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EXME 11 / 29.07
Midday Express of 2011-07-29
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
The Commission proposed to facilitate everyday travelling across the border to Poland and Lithuania for people in the Kaliningrad area. The proposal amending EU rules on local border traffic (LBT) foresees that the entire Kaliningrad oblast as well as a specific border area on the Polish side would be considered as a border zone. Additional border zone residents could therefore travel more easily across the border and within the neighbouring area.
Authorisation to use the 24 GHz radio frequency band for short-range anti-collision radar in cars has been extended until 2018 by a European Commission decision. This temporary extension will ensure short range car radar systems remain available on the market until manufacturers develop technology using the 79 GHz band, which was the operating frequency designated for such systems back in 2004.
E-procurement, the use of electronic communications and transaction processing by governments and other public sector organisations when buying supplies and services or tendering public works, can deliver significant savings to European taxpayers. The European Commission is therefore announcing a series of measures to boost the take-up of e-procurement in the EU.
La Commission européenne a ouvert une enquête approfondie visant à déterminer si le projet du Royaume-Uni de restructurer Royal Mail, l’opérateur postal historique, en comblant son «déficit des pensions» et en consolidant son bilan, est conforme aux règles de l'UE en matière d'aides d'État. À ce stade, la Commission doute que le plan de restructuration de Royal Mail prévoie des mesures appropriées pour atténuer les distorsions de la concurrence induites par l’intervention de l’État et garantir l'apport d'une contribution propre suffisante aux coûts de restructuration. L’ouverture d’une enquête approfondie permet aux tiers intéressés de présenter leurs observations sur les mesures soumises à examen. Elle ne préjuge pas de l'issue de l'enquête.
Commission clears acquisition of Danish offshore wind turbine business by FOEW, DONG Energy Power, Novasion and Aalborg Universitet
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of control of the whole of MIG Business Development A/S by FOEW, DONG Energy Power, Novasion and Aalborg Universitet, by way of purchase of shares and contract. MIG Business Development is a Danish foundation for the sales, development and design of offshore wind turbines and masts. FOEW is part of the Fred Olsen Energy group with Bonheur ASA as ultimate parent. Bonheur is a shipping and offshore oil and gas exploitation company. DONG Energy Power is a subsidiary of DONG Energy A/S, active in exploration, production, generation, trading, sales and distribution of energy. Novasion is a holding company and Aalborg Universitet is active in education and research. MIG Business Development will be renamed Universal Foundation after the transaction. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission improves access to information on unfair commercial practices via an online database
The Commission launched an online database https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/ucp/ to make legal data on unfair commercial practices publicly available. This service will contribute to the development of a common understanding of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. It will also help national authorities that are enforcing the rules. The website provides an extensive overview of national laws transposing the Directive, jurisprudence, administrative decisions and references to relevant literature. The database is user friendly and has advanced search functions. EU legislation on unfair commercial practices aims at facilitating cross-border trade by creating a single set of rules in the field. Directive 2005/29/EC ensures that consumers are not misled or exposed to aggressive marketing.
More information: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/consumer-marketing/
Increase of the maximum amounts of support for market withdrawals for peaches and nectarines
In line with the announcement of the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş at the 19 July Agricultural Council, the Commission services have announced yesterday at the Management Committee the intention of increasing the maximum amounts of support for market withdrawals for peaches and nectarines. Prices of peaches and nectarines registered during last weeks are at very low level compared to previous years. This adjustment will be presented for vote in September. It will support the Producer Organisations which carry out withdrawal operations in the framework of their Operational Programmes. The proposal for the new maximum amount of withdrawal support for both products will be 26.90 €/100 Kg. Currents amounts are fixed at 16.49 €/100 Kg in the case of peaches and at 19.56 €/100 Kg in the case of nectarines. These amounts are financed by the EU for 50% and by the Producer Organisations for 50%. The proposal will include a retroactivity clause in order to cover all operations accomplished since 19 July 2011 in compliance with EU rules.
Member States agreed to a Commission proposal to increase the EU support under the emergency plan for vegetable producers affected by the E-Coli crisis from € 210 million to € 227 million. This will allow the Commission to pay 100% of the demands for compensation from the different Member States. On the basis of the notifications from all Member States on the EU support requested for all the exceptional measures, i.e. withdrawals, green and non harvesting , it appears that the financial impact of the measures taken in the context of this E-coli crisis has been slightly bigger than expected. Given the significant disturbance of the fruit and vegetables market and the harm caused to the fruit and vegetables sector, the Commission considers it therefore appropriate to increase the budget up to € 227 million.
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