Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is today in Washington DC at the 2016 Our Ocean Conference. The conference, hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, was addressed by US President Barack Obama.
Today the European Commission is launching the fifteenth annual EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK (16-22 September), with events in over 2,000 European cities. This includes the organisation of car-free days in a number of European towns. Urban transport accounts for 23% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions and the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK encourages individual changes in mobility habits to reduce emissions in cities. These actions form part of the strategy for low-emission mobility adopted by the Commission on 20 July.
The European Commission is forging ahead with work to draw up a first common EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions by presenting a pre-assessment ('scoreboard of indicators') of all third countries according to key indicators. It is now for EU Member States to choose which countries should be screened more fully over the next months so as to accurately pinpoint the countries which do not play by the rules when it comes to taxation.
Full text from President Juncker's State of the Union 2016 speech at the European Parliament.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today delivered his 2016 State of the Union address before the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Setting out his priorities for the year ahead, the President said: "The next twelve months are decisive if we want to reunite our Union. Europe is a cord of many strands – it only works when we are all pulling in the same direction: EU institutions, national governments and national Parliaments alike. And we have to show again that this is possible, in a selected number of areas where common solutions are most urgent. I am therefore proposing a positive agenda of concrete European actions for the next twelve months."
In June this year, EU institutions agreed to set up the European Border and Coast Guard, which will be composed of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and the Member State authorities responsible for border management. The new Agency with location in Warsaw will play an important role in protecting EU´s external border and helping to guarantee internal security in the EU. The new European Border and Coast Guard Agency will reinforce Member States' capacities at the external borders through joint operations and rapid border interventions.
Today, the European Commission opens the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017 competition, which awards four female entrepreneurs who have successfully brought an innovation to market.
H.E. Dolores Cristina, Acting President, presided over the award-giving ceremony of the Image Competition for Schoolchildren on the occasion of Climate Diplomacy Week. The ceremony took place at Dar l-Ewropa on Tuesday 13 September 2016 in the presence of the participating students and their parents.
A staggering €159.5 billion in Value Added Tax (VAT) revenues were lost across the EU in 2014 according to figures released by the European Commission today. Research shows that the overall difference between the expected VAT revenue and the amount actually collected (the so-called 'VAT Gap') amounted once again to an unacceptably high yearly figure.
As foreseen in the rules to end roaming charges in June 2017 (press release), the Commission today presented a draft for an implementing act defining different measures to make it work properly. The specific parameters include a fair use policy preventing abusive usages: for example, if the customer buys a SIM card in another EU country where domestic prices are lower to use it at home; or if the customer permanently stays abroad with a domestic subscription of his home country.