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Daily News – 11.03.2011

EXME 11 / 11.03

Midday Express of 2011-03-11

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

Consumer policy: Scoreboard shows recovery in consumer conditions, finds cross-border shopping trusted more once tried

The spring Consumer Scoreboard published today by the European Commission shows a clear recovery in consumer conditions in nearly all EU countries after the steep decline in 2009. The annual index of consumer conditions is measured e.g. by consumer trust in authorities, NGOs and retailers and the effectiveness of handling disputes. The Scoreboard also confirms a growing gap between domestic and cross-border e-commerce, despite a clear potential of cross-border purchases in terms of choice and savings. But the study suggests that consumers are much more confident in cross-border shopping once they have tried it. There are important obstacles to cross-border e-commerce on the supply side, with fewer retailers selling across national borders compared with 2009 (see also MEMO/11/154 for details).

Commissioner Georgieva visits refugee camps in Thailand to address evolving needs of refugees from Myanmar

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation and Crisis Response, will arrive in Thailand on Saturday. She will visit camps hosting refugees from Myanmar and will discuss with the Royal Thai Government the concrete measures to build a sustainable future for the refugees.

12 nominees compete to be Europe's most entrepreneurial region

This year's European Enterprise Awards' nominees help people create businesses whether they are young or over 50, urban or rural, local or export oriented. Many of them have managed to drive social change through entrepreneurship by giving opportunities to disadvantaged groups such as immigrants, the disabled and even unskilled problem youth. The awards aim to recognise and reward the best entrepreneurial initiatives by public authorities at national, regional and local level to make Europe more entrepreneurial and business-friendly. The winners of this year’s competition will be announced on 24 May 2011 at the 5th EEA award ceremony co-hosted by the Hungarian Presidency in the prestigious National Gallery in Budapest.

Antitrust: Commission welcomes steps taken by collective rights management bodies in Hungary and Romania to improve competition

The European Commission has closed a preliminary investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices by SCAPR, the international association of national performers' collective management organisations, and the national collective rights management organisations EJI (Hungary) and CREDIDAM (Romania). The Commission had concerns that these organisations may have implemented a restrictive membership policy, in violation of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which prohibits restrictive business practices. The Commission welcomes the steps taken by these organisations to amend their practices.

State aid: Commission consults on new State aid Guidelines in the context of the EU Emission Trading Scheme as of 2013

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to prepare Guidelines on how Member States can support sectors exposed to certain additional costs in the context of the 2013 EU Emission Trading System (ETS-3). The EU ETS was introduced in 2005 to promote the reduction of CO2 emissions and prevent climate change. For the 3rd trading period 2013-2020, the amended ETS Directive 2009/29/EC foresees that Member States may grant state aid in favour of sectors exposed to a significant risk of "carbon leakage". "Carbon leakage" is the result of the increase in the CO2 component of electricity prices (indirect emission costs) which firms may not be able to pass on or to bear. It occurs when global greenhouse gas emissions increase because companies, that cannot pass on to their customers this increased electricity costs generated by the CO2 costs, move their production outside the EU to countries where no CO2 constraints exist and reduce their EU-based share in world production. State aid for indirect emission would thus aim at mitigating this potential perverse effect of the ETS system. The deadline for replies is 11 May 2011. The public consultation and questionnaire are available under the following link:

Commission clears the Meridian Port Services joint venture between APMT and Bolloré

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the Meridian Port Services (MPS) container port terminal joint venture between APM Terminals B.V. (AMPT), a subsidiary of A.P. Møller- Mærsk, and the Bolloré group of France. Both groups are active in the provision of services related to shipping and port terminals. MPS operates a shipping container terminal at the Ghanaian port of Tema. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission clears acquisition by Rosneft and BP of ROG's industrial solvents business

The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint-control by Rosneft Oil Company of Russia and BP p.l.c. of the United Kingdom, over industrial solvents business of Ruhr Oel GmbH of Germany. Rosneft is active in exploration and production of oil and gas, production of petroleum products and petrochemicals, and the marketing of outputs in Russia and abroad. BP is active in exploration, development and production of oil and gas; refining, manufacturing and marketing of oil products and petrochemicals and the development of renewable energies. ROG is a holding company of a refinery system active in the processing of crude oil and provision of utilities and industrial services, and via a wholly-owned subsidiary, in the production and distribution of industrial solvents. The transaction was examined by the Commission under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission grants UK additional time to comply with EU air quality standards in Greater London

The European Commission today granted the United Kingdom a temporary and conditional exemption in the Greater London Urban Area from the EU's air quality standards for airborne particles known as PM10. Under the 2008 EU Air Quality Directive Member States may, under strict conditions and for specific parts of the country, extend the time for meeting the PM10 standards until 11 June 2011. The Commission decision approves the time extension on the condition that the United Kingdom adapts its air quality plan for this zone. The Commission rejected a second request from the UK for additional time to comply with the legislation in Gibraltar on the grounds that it was no longer necessary, as compliance with the limit values has already been reached.

Monthly Labour Market Fact Sheet - March 2011

Unemployment in the EU fell slightly in January, while the labour market continues to show consistent signs of recovery in some EU countries, according to the latest Monthly Labour Market Fact Sheet released by the European Commission. Nonetheless, despite the slow economic recovery, conditions are generally likely to remain weak for some time. The unemployment rate at EU level, after remaining remarkably static at 9.6% from February to December 2010, fell by 0.1 percentage points (pps) for the first time since the onset of the crisis, while the decline in employment has stopped as of the second quarter last year. The labour market situation for young people in the EU remains depressed and continues to show worrying developments in some Member States. However, the youth unemployment rate did not rise further after November 2010 and edged down by 0.1 pps in January of this year, as compared to the previous month, to 20.6 %. There are five Member States where the youth unemployment rate surpasses the 30% level (ES, LV, LT, HU, SK) and three where it hovers below 10 per cent (DE, AT, NL). Online demand for workers remained robust in February and the temporary job market continues to expand, along with reduced restructuring activity. While in the current economic context employment and unemployment expectations are broadly stable, prospects across sectors and EU countries remain somewhat varied. Overall, the improvement in the labour market is likely to remain patchy at best, unless job creation becomes a real priority and governments use the available instruments more robustly for this purpose. The fact sheet can be found at:

Suivi mensuel du marché du travail - mars 2011

Le chômage dans l'UE s'est légèrement replié en janvier, tandis que le marché de l'emploi continue de montrer des signes tangibles de reprise dans certains Etats membres, d'après le Bulletin de suivi mensuel du marché du travail diffusé par la Commission européenne. En dépit d'une lente reprise économique, les conditions devraient cependant demeurer faibles pour quelque temps. Le taux de chômage au niveau de l'UE, après avoir été remarquablement stable à 9,6% de février à décembre 2010, a perdu 0.1 point de pourcentage (pp) pour la première fois depuis le début de la crise, tandis que le recul de l'emploi a été endigué dès le second trimestre de l'année dernière. La situation des jeunes sur le marché de l'emploi dans l'UE est quant à elle toujours déprimée et montre encore des évolutions inquiétantes dans certains Etats membres. Le taux de chômage des jeunes n'a cependant plus augmenté depuis novembre 2010 et s'est même replié de 0.1 pp en janvier de cette année, par comparaison au mois précédent, à 20,6%. Cinq Etats membres affichent un taux de chômage supérieur à 30% (Espagne, Lettonie, Lituanie, Hongrie et Slovaquie), trois un taux inférieur à la barre des 10% (Allemagne, Autriche, Pays-Bas). Les offres d'emploi en ligne sont robustes et le marché de l'emploi temporaire poursuit son expansion, alors que les annonces de pertes d'emplois dues aux restructurations marquent le pas. Bien que, dans le contexte économique actuel, les attentes en matière d'emploi et de chômage sont généralement stables, les perspectives varient quelque peu d'un Etat membre et d'un secteur à l'autre. D'une manière générale, l'amélioration du marché de l'emploi s'annonce au mieux inégale, à moins que la création d'emplois devienne prioritaire et que les gouvernements fassent usage de tous les instruments à leur disposition pour atteindre cet objectif. Le bulletin est disponible via le lien suivant:

Monatlicher Arbeitsmarkt-Leitfaden - März 2011

Dem jüngsten monatlichen Leitfaden der EU-Kommission zufolge ist die Arbeitslosigkeit in der EU im Januar leicht zurück gegangen, es gibt weiterhin sichtbare Zeichen einer Erholung in einigen Mitgliedstaaten. Dennoch werden die Bedingungen trotz der allmählichen wirtschaftlichen Erholung noch für eine Weile schwierig bleiben. Zum ersten Mal seit Beginn der Krise ist die Arbeitslosenquote auf EU-Ebene um 0,1 Prozentpunkte gesunken, nachdem sie von Februar bis Dezember 2010 bemerkenswert statisch auf einem Niveau von 9,6 Prozent verharrte. Der Rückgang der Beschäftigung in der EU ist bereits seit dem zweiten Quartal des letzten Jahres gestoppt. Die Arbeitsmarktsituation für junge Leute bleibt äußerst schwierig, und auch ihre Entwicklung gibt immer noch Anlass zur Besorgnis in einigen Mitgliedstaaten. Trotzdem: Die Jugend-Arbeitslosenquote ist nach November 2010 nicht weiter gestiegen, im Januar 2011 im Vergleich zum Vormonat sogar leicht um 0,1 Prozentpunkte auf 20,6 Prozent gesunken. In fünf Mitgliedstaaten übersteigt die Jugend-Arbeitslosenquote die 30-Prozent-Marke (Spanien, Litauen, Lettland, Slowakei, Ungarn); in drei Mitgliedstaaten liegt sie unter 10 Prozent (Deutschland, Österreich, Niederlande). Die Online-Nachfrage nach Arbeitskräften blieb im Februar robust, der Markt für zeitlich befristetes Personal wächst weiter, Restrukturierungsmaßnahmen nehmen ab. Im gegenwärtigen wirtschaftlichen Kontext bleiben die Erwartungen hinsichtlich Beschäftigung und Arbeitslosigkeit stabil, die weiteren Aussichten bleiben in den EU-Ländern und Wirtschaftszweigen eher gemischt. Insgesamt wird erwartet, dass die Verbesserungen auf den Arbeitsmärkten bestenfalls uneinheitlich bleiben, wenn die Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen nicht wirklich zur Prorität wird und sich die Regierungen die hierfür zur Verfügung stehenden Instrumente nicht konsequent zu Nutze machen. Der Leitfaden kann hier heruntergeladen werden:


Vassiliou hosts Cypriot reception for Nobel Prize winner Pissarides

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, hosted a Cypriot reception in honour of Professor Christopher Pissarides, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on labour-marked policy and combating unemployment. Pissarides, who was joined at the event by Cypriot officials of the European Commission and media representatives, was in Brussels to address a conference on the future of European labour markets and a seminar on employment policies in times of crisis. During his visit, he also took part in a working dinner with Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Commissioner Vassiliou, Commissioner Olli Rehn (Economic and Monetary Affairs) and László Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion).

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo Consumers at Home in the Single Market? Questions and Answers on the 5th Consumer Scoreboard

Memo European Enterprise Awards 2011 shortlist

Memo Climate action: European businesses show big appetite for investing in low carbon technologies

Speech by Commissioner Andor ' Opening speech of the Conference on the future of European Labour Markets', Brussels

Joint statement of Vice-President Viviane Reding and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on the Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism – rediffusion

Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on Morocco's future constitutional reform – rediffusion

Calendrier hebdomadaire du 14 au 20 mars

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