EU Research Ministers agreed in Luxemburg to launch the European Institute of Technology. The Research Ministers of the European Union adopted a comprehensive policy decision on the European Institute of Technology at the Competitiveness Council in Luxemburg on Monday. "By agreeing the general orientation of the European Institute of Technology (EIT) we have today taken an important step towards securing Europe's future," said Council President Annette Schavan, the German Research Minister, at the final press conference in Luxemburg. This may be seen as a result of the German Presidency and a "particular success at the conclusion" of the German Council Presidency, the Minister said.
Agreement on the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the Community Customs Code. At the meeting of the Council “Competitiveness” in Luxembourg on 25 June 2007 Member States were able to reach political agreement on the Modernised Customs Code. The Modernised Customs Code is a thoroughgoing revision of the entire body of Community customs law and thus represents the most comprehensive legislative project in the field of Customs since the current Customs Code was adopted in the year 1992.
Energy Council discusses issues of the internal market for electricity and gas. At their meeting in Luxemburg on June 6 chaired by German Economics Minister Michael Glos, the Energy Ministers discussed the implementation of the European Council's Energy Action Plan of March 9, 2007 in connection with the internal market for electricity and gas. Federal Minister Glos: "It was clear again today in the Energy Council that Europe's internal market for electricity and gas must become more integrated and develop more dynamic. Above all, the full benefits of liberalization must be passed on to consumers and industry."
Invitation to the Conference on the European Charter for Small Enterprises in Berlin on 4/5 June 2007. The Fourth Conference on the Implementation of the European Charter for Small Enterprises will be hosted in Berlin on 4/5 June 2007 by the German EU Presidency and the European Commission. The Conference opens its doors on 4 June 2007 at 9 am at the Conference Center of Hotel Schweizerhof (Budapester Strasse 25 in 10787 Berlin). You are cordially invited to attend. The entire event will be open to the press. Media representatives are asked to register online for accreditation by 2 pm on 30 May 2007. Their registration will then be confirmed by email. Permanent registration with the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government or at www.eu2007.de will not suffice since a special badge must be issued for access to the event.
13th Workshop of the European eBusiness Support Network opened in Berlin. Dagmar Wöhrl, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, and Dr. Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Member of the European Parliament, opened the 13th Workshop of the European eBusiness Support Network in Berlin today. It is being jointly organised in the context of the German EU Presidency by the Economics Ministry and the European Commission, and the theme is “eBusiness Solutions and Standards for SMEs – state of play and perspectives”.
Glos: „Today's decision of the European Parliament on roaming means that we have almost reached the finish line“. The European Parliament today adopted a draft Regulation to reduce the cost of mobile phone roaming calls in the EU. Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Michael Glos: "The German Presidency expressly welcomes that the compromise that has been reached after intensive negotiations between the Presidency, the Commission and the European Parliament was endorsed at today's plenary session. The German Presidency had set itself the ambitious target to adopt this Regulation in the 1st half-year of 2007. Today's decision of the European Parliament means: We have almost reached the finish line - and in a record time!"
Space activities as key instrument for Europe's political goals. Europe will in future make more use of space activities in order to reach its political objectives.
For this purpose, 29 European countries today adopted a resolution on the European Space Policy on the occasion of the 4th Space Council.
Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy and Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Mr. Peter Hintze, welcomed the adoption of the resolution and declared: "The European Space Policy has for the first time created a common political framework for space activities in Europe."
Less expensive trade mark protection in Europe. The fees of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) in Alicante, Spain ( OHIM ) are going to be reduced. This decision was adopted by Member State ministers at today’s meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council in Brussels, which was chaired by Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries.
“This fee reduction strengthens Europe as an economic location. In the future, it will be possible to register trade marks and designs through OHIM at significantly lower cost. This helps all those who wish to protect their rights against unauthorised counterfeiting, not only within their own countries but also throughout all of Europe. The Community trade mark system in Europe is a ten-year success story. In the past year alone, 77,500 trade marks were registered in Alicante. Thus the use of the system has far exceeded expectations, which has led to a substantial revenue surplus. We will now distribute this surplus to users of the system,” stated Ms. Zypries.
EU Competitiveness Council: Political Agreement on Consumer Credit Directive. The EU Competitiveness Council today reached agreement on a new Consumer Credit Directive. “This agreement delivers clear practical advantages to Europe’s consumers. For example, in the future it will be possible to make genuine comparisons among credit offers throughout Europe. Credit providers will be subject to uniform transparency rules, and the annual percentage rate of charge for credit will be calculated in accordance with uniform standards,” stated Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries in Brussels.
Three central themes for Bologna: Quality, Mobility and Transparency. Speaking at the end of the Bologna Conference in London on Friday, Federal Education Minister Annette Schavan warned against excessive rigidness when reforming the European Higher Education Area: “The aim of the Bologna Process is to shape diversity, not harmonization”. Schavan said that the Bologna Process was a great opportunity for European integration. “The higher education institutions in the 46 partner countries are undergoing a strenuous and at the same time very promising process of development,” she said.
Minister Glos convened informal meeting of EU tourism ministers in Potsdam. As part of the European Tourism Conference, which began on Tuesday with a half-day specialised conference headed by Michael Glos, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, and Ernst Hinsken, Federal Government Commissioner for Tourism, the 27 EU member states convened in Potsdam today for an informal ministerial meeting. The Bulgarian Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva attended on behalf of the European Commission.
Federal Minister Glos: “Tourism is a particularly dynamic services sector. We need to put the conditions in place today so that it can flourish in future – both in Germany and in Europe”.
Glos opened the European Tourism Conference in Berlin. Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Mr. Michael Glos, today opened the European Tourism Conference in Berlin with more than 500 international guests from the political, economic and scientific fields. The Bulgarian EU Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Ms. Meglena Kuneva, also spoke at the Conference on "Tourism - Growth Engine of the Future", which was initiated by Federal Government Commissioner for Tourism, Mr. Ernst Hinsken , and organised by the German National Tourist Board.
Focusing on Europe's Young Researchers. "We must provide specific support for young researchers in Europe in order to improve our competitiveness. This includes greater mobility between science and industry – and the possibility of reciprocal transfers between scientific and industrial career paths", said Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan and the Science Minister of Land Baden-Wuerttemberg, Peter Frankenberg, when opening the European Researchers of Tomorrow Conference in Stuttgart on Monday. Germany is making good progress towards achieving this goal.
Modern Environmental Know-how for Eastern Europe. "Research for sustainability provides the basis for clean technologies and contributes to preserving the natural resources which are vital for future generations. At the same time, sustainability research is an important driver of innovation in Europe", said Professor Frieder Meyer-Krahmer, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research ( BMBF ), at the opening of the conference "Neighbourhood for sustainability – from Lisbon to Leipzig with research". More than 700 experts from politics, science and industry have come to Leipzig, among them EU Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik and high-level research policy representatives from Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania. The Conference provides major impetus for strengthening scientific cooperation with Eastern European neighbouring countries in the field of sustainability research. For example, joint technology platforms are planned for the areas of soil remediation, water technologies and waste management.
Commission Communication on European Space Policy adopted. Today, the European Commission has adopted its Communication: European Space Policy. Drafted together with the European Space Agency (ESA), the document sets out the policy-programme framework for community space activities in Europe. It is based on the ESA/European Commission Framework Agreement of 2004. Founded in 1975, ESA conducts research and development programmes on behalf of its 17 member states in spacecraft engineering, earth observation, space science, human space-flight and telecommunications.
Informal Competitiveness Council successfully completed - Results of the ministers’ discussions. Under the chairmanship of Michael Glos, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, the ministers of the EU member states with responsibility for the European internal market, Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission, and EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes met in Würzburg for an Informal Competitiveness Council on 27 and 28 April 2007.
The economics ministers of Norway, Iceland and Switzerland attended as guests, since these countries are linked to the internal market via the EEA Agreement or separate agreements.
The general theme of the meeting was “The Single European Market in Global Competition”. Discussion focused on the strategic and political reorientation of the internal market in order to meet the challenges of the process of globalisation effectively.
Invitation to the Launch Event for the European Structural Funds Programmes 2007 - 2013: Strong Regions – Building Bridges for Europe, in Hof on 9 May 2007. Under the German EU Council Presidency, the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Michael Glos, invites you to attend the opening event for the new period of assistance as part of EU regional and structural policy from 2007 to 2013 on 9 May 2007 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hof Theatre, Kulmbacher Str. 5, 95030 Hof.
Invitation to the European Tourism Conference in Berlin and Potsdam on 15 and 16 May 2007. The European Tourism Conference will be held as part of the Germany’s EU Council Presidency. It consists of a specialised conference in Berlin on 15 May entitled “Tourism – Growth Engine of the Future” and an informal ministerial meeting in Potsdam on 16 May. We extend a cordial invitation to you to attend the Specialised EU Tourism Conference from 12.00 to 17.00 hrs on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 in the Hotel Estrel, Berlin, and the Informal EU Ministerial Meeting at 9.00 (photo opportunity, family photograph) and 12.30 (press conference) on Wednesday, 16 May at the “Kaiserbahnhof”, Am Neuen Palais 1, 14469 Potsdam.
EU research ministers meeting in Würzburg at the Informal Competitiveness Council agree on joint initiatives. The research ministers of the European Union and from EFTA countries have reached agreement on essential points in central areas of research policy and have thus prepared the ground for Europe's future competitiveness. The focuses of the Informal Competitiveness Council in Würzburg were the establishment of a European Institute of Technology (EIT) as an innovation network, the further development of the European Research Area and a European Charter for the management of intellectual property.
"I am very pleased with the result of our discussions", said the President of the Council, Federal Research Minister Schavan, at the concluding press conference on Friday.
Informal Competitiveness Council deals with Europe's positioning in the globalisation process. The subject of the commerce section of the Informal Competitiveness Council under the Presidency of Federal Minister of Economics Michael Glos on 26/27 April 2007 is “The Single European Market in Global Competition”. The German Council Presidency regards this as one of the main subjects of European economic policy. We need a change in perspective: rather than continuing with our domestic European “navel-gazing”, the EU needs to reflect more on how it is viewed from outside in global competition. At the meeting of the informal council, the focus on Friday afternoon (27 April) will initially be on how attractive Europe is as a location for business. On Saturday morning (28 April), the subject of “Globalisation – and its impact on the EU” is to be considered more comprehensively.
German Federal Research Minister Dr. Annette Schavan: "Strengthening Research in Europe". The Research Ministers of the European Union meeting in Würzburg on Thursday and Friday will be discussing crucial issues which will set the course for future European research policy. Under the Presidency of the German Federal Research Minister, Dr. Annette Schavan, the Ministers have set themselves ambitious goals for the Informal Competitiveness Council. Under the motto of the German Council Presidency "Success through Research", the responsible ministers from the Member States will deal with the issue of strengthening the European Research Area and the establishment of a European Institute of Technology (EIT). Another topic will be the important question of the management of intellectual property and the related Presidency initiative for an IP Charter. "Science and research are vital for making Europe fit for international competition", said Schavan.
GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) information helps monitor climate change, environment and security. Within the framework of the German EU Presidency, a conference on the European initiative Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) is taking place on Tuesday in Munich. Together with Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen the Federal Minister of Transport Wolfgang Tiefensee opened the conference titled "The Way to the European Earth Observation System GMES - Munich Roadmap". "GMES ensures independent access to information relating to the environment, climate change and security and it delivers efficient and reliable services. It is our goal to create the general conditions for stable and sustainable GMES control and finance structures during the German EU Council Presidency, together with the Commission, ESA and all our other European partners", said Mr Tiefensee.
Conference "Gender Issues in Research - Innovation through Equality of Opportunity" 18./19.4.2007 in Berlin. Germany intends to use its 2007 EU Council Presidency among other things to kick off initiatives to enhance innovative ability and to thereby contribute to Europe's global competitiveness. The Federal Government regards the inclusion of gender aspects in research and the boosting of equal opportunities in the scientific system as important preconditions for increasing innovative ability.
Joint Invitation of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology to the Informal Competitiveness Council from 26 to 28 April 2007. The Council under the Presidency of Federal Minister of Research Dr. Annette Schavan and Federal Minister of Economics Michael Glos will deal with Europe's positioning in the globalisation process and central issues of the European research policy. The Economics Ministers will discuss the future of the internal market including the EU aid scheme in the global competition to attract business. Keynote speakers from industrial firms that operate worldwide will present the advantages and problems of Europe as a business location for their sectors. The debate on a European Institute for Technology and a charter for intellectual property rights, among other topics, are on the agenda of the Research Ministers. Therefore we cordially invite you.
International Cartel Conference and European Competition Day in Munich. "Competition is the pillar of a free social order", said Federal Minister of Economics and Technology and Council President Michael Glos on the occasion of today's opening of the 13th International Cartel Conference and the 14th European Competition Day in Munich. According to the Minister, the prosperity that we are enjoying in Germany would be unthinkable without competition.
Schavan: "Good ideas for tomorrow's products". Basic research will in future play an outstanding role in EU research policy. This was stressed by high-level representatives from science and politics at the launch event for the European Research Council (ERC) in Berlin on Tuesday: Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Research Minister Annette Schavan and EU Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik as well as Angelika Niebler, Member of the European Parliament, opened the conference at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, which was organized by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the framework of the EU Council Presidency.
Federal Minister Glos: Germany amongst the leaders in terms of technology and innovation. The European Innovation Scoreboard (an annual comparative study) published today by the European Commission confirms Germany’s strong position amongst the European and international technology nations.
Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Michael Glos: “Improving the free movement of goods within the EU – a major focus of the German EU presidency“. “The proposals submitted today by the European Commission to improve the free movement of goods will be amongst the main subjects of discussion for the EU Council during the German presidency”, stated Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Michael Glos. The proposals by the Commission aim at optimizing the regulatory model of the “new approach”. For some years now, this innovative system for EU-wide harmonization, which relies on the private sector’s own responsibility for the placing of products on the market without relieving governments of their responsibility, has been a guarantee for safe products and fair competition. The European Commission is revising the system in order, for example, to introduce uniform minimum requirements for market surveillance authorities and to bring the competences of test agencies into line throughout Europe.
The Opening of Worldwide Service Markets Offers Opportunities for Germany. In a study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) underlines German companies' good competitive position in the international trade in services. Sectors such as construction, navigation, telecommunications, post/courier services, technical services, and financial services are among the leaders in international competition according to the study. The RWI anticipates positive effects for Germany and the overall world economy from the further opening of worldwide service markets.
Michael Glos, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology: The European Automotive Industry on the Way to Clean and Competitive Vehicles. The future CO2 strategy adopted today by the EU Commission for passenger cars points in the right direction. It rightly takes an integrated approach that extends beyond vehicle engineering to include other contributions to CO2 reduction. The proposed fleet value for vehicles newly licensed in Europe, the political figure of 120 g CO2/km, is very ambitious. Through the possibility, for example, of including the use of bio fuels, it is possible to tap the potential of all CO2 reduction measures. Furthermore, we will now also have the benefit of reducing the CO2 emissions of all vehicles in Europe, not only those that are newly registered.
Implementation of EU directives better than ever – time for even more ambitious targets. The EU Member States have transposed EU directives faster than ever before. On average, only 1.2 % of directives applying in the EU’s internal market are not transposed on time; for Germany, the figure is just 1 %.