Archive pour mars 2010

Green Energy : Regions will invest more thanks to the EIB

Mercredi 31 mars 2010

The mecanism Elena, launched in december will allow the regions to invest more than 1 billion euros for renewable energy.

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European Citizens support their farmers

Mercredi 31 mars 2010

European citizens broadly support the new aims of agricultural policy as conducted at European Union level and a majority are in favour of maintaining its budget. This is one of the main findings of a survey of people’s attitudes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Following two similar, recent polls carried out in 2006 and 2007, this latest survey confirms that the guiding principles and aims of the CAP are supported by a majority of people. The survey was carried out between 13 November and 9 December 2009 by TNS Opinion at the behest of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. Following the traditional Eurobarometer method, a thousand individual interviews were conducted in each of the twenty-seven Member States of the European Union.

An overwhelming majority of European citizens consider that agriculture and the rural environment are vital issues for Europe’s future (average 90% – ranging from 96% in Greece to 80% in the United Kingdom).

European public opinion continues to be broadly in favour of the CAP’s new aims, which are to help farmers to meet the challenges arising from climate change, to become more market-oriented, to allocate support more fairly and to make it conditional on compliance with environmental standards, to maintain the countryside and to develop the rural economy.

According to public opinion, the agricultural policy should focus on ensuring the quality and safety of agricultural products, provide a decent standard of living for farmers and ensure reasonable prices for consumers, protect the environment and rise to the challenges of climate change.

The support for agricultural policy is accompanied by a general preference for the policy to be conducted at European level. Whether it is the protection of the environment, rising to the challenges of climate change, security of supply, ensuring the quality and safety of food or providing a decent standard of living for farmers, citizens believe all these issues should be dealt with at European level.

This year’s survey also included a new series of questions about agriculture and climate change. On this point, almost half the respondents (46%) believe that agriculture has already made a major contribution to combating climate change. A large majority (82%) agree that the EU must help farmers to change the way they work in order to combat climate change. A similar proportion of respondents (77%) believe that agriculture will be greatly affected by climate change over the next few years and two thirds (61%) do not believe that agriculture is one of the principal causes of climate change.

The recognition of the fundamental role of agriculture in Europe explains the high level of support among those polled for maintaining the subsidies paid to farmers (83%). The vast majority of people interviewed (66%) also consider the CAP budget to be either adequate or insufficient, compared with only 17% who believe it is too high. Looking ahead, 70% take the view that financial assistance to farmers in the European Union over the next ten years should increase or remain more or less the same. The percentage of people who think the budget for agricultural policy should increase has been rising for the last 3 years.

These results must be seen alongside those of the standard Eurobarometer study conducted in October/November 209 in which Europeans put agricultural support as the third priority for relaunching sustainable growth.

New Commission report presents first assessment of roll-out of European cohesion policy

Mercredi 31 mars 2010

€93 billion or 27 % of EU funding has been allocated to projects for investment in jobs and growth in Europe over the last three years, according to a report adopted today on the EU’s cohesion programmes for the 2007-2013 period.

Presented by Commissioners Johannes Hahn (Regional Policy) and László Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), the report assesses, for the first time, the rate of progress of each country on delivering agreed EU objectives. It shows how well Member States aligned their programmes to EU goals of jobs and growth and contributes to an open debate on achievements and challenges of cohesion policy programmes. Furthermore the report calls on Member States to improve the implementation of programmes, to make optimal use of the cohesion money, for instance in the rail sector, key energy and environment projects and the field of social inclusion.

For Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy,this report is a new feature for cohesion policy. It puts into practice our ambition to establish a robust system for the delivery of structural fund investments during the programming period. The global economic crisis has obviously had an impact upon implementation. However, the overall picture is positive. It shows cohesion policy is successful in investing in regions. Delivery of the agreed strategies is being put in place at a good pace, with progress in key sectors such as Research & Development and innovation particularly encouraging. Member States now have to move forward and improve the implementation of programmes.

According to László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, the training and up skilling offered by the European Social Fund to people looking for work is progressing and bearing fruit. But more can be done to help those hit hardest by the downturn. Member States need to step up investments, especially in the area of social inclusion and institutional capacity building so that they can run programmes effectively. The crisis has proven the relevance and value of the European Social Fund when we see that the measures most resorted to have been active labour market policies to get people into work.

Millions of Europeans and hundreds of thousands of enterprises benefit from the cohesion policy programmes. Based on national reports from the 27 Member States, the Commission’s report highlights important and timely messages on the potential of the Structural Funds to accelerate the exit from the economic crisis. It serves as a monitoring instrument, identifying the investment areas where action must be taken to speed up the selection and execution of projects co-financed under the programming period 2007-2013.

The bulk of cohesion policy resources (around €230 billion) have been earmarked for investment in the key areas of the growth and jobs agenda. While the report suggests that progress has been positive in important areas such as Research & Development (R&D), innovation, lifelong learning and active labour market policies, it also indicates that more should be done to accelerate project implementation in the rail sector, in key energy and environment investments, in the digital economy, and in support of social inclusion. The Commission calls on the Member States to target these priority areas, if necessary, by putting in place action plans to overcome the delays.

Despite the sharp deterioration in the socio-economic landscape between 2007 and 2009, the report indicates a strong commitment to the implementation of the programme aims established at the outset. On average across the EU, more than 27% of funding for the 2007-2013 period has already been allocated to specific projects - amounting to an investment of more than € 93 billion (see accompanying MEMO/10/115 for rates of project selection by Member State).

The report also contains an indicative selection of 40 project examples (see MEMO/10/115) to show the broad range of investment priorities. It makes a clear link between the implementation of the programmes, and the delivery of the Europe 2020 objectives to improve innovation performance and create a smarter, greener, more socially inclusive economy.

However the global economic crisis has obviously had an impact upon programme implementation. Many of the national reports cite this as a major factor complicating delivery. In response a number of changes were made to make programmes more responsive to the challenges created by the crisis (IP/09/1175). Many Member States have also opted to use the flexibility in their programmes to rebalance priorities where required, addressing new needs amongst businesses and the long-term and recently unemployed. As a result the flow of cohesion policy resources has remained broadly constant as Member States use the stability of EU resources to maintain and plan key investment, even during the economic crisis.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL - 25/26 MARCH 2010 - CONCLUSIONS

Samedi 27 mars 2010

D/10/10 Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED COMMISSION EUROPÉENNETEXTE ENEUROPEAN COUNCIL25/26 MARCH 2010CONCLUSIONS_________________ EUROPEAN COUNCILBrussels, 26 March 2010 …

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Androulla VASSILIOU European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Young talents for an ancient art Juvenes Translatores Award Ceremony Brussels, Charlemagne Building, 25 March 2010

Samedi 27 mars 2010

SPEECH/10/131Androulla VASSILIOUEuropean Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and YouthYoung talents for an ancient art Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED Juvenes Translatores Award Ceremony Brussels, Charlemagne …

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The European area of higher education 10 years after Bologna Accords

Vendredi 26 mars 2010

Ministers of Higher Education of 47 European countries met on Thursday 11 and Friday, March 12 in Budapest and Vienna to take stock of the progress of the European area of higher education, initiated 10 years ago with the Bologna processus, one year after the declaration of the Sorbonne.

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Lisbon Treaty : A direct instrument of democracy on the european level.

Vendredi 26 mars 2010

The right to launch a citizens’ initiatives to change EU laws will be considered by MEPs today. On the table are a number of options about how the system could work in practice with the number of people and number of countries represented being key issues.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s debate, the head of Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee, Italian MEP Carlo Casini told us, “the citizen’s initiative has a great symbolic value. It shows the existence of a European people, that is more than the sum of nationals’ citizens”.

For it to be operational, the EU has to define the rules, which are not detailed by the Lisbon Treaty. As Mr Casini explains “the new instrument has to guarantee the seriousness of individual signatures and at the same time ease of access”.

MEPs have already set out what they would like to see regarding the number of states that are represented. In a resolution adopted last May they called for a quarter of EU countries to be represented - at present that would mean 7 countries. When the Commission unveil their proposals today it will remain to be seen how many they ask for.

Another issue of contention is online signatures and how signatures will be verified when they are collected and submitted.

It is envisaged that the citizens’ initiative will be up and running next year after Parliament and EU governments have reached a consensus on how it will work.

The Eurogroup agrees to help Greece

Vendredi 26 mars 2010

The 16 member states have adopted a mechanism involving bilateral loans from countries of the euro area and a contribution from the IMF.

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Second EU Health Prize for Journalists

Vendredi 26 mars 2010

Today, the European Commission launches the second EU health prize for journalists in print and on-line articles. The prize is part of the ‘Europe for Patients’ campaign launched in September 2008. It aims to stimulate and reward high-quality journalism that raises awareness of healthcare and patients’ rights issues.

Journalists are invited to submit articles published in print or on-line publications between 16 June 2009 and 01 July 2010 using an on-line entry form. The competition closes at midnight on 01 July 2010.

The winners will be chosen as follows: in each EU country, a national jury composed of journalists and public health experts, chaired by the European Commission, will select one national finalist. An EU jury will then select three EU level winners among the 27 finalists. Once the names of the national and EU jury members are confirmed, they will be made available on the Journalist Prize website.

The winners will receive cash prizes of 5.000 € for first place, 3.000 € for second and 2.000 € for third. All national finalists will be invited to Brussels in autumn 2010 to participate in a media seminar on EU health issues. The EU Health Prize for journalists was launched for the first time in 2009.

Last year’s first place winner was Estelle Saget (France) with an article titled “Schizophrenia explained to family and friends”, published in “L’Express”. Audre Srebaliene (Lithuania) won second prize with her article “Blood sister”, published in “Savaitinis zurnalas” and Emilia Chiscop (Romania) won third prize with the article “Moving tale of will and courage”, published in “Ziarul de Iasi”.

The EU health prize for journalists and the Europe for Patients Campaign are funded under the Second Community Health Programme 2008-2013. Further details on the rules and conditions are available on the website.

Olli Rehn European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Policy The Giegold Report on the 2009 Annual Statement of the euro area European Parliament Brussels, 25 March 2010

Vendredi 26 mars 2010

SPEECH/10/127Olli RehnEuropean Commissioner for Economic and Monetary PolicyThe Giegold Report on the 2009 Annual Statement of the euro area Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED European ParliamentBrussels, 25 March 2010President, …

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