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EXME 11 / 08.03

Midday Express of 2011-03-08

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

Patent Court: the Commission welcomes the delivery of the Court of Justice's opinion

The European Commission welcomes the delivery today of the opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the compatibility of the envisaged agreement on the European and EU Patent Court with the EU Treaties. Now that the opinion is available, the Commission will analyse it very carefully with a view to identifying appropriate solutions. The opinion should have no impact on the decision foreseen to be taken by Member States on 10 March at the Competitiveness Council following the consent of the European Parliament authorising a move to enhanced cooperation in the area of unitary patent protection. The creation of unitary patent protection is legally distinct from the creation of the European Patent Court. It is important to maintain the momentum to bring decades of discussion on the EU patent to a quick and successful solution through enhanced cooperation. In parallel, the Commission will work equally quickly to find an appropriate way forward for the Patent litigation system following the Court's opinion.

EU's Innovative Medicines Initiative funds eight more projects working to develop new drugs

Today, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), Europe's largest public-private partnership in the biopharmaceutical sector, launches its second wave of research projects. With a total budget of €172 million, the eight new projects will aim to develop new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and infectious diseases. The project consortia include 65 teams from 21 members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) who will work together with partners from 103 academic teams, 23 small and medium-sized enterprises, and two patient organisations. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science said: "By speeding up drug development across Europe, the investments made by the IMI will ultimately save and improve lives, as well as making a major contribution to the Innovation Union and to growth and jobs." Together, the European Commission and EFPIA have so far contributed over €450 million to 23 IMI projects, including those announced today. The IMI research programme will be worth €2 billion by the end of 2013. The €1 billion contribution from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme will be matched by contributions, mainly in kind, from EFPIA members. Detailed factsheets on the projects and full details of the organisations taking part will be available on

Commission clears the acquisition of Conforma by Steinhoff

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of control over the Conforama Group of France by Steinhoff International Holdings Limited of South Africa. Steinhoff is active in the manufacturing, wholesale and retailing of furniture and household goods, and in the provision of logistics and warehousing services. Conforama is a retailer of furniture, domestic equipment, decoration products, electronic appliances and consumer electronics. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Recycling accounted for a quarter of total municipal waste treated in 2009

In the EU27, 513 kg of municipal waste was generated per person in 2009. The amount generated per person varied from 316 kg in the Czech Republic and Poland to 833 kg in Denmark. On average in the EU27, 504 kg of municipal waste was treated per person in 2009. Municipal waste was treated in different ways: 38% was landfilled, 20% incinerated, 24% recycled and 18% composted. This information is published by Eurostat.


No development without women's empowerment

To mark International Women's Day, the EU Commissioner for development Andris Piebalgs will launch tomorrow, for the fifth year in a row, a Gender drawing contest designed to raise awareness on women's conditions and rights in developing countries, through the involvement of children.He will also inaugurate a joint EU/UN photo exhibition in Timor Leste with the Special Representative of the UNSG Ms Ameerah Haq. Commissioner Piebalgs will reaffirm the European Commission’s steadfast commitment to improve the rights and chances for women, as well as the representation of women in developing countries to speed up progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo Competitiveness Council – 9 & 10 March 2011

Speech by Commissioner Piebalgs 'EU supports Timor Leste on its way to stable democracy and sustainable development', Bili (Timor-Leste)

Joint Statement by HRVP Catherine Ashton and Vice-President Viviane Reding on the International Women's Day - rediffusion

Memo EU funded projects to promote gender equality- the EU has results - rediffusion

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