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Daily News – 17.12.2010

Midday Express of 2010-12-17

European Commission - 17/12/2010

EXME 10 / 17.12

Midday Express of 2010-12-17

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

The Commission paves the way for increased transparency and parliamentary scrutiny of Europol

The European Commission adopted today a Communication which paves the way for a more robust parliamentary control system of Europol's activities. The communication supports the idea of creating a joint body through which the European Parliament and national Parliaments can exercise control over Europol. It also proposes ways to increase transparency in Europol's work.

Commission: Europe needs to move forward on Maritime Spatial Planning

Today, the European Commission published a Communication entitled '"Maritime Spatial Planning in the EU – Achievements and future development". This report reviews developments concerning Maritime Spatial Planning since the 2008 Roadmap, including the results of the public consultation process. By bringing sea-related activities in different sectors together within a common planning framework, Maritime Spatial Planning can be used to prevent conflicts, maximise synergies, and ensure the efficient and sustainable use of scarce maritime space. Today's report clearly concludes that action is now needed at EU level to ensure that Maritime Spatial Planning is deployed in the most coherent and effective way possible across sea basins to the benefit of both the development of maritime activities and the protection of the marine environment.

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation against Deutsche Telekom concerning behaviour of its subsidiary Slovak Telekom on broadband markets

The European Commission has extended the scope of an investigation under EU antitrust rules into Slovak Telekom's behaviour on broadband internet access markets, to include its parent company Deutsche Telekom. On 8 April 2009, the Commission opened proceedings to investigate whether Slovak Telekom's behaviour could prevent or hinder competition in broadband internet access and other electronic communications markets in Slovakia (see MEMO/09/203). The extension of the proceedings to Deutsche Telekom is to establish whether Deutsche Telekom may have been involved in one or more of the suspected infringements or may be held liable for one or more of them.

ECHO FLIGHT: Commission boosts its humanitarian air operations with additional €400,000

Today, the European Commission increased its funding for its ECHO Flight service by € 400,000 bringing the total allocation for this year to € 8,500,000. ECHO Flight is the humanitarian air service of the European Commission offering the transportation of staff and aid material in many remote areas which would otherwise be cut off from the rest of the world. Since its establishment in 1994, it has become an essential support for most of the humanitarian partners who work in the Horn of Africa and in the Great Lakes region. Every month, ECHO Flight transports on average 1500 passengers and 30 tonnes of cargo to areas that are otherwise inaccessible. It thus plays a crucial role in the successful implementation of humanitarian projects through the humanitarian partners supported by ECHO and other agencies.

The EU assist with the modernisation of the Health Sector in St Vincent & the Grenadines

The European Commission has approved a financing decision of EUR 6.69 million to contribute the modernisation of the Health Sector in St Vincent & the Grenadines. The aim of the project is to improve the quality and quantity of health care delivery by supporting the government's public sector reform process in the health sector. One critical focus of the reform will be the development and implementation of a Wellness Promotion Strategy by the Ministry of Health targeting the prevention, early detection and clinical management of chronic non-communicable diseases by patients and providers. Priority will be placed on obesity, diabetes and hypertension, diseases that are mostly conditioned by lifestyle practices. This is the first time that the EU becomes active in the Health Sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the project has been designed to complement the programs being implemented by the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Programme and the World Bank.

L'Union européenne appuie le développement du Bénin, du Burkina Faso et du Togo

La Commission européenne a approuvé aujourd'hui les Programmes d'Action Annuels en faveur de trois pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest: le Bénin (pour un montant de 13 millions d'euros), le Burkina Faso (81.2 millions d'euros) et le Togo (8 millions d'euros). Ces programmes sont financés par le 10e Fonds européen de développement. Les financements permettront de mettre en œuvre des projets dans le domaine du développement rural (Bénin), des secteurs du transport et de la gestion des finances publiques (Burkina Faso) et pour soutenir la société civile et la réconciliation nationale (Togo). La Commission européenne est un partenaire clef des pays de la région Afrique de l'Ouest, résolument engagée pour leur développement. Pour le texte complet du communiqué de presse: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/headlines/press-releases

L'Union européenne soutient la réhabilitation et la relance économique de la République Démocratique du Congo

La Commission européenne a approuvé aujourd'hui un financement de 25 775 000 euros en faveur de la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) pour appuyer la stabilisation et la reconstruction des zones sortant des conflits armés à l'Est du pays, soutenant plus particulièrement le secteur de la santé et les infrastructures. Dans le domaine de la santé, les fonds permettront d'améliorer la couverture de la population en soins de santé de qualité, en particulier pour les groupes vulnérables, et notamment par la mise à disposition de médicaments génériques de qualité, rendant accessibles financièrement à la population les médicaments jugés essentiels. Dans le domaine des infrastructures, ils permettront de mettre en place un système performant de transport menant à une relance des activités économiques dans l'Est de la RDC et à une amélioration de l'interconnexion transfrontalière avec le Burundi et le Rwanda. Elles contribueront ainsi d'une manière significative à la stabilisation et la pacification de l'Est de la RDC ainsi qu'au développement des relations de bon voisinage avec le Burundi et le Rwanda. La Commission a également adopté ce jour un financement de 50 millions d'euros dans le cadre du mécanisme "FLEX Vulnérabilité" (V-FLEX), pour aider la RDC à faire face à la crise économique. Ce financement sera versé sous forme d'appui budgétaire ciblé au domaine de l'éducation, permettant au gouvernement de maintenir les dépenses publiques dans ce domaine prioritaire. Pour le texte complet du communiqué de presse: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/headlines/press-releases

L'Union européenne soutient le renforcement du commerce et du secteur privé en Mauritanie

La Commission européenne a approuvé aujourd'hui un Programme d'Appui au Commerce et au Secteur Privé d'un budget de 5 millions d'euros. Ce programme vise à rendre l'économie mauritanienne plus compétitive et à l'aider à intégrer les zones économiques régionales (Afrique de l'Ouest et l'Union du Maghreb) et mondiales. Exemple concret des avantages qu'offre l'Accord de Partenariat Economique (APE) entre l'Union Européenne et l'Afrique de l'Ouest, le programme renforcera les institutions et les secteurs impliqués dans les APE. Il contribuera à une intégration régionale effective, à faciliter les exportations et à d’améliorer la compétitivité des entreprises. La Commission a également approuvé un programme d'appui à l'Ordonnateur National du Fonds Européen de Développement (FED), qui appuyera l'administration mauritanienne pour la mise en place du nouveau Cadre Stratégique de Lutte Contre la Pauvreté (2011-2015). Cet appui permettra de développer de manière efficace les projets et programmes du 10ème FED (156 millions d'EUR pour la période 2008-2013) afin d'accroître leur impact sur les populations bénéficiaires. Pour le texte complet du communiqué de presse: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/headlines/press-releases

The EU supports rural development, democratic governance and civil society in the Republic of Timor-Leste

Today, the European Union has approved a package of four strategic programmes for a total amount of €39 million in favour of Timor-Leste. These four strategic programmes are: a Support to Rural development for €23 million; a Support to Democratic Governance for €10.5 million; a Support to Non-State Actors for €4 million and, finally, a Technical Cooperation Facility for €1.5 million. Support to rural development is an imperative necessity in the country since 80% of the population is living in rural areas, with highly dependence from subsistence agriculture. The difficult access to rural areas hampers agricultural and social development. The support of the EU, for an amount of €23 million, aims at increasing agricultural productivity and improving the rural roads network, as well as other rural infrastructures such as irrigation schemes. Intervention in favour of democratic governance, totalling €10.5 million, includes specific support to the areas of Justice, Parliament, media and communication. Support to these basic democratic institutions remains a pillar for the consolidation of the organic structures of the country. The civil society will be also supported thanks to the planned intervention in the area of non-state actors (€4 million), in order to increase transparency and citizens' participation in the life of the country. Special consideration will be given to the gender and youth components of civil society. Finally, a Technical Cooperation Facility (€1.5 million) will facilitate the implementation of EU-Timor-Leste cooperation, with emphasis on capacity building. Full text of the press release available on Commissioner's Piebalgs website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/headlines/press-releases/

The European Union helps to improve the competitiveness of sugar sector in Guyana and Jamaica

The European Commission adopted today fundings in favour of Guyana (EUR 18 805 000) and Jamaica (EUR 20 796 000) in the framework of of the Accompanying Measures to the changes in the EU trade regime with Sugar Protocol Countries. The funds will be used for the transformation of the countries' sugar industry, upon which many people are dependent for their living. The objective is to improve the productivity of the sector, as well as to promote diversification of the economy. In Guyana, the assistance will be provided through a direct budget support mechanism and the disbursements will be triggered by the achievement of performance indicators monitoring the implementation of the sector policy on sugar. Funds will also be channelled towards studies, evaluations and audits to ensure effective implementation. In Jamaica, activities conducted thanks to the funding will include: support to planting/replanting activities, purchase of irrigation equipment, improve the regulatory framework to make it more conducive to a competitive industry, research new commercial product opportunities in both domestic and foreign markets and support to Government policy to provide a social safety net to displaced and vulnerable workers. More information on the Sugar Protocol Countries: http://ec.europa.eu/development/how/development_programmes/devprog_sugar_en.cfm Full text of the press release available on Commissioner's Piebalgs website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/headlines/press-releases/

Enregistrement de trois dénominations de produits agricoles

La Commission européenne a ajouté trois dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires à la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit de la viande bovine française "Maine-Anjou" (AOP), de l'huile d'olive espagnole "Montoro-Adamuz" (AOP) et de la carotte italienne "Carota Novella di Ispica" (IGP). Les trois dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste d'environ 1000 produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur l'internet à l'adresse: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_fr.htm

Commission clears Ammroc joint venture between Mubadala, UTC and Lockheed Martin

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the Ammroc joint venture between Mubadala Development Company PJSC of United Arab Emirates, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation belonging to United Technologies Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Corporation, both of the US. Ammroc is a joint venture based in Abu Dhabi active in the supply of various military maintenance, repair and overhaul services for customers located in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission clears the acquisition of certain retail operations of Primondo by Carlyle

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control, by The Carlyle Group ("Carlyle") of the US, of certain retail operations under the trade names “Bon’A Parte” of Denmark, “Walz”, “Elégance”, “Mirabeau”, “Planet Sports” and “Vertbaudet”, all of Germany, (together "the Primondo Operations"), currently controlled by the Primondo Specialty Group of Germany, The Primondo Operations are active in retail sales via mail order or via internet (e-commerce), of clothing, footwear, textiles, baby care products, sporting equipment, games and toys in stores and wholesale of clothing and footwear. Carlyle is a global alternative asset manager, which sponsors funds that invest globally across four investment disciplines (buyout, credit alternatives, growth capital and real estate) in a range of industries. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

La Commission approuve l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint du Terminal du Grand Ouest (Saint Nazaire, France), par Groupe Bolloré et Groupe CMA-CGM.

La Commission européenne a autorisé conformément au Règlement Concentrations de l'UE l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint du Terminal du Grand Ouest (Saint Nazaire, France), par Groupe Bolloré et Groupe CMA-CGM. Groupe Bolloré est un groupe diversifié, présent dans la logistique et les transports, la fabrication de papiers et films plastiques, les appareils de billetterie, la communication, les médias et les plantations. Groupe CMA-CGM est l'un des principaux acteurs du transport maritime de conteneurs, également présent dans le domaine de la manutention portuaire, du freight forwarding et du tourisme. Le Terminal du Grand Ouest aura pour mission d'exploiter le Terminal de Marchandises Diverses et Conteneurs, sur le site de Montoir de Bretagne, dans le port de Saint-Nazaire. La transaction a été examinée selon la procédure simplifiée.

Commission clears acquisition by CRH of sole control of BauKing

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by CRH of sole control of BauKing, both from Germany. CRH had previously joint control over BauKing together with two other shareholders. CRH is active worldwide in the production and distribution of materials and products for the construction industry. BauKing runs 82 builders merchants and 51 do-it-yourself ("DIY") shops through Germany and BauKing has very limited activities in Poland. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Construction output stable in euro area

In the construction sector, seasonally adjusted production was stable in the euro area (EA16) and grew by 0.5% in the EU27 in October 2010, compared with the previous month. In September, production fell by 1.6% and 1.2% respectively. Compared with October 2009, output in October 2010 dropped by 6.8% in the euro area and by 1.9% in the EU27. These first estimates are released by Eurostat.

Rediffusion

EU welcomes UN resolution on the safety and security of humanitarian workers

The European Union strongly supports the resolution adopted today by the United Nations, on "Safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel". The resolution underlines the importance of the safety of humanitarian aid workers, whose work has become increasingly dangerous with a sharp rise in incidents of harassment, violent attacks and deaths. The text is reviewed annually by the UN General Assembly, and has been drafted with EU facilitation.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of controlling stake in German pharmaceutical wholesaler Anzag by international health and beauty group Alliance Boots

The European Commission has approved under the Merger Regulation the acquisition of control over Andreae-NorisZahn AG (Anzag), one of the largest German wholesalers of pharmaceutical products, by the international group Alliance Boots, which is active in health and beauty retailing as well as in pharmaceutical wholesaling. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Comitologie: de nouvelles règles pour les compétences d'exécution de la Commission

Au terme de 9 mois de négociations, le Parlement européen a confirmé aujourd'hui être parvenu à un accord avec le Conseil sur le nouveau règlement relatif aux compétences d'exécution de la Commission. Ce nouveau règlement, dont l'adoption a été proposée par la Commission peu après l'entrée en vigueur du traité de Lisbonne, implique une profonde réforme du système dit de «comitologie». Il entrera en vigueur le 1er mars et remplacera automatiquement le système existant.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo Environment Council, 20 December 2010

Remarks by President Barroso at the press conference of the first day of the European Council

Memo Commission approved over € 182 million euro financing for European Union Solidarity Fund assistance relating to flooding disasters of May-June 2010 – Rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner De Gucht 'The international trade and investment policy of the EU in the next decade', Washington – Rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Semeta 'EU-US cooperation in tax and customs', Washington – Rediffusion

Calendrier hebdomadaire du 20 décembre 2010 au 9 janvier 2011

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