Archive | General

Seafarer Statistics in the EU – Statistical review 2015

The recently published (September 2017) ‘Seafarer Statistics in the EU – Statistical review (2015 data STCW-IS)’ represents a snap-shot of the European labour market in terms of the number of seafarers holding valid certificates and endorsements in 2015. This is the second year in repect of which such data is available. As more data is collected in the coming years, this will make possible trend analysis that should hopefully contribute to a better understanding of the maritime labour fource in Europe

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Merger Case: M.8449 PEUGEOT / OPEL

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Press Release: College holds an Orientation Debate on the procedures for the adoption of delegated and implementing acts

In his State of the Union Speech in September 2016, President Juncker said, “It is not right that when EU countries cannot decide among themselves whether or not to ban the use of glyphosate in herbicides, the Commission is forced by Parliament and Council to take a decision. So we will change those rules.”  Today, the College of Commissioners followed up on the President’s statement with an Orientation Debate on possible ways to ensure that political responsibility is taken where the applicable legislation requires. This initiative is included in the priorities of the Commission’s Work Programme for 2017. In recent years the Commission has been regularly obliged to take decisions on very sensitive issues when Member States have not been able to take a position, in particular with regards to topics like GMOs or glyphosate. Since the beginning of its mandate, the Juncker Commission has taken a number of internal measures to ensure that a political debate is held at the level of the College before submitting proposals for delegated or implementing acts on sensitive subjects. To ensure that the political responsibility is also assumed by other decision-making bodies, as identified by the co-legislator, the Commission will present a proposal on 14 February to revise the Comitology Regulation. The College also discussed today a number of open comitology procedures. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602, Aikaterini Apostola – Tel. +32 229 87624)

Source: European Commission

Press Release: EU and Canada sign CETA

Yesterday, 30 October, in Brussels, the European Union and Canada signed both the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and a new Strategic Partnership Agreement that deepens cooperation across numerous policies. Speaking at the end of the 16th EU-Canada Summit, European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, said: “Today, the people of Canada and the European Union have opened a new chapter in their relationship. More than half a billion people on both sides of the Atlantic will enjoy new opportunities. For many people, it will mean new jobs and better jobs.” By removing almost all import duties, CETA will allow European exporters of industrial and agricultural goods to save more than 500 million euros every year. The agreement protects workers’ rights, environmental standards and consumer safety. Governments will retain all of their powers to legislate, regulate and provide public services. “CETA promotes all of the things that Canadians and Europeans care about,” said President Juncker, “decency in the workplace, our health and safety, our cultural diversity, the quality of the land, sea and air that surround us.” By signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the EU and Canada have taken their relationship to a new level. The agreement deepens cooperation in vital areas of policy including security, the fight against terrorism, defence, migration, climate change, energy, development, research and innovation. President Juncker said: “Today we have signed two agreements that not only symbolise our commitment to a shared future but also set out a common project that will improve the lives of millions of Canadians and Europeans.” President Juncker’s remarks at the joint press conference with President Tusk and Prime Minister Trudeau are available online. For more information on EU-Canada relations, see the factsheet. For more information on CETA, see the factsheet and the website (available in six languages). (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185)

Source: European Commission

Press Release: Gas – use EU storage capacity efficiently and forge trade partnerships, urge MEPs

“The EU strategy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) must make energy supplies more secure, cut carbon emissions and deliver affordable prices say MEPs in a resolution voted on Tuesday. Parliament calls on the EU Commission to aim to reduce the EU’s dependency on gas in the long term by using it more efficiently and gradually phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.”

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Minutes: Vulnerable Consumer Working Group Meeting (26 January 2016)

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Draft Delegated & Implementing Regulations: Shipping Emissions

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Press Release: Draft study on impact of TTIP open for public consultation

The independent consultant carrying out a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) for the European Commission on the trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and the United States published today its draft interim report. The technical report highlights the opportunities that a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could create for people and businesses across Europe, and is now available for public consultation. This work is being conducted by Ecorys, in a process involving wide consultation with stakeholders. The 400-page report indicates that all Member States’ economies would grow as a result of the new trade agreement. The study also predicts that EU exports to the US would rise by 27% and a mix of social indicators shows a combined benefit both for European and US citizens. The report goes beyond the numbers to also look in detail at the social and environmental impact that TTIP could have. Commenting in a blog post, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “This is a snapshot based on assumptions about a future TTIP deal. Needless to say, being a draft version to now be scrutinised by stakeholders and others, this assessment should be taken with a pinch of salt. The economic analysis is based on modelling, with many assumptions and caveats. We should thus be cautious when analysing numbers, especially when it comes to things like market data that may depend on many other factors. That being said, the report does highlight the many opportunities TTIP presents for the EU. I believe one particular thing cannot be scientifically captured in any study, however – the impact of TTIP on Europe’s ability to shape globalisation according to our own standards. Modern trade agreements are one of the tools at our disposal to shape globalisation, making it more responsible. With this in mind, both TTIP as well as our trade agreement with Canada (CETA) aim to include progressive chapters on sustainable development, including on labour rights and the environment.” All interested stakeholders will now have the opportunity to review the draft and offer feedback, before Ecorys moves on to work on the final interim report and recommendations for the end of 2016. The Commission will also organise a civil society dialogue with the authors of the report, which will take place on 23 May. The Commission has been carrying out sustainability impact assessments on all negotiated trade agreements since 1999. These assessments take place during the negotiations and feed into the work of the negotiators as the negotiations evolve. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56 185; Axel Fougner – Tel.: +32 229 57276)

Source: European Commission

Agenda: Working Party on the Environment (25 & 27 April 2016)

Draft Council conclusions on the Circular Economy will be discussed on 25 April. The Commission proposal on reform of the EU ETS will be further considered on the 27 April.

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Stakeholder: Governments should aim to increase spending on low-carbon research and development beyond 2020

Countries should set targets to increase public investment in low-carbon research and development (R&D) slowly and steadily beyond 2020, according to a report published today (Monday 18 January, 2016) by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Press Release: European Commission at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris (COP21)

As COP21 heads to its second and decisive week the European Commission underlines its commitment to reach a comprehensive, durable and dynamic agreement. The EU’s chief negotiator, Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, will continue to promote the European position and he will be accompanied by several Commissioners who will be in Paris for several events: on Monday (7 December) the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, will attend a session dedicated to Sustainable Energy and sign seven joint declarations on energy with Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Kenya, Madagascar and Cameroon, as well as the Indian Ocean Commission. On Tuesday (8 December) Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič will participate in a debate on Cities and subnationals and on Wednesday (9 December) Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, will speak at an EU flagship event on research and innovation. The Commission will also be attend events organised by the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, an initiative that brings together all stakeholders who are committed in the transition to resilient and low-carbon economic and social developments. Visit the dedicated web page of the European Commission on the UN Climate Conference in COP21. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

Source: European Commission

Press Release: EU Transport Scoreboard shows Transport is improving in the Member States

“Today, the European Commission published the second edition of the “EU Transport Scoreboard”, which compares how Member States perform in 29 transport categories.”

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UPDATED – Natura 2000 Farmland Management and Biodiversity Conference (Madrid, Spain, 29 September – 1 October 2015)

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Official Journal (C Series): Opinion of the EESC on ‘European cooperation on energy networks’

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