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Daily News – 27.04.2018

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 27 / 04 / 2018

Brussels, 27 April 2018

The Commission proposes more flexibility in the .eu top-level-domain

Today, the Commission is proposing new measures to simplify the existing legal framework on the .eu top-level-domain and enable European/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) citizens to register for a .eu domain also outside of the EU, regardless of their country of residence. These measures improve the potential of .eu top-level-domain as a trusted and innovative namespace for the Digital Single Market by adding more flexibility and adapting the current rules to the fast-changing domain name market. The more flexible rules change the current Regulation, under which the domain ownership was solely connected to residency in the EU/EEA countries. Additionally, the revision proposes a better governance of the .eu top-level-domain by creating a Multistakeholder Council to advise the Commission on the management of the domain name and the implementation of the new rules. Overall, with a more efficient and flexible legal framework, the .eu Registry will be able to offer a better services to EU citizens and businesses. This revision is based on a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) review of the .eu and a public consultation. More information can be found here and in an infographic. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Significant Market Power guidelines updated to safeguard competition in the telecoms market [*updated on 27/04/2018 at 12:45]

The Commission presented today revised guidelines on Significant Market Power (SMP) which will guide National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) when analysing telecoms market and sets principles to detect potential anti-competitive practices in the electronic communication market. The revised guidelines reflect the latest developments in case-law and address issues previously not included, such as the competitive impact of online service providers that have started to offer internet based services, increased provision of bundled services (internet, voice and TV content) at retail level, competitive pressure of cable-based services as well as the transition from monopolistic to oligopolistic market structures in some countries. The guidelines will help national regulators to correctly delineate markets in the electronic communications sector and to identify significant market power of operators. Moreover, the guidance is complementary to the Electronic Communications Code that is currently under negotiation by the EU institutions and has been flagged a priority file for creating a Digital Single Market. The revision of SMP guidelines took into account a public consultation running from March to June 2017, an external study, and an opinion of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. More details on the new guidelines are available here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Services de médias audiovisuels : percée dans les négociations de l'UE pour des règles modernes et plus équitables

Le Parlement européen, le Conseil et la Commission européenne sont parvenus, hier, à un accord politique préliminaire sur les principaux éléments des nouvelles règles encadrant les services de médias audiovisuels dans l'Union européenne. Les négociations se termineront officiellement en juin, lorsque le Parlement européen, le Conseil et la Commission se rencontreront pour finaliser et discuter des derniers détails techniques de la proposition. Après une confirmation formelle par le Conseil et le vote en plénière du Parlement européen, la directive révisée devra être transposée en droit national. Andrus Ansip, vice-président pour le marché unique numérique, a déclaré: « Ces nouvelles règles reflètent le progrès numérique et reconnaissent que désormais les gens ont d'autres façons de regarder des vidéos. Ces règles encouragent les services innovants et font la promotion des films européens, mais elles protègent également mieux les enfants et s'attaquent davantage aux discours de haine ». La commissaire à l'économie numérique et à la société, Mariya Gabriel, a ajouté: « Un environnement plus équitable pour tous les acteurs du secteur audiovisuel est indispensable. Notre secteur culturel occupera une place plus importante dans les catalogues de vidéos à la demande – un changement important et positif pour les auteurs et les créateurs européens ». Cet accord ouvre la voie à un environnement réglementaire plus équitable pour l'ensemble du secteur audiovisuel, y compris les services à la demande et les plateformes de partage de vidéos en ligne. Les nouvelles règles amélioreront la protection des mineurs contre les contenus préjudiciables, contribueront à promouvoir les œuvres européennes, renforceront les règles existantes contre le discours de haine et l'incitation à commettre des actes terroristes, apporteront plus de flexibilité à la publicité télévisée et renforceront le principe du pays d'origine au cœur de la directive. La Commission a proposé la révision de la directive sur les services de médias audiovisuels en mai 2016 dans le cadre de sa stratégie pour un marché unique numérique. Plus d'informations sont disponibles dans le communiqué de presse. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Protecting bees: EU set to completely ban outdoor use of pesticides harmful to bees

Today, Member States' representatives in a Standing Committee have backed a proposal by the European Commission to further restrict the use of three active substances (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, known as "neonicotinoids") for which a scientific review concluded that their outdoor use harms bees. The protection of bees is an important issue for the Commission since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment. On the initiative of President Juncker, for whom this is a priority, the College discussed this on 29 March 2017. The restrictions agreed today go beyond themeasures already in place since 2013. All outdoor use of the three substances will be banned and the neonicotinoids in question will only be allowed in permanent greenhouses where no contact with bees is expected. Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis welcomed this vote, stressing that "the Commission had proposed these measures months ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from the European Food Safety Authority. Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment". The Regulation will now be adopted by the European Commission in the coming weeks and become applicable by the end of the year. More information can be found here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

 

European Commission and European Stability Mechanism lay down principles of cooperation

The European Commission and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will today sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the working relationship between the two institutions. The two institutions share the common objectives of safeguarding the stability of the euro area and ensuring the efficient governance of financial assistance programmes in Member States. The document – which will be officially signed by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on behalf of the Commission and ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling this afternoon – reflects the close cooperation of the two institutions and the important role that the ESM has played over the years in providing financial assistance to Member States to overcome acute crises and regain financial stability. The Memorandum spells out the working methods between the Commission and the European Stability Mechanism in the light of experience and in line with their respective roles and mandates. It does not change the rules and the legal framework under which they operate. The existing competences and responsibilities of both institutions, as enshrined in the European Union law and the ESM Treaty, remain intact. The Memorandum is also without prejudice to any further reform of the ESM that may be agreed. A full press release is available here. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Annikky Lamp– Tel.: +32 229 56151)


EU and Iceland further liberalise trade in food and agricultural products

Agreements giving greater market access and protection for EU agri-food products in Iceland will enter into force on 1 May.The agreements will increase the duty-free access to Iceland's market from 66,4% to more than 95% of EU agri-food products, and offer protection in Iceland to 1150 names registered as EU geographical indications. The improved market access covers the vast majority of EU agricultural products, including beef, pig meat, poultry and cheese for which quotas will be substantially increased. The EU has also increased or established quotas for many of these same products from Iceland, as well as for the typical Icelandic dairy product skyr. The processed food products set to benefit from the new liberalisation account for more than €27 million in exports from the EU to Iceland each year. The three agreements were signed in September 2015 and were formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. More information is online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52509)

 

EU in my Region campaign kicks off: thousands of EU-funded projects in the spotlight

Visit an EU-funded sugar factory in Machico, Portugal, a chemistry research centre in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic, or take a walk in Charleroi, Belgium, to spot EU-funded projects in the city. Throughout May, the EU in my Region campaign will allow citizens to discover thousands of EU-funded projects across the EU; find one near you on this interactive map. People can also share their experience on EU-funded projects in regions via a photo and a blogging contest. Commissioner for regional policy Corina Crețu said: "The EU is closer to you than you think. EU investments are making a real difference in your everyday life; from the purchase of new medical equipment in hospitals to villages getting broadband and small businesses accessing loans. The 'EU in my Region' campaign will help these projects get the attention they deserve." In April 2017, Commissioner Crețu and Commissioner Thyssen presented seven communication actions, as part of a broader effort to improve the visibility of cohesion policy projects; the 'EU in my Region' campaign featured in the action plan as a communication tool that has proven to deliver. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

Aides d'État: la Commission autorise le plan d'investissement en faveur des autoroutes italiennes

La Commission européenne a autorisé en vertu des règles de l'UE en matière d'aides d'État, le projet de l'Italie de prolonger deux concessions autoroutières et de plafonner les tarifs de péages des autoroutes concernées. Cela permettra de concrétiser quelque 8,5 milliards d'euros d'investissement tout en réduisant l'impact sur les usagers et en limitant les distorsions de concurrence. Le projet prévoit, en particulier, la prolongation de deux grandes concessions autoroutières détenues par Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI) et Società Iniziative Autostradali e Servizi (SIAS). La concession d'ASPI couvre son réseau autoroutier en Italie et celle de SIAS l'autoroute SATAP A4 Turin-Milan. En outre, SIAS utilisera les recettes résultant de la prolongation de sa concession pour achever l'autoroute A33 Asti-Cuneo, qu'elle exploite également. La décision adoptée ce jour par la Commission fait suite à un accord de principe conclu le 5 juillet 2017 entre Mme Vestager et M. Delrio, ministre italien des infrastructures et des transports. Dans ce contexte, les règles de l'UE ont permis de faire en sorte que l'aide d'État n'entraîne ni hausses trop importantes des tarifs de péages pour les usagers des autoroutes ni compensation excessive des concessionnaires, tout en garantissant une concurrence effective sur le marché. Margrethe Vestager, commissaire chargée de la politique de concurrence, a fait la déclaration suivante: «Je me réjouis que nous ayons trouvé une solution, en étroite coopération avec l'Italie, qui permettra de réaliser des investissements essentiels dans les autoroutes italiennes tout en limitant l'impact sur les usagers et en évitant que les entreprises qui exploitent les autoroutes ne bénéficient d'une compensation excessive. L'Italie a également accepté de lancer, dans un avenir proche, de nouveaux appels d'offres pour plusieurs grandes concessions autoroutières afin de garantir une concurrence effective sur le marché.» La communique de presse en EN, FR, DE et IT est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

Mergers: Commission approves the creation of a joint venture by Mitsui Rail Capital Europe and Siemens Nederland

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture by Mitsui Rail Capital Europe of Germany and Siemens Nederland of the Netherlands. The newly-created joint venture will operate a maintenance workshop for locomotives in the Rotterdam harbour area. Mitsui Rail Capital Europe is active in the operational leasing of rolling stock and procurement and financing of locomotives. Siemens Nederland offers a wide range of products and services in the Netherlands, notably in the business divisions Power and Gas, Mobility, Digital Factory, Process Industries and Drives. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the joint venture's limited turnover and assets in Europe and its marginal impact on the market structure. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8824. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of a freight forwarding business by Panalpina and Dutch Flower Group

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over the Dutch perishables business of Panalpina ("PA NL Perishables") by its current parent Panalpina of Switzerland and Dutch Flower Group of the Netherlands. PA NL Perishables is active in the field of arranging transportation of perishable goods (freight forwarding). Panalpina provides freight forwarding services and additional services such as logistics (warehousing, overland and distribution). Dutch Flower Group is engaged in the trade of fresh cut flowers and plants globally. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the limited turnover and assets of the target in Europe. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8805. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)

 

Eurostat: Le revenu réel des ménages par habitant en hausse dans la zone euro et dans l'UE28

Dans la zone euro, en termes réels, le revenu des ménages par habitant a augmenté de 0,3% au quatrième trimestre 2017, après une hausse de 0,4% au trimestre précédent. La consommation réelle des ménages par habitant est restée stable au quatrième trimestre 2017, après une hausse de 0,4% au troisième trimestre 2017. Plus d'informations ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Spahr – Tél.: +32 229 50055; Annikky Lamp– Tél.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara – Tél.: +32 229 64976)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Gabriel in Bulgaria to promote young women's participation in information and communication technology in Europe

Tomorrow, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will co-host Girls in ICT Day 2018 in Sofia to encourage young girls and women in Europe to pursue studies and careers in information and communication technology (ICT). This endeavour is part of the Digital Single Market strategy to involve more young women in shaping the digital future of Europe and builds on the conclusions of Commission's "Women in the Digital Era" study from on 8 March 2018. At 14:00 (GMT+3), the Commissioner will deliver an opening speech, together with the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, Houlin Zhao. She will highlight the necessity to encourage digital skills in younger generations and remove the obstacles preventing young women from using their full potential in the digital environment in Europe. Commissioner Gabriel stated that: "Women and Girls' participation in ICT and the digital sectors is crucial for ensuring that we build an all-inclusive digital Europe. Today, the numbers are alarming: only 13% of all STEM graduates [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] in the EU are women. On the occasion of the Girls in ICT International Day we can engage to collectively create the conditions that will inspire and motivate girls to pursue STEM and ICT studies and careers."This event will be followed up on with a conference on 19 June 2018, organized by the Commission in Brussels. For more information on the Digital Single Market strategy on women's participation in the digital sector here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 2 296 70 83; Inga Höglund Tel.: +32 2 295 06 98)

 

Commissioner Andriukaitis in Lithuania

On 30 April-1 May, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food safety will be visiting Lithuania. On Monday, Commissioner Andriukaitiswill meet with Mr Vytautas Grubliauskas, Mayor of Klaipėdaand visit the Port of Klaipėda. Commissioner will also meet with Klaipėda University representatives, visit Mars Lietuva factory, andhold a Citizens' Dialogue. On Tuesday, Commissioner Andriukaitis will attend the European Congress of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. "We can deliver more effective and accessible resilient health systems by working together. I am looking forward to join many experts and actors working to improve education, research and practice in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine", said Commissioner Andriukaitis ahead of the visit. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

 

 

Calendar

The Commissioners' weekly activities

 

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

MEX/18/3583