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Daily News – 02.09.2015

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 02 / 09 / 2015

Brussels, 2 September 2015

Statement by EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan on the opening of the US market for imports of meat and meat products from Lithuania

We welcome the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) announcement that the US will open its market to exports of beef, pork, sheep and goat meat and derived products from Lithuania. This further opening of the market to another EU Member State is a welcome step and is the outcome of the enhanced technical work carried out between the European Union, Lithuania and the United States Department of Agriculture. The proposal reflects the good cooperation between veterinary authorities across the Atlantic. This announcement comes at a time when farmers across the EU face particular difficulties. The Commission is relentlessly working to open up new markets and alleviate these problems by removing existing barriers and increasing export opportunities for European producers. The US decision is recognition of the robust, comprehensive and successful measures put in place by the EU to control animal diseases and ensure safe handling and processing of food from farm to fork. We call on our few remaining international trading partners to follow the US and eliminate all restrictive measures on imports of EU meat. Full text and background are available here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185)


The European Commission puts forward its position ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit

In a Communication published today, the European Commission sets out its priorities for reshaping humanitarian action ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit taking place in Istanbul next year. The underlining message is that by building and reinforcing global partnerships, we can reach our common objectives of saving lives, preventing and alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity. The Commission's Communication is focussed on two key goals. First, ensuring humanitarian action is principled, by reaffirming humanitarian values, ensuring access to assistance and putting protection at the heart of response. Secondly, ensuring humanitarian action is effective, by building consensus on the basis of humanitarian effectiveness, with subsidiarity and solidarity, by efficient and sufficient funding, and in partnership with the development community. On the occasion of today's publication, Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: "We need to be bold in our thinking and act decisively in partnership. The World Humanitarian Summit must conclude with clear and concrete ideas to serve the people who need our assistance better". A press release and memo are available online. (For more information: Alexandre Polack – Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb - Tel.: +32 229 92256)


Commission proposes Baltic Sea fishing opportunities for 2016: more stocks than ever before to be fished at sustainable levels

The European Commission today tabled its proposal on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2016. This is the annual proposal for the amount of fish that EU fishermen may catch from the Baltic Sea's 10 main commercial fish stocks, also known as Total Allowable Catch (TAC). What is new this year is that for the first time the TAC for plaice has been set in line with the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) approach, bringing the total number of Baltic stocks covered by MSY to 7 (out of 10). So for 7 of the 10 stocks, the available data from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF) and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has allowed the Commission to propose catch limits at sustainable levels for more stocks than ever before. The EU aims to achieve MSY for all fish stocks by 2020 at the latest. Based on today's proposals, the TAC for all stocks, except salmon, would decrease by about 15% compared to 2015 and would be set at approximately 565 692 tonnes. The catch limit for salmon, which is measured in pieces rather than tonnes, would increase by 6%, to 115 874. The Commission proposes to increase the catch limits for herring in the Western and Central Baltic, as well as for Main Basin salmon, and plaice. Decreases for the remaining stocks either reflect the natural fluctuations within the MSY range or are linked to the improved perception of stocks’ status as a result of recent data revision. The Council will discuss the Commission's proposals with a view to their adoption at its October meeting. If adopted, the proposals will apply from 1 January 2016. A press release and memo are available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Aikaterini Apostola - Tel.: +32 229 87624)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Butagaz by DCC

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Butagaz of France by DCC of Ireland. Butagaz sells liquid petroleum gas ("LPG") in France at wholesale level. DCC sells and distributes LPG in Europe. In France, DCC has a small presence on the market for sale of LPG in bulk and just entered the market for retail sale of motor fuels. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the companies' activities only marginally overlap for the non-retail sale of bulk LPG. Furthermore, DCC has a limited market share in the related market for retail sale of motor fuels, where it is a potential client for LPG, and competitors of Butagaz will continue to have access to a wide customer base. 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.7680. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)


EUROSTAT: Industrial producer prices down by 0.1% in euro area

In July 2015, compared with June 2015, industrial producer prices fell by 0.1% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.2% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In June 2015 prices remained stable in the euro area and fell by 0.1% in the EU28. In July 2015, compared with July 2014, industrial producer prices decreased by 2.1% in the euro area and by 2.7% in the EU28. A EUROSTAT press release can be found here. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Heli Pietila – Tel.: +32 22964950)