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Daily News – 12.11.2009

EXME09 / 12.11


News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

12 / 11 / 09

Representatives of civil society organisations from all Member States gather today and tomorrow in Brussels to discuss future priorities for the integration of immigrants in the European Union. They will meet the European institutions to express their views on common policies and funding to promote integration of third-country nationals in Member States. This is the second meeting of the European Integration Forum, convened twice a year by the Commission together with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

The Kimberley Process Plenary meeting was held in Swakopmund (Namibia) from 2 to 5 November 2009 and adopted important decisions to enhance the international fight against conflict diamonds. The participants of the Kimberley Process notably reviewed the situation in the Marange diamond mining area of Zimbabwe, in light of non-compliance with the requirements of the Kimberley Process and reports of violence and human rights violations. A work plan was agreed with Zimbabwe providing for necessary actions to bring diamond mining in Marange into compliance with the Kimberley Process. The implementation of the work plan will be closely monitored, and exports of Marange diamonds will be subject to prior verification of compliance. In addition, the Kimberley Process Plenary adopted key decisions concerning the cooperation on enforcement of the rules, and decided to pursue monitoring of ‘conflict diamonds’ from Côte d’Ivoire in light of UNSC resolution 1893 (2009).

The "Manifesto for Creativity and Innovation in Europe" is one of the key outcomes of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. The document is the result of a collective work of the Ambassadors of the Year, who are leading European personalities from the fields of culture, science, business, education and design. With its 'Seven Commandments', the Manifesto will help shape the EU's strategy for promoting creativity and innovation for the next decade. The Ambassadors are handing the Manifesto over to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso today at midday at a ceremony in the Commission's press room.

In September 2009 compared with August 2009, seasonally adjusted industrial production grew by 0.3% in the euro area (EA16) and by 0.2% in the EU27. In August production increased by 1.2% and 0.8% respectively. In September 2009 compared with September 2008, industrial production declined by 12.9% in the euro area and by 12.1% in the EU27. These estimates are released by Eurostat.

  • Commission lowers maximum residue levels for 11 pesticides to address safety concerns

The European Commission decided today to reduce the permitted maximum residue levels (MRLs) of eleven pesticide active substances because of safety concerns. New information on toxicology, consumer exposure and the expected pesticide residues indicated that the existing MRLs for these substances might no longer be safe for all EU consumer groups. At the request of the Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the safety of these MRLs taking into account the latest available information. For several of them, EFSA concluded that there is a risk that acceptable intake levels may be exceeded for one or more consumer groups, such as children. EFSA forwarded its opinions to the Commission and published them on the EFSA website. Based on EFSA's findings, the Commission decided to lower the MRLs for all pesticide crop combinations for which a potential risk was established. These are, for example, dimethoate on cherries (from 1 to 0,2 mg/kg) and fenamiphos on carrots (from 0,5 to 0,05 mg/kg). The adopted MRL regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. More information can be found at:

  • Commission clears proposed joint venture between GDA, FSA and Mitsui

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed joint venture between Guangdong Dongyangguang Aluminum Co., Ltd. (GDA) of China, Furukawa-Sky Aluminium Corp (FSA) of Japan and Mitsui & Co Ltd (Mitsui), also of Japan. GDA is active in aluminium refining and the manufacture and sale of flat rolled aluminium products and aluminium foil. FSA manufactures and sells flat rolled aluminium products, extruded aluminium products and cast and forged aluminium products. Mitsui is a trading house engaged in a number of worldwide commodity and other businesses, including the sale and purchase of various flat rolled and cast aluminium products. The joint venture will manufacture aluminium foil. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

  • ICCAT: a step forward in the conservation of Mediterranean swordfish

Today, at the 2009 Regular Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) currently taking place in Brazil, the EU will present a new proposal which would lead to substantial progress in the conservation and management of swordfish in the Mediterranean. While maintaining the practice of closing the fishery for two consecutive months (October and November), the EU has proposed to give this closure more clout by introducing some additional management measures. The closure periods decided in the past (one month in 2007 and two months in 2008) have indeed an inherent flaw, as by-catch of swordfish by vessels fishing other species during the swordfish closure period have not been forbidden. This would change under the EU proposal and immediately lead to better protection for juvenile swordfish . Furthermore, the EU proposal contains concrete measures to improve knowledge of the fisheries and of its characteristics through the systematic collection of better types of data. These would, in turn be analysed by ICCAT's scientists in the course of 2010 in order to come up with an updated evaluation of the status of the stock and with more solid scientific advice on additional management measures. The European Commission strongly hopes that its proposal to strengthen the conservation of swordfish will meet ICCAT's approval and thus enable the international community to better protect one of the most vulnerable and symbolic species in the Mediterranean. This is a necessary step in view of the adoption of a comprehensive long-term management plan, as formally requested by the UE for the end of 2010. The catching of swordfish dates back to ancient times. However, swordfish has recently been subject to high mortality, due to either direct commercial fishing or to incidental catches in other fishing operations. This has given rise to increasing international concern. The proposal presented this week addresses concerns expressed by ICCAT members and by numerous environmental organisations, as well as by the European fishing sector itself. It represents significant progress from last year’s rules and shows that the EU is committed to ensuring that conservation measures for Mediterranean swordfish be improved.

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo on The European Year Creativity and Innovation 2009

• Memo on State aid: Overview of national measures adopted as a response to the financial/economic crisis

• Speech by President Barroso 'Assessing the Results of the October European Council', European Parliament, Brussels

• Speech by Commissioner Reding 'A European Digital Agenda for the New Digital Consumer', Brussels

A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration:

Normeston/MOL/MET JV

Vitol Holding/ Petroplus Refining Antwerp/Petroplus Refining Antwerp Bitumen