inoltre allineerà le norme comuni in materia di rimedi. Per quanto riguarda una migliore applicazione delle norme, la Commissione ha presentato una proposta per rafforzare la cooperazione tra gli organismi di tutela dei consumatori e la Commissione.

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European Commission secures 10-year pledge to save Mediterranean fish stocks

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 2 aprile 2017

europeThe Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration, a practical example of EU’s successful neighbourhood policy, sets out a detailed work programme for the next 10 years, based on ambitious but realistic targets. Over 300 000 persons are directly employed on fishing vessels in the Mediterranean, whilst many more indirect jobs depend on the sector. The Declaration was signed by Mediterranean ministerial representatives from both northern and southern coastlines, a signature that gives political ownership to an issue that was up to now managed at technical level. It is the result of a European Commission-led process that started in Catania, Sicily in February 2016.
Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said: “Today we are making history. In signing the Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration, we are affirming our political will to deliver tangible action: on fisheries and other activities that have an impact on fisheries resources, on the blue economy, on social inclusion, and on solidarity between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean. I hope that this declaration will come to be seen as a turning point – for a bright future for fishermen, coastal communities and fishing resources alike.”
Commitments made by the signatories include:
– By 2020, ensure that all key Mediterranean stocks are subject to adequate data collection and scientifically assessed on a regular basis. In particular small-scale fishermen are to acquire an increased role in collecting the necessary data to reinforce scientific knowledge;
– Establish multi-annual management plans for all key fisheries. On its part, the Commission has already initiated this process with its proposal for a multi-annual fisheries plan for small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic;
– Eliminate illegal fishing by 2020 by ensuring that all States have the legal framework and the necessary human and technical capabilities to meet their control and inspection responsibilities. The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) will lead the development of national control and sanctioning systems;
– Support sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture by streamlining funding schemes for local projects such as fleet upgrade with low-impact techniques and fishing gear, social inclusion and the contribution of fishermen to environmental protection.
The effective implementation of the declaration will be made possible by involving in the process fishers – men and women –, coastal communities, civil society, industrial, small-scale, artisanal and recreational fisheries, as well as the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and GFCM. Today’s declaration is another contribution to the EU’s international commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 14: ‘Conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’).
The Mediterranean Sea is a unique sea basin, characterised by its long coastline and a fishing sector providing jobs for over 300 000 people. 80% of its fleet belongs to small-scale fishermen (with vessels under 10m long), who fish a quarter of the total catches. These jobs are at risk as fish stocks in the Mediterranean are shrinking: about 90% of assessed stocks are over-exploited. Food security, livelihoods, and regional stability and security are all under threat.
Today’s declaration is the outcome of the so-called Catania process, launched by Commissioner Vella in February last year and entailing fruitful cooperation with stakeholders, the GFCM Secretariat, EU Member States and third countries. Important milestones include a first ministerial conference of Mediterranean fisheries ministers in April 2016, the GFCM annual session in June 2016, and the GFCM inter-sessional meeting in September 2016.
The following parties were represented at the Malta MedFish4Ever Ministerial Conference: European Commission, 8 Member States (Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus), 7 third countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro), FAO, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, the European Parliament, the EU Mediterranean Advisory Council. (photo: europe)

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Proper assessment of Privacy Shield needed, stresses Civil Liberties Committee Chair

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 gennaio 2017

european commissionThe Commission should conduct a proper assessment of the Privacy Shield for data transfers to the US, Civil Liberties MEPs say in a draft resolution debated on Thursday.Claude Moraes, Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, said after the debate on the draft resolution:“This resolution acknowledges that the Privacy Shield contains clear improvements compared to the previous Safe Harbour but key deficiencies remain to be urgently resolved. However, it also calls on the Commission to conduct a proper assessment and calls on the EU Data Protection Authorities to make use of their supervisory powers to ensure that EU data protection law is respected.
– Since the invalidation of the Safe Harbour framework in October 2015, the European Parliament has consistently called for a stronger arrangement, one that provides a protection of personal data which meets the requirements of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Data Protection legal framework.
– While the final agreement on the Privacy Shield adopted in July 2016 took a number of our concerns into consideration, the Civil Liberties Committee has decided to propose a new Parliamentary resolution as many of our concerns still remain. These include concerns regarding the principle of data retention, the bulk collection of personal data for national security purposes, the need for sufficient judicial redress and effective independent oversight as well as several law enforcement issues. If these concerns are not taken into account the Privacy Shield risks not achieving its purpose and could be challenged in the Court.
– The joint annual review of the Privacy Shield which is expected mid-2017 will be crucial in order to integrate these concerns to ensure that the arrangement provides a protection of personal data which meets the requirements of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Data Protection legal framework which will apply from May 2018.”

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Commission launches call worth €1.5m to promote coastal and maritime tourism

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 dicembre 2016

The European Commission is making available €1.5 million to create nautical routes linking up maritime sites across Europe. The announcement was made by Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, when opening the European Tourism Day conference in Brussels today.”With today’s call for proposals we are shining a light on Europe’s rich maritime heritage, from museums to monuments. By encouraging tourist authorities to team up with the cultural and creative industeuropean commissionries, this call will create new tourist offers, making Europe’s coastal regions an even more attractive holiday destination”, Commissioner Vella said.Commissioner Vella also used his opening speech to stress the role of innovation in keeping Europe’s maritime and coastal tourism competitive and attractive.”Tourism is changing. Holidaymakers are increasingly looking for more than traditional ‘sun, sand and sea’ package. So innovation is indispensable to keep you – and Europe – in business. And we also need innovation to keep our air, landscapes and waters clean. Because Europe’s natural treasures are some of our greatest tourism assets. So going green is not just good for the environment. It’s good for business,” he said.
Coastal tourism is the most popular type of tourism in Europe. Two out of three European tourists prefer to spend their holidays on the coast, and nearly half of all nights spent in EU tourist accommodation are spent in coastal areas. Together with cruise tourism, yachting and marinas, coastal tourism in the EU provides almost 3 million jobs and generates revenue of 400 billion euros.The Commission is supporting maritime and coastal tourism by funding new ideas, fostering dialogue, and promoting Europe as a maritime destination, in line with its 2014 ‘European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism’.Its ‘Guide on Funding for Coastal and Maritime Tourism’, developed in early 2016, gives a helpful overview of available EU funding.Today’s call for proposals follows a call for the creation of underwater cultural routes earlier this year.

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European Commission Approves Visa Inc.’s Acquisition of Visa Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 7 giugno 2016

san franciscoSan Francisco CA Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) Yesterday announced that the European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Visa Europe Ltd. by Visa Inc. Visa has now received all regulatory approvals required for the acquisition. The transaction has already been cleared by both the Jersey and the Turkish competition authorities. The transaction is expected to close in Visa Inc.’s fiscal third quarter of 2016. Visa will announce the closing once it has occurred.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are identified by words such as “will,” “is expected,” and other similar expressions. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements Visa Inc. makes about the likelihood and timing of the closing of the acquisition.

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European Commission launches 2016 awards to recognise innovation in supporting SMEs

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 24 marzo 2016

european commissionApplications are now open for the 10th anniversary edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), which recognise excellence in supporting and promoting SMEs in Europe.Public bodies and public-private partnerships from across the EU Member States, and Iceland, Serbia and Turkey will be vying for the coveted awards, which go to the most imaginative and successful initiatives that support entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).The winners of the six categories will be announced at a high-profile ceremony in Bratislava, Slovakia on 24 November 2016 as part of the SME Assembly, the main event of European SME Week.Previous winners of the EEPA have gone on to achieve even greater things for SMEs in Europe as a result of winning the award. Last year’s Grand Jury Prize winners, Lisboa Empreende/Lisbon Micro-Entrepreneurship, said winning the award gave the programme much needed recognition, and motivation: “It was a great experience with lots of visibility in the entrepreneur environment. We met some very interesting projects and contacts. We also shared experience, challenges and solutions for the creation and growth of SMEs.”
The competition is comprised of two competitive stages:
National competitions will be held between now and the end of June when entries are submitted.
In July, two national entries from each country will be selected to compete at the European level and represent their country.
A European Jury will review all entries and shortlisted nominees will be announced in September.The award categories are:
Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
Investing in entrepreneurial skills
Improving the business environment
Supporting the internationalisation of business
Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency
Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship
Participants’ ultimate aim is to win the Grand Jury Prize, an award that is given to an initiative from any category that is considered to be the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurship initiative in Europe.
Since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards have rewarded public bodies and public-private partnerships that have shown excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses. Over 2 800 projects have entered during this time, and have supported the creation of thousands of new companies. The Awards’ objectives are to create a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in European society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs. This is achieved by identifying and recognising successful activities and initiatives to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship, and then showcasing and sharing examples of best entrepreneurship policies and practices.

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A new proposal by the European Commission brings about long-awaited simplification

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 18 marzo 2016

fishermenEuropean fishermen know it only too well. Brussels decides what and how they may fish, wherever they are and whatever the season. For decades, in an effort to protect fish stocks and ecosystems from hurtful and excessive fishing, the EU has been micro-managing the fishing activity down to the tiniest technical detail.
Over time, however, the numerous conservation rules have grown into a complex web of requirements that is hard to follow for users and difficult for administrations to enforce. The cumbersome institutional process required for each alteration makes the system unwieldy – and adds to the entanglement. This phenomenon is not unique to fisheries; in fact the Commission has undertaken a massive simplification effort in many domains in recent years. For its part, the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is set to streamline and upgrade, and the Commission’s new initiative on technical conservation measures stems from both processes. By empowering national and regional actors, it decentralises management for more agile and effective decision making.
Imagine for instance that a specific fishing area needs to be closed to protect a school of bottom-dwelling young fish; but that some vessels can still be allowed there because they do not fish close to the seabed. Rather than having to go through a central decision that could take years, the Member States around that area could decide the most appropriate technical conservation rules among themselves, in consultation with their stakeholders and scientific experts, and tailor them to the area’s specific needs and features.
This is the gist of the Commission’s proposal. The EU would still prescribe the general goals and principles of the fishing activity. A set of basic rules would still be applicable to all, like the ban on certain fishing gears or the obligation to land rather than discard unwanted catches. But when it comes to conservation measures, national governments, regions and operators would be able to choose the best technical solutions for the local context, provided they are underpinned by science.
This new regionalised mechanism can have many advantages. Decision making can be leaner and faster when decentralized. Measures that are area-specific rather than standardised tend to be more effective. And the sector’s involvement through the Advisory Councils means greater ownership of the rules, which in turn translates to more compliance.
Speaking of compliance, another factor that is likely to ease uniform interpretation of the rules across the EU is simplification: the proposal condenses six existing Regulations into one single text, correcting inconsistencies and repealing obsolete rules in the process – in sum making the whole conservation framework simpler and more understandable.
This is nothing short of radical change – changes in the very fabric, the DNA of our policy. But in this case less (regulation) could very well be more (conservation).
From now on, what the EU will prescribe is just the big standards and the overall targets: it will be the lighthouse showing the way. Steering the ship will be national governments, regions and operators themselves, who will decide which route to take to meet those standards and targets. And in so doing they will spread the good practice to those who are willing to pick it up, whether in the EU or elsewhere. And hopefully the genetic mutation – a mutation in favour of sustainability – will be passed on to the rest of the world.

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As Hunger Grips Syrian Families, European Commission Boosts Support For WFP

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 ottobre 2015

syrian civil warBRUSSELS – As half the population of Syria struggle to meet their food needs, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of €30 million from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) to its emergency food assistance in Syria. “This contribution comes at a very critical time. WFP supports more than 4.25 million people in need inside Syria, including families who are preparing for another harsh winter,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.WFP was forced to reduce the size of the food rations it provides to families inside Syria by up to 25 percent this year. Some 10 million people in the country face food insecurity.In 2015, the overall EC contributions to the Syria crisis response amount to €36 million (€30 million for Syria and €6 million for Syrian refugees). Since 2012, the overall EC contributions to WFP’s Syria crisis operations amount to over €240 million (US$272 million).“We count on Europe at this time. Syrians are becoming ever more desperate. They have exhausted all their resources and are losing hope for the future,” said Hadi. “They should not have to worry about hunger, too.”WFP depends entirely on voluntary contributions. It has to raise US$25 million every week to meet the basic food needs of people affected by the Syrian conflict.New donor contributions in recent weeks mean that WFP has been able to increase the value of assistance it provides to extremely vulnerable Syrian refugees in neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon to an average of US$21 per person per month. This is 80 percent of what WFP estimates people need.WFP has also been able to restore assistance to 229,000 vulnerable refugees in Jordan following a suspension in September of their electronic vouchers used to purchase food. WFP will upload US$14 per person in October for this group of refugees.“We call all donors to step up their support to millions of Syrians who could fall victim to hunger this winter,” Hadi saidAt current levels of support, WFP can assist Syrian refugees until January 2016. Beyond that, WFP will not be able to continue to provide regular food assistance to the most vulnerable Syrians without additional funding.

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“Safe Harbour” ruling: Civil Liberties MEPs to debate data transfer protection

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 13 ottobre 2015

european commissionThe European Court of Justice’s 6 October ruling that the “Safe Harbour” agreement on data transfers to the US is in fact unsafe will be debated by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Monday afternoon. The court found in favour of Max Schrems, who argued that Facebook transfers of EU citizens’ data to the US does not afford the adequate protection required by EU law. The committee debate will be based on a presentation prepared by Parliament’s Legal Service. Austrian citizen Max Schrems brought a case arguing that Edward Snowden’s revelations of the US National Security Agency’s PRISM data collection programme, under which EU citizens’ data held by US companies was passed on to US intelligence companies, calls into question the adequacy of the data protection afforded by the Safe Harbour agreement.After the ruling, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) called on the
to act immediately to provide clarity and proper data protection standards for data transfers to the US.The European Parliament has repeatedly called for the suspension of Safe Harbour, most recently in its 2014 resolution on the surveillance carried out by the NSA.

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Safe Harbour ruling: The Commission must act now to ensure clarity and safety for citizens and businesses

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 8 ottobre 2015

european commissionThe European Commission has failed to ensure a solid data protection framework for the transfer of EU citizens’ data to US companies. As a result citizens and businesses alike are left with an unclear legislative patchwork after today’s ruling of the European Court of Justice declaring the Commission adequacy decision invalid, says Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), calling for immediate action from the Commission to provide clarity and proper data protection standards for data transfers to the US.Statement from Civil Liberties Committee Chair, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), after the European Commission’s initial response to the Safe Harbour ruling:
“The Commission’s initial response to the European Court of Justice decision to invalidate the Safe Harbour agreement is disappointing as it lacks any real concrete update on what it intends to do regarding replacing the Safe Harbour framework.Despite the fact that the Commission has been in negotiations with the US on reform of the Safe Harbour for nearly two years, we have still not received any update on the negotiations or the impact that this decision will have on the discussions. Given that the European Court of Justice has invalided the Safe Harbour framework immediately, it is also regrettable that the Commission has not specified a timeframe for the conclusion of these discussions.It is unfortunate that the Commission did not follow up on the European Parliament’s repeated calls to suspend the Safe Harbour framework as this would have allowed it to implement transitional measures over a period of time. Instead, as the European Court of Justice ruling takes effect immediately, the issue has become urgent resulting in the need for the Commission to provide immediate clarity to companies who are uncertain as to how they can continue to transfer EU citizens’ data to the US as well as to provide guidelines to the national data protection authorities.Of course, the flow of EU citizens’ data will continue and there are other alternatives that business can use, including standard contractual clauses or binding corporate rules. This shows that the judgement will not result in a dramatic stop to data flows across the Atlantic with serious economic impact – instead it shows that it is possible to continue with data transfers and at the same time implement a framework that will protect EU citizens’ data when being transferred to the US and ensure they have equivalent safeguards to those that exist in the EU.Both the message from the European Parliament and from the European Court of Justice have been clear: the Safe Harbour framework does not protect European citizens private data when being transferred to the US as the EU Charter and EU law require. Now the responsibility to remedy this solution is with the Commission. It must act without delay to fill this void”.

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Data deal with US must be immediately suspended and replaced by new

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 7 ottobre 2015

The European Commissioneuropean commission must immediately suspend the ‘Safe Harbour’ framework with the US and initiate a new, secure data protection framework that will guarantee the rights and privacy of European citizens, says the Chair of the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee, Claude Moraes, following today’s ruling of the European Court of Justice in the case regarding Facebook’s transfer of EU citizens data to the US.Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) statement on the European Court of Justice ruling declaring the Commission’s US Safe Harbour decision invalid:”I welcome the European Court of Justice decision today as it finally backs up the repeated calls from the European Parliament for the suspension of the US Safe Harbour framework on the grounds that it does not ensure the adequate level of protection required by EU data protection law.Compared to the strong, enforceable data protection legislation that exists in the EU, Safe Harbour offers completely inadequate protection for EU citizens using services from US companies. The Snowden disclosures threw into the spotlight these inadequacies in particular as it does not provide any protection from mass surveillance activities as it contains a national security exemption which has never been clarified. However, there were also concerns prior to the Snowden revelations given that it is a non-binding agreement which lacks compliance by companies and gives no possibility for citizens to enforce their rights.
The decision by the European Court of Justice today, declaring the invalidity of the Safe Harbour agreement, forces the European Commission to act in order to ensure that transatlantic transfers of personal data of EU citizens to companies in the US offer the continuity of protection required by EU law and come up with immediate alternative to Safe Harbour. The Commission has been in negotiations with the US for over a year on improving the framework but we have still received no update on these discussions.The Commission must immediately put forward a new complete and strong framework for transfers of personal data to the US which complies with requirements of EU law as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and EU data protection rules and provide our citizens with solid, enforceable data protection rights and effective independent supervision.”

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Mass surveillance of EU citizens

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 28 settembre 2015

european parliamentA resolution on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens, following up that of March 2014 which was approved by the European Parliament in light of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations, will be voted by the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday. Members will address new cases of mass surveillance, what the European Commission and member states have or have not done to take account of Parliament’s recommendations and data transfers to the US, including under the Safe Harbour scheme.

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2015 is the European Year for Development

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 23 maggio 2015

Major issues and objectives of development policy for the post-2015 period will be defined and debated during the European Development Days (EDD15). This will be the flagship event of the European Year for Development, whose motto is ‘Our world, our dignity, our future’.The forum will bring together more than 4,000 participants, including leading EU political figures such as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Melinda Gates, the president of the 69th session of the General Assembly of the UN, Sam Kutesa, as well heads of state and governments and NGO representatives to discuss and exchange ideas across a broad range of topics. Within this framework, the European Journalism Centre and Europeaid, the European Commission’s DG for International Cooperation and Development, are offering around 12 selected journalists from the EU28 member states the opportunity to attend a press seminar alongside the European Development Days, including an introductory briefing ahead of the event, in order to get a closer look at the proceedings. Journalists will also obtain exclusive access to some of the developing world’s top decision-makers and stakeholders.

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Recent developments in Eastern Europe’s Mining industry

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 2 maggio 2015

mining industryThe European mining industry has a lot happening, and not only in the resource-rich Scandinavia; Eastern Europe is promising too. For the first time in 2015, Hungary will invite bids for coal mining concessions. Lignite and brown coal account for about 80 % of the country’s total coal reserves, making these the most important indigenous sources of energy.Ukraine also possesses generous energy resources, including 31800 million tonnes of proven coal reserves. Ukraine’s Energy Strategy to 2030 envisages increasing the installed capacity of coal – fired power plants, which ensures a bright future for the mining sector.The Czech government just announced its support to the renewal of uranium mining, right when Asia is moving ahead with nuclear power and investors are looking for high volumes of uranium.Poland’s estimated coal production in 2014 was up by 2% compared to 2013. Several European energy companies are currently active in the Polish energy sector.The Turkish government approved several modifications to the Mining Law a few weeks ago, showing its willingness to encourage further development of the industry. Some of the highlights include a better ground turn-over, a more accurate definition of licence areas and the introduction of a new royalty framework.The Europe Mining 2015 Summit, taking place in Amsterdam this coming June, on 17-18th, will provide the senior-level delegation in attendance with country-focused presentations to enhance their knowledge of the latest market trends and monitor the latest mineral resource developments in the region.The Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey and the Senior Investment Officer for Infrastructure and Natural Resources Department at the International Finance Corporation Turkey will give an overview of the Turkish mining industry, from the mineral potential of the country and the updated Mining Law to the investment incentives. There will also be special focus on Poland, EU’s coal-producing giant.For two days, the forum will facilitate business-focused discussions between the European Commission that will be part of an outstanding speaking faculty and a senior level delegation, in a central location in Europe.

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