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Daily News – 04.09.2012

EXME 12 / 04.09

Midday Express of 2012-09-04

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Employment: EU Globalisation Fund supported over 21000 workers in 2011

More than 21 000 workers dismissed due to the economic crisis and the effects of globalisation were helped to find new job opportunities by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in 2011, according to a report adopted today by the European Commission. The EU's Globalisation Fund paid out a total of €128 million in 2011 to assist these workers in twelve Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Portugal).

July 2012 compared with June 2012 - Industrial producer prices up by 0.4% in both euro area and EU27

In July 2012, compared with June 2012, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.4% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. In June prices fell by 0.5% and 0.8% respectively. In July 2012 compared with July 2011, industrial producer prices gained 1.8% in the euro area and 1.5% in the EU27.

Using microfinance to help to integrate Roma

Commissioner László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, spoke today at the closing conference of the Kiútprogram "A Way Out - and a Possible Way Forward. Social Microcredit, Financial Inclusion and Self-Employment"; an event organised jointly with the World Bank and the Polgár Foundation. The aim of the conference was to present the pilot Kiútprogram and its social microcredit model which seeks to help Roma people to become self-employed. The Commissioner acknowledged the Kiútprogram's achievements as inspiration for the new Social Fund programming period. He underlined the social profit goal of the programme, and presented the concept of inclusive microcredit. Commissioner László Andor also stressed the importance of an integrated approach for Roma inclusion, which requires coordination between employment policy and other policies such as education, healthcare and housing.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič congratulates organisers of the first European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) to start collecting signatures online

Vice-President Šefčovič has praised members of the Right2Water citizens' committee for being the first to successfully navigate the process of finding a private host provider for their online collection system, and getting it certified by the competent national authority. This means they can now collect signatures online as well as on paper in their drive to collect the necessary 1 million signatures in 12 months required by the ECI legislation. The committee is also making use of the free, open-source software provided by the Commission to do this. The aim of the ECI, in the organisers' words, is to 'invite the European Commission to propose legislation implementing the human right to water and sanitation as recognised by the United Nations, and promoting the provision of water and sanitation as essential public services for all'. Mr Jan Willem Goudriaan, Vice-President of the citizens' committee, said: "Various technical hurdles have been overcome and we hope that other citizens initiatives can profit from our experience to ensure that the ECI is a useful tool for European citizens. We appreciated the assistance of the European Commission and the European Citizens Action Service to find the needed solutions."

Environment: Priorities for innovation in water management

The Steering Group for the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on water meets today to select priorities to boost innovation in water management. The Steering Group, chaired by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, is composed of ministers and high-level representatives from business, the research community, financial institutions and various parts of civil society.  The Group will appoint a Task Force to develop these priorities into a draft Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), which the Steering Group is scheduled to adopt in mid-December. The operational phase of the EIP will start in January 2013. A financial envelope of 40 million euros from the EU's 7th Framework Programme will be made available to support demonstration projects related to the chosen priorities. In addition, networks, open to all interested stakeholders will be set up to work on the activities of the EIP on water. The EIP, announced in May 2012 (see IP/12/470), centres around removing barriers to innovation, connecting the supply and demand sides of innovation in the water sector, helping disseminate proven solutions and bringing innovations faster to the market. More information and conclusions of the meeting will be available on the EIP on Water website:

Commission clears acquisition of ZDB Drátovna by Třinecké Železárny

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of the wire mill business of the ZDB Group (Czech Republic) by Třinecké Železárny (Czech Republic). Třinecké Železárny is active in the production of various steel products, including wire rod and other hot-rolled long steel products, semi-finished products, hot-rolled universal wide steel, seamless tubes and drawn and peeled steel (e.g. cold-drawn wire and peeled steelbars). The ZDB Group is active in the production and distribution of cold drawn wires and products made of cold drawn wires. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission approves the acquisition of DEP by LBEIP and IRIDIUM

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by LBEIP (belonging to the Lloyds Group) and IRIDIUM (belonging to the Spanish construction group ACS) of joint control over Desarrollo de Equipamientos Públicos (DEP), a company currently wholly owned and controlled by IRIDIUM, active in the development, management and maintenance of all types of government concessions involving transport and public infrastructure works. DEP is a transit transportation hub concession management company. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission approves the creation of a JV between Al Safi Danone and NDL International

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Al Safi Danone (Saudi Arabia), ultimately controlled Danone SA (France), and NDL International, a wholly owned company of Norbert Dentressangle SA (France), of joint control over ND Logistics LLC (Saudi Arabia). Al Safi Danone produces and distributes fresh dairy products, juices, desserts, and milk in the Middle East. NDL International is a provider of logistics services. The new joint will provide logistics services and wholesale of food exclusively in the Middle East and has no actual or foreseen activities in the EEA. The operation was therefore examined under the simplified merger review procedure.


EU Civil Protection Mechanism supports Portugal to fight forest fires

The European Commission is supporting the efforts to tackle the serious forest fires in Portugal. The authorities in Lisbon requested assistance and Spain made an offer for two Canadair fire-fighting aeroplanes through the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism. The Commission has also agreed to the immediate deployment of two EU-funded fire-fighting aircraft from France.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Volvo Aero by rival GKN

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Volvo Aero of Sweden by GKN of the UK. The Commission's investigation focussed on the overlaps between the parties' activities in the production of certain aircraft engine components. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction would not significantly reduce the supply options available to customers of these components.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo "Employment: 2011 report on European Globalisation Adjustment Fund - frequently asked questions"

Memo "Joint statement by High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle, on EU-Georgia relations and the upcoming elections" - rediffusion

Memo "Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland on the Road Map for Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU membership application and the execution of the European Court of Human Rights’ "Sejdić and Finci"- judgment" - rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President Rehn at the ECON Committee of the European Parliament: "Towards a genuine economic and monetary union" - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner L. Andor: "Using microfinance to help to integrate Roma"