EXME 11 / 05.04
Midday Express of 2011-04-05
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
Commission President Barroso to travel to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, accompanied by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, will travel to South Eastern Europe from 7 to 9 April. He will hold meetings with the leaders of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as civil society representatives, to stress the Commission’s support to the European perspective of the Western Balkans region and to encourage further necessary reforms in the countries concerned to help accelerate their progress on the road towards EU. "The countries of South Eastern Europe belong in the European Union", said President Barroso. "But it is for the leaders and people of the region to determine the pace and the timing of their European future. The progress achieved in recent years in different areas should act as a catalyst for the whole region to move decisively towards the EU. I will encourage the leaders of our partner countries to accelerate their reforms and tackle the outstanding challenges and conditions with renewed vigour. Now is the time to deliver." Commissioner Füle noted: "2011 is a year of opportunities for the enlargement policy and for the whole Western Balkans. A lot can be done if our partners live up to the expectations of their citizens and deliver on reforms. I hear a lot about Enlargement fatigue. For me, it is a myth: like the yeti - often discussed, but never seen. Let us fight this myth together through reforms which deliver benefits to the people. The accession process is not an easy one but a credible one: aspirant members deliver on reforms, and the EU delivers on their progress. Our joint roadmap is very clear. For each country, it is set out in our 2010 Progress Report or Opinion. The Commission is here to guide and help. Our partners can count on us. Together with President Barroso, we will deliver these messages to our partners and the citizens."
In February 2011, compared with January 2011, the volume of retail trade fell by 0.1% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. In January retail trade rose by 0.2% and 0.4% respectively. In February 2011, compared with February 2010, the retail sales index grew by 0.1% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU27. February 2011, compared with January 2011, “Food, drinks and tobacco” remained stable in both the euro area and the EU27. The non food sector decreased by 0.1% and 0.4% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, total retail trade fell in eleven and increased in ten. The largest decreases were observed in Slovenia (-1.3%), France (-1.1%) and Belgium (-0.8%), and the highest increases in Lithuania (+2.2%), Malta (+1.8%) and Estonia (+1.6%). These first estimates come from Eurostat.
Commission clears acquisition by Ageas and Sabanci of joint control over Aksigorta
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Ageas and Sabanci of joint control over Aksigorta of Turkey. Currently Sabanci owns 61.98% of Aksigorta and the remaining shares are traded freely. Aksigorta is active in non-life insurance activities exclusively in Turkey. The Ageas Group is active in the insurance sector in Europe and Asia (excluding Turkey). The Sabanci Group is a Turkish industrial and financial conglomerate active internationally. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission clears acquisition of DANISCO by DUPONT
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company ("DuPont", USA) of Danisco A/S ("Danisco", Denmark). DuPont is active in the research, development, production, distribution, and sales of a variety of chemical products, plastics, agro-chemicals, paints, seeds, and other materials, including those developed through biotechnology. Danisco is active in the research, development, production, distribution, and sales of food ingredients, including enablers, cultures, enzymes and sweeteners, as well as industrial enzymes. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
The European Commission and the US Government, under the framework of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), have agreed on a set of ten fundamental principles for trade in information and communication technology (ICT) services. The EU and the US, in cooperation with other countries, will promote these principles worldwide in order to support the global development of ICT networks & services and allow service providers to compete for contracts with local incumbents on an equal footing. European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht welcomed these principles as an important milestone in implementing the Commission's Future Trade Policy Communication ( MEMO/10/555) and Europe's Digital Agenda (see IP/10/581 , MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).
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