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Daily News – 02.02.2011

Midday Express of 2011-02-02

European Commission - 02/02/2011

EXME 11 / 02.02

Midday Express of 2011-02-02

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

I. Résultats de la Commission du 2 février 2011 – Outcome of Commission meeting of 2nd February 2011

La Commission se réjouit du succès rencontré par les efforts de recrutement de fonctionnaires issus des États membres qui ont rejoint l’UE en 2004

À la fin de la période de transition (au 31 décembre 2010), la Commission européenne avait dépassé les objectifs qu’elle s’était fixés en matière de recrutement de personnel en provenance des 10 États membres qui ont adhéré à l’UE en 2004. Le rapport final montre qu’entre le 1er mai 2004 et la fin de 2010, la Commission a recruté 4 004 fonctionnaires et agents temporaires en provenance de Chypre, d’Estonie, de Hongrie, de Lettonie, de Lituanie, de Malte, de Pologne, de République tchèque, de Slovaquie et de Slovénie, soit bien plus que l’objectif, pourtant ambitieux, de 3 508. Au niveau de l’encadrement supérieur, la Commission a également dépassé son objectif qui était de compter au moins un ressortissant de chacun des dix pays à un poste de directeur général ou de directeur général adjoint. Le recrutement des directeurs et des chefs d’unité a connu un succès comparable. Le recrutement ciblé sur les pays UE 10 a également eu un effet positif sur l'équilibre hommes/femmes à la Commission, puisqu’à la fin de 2010, les femmes étaient même plus nombreuses que les hommes au sein de l’organisation. On notait également une plus grande proportion de femmes à des postes d’encadrement qu’avant l’élargissement de 2004. La période de transition mise en place pour les fonctionnaires bulgares et roumains est elle aussi en bonne voie et durera jusqu’à la fin de 2011.

The Commission calls for action on commodities and raw materials

Excessive volatility of prices on all major commodity markets occurs at a time when the competitiveness of European industry crucially depends on efficient and secure access to raw materials. Raw materials are vital for the EU’s economy and particularly crucial for the development of modern environmentally friendly technologies such as electric cars and photovoltaics. The recent volatility in commodity prices threatens to increase inflation and global raw material markets are becoming increasingly distorted due to protectionist measures. The price fluctuation on the agricultural commodity markets has an impact on farmers, food-makers and consumers, including in the poorest countries. In response to these challenges, the European Commission presented today an integrated strategic vision to tackle challenges in Commodity markets and on Raw materials. The Commission proposes actions to improve the regulation, functioning and transparency of financial and commodity markets. The European Commission also calls for the swift implementation of the Raw Materials Initiative adopted in 2008. The Communication on commodities and raw materials contributes to the Europe 2020 flagship initiative 'A resource-efficient Europe' that was adopted last month ( IP/11/63).

EU proposal for passenger data to fight serious crime and terrorism

The European Commission presented today a proposal for an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive to fight serious crime and terrorism. The proposal obliges air carriers to provide EU Member States with data on passengers entering or departing from the EU, whilst guaranteeing a high level of protection of privacy and personal data.

II. Other news

European Commission is quadrupling its aid to the Belarusian population

Today at a speech made in an international Donor's Conference on Belarus held in Warsaw, European Commissioner Stefan Füle announced that the European Commission intends to increase its funds and support for civil society fourfold, up to € 15,6 Million.

Extension du régime temporaire d'aides aux agriculteurs français

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu des règles de l'UE concernant les aides d'Etat, l'extension jusqu'à 31 mars 2011 du régime temporaire français pour l'octroi aux agriculteurs des aides limitées pouvant aller jusqu’à 15 000 €. L'octroi de ces aides, approuvé originairement le 2 décembre 2009 (voir IP/09/1866), est destiné à soutenir les agriculteurs en proie à des difficultés en raison de la crise économique. Les aides peuvent maintenant être accordées au plus tard le 31 mars 2011 au lieu du 31 décembre 2010. La Commission considère que l'extension du régime est conforme aux dispositions de la prolongation du cadre temporaire pour les aides d'Etat destinées à favoriser l'accès au financement dans le contexte de la crise économique et financière actuelle, adoptée en décembre 2010 (voir IP/10/1636).

EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs goes to Spain to discuss EU development policy

Tomorrow, 03 February, Commissioner Piebalgs will visit Spain to discuss EU development policy. The Commissioner will meet with Soraya Rodrigues Ramos, Secretary of State for International Cooperation to discuss, among other things, the public consultations on the future orientation of the EU development policy (Green Paper) and other recent political events. He will also address the Parliamentary Joint Committee and meet with its President, Miguel Arias Cañete. Commissioner Piebalgs will also host a meeting with representatives of NGOs and other civil society organisations.

Commission clears acquisition of Takko by Apax Partners

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of the whole of Takko of Germany by Apax Partners of the UK. Apax Partners is a private equity fund. Takko is active in the retail of fashion apparel and related accessories. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission clears acquisition of Ashland Distribution by TPG

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of part of Ashland Distribution by TPG, both of the USA. TPG is a holding vehicle for various investment firms. Ashland Distribution is the distribution business of Ashland Inc which is active in the markets related to chemicals, plastics, and composite raw materials. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Industrial producer prices up by 0.8% in euro area

In December 2010 compared with November 2010, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.8% in the euro area (EA16) and by 1.1% in the EU27. In November 2010, prices increased by 0.3% and 0.5% respectively. In December 2010 compared with December 2009, industrial producer prices gained 5.3% in the euro area and 5.9% in the EU27. The average industrial producer price index for 2010, compared with 2009, increased by 2.9% in the euro area and by 3.4% in the EU27. These figures come from Eurostat.

Rediffusion

Vice-President Siim Kallas presents road safety awards

At the Excellence in Road Safety Awards ceremony held today in Brussels, Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport, presented awards to seven organisations which have undertaken specific commitments to reduce the number of road fatalities in their communities. The winners were selected from more than 500 signatories of the Road Safety Charter following an evaluation made by the Commission.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo Questions and Answers on the Communication on Commodity Markets and Raw Materials

Memo on EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) - Frequently Asked Questions

Speech by Vice-President Almunia 'Landesbanken and the EU competition rules', Berlin

Speech by Commissioner Füle “Solidarity with Belarus”, International Donors’ Conference, Warsaw

Memo on Energy policy – key issues for the European Council - rediffusion

Memo on Innovation – key issues for the European Council - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn 'Innovation Union Scoreboard highlights the innovation emergency in Europe', Brussels - rediffusion

Statement by Vice-President Viviane Reding on the European Parliament’s Internal Market committee’s vote on the Consumer Rights Directive - rediffusion

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