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Daily News – 18.08.2009

EXME09 / 18.08


News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

18 / 08 / 09

As of 1 January 2010, the EU will invest € 18 million into research that will underpin next generation 4G mobile networks. The European Commission just decided to start the process of funding research on Long Term Evolution (LTE) Advanced technology, that will offer mobile internet speeds up to a hundred times faster than current 3G networks. LTE is becoming the industry's first choice for next generation mobile networks, also thanks to substantial EU research funding since 2004. 25 years ago, Europe already made the GSM standard the backbone of modern mobile telephony. Based on Europe's joint research and the strength of the EU's single market, the GSM standard is today used by 80% of the world's mobile networks. LTE promises to be a similar success as EU-funded research continues to bring cutting-edge technology to the daily lives of Europeans.

In the framework of its strategy to combat tax evasion and fraud (IP/06/697), today the European Commission adopted a proposal for a recast of the Regulation on administrative cooperation in the field of valued added tax, extending and reinforcing the legal framework for the exchange of information and cooperation between tax authorities. One of the key elements of the proposal is the creation of a legal base to set up Eurofisc: a common operational structure allowing Member States to take rapid action in the fight against cross border VAT fraud. The Commission today also adopted a report on the functioning of the administrative cooperation.

La Journée humanitaire mondiale sera célébrée pour la première fois demain, 19 août, alors qu'au moins 69 travailleurs humanitaires ont déjà été tués cette année. Cette journée vise à honorer les travailleurs humanitaires qui ont perdu la vie ou ont été blessés dans l’exercice de leur fonction. Du personnel de la Commission européenne, par l'intermédiaire de son Office d'aide humanitaire (ECHO), est présent en permanence sur les foyers de crise dans le monde. ECHO coopère étroitement avec des organisations d’aide humanitaire partenaires, telles que les agences spécialisées de l'ONU, le mouvement de la Croix-Rouge/du Croissant rouge et les organisations non gouvernementales. Ensemble, ils assurent l'acheminement de l'aide aux populations civiles à travers le monde de manière impartiale et non discriminatoire. Toutefois, l'accès à des fins humanitaires et la sécurité du personnel humanitaire comportent des risques croissants.

  • Commission clears acquisition of Volnay B.V. by 3i Group and H.I.G. Capital

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Volnay B.V. of The Netherlands by 3i Group plc of the UK and H.I.G Europe Capital Partners, L.P. and Bayside Debt & LBO Fund II, L.P. belonging to the H.I.G. Capital group of funds (H.I.G. Capital) of the US. 3i Group Plc is a private equity and venture capital firm. H.I.G. Capital is a private equity investment firm. Volnay B.V. is active in magazine publishing and the provision of advertising space in The Netherlands. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.


The European Commission activated its Community Mechanism for Civil Protection over the weekend to help address emergencies in Taiwan and Portugal. At the request of authorities in Taiwan the mechanism has been activated to help the local population affected by heavy flooding and mudslides in different parts of the country. Following major forest fires, Portugal also requested assistance through the Mechanism.

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

Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration:

Dragados/Pol Aqua Group