General Market

Daily News 19 / 04 / 2017

President Juncker and Members of the Commission at the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC

As of tomorrow, President Juncker and several Members of the Commission will travel to Washington DC (USA) for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings on 20-22 April. President Juncker, Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Hahn, and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the Commission at different events hosted in that framework. The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings will also be held in the margins. President Juncker will meet, among others with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. He will also have a working dinner with Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Mr. Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank; Mr. Rolf Wenzel, Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank; Mr. Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Mr. Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank; Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, and Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank. The other Members of the Commission present in Washington also have a variety of high-level bilateral meetings, speaking engagements and other commitments. A more detailed calendar is available here. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153)

Commission renews cooperation for sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean

Today, the European Commission launches a new initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean region that will increase maritime safety and security, promote sustainable blue growth and jobs, and preserve ecosystems and biodiversity. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: “Millions of holiday makers have a happy association with the Western Mediterranean. Like the millions more who live across the region, they understand the fragile link between conserving national habitats and traditions and ensuring economic viability. Blue economy is important for each of the countries involved and they have recognised the strength of working together.” The initiative is an example of EU’s successful neighbourhood policy as five EU Member States (France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Malta) and five Southern partner countries (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) will work jointly on their shared interests in the region. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: ”This new regional initiative recognises and taps into the economic potential of the Mediterranean Sea and its coast lines to further enhance economic growth, contribute to job creation and eventually the stabilisation of the region. It is an important step towards closer coordination and cooperation among participating countries.” The enhanced cooperation is particularly timely as just three weeks ago the Commission secured a 10-year pledge to save Mediterranean fish stocks in the Ministerial MedFish4Ever Declaration. Among others, the initiative’s targeted actions include cooperation between coast guards, response to accidents and oil spills, habitat conservation, biotechnology, data sharing, marine knowledge and coastal tourism. For more information on the priorities and specific actions of the initiative a full press release and MEMO are online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Iris Petsa – Tel.: + 32 229 93321)

 

Commission launches public consultation on how excise duties are applied to alcoholic beverages

The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on how excise duties are applied to alcohol and alcoholic beverages (“excise duty structures”). EU excise duty rules for alcohol aim to prevent trade distortions in the Single Market, ensure fair competition between businesses, and reduce administrative burden for businesses. Concretely, the rules define product categories, methods to charge the duty and provide for reduced rates and exemptions from excise duty. However, these rules have not changed since 1992 and a recent Commission report has recommended clearer tax rules to support small producers of alcoholic beverages and to fight the sale of dangerous counterfeit alcohol. The Commission is also keen to reduce costs for smaller businesses. In December, EU Finance Ministers requested that the Commission carry out the necessary studies to prepare a possible legislative proposal to revise the common rules. The aim now is to identify ways to alleviate the administrative burden for both Member States and business, while reducing distortions in the internal market. Excise duties are indirect taxes on the sale or use of specific products. They are usually applied as an amount per quantity of the product – e.g. per 1,000 litres in the case of alcohol. Revenues from excise duty go directly to the coffers of EU Member States. The consultation will run until 7 July 2017 and is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)

 

Eurostat: Mars 2017: Le taux d’inflation annuel de la zone euro en baisse à 1,5% – Celui de l’UE en baisse à 1,6%

Le taux d’inflation annuel de la zone euro s’est établi à 1,5% en mars 2017, contre 2,0% en février. Un an auparavant, il était de 0,0%. Le taux d’inflation annuel de l’Union européenne s’est établi à 1,6% en mars 2017, contre 2,0% en février. Un an auparavant, il était de 0,0%. Ces chiffres sont publiés par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne. En mars 2017, les taux annuels les plus faibles ont été observés en Roumanie (0,4%) ainsi qu’en Irlande et aux Pays-Bas (0,6% chacun). Les taux annuels les plus élevés ont été enregistrés en Lettonie (3,3%), en Lituanie (3,2%) et en Estonie (3,0%). Par rapport à février 2017, l’inflation annuelle a baissé dans dix-sept États membres, est restée stable dans six et a augmenté dans cinq autres. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d’informations: Annika Breidthardt – Tél.: +32 229 56153; Juliana Dahl – Tél:+32 229-59914)

Eurostat: Février 2017: Excédent de 17,8 milliards d’euros du commerce international de biens de la zone euro – Excédent de 1,7 mrd d’euros pour l’UE28

D’après les premières estimations pour le mois de février 2017, les exportations de biens de la zone euro (ZE19) vers le reste du monde se sont établies à 170,3 milliards d’euros, en hausse de 4% par rapport à février 2016 (163,2 mrds). Les importations depuis le reste du monde ont quant à elles été de 152,6 mrds d’euros, en hausse de 5% par rapport à février 2016 (144,9 mrds). En conséquence, la zone euro a enregistré en février 2017 un excédent de 17,8 mrds d’euros de son commerce international de biens avec le reste du monde, contre un excédent de 18,2 mrds en février 2016. Le commerce intra-zone euro a progressé à 149,1 mrds d’euros en février 2017, en hausse de 5% par rapport à février 2016. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d’informations:Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska- Tel.: +32 229 Kinga 51383)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

First Vice-President Timmermans on a visit to Romania

Tomorrow, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will travel to Bucharest, Romania, where he will participate in a Citizens’ Dialogue to exchange views with Romanians on the White Paper on the Future of Europe and the 60-year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. During the visit, the First Vice-President will meet Prime Minister Sorin Mihai Grindeanu, the Minister of Justice, Tudorel Toader, and the Minister of the Interior, Carmen Daniela Dan to discuss progress in bringing forward the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) reform. He will also discuss these matters with representatives from the Romanian Parliament including the Speaker of the Senate, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea. These meetings will be followed by a joint discussion with members of the Justice and European Affairs Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. The First Vice-President will also attend a meeting with the leaders of parliamentary opposition parties and will further discuss the CVM with the relevant partners and stakeholders in the field of justice. A joint press conference with the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior and First Vice-President is scheduled for 13:00 (local time). The Citizens’ Dialogue will take place at 17:30 (local time) and will be followed by a press doorstep. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

La Commissaire Thyssen rencontrera les autorités et partenaires sociaux belges dans le cadre du Semestre européen

Demain 20 avril, la Commissaire responsable de l’emploi, des affaires sociales, des compétences et de la mobilité de travailleurs, Marianne Thyssen, sera en Belgique dans le cadre du Semestre européen, le cycle annuel de surveillance budgétaire et socio-économique européenne. Le matin, elle rencontrera d’abord le Premier Ministre Charles Michel et le Vice Premier Ministre Kris Peeters. Cette rencontre sera suivie d’une conférence de presse qui sera diffusée ici. Le discours de la Commissaire sera publié ici. La Commissaire Thyssen participera ensuite à un échange de vues au parlement fédéral avec les comités budgets et finances et affaires sociales et avec le comité d’avis sur les affaires européennes. Son discours sera publié ici. L’après-midi est réservé à une rencontre avec les Ministres régionaux et communautaires de l’emploi et à une discussion avec les partenaires sociaux interprofessionnels au sein du Conseil national de travail et du Conseil central de l’économie. L’objectif de cette journée de rencontres est de préparer les recommandations spécifiques par pays que la Commission européenne proposera en mai au Conseil. (Pour plus d’informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: +32 229 67094)

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

General Market

AIRCOP: EU, Canada, Japan, UNODC, INTERPOL and WCO partnership to strengthen airport controls against illicit trafficking and terrorism

PRESS RELEASE

Sao Paulo, 4 April 2017 – Airport law enforcement experts from around the world met today in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for a three-day discussion on enhancing detection and interdiction capacity at international airports to counter emerging threats posed by illicit trafficking and suspicious passengers, and to support the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism.

The 5th Global Meeting of the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), which covers 37 airports in 33 countries, takes place from 4 to 6 April. The meeting is organized by UNODC with the support of the Brazilian Federal Police and brings together Government representatives and law enforcement experts from 44 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Japan as well as from relevant international organizations such as UN CTED and ICAO.

In his welcome address, Disney Rosseti, Regional Superintendent of the Federal Police in Sao Paulo said that “combating drug trafficking it is not a choice, but an increasingly need to seek social peace and a society free from the scourge of organized crime.”

Amado Philip de Andrés, UNODC Regional Representative for Central America and the Caribbean, highlighted that “AIRCOP began in 2010 with 8 countries and has since expanded to 33 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, with a potential to further expand to other regions. AIRCOP contributes to implementing UN Drug Control Conventions as well as UN Security Council Resolutions 2309(2016), 2178(2014), through assisting Member States to counter the world drug problem and criminal activities, as well as to deter travel of suspicious passengers and threats posed to civil aviation.”

Claudia Gintersdorfer, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation in Brazil, said “AIRCOP is part of the EU Cocaine Route Programme, a concerted effort by the European Union and its partners to staunch the flow of illicit goods and facilitate communication and cooperation of criminal investigators and prosecutors. Since 2009, the EU has committed over €50 million to the programme in over 40 countries with a focus on transnational organized crime and drug trafficking in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.”

The meeting promotes experience and best practice sharing in the fight against illicit trafficking via air routes, and in strengthening airport controls. AIRCOP aims at preventing flows of illicit goods, and at detecting and enhanced screening of high-risk passengers at selected international airports through real-time exchange of operational information, as well as through the establishment, training and mentoring of inter-service Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces (JAITFs).

Since its launch in 2010, the AIRCOP project has trained 2,426 law enforcement officials, including 499 women, through 143 training and mentoring actions and joint operations. AIRCOP JAITFs have thus far seized 2,897 kg of cocaine, 1,156 kg of cannabis, 326 kg of heroin, 549 kg methamphetamine, 1,397 kg of counterfeit medicines and 541 kg of ivory, US$ 6.5 million, as well as fake passports and ammunitions, resulting in 788 seizures and leading to over 800 arrests.

Brazil is a key associate partner of the AIRCOP Project following the signature of a cooperation agreement between AIRCOP and the Brazilian International Programme for Police Cooperation in Airports (INTERCOPS). Guarulhos, in Sao Paulo, remains the airport with the largest number of cocaine seizures worldwide as shown by WCO CENcomm data of 1,047 kg of drugs (87 per cent cocaine) and 199 passengers arrested of which 68 per cent were heading for Africa, principally Nigeria and South Africa in 2016 – 2017.

The AIRCOP Project is funded by the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway, and the US, and is implemented by UNODC in partnership with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and INTERPOL.

For further information please contact:

Diana Vasconcelos Teixeira 

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime  

Mobile: +55 11943483533

Email: diana.teixeira[at]unvienna.org

General Market

AIRCOP: Global experts meet in Brazil to discuss drugs, other illicit trafficking in airports

AIRCOP: Global experts meet in Brazil to discuss drugs, other illicit trafficking in airports. Photo: UNODC4 April 2017 – Experts from around the world met today in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for three days of discussions, aiming to enhance the capacity of international airports in the detection and interdiction of drug trafficking and other illicit activities. The 5th Global Meeting of the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), which covers 37 airports in 33 countries, is taking place from 4 to 6 April, organized by UNODC with the support of the Federal Police of Brazil.

In his welcome remarks, Amado Philip de Andrés, UNODC Regional Representative for Central America and the Caribbean, highlighted that “AIRCOP began in 2010 with 8 countries and has since expanded to 33 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, with a potential to further expand to other regions. AIRCOP contributes to implementing UN Drug Control Conventions as well as UN Security Council Resolutions 2309 (2016), 2178 (2014), through assisting Member States to counter the world drug problem and criminal activities, as well as to deter travel of suspicious passengers and threats posed to civil aviation.”

Disney Rosseti, Regional Superintendent of the Federal Police in Sao Paulo, said that “combating drug trafficking it is not a choice, but an increasingly need to seek social peace and a society free from the scourge of organized crime.”

For her part, Claudia Gintersdorfer, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation in Brazil, said “AIRCOP is part of the EU Cocaine Route Programme, a concerted effort by the European Union and its partners to staunch the flow of illicit goods and facilitate communication and cooperation of criminal investigators and prosecutors. Since 2009, the EU has committed over €50 million to the programme in over 40 countries with a focus on transnational organized crime and drug trafficking in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa to Europe.”

The meeting promotes experience and best practice sharing in the fight against illicit trafficking via air routes, and in strengthening airport controls. AIRCOP aims at preventing flows of illicit goods, and at detecting and enhanced screening of high-risk passengers at selected international airports through real-time exchange of operational information, as well as through the establishment, training and mentoring of inter-service Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces (JAITFs).

Since its launch in 2010, AIRCOP project trained 2426 law enforcement officials, including 499 women, through 143 training and mentoring activities and joint operations. This enabled the JAITFs to seize 2,897 kg of cocaine, 1156 kg of cannabis, 326 kg of heroin, 549 kg methamphetamine, 1,397 kg of counterfeit medicines and 541 kg of ivory, resulting in 788 seizures and over 800 arrests.

AIRCOP Project is funded by the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway, and the US, and implemented by UNODC in partnership with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and INTERPOL.

Further Information:

Airport Communication Programme (AIRCOP)

UNODC’s work on drug trafficking

UNODC’s work on organized crime

General Market

AIRCOP: Global experts meet in Brazil to discuss drugs, other illicit trafficking in airports

AIRCOP: Global experts meet in Brazil to discuss drugs, other illicit trafficking in airports. Photo: UNODC4 April 2017 – Experts from around the world met today in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for three days of discussions, aiming to enhance the capacity of international airports in the detection and interdiction of drug trafficking and other illicit activities. The 5th Global Meeting of the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), which covers 37 airports in 33 countries, is taking place from 4 to 6 April, organized by UNODC with the support of the Federal Police of Brazil.

In his welcome remarks, Amado Philip de Andrés, UNODC Regional Representative for Central America and the Caribbean, highlighted that “AIRCOP began in 2010 with 8 countries and has since expanded to 33 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, with a potential to further expand to other regions. AIRCOP contributes to implementing UN Drug Control Conventions as well as UN Security Council Resolutions 2309 (2016), 2178 (2014), through assisting Member States to counter the world drug problem and criminal activities, as well as to deter travel of suspicious passengers and threats posed to civil aviation.”

Disney Rosseti, Regional Superintendent of the Federal Police in Sao Paulo, said that “combating drug trafficking it is not a choice, but an increasingly need to seek social peace and a society free from the scourge of organized crime.”

For her part, Claudia Gintersdorfer, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation in Brazil, said “AIRCOP is part of the EU Cocaine Route Programme, a concerted effort by the European Union and its partners to staunch the flow of illicit goods and facilitate communication and cooperation of criminal investigators and prosecutors. Since 2009, the EU has committed over €50 million to the programme in over 40 countries with a focus on transnational organized crime and drug trafficking in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa to Europe.”

The meeting promotes experience and best practice sharing in the fight against illicit trafficking via air routes, and in strengthening airport controls. AIRCOP aims at preventing flows of illicit goods, and at detecting and enhanced screening of high-risk passengers at selected international airports through real-time exchange of operational information, as well as through the establishment, training and mentoring of inter-service Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces (JAITFs).

Since its launch in 2010, AIRCOP project trained 2426 law enforcement officials, including 499 women, through 143 training and mentoring activities and joint operations. This enabled the JAITFs to seize 2,897 kg of cocaine, 1156 kg of cannabis, 326 kg of heroin, 549 kg methamphetamine, 1,397 kg of counterfeit medicines and 541 kg of ivory, resulting in 788 seizures and over 800 arrests.

AIRCOP Project is funded by the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway, and the US, and implemented by UNODC in partnership with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and INTERPOL.

Further Information:

Airport Communication Programme (AIRCOP)

UNODC’s work on drug trafficking

UNODC’s work on organized crime