EXME 10 / 22.01
Midday Express of 2010-01-22
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of a joint venture between the four German online-marketing agencies SevenOne Media (71m), a subsidiary of ProSiebenSat1, G + J Electronic Media Service (EMS)and IP Deutschland (IP), both subsidiaries of the Bertelsmann group,, and Tomorrow Focus Portal (TFP), a subsidiary of Hubert Burda Media. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Regional Policy Commissioner Paweł Samecki will meet Croatia's Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and members of her government in Zagreb on 25-26 January to discuss the country's preparations for accession in the context of the EU cohesion policy. If, as expected, Croatia joins the EU in 2012, it will be entitled to an investment boost from the policy of up to €1.1 billion in 2012 and the same again in 2013 – a 20-fold increase on the level of support it currently receives through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
In November 2009 compared with October 2009, the euro area (EA16) industrial new orders index rose by 1.6%. In October the index fell by 1.9%. In the EU271 new orders increased by 1.8% in November 2009, after a decrease of 1.4% in October. Excluding ships, railway & aerospace equipment, for which changes tend to be more volatile, industrial new orders rose by 1.5% in the euro area and by 2.0% in the EU27. In November 2009 compared with November 2008, industrial new orders decreased by 1.5% in the euro area and by 2.0% in the EU27. Total industry excluding ships, railway & aerospace equipment4 dropped by 1.8% and 1.6% respectively. These estimates are released by Eurostat.
According to the latest revisions, the EU27 external current account recorded a deficit of 27.7 billion euro in the third quarter of 2009, compared with a deficit of 73.5 bn in the third quarter of 2008 and a deficit of 49.0 bn in the second quarter of 2009. In the third quarter of 2009, compared with the third quarter of 2008, the deficit of the goods account decreased (19.1 bn euro compared with -64.9 bn), as did the deficit of the income account (-8.6 bn compared with 14.2 bn). The surplus of the services account fell (+16.7 bn compared with +19.3 bn) and the deficit of the current transfers account increased (-16.7 bn compared with -13.7 bn). The surplus recorded in the services account (+16.7 bn euro) is mainly the result of surpluses in "other business services", which includes miscellaneous business, professional and technical services (+8.9 bn), financial services (+5.7 bn), transportation (+5.4 bn) and computer & information services (+4.1 bn), partially offset by deficits in travel (-5.6 bn) and royalties & licence fees (-3.9 bn). In the third quarter of 2009, the EU27 external current account recorded a surplus with the USA (+12.5 bn euro), Switzerland (+6.0 bn), Canada (+2.4 bn), Hong Kong (+2.1 bn), Brazil (+1.6 bn) and India (+1.1 bn), and a deficit with China (-29.3 bn), Russia (-8.4 bn) and Japan (-8.0 bn).In the third quarter of 2009, the EU27 made direct investments abroad for 56.2 bn, compared with 75.7 bn in the same quarter of 2008, while foreign direct investors made investments in the EU27 for 26.9 bn, compared with investments for 64.5 bn in the same quarter of 2008. Portfolio investments recorded a net inflow of 100.8 bn, compared with 153.2 bn in the third quarter of 2008. These provisional data, issued by Eurostat are based on the information available at the time of publication and subject to revision.
Second European Civil Protection team to take over in Haiti
Today the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) is deploying a fresh team of EU civil protection experts to take over from the team that has been on the ground in Haiti since 14 January. The new team consists of six experts from Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain and France as well as two MIC liaison officers. The EU team will continue to assist with the coordination of the international relief effort, carry out needs assessments and coordinate incoming European assistance. Member States are still offering additional assistance to Haiti. Slovenia, for example, has offered 25 family tents, Austria offered 400 family tents and Hungary will deploy a medical team. The search and rescue operation is now drawing to a close, and the priorities now are providing shelter and medical assistance. Some teams have already left and remaining teams are planning their demobilisation. The total number of people rescued from rubble so far is 126. See http://ec.europa.eu/environment/civil/haiti_2010.htm for more details.
Antitrust: Commission market tests commitments proposed by E.ON concerning German gas market
As previously announced on 17 th December (see MEMO/09/567 ), the European Commission is today inviting comments from interested parties on the commitments offered by E.ON to meet concerns that it may have infringed rules of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on the abuse of a dominant market position (Article 102) The Commission's concerns relate to the German gas markets, in particular to the gas transmission market where competitors might have been prevented from getting access to the necessary infrastructure needed to supply customers within E.ON's network. A summary of the commitments proposed by E.ON has been published in the EU Official Journal ( 2010/C 16/42 ). Interested parties can submit comments within one month from the date of publication. If the result of the market test is positive, the Commission will adopt a decision under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003, making the commitments legally binding on E.ON. The full non-confidential version of the commitments is available on the Commission's website .
Jean Monnet Conference to look at the role of education and training for Europe's future
At a high-level Jean Monnet Conference, organised by the European Commission in co-operation with the Spanish Presidency, policy-makers and academics of European integration will examine the crucial role of education and training in Europe's 'EU 2020' strategy. The conference will take place on 25-26 January 2010 at the CaixaForum in Madrid. The event aims to channel the views of academia on the role of education and training for competitiveness, social cohesion and sustainable growth and will contribute to the ' EU 2020' Strategy to be adopted by the Spring European Council. The Spanish Minister of Education, Ángel Gabilondo Pujol, will be among the speakers . More about the conference "The Role of Education and Training in the New European Economy": http://ec.europa.eu/education/jean-monnet/doc2078_en.htm
In January 2010, the DG ECFIN flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator signals an improvement for the EU aggregate (up to -13.3 from -14.3 in December) and a broadly unchanged level for the euro-area aggregate (-15.8 compared with -16.1 in December).
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