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Daily News – 23.09.2016

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 23 / 09 / 2016

Brussels, 23 September 2016

EU at the UN General Assembly - Day 5

A busy Ministerial Week at the 71st United Nations General Assembly will come to an end today. On Thursday, the European Union delegation continued its dynamic engagement with participation in a large number of high-level meetings and bilateral conversations. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans had an exchange with Mr George Soros and met with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini chaired a ministerial meeting of the Joint Commission on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, the so-called Iranian nuclear deal). Read the full remarks here. She also participated in the International Syria Support Group meeting on ministerial level as well as at the ministerial meeting on Libya, and held a large number of bilateral meeting, including with the Foreign Minister of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez, Special Advisor of the UN Secretary General for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide as well as Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva and Commissioner Christos Stylianides participated in the event "Beyond the World Humanitarian Summit: advancing the Agenda for Humanity". Vice-President Georgieva also gave a speech at the International Peace Institute on how institutions can cope in a changing global environment. Commissioner Stylianides addressed a high-level event on South Sudan and an event calling to action on Protection from Gender-based violence in emergencies: Turning world health organisation commitments into action. Commissioner Neven Mimica joined the EU delegation in New York on Thursday, and delivered a speech at the EU hosted event on the EU's efforts in integrating a youth dimension in preventing and countering violent extremism and at the event on Pathways to zero hunger. Audio-visual coverage of the events can be found on EBS. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Esther Osorio – Tel.: + 32 229 62076)


Customs Union: Number of counterfeit goods seized by EU authorities continued to rise in 2015

Customs authorities across the EU seized an estimated five million more counterfeit items in 2015 than the previous year, according to new figures released today by the European Commission. This means that the number of intercepted goods grew by 15% compared to 2014. More than 40 million products suspected of violating an intellectual property right were detained at the EU's external borders, with a value of nearly €650 million. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: "I’ve witnessed first-hand the excellent work of customs officials across the EU in dealing with counterfeit and sometimes dangerous goods.But the criminal activity which swamps our internal market with fake and illegal products shows no sign of abating. The Commission will continue to work with customs authorities, international partners and industry to ensure a high level of protection for intellectual property rights in the EU." Cigarettes remain the top category (27%) of articles detained, while everyday products which could be dangerous to the health and safety of consumers such as food and beverages, toiletries, medicines, toys and household electrical goods account jointly for 25.8% of the total. Once again, China was the main originating country for counterfeit goods (41%), followed by Montenegro, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Benin. A press release and the full report are available online. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)


CITES CoP17: EU pushes for further tightening of wildlife trade rules at global summit on wildlife conservation

On 24 September, representatives of 182 countries and the EU will gather at the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP17) in Johannesburg, South Africa to agree tangible measures to better protect some of the planet's most vulnerable species. The EU will participate for the first time as a full member of CITES and will seek stricter international measures against wildlife trafficking, in line with the EU action plan on wildlife trafficking. It strongly supports the continued ban on trade in ivory. Commissioner Vella said: "The EU is proud to be a world leader in the fight against wildlife trafficking. We see the CITES CoP as an opportunity to get even tougher on the fight against wildlife trafficking and the corruption that fuels it. We are building a global alliance among countries to protect wildlife where it lives, block points of transit, and stamp out the illegal demand". A press release and Q&A are available. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of the feature phone business of Microsoft Mobile by Hon Hai

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the takeover of Microsoft's feature phone manufacturing and distribution business by FIH Mobile (Cayman Islands), a subsidiary of Hon Hai (Taiwan). The acquired business includes the manufacturing and distribution activities of Microsoft's feature phone business (mobile phones with limited Internet browsing and application capabilities). The Microsoft Corporation (United States) is a software, services and hardware provider. Hon Hai, trading as Foxconn, provides third-party electronic manufacturing services (EMS) to manufacturers of electronic products such as computers and mobile phones. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because the overlaps between Hon Hai's and the acquired business' activities are limited at the worldwide and European Economic Area levels. Even though Hon Hai's activities in certain segments of EMS are significant, such as for cellular handsets, the increments added are small and the EMS industry is largely competitive. The proposed transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8109. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)


La Commission approuve l'acquisition de RP Group par PAI Partners

La Commission Européenne a approuvé en vertu du Règlement sur les concentrations de L'Union Européenne l'acquisition du contrôle exclusif de RP Group BV, établi aux Pays Bas, par PAI Partners S.A.S., établi en France. RP gère et exploite des parcs de vacances aux Pays Bas, Belgique et Allemagne sous la marque "Roompot". RP est aussi actif dans le développement des parcs, l'aménagement des parcs et l'organisation de voyages. PAI est une société de capital investissement qui gère et conseille plusieurs fonds détenant des entreprises présentes dans divers secteurs tels que les équipements utilisés à l'extérieur, la mode, les centres d'appel et les hôtels bon marché. La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence à cause de son impact limité sur le marché. La transaction a été examinée selon 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 cas sous le numéro d'affaire M.8182. (Pour plus d'informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Angela Nardella - Tel.: +32 229 86801)


EUROSTAT: Journée européenne des langues - Plus de 80% des élèves de l’enseignement primaire dans l’UE étudiaient une langue étrangère en 2014, l’anglais domine nettement

En 2014, plus de 18 millions d’élèves de l’enseignement primaire (soit 84% de l’ensemble des élèves de ce niveau) dans l’Union européenne (UE) étudiaient au moins une langue étrangère, dont quelque 1 million (environ 5%) apprenaient deux langues étrangères ou plus. Au niveau de l’enseignement primaire, l’anglais, étudié par plus de 17 millions d’élèves, était de loin la langue la plus populaire. La prépondérance de l’anglais se confirme dans le premier cycle de l’enseignement secondaire (élèves âgés de 11 à 15 ans environ en fonction du système éducatif national), avec plus de 17 millions d’élèves dans l’UE apprenant l’anglais en tant que langue étrangère (97% de tous les élèves de ce niveau) en 2014. Le français (5 millions, soit 34% de la population concernée) arrivait en deuxième position, suivi par l’allemand (3 millions, soit 23%), l’espagnol (2 millions, soit 13%), le russe (0,5 million, soit 3%) et l’italien (0,2 million, soit 1%). Un communiqué de presse EUROSTAT est disponible en ligne. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)



Johannes Hahn visits the Republic of Moldova

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, will visit Moldova on Monday 26 September. He will meet Speaker of Parliament Andrian Candu, Prime Minister Pavel Filip, Governor of the National Bank Sergiu Cioclea and key Government Ministers. The Commissioner's programme also includes meetings with the parliamentary opposition and some non-parliamentary party leaders. The main purpose of the discussions in Chisinau is to take stock of the state of play of the reform process and of the EU support on the implementation of tangible reforms. Special emphasis will be paid to the overview of the pre-electoral situation in the country with a view of ensuring that OSCE and the Council of Europe commitments are met during the 30 October Presidential elections. This is the second visit by Commissioner Hahn in his current capacity. He last visited Chisinau on 6 November 2014. Videos and photos of the visit will be available on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)


G7 Transport Ministerial to discuss Connected cars, infrastructure spending and aviation decarbonisation

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc will represent the European Commission at the G7 transport ministerial meeting held tomorrow in Karuizawa, Japan. The main topics on the agenda include connected and automated driving, investment in transport infrastructure as well as the decarbonisation of international aviation. Commissioner Bulc will present Europe's transport infrastructure policy, the contribution of the Investment Plan for Europe as well as the ongoing work by the Commission on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), which is a technology that enables vehicles to communicate with each other and with the infrastructure. Ministers are also expected to discuss the decarbonisation of international aviation as the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) opens in Montreal on 27 September. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Alexis Perier - Tel.: +32 229 69143)


Commissioner Jourová on official visit to Germany

Commissioner Jourová will visit Berlin on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26, where she will meet Mr Wolfgang Schäuble, Federal Minister of Finance, to discuss the European Public Prosecutor's Office. She will then speak at an event on online hate speech together with Justice Minister, Mr. Heiko Maas, with whom she will exchange on ongoing justice files, such as Digital Contracts, European Public Prosecutor's Office and the upcoming insolvency proposal. At the meeting with Interior Minister, Mr. Thomas de Maizière, the Commissioner will touch upon data protection files and justice aspects of the Security Union. In the Bundestag (Parliament), she will exchange views with the Committee for Justice and Consumer Protection, and with the Legal and EU Affairs committee. Her visit includes meetings with business representatives at the German Chamber of Industry and at Commerce (DIHK) and at the Federation of German Industry (BDI). The Commissioner will discuss consumer topics, including the VW case, with the German consumer organisations (Verbraucherzentrale). Finally, Commissioner Jourová will open the conference on the "10 years of protection against discrimination in Germany". A press briefing will take place at the Berlin European Commission representation from 12:15 to 13:00 on Tuesday. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 6225; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)


Commissioner Thyssen visits Jordan and co-chairs Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Conference

From tomorrow, 24 September 2016, until 27 September 2016, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, will travel to Jordan, where she will participate as co-president in the third Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Conference (UfM) on Employment and Labour. Upon arrival in Jordan, the Commissioner will take part in a Ministerial dinner withMinister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhour; Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Dr Jawad Al Anani, Minister of Labour Al-Ghezawi;Chair of the Jordan Strategic Forum Dr Omar Razzaz; Chair of the Jordan Chamber of Industry Mr Adnan Abu Al Ragheb, andPresident of the Economic and Social Council Dr Munter Al Share'. As regards the Conference itself, this will be an occasion for Commissioner Thyssen to meet with Ministers in charge of labour and employment, as well as social partners, from EU Member States and Mediterranean partners. Several roundtable discussions will take place, on topics such as strengthening social dialogue; job creation, improving youth employment and employability; as well as growth, decent work and inclusion. In the margin of the Conference, the Commissioner will meet with UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi, Jordanian Ambassador Bataineh and the Jordanian Minister of Employment H.E. Ali AL-Ghezawi. Ahead of the Conference, she will visit the Za'aatari refugee camp, the UNESCO Youth Mentoring Project, the Higher Education Language and Distance Learning Project (LASER) implemented by the British Council, as well as the Luminus Group, where she will meet with students of the technical and vocational education training funded by the EU. Commissioner Thyssen's speeches during the conference will be made available on her website. Both the Ministerial Conference as well as the Commissioner's visit to the refugee camp and different projects will be diffused on EbS. At the closing of the conference, a Ministerial Declaration will be published here. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


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