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Top News from the European Commission 8-30 November 2014

Background notes from the Spokesperson’s service for journalists
The European Commission reserves the right to make changes

Commissioners Stylianides and Andriukaitis visit Ebola-affected countries in West Africa

The EU at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia – Supporting global recovery

The Commission adopts its monthly infringements package

Wednesday 12 November to Sunday 16 November: Commissioners Stylianides and Andriukaitis visit Ebola-affected countries in West Africa

The news:

Less than two weeks into the Commission’s mandate, Commissioner Christos Stylianides and Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis are going to travel to the epicentre of the Ebola crisis. Commissioner for Humanitarian aid and Crisis Management Stylianides, who is also the EU Coordinator for Ebola, and Commissioner for Health Andriukaitis will visit Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The purpose of the mission is for the two Commissioners to see where the needs are greatest, how European assistance is making a difference, how the priorities of the response on the ground are evolving and how Europe can continue to deal with the Ebola challenge in a well-coordinated way

The Commissioners will meet with government representatives and members of the humanitarian community leading the international response on the ground.

The background:

The Ebola virus outbreak has seen more than 13,567 cases and has claimed more than 4900 lives. The affected countries are Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali. The World Health organization has declared Senegal and Nigeria Ebola-free.

The European Union has engaged in the response to the Ebola emergency from its start. Collectively, Member States and the European Commission have mobilized more than €1 billion in assistance.

Mobile laboratories, humanitarian experts and specialists in dangerous infectious diseases have been deployed to the affected region. Material assistance has been provided by Member States under the coordination of the European Commission. The Commission is supporting the building and recovery of the health services of the affected countries and is funding research into Ebola vaccines. The European Council of 24 October 2014 appointed Commissioner Christos Stylianides as EU Ebola Coordinator.

The event:

12 and 13 November 2014: Commissioners Stylianides and Andriukaitis visit Sierra Leone;

14 November 2014: the two Commissioners visit Liberia

15 November 2014: they visit Guinea Conakry.

Press events are to be confirmed. Press material about the EU’s Ebola response will be available during the trip.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

Ebola response on the website of the European Commission: http://europa.eu/newsroom/highlights/special-coverage/ebola/index_en.htm

Latest press release on EU assistance: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1462_en.htm

The contacts:

Catherine Ray, +32 2 29 69 921, Catherine.Ray@ec.europa.eu  

Enrico Brivio, +32 2 29 56 172, Enrico.Brivio@ec.europa.eu

Irina Novakova, +32 2 295 75 17, Irina.Novakova@ec.europa.eu

Aikaterini Apostola, +32 2 29 87624, Aikaterini.Apostola@ec.europa.eu


Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 November: The EU at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia – Supporting global recovery

The news:

At the G20 summit in Brisbane (Australia) the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, will push for the adoption of a strong Brisbane Action Plan on Growth and Jobs to put the G20 collectively on a higher growth trajectory.

This and the European Union’s views on other key issues on the summit agenda (financial regulation, tax avoidance/tax evasion, development, anticorruption and energy matters) are reflected in the joint letter to EU Heads of State and Government of 21 October 2014.

The background:

The G20 leaders’ process has been co-initiated in 2008 by the European Union. The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

The European Union thus is a full member of the G20 and is usually represented at G20 summits by the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council.

The Brisbane Summit is the 9th edition of the Group of 20 (G20) Summit of the world’s major advanced and emerging economies. Together, the G20 members represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. This year, Australia welcomes Spain as a permanent invitee; Mauritania as the 2014 chair of the African Union; Myanmar as the 2014 Chair of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN); Senegal, representing the New Partnership for Africa’s Development; New Zealand; and Singapore. The 10th edition of the G20 Summit will be hosted by Turkey in 2015.

The event:

15 and 16 November 2014: 9th edition of the G20 Summit in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia.

Monday 10 November 2014 at 9:00: background briefing by Commission and Council representatives in the Berlaymont press room (for accredited journalists only).

Other press events ahead of and during the G20 Summit are to be confirmed.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

Joint letter from the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council ahead of the Brisbane G20 Summit: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-600_en.htm

G20 website of the Australian Presidency: https://www.g20.org/

The contacts:

Margaritis Schinas, +32 2 296 05 24, Margaritis.Schinas@ec.europa.eu

Mina Andreeva, +32 2 299 13 82, Mina.Andreeva@ec.europa.eu

Natasha Bertaud, +32 2 296 74 56, Natasha.Bertaud@ec.europa.eu


Wednesday 26 November: The Commission adopts its monthly infringements package

The news:

On Wednesday 26 November 2014, the European Commission will adopt its monthly infringements package. These decisions cover all Member States and most EU policy areas and seek to enforce EU law across Europe in the interest of both citizens and businesses.

The background:

Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) gives the Commission the power to take legal action against a Member State that is not respecting its obligations under EU law.

There are three successive stages: Letter of formal notice, reasoned opinion and referral to the Court of Justice.

If, despite the ruling, a Member State still fails to act, the Commission may open a further infringement case under Article 260 of the TFEU. After only one written warning, Commission may refer a Member State back to the Court and it can propose that the Court imposes financial penalties based on the duration and severity on the infringement and the size of the Member State.

The event:

A comprehensive Memo on all referrals and reasoned opinions, specific IPs on each referral and a Memo on the procedure will be available on the day in the Press Release Database:

http://europa.eu/rapid/

The sources:

For more information on infringements:   

http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_en.htm

On the general infringement procedure: MEMO/12/12

The contacts:

Overall coordination:

Mina Andreeva, +32 2 299 13 82, mina.andreeva@ec.europa.eu

Natasha Bertaud, +32 2 296 74 56, natasha.bertaud@ec.europa.eu

On specific infringements, please contact the spokesperson in charge.

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