EXME 11 / 10.03
Midday Express of 2011-03-10
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of competition policy, and Igor Artemyev, Head of the Russian Anti Monopoly Service (FAS), sign today in Brussels a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation between the competition authorities of the EU and Russia. The Memorandum of Understanding provides a framework for administrative cooperation, dialogue and exchanges between the Commission's competition department and Russia's competition authority.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Cardo AB by Assa Abloy AB. Cardo and Assa Abloy are Swedish companies supplying automated doors and related after-sales services. 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.
Conference on "Statistics for policymaking: Europe 2020"
The Eurostat conference is taking place on 10 & 11 March 2011, in Charlemagne Building, 170, rue de la Loi – Brussels. It will focus on the role of statistics in policymaking, using the Europe 2020 strategy as a case in point. More than 380 people are participating. You can find the updated program as well as abstracts from most of the speeches under this link: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/statistics_policymaking_europe_2020/introduction .During the fist day the conference focuses on statistics and their use for policy making in Europe; plenary session on Europe 2020 statistics for the next decade and three sessions on statistics for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Results of the sessions are presented on the second day morning, followed by a roundtable discussion. Commissioner Rehn and Director General of Eurostat, Mr Walter Redermacher are presenting conclusions at 12h00. A webstreaming of the event (for the plenary session of 10 March only) is foreseen. The link to follow this event is: http://scic.ec.europa.eu/str/index.php?sessionno=4ae67a7dd7e491f8fb6f9ea0cf25dfdb
Report on the European Energy Community calls for reforms to boost investments
Today, the European Commission published a report on the achievements and future challenges of the European Energy Community. The report calls for a radical change of attitude to bring about market reforms in the Energy Community countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. These reforms are needed to allow free competition and attract investments in ageing electricity networks and gas pipelines. The Energy Community is an international organisation that aims at creating an integrated energy market across the region of its parties. In addition to the European Union, participating countries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro Serbia, and Ukraine. Georgia, Norway and Turkey have the status of observers. The Energy Community faces paramount investment challenges. In the coming years a number of existing power plants will require replacement or rehabilitation, electricity networks and gas infrastructures need modernisation and further development. Strong energy regulatory authorities are needed, with enough powers, resources and independence to ensure non-discrimination, effective competition and efficient operation of the energy market. Energy efficiency and environmental standards have to be fully applied. So far unexploited renewable energy potential should be put in use.
Further information and the full report on the following website: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/gas_electricity/community/community_en.htm
CAP: Commission launches a call for tenders for an evaluation of the Common Agricultural Policy measures applied to the wine sector
The aim of this retrospective evaluation is to assess the impacts of the CAP measures applied to the wine sector since the 2008 reform. The evaluation will analyse the impacts of the measures (market measures and direct payments) on wine growers, wine producers and wine products. The efficiency and the coherence of the measures with the overall concept and principles of the 2003 CAP reform and with the rural development measures will also be examined. The maximum budget attributed to this project is € 660 000. The deadline for the submission of offers is 2 May 2011. The Commission intends to award the contract in the third quarter of 2011, following the evaluation of the offers received. The contractor will have to carry out the study within 11 months from the signature of the contract. Details are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/agriculture/tenderdocs/2011/74477/index_en.htm
European Forum recommends best practices for related party transactions
The European Corporate Governance Forum, whose role is to advise the Commission in the field of corporate governance, has recommended guidelines for related party transactions of listed companies, which could be introduced across Europe. The Commission intends to consult on related party transactions in its upcoming Green Paper on the Corporate Governance Framework due for spring 2011. The Forum advocates to inform shareholders of related party transactions and, in certain instances, seek their authorisation. For example, the Forum recommends: 1) Public disclosure of related party transactions representing between 1 and 5% of assets; 2) Shareholder vote on transactions representing more than 5% of assets or which have a significant impact on profits or turnover. The text of the Forum's statement is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/company/docs/ecgforum/ecgf_related_party_transactions_en.pdf
Addressing the orphan works challenge
European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes today outlined her vision for massively increasing the number European art and other creative works online, at the IFFRO intellectual property conference in Brussels. “Europe can offer much more to the cyber-world: by digitising and putting online our rich cultural heritage,” Kroes said. However, from 20% of films to 90% of photographs, massive numbers of European creative works are missing from online collections because they are so-called “orphan works.” Currently, it is very hard to know who owns the rights to these "orphan works", and the subsequent threat of lawsuits keeps these works from public eyes. To counter this Kroes is pushing for a Commission-backed project called “ ARROW ” to become Europe’s official portal for “essential rights information.” “I have a vision: One search in ARROW should be all you should need to determine the copyright status of a cultural good in Europe.” “ARROW should become a one-stop shop for determining, easily and quickly, with full legal certainty, whether a work is orphan or not, out-of-distribution or not.” SPEECH/11/163
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