The Commission has found Malta's plans for setting up a development bank to be in line with EU state aid rules. The bank will carry out non-commercial activities to facilitate access to finance for SMEs and to support infrastructure investment, without unduly distorting competition.
For nearly two years the large and unprecedented flow of refugees from war-torn or underdeveloped countries to the European Union has heavily impacted Europe's political and social life. Providing food and shelter for the masses of refugees reaching the EU, familiarising them with the new realities and cultural differences as well as supporting them through their integration process was and still is a major challenge which the concerned Member States could only face thanks to the spontaneous and overwhelming support of citizens and civil society in general.
The global climate is changing. However, every citizen, whether old or young, can do something to protect the climate. The Embassies of France, the Netherlands, Germany and the European Commission Representation in Malta have joined forces to launch an image competition for children on the occasion of the European Climate Action Days 2016.
Today, President Juncker announced his intention to allocate the Security Union portfolio to Sir Julian King, the candidate for Commissioner from the United Kingdom. On 11 July, President Juncker interviewed Sir Julian King as the candidate for Commissioner from the United Kingdom to replace former Commissioner Lord Hill. On this basis, President Juncker has today announced his intention to allocate the Security Union portfolio to Sir Julian King.
Europeans see immigration and terrorism as the major challenges facing the EU at the moment, and they support the political priorities of the European Commission. These are two key results of the latest Standard Eurobarometer survey published today. The survey was carried out between 21 and 31 May 2016 in 34 countries and territories.
On Wednesday 27 July, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, appointed Michel Barnier, former Vice-President of the European Commission and former French Minister, as Chief Negotiator in charge of leading the Commission Taskforce for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 of the TEU.
During his official visit to Malta, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, participated in a Public Seminar on the European Neighbourhood Policy: The Challenges we face in the South. The seminar, which was organised by the European Commission Representation in Malta in collaboration with the Strickland Foundation, took place on Thursday 21 July at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Valletta.
On Thursday 21 July, Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, was in Malta to discuss the upcoming EU Presidency and to participate in a public debate organised by the European Commission Representation and the Strickland Foundation.
The European Commission Representation supported the University of Malta in hosting the 3rd Offshore Energy and Storage Symposium, OSES 2016, held between 13 and 15 July 2016 in Malta. The annual event is co-organised in collaboration with the Universities of Edinburgh, Nottingham, Leeds and Windsor. Focusing on energy storage and offshore renewables, OSES 2016 provides a platform for academics and industry from around the world to share the latest developments in technology, economics and policy, through presentations and networking sessions.
Following the Council decision of 12 July 2016 that Spain and Portugal did not take effective action to correct their excessive deficits, on Wednesday 27 July the Commission recommended a new fiscal adjustment path for both countries. The College of Commissioners also recommended that the fine be cancelled for both countries, a recommendation which the Council will need to approve, amend or reject. The Council is not bound by the Commission recommendation but can increase the fine to up to 0.2% of GDP under EU rules.