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EXME09 / 4.09
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
04 / 09 / 09
For the first time, EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potočnik will pay an official visit to the African Union and Kenya. From 7 to 9 September, he will hold high-level political meetings and will visit EU-supported research centres in Nairobi (Kenya) and in Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia). This visit takes place in the framework of the Science & Technology Partnership established between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) in December 2007. This unique partnership between two continents aims to strengthen African research capacity in the area of science and technology, enabling Africa to produce and to use its own scientific knowledge to address its development challenges and emerge on the global scientific scene.
EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton will visit China from the 6th to 11th of September on a trip that includes the cities of Beijing and Xiamen. She visits China to further discussions on trade and investment issues in her capacity as co-chair of the EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (HED). Commissioner Ashton will raise issues such as barriers to investment, protection for intellectual property and cooperation on trade and investment in green technologies. Commissioner Ashton will speak at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade while in Xiamen, and will meet with Chinese leaders in Beijing, including Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Commerce Minister Chen Deming.
The Commission adopted today a report on the use of the provisions on mutual assistance for recovery of claims relating to certain levies, duties, taxes and other measures between 2005 and 2008. The statistics show an increase in the amounts of tax due recovered through the procedures of mutual assistance between Member States. The amounts grew six fold between 2003 and 2008. However, the amounts actually recovered are still deceivingly low in comparison with the amounts Member States claim to recover. Although it is very difficult to quantify, the available figures show that only 5% of the amounts claimed are actually recovered. In addition, in spite of the increase in the use of mutual assistance, there are still many cases where Member States do not avail of the possibilities offered by the Directive. Therefore, the Commission recommends Member States to strengthen the recovery instruments available in their domestic legislation and invites the Council and the Parliament to adopt quickly the legislative proposal, presented on 2 February 2009, to reinforce mutual recovery assistance. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/tax_cooperation/tax_recovery/index_en.htm
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Manucor S.p.A. of Italy by Italian companies Intesa San Paolo S.p.A. (ISP) and Reno de Medici (RDM). ISP provides banking services at national and international level. RDM produces and sells cardboard made from recycled materials. Manucor manufactures and sells bi-oriented polypropylene film (BOPP film), used in packaging. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of parts of OneCarbon International B.V. (OneCarbon) of The Netherlands by Orbeo, a joint venture controlled by Société Générale and Rhodia of France. The parts of OneCarbon concerned by the transaction are Added Value Trading (AVT) and Carbon Credit Development (CCD). CCD provides consultancy services and assistance to greenhouse gas emission reduction project developers. AVT buys emission reduction credits issued by greenhouse gas emission reduction projects and sells related credits to trading partners. Orbeo is active in trading of carbon emission rights, especially certified emission reduction (CER) and European Union allowance (EUA) instruments. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Today, President Barroso has sent his political guidelines for the mandate of the next European Commission to the President of the European Parliament. The document sets out the objectives and ideas that President Barroso believes should inspire a political partnership between the Commission and the Parliament for the next five years. President Barroso said: "Europe is facing stark choices in today's interdependent world. Either we work together to rise to the challenges. Or we condemn ourselves to irrelevance. I will redouble my efforts to make an ambitious Europe happen. A Europe that puts people at the heart of the policy agenda and projects European values and interests in the world. A Europe that nurtures new sources of growth and drives forward smart regulation of sound markets that work for people. A Europe of freedom and solidarity." President Barroso added: "I want to work closely with the Parliament for a prosperous, secure and sustainable Europe, which builds on the strengths of the enlarged EU's internal market, the euro and our European model of society."
The European Commission tabled yesterday its proposal on fishing possibilities for fish stocks in the Baltic Sea for 2010. Scientific advice has shown that cod stocks are recovering, but that the Western herring stock still gives rise to serious concern. Based on the advice and in line with the communication on fishing opportunities for 2010 and the multi-annual plan for cod in the Baltic Sea, the Commission proposes increases of fishing opportunities for Baltic cod of 15 % (Eastern stock) and 9 % (Western stock). For the Western herring stock, the Commission is proposing a 21 % reduction in fishing opportunities. The present proposal for fishing possibilities shall be discussed at the October Fisheries Council.
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