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Daily News – 07.07.2009

EXME09 / 07.07

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

07 / 07 / 09

The European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan today signed an aviation agreement which will give all European airlines the possibility to fly between any EU Member State and Azerbaijan. The Agreement will be the basis to further strengthen aviation relations between the partners.

La Commission a aujourd'hui dévoilé les grandes lignes d'un système communautaire de classification des réclamations des consommateurs et de communication de données y afférentes, et soumis ce projet à une consultation publique. Le nombre de réclamations déposées par les consommateurs est un indicateur clé du fonctionnement d'un marché. Près de la moitié des consommateurs européens mécontents du traitement de leur réclamation initiale par le commerçant concerné se tourne vers une partie tierce comme une association de consommateurs ou un organisme de régulation pour trouver de l'aide. Il existe en Europe quelque 700 organisations traitant des réclamations, et la plupart utilisent leur propre système de classification; il est donc très difficile d'avoir une vue d'ensemble, même au niveau national. L'idée qui sous-tend le projet proposé aujourd'hui est que les organisations de l'Union qui recueillent les réclamations des consommateurs utilisent une méthode de classification comparable et qu'elles communiquent les données ainsi collectées à la Commission. L'analyse de données à l'échelle de l'UE est un excellent moyen de contribuer à l'évaluation des performances des différents secteurs et des marchés nationaux du point de vue des consommateurs, qui permettrait également aux autorités nationales et européennes de détecter plus rapidement et plus efficacement les marchés sur lesquels les consommateurs subissent des préjudices. Après avoir collecté et analysé les réponses à la consultation, la Commission formulera une recommandation portant sur la version finale de la méthode. Cette méthode de classification des réclamations sera utilisée par les organisations sur une base volontaire.

La Commission européenne a alloué une enveloppe supplémentaire de 2 millions € pour venir en aide aux personnes déplacées à l'intérieur du pays, aux réfugiés de retour sur leur lieu d’origine et aux populations locales touchées par le conflit en Géorgie qui sont toujours tributaires de l'aide dispensée par le gouvernement et la communauté internationale pour satisfaire leurs besoins essentiels.

The European Commission has approved, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a French measure allowing federal and local authorities to participate in risk-capital investment structures, in order to facilitate SMEs' access to risk capital. The measure is in line with the Commission's risk capital guidelines and Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (see IP/08/1993). In particular, the scheme respects the thresholds for investment tranches and private participation and is limited in time until 31 December 2010.

  • Commission clears acquisition of pharmexx by Celesio

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of pharmexx GmbH of Germany by Celesio AG, also of Germany. Celesio is active in the wholesale and retail sale of pharmaceuticals, logistics, distribution and other services to pharmaceutical companies. pharmexx provides temporary employment services, project based marketing and sales services and corresponding software solutions to pharmaceutical companies. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

  • State aid: Commission approves prolongation and amendments of Dutch guarantee scheme for credit institutions

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, the prolongation until 31 December 2009 of the Dutch guarantee scheme for credit institutions, including a number of amendments to the scheme. The most important amendment was the extension of the maximum maturity of a guarantee to 5 years (vs. 3 years previously) which was already included in schemes of other Member States. The Commission found the prolongation of the measures, initially approved on 30 October 2008 (see IP/08/1610) until 30 June 2009, and the amendments to be in line with its Communication on state aid for financial institutions in the context of the current global financial crisis (see IP/08/1495). In particular, the extended measure is justified by the exceptional circumstances still persisting on the capital markets – banks still face serious difficulties to raise medium and long term funding - and is limited to the minimum amount and time period necessary. The Commission has therefore concluded that the measure represents an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Dutch economy and is as such compatible with Article 87.3.b of the EC Treaty.

Rediffusion

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the USP Group, a private network of medical assistance services mostly active in Spain, by Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), both retail and investment banks. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo on Informal Employment and Social Affairs Council, 8 9 July 2009, Jönköping (Sweden)

• Statement of President Barroso in advance of the G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Brussels

• Speech by Commissioner Dimas 'Climate Change in times of economic crisis - the path to a successful climate conference in Copenhagen', Berlin