|Wednesday, 14 April 2021|
European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-06-20
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MIDDAY EXPRESSNews from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communicationb
 Europe-wide truck tour brings anti-discrimination message to 20 citiesCommissioner Vladimír `pidla will tomorrow launch the 2008 ‘For Diversity. Against Discrimination.’ truck tour as part of the EU's Europe- wide anti-discrimination information campaign. The tour will kick off at the United Islands of Prague music festival (Czech Republic), where 20,000 visitors are expected – before going on to visit 20 cities in 10 different EU countries over the next four months. The initiative – now in its fifth year – aims to raise awareness of the right to a life free of discrimination and has so far reached half a million people.
 Way forward for the Black Sea SynergyThe Commission has today presented a Report on the progress achieved during the first year of the Black Sea Synergy initiative, which was launched in April 2007. The initial results show the practical benefits this new regional approach can bring, and its potential for the future.
 Commissioner Hübner addresses convention of Marshals of Polish regionsDanuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, today addressed a convention of Marshals from Poland's 16 regions in Szczecin. The convention, which brought together representatives of regional authorities in Poland, discussed challenges of implementation for 2007-2013, the best way to benefit from European investment worth €67.3 billion for the current programming period, and the shape of Cohesion Policy after 2013.
 Consumers: Commission sets out 5 priorities for consumer policy in a digital ageEU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva, in a speech today in London set out five priority areas for action for consumer policy in the digital age. These include: a single, simple set of consumer contract laws, the need to reconsider restrictions imposed by suppliers on distribution over the internet, a critical assessment of the use of business models based on geographical discrimination online, clamping down on the "next generation" of unfair commercial practices that are emerging online; and addressing critical privacy issues, in particular the conditions under which consumers give informed consent for the use of their personal data. The overall aim is to open up the Internal Market through e-commerce to deliver the full benefits to consumers.
 Gap between domestic and cross-border e-commerce grows wider, says EU reportEU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva today announced the results of a new EU wide survey on e-commerce and cross border trade. The figures show that even though e-commerce is taking off at national level, cross-border e- commerce is failing to keep pace. From 2006 to 2008, the share of all EU consumers that have bought at least one item over the internet has increased significantly (from 27% to 33%) whilst cross border e-commerce is stable (6% to 7%). The pattern is similar for those with internet access at home - 56% of consumers with internet at home have made a purchase (in any country including their own) by e-commerce compared to 50% in 2006, while only 13% (of those with internet access at home) made a cross-border e- commerce purchase compared to 12% in 2006.
 Further steps to cut red tape and make life easier for small businessesCutting administrative burdens in Europe is gathering speed thanks to the Action Programme put in place in 2007. In addition to the impressive progress at EU level (IP/08/115) 17 Member States have now set national reduction targets (from - 20 to 30% by 2012) compared to only six countries a year ago. How to further reduce administrative burden is the central topic of the European Commission conference on 'Cutting Red Tape for Europe', today in Brussels. Keynote speaker is Vice-President Günter Verheugen, who will present the initial results from the far-reaching measurement exercise which is assessing the administrative burden arising from EU legislation and its national transposition. The measurement covers 13 areas, including company law, environment, transport, food safety and pharmaceuticals representing a Europe-wide reduction potential of billions of Euro. Among the speakers at the conference are also Edmund Stoiber, chairman of the High Level Group of independent stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, Slovenian Minister of Public Administration Gregor Virant and Member of the European Parliament Jan Mulder. More information on the conference: <a href="http://www.cuttingredtape.eu/index.php">http://www.cuttingredtape.eu/index.php. More information on the “Action Programme for reducing administrative burdens in the EU”: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/admin-burdens- reduction/home_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/admin-burdens- reduction/home_en.htm.
(for more information: T. van Lierop - Tel: 296 6565 - Fax: 296 3038)
 EU grants aid worth €162 million for UK regions struck by floods in 2007The European Commission has made available aid totalling €162.4 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to help deal with the consequences of devastating floods that hit regions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales during the summer of 2007.
 40 years of Customs Union: Commissioner Kovács welcomes the European Parliament's resolutionEU Taxation and Customs Commissioner László Kovács today welcomed the European Parliament's vote on a resolution on Customs Union, which recognises the important role of customs and reiterates Parliament's support for the implementation of a common European Customs Strategy beyond 2013. The EP Resolution comes in the run-up to the 40th anniversary of European Customs Union on 1st July 2008. Over the past 4 decades, customs have played a crucial role in allowing the Single Market to function effectively, protecting citizens against unsafe or counterfeit goods and facilitating trade. Commissioner Kovacs has been taking part in many other activities to mark this important milestone, including visits to customs at Rotterdam harbour, Frankfurt airport and Röszke (Hungary) land border last week. He will also participate in a special customs anniversary event organised by the French Presidency in Bercy on 4th July. To celebrate Customs Union, many national activities are planned across the EU, including Open Days, exhibitions, sporting events, parades and conferences. Information on EU customs and the activities to celebrate the anniversary, including video footage and photographs, can be found at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/40customs/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/40customs/index_en.htm
 Autre matériel diffusé• Memo on Commission's / EU's response to the high oil and food prices
• Memo on The Common Agricultural Policy: sorting the facts from the fiction
• Memo on Anti-Discrimination Truck Tour, Prague, 21 June 2008
• Memo on Frequently Asked Questions on E-commerce in the European Union – Eurobarometer results
• Memo on Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of June 2008
• Speech by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on EU/Russia Summit Preparation, Strasbourg
• Speech by Commissioner Hübner on European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, Brussels
• Speech by Vice-President Verheugen 'Reducing red tape for Europe', Brussels
• Speech by Commissioner Kuneva 'Key Challenges for Consumer Policy in the Digital Age', London
• Calendrier du 23 au 29 juin
• Top News from the European Commission
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