|Reference: MEX/11/0404 Event Date: 04/04/2011|
EXME 11 / 04.04
Midday Express of 2011-04-04
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
The European Commission has just adopted a new humanitarian funding decision of €10 million, to help the Japanese population cope with the massive consequences of the twin disaster. This boosts the European Union's (Member States and Commission) aid to earthquake and tsunami-stricken Japan to more than €15 million. The new funding will provide assistance to more than 30,000 people, who live in temporary shelters and rely on aid for food, water, blankets and mattresses and other immediate provisions.
Improving the safety and daily lives of European citizens thanks to radio navigation, guiding tractors by satellite for high-yield crops, optimizing response to humanitarian crisis… This is not science fiction but just a few examples of innovations related to space technologies developed today. This crucial role of space is reflected in the European Commission communication presented today as a first step of an integrated Space Policy to be developed with the new legal basis provided by the Lisbon Treaty. The new Communication aims at reinforcing Europe’s space infrastructure and calls for increasing support for research to increase European technological non-dependence, foster cross-fertilisation between the space sector and other industry sectors, and boost innovation as a driver of European competitiveness.
The European Commission today proposed giving the electronic edition of the European Union’s Official Journal legal status. At the moment, only the printed edition is legally valid. With this proposal, EU citizens and businesses across Europe will have more legal certainty and save time and money. The proposal follows a trend at national level where all EU countries have electronic official journals, more than half of which have full legal status. The proposal needs unanimous support from the Council and consent of the European Parliament before it takes effect.
In February 2011 compared with January 2011, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.8% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. In January prices increased by 1.3% and 1.2% respectively. In February 2011 compared with February 2010, industrial producer prices gained 6.6% in the euro area and 7.1% in the EU27. These figures come from Eurostat.
Commission approves budget increase of Greek guarantee scheme
The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, a budget increase for a Greek guarantee scheme, with an additional tranche amounting to €30 billion. This increase was already envisaged in a Memorandum on the Third Review of the Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece. The guarantee scheme is part of the support measures for credit institutions in Greece which also includes a recapitalisation scheme and a bond loan scheme. The Commission found the amendment of the measures, initially approved on 19 November 2008 (see IP/08/1742) and extended on 18 September 2009 (see MEX/09/0918), 25 January 2010 (see MEX/10/0125), 30 June 2010 ( see IP/10/864) and 21 December 2010, to be in line with its Guidance Communications on state aid to overcome the financial crisis (see IP/08/1495 and IP/08/1901). In particular, the amended measures are limited in time and scope and require adequate premiums. They can therefore be considered as an appropriate means of remedying the serious disturbance in the Greek economy created by the financial crisis, while encouraging a gradual phasing out of exceptional support measures.
Commission clears acquisition of joint control by Malakoff Médéric Assurances and Europ Assistance France of EAP France.
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Malakoff Médéric Assurances, part of the Malakoff Médéric Group and by Europ Assistance France, part of the Generali Group, of joint control of EAP France. Malakoff Médéric Assurances is active in the supplementary pensions sector and manages pension institutions in France. Europ Assistance France specialises in all types of assistance to persons. EAP France is active in France as a provider of corporate concierge services. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement de l'UE sur les concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de Hansa-Milch Mecklenburg‑Holstein par Arla Food amba. Hansa et Arla sont deux coopératives laitières produisant et commercialisant divers produits laitiers. Après examen, la Commission est parvenue à la conclusion que cette opération n’entraverait pas de manière significative le jeu d'une concurrence effective dans l’Espace économique européen (EEE) ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci.
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