EXME 12 / 30.07
Midday Express of 2012-07-30
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Providing security is a central concern of any society. Recent natural disasters and terrorist attacks have highlighted the need to be better prepared for crisis situations. The European Commission has therefore proposed an action programme to boost Europe's security industry. The programme should empower this industry - one of the sectors with the highest potential for growth and employment in the EU - to stay in Europe and to continue producing high quality security products.
In July the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased by 1.4 points in the EU, to 89.0, and by 2.0 points in the euro area, to 87.9. The decline resulted from lower confidence in all sectors entering the calculation of the ESI. However, a loss of confidence in the services sector was the main driver of the decrease in the EU, while the euro area saw the biggest declines in industry and among consumers.
In July 2012, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area decreased by 0.32 points to ‑1.27. The decline was driven by deteriorations in all five components. The steepest decreases occurred in managers' assessment of past production and export order books. Production expectations and the assessment of overall order books and the adequacy of stocks of finished products also deteriorated.
The European Commission has informed the French pharmaceutical company Servier and several of its generic competitors of its objections against practices potentially delaying the generic entry of perindopril, a cardio-vascular medicine. At this stage, the Commission takes the view that the patent settlement agreements concluded by Servier with Niche/Unichem, Matrix (today Mylan Laboratories Limited), Teva, Krka and Lupin, as well as Servier's acquisition of key competing technologies were aimed at delaying or preventing the market entry of cheap generic versions of perindopril, in violation of EU antitrust rules. The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.
La Commission européenne a adopté son programme d'action 2012 en faveur du Maroc. Ce programme, d'un montant total de 112 millions d'euros, vise à soutenir les efforts de réforme du gouvernement marocain dans deux secteurs : d'une part, la politique de gestion et de protection de la forêt et, d'autre part, la réforme de la gestion des finances et de l'administration publiques.
Commission authorises prolongation of HU liquidity and recapitalisation scheme
The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, the prolongation of a Hungarian liquidity scheme for credit institutions and of a Hungarian bank support scheme until 31 December 2012. The Commission found the prolongation of the liquidity scheme, initially approved on 14 January 2010 (see IP/10/19), and the prolongation of the bank support scheme initially approved on 12 February 2009 (see IP/09/253) to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1495, IP/08/1901). In particular, the prolonged measures are well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission therefore concluded that they represent an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Hungarian economy and are as such compatible with Article 107(3) (b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Commission clears acquisition of the Italian ISAB refinery by Lukoil
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of ISAB of Italy, by the Russian company OAO LUKOIL. ISAB refines crude petroleum. LUKOIL is active in oil and gas exploration and production, production and sale of refined petroleum products and operation of petrol stations. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
CAP: Commission launches call for tenders for study on exchange programmes for young farmers
The European Commission has launched a call for tenders for a study on exchange programmes for young farmers to evaluate to what extent these can address their specific needs. The call for tenders for this pilot project, launched on 27 July and managed by the Commission on the request of the European Parliament, will aim at identifying and assessing the specific needs of young farmers across the EU. It will also evaluate to what extent these can be addressed by exchange programmes. A list of good practices and examples of exchange schemes will be drawn up following a comprehensive survey and analysis of existing exchange programmes within the EU as well as in some selected non-EU countries. According to the proposed reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, knowledge transfer and information actions should not only take the form of traditional training courses but be adapted to the needs of rural actors. Short-term farm exchange or visit schemes should facilitate this approach. The experience acquired should thus enable farmers to strengthen their competitiveness, efficiency and environmental performance, while at the same time contributing to the sustainability of the rural economy. The maximum budget attributed to this project is EUR 1 500 000. The deadline for submitting offers is 5 October 2012. The Commission intends to award the contract by the end of 2012, following the evaluation of the offers received. The contractor will have to carry out the study within 24 months from the signature of the contract. Details are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/calls-for-tender/2012-237995_en.htm
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the motorised vehicles business of FCI S.A. (FCI MVL) of France by Delphi Holding Luxembourg Sarl of Luxembourg. Both parties produce connectors used in motorised vehicles. The Commission found that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.
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