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Daily News – 03.08.2015

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 03 / 08 / 2015

Brussels, 03 August 2015

L'Union européenne soutient la Transition au Burkina Faso: déboursement de €60 millions pour accompagner la transition démocratique

Aujourd'hui l'Union européenne a versé €60 millions au budget national du Burkina Faso pour soutenir la stabilité politique, économique et sociale du pays en amont des élections. "Lors de ma rencontre avec le Président Kafando à Bruxelles en juin, j'ai confirmé un appui extraordinaire à la Transition par l'octroi d'une enveloppe financière de €120 millions pour 2015 et 2016. Le soutien d'aujourd'hui vise à consolider les acquis démocratiques du pays. Nous confirmons ainsi notre confiance dans la conduite de la Transition menée par le Président Kafando et dans son engagement à tenir des élections à la date prévue," a déclaré Neven Mimica, Commissaire européen au Développement et à la Coopération internationale. Depuis novembre 2014, l'Union européenne soutient la Transition tant sur le plan politique que financier en coordination avec les instances internationales et interafricaines. L'appui financier annoncé aujourd'hui sera complété entre autres par le versement des montants restants après la bonne tenue des élections, la fin effective de la Transition et la mise en place d'un gouvernement conformément à la Constitution. Cette aide européenne sera complétée par l'envoi d'une Mission d'Observation Electorale pour les scrutins du 11 octobre 2015 et par un appui au processus électoral, notamment à la Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante, à la société civile et aux médias. (For more information: Alexandre Polack Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

European Commission gives €6 million for humanitarian needs in Libya

The European Commission is giving €6 million in humanitarian funding to meet the most urgent needs of the people who have been severely affected by the conflict in Libya. This includes migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "The EU will not abandon people in Libya suffering as a result of the conflict. The EU's impartial and neutral humanitarian response is crucial and is solely given to meet urgent needs. We urge all parties to the conflict to halt attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructures, such as hospitals and schools, and ensure immediate, safe and unrestricted humanitarian access to all people in need." Read the press release here. (For more information: Alexandre Polack Tel.: +32 229 90677; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

Investment Plan for Europe: two new financing agreements to benefit Italian and Polish businesses

Today, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Credito Emiliano bank (Credem) in Italy signed an agreement to increase lending to SMEs and other companies in Italy. This follows a similar agreement signed between the EIF and Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) in Poland to boost loans for businesses in Poland. Both these agreements will benefit from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EIF will leverage about €550 million in loans for over 14,000 companies in Italy and help to support over €250 million (PLN 1000 million) in loans for Polish SMEs. Commenting on the agreements, Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: "The Investment Plan for Europe has already started to deliver for SMEs. Strong market demand for the European Commission's COSME funding programme has meant that we would not have been able to meet all financing opportunities in 2015. Thanks to a guarantee provided under EFSI, even before becoming fully operational, the European Investment Fund (EIF) can conclude more loan agreements already now." (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso - Tel.: +32 229 80100; Heli Pietila - Tel.: +32 229 64950)

Commission adopts Roadmap for improving work-life balance in working families

The Commission has today published a Roadmap setting out policy options to address the challenges of work-life balance faced by working families. This represents a new start after the Commission confirmed last month it would withdraw the 2008 draft Maternity Leave Directive, given the lack of progress by the co-legislators and despite the Commission's continuous and intensive efforts to facilitate an agreement. The new initiative aims to allow parents with children or workers with dependent relatives to better balance caring and professional responsibilities, by modernising the current EU legal and policy framework and adapting it to today's labour market. This would also help improve labour market participation of both parents. The Roadmap outlines the Commission's ideas for a fresh approach, setting out a range of policy options to achieve these objectives. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)

Mergers: Commission clears joint venture for insurance software between AXA and CompuGroup Medical

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture by AXA Konzern Aktiengesellschaft and CompuGroup Medical Mobile GmbH, both of Germany. AXA is an international provider of insurances and financial services. CompuGroup Medical Mobile is an international provider of software for the healthcare sector. The joint venture will develop software for private health insurance companies. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because of the companies' limited market shares in the relevant markets. 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.7662(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso - Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren - Tel.: +32 229 94889)

Antitrust: Commission updates its antitrust procedures to ensure effectiveness of the Damages Directive

The European Commission has today adopted amendments to its antitrust procedural rules (Regulation 773/2004) and four related Notices (the Notices on Access to the File, Leniency, Settlements and Cooperation with National Courts). These amendments reflect provisions of the new Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions on accessing and using information in the files of competition authorities (also see Press release). The Damages Directive will give victims of antitrust violations easier access to evidence they need to prove the damage suffered and more time to make their claims. It aims to achieve a more effective enforcement of EU antitrust rules overall, whilst preserving the attractiveness of tools used by European and national competition authorities (in particular the leniency and settlement programmes). Member States need to implement the Damages Directive by 27 December 2016. The Regulation and the four Notices currently contain rules that deviate from the regime as provided for in the Directive. These differences will be addressed by today's amendments to ensure an effective protection of such documents in Commission investigations. Furthermore, there are also several smaller changes, such as to the Regulation to include in the legislative text established practices in the Commission's leniency and settlements programmes. The texts of the notices are available here. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren - Tel.: +32 229 94889)

MEX/15/5464

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