EXME 12 / 02.03
Midday Express of 2012-03-02
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Women across the EU continue to earn an average of 16.4% less than men, according to new figures released by the European Commission on European Equal Pay Day. This is the second Equal Pay Day at European level following its launch by the European Commission on 5 March 2011 (see IP/11/255). The EU-wide event marks the extra number of days that women must work to match the amount of money earned by men. The European Commission wants to raise awareness about this gender pay gap across the EU. This year’s Equal Pay Day focuses in particular on employers and comes ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March.
Merger: Commission clears joint control of Spanish solar thermal power plant by GE and KGAL
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Spanish company Extresol-2 by US company General Electric Company and German company KGAL. Extresol-2 is active in generation and wholesale of electricity primarily in Spain through its solar thermal power plant in Extremadura. GE is a global diversified manufacturing, technology and services company. KGAL is an investment company concentrating in real assets and their structured financing. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
In January 2012, compared with December 2011, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.7% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. In December 2011 prices fell by 0.2% in both zones. In January 2012 compared with January 2011, industrial producer prices gained 3.7% in the euro area and 4.4% in the EU27.
Taxation: Commission presents report on Savings Directive
Today the European Commission adopted a report on the results of the European Savings Taxation Directive, as it is required to do every 3 years. The report, which covers the period 2005-2010, shows that the quality and usability of data which Member States transmit to each other has improved, thanks to common EU rules on automatic exchange of information. It also provides practical suggestions to Member States' tax administrations on how to make the current system even more transparent in the future. This includes, for example, details on how paying agents can complete data in a better way for the purpose of international reporting. The report also notes that loopholes in the current Savings Tax Directive continue to be exploited, for example, by increased use of new tax structures and new financial products designed to avoid tax liability. Such findings confirm the need to extend the scope of the EU Savings Directive and close such loopholes, in line with the Commission's proposal, as soon as possible. The report can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/publications/com_reports/taxation/index_en.htm . Further information on the EU Savings Taxation Directive can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/personal_tax/savings_tax/index_en.htm
CAP: Commission launches a call for tenders for a study on mandatory origin labelling for unprocessed meat
The European Commission has launched a call for tenders for a study on mandatory origin labelling for pig, poultry and sheep and goat meat. Under the new EU rules on the provision of food information to consumers, the indication of country of origin or place of provenance for unprocessed meat of pigs, poultry, sheep and goats will become mandatory from 2014. DG AGRI is therefore commissioning a study is to examine and compare different options for implementing the provisions on origin labelling for unprocessed meat products in these sectors. The study will analyse the feasibility of the different options, and the potential impact on meat producers, the supply chain and trade. The study will also examine consumer perception and attitudes concerning origin labelling of meat products. The deadline for submitting offers is 16 April 2012. Details are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/agriculture/tenderdocs/2012/63845/index_en.htm
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