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Daily News – 04.10.2016

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 04 / 10 / 2016

Brussels, 4 October 2016

Paris Agreement to enter into force as EU agrees ratification

The European Parliament has approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union today. With today’s European Parliament approval of the Paris Agreement ratification – in the presence of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the United Nation's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the President of COP 21 Ségolène Royal – the last hurdle is cleared. The political process for the European Union to ratify the Agreement is concluded. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Today the European Union turned climate ambition into climate action. The Paris Agreement is the first of its kind and it would not have been possible were it not for the European Union.  Today we continued to show leadership and prove that, together, the European Union can deliver." So far, 62 parties, accounting for almost 52 % of global emissions have ratified the Paris Agreement. The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 parties, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified. The EU ratification and deposit will cross the 55% emission threshold and therefore trigger the entry into force of the Paris Agreement. The EU, which played a decisive role in building the coalition of ambition making the adoption of the Paris Agreement possible last December, is a global leader on climate action. The European Commission has already brought forward the legislative proposals to deliver on the EU's commitment to reduce emissions in the European Union by at least 40% by 2030. Read full press release online. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

 

La Commission présente les résultats de la Garantie pour la Jeunesse et l'Initiative pour l'Emploi des Jeunes trois ans après leur mise en œuvre

Aujourd'hui, le Collège des Commissaires discutera de l'emploi des jeunes en Europe, sur base d'un rapport d'avancement de la Garantie pour la Jeunesse et l'Initiative pour l'Emploi des Jeunes, lancées en 2013. L'année dernière, la Commission a pris des mesures afin d'accélérer la mise en œuvre de la Garantie pour la Jeunesse en augmentant le préfinancement de l'Initiative pour l'Emploi des Jeunes, son principal outil de financement. Dans son discours de l'Etat l'Union 2016, le Président Juncker a souligné son engagement à "continuer à déployer la garantie pour la jeunesse dans toute l'Europe; ainsi, nous améliorerons la palette de compétences des Européens et nous tendrons la main aux régions et aux jeunes qui en ont le plus besoin". Bien que le chômage des jeunes reste trop élevé, il y a aujourd'hui 1.4 millions moins de jeunes sans emploi dans l'UE comparé à 2013, et 900,000 moins de jeunes sans emploi, éducation ou formation. La Garantie pour la Jeunesse est un engagement politique, pris par tous les Etats-Membres, afin d'offrir à tous les jeunes de moins de 25 ans une offre d'emploi, d'éducation ou de formation continue de qualité, dans les 4 mois suivant la fin de leur scolarité ou la perte de leur emploi. Depuis 2013, 14 million de jeunes se sont enregistrés, dont 9 million ont bénéficié d'une offre. Le Collège discutera également de la proposition de révision d’Europass, un ensemble d'outils et de services comme le CV Europass, afin de soutienir la transparence et la visibilité des compétences et qualifications à travers l'Union européenne. La Commissaire pour l'Emploi, les Affaires sociales, les Compétences et la Mobilité des Travailleurs, Marianne Thyssen, donnera une conférence de presse sur le sujet aujourd'hui à 16h30 à Strasbourg. La conférence sera également transmise en direct sur EbS. Vous trouverez le communiqué de presse et le mémo sur les résultats de la Garantie pour la Jeunesse et l’Initiative pour l’Emploi des Jeunes, ainsi que le communiqué et le mémo sur la révision d’Europass, en ligne dès le début de la conférence de presse. Le discours de la Commissaire Thyssen sera publié ici. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)

 

Brussels Conference on Afghanistan Day One: a prosperous Afghanistan through empowered women and regional integration

The first two events of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (#AfghanConf) take place this afternoon, the first on women empowerment and the second on regional economic cooperation. The High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica will represent the European Union. The "Empowered Women, Prosperous Afghanistan" event will bring together high-level participants and panellists from across the international community, including the First Lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani, to discuss the ways and means of empowering Afghan women to build a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. The entire event will be available via web-streaming here and via EbS. Get involved and ask questions to the panellists by using #AskAfghanConf. The second event, entitled "Regional Integration and Prosperity", will focus on the importance of the engagement of Afghanistan's neighbours and the international community more broadly in investing in political support and economic integration for the future of Afghanistan. The opening and closing statements will be available after the event on EbS. Ahead of both events, Commissioner Mimica and the Minister of Finance of Afghanistan, Eklil Ahmad Hakimi will sign a State-building contract, providing new financial assistance in the form of direct budget support from the European Commission to the Afghan Government. A full press release will be available here at 13:30 and the signature will be shown on EbS. A number of bilateral meetings will take place throughout the day, as well as the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue and the EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting. Tomorrow, under the patronage of the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, over 70 countries and 20 international organisations and agencies will come together in support of ensuring continued international political and financial support to Afghanistan over the next four years. For more information on the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, including the indicative programme, media advisories, and background information, visit the website. For more information on EU-Afghanistan relations, see this factsheet.(For more information: Maja Kocijancic - Tel.: +32 229 86570; Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

 

Investment Plan for Europe: European support for renewable energy in Belgium creates hundreds of new jobs

The European Union will support the construction of the Rentel wind farm off the Belgian coast with a loan of up to EUR 300 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB). EUR 250 million of the loan will be guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe, in which the EIB is the strategic partner of the European Commission. The construction of the new wind farm will generate approximately 1,400 direct jobs, with another 1,400 jobs generated indirectly. A further 100 new permanent jobs will be created when the wind farm becomes operational. European Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: "I am very proud that the Investment Plan is supporting such a worthwhile project. When you consider its size, Belgium really is punching above its weight with EFSI financing so far. The renewable energy sector is vitally important for job creation as well as of course for our COP21 objectives, and I welcome the signature of this project today." (For more information see here or contact Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: + 32 229 57361)

 

Financial Derivatives: Commission adopts new rules to mitigate risks in non-cleared OTC derivative transactions

Following the financial crisis, rules on the central clearing of derivatives were introduced as part of global efforts to mitigate systemic risks to financial stability. To that end, the EU introduced legislation for the regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives in 2012, known as the European Market Infrastructure Regulation or EMIR. EMIR required certain derivatives to be centrally cleared to reduce risks. The first clearing obligations came into operation this year. For those derivatives not centrally cleared EMIR requires bilateral exchange of collateral to mitigate risks. This is why the Commission has today adopted a new set of rules, which sets out the levels and types of collateral that OTC derivatives counterparties must exchange bilaterally if the transaction is not cleared through a Central Clearing Counterparty (CCP). Should one counterparty to the transaction default, the margin collected will protect the non-defaulting counterparty against resulting losses. The draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) under EMIR were submitted jointly by the three European Supervisory Agencies (ESAs). The Commission decided to endorse these standards with certain amendments, in particular concerning the concentration limits for pension scheme arrangements and the timeline for implementation. Today's decision takes the form of a Delegated Regulation and is now subject to an objection period by the European Parliament and the Council after which it will be published in the Official Journal. The implementation of the rules will begin one month after the entry into force of the Delegated Regulation. For more information, see here. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958)

 

Commission publishes new proposals for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) in ongoing transparency drive

The European Commission is publishing two new proposals tabled during the 20th round of talks for a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which recently took place in Geneva. In line with the Commission's ongoing commitment to enhanced transparency in all trade negotiations, the documents are made available on the Commission's transparency in action page. The proposals cover institutional arrangements and settlement of state-to-state disputes. The first of the two papers aims to allow countries that do not count among the current 23 participants of the talks to join the agreement at a later stage. It also aims to make it possible to bring the agreement into the framework of the World Trade Organisation at a future stage. The EU proposal on the settlement of State-to-State Disputes aims at establishing effective and efficient rules for resolving potential disputes on the interpretation and application of TiSA. The text is largely based on the existing WTO model. Together with these documents, the Commission is also publishing the report of the 20th round, available here. TiSA partners are working towards conclusion of the talks possibly by the end of the year. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Axel Fougner - Tel.: +32 229 57276)

 

Facility for Refugees in Turkey: Commission Reports on Progress in Fourth Steering Committee

The Steering Committee of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey is meeting in Brussels today. The European Commission will present the progress made to date, in particular the two recent direct grants in the areas of education and health worth €600 million and contracts worth €422 million for humanitarian aid. During the meeting the participants (representatives from EU Member States and Turkey, under the chairmanship of the European Commission) will outline the next steps of cooperation to support both the refugees who have fled the Syrian war and their hosting communities in Turkey. A press release following the meeting will be issued here at approximately 14:00. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela– Tel: +32 229 65322; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Stroili Oro by THOM

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Stroili Oro of Italy by THOM of France.  Both Stroili Oro and THOM are active in the retail sale of affordable jewellery and watches through their own networks of shops. Stroili Oro's network is mainly located in Italy whereas THOM's is mostly in France. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the companies' combined market share will be limited due to their different geographical focus. 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 case number M.8166.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)   

 

Mergers: Commission clears joint acquisition of a Polish logistics warehouse by SEGRO and PSPIB

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Gliwice 5, a Polish logistics warehouse, by SEGRO plc of the UK and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSPIB) of Canada, via their joint venture SEGRO European Logistics Partnership S.a.r.l. (SELP) of Luxembourg.  Gliwice 5 is a warehouse located in Gliwice (Silesia region), Poland, currently let to a tenant in the manufacturing industry. SEGRO plc is a real estate investment trust that owns, manages and develops modern warehousing, light industrial and data centre properties. PSPIB invests the pension plans of the Canadian public sector in a diversified global portfolio including stocks, bonds, private equity, real estate, infrastructure and natural resources. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of its very limited 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.8205. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)   

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Bunge Indo-China by Wilmar

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Bunge Indo-China Holdings Pte. Ltd of Vietnam (Bunge Indo-China), by Wilmar International Limited of Singapore (Wilmar).  Bunge Indo-China is active in the import of raw soybeans, and production of soybean oil and meals for sale to customers in Vietnam. Wilmar’s business activities include oil palm cultivation, oilseed crushing, edible oil refining, sugar milling and refining, specialty fats, flour and rice milling and oleo chemicals. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because of the very limited activities of Bunge-Indo China in the EEA. 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.8153. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)    

 

Concentrations: la Commission autorise l’acquisition de BUT par CD&R Group et WM

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement de l'UE sur les concentrations, l’acquisition de Décomeubles Partners SAS (‘BUT’), établi en France, par Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Group ('CD&R Group') basé aux Etats-Unis et la société autrichienne WM Holding GmbH. BUT est active dans la vente au détail de meubles, d’articles ménagers et de décoration et d’appareils électroménagers et de produits électroniques grand public. BUT exerce ses activités essentiellement en France. WM est aussi active dans la vente au détail de meubles, d’articles ménagers et de décoration et d’appareils électroménagers et de produits électroniques grand public. WM est principalement active hors de France. CD&R Group est une société d’investissement privée qui détient des participations dans différents secteurs de l’économie. La Commission a conclu que l’acquisition envisagée ne poserait pas de problème de concurrence étant donné la faible importance des chevauchements d'activités entre les sociétés sur les marchés concernés, notamment en raison de leur différent intérêt géographique. L’opération a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations.  De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires de concurrence sous le numéro M.8156.(Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of sole control of Adama by CNAC

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control of Adama Agricultural Solutions (“Adama”, of Israel) by China National Agrochemical Corporation ("CNAC", of China). Adama primarily manufactures and sells off-patent crop protection products, including a wide range of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, seed treatment, and lawn and garden products. The Commission concluded that the proposed concentration would raise no competition concerns because Adama was previously jointly controlled by Koor Industries and CNAC and the relinquishing of control by Koor Industries will have no impact on competition on the internal market. 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.8170.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)   

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of the Keter and Jardin Businesses by BG Partners

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the Keter and Jardin Businesses, respectively of Israel and Cyprus, by BG Partners of the UK. The Keter and Jardin Businesses design, manufacture, and sell resin-based household consumer products, including outdoor furniture and storage, home organisation, DIY, gardening, pet care and toys. BG Partners invests in companies active on the European and North American markets. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the companies' activities do not overlap and are very limited on related markets. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8186. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)    

 

EUROSTAT: Dans l'UE, les enseignantes sont largement surreprésentées dans le niveau primaire

En 2014, 2,1 millions de personnes travaillaient en qualité d'enseignant du primaire dans l'Union européenne (UE). Les femmes étaient largement prédominantes, puisqu'elles constituaient 85% des enseignants (1,7 million d'enseignantes). Dans les établissements du secondaire, qui incluent tant le premier cycle que le deuxième cycle de l'enseignement secondaire, on comptait 3,6 millions d'enseignants, dont 64% (2,3 millions) étaient des femmes. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

EUROSTAT: Les prix à la production industrielle en baisse de 0,2% dans la zone euro et dans l'UE28

En août 2016 par rapport à juillet 2016, les prix à la production industrielle ont diminué de 0,2% tant dans la zone euro (ZE19) que dans l'UE28, selon les estimations d’Eurostat, l’office statistique de l'Union européenne. En juillet 2016, les prix avaient progressé de 0,3% dans les deux zones. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

EU-India join resources on water management

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella will visit India from 5-7 October to participate in the World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDS) and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Water. This will implement the Joint Declaration on the India-EU Water Partnership. It is an important follow up to the EU-India Summit in Brussels last March. The joint signature of the MoU on Water by Commissioner Vella and Ms Sushri Uma Bharti, Indian Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation,  provides the tools for an exchange of experience on water law and governance. It will promote opportunities to share commercial and technological know-how.  A case in point is the EU support for the Indian Government's flagship initiative 'Cleaning the Ganga' to rejuvenate this iconic river through the India-EU Water Partnership. Commissioner Vella stated that: "In the week that both the EU and India moved to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement, our decision to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Water could not be better timed. Water – and the protection of both its provision and source – is central to our shared goals. This signing gives us a chance to pool knowledge. It is an illustration of the depth of EU and India's strategic partnership". Commissioner Vella will also meet with India's Environment Minister, Mr Anil Madhav Dave, Science and Health Minister, Mr Harsh Vardhan, and Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Mr Radha Moha Singh. The visit is an important opportunity to strengthen EU cooperation with India on water, resource efficiency, and urbanisation. More on DG Environment. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Iris Petsa - Tel.: +32 229 93321)

 

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

MEX/16/3304