Eurostat/1 A snapshot of Europe in the yearbook
The 2012 Eurostat yearbook, titled “Europe in figures” was released. With figures and charts the EU’s statistical office provides a snapshot of social, economic, cultural Europe, addressing various aspects of citizens’ daily life on different statistical areas: economy and finance; health; education and training; labour market; living conditions and social protection; industry, trade and services; environment; energy, etc. It includes a chapter on early school leave (involving approximately 14% of young Europeans), who drop out of school without having true perspectives of training or work), with differentiated situations from one country to the next. As relates to families’ consumption it emerges that expense of housing is on the increase (loans for purchase or rent of property and bills),amounting to over 25% of household expense, followed by transport (13%), food expense (12,9%), and to a lesser degree, free time and culture, restaurants and hotels, clothing and other expenses. An unusual chapter regards interpersonal relations. “In recent years, the way in which European citizens communicate has changed significantly, from traditional letters sent by post to electronic communication, for example text messages sent by mobile phones”, is stated in the yearbook. There were 125 mobile phone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the EU27 in 2009, indicating that many inhabitants had more than one subscription. The highest shares were observed in Greece, Italy and Portugal.Eurostat/2 Germany and Spain, record-breaking numbers of foreign citizens
“Over 33 million foreign citizens live in the EU27 Member States”. It is the conclusion of Eurostat, which presented 2011 figures on foreign born population resident within EU borders. This foreign population comprises over 12 million EU citizens living in another Member State, i.e. 2.5% of the EU27 population, while 20.5 million are non EU citizens, i.e. 4.1% of the EU27 population, amounting to 500 million inhabitants). According to Eurostat “In 2011, the largest numbers of foreign citizens were recorded in Germany”, (7.2 million persons), followed by Spain (5.7 million), Italy (4.6 million), the United Kingdom (4.5 million) and France (3.8 million). Highest proportions of foreign EU citizens were recorded in Luxembourg (43% of the overall population), Cyprus (20%), and Latvia (the Russian minority group). The percentage of foreign citizens was less than 2% in Poland, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. Commission, tips for tourists
With the holiday season starting the EU Commission published a guide for tourists and travellers inside and outside the European Union, amounting to several million people each year. “Recommendations” and suggestions range from health insurance to the resolving travel disputes with an operator, bus or boat travel, car rentals and travelling with pets. “These tips provide a useful insight into the ways in which the EU is working to help and assist travellers” in EU27 countries. The first piece of advice naturally relates to personal health treatment and structures. The Commission suggests to always carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). “The card can help you save time, hassle and money if you fall ill or suffer an injury while abroad”. The Card is available - free of charge - “from national health insurance providers”. For further information log on: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/index_it.htm
.Proposals to reduce Co2 emissions
“Protecting the climate and saving consumers money;” “boosting innovation and competitiveness in the European automotive industry”; and creating “substantial numbers of jobs as a result”: These are the main targests of the proposal presented a few days ago by EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, for reducing CO2 emissions from new cars. The mandatory targets for pollution reduction - which the Commission defines with specific parameters of Co2 per km -are already envisaged in existing legislation but “require implementation”. In view of the Commission’s provisions, car industries in the EU and extra-EU have already undertaken lobbying initiatives. The proposals, which will be submitted to EU Parliament and Council for discussion, envisage the use of “readily available technology”, whose cost is “substantially lower” than previously though, positively impacting the use of new technologies and triggering job creation. According to the Commission, with the directives’ adoption would each new car will on average save its owner around €340 in fuel costs in the first year”, and an estimated total of €2904-3836 over the car's lifetime (13 years). For vans the average fuel cost saving is estimated at €3363-4564 over their 13-year lifetime.