EXME 11 / 17.06
Midday Express of 2011-06-17
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
On 19 June, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, will participate in the inaugural ceremony of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in Valetta, Malta. The new Office began some of its activities in November 2010, and as of this Sunday it is now fully operational. The EASO was established with the aim of enhancing practical cooperation on asylum matters, and helping Member States fulfil their European and international obligations to give protection to people in need.
The European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid is one big step closer to reality - its pilot phase was launched in Budapest today, at a conference organised by the European Commission and the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union. Inspired by the vision for the Corps set out in the Treaty of Lisbon, building on a thorough review of existing volunteering schemes, and taking into account stakeholders’ recommendations, the European Commission is now starting the practical implementation of the initiative - by selecting, training and deploying the first team of European humanitarian volunteers.
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda has presented awards to the creators of the best online content, intelligent games, interactive online magazines or websites aimed at under 12 year olds. The Commission, together with Safer Internet Centres from 14 countries, received 780 projects in response to the "Best children's online content" competition, designed to encourage the creation of quality content and to highlight the existing potential for kids online. This first competition was open to young people and adults, NGOs, public and commercial organisations. Three winners in each of the two categories (young people and adults) received the awards. Winners came from Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and Poland.
Le commissaire Karel De Gucht en Tunisie pour discuter des façons d'améliorer les possibilités pour les investisseurs
Lors de sa première visite en Tunisie en tant que Commissaire européen au commerce, Karel De Gucht participe aujourd'hui au forum d'investissement de la Tunisie pour trouver des façons de stimuler l'environnement d'investissement à la suite de la récente révolution. Pendant sa visite, le commissaire rencontrera M. Mehdi Houas, Ministre du Commerce et du Tourisme, et M. Abdelhamid Triki, Ministre de la Planification et de Coopération Internationale, où il aura l'occasion de mettre la lumière sur l'engagement de la Commission dans le processus de transformation démocratique dans la région suite aux visites en Tunisie du Président Barroso, de la Haute-Représentante / Vice Présidente Ashton, et des Commissaires Malmström et Füle.
The European Commission has referred the assessment of the proposed acquisition of Kabel Baden-Württemberg (KBW) by Liberty Global Inc. (LGI) to the German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt) at the latter request. After a preliminary investigation, the Commission found that the proposed transaction may significantly affect competition in the market for the provision of free-TV services to housing associations, where contracts with tenants are negotiated collectively, a big market in Germany.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of sole control of Beckman Coulter by Danaher, two US companies. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the automotive business of Keiper Recaro Group (Keiper), which comprises metal structures and mechanisms for car seats, by Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), a supplier of automotive systems and components. The Commission concluded that the parties will continue to face competition from other suppliers and that car manufacturers have an important role in the selection of suppliers of seat structures and mechanisms for their car models.
In the construction sector, seasonally adjusted production rose by 0.7% in the euro area (EA17), but fell by 0.9% in the EU27 in April 2011, compared with the previous month. In March, production decreased by 0.1% in the euro area and increased by 2.3% in the EU27. Compared with April 2010, output in April 2011 dropped by 2.0% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU27. These first estimates are released by Eurostat.
The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade balance with the rest of the world in April 2011 gave a 4.1 bn euro deficit, compared with -0.7 bn in April 2010. The March 2011 balance was +1.6 bn, compared with +2.7 bn in March 2010. In April 2011 compared with March 2011, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.6% and imports by 1.1%. The first estimate for the April 2011 extra-EU27 trade balance was a 15.9 bn euro deficit, compared with ‑12.0 bn in April 2010. In March 2011 the balance was -10.6 bn, compared with -8.9 bn in March 2010. In April 2011 compared with March 2011, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 0.8% and imports by 0.1%. These data are released by Eurostat.
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