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EXME 10 / 01.02

Midday Express of 2010-02-01

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

European Strategy for Danube Region: Commissioner Samecki launches public consultation, Ulm, Germany

Paweł Samecki, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, will address the Danube Region stakeholder conference in the German city of Ulm (Baden-Württemberg) tomorrow (2 February). This marks the launch of a series of consultation events aimed at shaping the Commission's plans for a European Strategy for the Danube Region. Building on the positive experience of the first 'macro-regional' strategy in the Baltic Sea Region, this latest initiative seeks to develop the huge economic potential of Europe's longest river, and improve environmental conditions in and around the wider Danube region.

La Commission mobilise près de 7,3 millions € pour réduire l’impact des catastrophes naturelles en Asie centrale

La Commission européenne a débloqué 7,295 millions € pour rendre les pays d'Asie centrale moins vulnérables face aux catastrophes naturelles et les aider à renforcer les capacités de réaction des populations les plus touchées. Les fonds seront acheminés par l’intermédiaire d’ECHO, le service d'aide humanitaire de la Commission.

Commission decision objects to vast majority of Italy's request for more time to comply with EU air quality legislation

The European Commission today adopted a decision concerning a second request from Italy for additional time to comply with EU legislation on air quality. The decision relates to a request for temporary exemptions in 12 additional zones or agglomerations from the EU's air quality standards for dangerous airborne particles known as PM10 in the regions of Campania, Puglia and Sicilia. The Commission decision approved a time extension for PM10 in one air quality zone in the region of Campania but objected to all other requests. Some 20 decisions have already been adopted in 2009 one of them on an earlier request from Italy for different zones or agglomerations. The vast majority of air quality zones in the EU did not satisfy the conditions for a time extension, or were already found to be in compliance with the limit values.

Une étude de la Commission préconise la création d'une agence européenne spécifique pour faire appliquer la législation européenne en matière de déchets

Selon une étude de la Commission européenne publiée aujourd'hui, il conviendrait de créer une agence européenne spécifique, chargée de veiller à la mise en œuvre de la législation européenne relative aux déchets et d'assurer le contrôle de son application. Cette étude s'inscrit dans la série de mesures prises par la Commission pour améliorer la gestion des déchets et garantir sa conformité aux normes édictées par l'Union européenne en vue de protéger les citoyens et l'environnement. Le déversement illégal de déchets reste une pratique largement répandue; de nombreux sites de décharge ne sont pas conformes aux normes, et certains États membres ne disposent toujours pas d'infrastructures adéquates dans ce domaine. Les transferts illégaux de déchets sont également source de préoccupation. Un second rapport publié aujourd'hui révèle que près d'un cinquième des transferts de déchets ayant fait l'objet d'une inspection dans le cadre des mesures de contrôle de l'application récemment mises en œuvre dans les États memb res ont été déclarés illégaux.

State aid: Commission approves second prolongation of Danish guarantee scheme for new debt

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, a second prolongation until 30 June 2010 of a Danish guarantee scheme for new debt. The Commission found the second prolongation of the measures, initially approved on 3 February 2009 (see IP/09/206 ) and prolonged for a first period of six months on 17 August 2009 (see MEX/09/0817 ), to be in line with its Communication on state aid to overcome the financial crisis. In particular, the extended measures are limited in time and scope. The Commission has therefore concluded that they represent an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Danish economy and as such are compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Banking Expert Group – call for expressions of interest

The European Commission is to establish a Group of Experts in Banking Issues (GEBI), in order to ensure direct communication with the banking industry and consumers. The Group's mandate will be i) to give advice and opinions on the policies and possible legislative measures of the EC in the field of banking (including capital requirements, supervision, conglomerates, bank accounting, crisis management, and deposit guarantee schemes); and ii) to provide information, forecasts and analysis concerning the background, and possible impact of banking policies and legislative proposals on various stakeholders. Interested candidates should apply by 28 February 2010 according to the instructions contained in the call for expression of interest and the mandate, which are available at:


Negotiations between the EU and Norway on agricultural products: initialling of Agreed Minutes

Norwegian and EU negotiators initialled agreed minutes concluding negotiations that have been ongoing for the last three years with a view to further liberalising bilateral trade in agricultural products. The draft accord is subject to the approval of the respective authorities. This is part of the regular process of progressive trade liberalisation in agriculture foreseen by the EEA Agreement. It will allow the EU exporters to reinforce their position on the Norwegian market. The additional liberalisation represents roughly 20% of the current value of EU exports to Norway; when taking into account already existing bilateral preferences, around 60% of EU exports to Norway will be completely freed (in term of trade value).

Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of Sal. Oppenheim by Deutsche Bank

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the banking group Sal. Oppenheim by Deutsche Bank, both of Germany. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of German internet provider Hansenet by Telefónica O2

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Hansenet Telekommunikation GmbH of Germany by Telefónica Deutschland GmbH, also of Germany and an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of Telefónica S.A. of Spain. The Commission concluded that the concentration would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Points de presse de Monsieur le Commissaire Vladimír ŠPIDLA à la conférence de presse suite à la réunion informelle des ministres de l’Emploi et de la Politique sociale de l’UE à Barcelone

Memo Ententes et abus de position dominante: la Commission confirme l’appréciation des engagements proposés par l’alliance de compagnies aériennes Oneworld

Speech by Vice-President Tajani 'The experience of the European Union', Rome – in Italian only

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