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Daily News – 22.04.2010

EXME 10 / 22.04

Midday Express of 2010-04-22

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

Commission and EIB back launch of prototype satellite Alphasat

Europe will launch an innovative telecoms satellite in 2012 with up to € 225 million in backing from the EU's Risk-sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), jointly created by the European Commission and European Investment Bank. The Alphasat mission is a joint undertaking of the European Space Agency and Inmarsat Plc, a UK-based satellite communications company. An agreement will be signed in Brussels on Thursday at 16h00 by European Investment Bank President Philippe Maystadt and Inmarsat Chief Operating Officer Perry Melton in the presence of European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Magali Vaissiere. There will be a photo- opportunity at the signing.

EU27 current account deficit 9.2 bn euro

According to the latest revisions, the EU27 external current account recorded a deficit of 9.2 billion euro in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with a deficit of 54.8 bn in the fourth Commission and EIB back launch of prototype satellite Alphasat

Europe will launch an innovative telecoms satellite in 2012 with up to € 225 million in backing from the EU's Risk-sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), jointly created by the European Commission and European Investment Bank. The Alphasat mission is a joint undertaking of the European Space Agency and Inmarsat Plc, a UK-based satellite communications company. An agreement will be signed in Brussels on Thursday at 16h00 by European Investment Bank President Philippe Maystadt and Inmarsat Chief Operating Officer Perry Melton in the presence of European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Magali Vaissiere. There will be a photo- opportunity at the signing.quarter of 2008 and a deficit of 23.1 bn in the third quarter of 2009.In the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with the fourth quarter of 2008, the deficit of the goods account decreased (-9.5 bn euro compared with -41.9 bn), as did the deficit of the income account (-0.1 bn compared with -17.5 bn). The surplus of the services account fell (+19.1 bn compared with +23.4 bn). The deficit of the current transfers account remained nearly unchanged (-18.7 bn compared with -18.8 bn). The surplus recorded in the services account (+19.1 bn euro) is mainly the result of surpluses in "other business services", which includes miscellaneous business, professional and technical services (+9.9 bn), financial services (+7.8 bn), computer & information services (+5.0 bn) and transportation (+4.7 bn), partially offset by deficits in travel (-4.1 bn) and royalties & license fees (-3.8 bn). In the fourth quarter of 2009, the EU27 external current account recorded a surplus with the USA (+12.3 bn euro), Switzerland (+10.0 bn), Brazil (+3.6 bn), India (+2.4 bn), Hong Kong (+2.3 bn) and Canada (+2.1 bn), and a deficit with China (-29.8 bn), Russia (-10.3 bn) and Japan (-6.6 bn). These provisional data, issued by Eurostat, are based on the information available at the time of publication and subject to revision.

Euro area and EU27 government deficit at 6.3% and 6.8% of GDP respectively

In 2009, the government deficit and government debt of both the euro area (EA16) and the EU27 increased compared with 2008, while GDP fell. In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio increased from 2.0% in 2008 to 6.3% in 2009, and in the EU27 from 2.3% to 6.8%. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio increased from 69.4% at the end of 2008 to 78.7% at the end of 2009, and in the EU27 from 61.6% to 73.6%. In 2009 the largest government deficits in percentage of GDP were recorded by Ireland (-14.3%), Greece (‑13.6%) the United Kingdom (-11.5%), Spain (-11.2%), Portugal (-9.4%), Latvia (-9.0%), Lithuania (-8.9%), Romania (‑8.3%), France (-7.5%) and Poland (-7.1%). No Member State registered a government surplus in 2009. The lowest deficits were recorded by Sweden (-0.5%), Luxembourg (-0.7%) and Estonia (-1.7%). In all, 25 Member States recorded a worsening in their government balance relative to GDP in 2009 compared with 2008, and two (Estonia and Malta) an improvement.At the end of 2009, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (7.2%), Luxembourg (14.5%), Bulgaria (14.8%), Romania (23.7%), Lithuania (29.3%) and the Czech Republic (35.4%). Twelve Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP in 2009: Italy (115.8%), Greece (115.1%), Belgium (96.7%), Hungary (78.3%), France (77.6%), Portugal (76.8%), Germany (73.2%), Malta (69.1%), the United Kingdom (68.1%), Austria (66.5%), Ireland (64.0%) and the Netherlands (60.9%). In 2009, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 50.7% of GDP and government revenue to 44.4%. The figures for the EU27 were 50.7% and 44.0% respectively. In both zones, the government expenditure ratio increased between 2008 and 2009, while the government revenue ratio decreased. In this News Release, Eurostat, is providing government deficit and debt data based on figures reported in the first 2010 notification by EU Member States for the years 2006-2009, for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). This notification is based on the ESA95 system of national accounts. This News Release also includes data on government expenditure and revenue and an annex with the main revisions since the October 2009 News Release.

State aid: Commission approves prolongation of the Swedish guarantee scheme for credit institutions

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, a two months prolongation until 30 June 2010 of a Swedish guarantee scheme for credit institutions. The Commission found the prolongation of the measures, initially approved on 29 October 2008 (see IP/08/1600), to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1945). In particular, the extended measures are well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission has therefore concluded that they represent an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Swedish economy and as such are compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty.

Rediffusion

Concentrations: la Commission autorise l'acquisition de la branche «revêtements en poudre» de Rohm and Haas par AkzoNobel

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement UE sur les concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de la branche «revêtements en poudre» de Rohm and Haas (États-Unis) par AkzoNobel N.V. (Pays-Bas). Elle a conclu que l'opération envisagée n'entraverait pas de manière significative l'exercice d'une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen (EEE) ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

First visit of Commissioner Piebalgs to Haiti: launch of the first EU-funded projects for reconstruction

Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, will travel to Haiti on 23-24 April 2010, to launch the first projects for reconstruction that will be funded by the EU. This will be the first high-level EU visit to Haiti since the International Donors’ Conference "Towards a New Future for Haiti" held on 31 March in New York, during which the EU collectively pledged more than 1.2 billion euros for Haiti's reconstruction. Commissioner Piebalgs will sign five financing agreements for projects funded by the European Commission, which will provide €460 million to the reconstruction and development of the country. These projects will focus on rebuilding of the State, infrastructures such as schools and roads, and the social sectors. Before going to Haiti, Commissioner Piebalgs will visit the Dominic Republic where he will meet with authorities of the country to discuss the situation in Haiti. In Haiti, he will meet with Haitian President Préval and Prime Minister Bellerive, as well as with representatives of the private sector and NGOs, who are key actors for the reconstruction. The Commissioner also intends to visit two refugee camps whilst in Haiti,, and to discuss with Member States and main international donors on how best to coordinate programming of international aid.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo Justice and Home Affairs Council: 23 April 2010 in Brussels

Speech by Commissioner Füle 'EU-Ukraine Relations: future expectations', Kyiv