2016 Euro Info No 7

The information below is from the euractiv website for more detailed information on these and other items please go to www.euractiv.com
Faced with many challenges, from migration to terrorism, the EU and its Mediterranean partners must cooperate with pragmatism and variable geometry, the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Fathallah Sijilmassi, said.

Unknown by some and disregarded by others, the Union for the Mediterranean was launched in 2008 in Paris under former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who conceived it as a way of bridging the North-South divide. The inter-governmental forum brings together 43 member nations, comprising the 28 EU member states and 15 Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries.

In line with the revised European Neighbourhood Policy, the Mediterranean is likely to be given greater consideration, especially after the failed coup in Turkey.

Ukraine requests Commission’s help to secure winter gasIn an apparent U-turn, Ukraine has requested the Commission’s mediation for securing its gas purchases from Gazprom, it emerged today (20 July). Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič was asked if the EU executive would again be involved in securing Ukraine’s gas purchases from Russia, which are also needed to secure the transit of Russian gas to the EU.

The European Union is eager to mediate between Kyiv and Moscow, because in 2009, when Gazprom stopped deliveries to Kyiv, the country used gas destined for Europe for its own domestic consumption, and left several EU countries in the cold.

Pressure mounts on truck makers, as Commission announces emissions regulationThe European Commission promised sweeping changes to its regulation of car and truck pollution in an effort to slash carbon emission levels by 2030.

In a move that will send a chill through the car industry, the executive announced today (20 July) that it will propose the first EU law to regulate how trucks consume fuel and produce harmful carbon emissions. Trucks currently make up one-quarter of carbon emissions from all vehicles on the road in Europe. The Commission’s announcement comes one day after Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition chief, slapped truck manufacturers Daimler, Iveco, Volvo/Renault and DAF with a record-high fine of €2.93 billion for participating in a cartel and coordinating when they introduced new emissions measuring technology.

Commercial broadcasters prepare for another fight in Brussels
The commercial TV sector is bracing itself for another fight with Brussels when the European Commission proposes changes to EU copyright law in September that could upend how it does business. Commercial TV firms are worried ahead of the Commission’s controversial plans to extend EU copyright law for films or TV shows to internet on-demand services. They argue that massive changes will snuff out broadcasters’ ability to fund new productions just as the EU executive is spearheading a parallel bill to spur investment in European films and TV shows.

“After Brexit one would have thought the European Commission would seek stability. Instead it has chosen a reckless path that will endanger jobs and growth in the audiovisual sector, limit consumer welfare and jeopardise cultural diversity,” said Grégoire Polad.