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Daily News – 07.07.2015

European Commission - Daily News

DAILY NEWS 07 / 07 / 15

Brussels, 07 July 2015

President Juncker’s speech at the European Parliament on the review of the Latvian Presidency and ahead of the Euro summit on Greece

Speaking in front of the European Parliament today, President Juncker praised the success of the Latvian Presidency saying it was an “efficient and determined Presidency focused on delivering concrete results”. He thanked the Latvian Presidency for notably having helped to deliver – through its excellent negotiation skills – the European Fund for Strategic Investments which is at the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. Speaking on Greece ahead of the Euro Summit tonight, President Juncker said that “the ball is most definitely in the court of the Greek government” which now has to explain how it intends to move forward following the outcome of the referendum in Greece. He stressed the readiness of the Commission to play a constructive role and help the process: “The European Commission for its part is ready to do everything to get to an agreement within an acceptable timeframe.” He reiterated that "We don't want Greece out of the Eurozone or the European Union, and we will continue to work on the reopening of negotiations.” With regards to his expectations ahead of tonight’s Euro Summit, President Juncker said that “We will sit down tonight and will try to get things going without rhetorical side-effects so that we can get to an agreeable solution. (…) The Commission would like to know what the “no” vote means, because I am told it's not a no to Europe, and I am told it's not a “no” to the euro. It cannot be a “no” to the proposals by the institutions, because they were no longer on the table.” Finally, President Juncker reiterated his strong determination to keep Greece firmly anchored in the eurozone: “My aim is to prevent Grexit. I am against Grexit,” he said adding that “In Europe there are no easy answers. Europe is about the permanent grappling for compromise solutions.” A full transcript of the speech and translations into ENFR and EL can be found here. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas - Tel.:  +32 496 583826; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382)

European Commission commits to increase financing for education in humanitarian emergencies

The European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides will announce today his objective to dedicate 4% of the EU humanitarian aid budget to education for children in emergency situations. Speaking today at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development, Commissioner Stylianides said: "No child should miss out on education. We want to make education a priority in emergency situations so that more children can have access to learning, to teachers, to a brighter future. I am truly committed to this cause. I aim to dedicate 4% of our humanitarian aid budget to education in emergencies in the course of my mandate. This is one of my top priorities. I am already in contact with the European Parliament towards achieving this goal." A press release is available here. (For more information: Alexandre Polack – Tel.: +32 229 90677; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

Mergers: Commission clears joint acquisition of Swedish provider of industrial packaging solutions by FAM and Fanopi

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Nefab, a Swedish provider of global industrial packaging solutions, by FAM of Sweden and by Fanopi of Luxemburg. FAM manages the assets of several Swedish foundations set up by the Wallenberg family whereas Fanopi holds financial interests on behalf of its private owners. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, as there are no overlaps between the companies' activities. 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.7620. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Partner in Pet Foods Holdings by Pamplona Capital.

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Partner in Pet Food Holdings B.V. ("PPF") of Hungary by a fund managed and advised by Pamplona Capital Management LLP and affiliates ("Pamplona Capital"). Pamplona Capital is a global private equity investment firm based in the UK. PPF is a supplier of private label and industrial pet food. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns as there are no overlaps between the companies' activities in the European Economic Area (EEA). The operation was examined under the simplified merger procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website in the public case register under the case number M.7623. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Scimitar Topco by CDR Group.

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Scimitar Topco Limited of the UK ("Scimitar") by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice of the United States via its investment vehicle Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund IX, L.P of the Cayman Islands (together "CDR Group").  Scimitar is the holding company of a group of companies active in the retail supply of road fuels in the UK and, ancillary to this, the supply of groceries from these sites. It is also involved, to a limited extent, in the wholesale supply of motor fuels in the UK. CDR Group is a private equity investment group based in the US which invests in companies active in a variety of economic sectors, such as healthcare, retail and construction. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because none of CDR Group's portfolio company offers products or services in competition with those offered by Scimitar. 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.7656(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Kem One Innovative Vinyls by OpenGate Capital Group Europe.

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Kem One Innovative Vinyls (“KOIV") of France, by OpenGate Capital Group Europe ("OGCGE") of Luxembourg. OGCGE is a Luxemburg based private-equity investment company, ultimately controlled by OpenGate Capital. KOIV mainly produces and markets ready-for-use specialty vinyl compounds and other PVC products. The Commission analyzed the impact of the merger on two markets, in particular on S-PVC compounds and the PVC building systems markets. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, in particular because of the moderate market shares of the two companies and because a sufficient number of players will continue to exercise competitive constraint on the merged entity. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7572. This decision is not related to the ongoing state aid investigation regarding the restructuring plan of Kem One SAS. Kem One SAS is a separate entity, active in markets upstream of KOIV. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

EUROSTAT: Government expenditure accounted for 48.1% of GDP in the EU in 2014

In 2014, total general government expenditure amounted to €6 701 billion in the European Union (EU). This represented almost half (48.1%) of EU GDP in 2014, compared with 48.6% in 2013. In the euro area, the share stood at 49.0% in 2014 (49.4% in 2013). Among EU Member States, general government expenditure varied in 2014 from less than 35% of GDP in Lithuania and Romania to more than 57% in Finland, France and Denmark. A detailed breakdown of general government expenditure by main functions is available for 2013. In the EU, the function ‘social protection’ was by far the most important, accounting for 40.2% of total general government expenditure. The next most important areas in terms of general government expenditure were ‘health’ (14.8%), ‘general public services’ such as external affairs and public debt transactions (14.1%), ‘education’ (10.3%) and ‘economic affairs’ (8.8%). The functions ‘public order and safety’ (3.7%), ‘defence’ (2.9%), ‘recreation, culture and religion’ (2.2%), ‘environmental protection’ (1.7%) and ‘housing and community amenities’ (1.4%) had more limited weights. This data at EU level mask however significant differences between the EU Member States regarding both the share and the ranking of each function of general government expenditure. This information on general government expenditure by function comes from an online publication released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. A press release is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)


ANNOUNCEMENTS

La Vice-Présidente Georgieva se rend en France pour une visite officielle

Mme Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-Présidente de la Commission européenne chargée du Budget et des Ressources Humaines, se rendra à Paris pour une série d'entretiens à haut niveau. Elle rencontrera M. Manuel Valls, Premier Ministre, M. Michel Sapin, Ministre des Finances et des Comptes Publics et M. Christian Eckert, Secrétaire d'Etat au Budget, M. Emmanuel Macron, Ministre de l’Economie, de l’Industrie et du Numérique, M. Laurent Fabius, Ministre des Affaires Etrangères et du Développement International, Mme Annick Girardin, Secrétaire d’Etat au Développement et à la Francophonie, Mme Marylise Lebranchu, Ministre de la Décentralisation et de la Fonction publique et M. Gilles Carrez, Président de la commission Finances, et Mme Danielle Auroi, Présidente de la commission des Affaires européennes de l' Assemblée Nationale. La Vice-Présidente Georgieva renforcera les ambitions de la Commission européenne à aligner davantage le budget européen sur les résultats et à assurer que chaque euro du budget européen bénéficie réellement aux citoyens. (For more information: Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 229 93265; Andreana Stankova – Tel.: +32 229 57857)

MEX/15/5320

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