EXME 10 / 11.11
Midday Express of 2010-11-11
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
The European Commission has adopted its fishing opportunities proposal for 2011 setting levels of total allowable catch (TAC) and fishing effort for the Atlantic, the North Sea, and international waters regulated by a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. The proposal is based on scientific advice about the quantities of fish that can be caught sustainably. The Commission has discussed working methods with Member States and stakeholders and has taken into account their advice, while being consistent with the objective of achieving maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by 2015.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the successor to the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme 2007-2013 (CIP). The CIP is the main EU budgetary instrument targeting competitiveness outside the research and skills areas. Its main priorities are SMEs, access to finance, innovation (including eco-innovation), take-up and use of information and communication technologies (ICT), energy efficiency and renewables. Through the consultation, the public is invited to have its say on what the priorities of future competitiveness and innovation EU funding should be. The consultation will remain open until 4 February 2011.
A new Eurobarometer survey on life sciences and biotechnology shows that Europeans are optimistic about biotechnology. 53% of respondents believe biotechnology will have a positive effect in the future, and only 20% a negative effect. The survey also reveals important knowledge gaps, pointing to a need for more communication: a majority of respondents had never heard of some of the areas covered by the survey, such as nanotechnology (55% unaware), biobanks (67% unaware) and synthetic biology (83% unaware) while scepticism and concern persist in some areas such as genetically modified foods. The Eurobarometer, carried out in February 2010, is the seventh in a series since 1991 and is based on representative samples from 32 European countries.
The European Commission has approved under the Merger Regulation the acquisition of the retail bank Cassa di Risparmio della Spezia SpA of Italy and a number of other retail bank branches of Intesa San Paolo in Italy by Crédit Agricole of France. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it. As a result, the Commission concluded that there was no need for the matter to be examined by the Italian competition authority, which had asked for a referral of the case.
Commission clears acquisition by Investor of a sole controlling stake in Mölnlycke
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Investor of a sole controlling stake in Mölnlycke. Mölnlycke, previously jointly controlled by Investor and Morgan Stanley, is a Swedish manufacturer and supplier of single-use surgical and wound care products, primarily for the professional healthcare sector. Investor is a Swedish industrial holding company active in the following business areas: core investments (shareholdings in listed companies), operating investments (notably in Aleris, a private healthcare company and in Mölnlycke), private equity investments and financial investments. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commissioner Piebalgs goes to Lithuania to promote EU development policy
Tomorrow, on 12 November, Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, will visit Lithuania. He will meet President Dalia GRYBAUSKAITĖ, Prime Minister Andrius KUBILIUS and Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius AŽUBALIS. Commissioner will also hold a discussion with members of Parliament and representatives of civil society. He will also participate in a conference "Road to Successful Transition in Afghanistan, Province by Province". During his visit, the Commissioner will attend two press conferences: with Minister for Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis (9.45) and Prime Minister Andrius KUBILIUS (13.45)
Adoption of a draft agreement between the EU and Switzerland on the protection of Geographical Indications
After the conclusion of the negotiations in December 2009 (see IP/09/1953), the European Commission has now adopted a draft decision on an EU-Switzerland bilateral agreement for the protection of their respective Geographical Indications (GIs) for agricultural products and foodstuffs. It now passes to the Council and European Parliament for approval. After finalisation of the preliminary procedures, the agreement will protect the GIs of each of the two parties on the territory of the other. The draft agreement covers the GI's registered before 15 September 2009 - approximately 800 GIs registered in the EU and 20 or so GIs registered in Switzerland. This will ensure that the entire range of Geographical Indications is protected, as the agricultural trade agreement between the EU and Switzerland, in force since 1 June 2002, already covers the protection of wines and spirit drinks. The agreement also introduces a mechanism for updates and makes provision for regular consultations which will be of particular use when it comes to integrating new Geographical Indications.
Commissioner Vassiliou visits Premier League education and social projects in London
In London tomorrow, Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for sport, will visit educational and social projects which use football to reach out to children and disadvantaged young people. The Commissioner kicks-off her programme at Arsenal Football Club, where she will show her support for the 'Double Club' project, which encourages boys and girls to learn languages in parallel with football coaching. She will also see an example of one of the Premier League's 'Kickz' projects, which aim to break down barriers between young people and the police, as well as the 'StreetLeague' scheme, which tackles homelessness, drug addiction, crime and unemployment. The Commissioner has been invited to see the projects by Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the English Premier League and Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal's CEO. Commissioner Vassiliou will take part in a press point at Elthorne Park in Islington (11:45) with Mr Gazidis and Inspector Marc Davis, who is responsible for the Metropolitan Police's input in the Kickz scheme. In the coming weeks, the Commission will publish a sport strategy paper entitled 'The Lisbon Treaty and sport - developing a European dimension in sport'. On 11 November Commissioner Vassiliou will present the EU's Youth on the Move flagship initiative to the House of Lords and give a lecture at the Hellenic Centre on the role of education in today's knowledge-based society. Premier League Kickz project: http://www.premierleague.com/page/Kickz Arsenal Double Club: http://www.arsenal.com/doubleclub StreetLeague: http://www.streetleague.co.uk Youth on the Move: IP/10/1124 Commissioner Vassiliou's website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/vassiliou/index_en.htm
Net neutrality – the way forward – EMBARGO 16h00 CET
European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes will today tell a joint Commission - Parliament summit on 'Net Neutrality' that a combination of competition and regulatory vigilance is the best way to protect the open internet. The European market is more competitive than that in the US, there are many competitive internet offers and switching is easier. Kroes will point out that "A healthy competitive environment allows tackling many potential problems at the roots, avoiding the emergence of monopolistic gatekeepers which could create serious dangers for net neutrality." But for competition to work in Europe transparency is essential for consumers to make informed decisions. The 2009 telecoms regulatory package, due to be applied from May 2011, offers strong tools in terms of transparency, quality of service, switching and the ability of users to access and distribute the services they want, and the Commission will be vigilant in ensuring the rules are applied properly in practice. Vice-President Kroes will have strong advice for those who are suffering service difficulties: "consumers should not underestimate their own power in shaping this situation... I say to those people who are currently cut off from Skype: vote with your feet and leave your mobile provider." see SPEECH/10/643
Commission appoints new DDG for DG ECFIN
The Commission has decided to appoint Mr Servaas Deroose as Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs. Mr Deroose, a Belgian national with a degree in economics from the University of Ghent, will take up his post on 16 November. Prior to this new position, Mr Deroose was Director for the 'Macroeconomy of the euro area' from December 2002. He has been a member of the Economic and Financial Committee since 2005 and is currently the Commission's mission chief for Greece's economic adjustment programme. In his new capacity he will co-ordinate DG ECFIN's work on EU economic governance, integrated macroeconomic surveillance, the Europe 2020 strategy, competitiveness and fiscal policy.
Le cinquième rapport de la Commission sur la cohésion économique, sociale et territoriale, qui est publié aujourd’hui, montre que la politique de cohésion de l’UE a largement contribué à la croissance et à la prospérité, ainsi qu’à la promotion d’un développement équilibré dans toute l’Union. Néanmoins, au vu des profondes évolutions économiques et sociales intervenues ces dernières années, cette politique doit maintenant s’attaquer à de nouveaux défis. Dans le cadre plus large du réexamen du budget de l’Union, le rapport souligne que les futurs investissements au titre de la politique de cohésion devront être étroitement alignés sur les objectifs de la stratégie Europe 2020. Il propose également d’introduire des conditions plus strictes et des mesures incitant à l’utilisation efficace des fonds consacrés à la politique de cohésion et de mettre davantage l’accent sur les résultats.
Today, the High Level Group of the European Parliament and the European Commission concluded its discussions on a joint "Transparency Register". It reached consensus on a draft inter-institutional agreement for a common register for organisations and individuals engaged in EU policy making and policy implementation. The agreement is now subject to formal adoption by both institutions.
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