Daily News 05 / 02 / 2018

European Commission and European Court of Auditors meet to discuss their cooperation and the future of Europe

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the College are meeting Mr Klaus-Heiner Lehne, President of the European Court of Auditors, and Members of the Court of Auditors (“ECA”) in Luxembourg for the regular meeting between the two institutions. The meeting will begin with a working lunch chaired by President Juncker and President Lehne, followed by discussions between the Commissioners and the Members of the Court of Auditors that will be structured around the Commission’s Reflection Papers on the Future of Europe. The meeting will conclude with a plenary session chaired by President Lehne and First Vice-President Timmermans. (For more information: Alexander Winterstein – Tel.: +32 229 93265; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Apply now: Lorenzo Natali Media Prize for outstanding journalism in development

Applications for the European Commission’s 2018 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize, which recognises journalists doing outstanding reporting on sustainable development topics, are open from 5 February to 9 March for online, print and audio-visual works. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: “In an era of disinformation, fake news and digital algorithms, we need professional and fact-based journalism more than ever. The important work of journalists is not only crucial for democracy across the globe, but also gives visibility and a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard. Through their stories they inform, inspire, and call for much-needed change. With this prize, we thank them for their determination and encourage them to keep up the fight.”The Prize has two categories based on age groups and for each category there will be a winner from each region: Africa; the Arab World and the Middle East; Asia and the Pacific; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Europe. A “Grand Winner” will be selected among the regional winners, and an additional thematic prize will be awarded for work focused on the elimination of violence against women and girls. Find more information on the specific rules and criteria online and in our press release. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

World Cancer Day: knowing more means helping more

Discussing cancer related issues is never easy. At the same time, given that the disease is still the second leading cause of death in the EU, there is a constant need for a robust, well informed response to it in order to contribute to the prevention, early detection, and adequate treatment. The European Cancer Information System (ECIS) website launched on the occasion of World Cancer Day by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s in-house science and knowledge service, allows experts and practitioners to explore geographical patterns and trends. It gathers data from around 150 European population-based cancer registries covering 25 EU Member States and 7 non-EU European countries providing valuable information on howwell national cancer programmes are actually working, and address shortcomings. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, highlighted: “Reliable data is an important aspect of the EU’s approach to cancer, along with tackling risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, pesticides and pollution, screening for diagnosis and treatment, research, and connecting expertise through the European Reference Networks and joint actions “.  “The European Cancer Information System is an excellent example of our support for decision-makers and researchers across the EU and beyond. It allows for the assessment and monitoring of the disease across regions and countries, following trends over time and helping to gather information that could lead to a further decrease of cancer rates.” explained Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, responsible for the Joint Research Centre. EU has been supporting research to fight cancer since 1985 through its research and innovation programmes. These efforts focus on developing patient-oriented strategies to prevent, cure and help people live with cancer. With funding totalling €2.4 billion since 2007, European #cancer research has been leading personalised medicine approaches and efforts to understanding cancer biology as well as better prevention, treatment and care solutions.You can find more information here and here. Read some of the success stories of EU funded cancer research here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel:+32 22967083; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

Mozambique joins the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Southern African States

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) became the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after its implementation by Mozambique. Mozambique was the last piece of the SADC-EPA jigsaw to fall into place. The other five countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South-Africa, and Swaziland – have been implementing the agreement since October 2016. Implementing the EPA means that Mozambique will not have to pay customs duties on its exports to the EU. The EU is the largest export market for Africa. Exports to the EU represent 22% of SADC EPA countries’ exports. The EU-SADC EPA provides opportunities for SADC countries to create jobs, attract more investment, industrialise, integrate into global value chains. On the EU side, European businesses are increasingly investing in the region. For its part, Mozambique will progressively, over the course of several years, reduce or eliminate customs duties for many of EU exports. Trade between the EU and Mozambique is currently about €2 billion annually. Mozambican exports to the EU include aluminium and raw cane sugar. For more information see here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of De Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij by Waterland

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of De Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij B.V. by Nuts Groep B.V, ultimately controlled by Waterland Private Equity Investments B.V. (“Waterland”), all of the Netherlands. Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij supplies electricity and gas to small customers in the Netherlands. Nuts Groep is active in the supply of electricity and gas to small customers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Waterland is an independent private equity firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the companies’ moderate combined market position resulting from the proposed transaction. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8781. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)

Eurostat: Décembre 2017 comparé à novembre 2017 – Le volume des ventes du commerce de détail en baisse de 1,1% dans la zone euro, en baisse de 1,0% dans l’UE28

En décembre 2017 par rapport à novembre 2017, le volume des ventes du commerce de détail corrigé des variations saisonnières a diminué de 1,1% dans la zone euro (ZE19) et de 1,0% dans l’UE28, selon les estimations d’Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne. En novembre, le commerce de détail avait progressé de 2,0% dans la zone euro et de 2,1% dans l’UE28. En décembre 2017 par rapport à décembre 2016, l’indice des ventes de détail s’est accru de 1,9% dans la zone euro et de 2,4% dans l’UE28. Par rapport à 2016, le volume moyen des ventes de détail a progressé en 2017 de 2,6% tant dans la zone euro que dans l’UE28. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations:Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tel.: +32 229 55040; Maud Noyon – Tel. +32 229-80379)


Eurostat: Consommation d’énergie en 2016 – La consommation dans l’UE est au-dessus de l’objectif d’efficacité énergétique

L’Union européenne (UE) s’est engagée à réduire sa consommation d’énergie de 20% par rapport aux projections d’ici à 2020. Cet objectif est également connu sous le nom d’«objectif d’efficacité énergétique de 20%». En d’autres termes, l’UE a pris l’engagement de parvenir à une consommation d’énergie primaire inférieure ou égale à 1 483 millions de tonnes équivalent pétrole (Mtep) et une consommation d’énergie finale inférieure ou égale à 1 086 Mtep en 2020. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.:+32 229 52589)


Joint Statement on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

On International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, HighRepresentative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioners Johannes Hahn, Neven Mimica, and Vĕra Jourová, made the following statement:”We confirm our firm resolve to put an end to this practice which is painful, traumatic and causes long-term health consequences. A practice that is nearly always carried out on children. A practice that is a fundamental human rights violation and an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. Despite the efforts of the EU and its partners, 200 million girls are still suffering from this violation, which occurs in all parts of the world. […] In Europe itself, girls are still today subject to this illegal practice. […] We have put laws in place, to ensure that there can be no impunity in Europe for this practice. Female genital mutilation is a crime in all EU Member States […]. At the international level, together with the United Nations, we have launched an unprecedented initiative – the Spotlight Initiative – to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. […]. Through these actions we provide direct and targeted support to the victims of such harmful practices. The EU will […] continue building strong partnerships through bilateral, as well as multilateral cooperation. […] We want a society where women are free from violence and free to change the world.” Please read the full statement here and find more information on EU actions to counter Female Genital Mutilation in a memo here. (for more information: Christian Wigand- Tel.: +32 229 62253; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322)

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


CALENDRIER du 6 juin au 12 juin 2016

(Susceptible de modifications en cours de semaine)

Déplacements et visites

Lundi 6 juin

Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (until 07/06), in Luxembourg.

European Parliament plenary session (until 09/06), in Strasbourg.

Ms Federica Mogherini in the United States of America: attends a briefing at the UN Security Council; meets with Mr Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations; delivers a speech at the UN Security Council (in New York); takes part in the Global Forum of American Jewish Congress (in Washington DC).

Ms Kristalina Georgieva in Prague, the Czech Republic: meets with Mr Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister, and with Mr Lubomír Zaorálek, Foreign Affairs Minister; gives a keynote speech at the Prague European Summit “EU in a Time of Crisis: Better Together?”

Mr Andrus Ansip receives European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA).

Mr Maroš Šefčovič in Luxembourg: participates in the signature ceremony of the “Political Declaration on energy cooperation between North Seas Countries”.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis in Paris, France: to discuss the European Semester with representatives from the Senate and the National Assembly.

Mr Johannes Hahn in Luxembourg: holds a series of meetings in the European Court of Auditors.

Mr Neven Mimica on official visit to the Pacific region (until 09/06), including New Zealand and Australia. He holds a series of bilateral meetings as part of his visit.

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete in Luxembourg: signs the “Political Declaration on energy cooperation between North Seas Countries”; meets with Mr Peter Žiga, Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic.

Mr Karmenu Vella in Copenhagen, Denmark: delivers a speech at the 3GF Global Green Growth Forum; delivers a keynote speech at the Conference on “How do we Scale up Circular Economy?”; meets with Mr Esben Lunde Larsen, Minister for Environment and Food of Denmark; visits RGS 90 A/S, a treatment plant for soil, polluted industrial water, and used construction material.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis receives Mr Achim Irimescu, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania.

Mr Christos Stylianides receives Ms Marta Ruedas, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan.

Ms Margrethe Vestager in Copenhagen, Denmark: gives a keynote speech for the Copenhagen Rotary Club.


Mardi 7 juin

College meeting

Ms Federica Mogherini meets with Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia, in Strasbourg.


Mercredi 8 juin

President Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Mr Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, together with Mr Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, in Brussels.

Ms Federica Mogherini on official visit to Canada (until 09/06).

Mr Maroš Šefčovič in Berlin, Germany: meets with Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany; gives a keynote speech at the German Association of Energy and Water Industries – BDEW (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft e. V.).

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis delivers the opening remarks at the Brussels Economic Forum, in Brussels.

Ms Cecilia Malmström in Botswana for the signing of the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (10/06): meets with Botswanan leaders; visits the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat; meets with representatives of Debswana, the leading diamond company in partnership with the Botswanan Government (in Gaborone).

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete meets with Mr Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis in Amsterdam, The Netherlands: delivers a speech at the eHealth Week 2016.

Ms MarianneThyssen in Geneva, Switzerland: participates in the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO); attends a ministerial lunch organised by the Dutch Presidency of the European Council on “Strengthening Workplace Compliance – Realising Decent Work in Global Supply Chain”; meets with international workers and employers organisations; participates in a diner of G20 labour and employment ministers, as a contribution to the World Day against Child Labour.

M. Pierre Moscovici à Paris, France: est en auditions à l’Assemblée nationale et au Sénat de la République française devant les Commissions des finances et des affaires européennes.

Ms Vĕra Jourová in Luxembourg: meets with Mr Félix Braz, Minister of Justice of Luxembourg; Mr Andrea Orlando, Minister of Justice of Italy; and with Mr Jean-Jacques Urvoas, Minister of Justice of France.

Mr Tibor Navracsics in Karlsruhe, Germany: visits the Joint Research Centre (JRC) site with Mr Günther Oettinger for the inauguration of new infrastructures. He also gives the opening remarks at the JRC event organised on site. 


Jeudi 9 juin

Justice and Home Affairs Council (until 10/06), in Luxembourg.

President Jean-Claude Juncker in Geneva, Switzerland: delivers a speech at the World of Work Summit organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia.

Ms Kristalina Georgieva in Germany: delivers a keynote speech at the conference “Europe in a changing world: what should Europe do” (in Berlin); meets with Mr Stanislaw Tillich, Prime Minister of Saxony (in Dresden).

Mr Andrus Ansip in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic: participates in the Conference ITAPA 2016 (Information Technologies and Public Administration); meets with Mr Peter Pellegrini, Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic and with stakeholder specialised in Digital Single Market and e-commerce; has ministerial meetings and visits the National Council of the Slovak Republic.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič receives Mr Marco Alverà, CEO of the Snam Group.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: attends the Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM).

Mr Johannes Hahn gives a keynote speech at Institution Building Days 2016, on the occasion of the TAIEX’s (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument) 20th anniversary; participates in the Roma Integration 2020 Launch Event; receives Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia, in Brussels.

Ms Cecilia Malmström in Kasane, Botswana: meets with Trade Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete participates in the High-Level Round Table on Low Carbon Innovation, in Brussels; receives Mr Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam Group.

Mr Karmenu Vella in St Petersburg, Russia (until 10/06): participates in the 21st North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis delivers a speech at the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) and the EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients (FEFANA) EU Stakeholder Conference on “Innovation in Animal Nutrition”, in Brussels.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis in Eindhoven, The Netherlands: participates in a Citizens’ dialogue on E-Health.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos receives Mr Rob Bertholee, Head of the Counter-Terrorism Group and Director-General of the General Intelligence and Security Service of The Netherlands.

Ms Marianne Thyssen attends the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Executive Committee.

M. Pierre Moscovici à Paris, France: rencontre M. François Villeroy de Galhau, Gouverneur de la Banque de France.

Mr Christos Stylianides receives Mr Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Mr Phil Hogan in Portugal: visits the National Agriculture Fair; participates and delivers a speech at the International Conference “The Grand Challenges for Innovation in Agriculture”; meets with Mr Luís Capoulas Santos, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development of Portugal; meets with Mr Vasco Cordeiro, President of the Regional Government of Azores (in Santarém); attends the inauguration of the 1st water connection from Alqueva Irrigation Global System to the Irrigation Perimeter of Roxo; visits the Fruit Concentration Logistics and Shipping Platform of the water distribution system of the Alqueva dam (in Ervidel/Aljustrel).

Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska delivers a keynote speech on circular economy in the textile industry at the EURATEX Industrial Dialogues event, in Brussels.

Ms Vĕra Jourová in Luxembourg: meets with Mr Heiko Maas, Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection of Germany.

Mr Tibor Navracsics in Pilsen, the Czech Republic: participates in the “OOPEN UP! Festival” conference focusing on the evaluation of cultural projects; meets with Ministers of Culture of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries and delivers the opening remarks for the Visegrad International Prize.

Mr Carlos Moedas in Lisbon, Portugal: delivers a speech and presents awards at the 11th European Inventor Award ceremony.


Vendredi 10 juin

Ms Federica Mogherini receives Mr Jiechi Yang, State Counsellor of China.

Mr Andrus Ansip delivers a keynote speech at European Dialogue on Internet Governance (Eurodig) event, in Brussels.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič in Barcelona, Spain: gives a keynote speech at the Eurogas General Assembly 2016.

Ms Cecilia Malmström in Kasane, Botswana: for the Signature Ceremonyof the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.

Mr Neven Mimica receives Mr Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Finance of Benin.

Mr Karmenu Vella in St Petersburg, Russia: participates in the 21st North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference.

Ms Violeta Bulc in Athens, Greece: attends The International Shipping Exhibition “Posidonia” and meets with Mr Thodoris Dritsas, Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy.

Mr Tibor Navracsics in Budapest, Hungary: gives the closing speech at the regional workshop on “Education and the Investment Plan for Europe” organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the European Investment Bank.

Ms Margrethe Vestager in Sofia, Bulgaria: meets with Mr Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria; Mr Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister; Mr Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and Economic Policies; Mr Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance; Mr Ivaylo Moskovski, Minister of Transport and with Ms Temenuzhka Petkova, Minister of Energy.

Mr Carlos Moedas in Berlin, Germany: participates in the Startup Europe Week.


Samedi 11 juin

Mr Neven Mimica in Windhoek, Namibia (until 12/06): attends the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (Africa Caribbean Pacific–European Union).

Ms Margrethe Vestager meets with the Executive committee of the Danish Liberal party, in Brussels.


Dimanche 12 juin

Mr Christos Stylianides in Rome, Italy (until 13/06): attends the World Food Programme Board.

Prévisions du mois de juin:

13/06 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Luxembourg.

16/06 Eurogroup, in Luxembourg.

22-23/06 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels.

28-29/06 European Council, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de juillet:

04-06/07 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

11/07 Eurogroup, in Brussels.

12/07 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels.

18/07 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.

18/07 Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de septembre:

09/09 Eurogroup, in Bratislava.

12-14/09 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

20/09 General Affairs Council, in Brussels.

29-30/09 Competitiveness Council, in Brussels.

Permanence DG COMM le WE du 4 au 5 juin:

Natasha BERTAUD, +32 (0)460 767 456         

Permanence RAPID – GSM: +32 (0)498 982 748

Service Audiovisuel, planning studio – tél. : +32 (0)2/295 21 23