EXME 12 / 26.03
Midday Express of 2012-03-26
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will present trophies to the winners of this year's Young Translators' (Juvenes Translatores) Contest, organised by the European Commission. Twenty-seven secondary school students, one from each Member State, have been invited to Brussels to receive their award and a diploma for producing the best translation from their country. The award ceremony takes place tomorrow (27 March) at the Charlemagne building in Brussels, starting at 11am. It can be followed live at http://ec.europa.eu/translatores .
The increasing use of computers in the work place has led to computer literacy being a necessity in a large majority of professions. A sound understanding and knowledge of computer applications and programs is becoming more and more important in working life. On the occasion of the e-skills week, which will take place from 26-30 March 2012, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes data on university graduates in computing and computer skills of individuals. The European e-Skills week 2012 is a European campaign focused on raising the interest of young people in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) as well as showing people how to get jobs and e-skills for life in the digital age.
26-28/03/2012 - Commissioner Hedegaard visits Washington DC to discuss transatlantic climate issues and receive WAGE Leadership Award
Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard will be visiting Washington DC for meetings with U.S. Administration officials and Congressmen to discuss climate change policy, in particular in preparation for the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil in June and the UNFCCC climate change conference in Doha, Qatar, in November. The visit to Washington will include a briefing of the Congressional EU Caucus hosted by the German Marshall Fund (GMF), and a round-table discussion on green economy at the Johns Hopkins University. During the visit, Commissioner Hedegaard will receive the 2012 WAGE Leadership award in recognition of her efforts to fight climate change and to promote a low-carbon economy. The Women and the Green Economy Leadership award will be presented to the Commissioner at the Climate Leadership Gala in Washington.
Integrated maritime surveillance: the 'MARSUNO' pilot project delivered final results
Nine northern EU Member States plus Norway and Russia have finalised a pilot project on Maritime Surveillance in the Northern Sea Basins ('MARSUNO) initiated by the European Commission. These partners make a number of recommendations for overcoming the hurdles to creating a Common Information Sharing Environment ('CISE') for the surveillance of the EU maritime domain (see COM(201)584). MARSUNO was a 24-month pilot project involving 9 Member States: Sweden as lead partner, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, in partnership with Norway, inviting Russia as an observer. In total 24 public authorities were involved. The project's objective was to support the creation of the 'CISE' by identifying practical solutions to overcome legal, technical and administrative hurdles to cross-sectorial and cross-border information sharing between maritime authorities. MARSUNO is one of two dedicated pilot projects that feed the Commission's six step Roadmap process towards establishing CISE. MARSUNO concludes that establishing a functional and efficient CISE for all authorities acting in the European maritime domain is crucial for enhancing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of maritime surveillance. CISE will be a concrete and tangible outcome of the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy. Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, welcomed the reception of the final report: “Our objective is to ensure safer seas while saving costs. I welcome the results of the MARSUNO project which has demonstrated that data-sharing across borders and across sectors like maritime transport, environmental protection, customs, border guarding, fishery inspection, law enforcement and defence is possible and improves reaction capacity.” More information can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/news/press_releases/items/20120326_en.htm , http://www.marsuno.eu/ and http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/integrated_maritime_surveillance/index_en.htm
Merger: Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Possehl Erzkontor by Peter Cremer and L. Possehl
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition by Peter Cremer of Germany of a 50% stake in the German trading company Possehl Erzkontor. Cremer is active in the production and trade of basic commodities, steel and other raw material, agricultural and oleochemical products. It is also active in the shipping of bulk and container cargo. Possehl's affiliated companies are active in a variety of sectors including construction, precious metals processing, elastomer processing, electronics, mailroom services, cleaning systems, textile finishing systems and SME investments. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation into the proposed acquisition of the recorded music business of EMI by Universal Music Group. The Commission's initial market investigation indicated that the proposed transaction may raise competition concerns in the wholesale of physical and digital recorded music in numerous Member States as well as in the European Economic Area (EEA) as a whole, particularly in light of the merged entity's high market shares and increased market power. The opening of an in-depth inquiry does not prejudge the final result of the investigation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 8 August 2012, to take a final decision on whether the proposed transaction would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Gemeaz Cusin by Avenance Italia, which is part of the Elior Group. Both companies are active in the provision of contract foodservices in Italy. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face credible competition from a number of competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
Today, EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, proposed an aid package, worth €164.5 million, to increase food security in the Sahel countries. The region is currently affected by a food crisis as 15 million people are at risk of hunger. The European Commission has already mobilised €123.5 million for the early humanitarian response to the crisis.
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