LE DEBAT EUROPEEN

05/10/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 05/10/2018 Press Release

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Le président Juncker participe à l'ouverture de la Semaine européenne des Régions et des Villes 2018 lundi à Bruxelles

Du lundi 8 au jeudi 11 octobre, 6000 participants - des décideurs et des experts locaux, régionaux, nationaux et européens - se réuniront à Bruxelles pour débattre et échanger au cours de ce qui est devenu "l'événement" annuel de la politique de cohésion à l'échelle européenne. Plus de 600 intervenants et 200 journalistes pourront également participer à plus de 150 ateliers au cours de cette édition de la Semaine européenne des Régions et des Villes consacrée à la politique de cohésion après 2020. Le Président Juncker ouvrira la Semaine lundi à 14h30, aux côtés de la Commissaire en charge de la politique régionale, Corina Creţu, du Président du Comité des Régions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz et du député européen Pavel Telička. «Cette édition de la Semaine européenne des Régions et des Villes n'est pas comme les autres", a déclaré la Commissaire Creţu avant l'événement, "puisqu'il s'agit de la première après la présentation par la Commission de sa proposition sur la politique de cohésion 2021-2027. Je suis fière de ce que nous avons accompli: une politique radicalement modernisée, plus flexible et simplifiée. Et je suis impatiente d'entendre les impressions de ceux qui consacrent leur vie à la réussite de cette politique sur le terrain.» Parmi les temps forts de la Semaine, citons la cérémonie annuelle des RegioStars Awards, le mardi 9 au soir, et l'annonce des lauréats du troisième appel d'offre pour les Urban Innovative Actions, le mercredi 10. La session d'ouverture avec le président Juncker sera retransmise en direct et les journalistes accrédités sont invités à participer au programme média de la Semaine qui se tiendra au Square (Bruxelles 1000, près de la Gare Centrale). (Pour plus d'informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tél.: +32 229 58615; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tél.: +32 229 56169)

 

EU and Western Balkans strengthen cooperation on border management, counter-terrorism and organised crime

Today, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos participated in the EU-Western Balkans Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Forum in Tirana, Albania, where he reaffirmed strong cooperation between the EU and Western Balkan partners on border management, counter-terrorism and organised crime. An important milestone was reached on border management with Albania with the signature of an agreement allowing for operational cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Albania. The agreement, signed by Commissioner Avramopoulos, Austrian Minister of the Interior, Herbert Kickl and Albanian Minister of the Interior Fatmir Xhafaj, is the first one to be concluded with a third country. Commissioner Avramopoulos and Western Balkans partners also signed the Joint EU–Western Balkans Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism, which sets out concrete steps for enhanced cooperation in countering terrorism and preventing radicalisation over the next two years. It is a key deliverable under the Commission's strategy for 'A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans' of February 2018. Finally, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) tightened its cooperation on drugs monitoring with Albania initialling a working arrangement. More information on the European Border and Coast Guard agreement with Albania, Joint EU–Western Balkans Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism and European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction cooperation with Albania is available online. The press conference in which Commissioner Avramopoulos participated can be followed on EBS.  In the margins of the meeting, Commissioner Jourová attended the  signing ceremony of the Eurojust – Albania cooperation agreement by the Albanian Minister of Justice, Etilda Gjonaj, and the President of Eurojust, Ladislav Hamran. This agreement will facilitate the cooperation between Albanian judicial authorities and Eurojust to better fight crime.  More information is available on Eurojust's website.A joint EU-Western Balkans statement will be signed at the end of the meeting and will be available later online(For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: 32 229 63444; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

Juncker Plan supports clean energy in Belgium and cohesion projects in Hungary 

In Belgium, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed an agreement to support the construction of the Northwester 2 wind farm off the Belgian coast with a loan of €210 million. Upon completion, its 23 wind turbines will deliver an estimated 219 Megawatts, enough to supply green energy to hundreds of thousands of Belgian homes. In Hungary, the EIB is providing €100 million to Magyar Villamos Muvek (MVK) Zrt, the major player in the Hungarian power and gas sectors, to modernise the power transmission network, improving the reliability of the network and increasing interconnections with neighbouring Slovakia. This is the first direct EFSI corporate loan in Hungary. The EIB is also providing a €25 million loan to Budapest Bank, the first EFSI operation with a local commercial bank in Hungary, to provide better access to finance for small and medium businesses, particularly in the country's rural areas. All these projects are guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar the Juncker Commission's Investment Plan for Europe. In addition, the EIB is lending €225 million to Hungary under the “Cohesion Fund Framework Loan IV”, a loan programme that covers the national financing part in infrastructure projects (water, transport and energy) co-funded by Cohesion Policy funds. In September 2018, the Juncker Plan had already mobilised €344 billion of investment in the EU, including €1.8 billion in Hungary and €8.3 billion in Belgium. (Full press release are available here. For more information: Christian Spahr – Tél.: +32 229 50055; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

Cohesion Policy backs €230 million for better water service and infrastructure in Bulgaria

The Commission welcomes the signature yesterday of an agreement between the Fund Manager of Financial Instruments in Bulgaria (FMFIB)and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), setting the first Cohesion Policy backed financial instrument for the water and wastewater sector in Bulgaria. With €115 million from the Cohesion Fund and national co-financing, together with additional resources from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and private sources, this agreement is expected to trigger up to €230 million of investment, to provide 16 regional water operators with access to finance for the delivery of quality service to citizens. With the funding, operators will be able to run and upgrade their water supply, waste water and water treatment facilities. Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: “This agreement shows that financial instruments have the power to multiply the benefits of Cohesion Policy investments, also in public services. Thanks to this agreement, 220,000 Bulgarian citizens will have access to better water supply and 1.5 million to improved waste water treatment.” In the 2014-2020 period, over €1 billion from the Cohesion Fund will be invested in better water supply and water treatment in Bulgaria. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

Alliance Afrique-Europe: La Commission mobilise 5 millions d'euros pour soutenir les autorités douanières africaines dans leur travail afin de mettre en œuvre des règles mondiales et à faciliter les échanges 

La Commission européenne mobilise 5 millions d'euros en faveur d'un nouveau projet de renforcement des capacités visant à soutenir les pays africains à mettre en œuvre et à appliquer les règles mondiales en matière de douane et de facilitation des échanges, à la suite d'un accord signé hier avec l'Organisation mondiale des douanes (OMD). Le projet, qui sera mis en œuvre par l'OMD, vise principalement à promouvoir le "Système harmonisé" ou SH actualisé. Ce système est un élément fondamental du commerce mondial et de l'application des règles douanières mondiales. Il permet aux autorités de reconnaître et de classer les marchandises à leur entrée et à leur sortie des territoires douaniers. Plus généralement, le système aide les pays à coordonner et à harmoniser leurs règles douanières tout en réduisant les coûts liés au commerce international. Ce nouveau financement devrait soutenir les pays africains, les communautés économiques régionales et la Commission de l'Union africaine à utiliser la dernière version du SH de façon coordonnée sur tout le continent, permettant ainsi aux marchandises de circuler plus facilement et plus rapidement. Ce projet est lié à la mise en œuvre du Plan d'investissement extérieur de l'UE et de la Communication pour une nouvelle Alliance Afrique-Europe pour des emplois et des investissements durables, annoncée par le Président Juncker dans son discours sur l'état de l'Union 2018 et adoptée le même jour par la Commission. Cette action vient en soutien à la création de la zone de libre-échange continentale africaine (ZLEC), officiellement créée par l'Assemblée de l'Union africaine lors de sa dixième session extraordinaire le 21 mars 2018 à Kigali, au Rwanda.  Elle est ainsi ancrée dans les engagements communs pris lors du 5e sommet Union africaine -  Union européenne en novembre 2017 à Abidjan. (Pour plus d'informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 2 29 58615; Patrick McCullough - Tel.: +32 229 87183) 

 

EU Code Week 2018 kicks-off – more than 1 million participants expected

Tomorrow, the 'EU Code Week 2018' will start on 6 October with thousands of events taking place in over 45 countries in and outside the EU until 21 October. This year's edition, which is like previous years run by volunteers, has a special focus on schools. More than 1 million people are expected to participate in interactive activities, including children, parents and teachers.Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel said: “EU Code Week is a remarkable grassroots initiative where people of all ages can learn about programming, computers and other tech-related activities in an engaging way. My aim is that significantly more schools, pupils and teachers participate and equip themselves with digital skills that are necessary to thrive in an increasingly digitised world.” Events being organised include for instance Code Hunting Games developed by a team at the University of Urbino, Italy in which groups of players compete in solving coding puzzles. In France, the Limoges Resistance Museum invites visitors of all ages to become an undercover agent solving enigmas based on computer science and cryptograph while in Romania, the IT & hope for kids with autism workshop will promote interactive learning with the help of technology. The EU Code Week is a yearly grassroots movement supported by the European Commission as part of its strategy for a Digital Single Market. The full list and map of events is available on the EU Code Week website which also lists the "Code week ambassadors" who have been promoting the initiative in their home countries. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

Food: further steps taken to cutting down presence of fatty acids

The Commission launched a feedback mechanism to seek stakeholders' views on setting a maximum limit of trans fats of 2 grams per 100 grams of fat in the food intended for the final consumer. Commission's proposed Regulation comes as a follow-up of the Report adopted in 2015 and of discussions with stakeholders (notably NGOs, industry…) which have been taking place since.  The proposal is also based on a number of scientific studies, such as the recent one from the European Food Safety Authority which stresses again that dietary intakes of trans fatty acids should be as low as possible in order to avoid health risks. Despite health warnings in some Central and Southern European countries, industrial trans fats levels in pre-packaged biscuits, cakes and wafers have not dropped meaningfully since mid-2000. Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, in charge of Health and Food Safety said: "For many years now, scientific studies have shown that a high intake of trans fats undoubtedly increases the risk of heart disease. With the proposed Regulation, the Commission acts on its commitment to deliver on the matter. I look forward to constructive input during this feedback mechanism so that the Regulation can be adopted as soon as possible for the benefit of our citizens' health". (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

 

World Teachers' Day: bringing Europe's cultural heritage to the classroom

Today is UNESCO World Teachers' Day, and EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics,is launching a cultural heritage toolkit for teachers in all 24 official EU languages. The initiative is part ofthe European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. It creates opportunities for children and young people to discover and explore the value of Europe's shared heritage - be it literature, art, monuments, or crafts and traditions.  Commissioner Navracsics said: “Our motto for the European Year is ‘Cultural heritage - where the past meets the future' – what better way to support this than to enable children and young people to learn about and appreciate their cultural heritage? I am delighted that today, on World Teachers' Day, we are providing our educators with the tools to do so.”  The educational resources presented today have been created to help teachers of any subject or discipline to introduce and discuss cultural heritage in the classroom and outside, targeting students between 10 and 15 years old. The playful and engaging activities are an invitation to reflect on the following questions:  What is cultural heritage and why is it important to cherish and preserve it?  Why is cultural heritage shared beyond national borders? The toolkit in 24 languages is available here. A new online game "Cultural Heritage Detectives” is available here. The Commission is also publishing the annual report by its Eurydice Network today, showing the evolution in teachers' pay in 2016/2017, as well as differences in salary conditions and salary progression across Europe. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

Eurostat: Le prix des logements en hausse de 4,3% dans la zone euro, également en hausse de 4,3% dans l'UE (Deuxième trimestre 2018 comparé au deuxième trimestre 2017)

Le prix des logements, tel que mesuré par l'indice des prix des logements, a augmenté de 4,3% tant dans la zone euro que dans l'UE au deuxième trimestre 2018 par rapport au même trimestre de l'année précédente. Par rapport au premier trimestre 2018, les prix des logements ont progressé de 1,4% tant dans la zone euro que dans l'UE au deuxième trimestre 2018. Un communiqué de presse Eurostat est disponible en ligne(Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182)

 

Concentrations : la Commission autorise l'acquisition d'Imerys par Lone Star Funds

La Commission Européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition d'Imerys TC, société par actions simplifiée basée en France, par LSF10 Impala Investments S.a.r.l., société basée au Luxembourg contrôlée par Lone Star Fund X basée aux U.S.A (ensemble "Lone Star Funds"). Imerys conçoit et fournit des produits de toiture, notamment des tuiles en terre cuite, des solutions photovoltaïques, des toitures thermiques et des accessoires. Lone Star Funds est une société de capital-investissement qui investit dans l'immobilier, le crédit, des actions et d'autres actifs financiers dans le monde entier. La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, car les chevauchements entre les activités des entreprises sont très limités. La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée de contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.8977(Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn at the third Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean

On Monday 8th October, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini will co-chair, together with Jordan's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Ayman Safadi, the third meeting of the Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Barcelona. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations will also participate. Hosted by Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, the meeting, which marks the 10th anniversary of the organisation, will gather Ministers from the 43 UfM member countries and observers, including the League of Arab States, the Anna Lindh Foundation, the Parliamentary Assembly of the UfM, the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in the presence of the recently appointed Secretary General of the UfM Secretariat, Nasser Kamel.The Regional Forum will be an opportunity to review the organisation's achievements in its first decade, exchange views on the way forward and discuss the potential of this unique platform for dialogue and cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region. High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will open the Forum and participate in the press conference. Commissioner Hahn will open the event Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs), on the engagement and the impact of the private sector in the region and will hold a series of bilateral meeting including with UfM Secretary General Mr Nasser Kamel. Audio-visual coverage of the Forum will be available on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Lauranne Devillé - Tel.: +32 229 80833; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.:+32 229 64887)

 

Commissioner Mimica discussed development partnership with Latin America and Caribbean

During his official trip to Chile, Commissioner for Development and Cooperation Neven Mimica addressed the High Level Dialogue on future development cooperation between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean that took place in Santiago. The event focused on development challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, such as growing inequalities, climate change and security. Commissioner Mimica said: “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to explore how to innovate our development cooperation with the more advanced developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.  We want to adapt our tools to the more diverse, dynamic and local circumstances. We want to support the transition of our partners through triangular cooperation, exchanging good practices, knowledge transfers, and bringing in private investments – with the ambition to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals". The EU is committed to an innovative engagement with more advanced developing countries in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda - as reflected in the new "European Consensus on Development". In order to support smooth and successful countries' transitions to higherincome levels, the EU is implementing the Regional Facility for Development in Transition for Latin America and the Caribbean.(For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejeula – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Vice-President Katainen in Finland to attend the Ministerial Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, will be in Helsinki, Finland, on 8-9 October. On Monday 8 October he will meet Ms Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education of Finland, over a working lunch to discuss the European Education Area, together with rectors and stakeholders. The Vice-President will also participate in a Citizens' Dialogue on the same topic; the event can be followed live from 13.30-15.00 (Finnish time). Vice-President Katainen will then deliver a keynote address at the event on "Trade Policy in a changing World" at the Finnish Chamber of Commerce, meet Mr Nenad Popovic, Minister for Innovation and Technological Development of Serbia and attend the working dinner of the Ministerial Conference on future of Artificial Intelligence in Europe (AI Forum 2018). On Tuesday 9 October, Vice-President Katainen will attend the working breakfast of the Directors' Institute Finland and EVLI Bank to deliver a keynote address on "EU and Artificial Intelligence from growth and competitiveness perspective".  Then, he will participate in a panel discussion about "Tech unicorns born in Europe" at the Ministerial Conference on future of Artificial Intelligence. He will meet Mr Antero Vartia, Member of the Finnish Parliament and Ms Suvi Haimi, CEO and Co-founder of Sulapac. Finally the Vice-President will deliver a keynote address on "EU investment supporting growth in Finland" at the Grannenfelt Finance event. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

 

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24/09/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 24/09/2018 Press Release

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Brussels, 24 September 2018

In the margins of 73rd UN General Assembly, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini will today chair the Ministerial Meeting of E3/EU+2 and Iran on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal (press point around 21:30 local time, 03:30 CET). She will also chair an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers, with the focus on Syria and Libya, as well as the ministerial meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Troika. In addition, she will speak at the launch of UNICEF's Generation Unlimited, a new partnership to get every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will take part in a discussion with students and professors at Columbia University's World Leaders' Forum (13:00 local time, 19:00 CET) entitled "Can the EU stay true to its values?"; follow it live here. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is co-chairing the first Ministerial meeting of the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade, bringing of together almost 60 countries, to take stock of progress to ban the trade in goods used for torture and the death penalty (15:00 local time, 21:00 CET). Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos will speak at a high-level event on the Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation, while Commissioner Christos Stylianides will address events on Scaling Innovation in Emergency Education and on Protecting the Health and Rights of Women and Girls Affected by Conflict, with focus on Yemen and South Sudan. Audio-visual coverage of all these engagements as well as the press events and the bilateral meetings the EU high-level representatives will hold will be available on EbS. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Esther Osorio – Tel.: +32 229 62076)

 

"Multilateralism is not dead" - President Juncker and High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini relaunch cooperation with the United Nations and the African Union

President Jean-Claude Juncker met, together with High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, with UN Secretary General António Guterres on Sunday in New York in the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly to relaunch the strong EU - UN cooperation. President Juncker said: "We are here to say that the multilateral approach is not dead, it has to be maintained - it is the only chance we have to shape the future of the globe, in a way acceptable for all stakeholders." See the full remarks and the joint press statement. The meeting was followed by a trilateral meeting with the African Union (AU), represented by the Chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, where they agreed to take further action towards reinforcing synergies and coordination to tackle global challenges together. Today, President Juncker will address the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, which will gather numerous world leaders who will discuss global peace in honour of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela; you can follow President Juncker's speech live on EbS (around 13:00 local time, 19:00 CET). The President will also have bilateral meetings with Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, and Mr Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and Chairperson of the African Union. In the evening, he will attend a reception hosted by the President of the United States, Mr Donald Trump. Audiovisual coverage will be available on EbS(for more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524, Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Esther Osorio – Tel.: +32 229 62076)

 

Rule of Law: European Commission refers Poland to the European Court of Justice to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

Today, the European Commission decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU due to the violations of the principle of judicial independence created by the new Polish Law on the Supreme Court, and to ask the Court of Justice to order interim measures until it has issued a judgment on the case. The new Polish law on the Supreme Court lowers the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65, putting 27 out of 72 sitting Supreme Court judges at risk of being forced to retire. This measure also applies to the First President of the Supreme Court, whose 6-year mandate, set out in the Polish Constitution, would be prematurely terminated. The European Commission maintains that the Polish law on the Supreme Court is incompatible with EU law as it undermines the principle of judicial independence, including the irremovability of judges, and thereby Poland fails to fulfil its obligations under Article 19(1) of the Treaty on European Union read in connection with Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Commission has therefore moved to the next stage of the infringement procedure, deciding to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU. With its referral, the Commission has also decided to ask the Court of Justice to order interim measures, restoring Poland's Supreme Court to its situation before 3 April 2018, when the contested new laws were adopted. Finally, the Commission has decided to request an expedited procedure at the Court of Justice, to obtain a final judgment as soon as possible. The full press release is available online(For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: 32 229 63444)

 

Bilan de l'emploi et des développements sociaux: l'emploi dans l'UE à son plus haut niveau historique

La dernière révision trimestrielle sur l'emploi et les développements sociaux en Europe (ESDE) publiée aujourd'hui, confirme que les chiffres du marché du travail européen continuent de battre des records: il y a maintenant 239 millions de personnes au travail dans l'UE, dont 158 millions dans la zone euro. Les deux chiffres sont sans précédent, et l'emploi n' pas cessé d'augmenter pendant plus de 5 années consécutives. Depuis le début du mandat actuel de la Commission, près de 12 millions d'emploi ont été créés. Les taux de chômage mensuels dans l'UE et dans la zone euro ont poursuivi leur déclin, tombant respectivement à 6,9% et 8,2% en juillet 2018. La baisse a été particulièrement importante pour le chômage des jeunes, qui se trouve au niveau le plus bas en 20 ans. Par rapport à l'an dernier, le taux de chômage a diminué dans tous les Etats-Membres. La situation financière des ménages a continué de s'améliorer, malgré les disparités. Marianne Thyssen, commissaire chargée de l'emploi, des affaires sociales, des compétences et de la mobilité des travailleurs, a déclaré: "L'emploi n'a jamais été aussi élevé dans l'UE et dans la zone euro, et près de 12 millions d'emploi ont été créés depuis le début de cette Commission. Nos efforts pour investir dans les compétences des gens ont porté leurs fruits, mais ces investissements doivent rester une priorité absolue pour préparer les gens au marché du travail de demain. Nous nous concentrons maintenant sur la réalisation de nos propositions, en veillant à ce que les propositions que nous avons mises sur la table soient adoptées par le Parlement européen et le Conseil. C'est la seule manière de faire de nos propositions, qui visent à créer une Union européenne plus sociale et prospère – comme celles faites dans le cadre du Socle européen des droits sociaux – une réalité sur le terrain, au bénéfice des citoyens et des entreprises." (Pour plus d'informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

EU Budget: Commission takes further action to ensure the United Kingdom makes customs duties falling due, available to the EU budget

Based on a proposal by the Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Günther H. Oettinger, today the European Commission has decided to send a Reasoned Opinion to the United Kingdom because of its failure to make customs duties available to the EU budget, as required by EU law. This is the second step the Commission is taking in the formal infringement procedure for this case in order to protect the financial interests of the EU. In March 2018, the Commission opened the infringement procedure following a 2017 report by the EU's anti-fraud body OLAF, which found that importers in the United Kingdom evaded a large amount of customs duties by using fictitious and false invoices and incorrect customs value declarations at importation. The United Kingdom now has two months to act; otherwise the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU. The Commission calculates that the infringement of EU legislation by the United Kingdom resulted in losses to the EU budget amounting to €2.7 billion (plus interest and minus collection costs) during the periodbetween November 2011 and October 2017. More information is available in the press release here(For more information: Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 229 93265; Andreana Stankova - Tel.: +32 229 57857)

 

Commission proposes actions to help 14 Member States meet waste recycling targets 

Waste management affects everybody. Recent estimates by the World Bank point to an increase of annual waste generation from 2.01 billion tonnes in 2016 to 3.40 billion tonnes in 2050. Whilst in Europe waste management and recycling have been improving, one thing is clear: status quo is not an option and more needs to be done. Today the Commission has published the latest review of how European waste management and recycling rules are applied across Europe. Despite continuous progress in Member States, the Commission identifies serious gaps that must be addressed swiftly so that Europeans are able to reap the environmental and economic benefits of the circular economy. For municipal waste, 14 Member States have been identified as at risk of missing the 2020 target of 50% recycling (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain).These countries need to do more so that their populations and their economies can benefit from the circular economy. That is why the Commission presents blueprints for actionto ensure that those countries act to comply with EU waste legislation. The waste legislation forms the core of Europe's transition to the Circular Economy strategy proposed by the Juncker Commission, and is an opportunity for growth, jobs and improving resource efficiency. Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: "With the EU waste rules recently adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council of Ministers, Europe can become the global front-runner for modern waste management and further develop its circular economy. There are still differences across Europe, but progress is necessary and possible if the respective national and local authorities implement the actions identified in this report. The Commission is there to help by offering technical assistance, structural fund support and support in the exchange of best practices."  In a follow-up to this report, the Commission will undertake visits to the Member States at risk of not meeting the 2020 municipal waste targets, to discuss the opportunities and challenges with the national, regional and local authorities and the relevant stakeholders. The report is available here. More information is available here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio Tel.: +32 229 56172; Daniela Stoycheva – Tel.: +32 229 53664)

 

Les prix européens 2018 pour les compétences numériques mettront en lumière des projets locaux visant à réduire la fracture numérique

La Commission européenne lance aujourd'hui la troisième édition des "European Digital Skills Awards", qui mettra en lumière des initiatives locales réussies ayant contribué à réduire la fracture numérique. Les communautés locales et les organisations associées aux projets à travers l'UE sont dès aujourd'hui invitées à proposer des projets qui répondent aux attentes du concours. Actuellement, 43% des Européens ne possèdent pas de compétences numériques de base. L'an dernier, les lauréats des "Digital Skills Awards", sélectionnés parmi 243 projets venant de toute l'UE, comprenaient, par exemple, un programme de mentorat destiné aux lycéens des régions les plus pauvres de Roumanie, une initiative polonaise visant à aider les étudiantes en technologies de l'information et de la communication (ICT) à trouver leur premier emploi, ou encore un projet d'inclusion sociale numérique touchant 20 000 citoyens dans la ville belge de Gand. La date limite de soumission des projets pour les prix 2018 est le 21 octobre 2018. Les prix seront présentés par la commissaire Gabriel, en charge de l'économie et de la société numériques, le 6 décembre 2018 lors de la conférence "ICT 2018" à Vienne. Un jury indépendant sélectionnera les meilleurs projets dans cinq catégories: les initiatives ciblant les écoles, la main-d'œuvre, les spécialistes des ICT, les filles et les femmes, et la société en général. Contribuer à améliorer les compétences numériques des Européens est l'une des priorités de la stratégie pour un marché unique numérique et de la nouvelle stratégie en matière de compétences pour l'Europe. De plus amples détails sur les Digital Skills Awards sont disponibles ici.(Pour plus d'informations : Nathalie Vandystadt – Tél.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund Tél.: +32 229 50698)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the creation of a joint venture by STEAG and Siemens

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture by STEAG Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH, belonging to the STEAG group ("STEAG"), and Siemens Project Ventures GmbH, belonging to the Siemens group ("Siemens"), all of Germany. STEAG is an international energy supplier, which is active in the generation and supply of electricity and district heating, as well as the project development, construction and operation of power plants and relating technical services. Siemens is a global technology group focused on electrification, automation and digitization in particular concerning power generation and transmission, medical, infrastructure and industrial applications. The joint venture will build and operate a gas and steam turbine power plant in Herne, of Germany, and market the generated electricity and heat. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the limited overlaps between the companies' activities. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8952(For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Commission clears acquisition of a joint venture by Deutsche Asphalt and Bunte

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over a newly created joint venture by Deutsche Asphalt GmbH of Germany, controlled by Strabag SE of Austria, and Johann Bunte Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG (ʽBunteʼ) of Germany. The joint-venture will produce asphalt mixes. Deutsche Asphalt produces different kinds of asphalt. Strabag is active in construction services and materials. Bunte is active in the production and marketing of asphalt mixes and road construction. Deutsche Asphalt and Bunte will each bring into the joint venture a number of existing asphalt plants. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because the total value of assets transferred to the joint venture and its expected activities and turnover in the European Economic Area are limited. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9006(For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Commission clears acquisition of joint control over RSV by Vossloh and Rhomberg Sersa

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Rhomberg Sersa Vossloh GmbH ("RSV") of Germany by Vossloh AG, ("Vossloh") of Germany and Rhomberg Sersa Rail Holding GmbH ("Rhomberg Sersa") of Austria. RSV is a newly created joint venture that will focus on inspection and maintenance services for switches for industrial railways and local transport. Vossloh is a manufacturer of rail infrastructure and rail technology including the provision of related services. Rhomberg Sersa is a full-service provider in the field of railway technology, railway construction, equipment and related services. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because the activities and turnover of RSV are limited in the European Economic Area. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competitionwebsite, in the public case register under the case number M.8236(For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Azelis by EQT Fund Management

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Antelope Topco S.C.A. ("Azelis") by EQT Fund Management S.à.r.l, both of Luxembourg. Azelis is a global distributor of specialty chemicals and food ingredients. EQT Fund Management is a private equity fund that makes investments primarily in northern Europe. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because of the absence of horizontal overlaps or vertical links between the companies. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9034(For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Arias Cañete at Global Wind Summit in Hamburg

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will give the opening speech at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg on 25 September. It is one the largest meetings of the wind power industry worldwide, bringing together stakeholders from business, politics and civil society. Discussions will focus on the future of the global wind energy industry. Wind energy, as one of the main sources of clean and renewable energy, is an essential element for the modernisation of the European economy making it cleaner and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With costs coming down in recent years, there has been a steady increase in the production of clean and renewable energy, and wind power constitutes a large part of this growth. Just recently, as part of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package of measures, the EU has agreed on new ambitious targets for 2030 for renewable energy and energy efficiency, paving the way for an ever-growing role for wind energy, an energy source which is indispensable for the EU to achieve global leadership in renewable energies. Continued close dialogue between all stakeholders is needed to maintain support from European citizens for the energy transition. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

 

Commissioner Jourová on official visit to Vienna

Commissioner Jourová will be in Vienna tomorrow, where she will meet her counterparts in the Austrian government: Josef Moser, Federal Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice, Beate Hartinger-Klein, Federal Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and Juliane Bogner-Strauß, Federal Minister within the Federal Chancellery for Women, Families and Youth. She will also deliver the keynote speech on "Values in times of rising nationalism" opening the Fundamental Rights Forum, organised by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency. On the margins of this event, she will take part in a Citizen's dialogue on "The importance of belonging in building inclusive societies" (live at 17:00). She will also participate in a Consumers' dialogue with Minister Hartinger-Klein on "What the Commission is doing for consumers?" (live at 14:00). Commissioner Jourová speech at the Fundamental Rights Forum will be livestreamed at 9:30 and available here after delivery. (For more information Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

Commissioner Gabriel in Vienna to discuss digital transformation at Citizens' Dialogue and CIO meeting

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel is travelling to Vienna, Austria tomorrow to hold a Citizens' Dialogue on digital transformation in Europe and deliver a keynote speech at  the Chief Information Officers' (CIO) meeting organised by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Citizens' Dialogue can be followed live here at 10:00-11:30 (CEST). In the afternoon the Commissioner will meet Austrian Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer to discuss e-Privacy and the EU's next long-term budget to support broadband infrastructure, including 5G deployment. At the following CIO meeting, that is dedicated to the topic "Challenges by mobile", she will deliver a keynote speech after the opening remarks of Austrian Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Margarete Schramböck.(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

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Posté par acpafpe à 12:41 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

11/09/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 11/09/2018 Press Release

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Le très haut débit s'étend en Bretagne grâce aux fonds européens

74,5 millions d'euros du Fonds européen de développement régional (FEDER) sont investis dans le déploiement du très haut débit dans la région française de Bretagne. Cet investissement de l'UE complètera les investissements du secteur privé et contribuera ainsi à faire passer la couverture très haut débit de la région de 6,2% de la population en 2013 à 68,4% en 2023, un chiffre qui n'aurait atteint que 39,9% sans l'intervention des fonds européens. La Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Crețu a commenté: "Ce projet de la politique de Cohésion accompagne la stratégie de développement de la Bretagne, en créant de nouvelles opportunités là où la région excelle, comme les sciences et l'économie maritimes ou l'agroalimentaire. Le très haut débit va permettre aux entreprises locales d'accéder à de nouveaux marchés, voire à rayonner à l'international. Par ailleurs, le déploiement du très haut débit permettra d'avoir des services publics plus accessibles pour les populations en zones rurales." Grâce à ce projet soutenu par le FEDER, de nouveaux services et applications numériques vont pouvoir se développer dans des domaines tels que l'e-santé, les formations en ligne, le travail à distance ou les démarches administratives en ligne. Le projet devrait être achevé à la fin de 2020. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Andreana Stankova - Tel.: +32 229 57857)

 

Commission welcomes European Parliament's vote on the strengthening of the Structural Reform Support Programme 

The European Commission welcomes today's vote by the European Parliament on increasing the budget of the Structural Reform Support Programme by €80 million. Today's vote will enable the EU to respond to the high demand from Member States and increase its support for reforms already next year. It will also allow the Commission to provide targeted technical support to EU Member States which wish to adopt the euro. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "Structural reforms are crucial to modernise our economies, encourage investment, generate jobs and raise living standards. Today's vote on the strengthening of the Structural Reform Support Programme will enable us to increase the support we provide to Member States to prepare, design and implement growth-enhancing reforms." The proposal to strengthen the Structural Reform Support Programme is part of European Commission's package of proposals of 6 December 2017 to deepen Europe's Economic and Monetary Union. The Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) entered into force in May 2017 and currently has a budget of €142.8 million for the years 2017-2020. Today's agreement will bring the total budget of the Programme to €222.8 million for 2017-2020. The support is provided by the Structural Reform Support Service created in 2015. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)

 

16th European country to join eHealth cooperation for personalised healthcare

Austria became today the 16th country to sign the European Declaration on linking genomic databases across borders that will improve understanding and prevention of diseases, allowing for more personalised treatments, in particular for rare diseases, cancer and brain related diseases. The signature took place this morning in Vienna, Austria at the margins of the informal meeting of EU health ministers. The Declaration is an agreement of cooperation between the countries that want to provide secure and authorised cross-border access to national and regional banks of genetic and other health data, in accordance with all EU data protection rules. Enhanced cooperation between Member States will help to overcome lack of interoperability and fragmentation of initiatives across the EU, while guaranteeing highest standards for personal data protection. This eHealth initiative will also keep the EU at the forefront of personalised medicine globally, fostering scientific output and industrial competitiveness. The Declaration was originally launched on 10 April 2018 during the Digital Day and has been since then signed by Greece, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Read more about European digital health initiative here and in our recent press release(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of joint control of Bioepis by Biogen and Samsung BioLogics

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control by Biogen of the USA over Bioepis, currently solely controlled by Samsung BioLogics, both of South Korea. Biogen, Bioepis and Samsung BioLogics are all active in the development and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products worldwide. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because there are no overlaps between the companies' activities in the European Economic Area. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8956(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Vicentini by Eurocar

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Vicentini S.p.A. of Italy by Eurocar Italia S.r.l. ("Eurocar") of Germany. Eurocar is ultimately controlled by Volkswagen AG ("VW") of Germany. Both Vicentini and Eurocar are active in the retail distribution of new and used passenger cars and light commercial vehicles of VW brands in Italy, related repair activities and the sale of original equipment manufacturer spare parts. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the limited overlaps between the companies' activities in Italian provinces and the lack of incentive for the combined entity to shut out downstream competitors from the market. The case was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9070(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Eurostat: L'emploi en hausse de 0,4% tant dans la zone euro que dans l'UE28, respectivement +1,5% et 1,4% par rapport au deuxième trimestre 2017 (Deuxième trimestre 2018 par rapport au premier trimestre 2018)

Le nombre de personnes ayant un emploi a augmenté de 0,4% dans la zone euro (ZE19) ainsi que dans l'UE28 au deuxième trimestre 2018 par rapport au trimestre précédent, selon les estimations basées sur les comptes nationaux et publiées par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. Au premier trimestre 2018, l'emploi avait progressé de 0,4% dans la zone euro et de 0,5% dans l'UE28. Ces chiffres sont corrigés des variations saisonnières. Un communiqué de presse Eurostat est à votre disposition en ligne(Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand – Tél.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tél.: + 32 229 67094)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Arias Cañete at Global Climate Action Summit in California

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete will attend the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) taking place in San Francisco, California, on 12-14 September. The summit brings together representatives of national, regional and local governments and of cities, business, industry, academia and civil society – intending to take global climate ambition “to the next level”. Organised by the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, the summit will highlight the central role of non-state actors in climate action. The participants will seek to raise the commitment and ambition of all parties to the Paris Agreement, ahead of the UN climate summit (COP24) in Katowice in December. Commissioner Arias Cañete will address the opening session on 13 September, stressing the need to see climate action as a central element for the modernisation of the European economy and industry. Mr Arias Cañete will also participate in a number of affiliated events and hold meetings with ministerial counterparts and stakeholder groups. The European Commission will co-host two events in San Francisco, on carbon markets (11 September) and clean mobility and decarbonising road transport (12 September). Read more about Commission's actions on clean energy transitionhereand clean mobility here. Further information about the GCAS here(For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

 

Commissioner Navracsics in Verona to promote cultural heritage and in Ljubljana for a Citizens' Dialogue

This Thursday, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, will attend events in Verona, Italy and Ljubljana, Slovenia. In Verona, he will speak at the launch of the 16th edition of the Tocatì Festival – the International Festival of Games in the Streets. The festival, which coincides with theEuropean Year of Cultural Heritage, helps to promote traditional games and sports. Later in the day, the Commissioner will hold a Citizens' Dialogue in Ljubljana, which is part of a full day conferenceentirely devoted to youth, youth work, youth employment and the active participation of youth in society. The event will bring together several NGOs involved in youth work from Slovenia who have led projects, backed by EU funds, to help young people gain skills, enter the labour market, open their own business and to make their voice heard. Live web streaming is available with interpretation from Slovenian into English. More details on the Dialogue, including registration, are available online(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083 and Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184).

 

Commissioner Crețu discusses the present and future of cohesion policy on an official visit to Romania

Starting on Wednesday 12 September, Commissioner Crețu will travel across the western part of Romania and meet with local authorities to discuss the present and future of cohesion policy in the country. Upon her arrival on 12 September, she will meet with Ms Astrid-Cora Fodor, major of Sibiu, Ms Daniela Câmpean, President of the County Council, and Ms. Adela Maria Muntean, Prefect of the Sibiu County. On 13 September, Ms Crețu will participate in and deliver a speech at the High-level Conference "Romanian coal regions in energy transition" in the city of Petroșani. On 14 September, together with Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Phil Hogan, Ms Crețu will participate in a Citizens' Dialogue on "A modern budget for a stronger Union" in Cluj-Napoca. The two Commissioners will be joined by Mr Petre Daea, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania. On 15 September, the Commissioner will travel to Turda and Alba-Iulia. She will meet with the mayors of the two cities, Mr Cristian Octavian Matei and Mr Mircea Hava, respectively, as well as with Mr Dănuț-Emil Halalai, Prefect of Alba County, Mr Ion Dumitrel, President of Alba County Council and Mr Nicolaie Moldovan, City Manager of Alba Iulia. The visit will continue on 17 and 18 September, when the Commissioner will participate in high-level events in the capital Bucharest, including the Three Seas Initiative Business Summit(For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615, Andreana Stankova - Tel.: +32 229 57857)

 

Le Commissaire Phil Hogan présente le certificat d'Indication Géographique Protégée de la "choucroute d'Alsace" à Strasbourg

Le Commissaire à l'agriculture Phil Hogan remettra aujourd'hui officiellement le certificat d'Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP) de la «choucroute d'Alsace» lors d'une cérémonie organisée à la Maison de la Région du Grand Est à Strasbourg. Ce terme a été ajouté au registre européen des IGP cet été. Les feuilles de choux sont préparées en Alsace pour devenir de la «Choucroute d'Alsace» pouvant être servie crue ou cuite. La choucroute est associée à l'Alsace depuis longtemps comme en témoigne par exemple l'étymologie et l'origine du terme choucroute en français, proche du terme alsacien Sürkrüt (sür: qui signifie aigre et krüt: chou). Ce légume ainsi cuisiné est ensuite consommé comme une garniture à de nombreux plats dont la fameuse choucroute garnie, accompagnée de saucisses, pommes de terre et lard. La France compte actuellement 249 termes de produits régionaux et recettes traditionnelles protégées – sans compter les nombreux vins et spiritueux -par un des trois labels de protection européen: Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP), Indication Géographique Protégée, et Spécialités Traditionnelles Garanties (STG). (Pour plus d'information: Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 2 29 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52 509)

 

 

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Posté par acpafpe à 16:42 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

28/08/18

COMMUNIQUÉ OFFICIEL DE JEAN-YVES METAYER-ROBBES SUITE A LA DEMISSION DE NICOLAS HULOT

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Les Eco-Citoyens Humanistes Européens félicitent Nicolas Hulot pour sa décision de quitter le gouvernement Philippe.

Il apparaît très clairement que ce gouvernement a utilisé Nicolas Hulot qui aujourd'hui ne veut plus servir de vitrine pendant que les chasseurs restent les petits protégés du système Macron. Les Eco-Citoyens, libres et indépendants, les françaises et les français qui veulent changer de paradigme et construire un nouvel Humanisme peuvent se rassembler à l'occasion des élections européennes du 26 mai 2019.

C'est une nécessité pour envoyer un signal fort et proposer enfin une "nouvelle offre politique humaniste" avec un Grand Rassemblement des Eco-Citoyens pour l'Europe de Demain.

Jean-Yves

Métayer-Robbes

Secrétaire Général des Eco-Citoyens Humanistes Européens


Président du New World Party

Promoteur de débats d'idées pour l'Europe de Demain

Docteur Honoris Causa en relations diplomatiques internationales,philosophie et psychanalyse.

www.ecocit.eu
www.lace-nwp.org

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Posté par acpafpe à 13:28 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 28/08/2018 Press Release

 

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Pologne: 411 millions d'euros de fonds européens pour la reconstruction du réseau ferroviaire à Łódź

Le Fonds de Cohésion investit 411 millions d'euros dans la rénovation du nœud ferroviaire de Łódź, troisième plus grande ville du pays et centre économique majeur. Łódź comporte deux gares principales, Łódź Fabryczna et Łódź Kaliska, qui ne sont actuellement pas directement connectées entre elle. C'est un obstacle majeur au développement du transport dans la région et cela rend fastidieux le quotidien des habitants de la ville. Le Fonds de Cohésion finance ici la construction d'une ligne souterraine entre ces deux gares, ainsi que vers la gare de Łódź Żabieniec, à l'ouest de la ville. Le projet comprend également la construction de deux stations, Łódź Zielona and Łódź Ogrodowa. "Les habitants de la ville vont bientôt pouvoir traverser la ville plus rapidement et bénéficier de meilleures connexions interrégionales, avec un système de transport efficace et respectueux de l'environnement", a commenté la commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Crețu"Le développement du transport ferroviaire à Łódź va aussi stimuler l'économie locale, les échanges et le tourisme." Au cours de la période 2007-2013, l'UE a déjà investi 242 millions d'euros dans la reconstruction du nœud ferroviaire de Łódź et la rénovation des gares de Fabryczna and Widzew. Le projet actuel devrait être achevé en janvier 2022. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Wigand – Tél.: +32 229 62253; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tél.: +32 229 56169)

 

Seven MEDIA-supported productions will be shown at the Venice Film Festival

The 75th Venice Film Festival will open its doors tomorrow and will feature six films and a TV series supported by the MEDIA programme – the EU's programme for supporting European audiovisual industry. Three of the MEDIA-supported films have additionally been shortlisted to compete for the Golden Lion: 'Capri Revolution' by Mario Martone (Italy/France), 'Sunset' (Napszállta) by László Nemes (Hungary/France) and 'Never Look Away' (Werk Ohne Autor) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Germany). The Orizzonti Competition that is dedicated to latest trends in international cinema will feature MEDIA-supported 'The day I lost my shadow' (Yom adaatou zouli) by Soudade Kaadan (Syria/Lebanon/France/Qatar). The new TV series 'My brilliant friend' (L'amica geniale) by Saverio Costanzo (Italy/Belgium) that is based on Elena Ferrante's bestselling books will premiere at the film festival with first two episodes. The European Commission is additionally organising on Saturday on the sidelines of the festival the European Film Forum. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society said: "The 75th edition of the Venice Film Festival is an excellent occasion to put the spotlight on the crucial role played by festivals in promoting European films, TV series and other audiovisual works. The Creative Europe MEDIA programme is helping festivals seize the opportunities the future holds, in the times when audiences and the industry's business models are changing fast. Our focus in Venice will be to discuss how festivals can collaborate to make better use of resources and exchange best practices. The Commission's proposal for Creative Europe MEDIA in the long-term EU budget 2021-2027 foresees additionally support for networks of festivals to help them scale up in a global industry." Following the European Film Forum the first ever Europa Cinemas Innovation Prize will be awarded to outstanding innovative projects by networks of cinemas. The winner will be awarded €10,000. Further details on the MEDIA-supported productions at the Venice Film Festival are available here and on the European Film Forum here. An overview of MEDIA programme can be found in the factsheet(For more information: Christian Wigand – tel.: +32 229 62253; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Commissioner Vella in the Faroe Islands for high-level event on sustainable ocean governance

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, is in the Faroe Islands for the 23rd North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference (27-28 August). The objective of this annual high-level event is for ministers from northern Atlantic countries to address issues of concern in an informal setting. As part of this year's topic, "sustainable ocean governance", Commissioner Vella presented the European Union's ocean agenda, and in particular the actions undertaken by the EU under the 2016 International ocean governance agenda. Its objective is to reduce pressures on the oceans and to promote sustainable blue economy. The Commissioner also called on all participants to work together to improve international ocean governance. His full remarks are available here. A joint communiqué of the ministers will shortly be available. In the margins of the conference, Commissioner Vella held a number of bilateral meetings with the Fisheries Ministers and other representatives of the Faroe Islands, Canada, Russia, Iceland and Greenland. (Daniel Rosario  – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Alexis Perier – Tel.: +32 229 69143)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of Merck's consumer health business by Procter & Gamble

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over the consumer health business of Merck KGaA of Germany by the Procter & Gamble Company of the US. Merck's consumer health business is active worldwide in the research, development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales of consumer health products, which are mainly available over-the-counter, for various indications. Procter & Gamble is a global manufacturer of consumer goods, including fabric and household care, grooming, health care, baby, feminine and family care products. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because the activities of the companies are generally complementary. The transaction gives rise to a limited number of horizontal overlaps for which the Commission found, following its market investigation, that sufficient competition will remain after the transaction. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case registerunder the case number M.8974(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of the Specialty Chemicals Business of Akzo Nobel N.V. by the Carlyle Group.

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control over the Specialty Chemicals Business of Akzo Nobel ("Akzo Nobel SC") of the Netherlands by the Carlyle Group of the US. Akzo Nobel SC is the specialty chemicals business of Akzo Nobel, which has been separated from Akzo Nobel's paint and coating business. Carlyle is a global alternative asset manager. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the minor horizontal and vertical overlaps between the Parties' activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case registerunder the case number M.8912(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100)

 

Concentrations: la Commission européenne autorise l'acquisition de contrôle conjoint de Primavia par EIH et Krone-Mur Servifrío

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint de Primavia Europe S.L., basée en Espagne, par Europe Intermodal Holding ("EIH"), appartenant au groupe SNCF Mobilités, les deux basés en France, et Krone-Mur Servifrío S.L., basée en Espagne. Primavia, actuellement sous le contrôle exclusif de Krone-MurServifrío, fournit des services de transport réfrigéré combinés rail-route à l'international, principalement de marchandises périssables de l'Espagne vers l'Europe du Nord. Krone-Mur fournit des services de transport de fret. EIH fournit des services de transport de fret intermodaux et multimodaux. La Commission a conclu que l'opération envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, compte tenu du faible impact que l'opération aura sur le marché. L'opération a été examinée dans la cadre de la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.8986(Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100)

 

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25/08/18

UN NOUVEL HUMANISME A VOCATION MAJORITAIRE par Jean-Yves Métayer-Robbes

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Nous allons encore entendre les petites phrases des candidats aux élections européennes. Ils veulent tous s'opposer à un système dont ils font tous partie, sans aucune exception. Chacun se croit plus intelligent que les autres.

Aucune philosophie politique humaniste ne peut être entendue chez ceux qui militent pour une société ultra libérale au service de la haute finance internationale, sans âme et sans éthique.

Laissons-les s'amuser et parler pour satisfaire leur ego et restons concentrés sur notre objectif de construire une nouvelle société, une nouvelle éthique, un nouveau paradigme, un nouvel Humanisme à vocation majoritaire. Notre cause est celle de l'Humanité et l'Union Européenne devra suivre cette voie si elle veut s'inscrire dans cette volonté de construction d'un grand projet citoyen.

 

Jean-Yves

METAYER-ROBBBES

Docteur Honoris Causa en relations diplomatiques internationales, philosophie et Psychanalyse.

Promoteur de débats d'idées pour l'Europe de demain.

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17/08/18

When I was conductor with the "Soloists of Europe"...by Jean-Yves Métayer-Robbes

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CHANGING MUSIC

When I was conductor with the "Soloists of Europe", the musicologists did not make the music, they listened to the musicians.

Similarly, philosophy teachers did not do "philosophy", they humbly tried to explain it.

Similarly, journalists were not political actors or activists, they tried to comment on political life and inform. The politician was to politics what the musicologist was to music. Both were observers.

In music, there has always been a conductor who ensures that the score sounds right. He must be a "true leader" to have the absolute ear, understand the score, understand the composer, understand the creator and know how to talk to musicians. Above the conductor, only the creator knows.

 

In politics, the actors have lost the sense of beauty, good and truth. They did not learn to listen. The political speech sounds wrong. The chords are wrong. No harmony. No melody that can fill the heart of feelings and hopes because the score is empty of beautiful notes, beautiful sounds. The spectacle of the elected is no longer a stultifying cacophony that only some morons continue to applaud ...

The time has come to change the score, to choose the right one and to give the orchestra a good tuning fork so that it can finally play fair and respect the wishes of the composer.

Jean Yves
Metayer-Robbes

 

 

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Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 17/08/2018 Press Release

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Have your say: more than 4.6 million responses received in public consultation on summertime arrangements

The Commission closed yesterday the public consultation on summertime with more than 4.6 million submissions from all 28 Member States of the European Union. Launched on July 4, European citizens, stakeholders and public authorities were invited to share their views on the matter by filling in an online questionnaire. This consultation is part of an assessment of the EU summertime directive, which the Commission is currently undertaking at the request of the European Parliament. The objective is to investigate whether or not the rules should be changed. The Commission will now analyse the responses received and publish a report on the results in the coming weeks. (For more information: Daniel Rosario  – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321)

 

State aid: Commission approves three support measures for renewable energy in Denmark

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules three schemes to support electricity production from wind and solar in Denmark in 2018 and 2019: (i) a multi-technology tender scheme for onshore and offshore wind turbines and solar installations, with a budget of DKK 842 million (€112 million). The beneficiaries of the aid will be selected through two tenders organised in 2018 and 2019, with the different technologies competing with each other; (ii) An aid scheme for onshore wind for test and demonstration projects outside the two national test centres for large wind turbines, with an expected budget of DKK 200 million (€27 million); and (iii) a transitional aid scheme for onshore wind, with a budget of DKK 40 million (€5 million). The aid for the three schemes will be granted for a period of 20 years from the time of the connection to the grid. The renewable support schemes are financed from the State budget. The Commission assessed all three schemes under EU State aid rules, in particular the Commission's 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy. It found that the three Danish schemes will encourage the development of offshore and onshore wind and solar technologies, in line with the requirements of the Guidelines. The full press release is available online in ENFRDEDA. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100)

 

Eurostat: Le taux d’inflation annuel en hausse à 2,1% dans la zone euro

Le taux d’inflation annuel de la zone euro s’est établi à 2,1% en juillet 2018, contre 2,0% en juin 2018. Un an auparavant, il était de 1,3%. Le taux d’inflation annuel de l’Union européenne s’est établi à 2,2% en juillet 2018, contre 2,1% à juin. Un an auparavant, il était de 1,5%. Ces chiffres sont publiés par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l'Union européenne. Les taux annuels les plus faibles ont été observés en Grèce (0,8%), au Danemark (0,9%) et en Irlande (1,0%). Les taux annuels les plus élevés ont quant à eux été enregistrés en Roumanie (4,3%), en Bulgarie (3,6%), en Hongrie (3,4%) et en Estonie (3,3%). Par rapport à juin 2018, l’inflation annuelle a baissé dans neuf États membres, est restée stable dans six et a augmenté dans treize autres. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Spahr – Tél.: +32 229 50055; Annikky Lamp – Tél.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara – Tél.: +32 229 64976)

 

STATEMENTS

 

Statement by Federica Mogherini and Christos Stylianides on the World Humanitarian Day 2018

On the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, the European Union pays tribute to the commitment of aid workers who risk their lives to deliver humanitarian aid worldwide. The unequivocal respect of international law, the safety and security of humanitarian workers and their unfettered access to those in need are a major concern for the European Union. Ahead of the 2018 World Humanitarian Day, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, made the following statement: “Civilians often pay the highest price in conflict, and attacks, including against aid workers, continue to happen. Over the past year, from Afghanistan to Nigeria and from the Central African Republic to Yemen, these attacks have claimed the lives of civilians and humanitarian workers. These acts of violence are a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law. Saving lives should not cost lives. Almost 4,400 humanitarian workers have been victims of major attacks over the past two decades. Over one third of them were killed. World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to honour these dedicated humanitarians, and to advocate for their safety and security. All parties to conflicts have an obligation under International Humanitarian Law to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers, and to facilitate unhindered and sustained humanitarian access, so that assistance can reach all people in need. The EU is a world leader in humanitarian assistance. Promoting principled humanitarian aid and respect for International Humanitarian Law remains at the core of our international engagement.” The full statement is available here. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Esther Osorio - Tel.: +32 229 62076)

 

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06/08/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 06/08/2018 Press Release

 

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Record EU Civil Protection operation helps Sweden fight forest fires

Over 360 fire-fighting personnel, 7 planes, 6 helicopters and 67 vehicles were mobilised through the European Civil Protection Mechanism in the past three weeks, to assist Sweden in combating the unprecedented forest fires. This is the largest European Civil Protection operation for forest fires in the last decade and the single biggest operation on forest fires in terms of deployment of staff. The operation included 815 flying hours and 8 822 drops of water. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides currently visiting Sweden, said: "Once again, Member States showed tangible European solidarity through the Civil Protection Mechanism. The devastating forest fires in Sweden have highlighted once again the impact of climate change and that we are facing a new reality. I deeply thank all Member States for their assistance and solidarity. Now is the time to collectively learn from these tragedies, and strive to strengthen Europe's Civil Protection Mechanism, so that we are collectively better prepared and stronger in responding to multiple disasters across the continent." During the visit to Sweden, Commissioner Stylianides is traveling – along with Sweden's Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Mr. Morgan Johansson – to the areas mostly affected by the forest fires. He will meet some of the fire-fighters mobilised via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, who have worked tirelessly for the past three weeks. The press release is available online. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

 

First EU-China investment fund backed by the Juncker Plan raises €600 million for mid-sized companies

Cathay Capital has raised an initial €600 million for its fund Cathay Midcap II, which targets €1.2 billion to finance mid-cap companies. The fund is backed by the European Investment Fund under the Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), as well as the China Development Bank, French national promotional bank Bpifrance, China's Silk Road Fund, sovereign funds, institutional and other private investors. It is the first fund to be set up under the China-EU Co-investment Fund (CECIF) programme, which was established by the EIF and SRF with the aim of developing synergies between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Juncker Plan. At the EU-China Summit in Beijing in July, the EIF and the SRF signed a Memorandum of Understanding to confirm this first co-investment. The fund will support mid-cap companies with high growth potential in Europe and China, in areas such as healthcare, high-end industries, consumer goods and business services. Jyrki Katainen, Commission Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “We have been working towards this moment since we set up the EU-China working group in 2015 in Beijing. I am very pleased that we are now seeing the fruits of that labour and that the Cathay Midcap fund will finance European and Chinese high potential mid-cap businesses in strategically important sectors. This is a very good example of how private and public investors can work together.” (Full press release can be found here. For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

 

Security Union: Commission increases support for Spain to fight terrorism with an additional €4.2 million

The Commission has awarded an extra €4.2 million in emergency assistance under the Internal Security Fund (ISF - Police) to support Spain's efforts to fight terrorism and organised crime. The additional funding will contribute to the purchase of equipment and technology to protect public spaces as well as to fight online crime. With this extra funding, the overall emergency assistance awarded to Spain since July to address migratory and security challenges amounts to €32.6 million. This financial assistance comes on top of €691.7 million allocated to Spain under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF) national programme for 2014-2020. (For more information: Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 299 63444)

 

Migration: A decrease of 15% in asylum applications lodged in the first half of 2018

New figures published today by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) show a slight decrease in the number of asylum applications made in the EU in 2018. In the first half of 2018, some 301,390 applications were lodged in the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland, a 15% decrease when compared with the first half of 2017. During the month of June 1,600 fewer applications were made when compared with the figures in May. Today's figures show that the overall trends remain stable and there is a continuing decrease in the number of asylum applications made in the EU, following a 43% drop in 2017. More information can be found in the press release online. (For more information: Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the joint acquisition of Eagleview by Clearlake and Vista

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Eagleview by Clearlake and Vista, all of the US. Eagleview is a provider of aerial imagery, 3-D measurement software, data analytics, and geographic information system ("GIS") solutions for a wide range of users including governments, property and casualty insurance companies and residential contractors. Clearlake is a private investment fund. Vista is a private equity firm focused on investments in software, data and technology-enabled businesses. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns since Eagleview has negligible actual or foreseen activities in the European Economic Area. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9033. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel: +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Reifen Krieg Group by Bain Capital Investors

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition by Bain Capital Investors LLC of the US of Reifen Krieg GmbH, Secura Reifenservice GmbH, Reifen24 AG, Moti Reifen GmbH, SW Reifenhandel GmbH, Komplettradlager.de GmbH, Duro Reifenservice GmbH, and MUTAVI-Solutions GmbH (together “Reifen Krieg Group”) of Germany. Reifen Krieg Group is primarily active in the wholesale supply of replacement tyres in Germany. Bain Capital is a private equity investment firm and two of its portfolio companies, European FinTyre Distribution Limited and Autodistribution Group, are also active in the wholesale and retail supply of replacement tyres and other automotive spare parts. The companies' activities overlap only in the wholesale supply of replacement tyres in Germany. The Commission found that, in this market, the companies' combined market position would be moderate and a significant number of competitors, including large vertically integrated groups, would continue to exert competitive pressure on the combined entity post-transaction. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9000. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel: +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of two real estate joint ventures by OMERS, DV4, QIA and ABP

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of two real estate joint ventures, E1EV LLPs and E2LG LLPs,based in the UK by Oxford Jersey Holding Company Limited ("Oxford") of Jersey, DV4 Limited of the British Virgin Islands, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company Q.P.S.C. ("QDREIC") of Qatar and Stichting Depositary APG Strategic Real Estate Pool ("APG") of the Netherlands. E1EV LLPs and E2LG LLPs are two joint ventures managing and developing a portfolio of residential and retail real estate assets in the UK, notably in London (Tribeca Square LLP, East Village London LLP, Elephant and Castle LLP), Glasgow (Merchant City LLP) and Leeds (Holbeck Quarter LLP). Oxford is part of the wider OMERS Administration Corporation of Canada, which manages a diversified global portfolio of stocks and bonds as well as real estate, private equity and infrastructure investments. DV4 is a real estate investment fund. QDREIC is a real estate investment and development company, wholly owned by QIA, the sovereign investment fund of the State of Qatar. APG is a depositary for an investment fund whose ultimate beneficial owner is Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP ("ABP"), a pension administration organisation specialised in the field of collective pensions in the public sector. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the limited horizontal overlaps and the limited vertical relationships between the companies' activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8786. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel: +32 229 55344)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

 

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on official visit to New Zealand and Australia

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini will on 7 and 8 August travel to Wellington and Sydney for her first visits to New Zealand and Australia in her current role. Both visits will provide an opportunity for the High Representative/Vice-President to take stock of the excellent state of EU-New Zealand and EU-Australia relations respectively, to address ways in which the bilateral relationships can be enhanced, as well as to increase the joint work to tackle global challenges, including through multilateral fora. In New Zealand, Federica Mogherini will meet with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. She will also meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters, with whom she speak to the press. The European Union and New Zealand launched negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious trade agreement on 21 June 2018. Federica Mogherini will travel to Sydney one year after the EU and Australia signed a Framework Agreement to deepen cooperation. In Sydney, Federica Mogherini will hold a joint press conference with her Australian counterpart, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, after their extensive bilateral meeting, and will also meet the Governor-General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, to take stock of the excellent state of EU-Australia bilateral relations, as well as the joint work to tackle regional and global challenges. High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will also address the European Australian Business Council, just over one month after the launch of negotiations for an EU-Australia trade agreement. The visit comes off the back of the High Representative's visits to Singapore and the Republic of Korea, on which topic press material is available online. Coverage of all parts of the visit will be provided by EbS. Visit the websites of the respective EU Delegations for more information on EU relations with New Zealand and Australia(For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Judith Hebekeuser – Tel.: +32 229 52656)

 

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02/08/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 02/08/2018 Press Release

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Commission offers further support to European farmers dealing with droughts

The European Commission is standing by Europe's farmers this summer, as they grapple with the difficulties of extreme droughts. Farmers will be able to receive their direct and rural development payments in advance and will be granted more flexibility to use land that would normally not be used for production, in order to feed their animals. Commissioner for agriculture, Phil Hogan, said: "I am very concerned about these prolonged climatic developments. I have been in contact with a number of ministers from affected countries to discuss the situation and get up-to-date assessments of its impact. The Commission, as always, is ready to support farmers affected by drought using a number of instruments, including higher advance payments, derogations from greening requirements and state aid. The Common Agricultural Policy already provides a safety net for farmers who have to deal with unpredictable events. I am encouraging all Member States to look into all possible actions and measures provided for in our legislation." The ongoing and prolonged drought situation in several EU countries is having a significant impact on the production of arable crops, as well as animal feed which could also have an impact on animal welfare. In addition, the reduction in the level of animal feed is having a particular impact on the income of livestock farmers, as this will increase their input costs if there is a shortage of fodder later in the year. In addition to higher advance payments and derogations from specific greening requirements, existing support under the CAP can be used, including state aid, de minimis, rural development investments and risk management instruments. The Commission is in contact with all Member States to receive by 31 August updated information of the impact of the spring and summer drought on their farmers. A press release is online with further information. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Clémence Robin –Tel.: +32 229 52509)

 

"Prix Nobel de mathématiques": la Commission félicite Alessio Figalli, lauréat de la médaille Fields 2018 soutenu par l'Union européenne

Alessio Figalli, bénéficiaire d'une bourse du Conseil européen de la recherche (ERC) et basé à l'École polytechnique fédérale (EHT) de Zurich (Suisse), a reçu hier une des quatre médailles Fields, qui récompensent les mathématiciens âgés de moins de quarante ans les plus méritants. Cette médaille prestigieuse lui a été décernée pour ses travaux sur les équations différentielles partielles et le calcul des variations. L'un des problèmes sur lequel ce chercheur travaille est la théorie du transport optimal – une étude sur la répartition idéale des ressources dans le transport quotidien, un sujet qui intéresse les mathématiciens depuis l'époque de Napoléon. Carlos Moedas, commissaire en charge de la recherche, de la science et de l'innovation, a félicité le chercheur et a commenté: "Ce prix confirme que le Conseil européen de la recherche, qui promeut l'excellence scientifique grâce au soutien offert par Horizon 2020, attire irrésistiblement les grands talents scientifiques". AlessioFigalli a reçu une bourse "Consolidator" de l'ERC, conçue pour les chercheurs déjà expérimentés, en 2017. Outre ce mathématicien italien, un chercheur britannique, d’origine iranienne, Caucher Birkar, et l'Allemand Peter Scholze ont également reçu chacun une médaille Fields pour leurs travaux. Un communiqué de presse de l'ERC est disponible ici et une interview du lauréat italien ici(Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tél.: +32 229 80100; Maud Noyon – Tél.: +32 229 80379)

 

Water for Gaza: EU switches on the biggest solar energy field to improve dire drinking water conditions in Gaza

The EU has completed the biggest photovoltaic solar field in Gaza. It will provide 0.5 Megawatts of electricity per day to fuel the EU-funded Southern Gaza Desalination Plant, which currently provides drinking water to 75,000 inhabitants in the Khan Younis and Rafah governorates. With the new energy field and new investments foreseen the Desalination Plant will eventually reach 250,000 people in Southern Gaza by 2020. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, commented: "Limited energy supplies in Gaza are one of the main challenges when improving access to safe and drinkable water to the local population. The photovoltaic solar field is essential to respond to the urgent water needs in Gaza and create dignified living conditions for its people, thus mitigating tensions in a highly conflict sensitive area." The full press release is available online. (for more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.:+32 229 64887)

 

The EU mobilises €6 million for disaster preparedness in South and Southeast Asia

As Southeast Asia is faced with the yearly monsoon season and its potentially devastating effects, the European Commission has released €6 million for disaster preparedness initiatives in the region.This funding comes on top of the €7 million announced in May to support Bangladesh scale up preparedness measures for the rainy season.  Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: "From cyclones to floods, from landslides to droughts and earthquakes: natural hazards pose a recurring threat to the Southeast Asian countries, and the current monsoon rains battering the region are a sobering reminder. The EU believes in empowering communities to be better prepared in the face of natural disasters, and especially the most vulnerable, who are often the ones bearing the hardest brunt. Today's assistance will strengthen the disaster preparedness initiatives already in place across the region, while improving the livelihoods and resilience of those most affected." From the funding announced today, €2 million will support Myanmar to build up its response system against earthquakes and tsunamis; Nepal will be assisted with an additional €2 million targeting the most vulnerable communities in earthquake-affected areas; €1 million will support the implementation of disaster risk reduction and resilience-building initiatives in the Philippines, and €1 million will focus on multi-country initiatives to strengthen response capacities at the regional level across Southeast Asia,including in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The full press release is available here(For more information:Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

 

Eurostat: Les prix à la production industrielle en hausse de 0,4% tant dans la zone euro que dans l'UE28

En juin 2018 par rapport à mai 2018, les prix à la production industrielle ont augmenté de 0,4% tant dans la zone euro que dans l'UE28, selon les estimations d’Eurostat, l’office statistique de l'Union européenne. En mai 2018, les prix avaient augmenté de 0,8% dans la zone euro et de 1,1% dans l'UE28. En juin 2018 par rapport à juin 2017, les prix à la production industrielle ont augmenté de 3,6% dans la zone euro et de 4,4% dans l’UE28. Un communiqué de presse peut être trouvé ici(Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tél.: +32 229 80100; Maud Noyon – Tél.: +32 229 80379)

 

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Wieland's proposed acquisition of Aurubis Rolled Products and Schwermetall

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess Wieland's proposed acquisition of Aurubis Rolled Products and of Schwermetall under the EU Merger Regulation. Wieland and Aurubis Rolled Products both produce rolled copper products and copper alloys. Rolled copper products are used as an input in the manufacturing of many products, including transformers, semiconductors, heat exchangers and roofing materials. In addition, Aurubis Rolled Products produces billets, an input in the manufacturing of copper tubes. Schwermetall produces pre-rolled strip made of copper, and copper alloys. Pre-rolled strip is used as an input in the manufacturing of rolled copper products. Schwermetall sells pre-rolled strip to both Wieland and Aurubis Rolled Products, as well as to other copper manufacturers. The Commission's initial market investigation identified preliminary competition concerns in relation to (i) rolled copper products, notably some specific copper alloys and some specific end-applications, (ii) pre-rolled strips and (iii) billets. The Commission will now carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of this transaction and determine whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Copper is used not only in many industries but also in our homes, in electrical equipment or piping. The proposed transaction would bring together the top two suppliers of copper rolled products in an industry that is already highly concentrated and where, just a few days ago, we opened another in-depth investigation. Therefore, the Commission will closely analyse the impact on competition of Wieland's proposed acquisition of Aurubis Rolled Products and Schwermetall, to ensure their customers and final consumers are not harmed." A full press release is available in ENFR and DE(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel: +32 229 55344).

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Bonaldi by Eurocar

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Bonaldi Motori S.p.A. and Bonaldi Tech S.p.A. (together "Bonaldi") of Italy by Eurocar Italia S.r.l. ("Eurocar") of Italy. Eurocar is ultimately controlled by the Volkswagen Group ("VW"). Both Bonaldi and Eurocar are active in Italy in (i) the retail distribution of new and used passenger cars and light commercial vehicles of the VW brands (ii) related repair activities and (iii) the sale of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) spare parts. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns due to the limited overlaps between the companies' activities in the different Italian provinces and the lack of incentive for the combined entity to shut out downstream competitors from the market. The case was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8963(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel: +32 229 55344).

 

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01/08/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 01/08/2018 Press Release

 

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Follow-up to the EU-U.S. Joint Statement of 25 July: Imports of U.S. soybeans increase by over 280%

Today the European Commission has published the latest figures on EU imports of soybeans, showing an increase of 283% in imports of soybeans from the U.S., bringing the EU's total share of imports of U.S. soybeans to 37%, up from 9% one year ago. President Juncker has now put in place a bi-monthly reporting mechanism on the evolution of trade in soybeans from the U.S. to the EU. This is the first concrete follow-up to the EU-U.S. Joint Statement agreed in Washington between Commission President Juncker and U.S. President Trump. "The European Union can import more soybeans from the U.S. and this is happening as we speak," President Juncker said today. “This is a win-win situation for European and American citizens.” EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, said: "The European Union and the United States have been longstanding partners and there is room to further strengthen our trade relationship. We expressed our willingness to import more soybeans from the United States and this is already happening. European and American farmers have much to gain by working together." The EU needs soya in Europe as a source of protein to feed our animals, including chicken, pigs and cattle, as well as for milk production. The EU currently imports about 30 million tonnes per year because it cannot produce sufficient quantities. U.S. prices for both soybeans and soymeal are currently the most competitive on the market and therefore a very attractive feed option for European importers and users. A press release is online with more information. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Clémence Robin –Tel.: +32 229 52509; Kinga Malinowska – Tel.: + 32 229 51383)

 

Migration: Commission supports improving reception conditions in Greece with extra €37.5 million

Today, the European Commission has awarded an additional €37.5 million in emergency assistance under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to improve reception conditions for migrants in Greece. The Greek authorities will receive €31.1 million to support the provisional services offered to migrants, including: healthcare, interpretation and food, and to improve the infrastructure of the Reception and Identification Centre of Fylakio in the Evros region in Northern Greece. The extra funding will also contribute to the creation of additional accommodation spaces within existing and new sites in mainland Greece. A further €6.4 million has been awarded to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to improve reception conditions and to provide site management support to selected sites on the mainland. Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship said: "The Commission is doing everything in its power to support all Member States facing migratory pressures – whether that is in the Eastern, Central or Western Mediterranean. Migration is a European challenge and we need a European solution, where no Member State is left alone. Greece has been on the frontline since 2015 and while the situation has greatly improved since the EU-Turkey Statement, we continue to assist the country with the challenges it is still facing. The Commission's political, operational and financial support for Greece remains tangible and uninterrupted.Today's funding decision comes on top of more than €1.6 billion of funding support awarded by the Commission since 2015 to address migration challenges in Greece. Under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF), Greece has been awarded €456.5 million in emergency funding, in addition to €561 million already awarded under these funds for the Greek national programme 2014-2020. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

European Public Prosecutor's Office: The Netherlands becomes 21st country to join common efforts to protect EU budget against fraud

Today, the European Commission confirmed the Netherlands as the 21st EU-Member State to join the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) which will play a key role in fighting crimes against the EU budget such as fraud, corruption, money laundering or serious cross-border VAT fraud above €10 million. It will be operational by the end of 2020 in all participating Member States. EU Commissioner for Justice, Gender Equality and Consumers, Vera Jourová, said: "Crime knows no borders, therefore we have to work together to fight it. I welcome the Netherlands today as a new member of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. The more EU countries join, the broader the reach of the EPPO, and the more money can be recovered. This is why I urge all remaining Member States to join this essential network in the fight against fraud and corruption, so that we can ensure that every cent of the EU budget is spent to the benefit of our citizens." Member States that have not yet chosen to participate in the European Public Prosecutor's Office can join at any time after the adoption of the Regulation, if they wish to do so. On 14 June 2018, Malta notified the Commission of its intention to participate. The Commission is examining this notification in line with the procedure set out in Article 331 TFEU and is expected to take a decision shortly. The following EU countries are already participating to the EPPO: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Slovenia. The full press release is available here, and a memo with more information here(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

Commission report shows that Member States are stepping up measures to protect marine environment

A new Commission report shows that Member States have made considerable efforts to address pressures on the marine environment. Despite this, the measures are not yet sufficient to achieve good, healthy and productive seas by 2020. The report published today on the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive assesses the measures put in place by Member States to achieve 'good environmental status' by 2020. Under the Directive, EU Member States are required to set up six-year strategies through which they assess their waters. This concept is defined by measures conserving biodiversity and tackling pressures like overfishing, seabed damage, marine litter and contaminants. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "Oceans and seas are essential to the well-being of our planet, and we cannot compromise on their protection. This is why the EU has one of the most ambitious marine environment policies in the world. Over the last years, Member States have put a lot of effort to ensure that the seas’ resources are used and managed sustainably, relying a lot on regional cooperation. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the measures taken so far are not yet sufficient to achieve good, healthy and productive seas by 2020. I therefore urge Member States to take heed of the recommendations made by the Commission to move a step closer to achieving this goal.” More details here(For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Iris Petsa - Tel.: +32 229 93321)

 

State aid: Commission approves German support scheme for electricity self-suppliers using efficient cogeneration

The European Commission has endorsed under EU State aid rules German plans to reduce renewable energy surcharges for electricity users producing their own electricity using highly efficient cogeneration plants.Today's Commission decision follows an agreement in principle reached on 7 March 2018 between Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, and the German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier. The German Renewable Energy Act ("Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz" - EEG) provides support for the production of renewable electricity. This support is financed through a surcharge, the 'EEG-surcharge', imposed since August 2014 on all electricity users, including users producing their own electricity (self-suppliers). Germany grants reductions to users generating their own electricity by using cogeneration, i.e. combined heat and power (CHP). The Commission has assessed this support measure under EU State aid rules, in particular the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy, which allow support to cogeneration installations on condition that the support is necessary to trigger the investment and does not lead to overcompensation. The German support scheme takes account of several criteria, which influence the self-supplier's profitability: the electro-intensity of the sector in which they are active (in line with the Guidelines), the installed electrical capacity and the number of running hours of the installation. Based on these criteria, the scheme defines several categories of installations and grants an appropriate level of reduction in EEG surcharge. For installations that entered into operation between August 2014 and December 2017, the Commission in 2014 approved an adjustment plan notified by Germany, ensuring an annual increase of the EEG surcharge until 2017. Under the measure approved today a transitional regime will apply for an additional year 2018, before the same surcharge mechanism applies as for all other installations, in line with the Guidelines. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the German support scheme is designed to prevent overcompensation of self-suppliers using highly efficient cogeneration and is in line with EU State aid rules, while any distortion of competition caused by the public support is minimised. A full press release is available in DEEN and FR(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel: +32 229 55344).

 

Concentrations: la Commission autorise la création de CA CF – Bankia Consumer Finance par CA Consumer Finance et Bankia

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, la création d'une entreprise commune de plein exercice, CA CF – Bankia Consumer Finance, basée en Espagne, par CA Consumer Finance S.A. ("CACF"), basée en France, et Bankia S.A., basée en Espagne. L'entreprise commune offrira une gamme de services financiers destinés aux particuliers exclusivement en Espagne, via des canaux de distribution non bancaires, notamment par téléphone, internet ou au sein de magasins tiers. CACF, filiale de Crédit Agricole S.A. (France), est spécialisée dans les crédits à la consommation à travers 19 pays principalement européens. Bankia, filiale de BFA Tenedora de Acciones S.A.U. (Espagne), est un fournisseur de services financiers et assurantiels en Espagne. La Commission a conclu que l'acquisition envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence compte tenu de son impact très limité sur la structure du marché espagnol. L'opération a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.8999(Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344).

 

 

STATEMENTS

 

Statement by First Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Jourová ahead of Roma Holocaust Memorial Day on 2 August

"Ahead of the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, we honour the memory of the hundreds of thousands of Roma victims of the Holocaust. Around 500,000 Roma from all over Europe were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators, representing at least a quarter of their total population at that time. The dehumanisation of the Roma and other minorities was the first step in facilitating these heinous crimes. We must remember this today and defend forcefully and passionately our shared European values of equality and non-discrimination. The Roma are forgotten victims of the Holocaust for many Europeans. Remembering their historical persecution reminds us of the need to tackle the challenges which they still face today and which are too often overlooked. Seven decades on, Sinti and Roma still face hatred, violence, discrimination and racism on a daily basis. And many still do not have access to basic necessities such as decent housing, education and healthcare.It is the duty of all EU Member States to ensure effective policies for the remembrance of historical atrocities, to safeguard and preserve historic sites, and to promote education and research in this field. And it is the duty of each and every one of us in the EU to treat our fellow citizens with dignity and respect, in particular the most vulnerable ones in our society." The full statement can be found online(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 


ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on official visit to Asia and Oceania

From 3 to 8 August 2018, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, will travel to Singapore, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Australia. In Singapore on 3-4 August, the High Representative/Vice-President will co-chair the annual Post-Ministerial Conference between the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), just three months after EU Foreign Ministers decided to enhance EU security cooperation in and with Asia. Federica Mogherini will also represent the European Union in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), where discussions are expected to focus on regional and global challenges, including maritime security, nuclear proliferation, climate change, and disaster management. While in Singapore, Federica Mogherini will deliver a public lecture on The European Union as a global actorand will have a number of bilateral meetings with Ministers from both Singapore, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and other ARF members. High Representative Mogherini will visit the Republic of Korea on 5-6 August for meetings, inter alia, with Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, with whom she will speak to the press, and Minister of Unification Cho Myung-gyun. The European Union continues to work towards the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, in full coordination with the Korean government and other international partners, as well as for long-lasting peace and reconciliation. Federica Mogherini will then travel to Wellington on 7 August and to Sydney on 8 August, on which further details will follow. Coverage of all parts of the visit will be provided by EbS. The websites of the respective EU Delegations contain more information on EU relations with SingaporeASEAN, the Republic of KoreaNew Zealand and Australia. Detailed information on the EU's policy vis-à-vis the DPRK and how it engages with ASEAN is also available in dedicated factsheets. (For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Judith Hebekeuser – Tel.: +32 229 52656)

 

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Posté par acpafpe à 13:15 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

27/07/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 27/07/2018 Press Release

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Juncker Plan supports €40 million loan to finance research of cancer treatment

The Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has provided its backing to a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan worth €40 million to biotechnology company Nanobiotix. The loan will help finance research and development by Nanobiotix of innovative cancer treatments. Commenting on the agreement, Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said: "Cancer is the second-highest cause of death in the EU and with Europe's ageing population, fighting cancer will undoubtedly remain a priority in the years to come.  We need to have innovative and dedicated research to always be in search of new treatments. Nanoparticle based cancer treatment research funding is one example of how serious we are in fighting cancer, with the significant support from the EIB to finance research and innovation." These latest loan agreements come following the confirmation that the Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has mobilised €335 billion in additional investment across the EU since July 2015, exceeding the initial target of mobilising €315 billion of investment. Factsheets on the results of the Juncker Plan are available here. A press release is available here(For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

 

Digital Single Market: Enjoy your new digital rights across Europe during summer holiday

This summer, the Digital Single Market brings Europeans more digital rights than ever before, strengthening citizens' online trust and security. Since the abolition of roaming charges in June 2017, people already have been able use their mobile phones while travelling in the EU without paying extra charges. Under the new data protection rules,which have been in place across the EU since 25 May 2018, Europeans have more control over their personal data. Additionally, since April 2018, consumers can access online content services they have subscribed to in their home country also when travelling across the EU. To mark the digital achievements, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "Europeans are already starting to feel the benefits of the Digital Single MarketThis summer you will be able to bring your favourite TV programmes and sports matches with you wherever you travel in the EU. By the end of this year, you will also be able to buy festival tickets or rent cars online from all over the EU without being geo-blocked or re-routed." In the upcoming months, more digital rights will become a reality. From September onwards, Europeans will have increasingly the right to use their national electronic identification (eID) across the whole EU to access public services; and from December, everyone will benefit from the free flow of non-personal data and will be able to shop online without unjustified discrimination wherever they are in the EU. All existing and upcoming digital rights are in the press release. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

From mini-organs to ultrafast filming: early career researchers get funding from the European Research Council

What can we eat to prevent dementia? Are our eyes really the windows to our personalities? How do birds help forests flourish? 403 talented early career researchers have been awarded European Research Council grants to answer such questions.  Scientists will benefit in total from €603 million to create their own research teams and conduct pioneering projects. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "In addition to supporting early stage European researchers, the ERC Starting Grants also help enrich the European research field by attracting and retaining foreign scientists in Europe. More than one in ten grantees comes from outside the EU or its associated countries. Europe is open to the world!" The grants are part of the 'excellent science' pillar of the EU's current Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020. More information here(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maud Noyon – Tel.: +32 229 80379)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Augusta refinery and ancillary assets by Sonatrach

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of a refinery located in Augusta (Italy) and a number of ancillary assets by Sonatrach of Algeria. The Augusta refinery and the ancillary assets are all currently owned and controlled by Esso Italiana S.r.l., an affiliate of the ExxonMobil Corporation of the US. Sonatrach is an Algerian government-owned company operating in the oil and gas sector. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the companies' moderate combined positions in the markets where their activities overlap and their limited individual market positions where their activities are vertically linked. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8959. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

Concentrations: la Commission autorise l'acquisition de ROLAND Rechtsschutzversicherungs par le groupe AXA

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition de ROLAND Rechtsschutzversicherungs AG, basé en Allemagne, par le groupe AXA, basé en France. ROLAND est actif dans la fourniture d'assurances de protection juridique, d'assurances contre les accidents et les pannes, ainsi que dans le service d'assistance en Allemagne. AXA est actif dans l'assurance et la gestion d'actifs dans le monde entier. La Commission a conclu que l'opération envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence compte tenu de son impact très limité sur la structure du marché. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet  concurrence de la Commission dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro M.8905. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

State aid: Commission approves €500 million in German public funding to promote energy efficiency in rail transport

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a German scheme to support railway companies that invest in energy efficiency technologies. Under the scheme, companies providing electrically powered rail transport services may be compensated for up to 50% of expenses incurred from energy efficiency measures, such as acquisition of modern energy-saving rolling stock including hybrid locomotives or automated solutions. To benefit from this public support, rail transport companies need to demonstrate a year on year improvement of 1.75% (2% from 2020) in their energy efficiency. The Commission found that the scheme is beneficial for the environment and for mobility because it supports and promotes rail transport, which is less polluting than road transport. The Commission also found that the measure is proportionate and necessary to achieve its objective to support the modal shift from road to rail. As a result, the Commission has concluded that the measure complies with EU State aid rules, in particular the 2008 Commission Guidelines on State aid for railway undertakings. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in charge of competition policy, said: "Electrically powered rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly transport options. By promoting a shift from road to rail, the German scheme will contribute to meeting the EU's environmental and transport objectives, without distorting competition". A full press release is available in ENFRDE. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

European solidarity on Energy: Better integration of the Iberian Peninsula into the EU energy market

In the presence of the European Commission, the Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa, the President of France Emmanuel Macron, and the President of the government of Spain Pedro Sanchez will meet in Lisbon this afternoon to strengthen their regional cooperation in the framework of the Energy Union. Leaders will take stock of the important progress achieved in better integrating the Iberian Peninsula into the internal energy market and will formally agree on ways to strengthen the regional cooperation between Spain, France and Portugal. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Today's event shows the value of European solidarity and regional unity. By agreeing on steps forward to complete the energy interconnections between France, Portugal and Spain and ways to enhance our regional cooperation, we are strengthening the security of energy supply across Europe, and delivering on our promise to make Europe number one on clean energy and renewables. The world looks to us for leadership in these turbulent times. Let's show just how much unity can achieve.” Climate Action and EnergyCommissioner Miguel Arias Cañete added: "This summit will showcase the commitment of the Juncker Commission to get the hardware of the Energy Union built on the ground and make a difference. A solid and resilient energy infrastructure is also essential to encourage regional action in new areas, such as renewables and energy efficiency. This will help us deliver on our Paris Agreement commitments. I am particularly pleased by the signing of a grant agreement for the power line crossing the Bay of Biscay, the largest investment in energy infrastructure under Connecting Europe Facility ever awarded. It is good for Spain and Portugal, good for France, and good for Europe”. Since the Juncker Commission took office, the integration of the Iberian Peninsula into the internal energy market has been a priority. By supporting the construction of the necessary infrastructure, the EU's goal is to end the energy isolation of this part of Europe, whilst improving energy security, giving consumers more choice, and spurring economic growth and jobs. These interconnections are also essential for renewable energy sources to thrive and make Europe world number one in renewable energy. Read full IP/18/4621 and MEMO/18/4622(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

 

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Posté par acpafpe à 14:59 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

25/07/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 25/07/2018 Press Release

 

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EU mobilises further support for devastating fires in Greece

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides arrived in Athens yesterday to coordinate the EU assistance being provided to Greece through the EU Civil Protection Mechanismfollowing the deadly fires. The Commissioner announced that Italy and Romania have now sent 4 planes and ground forces from Cyprus started operating yesterday. Offers of assistance to Greece through the Mechanism were also made by Spain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Portugal, Malta and Montenegro. Today CommissionerStylianides will meet with Prime Minister Tsipras and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the opposition as well as visit the affected areas and coordinate the EU's support on the ground. Commissioner Stylianides said: "Here in Athens I have met Minister Nikos Toskas to exchange information on developments. I reiterated that the EU will continue to do all it takes to help the Greek people and authorities in this heart-breaking situation. We are all in this together. It is a day of grief, but together, as Europeans, we are determined to decisively combat these fires.  Through our EU Civil Protection Mechanism, we have helped mobilise planes, vehicles, medical personnel and firefighters. We had further offers last night and I thank all countries that have offered support. The priority must continue to be to help those affected for as long as it takes." The EU's Copernicus satellite system has also been activated to provide the authorities with highly specialised maps. The Commission continues to help other Member States that have asked for help. In Sweden, EU support continues with 7 planes, over 300 firefighters and 60 vehicles, already operating in the affected areas. For Latvia, the EU's Copernicus Satellite system has been activated to assist the national authorities with emergency mapping of the risk areas.  The Commission co-finances the transport costs of assistance through the Civil Protection Mechanism and links together all civil protection authorities in Europe. The Commission has proposed to strengthen EU civil protection response through rescEU – so that when multiple disasters hit Member States they are better prepared to confront them. The rescEU proposal is a central part of President Juncker's agenda for a Europe that protects. Photos and video stockshots of the Emergency Centre are available, as well as a MEMO 'Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works'(For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: €400 million to further support education of Syrian refugees

The European Commission has approved a new assistance package worth €400 million, for the education of Syrian refugees in Turkey. This is the first action adopted following the agreement by EU Member States to finance an additional €3 billion for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. The package of €400 million will be given in the form of a direct grant to the Turkish Ministry of National Education of Turkey. The funding will provide for the continuation of the current education project for Syrian refugees in Turkey which will expire in October 2018. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: "With the endorsement of the second tranche of funding by EU Member States, we are continuing to deliver on ourcommitment to support Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey. The approval of this new assistance package is proof of this, allowing for the smooth continuation of our support in addressing the needs of both students and teachers." The full press release and a dedicated factsheet are available online. (For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.:+32 229 64887)

 

Juncker Plan supports innovation projects in Spain and energy modernisation in Croatia worth more than €240 million in total

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group has signed two new agreements in Spain, both of which were made possible by the Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The first is an €80 million loan for CIE Automotive to help finance its research and innovation strategy aimed at developing innovative technologies to reduce the weight of vehicles and ensure more efficient, less polluting manufacturing processes. The second is €32.5 million in financing for industrial group Velatia to enable the firm to incorporate new digital technologies into the products that it develops for electricity networks. The EIB has also signed a €130 million loan agreement, alongside theEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to support Croatia's energy company Hrvatska Elektroprivreda make its systems more modern, efficient and environmentally-friendly. Commenting on this agreement, Jyrki Katainen, Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “As the EU transitions to a cleaner and more sustainable economy, it is crucial that we replace older, polluting power plants with climate-friendly versions. This is precisely what this project will do: generate electricity for residents of Zagreb in a more sustainable way. With financing support from the European Investment Bank under the Investment Plan for Europe, as well as from the EBRD and national power company Hrvatska Elektroprivreda, this is a collective effort to modernise energy supply in Croatia and contribute towards the EU's climate goals.” (Full press releases can be found here. For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

 

L'Union européenne s'engage à reconstruire le Quartier général de la Force conjointe du G5 Sahel à Sévaré, Mali

A la suite de l'attaque meurtrière contre le Quartier Général de la Force Conjointe du G5 Sahel à Sévaré au Mali, le 29 juin dernier, l'UE a décidé de financer la totalité de la reconstruction d'un nouveau Quartier Général et de poursuivre son soutien afin d'assurer la continuité de l'action de l'Etat-major de la Force sur place. Cette décision fait suite à une concertation étroite entre le Commandant de la Force avec la mission militaire européenne "EUTM" au Mali, la coopération de défense française et les forces de l'opération "Barkhane". L'UE poursuivra ce travail de concertation avec le nouveau Commandant de la Force dès qu'il sera en fonction. La Haute Représentante/Vice-Présidente Federica Mogherini a déclaré: "L'Union européenne est le premier partenaire du G5 Sahel. L'attaque contre le quartier général de la Force conjointe du G5 Sahel au Mali est aussi une attaque contre notre priorité commune de ramener la paix dans la région. Nous avons ainsi décidé de soutenir pleinement la reconstruction du quartier général de Sévaré, au Mali, confirmant notre engagement déterminé aux côtés des pays du G5, pour permettre aux institutions de contrôler pleinement leurs territoires et de lutter contre le terrorisme et les trafics d'êtres humains, d'armes et de drogue. Garantir la sécurité, le développement de la région est également un investissement dans notre propre sécurité." Le communiqué de presse ainsi qu'un mémo sur le partenariat de l'UE avec les pays du G5 Sahel sont disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Antitrust: Commission fines four consumer electronics manufacturers for fixing online resale prices

The European Commission fined, in four separate decisions, consumer electronics manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer for imposing fixed or minimum resale prices on their online retailers in breach of EU competition rules. The fines totalling over €111 million were in all four cases reduced due to the companies' cooperation with the Commission. The four manufacturers engaged in so called "fixed or minimum resale price maintenance” (RPM) by restricting the ability of their online retailers to set their own retail prices for widely used consumer electronics products such as kitchen appliances, notebooks and hi-fi products. They intervened particularly with online retailers, who offered their products at low prices. If those retailers did not follow the prices requested by manufacturers, they faced threats or sanctions such as blocking of supplies. These price interventions limited effective price competition between retailers and led to higher prices with an immediate effect on consumers. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "The online commerce market is growing rapidly and is now worth over 500 billion euros in Europe every year. More than half of Europeans now shop online. As a result of the actions taken by these four companies, millions of European consumers faced higher prices for kitchen appliances, hair dryers, notebook computers, headphones and many other products. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. Our decisions today show that EU competition rules serve to protect consumers where companies stand in the way of more price competition and better choice." A full press release is available in EN,FR,DE(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears creation of joint venture by Kuehne + Nagel and Temasek

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over a newly created joint venture by Kuehne + Nagel International AG ("K+N") of Switzerland and Temasek Holdings Limited of Singapore. The joint venture will identify and invest in young growing logistics technology companies. K+N is a global logistics company active in all types of freight and related services. Temasek is an investment company with a broad range of investments in different industries including financial services, telecommunications, media, transportation, energy and others. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given that the main focus of the joint venture's activities will be outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case registerunder the case number M.9001(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

STATEMENTS

 

Statement by Commissioner Stylianides on the end of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

"The World Health Organisation has today declared the Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo to be over. These are welcome news. Today our thoughts are with the victims and the brave health workers who fought on the frontline against this dangerous virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is testament to our immediate collective action and cooperation that this outbreak did not turn into an enormous epidemic. From the very early stages of the outbreak, the European Union was at the forefront of efforts to treat those affected and to contain the virus. The European Union worked hand-in-hand with the World Health Organisation, the Congolese authorities and international aid organisations to take action. The EU mobilised all the emergency response instruments at our disposal: we supported our humanitarian partners with life-saving interventions, provided logistic support through our humanitarian air service, and deployed experts to the country. Through our Civil Protection Mechanism, we also provided medical equipment, while our satellite mapping system Copernicus produced maps of the affected areas. New vaccines, used in DRC against Ebola, were developed with the help of EU research grants. As the EU Ebola Coordinator, I am very pleased that our rapid and strong collective response helped save lives. As we reflect on the achievement to halt this outbreak, we must continue to remain vigilant and be prepared. Our experience in West Africa in 2015 and DRC this year have shown that there can be no complacency concerning health threats." The statement is available online here(For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

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Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 24/07/2018 Press Release

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President Juncker visits Washington, DC, to meet President Trump, discuss transatlantic relations

President Juncker is heading to Washington, DC, where he will be received tomorrow at 13:30 EST (19:30 CET) in the White House by President Donald Trump. Both Presidents will have an open dialogue on issues of interest for EU-US relations, notably trade. Commissioner Malmström will accompany President Juncker. Later in the day, President Juncker will deliver a speech at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) entitled "Transatlantic relations at a crossroads". The speech is scheduled for 16:00 EST (22:00 CET). It will be broadcast live on EbS(For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524)

 

Managing migration: Commission expands on disembarkation and controlled centre concepts

Following the call by EU leaders at the June European Council, the Commission is today expanding on the concept of controlled centres as well as short-term measures that could be taken to improve the processing of migrants being disembarked in the EU, and giving a first outline of the possible way forward for the establishment of regional disembarkation arrangements with third countries. Regional disembarkation arrangements should be seen as working in concert with the development of controlled centres in the EU: together, both concepts should help ensure a truly shared regional responsibility in responding to complex migration challenges. Commissioner Avramopoulos said: "Now more than ever we need common, European solutions on migration. We are ready to support Member States and third countries in better cooperating on disembarkation of those rescued at sea. But for this to work immediately on the ground, we need to be united – not just now, but also in the long run. We need to work towards sustainable solutions." The non-papers on controlled centres in the EU and regional disembarkation arrangements are available online as well as the full press release and factsheets(For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

EU mobilises support following devastating fires in Greece, Sweden and Latvia

The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is working 24/7 and is in constant contact with the authorities of Greece, Sweden and Latvia which have all requested EU support following the unprecedented forest fires which are raging across Europe. Following the devastating fires in Greece, President Juncker spoke to President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Tsipras to express his sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims. In a letter to the Prime Minister, President Juncker reiterated that everything will be done to support Greece during these difficult times. Yesterday evening Greece requested EU support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. In an immediate response, Cyprus, Spain and Bulgaria made swift offers of concrete assistance including planes, firefighters, medics and vehicles. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is travelling to Athens today and has published a statement with the details of his visit, during which he will meet the Greek civil protection authorities and coordinate the EU's assistance already on its way. For Sweden, EU support continues with planes, firefighters and vehicles, already operating in the affected areas. For Latvia, the EU's Copernicus Satellite system has been activated to assist the national authorities with emergency mapping of the risk areas. The Commission will remain in contact with the states participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to provide all possible further assistance. The Commission has proposed to strengthen EU civil protection response through rescEU – so that when multiple disasters hit Member States they are better prepared to confront them. The rescEU proposal is a central part of President Juncker's agenda for a Europe that protects. Photos and video stockshots of the Emergency Centre are available, as well as a MEMO 'Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works'(For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Juncker Plan: €15 million for biotech company Jennewein to build new research centre

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €15 million financing agreement with German biotechnology company Jenneweinto build a new research and innovation centre. The deal is guaranteed by the Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Jenneweinisa highly innovative company that has developed breakthrough technology for the production of rare functional sugars for a wide range of applications, including nutritional, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, said: ''As the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and a former doctor, I know the positive impact that research and innovation, including in biotechnology, can have on our nutrition and good health, particularly in infants and young children. I am happy to see that the Investment Plan for Europe is really working and boosts research and innovation for the health of EU citizens.” (The full press release can be found here. For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

 

Trade: Commission reports on latest negotiation rounds and proposals with Indonesia and China

As part of its commitment to transparent trade negotiations, the Commission has today published reports from the latest talks towards a trade agreement with Indonesia and an investment agreement with China. The fifth round of negotiations for a trade agreement between the EU and Indonesia took place in Brussels from 9 to 13 July 2018. Discussions were held in a very friendly atmosphere and good progress was made on most chapters. Tariff offers were exchanged before the round and this provided a basis for good discussions. Good progress was made on services and investment, clearing the way towards an exchange of offers in those areas at the next round. Talks also covered details of future arrangements on sustainable development. The Commission has also published today two new text proposals, including on the rules of procedure for state-to-state dispute settlementand on the concept of originating products eligible for future tariff reductions. The sixth round will be held during the week of 15 October in Indonesia. The 18th round of the EU-China investment agreement negotiations took place in Brussels on 12 and 13 July. The discussions covered essentially subjects such as expropriation, national treatment, fair and equitable treatment and sustainable development. The 19th round is tentatively scheduled for 29-30 October in Beijing. The exact agenda and timing are yet to be confirmed. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Kinga Malinowska – Tel.: +32 229 51383)

 

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into KME's proposed acquisition of competing copper products supplier MKM

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of MKM by KME, under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the merger may reduce competition in the supply of rolled copper products and sanitary copper tubes. KME and MKM are both active in the manufacturing and marketing of copper and copper alloy products, including rolled copper products and copper alloys, and copper tubes (including sanitary copper tubes). Rolled copper products are used as an input in the manufacturing of many products, including electrical transformers, semiconductors, heat exchangers, and roofing materials. Sanitary copper tubes are used in the construction industry for drinking water installations, radiator connections, surface heating and cooling and sanitary gas installations. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 29 November 2018, to carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of this transaction and determine whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Copper is a key input in many industries including electrical equipment and pipes for heating equipment in our homes. Our investigation aims to ensure that these customers, and ultimately final consumers, will not pay higher prices for this important input, following the proposed acquisition of MKM by KME." A full press release is available in ENFRDE.(For more information Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel +32 2 2955344)

 

Concentrations: la Commission ouvre une enquête approfondie sur le projet d'acquisition de Gemalto par Thales

La Commission européenne a ouvert une enquête approfondie afin d'apprécier le projet d'acquisition de Gemalto par Thales au regard du règlement de l'UE sur les concentrations.  L'opération envisagée aurait pour effet de réunir les deux principaux fournisseurs de modules matériels de sécurité utilisés pour les solutions de gestion des clés des entreprises dans l'Espace économique européen et au niveau mondial. Les modules matériels de sécurité (hardware security modules - HSM) sont des dispositifs matériels dédiés utilisant un logiciel de cryptage pour générer, protéger et gérer des clés de chiffrement visant à protéger des données dans un module inviolable sécurisé. L'entité combinée deviendrait de loin l'acteur le plus important sur le marché des HSM en Europe et dans le monde. La Commission craint que la concentration conduise à une hausse des prix et à une réduction du choix et de l'innovation pour les consommateurs de modules matériels de sécurité. L'opération a été notifiée à la Commission le 18 juin 2018. Celle-ci dispose à présent de 90 jours ouvrables, soit jusqu'au 29 novembre 2018, pour prendre une décision. L'ouverture d'une enquête approfondie ne préjuge pas de l'issue de la procédure. Margrethe Vestager, commissaire chargée de la politique de concurrence, a fait la déclaration suivante: «Notre société est de plus en plus dépendante des solutions de sécurité des données pour sécuriser toute une série d'informations sociales, commerciales ou personnelles. Nous ouvrons la présente enquête approfondie afin de veiller à ce que l'opération envisagée entre Thales et Gemalto ne conduise pas à une hausse des prix ni à une réduction du choix de modules matériels de sécurité pour les consommateurs qui cherchent à crypter leurs données de manière sécurisée.» Un communiqué de presse complet est disponible en ligne en FRENNL et DE(Pour plus d'informations:Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over HES by Macquarie and Goldman Sachs

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over HES International B.V. of the Netherlands by MEIF 5, a wholesale investment fund managed by a subsidiary of Macquarie Group Limited of Australia and funds advised by affiliates of the Goldman Sachs Group of the US. HES operates and develops dry, liquid and break bulk terminals, providing transhipment, storage, blending and processing services for dry and liquid bulk. Macquarie is global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and fund management services.Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the limited impact it would have on the market. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competitionwebsite, in the public case register under the case number M.8896.(For more information Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – Tel +32 2 2955344)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Le commissaire King en Espagne pour discuter du contre-terrorisme et de la lutte contre la radicalisation

Julian King, commissaire en charge de l'union de la sécurité, est aujourd'hui à Madrid, en Espagne, où il rencontre Dolores Delgado Garcia, la ministre de la Justice et Fernando Grande-Marlaska, le ministre de l'Intérieur, pour discuter des questions relatives à la prévention de la radicalisation, de cybersécurité et du soutien aux victimes du terrorisme. Le commissaire King se rendra également au Centre de renseignement contre le terrorisme et le crime organisé (CITCO) pour discuter du partage d'informations, de la lutte contre le terrorisme et de la lutte contre le crime organisé. (Pour plus d'informations: Natasha Bertaud - Tél.: +32 229 67456, Katarzyna Kolanko - Tél.: +32 229 63444)

 

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23/07/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 23/07/2018 Press Release

 

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Forest fires: EU coordinates biggest ever response in Sweden

The Commission has now helped channel a record level of support to help Sweden battle unprecedented forest fires. So far, 7 firefighting planes, 7 helicopters, 60 vehicles and over 340 personnel have been offered through the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism thanks to Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Denmark, Portugal, Poland and Austria. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: "We have been working 24/7 to help Sweden. This is our duty in a Europe that protects and is close to citizens. Over the past week and weekend a record level of EU support has been mobilised. The fires in Sweden show that climate change is real and that no country is immune to natural disasters. This is why the Commission has proposed to strengthen EU civil protection response through rescEU – so that when multiple disasters hit Member States they are better prepared to confront them." The rescEU proposal is a central part of President Juncker's agenda of a Europe that protects.The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Sweden and the forest fire risk across Europe. Photos and video stockshots of the Emergency Centre are available, as well as a MEMO 'Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works'.(For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk Business by Blackstone

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk Business (“Thomson Reuters F&R”) by the Blackstone Group, both of the US. Thomson Reuters F&R is a data and financial technology business that provides information and data analytics, enables financial transactions and connects communities of trading, investment, financial, corporate, strategy, treasure and risk professionals. Blackstone is a global asset manager and provider of financial advisory services. Blackstone, through its portfolio company Ipreo, and Thomson Reuters F&R both provide financial information products to financial market professionals, including real-time and non-real-time data services. The transaction gives rise to a number of horizontal and vertical overlaps between the companies' activities. Following its market investigation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the limited market shares of the companies, the fact that a number of competitors will remain in the market post-transaction, and the fact that Blackstone accounts for only a minimal share of the demand for Thomson Reuters F&R's products. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case registerunder the case number M.8837. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344).                                                      

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Techem by Partners Group

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Techem GmbH of Germany by Partners Group AG of Switzerland. Techem is mainly active in the supply of cost allocation services comprising sub-meters and sub-metering services for residential water and heat. Partners Group is a global private markets investment management company. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the lack of horizontal and vertical overlaps between the companies' activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8980.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344).

 

Mergers: Commission clears the creation of a joint venture by RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria and ZG Raiffeisen

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Haus und Garten Deutschland Handelskooperation by RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria ('RWA'), controlled by Baywa AG of Germany, and ZG Raiffeisen of Germany. The joint venture will unite the purchasing functions of its parent companies and provide procurement and product range design services for building and garden centres throughout Germany. RWA is active in the wholesale of agricultural products, inputs as well as agricultural machinery and spare parts, energy, building materials and products for home and garden. ZG Raiffaisen is a cooperative active in the wholesale of agricultural goods, feedstuff, agricultural machinery, building materials and energy, and provides services to its members active in agriculture and forestry. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given that the joint venture would have no significant activities in the European Economic Area. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8925. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344).

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Demeter by Neste

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Int. Handelsmaatschappij Demeter BV ('Demeter') of the Netherlands by Neste Oyj of Finland. Demeter is a trader of animal fats and proteins which mainly operates in Northern Europe. Neste is a refining and marketing company which focuses on traffic fuels and operates globally. The transaction gives rise to vertical links between the companies' activities in the supply of Category 3 animal fats and in the production of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil ('HVO') biofuels, and to one horizontal overlap with respect to the procurement of Category 3 animal fats. The Commission concluded that the vertical links would not give rise to competition concerns, notably because there are sufficient alternative suppliers of animal fats and other feedstocks for the production of biofuels, there is no risk of supplies being shifted in-house as Demeter has no production activities, and animal fats are used for various applications other than biofuel. The Commission concluded that the horizontal overlap would also not give rise to competition concerns, in particular because sufficient alternative purchasers of animal fats would remain post-transaction. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under case number M.8823. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344).

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Le commissaire Stylianides assiste à l'inauguration d'une exposition de l'UNICEF à Bruxelles

Aujourd'hui, le commissaire en charge de l'aide humanitaire et de la gestion de crises Christos Stylianides va assister au lancement de l'exposition "Education, notre futur" organisée par l'UNICEF en partenariat avec la Commission européenne. L'exposition met en avant des enfants réfugiés, bénéficiaires du programme phare de l'UE en matière d'éducation en Turquie. S'exprimant durant l'inauguration, le commissaire Stylianides a déclaré: "L'éducation est un droit fondamental pour tous les enfants, en particulier en temps d'urgences et de crises. Près de la moitié des plus de 3.5 millions de réfugiés accueillis en Turquie sont des enfants. J'aimerais remercier l'UNICEF et le Croissant Rouge turc pour notre excellente coopération. Je suis fier d'annoncer que nous sommes parvenus bien au-delà de nos attentes – plus de 350 000 enfants réfugiés en Turquie bénéficient de notre projet. L'UE donne l'exemple à toute la communauté de donneurs, avec l'objectif de porter le financement de l'aide humanitaire pour l'éducation en situation d'urgences à 10% en 2019." Le programme de transferts conditionnels en espèces pour des projets éducatifs vise à encourager l'inscription et la fréquentation scolaires pour les enfants réfugiés en Turquie. Les portraits d'enfants seront affichés dans le hall des départs de l'aéroport de Zaventem jusqu'au 7 août. L'UE est un leader mondial dans la re-scolarisation des enfants. En 2018, 8% du budget de l'aide humanitaire de l'UE est consacré à l'éducation en situation d'urgences, et atteindra 10% en 2019. (Pour plus d'informations: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Commissioner Hogan in Ireland for a Citizens' Dialogue on the Future of Europe

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan today participated in a Citizens' Dialogue on the Future of Europe. The Citizens' Dialogue, which focused on "Beyond Brexit: Ireland in Europe – the future scenario?", took place in Glenties, Ireland, as part of the 38th Annual MacGill Summer School and Arts Week. Commissioner Hogan was joined on stage by Mr Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament and Ms Patricia Callan, Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, formerly Director of the Small Firms Association. A recording of the Citizens' Dialogue will be available here(For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

 

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20/07/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 20/07/2018 Press Release

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Hungary: EU invests in the reconstruction of the South-Balaton railway line

€193 million from the Cohesion Fund will be invested in the reconstruction and modernisation of the railway line betweenSzékesfehérvár and Keszthely around Lake Balaton (123 km). Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Crețu said: "By enhancing transport infrastructure, this project will offer better services to thousands of travellers using the railway line every day. This will bring many advantages for the economy and tourism in the Balaton region – a concrete example of Cohesion Policy’s life-changing potential". The modernisation programme of the entire line from Budapest to Keszthely will take place in two stages. The current investment addresses the 53 km line between Szántód-Kőröshegy – Balatonszentgyörgy. As part of the project, 38 road and 124 pedestrian level crossings will be modernised, while 13 new pedestrian level crossings will be installed. The project is planned to be completed by April 2019. (For more information contact: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Maria Tsoni – Tel +32 2 299 05 26)

 

EU solidarity at work: Commission offers financial aid to Latvia following intense floods

Today the Commission is proposing €17.7 million from the EU Solidarity Fund for Latvia after the country was hit by intense floods in the summer and autumn of 2017. The disaster caused widespread damages to essential water, road and railway infrastructure and destroyed crops. Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Creţu said: "Our proposal for financial aid under the EU Solidarity Fund will help cover some of the expenses incurred by Latvia to cope with the emergency and to start rebuilding after the disasters. The EU is lending a helping hand to Latvia, in order to support reconstruction in the long term in the country." Money from the EU Solidarity Fund can be used to support reconstruction efforts and cover some of the costs of emergency services, temporary accommodation, clean-up operations and the protection of cultural heritage, in order to relieve the financial burden borne by national authorities in the wake of natural disasters. The Commission's proposal now has to be green-lighted by the European Parliament and the Council. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Maria Tsoni – Tel +32 2 299 05 26)

 

Commission proposes €1.2 million from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help dismissed workers in the financial services sector in the Netherlands

Today, the European Commission proposed to provide the Netherlands with €1.2 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 450 displaced workers in the financial services sector find new jobs. The redundancies occurred in the regions of Friesland, Drenthe and Overijssel which experience high unemployment rates within the Netherlandscompared to the national average. These job losses are the result of the economic and financial crisis, which had a serious impact on the banking sector in the Netherlands. EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen commented: "Transition to new jobs can be difficult and the workers in the financial services sector have been hard hit in these particular regions in the Netherlands. I am glad that the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund can step in to help them adapt their skills, to find new opportunities and facilitate their transition to new jobs and a better future. This is a concrete expression of European solidarity." Following the dismissal of 1,324 workers in 20 banks in the affected regions, the Netherlands applied for support from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund for the most disadvantaged among them. This is the first-time it is proposed to mobilise the Globalisation Adjustment Fund in support of workers made redundant in the financial services sector. The beneficiaries of the support from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund are the workers, not the banks. The co-financed measures will help the displaced workers to find new jobs by providing them with job-search and outplacement assistance, training and entrepreneurship support. The measures also include the set-up of a mobility pool, which offers temporary jobs for job seekers. This measure will provide work experience and allow the re-training of workers in order to enhance their opportunities vis-a-vis new employers. The total estimated cost of the package is about two million euro, of which the Globalisation Adjustment Fund would provide €1.2 million. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the European Union's Council of Ministers for approval. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

Investment Plan supports Finnish software company with €27 million in financing

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €27 million financing agreement with software company M-Files from Tampere, Finland. The loan was made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), central pillar of the successful Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. With these funds, the rapidly growing company aims to revolutionise the way organisations manage and use information, making it more intelligent, intuitive and compliant. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said: "I am pleased that the European Fund for Strategic Investments is supporting MFiles' international growth and R&D activities. M-Files is a great example of the sort of innovative, fast-growing company that we want to enable in Europe, and this agreement should provide inspiration to other companies working in the digital and artificial intelligence sectors. It's also gratifying that this investment is directly supporting the creation of numerous jobs: a core objective of the Investment Plan." (Full press releases can be found here. For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

 

Fighting illegal fishing: authorities of Tuvalu in the Pacific reform their fisheries management following EU action

Following an official warning – 'yellow card' - in 2014, the authorities of Tuvalu in the Pacific have worked with the European Union to reform their fisheries management system and adopt all necessary means to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal fishing. A 'yellow card' is a warning by the European Union towards its trading partners to take action or else face a potential trade ban in fisheries products. By lifting the card, the Commission recognizes the important progress of Tuvalu in addressing the shortcomings in its fisheries governance. The fight against illegal fishing is part of the EU's drive to ensure better ocean governance. Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “The economy of Tuvalu, a small island developing state, relies heavily on fishing. It is therefore imperative that their resources are managed in a way that ensures the prosperity and future for its fishing community. Therefore, I want to congratulate Tuvalu for the progress made and I am pleased that we have now become real partners in the fight against illegal fishing (IUU). This positive development demonstrates that the EU approach is working.” Through dialogue, the EU has been able to support Tuvalu in adopting a series of measures, including amending its legal framework in line with international law of the sea (UNCLOS), reinforcing its monitoring, control and surveillance system and introducing a regime of sanctions that deter illegal activities. It has also decided to manage its resources, following the best available scientific advice. The global value of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is estimated at 10 billion euros per year. Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish are caught illegally every year, corresponding to at least 15% of world catches. More information here.(For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Iris Petsa - Tel.: +32 229 93321)

 

Money Market Funds: Better rules to ensure financial stability and investor protection

Tomorrow the new EU rules on money market funds will enter into application. Money market funds are short-term investments used by corporates, universities, hospitals and investors to manage their surplus cash, often as an alternative to a bank account. During the last financial crisis, money market funds proved vulnerable under stressed market conditions. This is why the European Parliament and the Council agreed to make these funds more resilient and limit possible contagion channels to other financial entities and the financial system in general. Uniform rules and supervisory practice across the EU aim to ensure that money market funds are able to pay out investors at all times. This will in turn contribute to enhanced financial stability in Europe. All funds pursuing a money market fund investment strategy, which were operating before the entry into force of this Regulation on 21 July 2017, will have to demonstrate their compliance with the new rules by 21 January 2019. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke - Tel.: +32 229 58615; Letizia Lupini - Tel.: +32 229 51958).

 

Aides d'État: La Commission autorise le développement de 60 MW d'électricité à partir de gaz de décharge en France

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu des règles de l'UE en matière d'aides d'État, l'aide que la France envisage d'octroyer pour la construction et l'exploitation de maximum 60 mégawatts (MW) de nouvelles centrales de production d'électricité à partir de gaz de décharge et pour la modernisation de centrales de ce type déjà en activité. Le gaz de décharge est le gaz émis par les déchets biodégradables mis en décharge. La quantité de déchets biodégradables mis en décharge va diminuer dans les années à venir en raison de l'introduction progressive d'obligations plus poussées de tri à la source des déchets. Pour cette raison, la capacité totale des nouvelles centrales éligibles au soutien est limitée à 60 MW. L'aide prendra la forme d'une prime s'ajoutant au prix du marché pour les centrales d'une capacité installée de 500 kilowatts (kW) ou plus, et d'un tarif d'achat pour les installations de plus petite taille. Ce soutien aidera la filière à convertir en électricité le gaz de décharge qui continuera à être émis par les déchets biodégradables mis en décharge avant la généralisation du tri à la source, et contribuera à réduire les émissions de CO2 en France. Etant donné que le gaz de décharge est considéré comme une source d'énergie renouvelable, le régime de soutien aidera aussi la France à augmenter la part d'électricité produite à partir de sources d'énergie renouvelables, conformément aux objectifs environnementaux de l'UE. Plus d'informations sont disponibles sur le site web de la Direction Générale de la Concurrence de la Commission dans le registre des aides d'Etat, sous le numéro SA.47957. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

State aid: Commission concludes public loan to Slovak railway company ZSSK Cargo involves no aid

The European Commission has found that a loan of €166 million granted by Slovakia to the freight railway operator Železničná Spoločnosť Cargo Slovakia, a.s. ("ZSSK Cargo") does not involve State aid within the meaning of EU rules. The Commission concluded that the Slovak State behaved like a market investor would have in similar circumstances, and thus provided no selective economic advantage to ZSSK Cargo. In particular, the Commission found that: (i) there were similar indicative bank offers made at the same time as the granting of the public loan; (ii) based on a benchmarking exercise conducted by the Commission, the interest charged was broadly in line with interest rates paid by companies in a comparable financial situation; (iii) the loan was granted based on a study showing that ZSSK Cargo would be able to reimburse the loan, and proposing restructuring measures that would restore the viability of the company. The Commission concluded that a private shareholder would have granted a similar loan to increase or maintain the value of its holding. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register, under the case number SA.29198. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

Eurostat: Premier trimestre 2018 par rapport au quatrième trimestre 2017 - La dette publique en légère hausse à 86,8% du PIB dans la zone euro, en baisse à 81,5% du PIB dans l'UE28

À la fin du premier trimestre 2018, le ratio de la dette publique par rapport au PIBs'estétabli à 86,8% dans la zone euro (ZE19), contre 86,7% à la fin du quatrième trimestre 2017. Dans l'UE28, le ratio a diminué, passant de 81,6% à 81,5%. Par rapport au premier trimestre 2017, le ratio de la dette publique par rapport au PIB a baissé tant dans la zone euro (de 89,2% à 86,8%) que dans l'UE28 (de 83,6% à 81,5%). Un communiqué de presse Eurostat est à votre disposition en ligne(Pour plus d'informations: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)

 

Eurostat: Premier trimestre 2018 - Déficit public désaisonnalisé de la zone euro en baisse à 0,1% du PIB En baisse à 0,5% du PIB dans l'UE28

Au premier trimestre 2018, le ratio du déficit public par rapport au PIB, corrigé des variations saisonnières, s'est établi à 0,1% dans la zone euro (ZE19), en baisse par rapport au quatrième trimestre 2017 où il se situait à 0,6%. Dans l'UE28, le ratio du déficit public par rapport au PIB s'est établi à 0,5%, contre 0,6% au trimestre précédent. Un communiqué de presse Eurostat est à votre disposition en ligne(Pour plus d'informations: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)

 

STATEMENTS

 

Leçon commémorative du président Juncker à la Fondation Carlos de Amberes à Madrid sur les 'Nouvelles perspectives pour l'avenir de l'Europe'

Dans le cadre de sa visite officielle à Madrid, le président Juncker a été reçu hier par Sa Majesté le Roi d'Espagne. À la suite de cette audience, ils ont été rejoints par le Conseil d'administration de la Fondation Carlos de Amberes. Le président Juncker a été présenté par le Premier ministre espagnol Pedro Sánchez à la Fondation Carlos de Amberes, où il a participé à la 4e conférence commémorative de Carlos de Amberes avec un discours intitulée «Nouvelles perspectives pour l'avenir de l'UE». Lors de sa leçon commémorative, le président a dit le suivant au sujet du commerce mondial: "[…] il s'agit de garder un système multilatéral, de résister au charme qui ne dure pas d'un unilatéralisme irréfléchi. Nous devons dire à nos amis américains que nous, l'Union européenne, voulons rester fidèles à ce que nous sommes et nous voulons rester fidèles à ce que nous avons construit ensemble. Nous entre nous, et nous avec les autres." La leçon commémorative est à votre disposition en ligne, et peut être visualisée sur EbS+(Pour plus d'informations: Margaritis Schinas - Tél.: +32 229 60524)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Moscovici attends G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina to attend the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. Topics for discussion include matters relating to tax, infrastructure and the future of work. On Tuesday, he will act as lead speaker during the session on the international tax system. Commissioner Moscovici will also use the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings on the margins of the meeting, including with Mr Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance of Canada; Mr Liu Kun, Minister of Finance of China and Mr Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD. This is the third meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in 2018 and will be used to undertake important preparatory work ahead of the G20 Leaders' Summit in November. (For more information: Christian Spahr - +32 229 50055; Johannes Bahrke - +32 229 58615; Patrick McCullough - Tel.: +32 229 87183; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

 

European Union reaffirms its commitment to its strong partnership with Greenland

Today, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica is meeting with the Greenlandic Minister of Education, Culture, Church and Foreign Affairs, Vivian Motzfeldt to discuss the relationship between the EU and Greenland, in light of the recent proposal for the next long term budget of the European Union. During the meeting Commissioner Mimica will reaffirm the importance of the EU's relationship with Greenland, as a strategic partner in the Arctic area, as well as the EU's commitment to continue contributing to the sustainable development of Greenland. More information on Commissioner Mimica's meeting is available here, and on the EU's relations with Greenland, here. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

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

 

Calendar

 

 

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18/07/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 18/07/2018 Press Release

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Le plan Juncker dépasse son objectif initial de 315 milliards d'euros d'investissements

La Commission européenne et le groupe de la Banque européenne d'investissement (BEI) ont tenu leur engagement de mobiliser 315 milliards d'euros d'investissements supplémentaires dans le cadre du plan d'investissement pour l'Europe, le plan Juncker. Soutenues par une garantie du budget de l'Union européenne et les ressources propres du groupe BEI, 898 opérations ont été approuvées, ce qui devrait générer 335 milliards d'euros d'investissements dans l'ensemble des 28 États Membres de l'UE. C'est plus que l'objectif initial de 315 milliards d'euros fixé en 2015, lors du lancement de l'EFSI, ce qui contribue à combler le déficit d'investissement provoqué par la crise économique et financière. 700 000 petites et moyennes entreprises devraient bénéficier d'un meilleur accès aux financements. Compte tenu du succès de l'EFSI, le Conseil européen et le Parlement européen ont convenu l'année dernière de prolonger sa durée et d'accroître sa capacité pour atteindre 500 milliards d'euros d'ici à la fin de 2020. Le président Jean-Claude Juncker a déclaré: «Le plan Juncker s'avère être une réussite. Nous avons dépassé l'objectif initial de 315 milliards d'euros d'investissements et le Fonds européen pour les investissements stratégiques devrait créer 1,4 million d'emplois et augmenter le PIB de l'UE de 1,3 % d'ici à 2020. Nous avons financé des projets qui n'auraient pas été possibles en l'absence de l'EFSI, et cela sans créer de nouvelles dettes: deux tiers des investissements proviennent du secteur privé. Du financement de la formation professionnelle destinée aux réfugiés en Finlande aux énergies renouvelables en Grèce, en passant par l'agriculture en Bulgarie, nous continuerons à utiliser le budget de l'UE pour ce qu'il fait le mieux: catalyser la croissance.» Vous pouvez suivre le point presse du président Juncker et du président de la Banque européenne d’investissement, M. Werner Hoyer, sur EbS(Pour plus d'informations, un communiqué de presse et une fiche d'informations sont à votre disposition en ligne ainsi que plusieurs fiches d'informations par pays et par secteur; Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

 

Commission registers two European Citizens' Initiatives

The College of Commissioners has today decided to register two European Citizens' Initiatives. The first, entitled 'Permanent European Union Citizenship', intends to guarantee that European citizenship and its associated rights cannot be lost once they have been attainedThe organisers cite in particular the context of Brexit and the future loss of EU citizenship and rights by UK nationals.The registration of this Initiative will take place on 23 July 2018. A full press release on this initiative is available here. The second initiative is entitled 'Stop starvation for 8% of the European population'. The stated objectives include "to prompt governments to embrace the hunger problem" and to "emphasize the responsibility of governments to eradicate the problem." The organisers have set out a detailed list of actions where they call on the Commission to make legislative proposals. The registration of this initiative will take place on 19 July. A full press release on this initiative is available here. The Commission's decision to register these Initiatives concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The Commission has not analysed the substance at this stage. Should the initiatives receive one million statements of support within one year, from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react within three months. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: + 32 229 67456; Tim McPhie – Tel: +32 229 58603)

 

Trade: Commission imposes provisional safeguard measures on imports of steel products

Today the European Commission published a regulation imposingprovisional safeguard measures concerning imports of steel products. These measures will address the diversion of steel from other countries to the EU market as a result of the recently imposed US tariffs. The safeguard measures will come into effect on Thursday 19 July. Traditional imports of steel products will not be affected. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmströmsaid: "The US tariffs on steel products are causing trade diversion, which may result in serious harm to EU steelmakers and workers in this industry. We are left with no other choice than to introduce provisional safeguard measures to protect our domestic industry against a surge of imports. These measures nevertheless ensure that the EU market remains open, and will maintain traditional trade flows. I am convinced that this strikes the right balance between the interest of EU producers and users of steel, like the automotive industry and the construction sector, who rely on imports. We will continue to monitor steel imports in order to take a final decision by early next year, at the latest." The provisional measures concern 23 steel product categories and will take the form of a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ). Tariffs of 25% will only be imposed once imports exceed the average of imports over the last three years. In line with the World Trade Organisation rules, the measures concern imports from all countries. Exceptions are made for some developing countries and the European Economic Area countries: Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The provisional measures can remain in place for a maximum of 200 days. Definitive safeguard measures may be imposed as a result of further investigation that continues until the end of 2018. For more information, see full press release and the Commission regulation available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Elica PB India by Elica and Whirlpool

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Elica PB India Private Limited of India by Elica S.p.A. of Italy and Whirlpool Corporation of the US.  Elica PB India manufactures and sells kitchen appliances and sells a range of kitchen and related cooking devices in India. Elica manufactures and sells kitchen appliances and sells air treatment devices. Whirlpool manufactures and sells a range of appliances for refrigeration, laundry, kitchen, air conditioning and water and air purification. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given Elica PB India's lack of actual or foreseen activities within the European Economic Area. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competitionwebsite, in the public case register under the case number M.8997(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344).

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Coveris' rigid plastic packaging business by Lindsay Goldberg

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of control of the rigid plastic packaging business of Coveris Group (“Coveris Rigid”) of Germany and Luxembourg by Goldberg, Lindsay & Co., LLC (“Lindsay Goldberg”) of the US. Coveris Rigid manufactures and sells rigid plastic packaging solutions such as pots and containers, trays, closures, lids and sheets, of different materials and for use in various industries. Lindsay Goldberg is a private equity investment firm with 16 portfolio companies, none of which is active in the production and supply of rigid plastic packaging products in the European Economic Area. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the minimal horizontal overlaps and vertical links between the activities of the companies. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competitionwebsite, in the public case register under the case number M.8946(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344).

 

Publication of latest agri-food trade figures: EU agri food exports remain strong

The latest monthly agri-food trade report published today shows that EU exports remain strong, with €11.2 billion recorded in May 2018. With imports that same month worth €10 billion, EU trade registered a surplus of €1.2 billion. This represents an increase of 23% compared with May 2017. Exports of spirits and vegetable oils recorded notable increases compared to 2017. Exports of beet and cane sugar also had an exceptional growth rate over the last 12 months. During that period, gains have been achieved in exports to Russia, Japan, USA and Ukraine. The main origins for EU agri-food imports over the past 12 months were Brazil and the USA, followed by Ukraine, China, Argentina, Indonesia, Switzerland and Turkey. The monthly report provides a table presenting the trade balance and its development by product category, from June 2016 to May 2018. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

 

Eurostat: Annual inflation up to 2.0% in the euro area

Euro area annual inflation rate was 2.0% in June 2018, up from 1.9% in May 2018. A year earlier, the rate was 1.3%. European Union annual inflation was 2.0% in June 2018, stable compared with May 2018. A year earlier, the rate was 1.5%. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. A Eurostat press release is available here(For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: + 32 229 50055; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)

 

Eurostat: Production in construction up by 0.3% in euro area

In May 2018 compared with April 2018, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 0.3% in the euro area (EA19) and by 1.2% in the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In April 2018, production in construction grew by 1.4% in the euro area and by 0.8% in the EU28. A Eurostat press release is available here(For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Maud Noyon – Tel.: +32 229 80379)

 

Member States endorse the agreement to strengthen the Structural Reform Support Programme 

The European Commission welcomes today's decision by the EU Ambassadors (Coreper) to endorse the preliminary agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on increasing the budget of the Structural Reform Support Programme by €80 million. This would bring the total budget of the Programme to €222.8 million for the years 2017-2020 and enable the EU to respond to the high demand from Member States for support to prepare, design and implement growth-enhancing reforms. It would also allow targeted technical support to be provided to EU Member States wishing to adopt the euro. The proposal to strengthen the Structural Reform Support Programme is part of European Commission's package of proposals of 6 December 2017 to deepen Europe's Economic and Monetary Union. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "The political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council last week was a major step forward in enhancing the partnership for reforms to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth. Deepening of our Economic and Monetary Union starts at home. By strengthening the governance and economic structures at national level countries reinforce the resilience of their economies and the euro area as a whole. We look forward to the formal adoption of the proposal by the Parliament to allow Member States to benefit from the budget increase already in 2019." The Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) entered into force in May 2017 and currently has a budget of €142.8 million for the years 2017-2020. The support is provided by the Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS) created in 2015 to support Member States in the preparation, design and implementation of institutional, structural and administrative reforms. (For more information, Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)


ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Thyssen attends first Informal meeting of Employment and Social Policy Ministers under Austrian Council Presidency

Tomorrow and Friday, 19 and 20 July, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, will attend the Informal Meeting of EU Employment and Social Policy Ministers, taking place in Vienna, Austria. It is the first meeting on employment and social affairs under Austria's Presidency of the Council of the EU. Topics that will be discussed are the new world of work - with a focus on platform work and social and legal protection - and the impact of robotics on quantity and quality of work. The meeting will be an occasion for Commissioner Thyssen to have a bilateral discussion with Austrian Minister for Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, Beate Hartinger-Klein, with whom she will give a press conference on Friday at 13:00. The Commissioner's press speakings will be published here. Commissioner Thyssen will also meet with Mr Eitvydas Bingelis, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Social Security and Labour, Mr Heinz Fassmann, Austrian Minister for Education, Science and Research, Ms Renate Anderl, President of the Austrian Chamber of Labour, Mr Josef Muchitsch, Chairman of the Labour and Social Committee of the Austrian Parliament, and Ms Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, Vice-President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) and President of UEAPME. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

Vice-President Katainen to attend SuomiAreena public debate forum to discuss defence and trade

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will visit Pori, Finland on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 July to attend the SuomiAreena public debate forum. Today, he will participate in a working dinner with Mr Risto Siilasmaa, Chair of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation. Then, he will meet in a series of bilaterals Mr Kai Mykkänen, Minister for the Interior of Finland, Mr Timo Ritakallio, President and Executive Chairman of OP Financial Group, Mr Seppo Parvi, Deputy CEO of Stora Enso as well as Ms Merja Ylä-Anttila, upcoming CEO of the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. In addition, he will participate in a working dinner with Mr. Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economy and Mr. Kai Mykkänen, Minister of the Interior as well as other Finnish political leaders. Later, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will participate in a Citizens' Dialogue on European Defence (with several MEPs, Mr. Olli Ruutu, Deputy Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, Mr. Jouni Ovaska, Chair of the European Movement Finland and moderated by General Esa Pulkkinen, Director General of EU Military Staff.) (For more information, Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhan Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

 

 

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17/07/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 17/07/2018 Press Release

 

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EU-Japan Summit: a landmark moment for trade and cooperation

At the 25th EU-Japan Summit, which took place in Tokyo today, two landmark agreements – the Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement – have been signed, significantly boosting bilateral relations. A full press release is available, detailing the outcomes of the Summit. The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who alongside the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, represented the European Union said: "Today is a historic moment in our enduring partnershipToday's signature of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is a landmark moment for global trade, and I am also delighted that we have signed the first ever Strategic Partnership Agreement, which takes our cooperation to the next level. The impact of the Economic Partnership Agreement goes far beyond our shores. Together, we are making a statement about the future of free and fair trade.  We are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together and we are leading by example, showing that trade is about more than tariffs and barriers. It is about values, principles and finding win-win solutions for all. As far as we are concerned, there is no protection in protectionism – and there cannot be unity where there is unilateralism." Read the full remarks of President Juncker at the EU-Japan Summit press conference online. The Economic Partnership Agreementbetween the EU and Japan is the biggest ever negotiated by the European Union. It creates an open trade zone covering over 600 million people and nearly a third of global GDP. It will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, and has led to the removal of a number of long-standing regulatory barriers, for example on cars. Read the full press release on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement online and consult the dedicated factsheet. Negotiations on reciprocal adequacy have also been concluded, meaning that the EU and Japan will recognise each other's data protection systems as 'equivalent', thus allowing data to flow safely between the two. A joint statement of Commissioner Jourová and Japanese Commissioner Haruhi Kumazawa, press release and memo are available. At the Summit, Leaders have also signed the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement, which will provide an overarching and binding framework for enhanced cooperation across a range of areas. A dedicated factsheet on the Strategic Partnership Agreement is available online. For more information on EU-Japan relations, see the factsheet.  (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359)

 

European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

Today the European Commission and national consumer authorities in the EU have published their conclusions on the 8.5 million car recalls made in the Union by the Volkswagen group after the “dieselgate” scandal. The VW Group's effort to build trust in the recalls and the significant improvement in the information provided to consumers, are welcomed. The rate of repair is now reaching 80% and the Group committed to continue the free-of-charge update and the related de facto guarantee to solve problems that arise after the update until the end of 2020. However, the Commission and the consumer authorities regret that the company could not give a full and clear guarantee in case of problems after the repair. Vera Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, commented: “We have worked hard to make VW more proactive with EU consumers affected by the Dieselgate scandal. VW fulfilled the action plan they promised to me, but that was all. This is again a reminder of the need for stronger rules on individual redress in the EU, including collective actions.” More information is available in this press release. (For more information:Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

EU assists Sweden in fighting forest fires

The European Commission has helped mobilise two firefighting planes from Italy via the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism, following a request for assistance from Sweden due to the very high forest fire risk that the country is facing. This is the second time this summer Sweden has asked for support, due to heavy fires this year. In addition, the EU's emergency Copernicus Satellite mapping system has been activated to help the Swedish civil protection authorities. "The European Union stands in full solidarity with Sweden. Our thoughts are with all the people affected and also with first responders and the firefighters working to tackle the fires. I thank Italy for its immediate offer of two planes. This is solidarity in a Europe that protects" said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. The planes will arrive tonight and start operating immediately and continue to do so as long as necessary. The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Sweden and the forest fire risk across Europe. Photos and video stockshots of the Emergency Centre are available, as well as a MEMO 'Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works'. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Online disinformation: platforms and advertisers to release a draft Code of Practice

Today, the representatives of online platforms, leading social networks, advertisers and advertising industry are expected to make public a first draft of a Code of Practice to address the spread of online disinformation in Europe. The draft document will be published after the Multistakeholder Forum – gathering all the stakeholders involved – later tonight here. It will then be passed onto representatives of the media, civil society, fact checkers and academia, also part of the Forum, to identify potential areas for improvement. The final version of the Code of Practice is expected by the end of September. This should lead to a measurable reduction of online disinformation. By December 2018, the Commission will report on the progress made. The Code of Practice will provide self-regulatory measures for online platforms and advertising industry to achieve the objectives set out by the Commission's Communication in April 2018, based on four guiding principles: transparency, inclusivity, credibility and diversity. More details on the Communication can be found in the press releaseQ&A and factsheet(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of parts of Raiffeisen Bank Polska S.A. by BGŻ BNP Paribas S.A.

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over the core bank business of Raiffeisen Bank Polska S.A. by BGŻ BNP Paribas S.A., both of Poland. The acquired parts of Raiffeisen Bank Polska include the bank's activities in retail and corporate banking, payment cards issuing, asset management, insurance and factoring services in Poland. BGŻ BNP Paribas is a universal bank and part of the international capital group BNP Paribas Group headquartered in France. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the minor overlaps and vertical relationships between the companies' activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8967(Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

 

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Posté par acpafpe à 14:18 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

16/07/18

Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne du 16/07/2018 Press Release

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EU-China Summit: deepening the strategic global partnership

Today in Beijing, the European Union and China held their 20th Summit. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk represented the European Union at the Summit, with Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc also participating. "I have always been a strong believer in the potential of the EU-China partnership. And in today's world that partnership is more important than ever before. Our cooperation simply makes sense"said President Juncker. "Europe is China's largest trading partner and China is our second largest. The trade in goods between us is worth over €1.5 billion every single day. But we also know that we can do so much more. This is why it is so important that today we have made progress on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment through a first exchange of offers on market access, and towards an agreement on Geographical Indications. That shows that we want to create more opportunities for people in China and in Europe." In the margins of the Summit,President Juncker also participated in the EU-China Business Roundtable"The EU is promoting multilateralism, stepping up to global challenges and defending our interests in the world. We will continue to defend a rules-based, open and fair trade. L'Europe est ouverte, mais pas offerte. Let's go forward together, promoting peace, growth and security." The full speech is available here (in French).The EU and China have agreed a Joint Summit Statement, illustrating the breadth and depth of the relationship and the positive impact that such a partnership can have, in particular when it comes to addressing global and regional challenges such as climate change, common security threats, the promotion of multilateralism, and the promotion of open and fair trade. In addition to the Joint Statement, a number of other concrete deliverables were agreed at the Summit, including: a Leaders' Statement on Climate Change and Clean Energy; an exchange of offers on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment; a Partnership Agreement on Oceansa Memorandum of Understanding on Circular Economy Cooperationa Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Emissions Trading; agreement to conclude before the end of October, if possible, the negotiations on an Agreement on Geographical Indications; an Action Plan Concerning China-EU Customs Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights (2018-2020); a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Investment Fund and the Silk Road Forum confirming the first co-investment carried out under the recently established China-EU Co-Investment Fund; and a Strategic Administrative Cooperation Arrangement and an Action Plan (2018-2020) between the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the General Administration of China Customs. The outcomes of the 20th EU-China Summit can be found online in a full press release. A factsheet on EU-China relations is available online(For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359)

 

EU consumer rules: The European Commission and EU consumer authorities push Airbnb to comply

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities and are calling on Airbnb to align their terms and conditions with EU consumer rules and be transparent on their presentation of prices.Commissioner Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: "More and more consumers book their holiday accommodation online and this sector has brought many new opportunities to holidaymakers. But popularity cannot be an excuse for not complying with EU consumer rules. Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services and have fair rules e.g. on cancellation of the accommodation by the owner. I expect Airbnb to follow up swiftly with the right solutions.” Airbnb's current pricing presentation and a number of its terms do not comply with the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Unfair Contract Terms Directive, and the Regulation on the jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters. Therefore the European consumer authorities and the Commission have demanded from Airbnb a number of changes. The company has until the end of August to present their proposals. Once Airbnb proposes solutions to rectify this, the Commission and the EU consumer authorities will review the proposed changes. If they are not considered satisfactory, Airbnb could face an enforcement action. A press release and the authorities' common position are available online. Commissioner Jourová will give a press statement today at 12:00, which can be followed live on EbS. (For more information Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

TRADE: Commission unveils new tool to show EU towns and cities exporting to Japan

Interested in what opportunities the EU's trade deal with Japan might bring to your country or your home town? Today, the European Commission published EU-Japan trade in your town, an interactive map showing towns and cities around Europe that export to Japan. For example, Cork in Ireland ships pharmaceuticals, dairy products and chemicals to Japan, while the town of Páty in Hungary sends pork, self-checkout terminals and manicure products. The tool includes infographics for each EU country, detailing the number of exporting companies, the number of jobs supported by exports to Japan, a list of products exported from each member state, and other import/export statistics. Today's publication follows a similar tool, CETA in your town, which showcases a sample of EU companies exporting to Canada. On Tuesday 17 July, EU leaders and Prime Minister Abe will sign the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement at the EU-Japan summit. The deal will now be considered and voted upon by the European Parliament and the Japanese Diet. If these two parliaments ratify it before the end of this year, the agreement could be in place by early 2019. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

 

State aid: Commission adopts Best Practices Code to streamline and speed up State aid control

The European Commission has adopted a new Best Practices Code for State aid control. Over recent years, the Commission has implemented a major reform package, State Aid Modernisation, which allows Member States to quickly implement State aid that fosters investment, economic growth and job creation, leaving the Commission to focus its State aid control on cases most likely to distort competition in the Single Market.  These efforts to focus and modernise EU State aid rules and improve the Commission’s working methods are continuing - in the context of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the Commission has proposed to simplify co-investment involving both EU funding and Member State investment, through a revision of the EU State aid Enabling Regulation. To make the most of these modernised State aid rules, the Best Practices Code for State aid control gives guidance on how the Commission, Member States and other stakeholders work together in State aid procedures. This covers, for example, how to ensure that complex State aid cases are handled most effectively and how complaints about State aid are followed up. The Best Practices Code, which has been discussed extensively with Member States and stakeholders, explains how State aid procedures are carried out, and sets out the steps the Commission is taking to increase the speed, transparency and predictability of these procedures. The text of the Best Practices Code for State aid control is available on the Commission's website. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "The new Best Practices Code for State aid control will benefit Member States, businesses and stakeholders by increasing the efficiency and speed of State aid control, in particular by ensuring earlier and better cooperation between Member States and the Commission." A full press release is available in EN, FR, DE. (Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti – +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Siemens proposed acquisition of Alstom

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Alstom by Siemens, under the EU Merger Regulation. Siemens and Alstom are global leaders in rail transportation. Both companies have a wide product portfolio and compete in tenders for the manufacture and supply of high speed, mainline and urban rolling stock (trains) as well as mainline and urban signalling solutions. Signalling solutions include signalling systems that provide safety controls on mainline and urban rail network. The proposed transaction would combine the two largest suppliers of rolling stock and signalling solutions in the European Economic Area (EEA) not only in terms of size of the combined operations, but also in terms of geographic footprint of their activities. At this stage, the Commission is concerned that the proposed transaction would reduce competition in the markets where the merged entity would be active and, in particular, that the proposed transaction could lead to higher prices, less choice and less innovation due to reduced competitive pressure in rolling stock and signalling tenders. This would be to the detriment of train operators, infrastructure managers and ultimately European passengers who use trains and metros on a daily basis. The Commission will now carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of the transaction to determine whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Trains and the signalling equipment that guide them are essential for transport in Europe. The Commission will investigate whether the proposed acquisition of Alstom by Siemens would deprive European rail operators of a choice of suppliers and innovative products, and lead to higher prices, which could ultimately harm the millions of Europeans who use rail transportation every day for work or leisure." A full press release is available in EN, FR, DE. (Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel +32 2 299 05 26)

 

Juncker Plan: €68 million for industrial innovation at Arctic white goods factory in Romania

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €68 million loan supported by the Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to white goods producer Arctic, in Romania. The loan will finance the construction of a large-scale washing machine production plant featuring advanced manufacturing technologies, including Internet of Things applications, and the latest automation processes. The new production plant will make Romania a white goods production hub for Europe, stimulating new investments. Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Creţu said: "This project embodies Romanian excellence in terms of innovation and advanced technology. The Investment Plan for Europe is giving Arctic the financial boost it needs to expand beyond local markets and create quality, sustainable jobs in Romania. This is a concrete example of successful industrial modernisation, supported by the EU. I congratulate the EIB and Arctic on this great deal." (Full press release is found here. For all the latest EFSI results see the Investment Plan website or contact Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 229 50055; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: +32 229 57361)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Hogg Robinson Group by GBT

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Hogg Robinson Group Plc ('HRG') of the UK by GBT III B.V. ('GBT') of the Netherlands, a full-function joint venture controlled by American Express Company of the US and Qatar Holding LLC of Qatar. Both GBT and HRG are globally active in the provision of business travel agency services. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because, although GBT and HRG are both large agencies offering a broad range of services to international corporate customers, a number of strong players would continue to constrain the combined entity post-transaction, preventing it from raising its prices or worsening the quality of its services. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8862(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of DESFA by Snam

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of DESFA of Greece by Snam of Italy. DESFA operates the high-pressure pipeline grid and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Greece. Snam is the main gas transmission system operator in Italy. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the companies are not active in the same geographic area. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8953.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Mehiläinen Holding by CVC Capital Partners

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Mehiläinen Holding AB of Sweden by CVC Capital Partners SICAV-FIS S.A. ("CVC") of Luxembourg. Mehiläinen Holding is the holding company of Mehiläinen Oy, which provides healthcare and social care services in Finland. CVC manages investment funds and platforms. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because there are no horizontal and limited vertical overlaps between the activities of the companies. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8975(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Partner in Pet Foods by Cinven

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Partner in Pet Foods Hungaria Kft of Hungary by funds belonging to the Cinven group of the UK. Partner in Pet Foods manufactures and supplies private label and branded industrial pet food in Europe. Cinven is a private equity firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because Cinven does not control any company that is active in the same markets, or has any vertical or conglomerate link with markets in which Partner in Pet Foods is active. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8936.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

Concentrations: La Commission autorise l'acquisition de M Group Services par PAI Partners

La Commission Européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition de M Group Services, basée au Royaume Uni, par PAI Partners SAS, basée en France. M Group Services fournit différents types de services aux secteurs des services d’utilité publique, des télécommunications et des transports, tels que l'installation et la maintenance d'infrastructure de réseaux, des services de données et la construction, la maintenance et la réparation d'infrastructures routières et ferroviaires. PAI Partners est une société de capital investissement qui gère et conseille des fonds détenant des participations dans des entreprises actives dans des domaines variés tels que les services aux entreprises, les biens de consommation, les biens industriels, la santé et la grande distribution. La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, dans la mesure où les entreprises ne sont pas actives sur le même marché ou sur des marchés liés ou complémentaires. La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée de contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.8979(Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)


ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Competitiveness Council: Croatia signs declaration on artificial intelligence, all EU Member States now working on coordinated plan

Today, in the margins of the informal Council meeting of Competitiveness ministers in Vienna, Croatia will become the last Member State to sign the Declaration of Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence (AI), thus strengthening the European approach presented by the Commission in April 2018. One objective of the Declaration is to create synergies across relevant funding schemes within Europe. The Commission and Member States are now working on a coordinated plan in line with the call by European leaders on 28 June 2018 (European Council conclusions). Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip and Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska participate in today's sessions, focusing on the role of AI in transforming European industry, the importance of digital skills and making the right investments. Commissioner Moedas will participate in tomorrow's discussion on the proposal to invest €100 billion over 2021-2027 in research and innovation through the funding programme Horizon Europe. This discussion also builds on the European Council meeting from 28 June, where EU leaders agreed on further developing high-quality research and its transformation into new products, services and business models. The informal Competitiveness Council follows just weeks after the Commission proposed under the next long-term EU budget to invest €9.2 billion in the first ever digital programmeDigital Europe, including €2.5 billion to help companies across Europe to adopt AI. The press conference can be followed on EbS(For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698; Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 2 295 61 82; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tel.: +32 229 80379)

 

Commissioner Hahn visits Skopje and Tirana

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations will visit Skopje and Tirana tomorrow 17 July. The visit follows the June Council Conclusions setting out the path towards opening of accession negotiations in June 2019 with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and with Albania. In this context, Commissioner Hahn will officially launch the preparatory work. In Skopje, the Commissioner will meet with key interlocutors including Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Speaker Talat Xhaferi, representatives of political parties and will address the National Council for European Integration, which also includes civil society, business and other stakeholders. In Tirana Commissioner Hahn will meet with President Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama and representatives of the government of Albania. Photos and video of the mission will be available on EbS(for more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.:+32 229 64887)

 

Commissioner King in Cyprus to discuss security and the fight against terrorism

Tomorrow Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King will be in Nicosia, Cyprus where he will meet the Minister of Justice and Public Order Mr Ionas Nicolaou to discuss security related issues, in particular the fight against terrorism and organised crime as well as cyber security. Commissioner King will also participate in a joint meeting with the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs Mr Yiorgos Lillikas and the Deputy Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Legal Affairs Mr Demetris Dimitriou. Later, he will discuss organised crime and information exchange with the Cypriot Chief of Police Mr Zacharias Chrysostomou. Commissioner King will also visit the Cybercrime Centre. A joint press point by Commissioner King and Minister Nicolaou will take place at around 12.30 (CET). (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

 

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