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Published on 16-05-14

We are trialling this new weekly round-up of EU news. Each week, we will sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising London events on EU-related subjects. Let us know what you think at


    EC London Office weekly round-up

    Main news from Brussels this week

    EU-backed UK films in Cannes Festival selection

    The Cannes Film Festival started on Wednesday 14 May. More than 20 films directed by some of the biggest names in European cinema and supported by the EU's Creative Europe MEDIA programme will be screened at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival (14-25 May), including seven films in competition for the top prize, the Palme d'Or. Among these MEDIA-supported films are Mike Leigh's Mr Turner and Jimmy's Hall by Ken Loach. Previously, MEDIA supported The Wind That Shakes The Barley by Ken Loach, which received the Palme d'Or in 2006.

    More information


    New university ranking tool

    A new EU-backed university ranking tool – U Multirank – was launched on 13 May. It avoids simplistic league tables, providing instead a "like-for-like" comparison between more than 850 institutions in Europe and beyond analysing performance in 30 different areas – a much wider range than existing international rankings.

    More information


    All this week's key European Commission announcements can be found here.


    EU and the UK

    EU Commissioner László Andor in London

    EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor has been in London 15-16 May. He gave lectures on youth employment and youth civic engagement at the University of London and on ‘Investing in people: how to maintain Europe’s competitiveness', at Chatham House. He is also scheduled to visit a project supporting young people at risk of exclusion, in Eltham South London, where he will be accompanied by the deputy mayor of London, Kit Malthouse.

    EU Commissioner László Andor's speech at Chatham House

    EU Commissioner László Andor's speech at the University of London

    Streetvibes project


    The EU Explained, a comedy by Matthew Perret

    Matthew Perret, lecturer in European Studies, explains how the EU works with the help of rap, many flags, and a PowerPoint presentation in the wrong language. The comedy show has been staged several nights this week at the Canal Café theatre in Little Venice, central London, and continues until Sunday at 7.30 pm (7.00 on Sunday).

    More information


    Finance for Jobs and Growth in Europe

    On 13 May, TheCityUk, CBI, Prudential and KPMG met at Europe House to discuss finance for jobs and growth in Europe. The main messages were that the City believes EU membership is crucial to Britain's prosperity and the success of its financial services sector and that the City wants to see the role of the finance industry in promoting growth and jobs mainstreamed into a revamped EU growth strategy.  The finance industry wants to perform its societal role as effectively as possible, notably in financing major infrastructure and dealing with aging populations.  To do so, finance needs to be consulted earlier on regulatory proposals, which should all be subject to rigorous ex ante and ex post assessment for their impact on growth and employment, including their broader impact on the functioning of markets.  The City will be very proactive in presenting its vision to policymakers, including the new Commission and European Parliament.

    More events organised by TheCityUK

    The EC's UK offices this week

    Breakfast Talk by the European Ombudsman – the place for clear language in good government

    On 15 May, Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman gave a speech at Europe House. She answered the following questions:  

    • Is poor communication undermining trust in government?
    • Government is a complex business: can we reasonably expect to be kept informed in clear language?
    • Is "Euroenglish" a necessary evil?
    • Can we embed clear writing principles in a sustainable way?

    Emily O’Reilly's speech

    For our upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter

    EU in the UK media this week

    Every week, we will pick out some examples of the week's most interesting comment pieces...which does not mean we agree with everything they say:

    Getting Out? U.K. Exit From EU Less Likely (Wall Street Journal) By Simon Nixon

    EU elections 2014: Is immigration good for Britain? (Daily Telegraph) By James Kirkup

    EU fact of the week

    Members of the European Parliament

    Less than a week from the European elections, which will take place on 22 May in the UK, it is important to underline that MEPs have equal billing with national Ministers in making most key decisions in Europe (the European Commission proposes, but does not decide). Over the next five years these will include among many other things crucial policy decisions on jobs and growth, energy, climate change, financial services, the digital economy, data protection, consumer rights and animal welfare as well as the hoped for trade agreement with the US. MEPs will also have to approve the President of the European Commission and each individual Commissioner before they take office.
    Just as in a national election there are different parties with different programmes and who wins will make a difference to everyone.
    MEP seats are allocated on the basis of population of each Member State, which is why the UK is one of the European countries with most MEPs: 73 out of 766. Only France and Germany have a few more MEPS than the UK (respectively 1 and 27 more).

    European Parliament's website

    European elections website



    Tweet of the week

                           EC in UK (@EUlondonrep) May 11


    European Commission, Parliament and Council. Don't confuse them again with the handy infographic

    Quote of the week

    EuroEnglish is "an emerging variety of the English language used by speakers in the European Union whose mother tongue is not English", by Richard Nordquist, used by Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman during her speech on clear language in good government.

    Picture of the week - Candidates for European Commission presidency debating on 15 May


    Last update: 16/05/2014  |Top