Representation in United Kingdom

European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom

Europe House

Each week we sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising UK events on EU-related subjects. All comments welcome at COMM-UK-PRESS@ec.europa.eu

This is the last weekly round-up of 2016. We will resume on 13 January 2017.

The press office will operate a rota over the Christmas period from 24 December to 2 January included, for which detail will be available on our website or by calling the press office line 0207 973 1971.

The London team takes this opportunity to wish you all a happy festive period!

16/12/2016

Main news from Brussels this week

European Council

EU Heads of state and government met in Brussels on 15 December. The outcome of the European Council showed progress in the implementation of European responses to the challenges the EU is facing: migration, security, defence and economic and social development. The situations in Ukraine and Syria were also addressed. At a short informal meeting following the European Council, 27 EU leaders (all except the United Kingdom) met to discuss how the Brexit process will be handled once the United Kingdom has submitted the notification under Article 50.

Conclusions of the European Council

Statement after the informal meeting of the 27 heads of state or government on the United Kingdom

Commission's proposal to update EU rules on social security coordination

The European Commission presented a proposal to revise the EU legislation on social security coordination. If the Council and European Parliament agree, EU rules will be updated in the following four areas:

  • Unemployment benefits: jobseekers would be able to export their unemployment benefits for at least six months (currently three months);
  • Long term care benefits: clarification of what long-term care benefits are and where citizens residing in other member states than their own can claim them;
  • Access of economically inactive citizens to social benefits: the proposal clarifies that member states may decide not to grant social benefits to economically inactive citizens residing in other member states than their own;
  • Social security coordination for posted workers: the Commission proposes to strengthen the administrative rules on social security coordination for posted workers.

More information

FAQ

Galileo

Europe's satellite navigation system Galileo started offering its initial services to public authorities, businesses and citizens. Galileo will start to deliver, in conjunction with GPS, the following services free of charge: support to emergency operations, more accurate navigation for citizens, better time synchronisation for critical infrastructures, secure services for public authorities.

More information

FAQ

EU approves new rules for member states to drastically cut air pollution

The European Parliament and the Council signed into law the new National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive, based on a Commission proposal, that sets stricter limits on the five main pollutants (fine particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds and ammonia). It will enter into force on 31 December 2016. When fully implemented, the Directive will reduce by almost half the health damage from air pollution by 2030. The agreement of stricter limits in the NEC is an important achievement and will also have substantial benefits for the quality of fresh water, soil, and ecosystems and help address the impacts of harmful particles causing climate change like black carbon.

More information

FAQ

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


EU and the UK

UK-based researchers are top recipients of latest round of EU funding

UK-based researchers are top of the league in the European Research Council's (ERC) latest round of mid-career consolidator grants. Fifty-eight researchers working in UK institutions will each receive up to €2 million (£1.7m) of EU funding to set up their own teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas. Germany is in second place with 48 successful applicants.

More information

For upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter


EU in the media this week

Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting stories or comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:

Reality check: will it take 10 years to do a UK-EU trade deal post Brexit? by Jon Henley and Dan Roberts in the Guardian


EU fact of the week

Mobile roaming charges

As of 15 June 2017, Europeans will pay the same price to use their mobile devices when travelling in the EU as they do at home. Thanks to earlier EU rules, today's roaming charges are substantially lower than in 2007. Operators can't charge more than €0.05 (about 3.5 pence) per minute for a call made, €0.02 (about 1.4 pence) per text message sent and €0.05 (3.5 pence) per MB of data (excl VAT).

More information


Tweet of the week


Quote of the week

"We welcome the intention of the UK to do so [trigger Article 50] before the end of March 2017, so that we can begin to tackle the uncertainties arising from the prospect of the UK's withdrawal. […] We reiterate that any agreement will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations, and that access to the Single Market requires acceptance of all four freedoms", Heads of State or Government of 27 EU member states, as well as the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.


Picture of the week

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Galileo

Galileo

Europe House

Each week we sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising UK events on EU-related subjects. All comments welcome at COMM-UK-PRESS@ec.europa.eu

09/12/2016

Main news from Brussels this week

European Solidarity Corps: New opportunities for young Europeans

Young Europeans will have new opportunities to gain invaluable experience, to develop their skills at the start of their career and to make a contribution to society, as the European Commission launched its European Solidarity Corps initiative on 7 December. The scheme is intended to create an EU-wide range of options for young people to be placed with a project either for volunteering or for a traineeship, an apprenticeship or a job for a period between 2 and 12 months. Interested young people between 17 and 30, who are EU citizens or legally residing in the EU can register with the European Solidarity Corps to engage in a broad variety of activities such as education, health, social integration, assistance in the provision of food, shelter construction, reception, support and integration of migrants and refugees, environmental protection or prevention of natural disasters.

More information

Q&A

Progress made under the European agenda on migration

The EU's efforts to tackle the refugee and migration crisis are achieving significant results, according to a Commission report published on 8 December, although greater efforts from member states are still needed to deliver the wider sharing of responsibility agreed by the Council.

There has been steady progress in implementing the EU-Turkey statement aiming to end irregular migration from Turkey to the EU and replace it with legal channels for the resettlement of refugees. Since March, arrivals have averaged 90 per day, compared to 10,000 in a single day in October last year. Return operations have continued to be carried out with an additional 170 persons returned since the third report, bringing the total number of persons returned under the statement to 1,187. However, important shortfalls remain, notably as regards the still too slow pace of returns from Greece to Turkey which has led to additional pressure on the Greek islands.

The report concludes that implementation of the EU's agreed scheme for relocating to other member states 160,000 asylum seekers who have already arrived in Greece and Italy has picked up speed, though much remains to be done. November saw 1,406 relocations, the highest monthly number so far, confirming a continuous positive trend, with relocation from Greece stabilising around 1,000 per month and relocation from Italy having increased significantly. In total, 8,162 persons have been relocated so far, 6,212 from Greece and 1,950 from Italy. The Commission considers that it should now be feasible to transfer all eligible relocation applicants in Greece and Italy to other member states by September 2017.

A third element of the EU's migration agenda is the legal resettlement directly to the EU of refugees from crisis-hit regions. Here member states have also continued to increase their efforts– offering legal and safe pathways to 13,887 people so far out of the 22,504 agreed under the July 2015 scheme. Since the previous report a record monthly number of 2,035 people have been resettled mainly from Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. An additional 544 Syrian refugees have been resettled from Turkey, bringing the total number of resettlements from Turkey under the EU-Turkey statement to 2,761.

Finally, the Commission also adopted a fourth recommendation that takes stock of the progress achieved by Greece to put in place a fully functioning asylum system and sets out a process for the gradual resumption of transfers to Greece of asylum seekers who first entered the EU in Greece but have now moved to other countries.

More information

EU-Turkey statement – Q&A

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


EU and the UK

First press briefing by Michel Barnier, Chief negotiator for the Article 50 negotiations with the UK

In his first press briefing, Michel Barnier, Chief negotiator for the Article 50 negotiations with the UK, explained that the period for actual negotiations will be shorter than two years. Article 50 says that "EU treaties cease to apply to the country in question [leaving the EU] from the date of entry into force of the agreement, or within 2 years of the notification of the withdrawal". Mr Barnier clarified that once Article 50 is triggered, the Council will need to set guidance and this will take a few weeks. He also reminded that at the end of the process, still within the two-year period, the agreement needs to be ratified by the European Parliament, the European Council and the UK. As this ratification process may take around five months, this leaves less than 18 months to negotiate. Mr Barnier argued that if Article 50 is triggered by March 2017, it is safe to say an agreement could be reached by October 2018. He stressed four principles that are important from the EU's point of view: unity is the strength of the EU, rights and benefits of EU members, negotiations won't start before notification and the single market and its four freedoms are indivisible.

Michel Barnier's full speech

Car emissions: Commission opened infringement procedures against seven member states, including the UK, for breach of EU rules

On 8 December, the European Commission launched infringement procedures – the formal way to ensure that agreed and adopted EU law and rules are implemented in practice – against seven EU member states, including the UK. The infringement cases against Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and the United Kingdom – the member states that issued type approvals for Volkswagen Group in the EU – are for not applying their national provisions on penalties despite the company's use of illegal defeat device software. The UK and Germany also refused to disclose, when requested by the Commission, all the technical information gathered in their national investigations regarding potential nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions irregularities in cars made by Volkswagen Group and other car manufacturers on their territories. The other three member states (the Czech Republic, Greece and Lithuania) failed to set up penalties systems to deter car manufacturers from violating car emissions legislation.

A letter of formal notice is a first step in an infringement procedure and constitutes an official request for information. The member states now have two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the Commission; otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion and ultimately, if matters are not rectified, to refer the member states concerned to the European Court of Justice.

More information

Q&A

PISA 2015 survey: UK outspends other developed economies on education

The UK spends about 30% more on the education of 6-15 year-olds (from public and private sources combined) than the average across the 35 developed OECD countries. The 2015 Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) also shows that British students outperform their peers in science proficiency while gender gap trends common in other countries are less pronounced in the UK.

More information

For upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter


EU in the media this week

Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting stories or comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:

Brexit could draw more criminals to the UK, says police chief by Helen Pidd in the Guardian


EU fact of the week

UK records one of the lowest shares of smokers in the EU

The UK is one of the EU countries with the lowest share of smokers among its population aged 15 and over – 17.2%. This puts it in second place, after Sweden with 16.7% (data is available for all EU countries except Ireland). At the opposite end of the scale, about 1 in 3 persons aged 15 or over was a smoker in Bulgaria (34.7%) and Greece (32.6%). The figures are a snapshot of the situation in 2014 and were released on 7 December by Eurostat, the EU's statistical office.

More information


Tweet of the week


Quote of the week

"I don't know what a hard or a soft Brexit are. I can say what a Brexit is: clear, ordered and with a clear agreement," Michel Barnier Chief negotiator for the Article 50 negotiations with the UK


Picture of the week

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Robot

The European summit on digital innovation for active and healthy ageing looks at how digital technology will transform the way we deliver health and care in Europe. It took place from 6 to 8 December. Robots – among which this one pictured – apps and wearables from the EU were displayed at the summit showing their solutions for active & healthy ageing.

Europe House

Each week we sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising UK events on EU-related subjects. All comments welcome at COMM-UK-PRESS@ec.europa.eu

02/12/2016

Main news from Brussels this week

Clean energy for all Europeans – unlocking Europe's growth potential

The Commission presented on 30 November a package of measures to keep the European Union competitive as the global clean energy transition is changing energy markets. The proposals have three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers. The Commission's “Clean Energy for All Europeans” proposals are designed to show that the clean energy transition is the growth sector of the future. Clean energies in 2015 attracted global investment of over €300 billion. The EU is well placed to use its research, development and innovation policies to turn this transition into a concrete industrial opportunity. By mobilising up to €177 billion of public and private investment per year from 2021, this package can generate up to 1% increase in GDP over the next decade and create 900,000 new jobs.

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Commission proposes new tax rules to support e-commerce and online businesses in the EU

On 1 December, the European Commission unveiled a series of measures to improve the Value Added Tax (VAT) environment for e-commerce businesses in the EU. The proposals will allow consumers and companies, in particular start-ups and SMEs, to buy and sell goods and services more easily online. By introducing an EU wide portal for online VAT payments (the 'One Stop Shop'), VAT compliance expenses will be significantly reduced, saving businesses across the EU €2.3 billion a year. The new rules will also ensure that VAT is paid in the member state of the final consumer, leading to a fairer distribution of tax revenues amongst EU countries. The proposals would help member states to recoup the current estimated €5 billion of lost VAT on online sales every year. Finally, the Commission is delivering on its pledge to enable member states to reduce VAT rates for e-publications such as e-books and online newspapers.

More information

Q&A

European defence action plan

On 30 November, European Commissioners adopted the European defence action plan, which proposes to create a European defence fund and includes a number of other actions to support member states' more efficient spending in joint defence capabilities, strengthen European citizens' security and foster a competitive and innovative industrial base. The Commission proposes to setup a European defence fund to support investment in joint research and the joint development of defence equipment and technologies, foster investments in SMEs, start-ups, mid-caps and other suppliers to the defence, and strengthen the Single Market for defence.

More information

FAQ

Major win for the EU in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute on Boeing

The United States' massive support for production of the Boeing 777X is in breach of international trade rules, according to a WTO panel report. This week, the WTO confirmed that the US 2013 decision to extend tax breaks for Boeing until the year 2040 goes against previous WTO rulings. By making these tax breaks depend on the use of domestically produced wings, the US also discriminated against foreign suppliers.

This is the second ruling concerning the US subsidies to Boeing. The American measures considered under this case alone amount to $5.7 billion, and have now been recognised by the WTO panel as subsidies that are illegal. This is the first time in the history of Airbus/Boeing litigation that a WTO panel finds that one of the disputing parties has granted such outright prohibited subsidies that discriminate against foreign producers. In the spring of 2017, the WTO is expected to issue a report on another long-standing case, which will confirm the extent of the US WTO-incompatible subsidies to Boeing.

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


EU and the UK

Chester gets EU award for enhancing disabled people access to tourist sites

The UK city of Chester is this year's winner of the Access City Award – an EU accolade that recognises the work and achievements of cities across Europe in improving access and opportunities for people with disabilities. Chester won in competition with forty-two other cities from twenty-one EU countries and was distinguished primarily for ensuring access to tourist sites.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: EU air passenger rights

The rights of air passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility are being highlighted by the UK European Consumer Centre as the international community marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. Despite EU law establishing substantial rights, the UK centre still receives reports from those travellers who face serious problems when travelling by air.

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What does leave mean?

The UK in a Changing Europe, a research initiative, organised an event on 28 November where Matthew Elliott, former CEO of Vote Leave, outlined the 12 reasons why he thought Leave won. In his opinion, the reasons included the Government's purdah defeat, David Cameron's EU deal, Boris Johnson and The Sun declaring for Leave and outgoing US President Barack Obama's intervention saying the UK would be "back of the queue" for trade talks. Mr Elliott suggested the UK could pay a fee to participate in programmes such as Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme and Erasmus+.

Professor John Curtice, University of Strathclyde, explained how people's attitude [in this case on Brexit] depends considerably on how the choice is framed. Most post-referendum polls frame it as a choice between free trade and immigration but Mr Curtice doesn’t believe this is how the public actually sees things. He touched upon different polls and concluded that Leave voters are "harder" than "Remain" voters in relation to the terms of Brexit but implied that they still appear inclined to a soft Brexit overall. He also mentioned that although Remain voters were "less keen" on a hard Brexit, a majority of them supported limiting freedom of movement.

Professor Matthew Goodwin, University of Kent, outlined the importance of the level of an individual's education on the way they voted on Brexit. He stated that less socially mobile people were more likely to support Leave. He said those against gender equality and same sex couples and in favour of stiffer sentences and the death penalty were much more likely to vote Leave than Remain. He argued that a geographical divide  interacted with a social divide and that people were more polarised along educational and regional lines than along income or other lines. Though in those generally disadvantaged areas where Leave won easily, even more highly educated sections of the population often voted that way. In London and other regions with prosperous economies, in contrast, less educated and less advantaged individuals were more likely than elsewhere to have voted Remain.

Nicky Morgan MP, former Education Secretary conceded that Remain suffered from less clear messaging and less unity. She emphasised the great divide between young people and older individuals and how they view life in general "incredibly differently". On next steps, Ms Morgan argued that a short Article 50 bill was needed and it would go through parliament quickly.

Will the EU survive?

The London School of Economics organised an event on 1 December where five different speakers gave a summary on where their countries stand on the EU. There was a strong consensus that despite its many challenges, the EU would, indeed, survive From the Netherlands, Michiel Van Hulten, LSE, felt the EU would survive but emphasised national governments should stop "bashing" Brussels. Philippe Marlière, UCL, made clear that French President François Hollande's support was very low and he would probably not run (which in the meantime President Hollande has confirmed). Bojan Pancevski, Sunday Times, said he thought Angela Merkel, German chancellor, would be re-elected but emphasised that she would no longer have the strength of leadership she once had and another coalition government was likely. Agata Gostynska-Jakubowska, Centre for European Reform, stated she thought Warsaw would be very disappointed to see the UK leave, that it had shared its vision of Europe and has sat with the same political groups. She said that some Poles think if the EU pushes ahead with reforms, the UK may not leave. Finally, Anand Menon, King's College London and Director of UK in a Changing Europe, outlined that the UK was not the top concern of other European countries and that five months of the two years for negotiation after the triggering of Article 50, would be "lost" if the Prime Minister set the process running in March, as other European countries would have elections.

European Commission hosted technical seminar on Article 50 negotiations

On 29 November, the European Commission hosted a half-day technical seminar on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom. Mr. Michel Barnier, Chief negotiator for the Article 50 negotiations with the UK, chaired the meeting, which included senior officials from member states, the European Parliament and the Secretariat of the Council of the EU. The aim of this seminar was to outline the issues at stake for the EU27. It should contribute to building a common understanding of the process to come. President Juncker and Michel Barnier are working hand-in-hand with the President of the European Council in forging a united position among the EU27.

For upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter


EU in the media this week

Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting stories or comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:

Brexit's bitter-sweet meaning for chocolate lovers - and Ivory Coast by Didi Akinyelure in BBC News


EU fact of the week

MEDIA programme

MEDIA – which this year marks 25 years since its launch - invested £55.3 million in the United Kingdom between 2007 and 2015. In the past, movies such as The King's Speech and The Iron Lady have also been supported by the MEDIA programme. The Iron Lady received €1.5 million (£1.3m) in distribution support to encourage cinemas to screen the film outside the country where it was made.

In 2014, the European cinema releases of 62 UK films were supported with €7.8 million (£6.6m), including nearly €1 million (£848,150) for Pride and €600,000 (£508,890) for Two Faces of January.

In 2015, 67 UK films received €4.7 million (£4m) for the same, including €600,000 (£508,890) for Florence Fosters Jenkins and €400,000 (£339,260) for Paddington.

On average some 60-70 UK films receive over €6 million (£5m) a year to support their cinema distribution in Europe (outside of the UK).

The MEDIA programme supports the audiovisual sector during a time of transformation by digital technology. The programme funds initiatives that can generate a real impact across Europe, including individual works, initiatives that promote new skills, and initiatives that promote and facilitate international cooperation. It helps distribute films and television productions across the EU, widening access to them and increasing audiences. This helps movies – frequently British ones – which are successful nationally to become successful across Europe.


Tweets of the week

 


Quote of the week

“To guarantee our collective security, we must invest in the common development of technologies and equipment of strategic importance – from land, air, sea and space capabilities to cyber security. It requires more cooperation between member states and greater pooling of national resources. If Europe does not take care of its own security, nobody else will do it for us. A strong, competitive and innovative defence industrial base is what will give us strategic autonomy," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.


Picture of the week

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Berlaymont

The Berlaymont – European Commission's main building in Brussels – was lit in orange, supporting the United Nation's OrangeTheWorld campaign to end violence against women

Europe House

Each week we sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising UK events on EU-related subjects. All comments welcome at COMM-UK-PRESS@ec.europa.eu

25/11/2016

Main news from Brussels this week

President Juncker proposed to tighten the Code of Conduct for Commissioners

In a letter to the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is seeking views of the Parliament on two important issues: first, a proposal to update the 2010 framework agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission so that Commissioners can stand in European Parliament elections without the need to take leave of absence. Second, the Commission's intention to tighten the Code of Conduct for Commissioners so that the "cooling-off" period – the time during which former Commissioners and Commission Presidents cannot take other paid employment – is extended from currently 18 months to two years for former Commissioners and to three years for the President of the Commission.

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EU banking reform package aims to support growth and restore confidence

On 23 November, the European Commission presented a comprehensive package of reforms to strengthen the resilience of EU banks. The proposal brings in the outstanding elements, which are essential to further reinforce banks' ability to withstand potential shocks – like more risk-sensitive capital requirements, methodologies that are able to reflect more accurately the actual risks to which banks are exposed, a binding leverage ratio and a requirement for big institutions to hold minimum levels of capital and other instruments which bear losses in resolution. These measures are part of the Commission's work to reduce risk in the banking sector. The proposals also contain measures to improve the banks' lending capacity to support the EU economy, especially for SMEs.

More information

Q&A

Sustainable development: EU sets out its priorities

On 22 November, the European Commission set out a strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in Europe and around the world. A first report on the next steps for a sustainable European future explains how the Commission's ten political priorities contribute to implementing the UN 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and how the EU will meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the future. A second report on a new European Consensus on Development proposes a shared vision and framework for development cooperation for the EU and its member states, aligned with the 2030 agenda. A third report on a renewed partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries proposes building blocks for a new, sustainable phase in EU-ACP relations after the Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in 2020.

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Q&A

European milk package strengthens dairy producers' position in the supply chain

On 24 November, the European Commission published the second report on the so-called milk package, a series of measures launched in 2012 to strengthen the position of European dairy producers in the supply chain. The report shows that European farmers are increasingly using the tools provided by the milk package, such as collective negotiation of contract terms via producer organisations, or the use of written contracts. The measure allowing collective negotiation is designed to reinforce the bargaining power of milk producers, whilst written contracts offer better transparency and traceability to farmers.

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EU reached landmark agreement on conflict minerals regulation

On 23 November, the EU institutions reached an agreement on the final shape of an EU regulation on conflict minerals, which aims to stop the financing of armed groups in developing countries through the trade of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. The agreement on the regulation, brokered by the Commission, is set to ensure sustainable sourcing for more than 95% of all EU imports of these minerals, which will be covered by due diligence provisions as of 1 January 2021.  In the meantime, the Commission and member states will work to make sure that the necessary structures are in place to ensure EU-wide implementation.

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


EU and the UK

Commissioner Moscovici in London

Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, Pierre Moscovici was in London on 23 and 24 November, where he gave a keynote speech at the "Best of British" conference organised by JP Morgan. He also attended a dinner hosted by the Centre for European Reform and TheCityUK. On 24 November, Commissioner Moscovici took part in a Policy Network lunchtime seminar, in conversation with former European Commissioner, Mr Peter Mandelson. The Commissioner repeated that there can be no negotiation before notification of the triggering of article 50 and that the Commission will have a single negotiator. He spoke about the need to tackle the reasons for the backlash against globalisation: this requires support to those who consider themselves losers from globalisation and engagement with a range of economic, social and political issues. To succeed in this, the Commissioner argued that the EU would need to become more political, with a strong Eurozone at its heart. He added that protecting the EU's citizens is essential and that building the EU's economic and democratic legitimacy is central.

Commissioner Moscovici's interview with Bloomberg

European Commission-OECD report: "Health at a Glance: Europe 2016"

On 23 November, the European Commission and the OECD jointly published their "Health at a Glance: Europe 2016" report showing that life expectancy now exceeds 80 years in most EU countries. However, this record-high life expectancy is not always matched by healthy life years. Around 50 million people in the EU suffer from several chronic diseases, and more than half a million people of working age die from them every year, representing an annual cost of some €115 billion for EU economies.

The report also shows that the UK has one of the lowest rates of avoidable admissions related to diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. The UK also has one of the lowest suicide rates. The report also states that the UK has made good progress in developing a rich information infrastructure (known as the Quality and Outcomes Framework) to underpin quality monitoring and improvement in primary care. The volume and detail of information collected within this Framework is impressive, and it is one of the most advanced quality monitoring systems developed across the European Union. In 2013, the UK had the highest death rates from respiratory diseases among EU countries.

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Violence against Women: No, thanks – say two-thirds of Europeans

Two-thirds of people in all but one EU member state (Lithuania) think forcing a partner to have sex should be illegal. A stunning 98% of people in the UK say forced sex is unacceptable. The data comes from an EU-wide Eurobarometer survey published to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November.

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West Highlands project wins a 2016 European Broadband Award

A UK project to bring high speed internet to the rural areas on the West Coast of Scotland won one of the 2016 European Broadband Awards. The RemIX project which gives people of the West Highlands quality access to the global network took the prize in the 'Future-proof and quality of service' category. Together with 4 other projects from Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland it will serve as an exemplary best practice for anyone planning broadband development in Europe.

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Michel Barnier meeting with David Davis

On 21 November, Michel Barnier, European Commission Chief Negotiator in charge of the preparation and conduct of the negotiations with the United Kingdom met with Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis. Mr Barnier tweeted this was a "courtesy visit from @daviddavismp at his request. No negotiation without notification. My work is now focused on EU27. #Brexit."

For upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter


EU in the media this week

Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting stories or comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:

Support for EU rises since Brexit vote, survey shows by Stefan Wagstyl in the Financial Times. The survey covers the entire EU.


EU fact of the week

20 November: World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: UK roads among safest in the EU

In 2015, the United Kingdom had one of the lowest numbers of road fatalities relative to the population compared to other EU member states (2.8 road traffic victims per 100 000 inhabitants). The data was published by Eurostat ahead of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims which took place on 20 November.

More information


Tweet of the week


Quote of the week

"Today's local start-ups could become tomorrow's global success stories. We want to help start-ups stay and grow in Europe. By helping them navigate the – often perceived – regulatory barriers to fully benefiting from the Single Market. By making it easier for them to have a second chance, without being stigmatised if their idea doesn't succeed the first time around. And by improving access to funding by boosting private venture capital investment," European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness presenting the Commission's Start-up and Scale-up Initiative which aims to give Europe's many innovative entrepreneurs every opportunity to become world leading companies. It pulls together all the possibilities that the EU already offers and adds a new focus on venture capital investment, insolvency law and taxation.

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Picture of the week

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Baby

UK SME Slumbersac – a toddler's sleeping bag manufacturer – received an EU-guaranteed loan under the European Fund for Strategic Investments. This has allowed the company to relocate quickly into a bigger warehouse, in order to accommodate the company’s growth, tripling the space that Slumbersac is currently occupying.

Europe House

Each week we sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising UK events on EU-related subjects. All comments welcome at COMM-UK-PRESS@ec.europa.eu 

18/11/2016

Main news from Brussels this week

The EU imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on steel and iron products from China

On 14 November, the EU decided to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on seamless pipes and tubes of iron and steel from China. The Commission's investigations confirmed that the Chinese products had been sold in Europe at heavily dumped prices. To provide EU companies with necessary breathing space, the Commission imposed duties ranging between 43.5% and 81.1%. This should prevent damage to the European companies involved in the production of the steel tubes and pipes. The Commission will decide within the coming six months whether these measures would become definitive and apply for a period of five years. The EU currently has an unprecedented number of trade defence measures in place targeting unfair exports of steel products from third countries, with a total of 40 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, 18 of which on products originating from China. 14 more investigations concerning steel products are still ongoing, including three cases for which duties are being provisionally applied.

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Commission proposes a European Travel Information and Authorisation System

On 16 November, the Commission proposed to establish a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to strengthen security checks on visa-free travellers. The ETIAS will gather information on all those travelling visa-free to the European Union to allow for advanced checks on irregular migration and security. This will contribute to a more efficient management of the EU's external borders and improve internal security, whilst at the same time facilitating legal travel across Schengen borders.

Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos and Julian King attended the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Brussels today (18 November). Home Affairs Ministers exchanged views on this proposal. Topics of discussion also included progress made on enhancing information exchange and improving interoperability, the future of the Schengen Information System and measures taken in the fight against terrorism. Furthermore, Ministers exchanged views on the implementation of the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive and future steps for the EU Internet Forum.

More information

Q&A

Working for a stronger and more inclusive economic recovery

On 16 November, the Commission set out its views on the EU's economic and social priorities for the year ahead, confirmed the need to move towards a more positive fiscal stance for the euro area, and completed assessment of euro area member states' draft budgetary plans. The announcement started the 2017 cycle of economic governance, the so-called European Semester.

More information

Q&A

EU budget deal focuses on strengthening economy and responding to the refugee crisis

On 17 November, the EU institutions reached an agreement on the 2017 EU budget. In 2017 the EU will focus on making Europe more competitive and more secure. Likewise, more money will be dedicated to the reception and integration of refugees and towards addressing the root causes of migration in the countries of origin and transit.

More information

What next for Europe's banking system?

On 15 November, European Commission Vice-President responsible for Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Valdis Dombrovskis spoke at an event organised by Bruegel, a European think-thank on economics, on the future of the EU banking system. He set out his vision for a stable, sustainable diverse and integrated EU banking sector. He also explained the main features of the proposals to revise the Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive, including incorporating internationally-agreed standards into EU legislation. He emphasised that "a strong banking sector in Europe is a diverse banking sector." He also reaffirmed the need to complete the Banking Union and to tackle the issue of non-performing loans (NPLs). 

Full speech

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


EU and the UK

Commissioner King giving evidence to the House of Lords

EU Security Union Commissioner Julian King gave evidence to the House of Lords’ EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee. Commissioner King spoke about his role, which is to reinforce efforts made on countering terrorism, countering cyber and organised crime. He outlined what the Commission has already done in the field of security, including the European Border and Coast Guard and went on to talk about the main priorities of the Commission, including countering radicalisation and reinforcing the EU's resilience (for instance by reinforcing IT infrastructure). He mentioned three concrete Commission proposals which are under discussion: a new counter terrorism directive, a revision of the Schengen Border Code and a new firearms directive, partly instigated by Britain and France. Regarding the Passenger Name Record (PNR), Commissioner King highlighted the need for advanced IT infrastructure to receive the information, process it and share it. At the moment, only three member states, including the UK, have the necessary tools in place. A PNR implementation report will be published later this month.

Commissioner King also welcomed the UK's decision to continue to engage with Europol and expanded on Europol's work, including the European Counter Terrorism Centre.

Watch the full meeting here

EU mock Council

Students from 31 schools in England and Scotland and from one school in Northern Ireland took part in a mock EU summit on the 17 November in Church House, Westminster. They played the roles of national leaders from across Europe, European Union officials and the British media. Sixty five students discussed whether the United Kingdom, as it prepares to withdraw from the European Union, should remain in the Erasmus+ programme for young people, and the European Arrest Warrant, which allows suspects to be returned more quickly to face trial in the country where they are suspected of committing crimes.

Pictures and videos of the day

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EU in the media this week

Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting stories or comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:

Bad news for leavers – the EU has bigger priorities than Brexit by Anand Menon in the Guardian


EU fact of the week

20 November: Universal Children's Day – One in four children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU

In 2015, around 25 million children from the EU, or over a quarter of those under 17 years of age, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This means they lived in households affected by at least one of the following three conditions: at risk of poverty after social transfers (income poverty), severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity. The proportion of children at risk of poverty across the EU has only slightly decreased between 2010 and 2015 – from 27.5% in 2010 to 26.9% in 2015. The picture varies across member states. Sweden has the lowest rate of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion with 14% of the population under 17 years old affected. Romania records the highest level with close to 50%. The UK figure is higher than the EU average (27%) with just over 30% of under 17 year olds at risk.

The data was published this week by Eurostat ahead of the Universal Children's Day taking place on 20 November each year since 1959. The Universal Children's Day was recommended by the UN.

The European Commission's Social Investment Package and the 2013 Recommendation "Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage" stress the importance of early intervention and preventive approaches. Among other things, they call on EU countries to: support parents' access to the labour market and make sure that work 'pays' for them; improve access to affordable early childhood education and care services; provide adequate income support such as child and family benefits; step up access to quality services that are essential to children's outcomes.

More information


Tweet of the week


Quote of the week

"In Paris, as in Brussels or in Nice, the perpetrators of these attacks sought to weaken us by targeting the innocent, women, children, old and young, of all religions and creeds. They failed. Because, together and more united than ever before, we will never renounce the very values, the very freedoms we join forces to defend."

Full statement by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the first anniversary of the attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015


Picture of the week

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Galileo

On November 17, Galileo satellites 15, 16, 17 and 18 lifted-off from the European Space Port of Kourou, French Guyana at  for the first time aboard an Ariane 5 ES VA233 flight. The separation of the satellites from the newly-designed quadruple dispenser of the launcher occurred as planned and the expected position of the four satellites in orbit was confirmed some minutes after the separation of the two pairs, on base of the emitted signals. Galileo is the EU's satellite navigation programme.

 

Europe House

Each week we sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising UK events on EU-related subjects. All comments welcome at COMM-UK-PRESS@ec.europa.eu 

 

11/11/2016

Main news from Brussels this week

Autumn 2016 Economic Forecast: Modest growth in challenging times

Economic growth in Europe is expected to continue at a moderate pace, as recent labour market gains and rising private consumption are being counterbalanced by a number of hindrances to growth and the weakening of supportive factors. In its autumn forecast released this week, the European Commission expects GDP growth in the euro area at 1.7% in 2016, 1.5% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018 (Spring forecast: 2016: 1.6%, 2017: 1.8%). GDP growth in the EU as a whole should follow a similar pattern and is forecast at 1.8% this year, 1.6% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018 (Spring forecast: 2016:1.8%, 2017: 1.9%). For the UK, in 2016 growth is projected to moderate as the economy reaches a mature phase in its cycle. In 2017, growth is projected to almost halve reflecting the impact on confidence and uncertainty of the vote to leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June 2016. However, growth is expected to pick up somewhat in 2018 as net exports continue to rise sharply and partially shield the economy from continued weakness in domestic demand.

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Commission proposes changes to the EU's anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legislation

The Commission is proposing a new method for calculating dumping on imports from countries where there are significant market distortions, or where the state has a pervasive influence on the economy. The aim is to make sure that Europe's trade defence instruments (TDIs) are able to deal with current realities – notably overcapacities – in the international trading environment, while fully respecting the EU's international obligations in the legal framework of the World Trade Organisation. Under current rules, in normal market circumstances dumping is calculated by comparing the export price of a product to the EU with the domestic prices or costs of the product in the exporting country. This approach will be kept and complemented by the new methodology that will be country-neutral. In determining distortions, several criteria will be considered, such as state policies and influence, the widespread presence of state-owned enterprises, discrimination in favour of domestic companies and the independence of the financial sector. The Commission will draft specific reports for countries or sectors where it will identify distortions. As is the case today, it will be for the EU industry to file complaints, but they can rely on such reports by the Commission to make their case.

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2016 Enlargement Package and progress report on Turley

The European Commission adopted its annual enlargement package which assesses where the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey stand in implementing key political and economic reforms, and what needs to be done to address the remaining challenges. The package notes progress in the rule of law and fundamental rights (with some exceptions), while stressing the challenges in the proper functioning of democratic institutions and the uneven progress in the reform of public administration. On the economic criteria, the report acknowledges that the economic situation has gradually improved across the region, with stronger growth, higher investment and more jobs created by the private sector. But it warns that all enlargement countries face major structural economic and social challenges, with low efficiency of public administrations and high unemployment rates. Youth unemployment in particular remains worryingly high. The investment climate is also negatively affected by the continuing weaknesses in the rule of law.

The 2016 enlargement package assesses the migration crisis and says that the Western Balkans route has effectively been closed. 

Links to individual country reports

Turkey

The Commission progress report on Turkey acknowledges the difficult internal situation, but raises concerns on several of the political criteria for membership such as the independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and organised crime and the lack of dedicated laws to combat discrimination. The report specifically highlights Turkey's record in the area of freedom of speech and refers to the numerous arrest of journalists, criminal cases against journalists, writers and social media users and the closure of media outlets in the aftermath of the attempted coup in July.

More detail and link to the full progress report on Turkey

Commission gathers views on future rules to deter promoters of aggressive tax planning schemes

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on whether action is needed at EU level on advisers and intermediaries who facilitate tax evasion and tax avoidance. In particular, the Commission is interested in gathering views on how a mandatory disclosure scheme for tax advisers could be put in place. Such rules would oblige intermediaries to give early information on schemes which could be viewed as aggressive or abusive planning for tax purposes and would reflect the goals of the OECD's non-binding guidelines (BEPS Action 12) for the disclosure of aggressive tax planning strategies. This public consultation will help to decide whether it is appropriate to introduce binding rules at EU level and, if so, what is the most suitable legal instrument to do this. The public consultation will run until 16 February.

Public consultation on intermediaries

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


EU and the UK

British birds, bogs and fish amongst green projects to benefit from over €18.5m of EU funds

A conservation project to prevent the extinction of East Anglia’s black-tailed godwit, a restoration plan for the lowland raised bog habitats across the West Midlands and a project to improve conservation of twaite shad in the river Severn and river Teme are amongst the latest UK projects to be part-financed by the Commission’s LIFE programme. They will share €14.8m of EU funds.

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For upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter


EU in the media this week

Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:

US election 2016: The Trump-Brexit voter revolt , Prof John Curtice dissecting polling statistics in the UK referendum and US presidential vote for the BBC.


EU fact of the week

EU trade policy

EU trade policy sets the direction for trade and investment in and out of the EU. It is working to create a global system for fair and open trade on the basis of the rules set by the World Trade Organisation and the network of agreements and obligations set by it. The EU represents and defends European interests in the court system of the World Trade Organization.

EU trade policy seeks to open up markets with key partners. On 30 October the European Union and Canada signed in Brussels the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and a new Strategic Partnership Agreement. Trade agreements need to be ratified by the European Parliament and by national Ministers meeting in the Council. Where a trade agreement contains provisions that fall under Member State responsibility (this is known as a "mixed agreement"), individual Member States also have to ratify the agreement alongside the EU, according to their national ratification procedures – usually approval by parliament.

EU trade policy works to ensure that everybody plays by the rules and that imports which enter the EU are traded at fair prices and that they do not cause unfair damage to European companies and their workers (see above proposal on anti-dumping legislation)

The policy also aims to remove persistent problems for exporters, to increase the opportunities for EU businesses to get equal access to procurement markets outside the EU, to reduce counterfeiting and piracy of European goods and to open up new opportunities for European investment.

More

EU Trade Commissioner Twitter feed @MalmstromEU


Tweets of the week


Quote of the week

The strategic partnership between the European Union and the United States is rooted in our shared values of freedom, human rights, democracy and a belief in the market economy. […] Today, it is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations. Only by cooperating closely can the EU and the US continue to make a difference when dealing with unprecedented challenges such as Da'esh, the threats to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, climate change and migration.

Letter of congratulation from European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to Donald Trump on his election as the next President of the United States

Full text


Picture of the week

9 November marks the fall of the Berlin Wall – a symbol of the Cold War. Since last year a restored piece of the wall is exhibited at the esplanade in front of the European Commission Berlaymont building in Brussels.

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Berlin wall
Europe House

Each week we sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising UK events on EU-related subjects. All comments welcome at COMM-UK-PRESS@ec.europa.eu

21/10/2016

Main news from Brussels this week

European Council Summit

On 20 and 21 October, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker participated in the EU Heads of State and Government meeting in Brussels. The European Council welcomed progress across the migration strategy that the Commission has put in place, and called for urgent implementation of the work that remains.

Leaders also exchanged views on EU trade policy, including the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada (CETA), whose ratification has not yet been completed.

On relations with Russia, the European Council strongly condemned the attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, notably Russia, on civilians in Aleppo. The EU is calling for a cease-fire and considering all the options if the atrocities continue.

Also discussed were the Investment Plan for Europe, the ratification of the Paris climate agreement, and the situation in Syria, dealt with in detail at the Foreign Affairs Council earlier in the week.

The EU welcomed agreement on global phase-down of climate-warming gases

The European Union welcomed the agreement reached in Kigali, Rwanda, on a global phase-down of climate-warming hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs). These manmade substances, used mainly in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement represents a significant step towards implementing the Paris agreement on climate change, which will legally enter into force next month. The Commission's proposal for ground-breaking legislation on fluorinated greenhouse gases was adopted in 2014 and demonstrates that the phase-down is feasible.

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


EU and the UK

Commissioner King in Berlin discussing cooperation on security issues at EU level

On 18 October, Commissioner for Security Union Julian King travelled to Berlin where he met Mr Thomas de Maizière, German Federal Minister of the Interior, and Mr Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery, to discuss the need for enhanced cooperation in fighting terrorism at EU level, increased cooperation between EU agencies, better interoperability and information exchange as well as full implementation of the existing EU framework. Commissioner King also visited the German Joint Counter-Terrorism Centre where he met Ms Emily Haber, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, and representatives of the German security services.

Commissioner King in Rome for the G6 meeting of Interior Ministers

On 20 and 21 October, Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King, participated in the G6 meeting in Rome with Interior Ministers from Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, along with the United States Secretary of Homeland Security. Representatives from Europol, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the European Border and Coast Guard, UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Interpol were also present. Participants discussed issues relating to migration, security and terrorism, and cybersecurity. In addition, Commissioner King was today (21 October) participating in a joint hearing of the Committees of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and the Senate on the European Commission's steps to strengthen the EU's security and tackle terrorism. Commissioner King also met with Prefetto Franco Gabrielli, Head of the Italian Police.

Negotiating Brexit – key challenges ahead

On 19 October, the European Institute at University College London (UCL) hosted a debate on the challenges for the UK after leaving the European Union.

Jonathan Portes, National Institute of Social and Economic Research said that "EU migration" into the UK would have gone down for cyclical reasons even without the UK's vote to leave the EU and now will be further driven down by exchange rate changes, uncertainty and fears over not being welcome. He added that the UK government had no records of how many EU citizens were living in the UK or of how long they had been there, making any cut-off date after which arrivals would no longer have the right to remain very difficult to implement. He pointed out that "control of borders" was nothing to do with free movement of labour as anyone could enter with just a passport and then seek work, legally or illegally. Future controls on EU citizens working in the UK would need to be implemented at workplace level.

Amelia Hadfield, Canterbury Christ Church University highlighted that if the UK chooses to break away completely from the EU, it will get much of what it was promised in terms of sovereignty – but at a cost. She added that staying close won't be free but the UK would retain advantages. She mentioned as a potential outcome a model where the UK would be out of the single market but working closely with the EU on security, crime and defence.

In Professor Piet Eeckhout's (UCL) opinion the best model is the EU internal market. He pointed out that modern trade deals were not about tariffs, that many politicians and journalists did not know the difference between free trade and a single market and that there hasn’t been much debate about what UK trade policy post-Brexit would actually be, just who the UK would make deals with.

The discussion was organised to mark the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence status recently awarded to the institute by the European Commission.

For upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter


EU in the media this week

Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting stories or comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:

Huge increase in Britons seeking citizenship in EU states as Brexit looms by Sophia Schirmer in the Guardian


EU fact of the week

European Investment Bank in the UK

Over the past five years (2011-2015) the European Investment Bank (EIB) has invested over €29 billion in the British economy. The main sectors the EIB invested in were energy, transport, telecommunications and water/sewage/solid waste/urban development.

In 2015 alone, EIB investments in the UK economy came to €7.8 billion, the Bank’s largest ever engagement in the country.

More information


Tweet of the week


Quote of the week

"Some EU industries have lost thousands of jobs. We cannot stay idle. The EU's trade defence rules require an urgent update. The Commission has put forward measures that would significantly improve our room for manoeuvre. It's now high time for member states to make the necessary decisions and equip the Commission with instruments fit to deal with the current realities of the international trading environment," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker


Picture of the week

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May and Juncker

Prime Minister Theresa May's first European Council

Europe House

Each week we sum up Commission news of particular interest for the UK while also summarising UK events on EU-related subjects. All comments welcome at COMM-UK-PRESS@ec.europa.eu

14/10/2016

Main news from Brussels this week

First report on progress towards an effective and genuine security union

On 12 October, the European Commission presented its first report on progress made towards an effective security union. In the months to come the Commission will focus on depriving terrorists of the means to commit attacks and on enhancing the EU's defence and resilience against threats. The main priority areas are: improving the legal framework, preventing and fighting radicalisation; improving information exchange and strengthening information systems and enhancing security at the external borders.

More information

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


EU and the UK

Commissioner Julian King in The Hague, Netherlands

On 11 October, Commissioner Julian King visited The Hague, Netherlands, where he met with Mr Ard van der Steur, Dutch Minister for Security and Justice. He also visited Eurojust, one of the key EU Agencies he will be working with as a Commissioner for the Security Union. He met the senior management including its President Ms Michèle Coninsx to discuss the added value of Eurojust in supporting member states in their fight against serious cross-border organised crime and terrorism. He also discussed how Eurojust works with other agencies, including Europol, to coordinate their response to complex terrorist investigations.

EU cohesion policy created thousands of jobs in the UK

An independent expert evaluation of EU cohesion funding 2007-2013 has found that it has so far created 152,000 jobs in the UK, a fifth of them in SMEs. In 2015 alone, the additional investment that it provided for the UK economy is estimated to have increased UK GDP by 0.1% over and above what it would have been in the absence of the policy. The UK received almost £5billion (€5.4 billion) in total. This money has been available through the difficult period of the global financial crisis. It supported more than 52,000 start-ups, 1,800 research projects and 7,300 collaborative projects between enterprises and research institutions.

More information

For upcoming events, please have a look at our newsletter


EU in the media this week

Every week, we pick out one of the week's most interesting stories or comment pieces….which does not mean we agree with everything it says:

The EU's effect on Blackpool's beaches – before and after pictures in the Guardian


EU fact of the week

RegioStars Awards

The Circular Ocean, a collaborative cross-border project, which involves UK partners, won a special public prize at the 2016 RegioStars Awards ceremony. The project aims to inspire entrepreneurs to re-use discarded fishing nets and old ropes and is currently testing how they can be used to reinforce concrete, brick tiles and roof insulation.

In the past 8 years, the EU-wide RegioStars Awards have established themselves as a competition that puts the spotlight on the most innovative and inspiring EU-funded projects and illustrates how cohesion policy supports the creation of economic growth and jobs. It aims to foster the exchange of best practices and inspire project managers and managing authorities.

More information


Tweet of the week


Quote of the week

"Terrorists don't target one member state or another. They target our way of life, our openness, our future. Our response needs to be comprehensive and sustainable, building on trust and the effective cooperation between institutions and member states," Security Union Commissioner Julian King


Picture of the week

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Regio stars

RegioStars Awards 2016 ceremony

Tenders

Invitations have been sent. The European Commission Representation in the UK is planning to launch a procurement in June/July to hire services to monitor and assess its ongoing Erasmus+ information...Read more

Languages

The European Union promotes linguistic diversity and the learning of languages to enrich lives and enhance employment skills. At the European Commission’s Representation in the UK, two dedicated language officers...Read more

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