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Daily News – 03.07.2015

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 03 / 07 / 2015

Brussels, 03 July 2015

College of Commissioners in Luxembourg for the official launch of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union

To mark the inauguration of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union which officially took office on 1 July, President Juncker and the College of Commissioners are in Luxembourg today. During the day, Commissioners will meet with their counterparts in the Luxembourgish government to discuss the priorities for the next six months. The meetings will cover three main policy areas: (1) Growth, competitiveness, investment and environmental issues; (2) Economic and Monetary Union, the social dimension and financial issues; and (3) External relations, including development, trade and defence as well as freedom, justice and security. At 12:30 CET there will be a joint press point with President Juncker and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel in the European Convention Centre in Luxembourg. It will be live streamed and made available online afterwards via EBS. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 498 991 382)

 

Commission calls for stricter enforcement of passenger rights legislation in Europe

As millions of European citizens will be travelling during the summer period, the Commission is today calling for better application and enforcement of EU legislation on passenger rights. In doing so, the Commission is again demonstrating its commitment to put citizens at the heart of its transport policy, as explained by EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc in a new video message. To assist Member States in bridging the enforcement gap, the Commission today adopted interpretative guidelines clarifying the existing rules applicable to the rail sector. Commissioner Violeta Bulc also invited the Council to move forward with the discussions on a new Regulation on the rights of passengers travelling by air. A press release is available in EN, FR and DE. (For more information: Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Alexis Perier – Tel.: +32 229 69143)

 

Investment Plan for Europe: New financing agreement to support innovative companies in Luxembourg

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Banque Internationale of Luxembourg SA (BIL) today signed an agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as small mid-caps in Luxembourg. This is the first transaction in Luxembourg to benefit from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The new agreement allows BIL to provide €60 million of finance to innovative companies in Luxembourg over the next two years. The loans will be backed by a guarantee of the EIF, enabled by the InnovFin initiative with financial backing from Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme. Speaking at the high-level signing event in Luxembourg, Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Today is a very important day for innovative companies in Luxembourg. This deal will allow start-ups to turn their ideas into reality, to provide more jobs and to help create growth in Europe. I wish the Banque Internationale of Luxembourg every success and thank the European Investment Fund for the role they are playing in implementing the Investment Plan for Europe". Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, added: "Thanks to EFSI and the work of local intermediaries, Horizon 2020 financing can flow more quickly to SMEs and start-ups, which is one of the key objectives of the Investment Plan." A press release is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182)

 

Adoption du Programme de Développement Rural du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

La Commission européenne a adopté le Programme de Développement Rural (PDR) du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg correspondant à un montant de €368 million de fonds publics disponibles pour la période 2014-2020 dont €100.6 millions du budget de l'Union européenne. Le PDR du Luxembourg accorde une grande importance à l'aspect environnemental (biodiversité, gestion de l'eau et des sols, réduction du gaz à effet de serre) et à la compétitivité du secteur agricole en soutenant l'innovation. Les jeunes agriculteurs recevront également des aides spécifiques pour leur première installation. Phil Hogan, Commissaire à l'Agriculture, a aujourd'hui commenté l'adoption du programme luxembourgeois: "Je me réjouis de l'accent mis dans ce programme sur les actions ayant trait à la restauration, la préservation et la mise en valeur des écosystèmes. C'est en effet important dans un pays ayant plus de 80% de son territoire classé comme zone rurale. J'ai toute confiance que ce nouveau PDR permettra aux territoires ruraux de prospérer et de contribuer aux objectifs de la politique de développement rural de l'UE." Cette décision porte le nombre total de PDR adoptés à 56 pour une contribution de l'UE de €62.9 milliards (sur un total de 118 programmes pour un budget de €99.6 milliards). La Commission a par ailleurs adopté cette semaine le Cadre National français, et les programmes des régions de Molise (Italie) et de Murcia (Espagne). Plus d'informations sur le programme luxembourgeois ainsi que les autres PDR sont disponibles ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56 185; Clémence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52 509)

 

Mergers: Commission clears Mitsui's acquisition of a stake in GRI

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Gonvarri Eólica, S.L. and its subsidiaries -which trade under the name Gestamp Renewable Industries ("GRI") of Spain by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui") of Japan, together with Holding Gonvarri, S.L. ("Holding Gonvarri") of Spain. GRI manufactures metal components for wind turbines, in particular wind towers and flanges. GRI is currently solely controlled by Holding Gonvarri. Mitsui is a global trading company. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because it does not alter 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.7634. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

EUROSTAT: Volume of retail trade up by 0.2% in euro area

In May 2015 compared with April 2015, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.3% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In April retail trade increased by 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. In May 2015 compared with May 2014 the retail sales index increased by 2.4% in the euro area and by 3.0% in the EU28. A press release is available here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

"Top News" to become more flexible, digital and efficient

The Commission's weekly "Top News", normally published on Fridays at 12.00, is currently being revamped in order to make it more flexible, digital and efficient in the current highly dynamic news context. We are therefore suspending its publication for the time being and kindly ask for your understanding. The new version will be up and running shortly. In the mean-time, the Spokesperson's Service continues to keep you informed through our other channels. (For more information: Dirk Volckaerts - Tel.: +32 229-93944)

 

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