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Daily News – 12.11.2012

EXME 12 / 12.11

Midday Express of 2012-11-12

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Connecting Europe Facility: Video clip with strong support from business leaders

Less than two weeks ahead of the special European Council of 22-23 November on the future EU budget 2014-2020, business leaders express strong support for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in a video clip, produced by the European Commission. Top-level representatives from Ericsson, RATP, EirGrid, Telekomunikacja Polska, HSBC, Alstom, General Electric, IBM, Airbus ProSky and GDF-Suez as well as the International Energy Agency and the Prime Minister of Estonia leave no doubt about the need for better interconnections in Europe in transport, energy and the internet to enhance Europe's growth and competitiveness, about the need for European action through the CEF and about the strong potential to leverage private finance through this 50 billion initiative. The appeal comes at a time when substantial reductions affecting the CEF are getting more likely in the ongoing negotiations on the future budget. Watch the clip . Read and watch more about the CEF . Besides, more than 1000 people, including more business leaders from the Port of Rotterdam, the Port of Antwerp, ÖBB, Maersk, Ferrovie dello Stato, Pirelli, Volvo, Deutsche Post DHL, Munich Airport etc. have signed already the declaration in support of the Connecting Europe. You can sign it, too, at the following address: . Twitter hashtag #connectingeurope.

EU to invest €81 million to support key reforms in Albania

Albanian citizens are to benefit from the EU's renewed financial support to the country's reform efforts. The funds will be used to address key priorities such as the reform of the judiciary, fight against organised crime, and the reform of the public administration system. They will also help improve Albania's transport infrastructure, modernise water and sanitation systems, and set up a range of services for social inclusiveness.

The European Endowment for Democracy – Support for the unsupported

Today, the European Commission allocated € 6 million to ensure the swift launch of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The allocation will finance the establishment and initial functioning of the Endowment, which was conceived in the framework of the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy. Its aim is to help political parties, non-registered NGOs, trade unions and other social partners in a coherent, concerted effort to promote deep and sustainable democracy as well as respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of part of French insurance company Gan Eurocourtage by rival Helvetia

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by the French subsidiary of the Helvetia insurance group (Switzerland) of marine and transport insurance contracts (excluding aviation and space) and related brokerage businesses, assets and liabilities belonging to the French insurance company Gan Eurocourtage SA. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the notified operation would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Teva's over the counter business by Procter & Gamble

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of over-the-counter (OTC) business of the generic pharmaceutical company Teva of Israel by the US company Procter & Gamble (P&G). The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.

Commission clears acquisition of TPC Group by First Reserve Management and SK Capital Partners

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition by US investment firms First Reserve Management (First Reserve) and SK Capital Partners (SK) of TPC Group. First Reserve is a private equity and infrastructure investment firm specializing in the energy industry, including oilfield services, energy infrastructure and power and energy reserves. SK is a private investment firm with a focus on the specialty materials, chemicals and healthcare sectors. TPC manufactures value added products derived from petrochemical raw materials, such as C4 and C3 hydrocarbons, which are used in the manufacture of performance and specialty chemicals. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Vassiliou and Rifkin to address Jean Monnet conference (13-14 November)

Education and Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and renowned US economist and author Jeremy Rifkin will address the 2012 Jean Monnet Conference, which will focus this year on the role of education and training as a catalyst for sustainable growth. The conference will bring together 450 participants including members of the European Parliament, academics, and journalists. Education and training are at the heart of the political agenda as European Union leaders grapple with the crisis and its consequences for young people who have borne its brunt: unemployment among 15-24-year-olds has increased by 50% since the start of the crisis in 2008 and, today, one in five young Europeans – more than five million – are without a job. The Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and growth has set benchmarks to reduce early school leaving and increase the share of graduates. Educational and training institutions need to increase their impact through the use of new teaching methods which promote open, flexible and innovative ways of learning. They also need to focus more on developing skills which are in demand on the labour market. These are just some of the issues which will be debated at the conference. It will also be an opportunity to discover information about EU grants which will be available in 2013 under the Jean Monnet programme, which aims to encourage excellence in teaching and research in European integration studies at higher education institutions within and outside the European Union. European integration studies focus on the origins and evolution of the European Communities and the European Union. The Jean Monnet Programme funds individuals and projects in 76 countries and more than 800 universities offer Jean Monnet courses as part of their curricula. The Jean Monnet Programme includes a network of 1 700 professors, who teach 265 000 students every year. The 2013 budget for the Jean Monnet programme is € 8 million. (For more details: , Advance registration is required, also for journalists, on the following website: . The password is: npec, Commissioner Vassiliou's website:


EU allocates €63 million to bring Kosovo closer to Europe

The European Commission today announced that it has allocated €63 million to support Kosovo's efforts to implement its EU-reform agenda. The funds will be used for reforms of the justice and public administration systems, to support the readmission and reintegration of refugees and to improve correctional and probation services. It will also help boost private sector development through the modernisation of Kosovo's power supply, its infrastructure, and investment in education and regional development.

High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton makes a number of new appointments in the European External Action Service

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, announced today a number of new appointments within the European External Action Service (EEAS). Catherine Ashton said: "I am delighted to appoint such excellent candidates to some of the key positions in the European External Action Service. Their talent and expertise represent significant assets for the EU's external action and I look forward to working with them in their new roles".

Autre matériel diffusé :

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Mr Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia

Memo "Preparation of Economic and Finance Ministers Council, Brussels, 13 November 2012" - rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President N. Kroes: "Europe Going Digital" - UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 12H30 CET

Speech by Commissioner Karel De Gucht: "Speech on EU-US Trade Relations" – rediffusion