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News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

14 / 07 / 08

Four years after its launch, 173 million people have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in their pocket. Citizens from 31 European countries can use the card to get the medical care they need if they fall ill or have an accident in one of the participating countries (the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein Iceland and Switzerland). The EHIC simplifies procedures and cuts red tape for citizens when disaster strikes during a temporary stay abroad.

At the start of the holiday season, the European Commission takes the opportunity to alert consumers to look out for the new clearer labelling regime which should appear widely on sunscreen bottles on the market this summer. The new labels - including a new UV-A logo or seal on bottles and a ban on misleading terms such as "sun blocker" or "total protection" - are a response to a Commission recommendation on sunscreen products adopted in September 2006. As well as alerting consumers to look for the new sunscreen labelling system so they can make an informed choice about the products they use this summer, the Commission is also seeking to remind consumers that there are several reasons why sunscreen products should be only one out of a number of measures which are necessary to protect from the UV radiation of the sun. The Commission will continue to monitor the compliance of industry with the recommendation to ensure full implementation.

In May 2008 compared with April 2008, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 1.9% in the euro area (EA15) and by 1.4% in the EU27. In April production grew by 1.0% and 0.3% respectively. In May 2008 compared with May 2007, industrial production decreased by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU27. These estimates are released by Eurostat.

  • Commission clears acquisition of Globefuel by Shell, BP and AFS

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of GlobeFuel Systems & Services GmbH (GlobeFuel) of Germany by Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH (SDO) of Germany, belonging to the UK Shell group, Deutsche BP AG of Germany, belonging to the UK BP group and AFS Aviation Fuel Services GmbH (AFS), also of Germany and jointly controlled by BP and the German Lufthansa group. SDO and Deutsche BP are both active in the exploration, production and sale of oil and natural gas as well as the production and sale of oil products and chemicals. AFS provides, aircraft refuelling services ("into-plane" services) and is active in the construction of fuel depots, refuelling vehicle construction and transport logistics. GlobeFuel provides integrated IT solutions for into-plane services. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

  • Commission clears acquisition of DDCE by DuPont and Danisco

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC (DDCE) of the US, a newly created company constituting a joint venture, by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) of the US and Danisco U.S., Inc. (Danisco) of the US, controlled by Danisco A/S of Denmark. DuPont produces chemical products, agro-chemicals and other materials. Danisco produces a broad range of food ingredients. DDCE develops and commercialises technology packages for the manufacture of cellulosic ethanol, a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the non-edible parts of plants. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

  • Safer Holidays: Commissioner Kuneva welcomes new water safety guidelines

EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva today welcomed the publication of a report entitled "Protecting children and youth in water recreation: safety guidelines for service providers", which gives basic but crucial advice for reducing water-related accidents, particularly when it comes to children on holidays. The report was drawn up by the European Child Safety Alliance, in cooperation with the Commission and Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, MEP Arlene McCarthy. Every year, there are around 200 000 swimming pool related accidents in the EU, and another 50 000 injuries related to boating and water sports. Drowning is the second highest cause of death in children and young people aged 0 to 18 years, and evidence shows that water accidents are higher amongst tourists than local residents. Most of these accidents and injuries, however, could be easily prevented through basic safety measures. Today's report contains guidelines for water recreation service providers (hotel managers, rental providers, tour operators etc.), so that they can assess and, where necessary, upgrade their water safety standards. The recommendations include: checking the risks linked to the water-related area and activity, particularly for vulnerable users such as children; providing the appropriate equipment, such as floatation devices; communicating the risks and hazards clearly; and having well-trained staff and an emergency plan in place. Specific recommendations are also set out for certain water-sports, including snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, motor-boating and kite-surfing. The complete guidelines can be found at:


At the Donors’ Conference, aimed to raise pledges for Kosovo's socio-economic development, participants pledged €1.2 billion Out of this amount the EU has contributed with €508 million.

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement CE sur les concentrations, le projet de rachat de GBI UK – GB Ingredients Ltd et BFP Wholesale Ltd – présentes dans le secteur de la levure et détenues par Gilde B.V, par la Compagnie française des Levures Lesaffre. La décision de la Commission est subordonnée à l'engagement pris par Lesaffre de céder l'installation de production de levure de GBI à Felixstowe au Royaume-Uni. La Commission est parvenue à la conclusion que l'opération, telle que modifiée par cet engagement, n'entraverait pas de manière significative l'exercice d'une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen (EEE) ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

European Affairs Ministers will take another step towards consolidating the new European Integrated Maritime Policy, ensuring a sustainable future for our oceans and seas, at an informal ministerial meeting in Roscoff on 13 July. Ministers will discuss the recently adopted Commission Communication on maritime governance, which presents ways to better organise their maritime-related domestic policies linked to different issues, including safety at sea, border surveillance, transport, the environment, research, energy and climate change. Member States will be encouraged to develop their own integrated maritime policies and share their experiences to bring about a real change in the way maritime affairs are governed. The focus of this informal ministerial meeting will also be placed on reinforcing integrated maritime surveillance throughout Europe's vast coastal and maritime areas. Joe Borg, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will be one of the key speakers at this ministerial meeting.

  • Déclaration du Président de la Commission européenne, José Manuel Durão Barroso, suite au décès de M. Bronislaw Geremek

C’est avec une immense tristesse et un profond chagrin que je viens d’apprendre la disparition du professeur Bronislaw Geremek. Il était un européen d'une grandeur exceptionnelle, un polonais de convictions inébranlables. Tout au long de sa vie, il fit preuve d’un courage politique sans concessions. Bronislaw Geremek était de cette sagesse que seuls les grands érudits savent mettre au service des plus belles causes. Il nous laisse une œuvre d’historien et d’homme politique essentielle. J’aimerais que les générations futures se souviennent de Bronislaw Geremek comme un exemple d’un esprit libre et qu’il reste dans notre mémoire comme un des symboles les plus puissants de la libération vis-à-vis de toute oppression. Moi, je garderai une admiration sans bornes pour le rôle historique et politique qu’il a joué pour toute une génération d’européens.

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo on The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

• Memo on Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of July 2008

• Memo on Sunscreen products: What matters for consumers?

• Speech by Commissioner Borg 'The EU Maritime Policy is based on solidarity and cooperation', Brest

A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :


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