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EXME 10 / 10.11
Midday Express of 2010-11-10
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
Never before have people felt the effects of economic decisions and developments in another country so strongly in their own country as today. The financial and economic crisis has exposed our interdependence and vulnerabilities. The European Union will push during the upcoming meeting in Seoul of the G20 leaders, the "premier forum for international economic cooperation" to deliver the coordination that the world economy needs for strong and balanced growth. This will require cooperative action by all.
The Commission today presented its new strategy for a competitive, sustainable and secure energy. The Communication "Energy 2020" defines the energy priorities for the next ten years and sets the actions to be taken in order to tackle the challenges of saving energy, achieving a market with competitive prizes and secure supplies, boosting technological leadership, and effectively negotiate with our international partners.
The Commission's 5th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion published today shows that the EU's cohesion policy has made a significant contribution to growth and prosperity and promoting balanced development across the Union. Nevertheless, in view of the substantial economic and social developments over recent years, the policy now has to address new challenges. In the wider context of the EU budget review, the report underlines that future cohesion policy investments must be closely aligned to the objectives of Europe 2020. It also proposes introducing much stricter conditions as well as incentives to ensure the effective use of the funds dedicated to cohesion policy and an increased focus on results.
Today, the European Commission launches a public consultation on the future of EU Development policy. Faced with the triple challenge of economic, food and environmental crises, but also the generally encouraging economic performance of Developing countries, the Commission wishes to collect views on how the EU can best support developing countries to speed up their progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and beyond. Building on previous achievements, the Commission proposes four main areas for debate, focusing on the impact of EU aid, the facilitation of more inclusive growth, the promotion of sustainable development, and durable results in agriculture and food security. Following the public consultation open to EU and partner countries, the Commission will table a Communication on a Modernised EU Development policy in 2011.
Ahead of the Africa-EU Summit taking place from 29-30 November in Libya, the Commission presents today its proposals for a consolidation of the Africa-EU relations. Building on the existing Joint Africa-EU Strategy launched in 2007, the Commission details common challenges where progress has been made and which still have to be jointly addressed, such as the poverty eradication, peace and security, democracy and human rights, global governance and climate change. While the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will remain at the heart of the Africa-EU Joint Strategy, the Commission recognizes that there is a need to support Africa in strengthening its political and economic governance to allow better mobilization of the continent's own assets in a sustainable way. In that spirit, the Commission proposes to focus on initiatives that could help to trigger inclusive and sustainable growth in the long-term. These proposals will contribute to shaping the Action Plan on the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy that will be adopted during the Summit.
Today, the re-launched CARS 21 High Level Group meets for the first time in its new form and with a new mission. The European Commission has asked the group to develop a common action plan and a vision for "a competitive EU automotive industry and sustainable mobility and growth in 2020 and beyond." This will contribute to the EU strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, Europe 2020, to the flagship initiatives on resource efficiency and industrial policy ( IP/10/1434) and to the EU strategy for clean and energy efficient vehicles ( IP/10/473). To reach the objectives set out by the EU, the group has been enlarged to represent the various stakeholders whose involvement is crucial for the accomplishment of its mission. A report published by the Commission today ( IP/10/1496) shows that the industry is on track as regards the reduction of CO2 emissions from new cars.
Commissioner Piebalgs in Estonia to promote EU development policy
Tomorrow, 11 November, Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, will visit Estonia. He will meet with Prime Minister, Andrus Ansip, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Paet and President of the Parliament, Ene Ergma. Commissioner Piebalgs will also participate in a panel discussion in Tallinn University about "The Future of the Development Co-operation in Europe" and speak at the conference "Women, Peace and Security – the Afghanistan View". The press conference with participation of Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet is scheduled to take place at 14.30 at the EC Representation building in Riga.
Commission clears acquisition by Alstom Holdings of a jointly controlling stake in CJCS Transmasholding
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Alstom Holdings ("Alstom", France) of joint control of CJCS Transmasholding ("TMH", Russia). TMH is currently a joint venture of Russian Railways ("RZD") and of Ammonis Trading Limited, Latorio Holdings Limited and Mafrido Trading Limited (together "the Cypriot Companies") as well as Teromo Trading Limited and Silasio Trading Limited. As a result of the operation Alstom will, jointly with RZD and the Cypriot Companies, control TMH. TMH is active as a rolling stock manufacturer. Alstom is a French international group of companies active world-wide mainly in the manufacture of equipment and the provision of services for power generation, power transmission, and rail transport. RZD is a state-owned railway company and the main rail operator in Russia. The Cypriot Companies are financial investment companies. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
State aid: Commission approves prolongation of the Irish guarantee scheme for credit institutions
The European Commission has approved until 30 June 2011 the prolongation of guarantees for credit institutions in Ireland, covering also certain short-term liabilities (see IP/10/1154). The Commission considers the extension of the measures to be in line with its guidance on support measures for banks during the financial crisis (see IP/08/1495 and IP/08/1901). The extended measures are well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission, therefore, concluded that the guarantees are an adequate means to remedy a serious disturbance in the Irish economy and is as such compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the EU Treaty.
In the EU27, 52% of enterprises from industry and services reported innovation activity between 2006 and 2008. Among the EU27 Member States, the highest proportions of enterprises with innovation activity in this period were recorded in Germany (80% of enterprises), Luxembourg (65%), Belgium and Portugal (both 58%) and Ireland (57%). The lowest rates were observed in Latvia (24%), Poland (28%), Hungary (29%), Lithuania (30%) and Bulgaria (31%). This information, which comes from the Community Innovation Survey 2008, covering the EU27 Member States, Norway and Croatia, is published by Eurostat. The survey contains a broad set of indicators on innovation activities of enterprises and provides for the first time information on innovation with environmental benefits.
La Commission européenne a infligé à onze transporteurs de fret aérien des amendes d'un montant total de 799.445.000 EUR pour avoir mis en œuvre, à l'échelle mondiale, une entente portant sur les services de fret au sein de l'Espace économique européen (EEE). Parmi les onze entreprises sanctionnées, figurent plusieurs compagnies aériennes connues. Il s'agit d'Air Canada, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cargolux, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Martinair, SAS, Singapore Airlines et Qantas. Les transporteurs ont coordonné leur action concernant les surtaxes carburant et sécurité tout en refusant tout rabais sur une période de six ans. Lufthansa (et sa filiale Swiss) a bénéficié d'une immunité totale de l'amende au titre du programme de clémence de la Commission, car elle a été la première entreprise à fournir des informations concernant l'entente.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the sale and distribution activities of branded colour TVs in China of the Dutch company Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. by TPV Technology Limited, a manufacturer of monitor displays and colour TVs based in Bermuda. 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.
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Reliance Security Services Ltd and Reliance Security Services Scotland Ltd (together "RSS" of the UK) by Securitas AB of Sweden. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area ("EEA") or any substantial part of it.
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