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Daily News – 28.07.2016

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 28 / 07 / 2016

Brussels, 28 July 2016

Facility for Refugees in Turkey: over €1.4 billion in support of education and health

Today, the European Commission has adopted a Special Measure worth over €1.4 billion in support of refugees who have fled the war in Syria and their host communities. The money will go towards education, health, municipal and social infrastructure, and socio-economic support. In addition, a further €79 million of previously allocated funds for humanitarian aid projects has been contracted to a number of partners, including UN agencies, international organisations as well as international NGOs. Today's announcement, under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, is part of the Commission's commitment to deliver on what was agreed to in the EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March. Since then, €2.155 billion out of the foreseen €3 billion for this and next year has already been mobilised. Funding under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey supports refugees in the country, not Turkey. The support seeks to improve conditions for refugees in Turkey as part of the EU's comprehensive approach to addressing the refugee crisis inside and outside the EU. A full press release is available online, as is a factsheet on the Facility for Refugees in Turkey and more information on the projects. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


South Sudan: EU releases €40 million as humanitarian situation worsens

The European Commission has today announced €40 million in emergency humanitarian assistance for people affected by the crisis in South Sudan, bringing the total support from the Commission to €103 million for 2016. The funding comes as the humanitarian situation worsens in the country, with more than 40,000 people displaced following the eruption of renewed fighting in the capital Juba earlier this month. "The recent deadly escalation of hostilities in South Sudan is extremely worrying and threatens the very fragile situation in the country. The EU stands by those most in need caught up in the conflict. The emergency aid will address the overall deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country, providing crucial supplies such as food and nutrition, water and sanitation, protection and healthcare. I urge all parties to respect their obligation to grant unhindered and safe humanitarian access to those in need. Furthermore, the systematic looting of humanitarian facilities is unacceptable and must stop immediately," said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. Read the full press release online. (For more information: Nabila Massrali – Tel.: +32 229 69218; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


EU rules on remuneration for credit institutions and investment firms work, but the proportionality principle needs to be clarified

Today the European Commission has published a report on EU remuneration rules for credit institutions and investment firms. The report draws on work carried out by the European Banking Authority, public consultations and an external study. It finds that the remuneration rules are generally effective in curbing excessive risk-taking behaviour and short-termism - precisely the reason why the rules were introduced in the aftermath of the financial crisis – but concludes that in certain cases, some of the rules may be too costly and burdensome to apply, compared to their prudential benefits. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said "The EU rules on remuneration brought in after the financial crisis are working. They have proven useful tools to curb excessive risk-taking by staff and to ensure their focus on longer-term interests of credit institutions and investment firms, thereby contributing to financial stability" but added that "there may be room to make remuneration rules more proportionate and less burdensome from an administrative perspective for the small and less complex institutions". In light of the report's findings, the Commission will conduct an impact assessment, which will look into a possible clarification of these rules and their application to the smallest and least complex institutions. A press release is available here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)


State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Portuguese Guarantee Scheme on European Investment Bank lending

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a prolongation of a Portuguese guarantee scheme on European Investment Bank (EIB) lending until 31 December 2016. The scheme covers State guarantees to banks that guarantee EIB loans granted to companies in Portugal. It was initially approved on 27 June 2013 and prolonged several times, last in February 2016. The Commission found the prolongation of the scheme to be in line with its guidelines on State aid to banks during the crisis because it is well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The prolonged scheme will allow the continuation of funding provided by the EIB to the real economy and prevent the disruption of the credit granted by the EIB through the banks participating in the scheme. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.45671. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)


Mergers: Commission clears joint acquisition of Termica Milazzo by ENI and Kuwait Petroleum

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Termica Milazzo S.r.l. of Italy, by Raffineria di Milazzo S.p.A, a joint venture between Eni S.p.A. and Kuwait Petroleum Italia S.p.A, all of Italy. Termica Milazzo operates a thermal power unit of 145 megawatts located in Sicily, Italy. Raffineria di Milazzo operates a refinery located at the same site as Termica Milazzo’s thermal power unit. Eni is active in the oil, natural gas and electricity sectors worldwide. Kuwait Petroleum Italia is a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and it is active in the supply of fuel, jet fuel, bunker fuel, lubricants and other petroleum derivatives. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because of the very limited overlaps between the companies' activities generated by the transaction. 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.8032.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Komel – Tel.: +32 229 61175)


Better Regulation: Commission publishes REFIT Platform Opinions on making EU regulation more effective and efficient

The European Commission has today published 16 Opinions adopted by the REFIT Platform, which brings together a diverse group of experts to make suggestions on how to improve existing EU legislation and the way it is implemented in Member States. The Opinions will feed into the Commission's reflection on its 2017 Work Programme. The work of the REFIT Platform is driven by its members, on the basis of input received from the public via the 'Lighten the Load' tool. This online portal is open for all members of the public to provide their suggestions for reducing the regulatory burdens they experience in their daily lives. Platform members assess the merits of the stakeholder contributions, look at practical ways to follow up on them and make recommendations to the Commission. The REFIT Platform, launched as part of the Better Regulation Agenda,  is chaired by Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and composed of high level experts from each Member State, from business and other civil society interests, and from the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee. The Commission has sought a balanced representation of different sectors, interests, regions and gender. The Platform met for the first time in January this year, and its members worked in a constructive and collaborative spirit to adopt these Opinions and provide timely input which will help the Commission prepare its 2017 Work Programme. The Commission is committed to responding to each Opinion submitted. The Opinions can be found on the REFIT Platform website, and a video on the Platform's role is available here. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)


EUROSTAT: Le revenu réel des ménages par habitant en hausse dans la zone euro et dans l’UE28

Dans la zone euro, en termes réels, le revenu des ménages par habitant a augmenté de 0,9% au premier trimestre 2016, après une hausse de 0,3% au trimestre précédent. La consommation réelle des ménages par habitant a progressé de 0,8% au premier trimestre 2016, après avoir augmenté de 0,1% au quatrième trimestre 2015. Un communiqué de presse EUROSTAT est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Annika Breidthardt – Tél.: +32 229 56153; Audrey Augier – Tél.: +32 229 71607)




Statement by the HR/VP Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian aid and Crisis management Christos Stylianides on the humanitarian situation in Aleppo city, Syria

The recent closure of the last remaining supply route has turned Eastern Aleppo in Syria into a de-facto besieged area, cutting off around 300,000 people from any form of vital assistance. Since 7 July, neither aid staff nor supplies have been allowed to enter. The EU calls for an immediate humanitarian pause in fighting to ensure medical evacuations and the delivery of medicine, food and water from and into Eastern Aleppo as the humanitarian situation has deteriorated dramatically. Without urgent humanitarian access food supplies are expected to run out over the next few weeks and Aleppo might well turn into the largest humanitarian tragedy of this conflict which has already brought so much suffering. This is simply unacceptable. The use of starvation of civilians through the besiegement of populated areas for which the regime bears the greatest responsibility, as a tactic of war, is contrary to international law. What we need is an immediate lifting of sieges across Syria and unhindered country-wide humanitarian access. The EU will continue to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura in facilitating a peaceful settlement, while continuing to support the people in need with lifesaving humanitarian aid. Read the full statement here. (For more information: Nabila Massrali – Tel.: +32 229 69218; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)



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