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Daily News – 27.10.2009

EXME09 / 27.10

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

27 / 10 / 09

Pour 73 % des Européens, la pauvreté est un problème très répandu dans leur pays, et ils sont 89 % à souhaiter que leur gouvernement prenne des mesures d’urgence pour y remédier – voilà ce qu’indiquent les principaux résultats d’un nouveau sondage Eurobaromètre sur les attitudes vis-à-vis de la pauvreté et de l’exclusion sociale, présentés aujourd’hui par la Commission européenne à l’approche de l’Année européenne de lutte contre la pauvreté (2010).

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by PepsiCo, Inc. of one of its bottlers, PepsiAmericas (PAS), both of the US. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by PepsiCo, Inc. of one of its bottlers, The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG), both of the US. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of sole control of BICS, a Belgian carrier of international telecommunications services, by Belgacom of Belgium. BICS which would, in turn, acquire the international carrier business of MTN of South Africa. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

The first ever European Report on Development (ERD) was launched at European Development Days in Stockholm. Europe’s top experts put the focus on the challenges faced by fragile African countries in an unstable global economic context. Their report highlights the destabilising effect of the global economic downturn, and makes recommendations for the way forward. It calls on donors to keep their aid promises.

On 22 October 2009, following the favourable opinion expressed in September by the Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Commission adopted a Regulation establishing the implementing rules for the 2008 Regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. As one of the central pillars of the Community's fisheries control policy, the IUU Regulation will control all landings and transhipments of third-country fishing vessels in Community ports and all trade of marine fishery products to and from the Union.

The European Commission adopted today a new Proposal for a Council Regulation on the extension of financial support to Bulgaria for the decommissioning of units 1 to 4 of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant and for the mitigation of the economical consequences.

  • Coastal State negotiations on pelagic stocks for 2010: a positive outcome and a good deal for all concerned

The Commission is pleased with the agreement reached by the Coastal States at the end of last week on management measures for blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring in the North East Atlantic for 2010. The TAC for blue whiting for 2010 will be reduced to 540,000 tonnes. Whilst this is 11% lower than the 2009 TAC of 590,000 tonnes, it is a much lesser reduction than had been expected. The Community’s final quota will be 162,000 tonnes. The Parties also agreed to establish a working group to analyse the current distribution of the stock. Mutual access arrangements for the European Community and Norway remain unchanged but will be reviewed next year. The arrangement agreed for blue whiting also paved the way for an agreement on Atlanto-Scandian herring, where the Coastal States agreed on a TAC for 2010 of 1,483,000 tonnes, of which the Community will have a quota of 96,543 tonnes. These two agreements are very much in line with the European Community's expectations. The Commission welcomes the constant support it has enjoyed from both Member States and the industry. These agreements will further cement the balanced and sustainable approach to stock management in the North Atlantic, to the benefit of all fishermen concerned - The Coastal States which are Parties to the negotiations on blue whiting are the European Community, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The negotiations on Atlanto-Scandian herring involve five Coastal States, namely the aforementioned States plus the Russian Federation -

  • State aid: Commission approves prolongation of UK asset-backed securities guarantee scheme

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a prolongation until 31 December 2009 of the UK Asset backed Securities guarantee scheme which forms part of the UK measures to support the banking industry during the current crisis. The Commission found the prolongation of the measures, initially approved on 21st April, 2009 (see IP/09/613), to be in line with its Guidelines Communication on the application of state aid rules to banks during the financial crisis (see IP/08/1495). In particular, the extended measures are limited in time and scope. The Commission has therefore concluded that they represent an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the UK's economy and as such are compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty.

  • Commission clears acquisition of BVT by BAE Systems

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of BVT Surface Fleet Limited (BVT) of the UK by BAE Systems plc, also of the UK. BAE Systems provides systems and services for air, land and naval forces as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. BVT provides surface warships and through-life support, principally as a partner for the UK Ministry of Defence. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

  • Commission clears acquisition of NOVA by IPIC and OMV

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of NOVA Chemicals Corporation (NOVA) of Canada by International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of the United Arab Emirates and OMV Aktiengesellschaft (OMV) of Austria. IPIC is an investment company concentrating on petroleum refining and related upstream and downstream distribution and service networks. OMV is active in oil exploration and production, refining and distribution of mineral oil products, petrochemical industry, exploration, production and distribution of gas. NOVA produces ethylene, polyethylene and chemical and energy co-products and styrene-based polymers. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

  • JRC Annual Inaugural Lecture on the EU-US science cooperation

Tomorrow, the EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, will participate in the Annual Inaugural Lecture of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The keynote speaker, Mr Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), will discuss on "Europe and the United States: a crucial moment for Science Cooperation". Introductory speeches will be delivered by Commissioner Potočnik and the JRC's Director General, Roland Schenkel. A Memorandum of Understanding will also be signed, to mark the importance of the collaboration between the JRC and the AAAS – a collaboration that contributes to the longstanding relation of science and international cooperation between the EU and the US. The JRC Annual lecture is a new initiative by the JRC. Each year, a guest speaker will be invited to give a keynote speech on a scientific issue of global importance. This year's Inaugural Lecture will take place at the Renaissance Hotel, rue du Parnasse 19, Wednesday 28 October,18h – 19h30. Journalists are welcome to attend.

Rediffusion

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu des règles du traité CE sur les aides d'État, un régime d'aides italien prévoyant l'octroi de bonifications d'intérêts pour la production de produits écologiques (produits «verts») dans le secteur des pièces pour automobiles. Elle est parvenue à la conclusion que ce régime faciliterait les investissements destinés à adapter anticipativement les produits aux normes arrêtées par l’UE pour améliorer la protection de l’environnement. Il remplit par conséquent les conditions fixées par l'encadrement temporaire des aides d'État de la Commission, qui donne aux États membres des possibilités supplémentaires de faciliter l’accès des entreprises au financement dans le contexte de la crise économique et financière (voir IP/08/1993), modifié le 25 février 2009. La mesure est donc conforme à l'article 87, paragraphe 3, point b), du traité CE, qui autorise les aides visant à remédier à une perturbation grave de l'économie d'un État membre.

Following the events organised in the previous years, this 7th European Civil Justice Day will again provide an opportunity for various events to be organised on or around 25 October in the Member States of the European Union and the Council of Europe. These events may be local conferences, open days, guided tours, meetings with legal practitioners or activities for young people. The shared objective of the events will be to make civil justice more understandable to the public.

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo on Eurobarometer survey on poverty and social exclusion

• Speech by Commissioner Ashton 'The transatlantic challenge: working together to shape the rules of globalisation', Washington

• Speech by Vice-President Wallström 'European Citizens as Catalysts for Change', Stockholm

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

Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration:

SCF/AIG Bank/AIG Credit