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Daily News – 30.06.2009

EXME09 / 30.06


News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

30 / 06 / 09

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Tiscali UK Ltd, a subsidiary of Tiscali SpA of Italy, by The Carphone Warehouse Group Plc of the UK. 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 Commission adopted today a decision establishing a template for National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) as required by the recent Renewable Energy Directive . The template will guide Member States in the elaboration of their Renewable Energy Action Plan and detail their strategies for reaching their 2020 renewable energy targets. Each Member State must submit a NREAP to the Commission by 30 June 2010 at the latest.

La signature, par le Président de la République Islamique de Mauritanie, M. Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, des décrets mettant en œuvre l'accord-cadre entre les trois pôles politiques mauritaniens, représente, par le retour à l'ordre constitutionnel, une avancée fondamentale vers la solution de la grave crise déclenchée par le coup d'Etat d'août 2008.

En ce début de vacances, la Commission européenne insiste auprès des consommateurs sur l’importance de se protéger correctement du soleil et leur signale que des règles d’étiquetage plus claires sont désormais d’application pour les laits et les crèmes de protection solaire. Ces règles, qui prévoient entre autres l’apposition d’un logo ou cachet U.V.A. sur les flacons et qui interdisent l’emploi de termes trompeurs comme «écran total» ou «protection totale», font suite à la recommandation de la Commission sur les produits solaires adoptée en septembre 2006. La Commission entend également rappeler que, pour de multiples raisons, les produits solaires ne doivent être qu’un moyen parmi d’autres de se protéger des rayonnements ultraviolets du soleil.

The European Commission has granted temporary clearance to a recapitalisation and an asset relief measure provided to Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) by the German State of Baden-Württemberg. The recapitalisation complies with the requirements set out in the Commission's communication on the recapitalisation of financial institutions (see IP/08/1901), because it foresees an adequate remuneration. However, the Commission has doubts whether the asset relief measure can be considered fully in line with the Commission's guidance on asset relief (see IP/09/322). Therefore, the Commission will undertake a further in-depth analysis of the complex valuation of the impaired assets before taking a final decision. Both measures have been approved for six months.

European Union rules governing the size and shape of many fruit and vegetables will cease to exist tomorrow when specific marketing standards for 26 types of fruit and vegetables are repealed. The Commission's initiative to get rid of these standards is a major element in its ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify EU rules and cut red tape. For 10 types of fruit and vegetables, including apples, strawberries and tomatoes, marketing standards will remain in place. But even for these 10, Member States could for the first time allow shops to sell products that don't respect the standards, as long as they are labelled to distinguish them from 'extra', 'class I' and 'class II' fruit. In other words, the new rules will allow national authorities to permit the sale of all fruit and vegetables, regardless of their size and shape.

La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui, au terme d'une large consultation, une proposition de recommandation du Conseil engageant tous les États membres à prendre des dispositions législatives afin de protéger leurs citoyens contre l'exposition à la fumée du tabac d'ici 2012. Le tabagisme reste la principale cause de décès prématuré et de maladie dans l’Union européenne. En 2002, dans l'Union à vingt-cinq, selon de prudentes estimations, 79 000 adultes, dont 19 000 non-fumeurs, sont morts des suites d'une exposition à la fumée du tabac dans leur foyer (72 000) ou sur leur lieu de travail (7 300).

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, underlines the importance of these presidential elections for the consolidation of the democratic process in Guinea Bissau:

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be -0.1% in June 2009 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 0.0% in May.Euro area inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available4 as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro area. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (18 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate and 6 times differing by 0.1 over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.

  • State aid: Commission approves prolongation of the Austrian package aimed at stabilising the financial markets

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, the prolongation until 31 December 2009 of the Austrian package of measures aimed at stabilising the financial markets. This package provides guarantees, capital and loans to eligible credit and insurance institutions, and was initially approved by the Commission on 9 December 2008 (see IP/08/1933) until 30 June 2009. As the financial crisis is still ongoing, the Commission concludes that a prolongation of the measures is justified under Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty. The Commission found the prolongation of the measures to be in line with the Commission guidance communications on state aid to overcome the financial crisis (see IP/08/1495 and IP/08/1901).

  • State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Latvian guarantee scheme for credit institutions

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a six month prolongation of a Latvian guarantee scheme for credit institutions (until 31 December 2009). The Commission found the prolongation of the measures, initially approved on 22 December 2008 (see IP/08/2054), to be in line with its Guidance Communication on state aid to overcome 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 Latvian economy and as such are compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty.

  • Commission clears merger between Perdigão and Sadia

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed merger between Perdigão S.A. and Sadia S.A., both of Brazil. Both companies process and supply food products The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo on State aid: Overview of national measures adopted as a response to the financial/economic crisis

• Memo Sunscreen products: Be smart and protect yourself this summer!

• Memo Questions et réponses concernant la proposition de recommandation de la Commission relative aux environnements sans tabac

• Memo on Iraq: Kurdistan Regional Elections – Commission deploys electoral experts

• Speech by Commissioner Kroes 'Did government inventions help in the crisis?', London EMBARGO 16:50 CET

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

Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

Veolia Eau/Société des Eaux de Marseille/Société des Eaux d'Arles/

Société Stéphanoise des Eaux