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EXME 11 / 04.11
Midday Express of 2011-11-04
News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication
In September 2011 compared with August 2011, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.3% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.4% in the EU27, according to figures published today by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In August prices fell by 0.2% in both zones. In September 2011 compared with September 2010, industrial producer prices gained 5.8% in the euro area and 6.9% in the EU27.
Commission publishes EU cereals market information
Following the announcement of Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş at the G-20 agricultural ministers meeting in June 2011, the Commission has launched a new webpage on Europa to provide regular information on the EU markets for cereals, oilseeds and rice - see http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cereals/index_en.htm . Updates of the EU balance sheets will be published monthly. The new page will also feature information on prices and trade, as well as market presentations. This follows on from the short term outlook for main agricultural commodity markets published in mid-October - see http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/analysis/markets/index_en.htm .
Fisheries: Commission welcomes progress to tackle illegal fishing and protect marine ecosystems in the Antarctic
Today, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) concluded its annual meeting in Hobart, Tasmania. Under the leadership of the EU, represented by the European Commission, CCAMLR adopted important measures to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, to develop Marine Protected Areas and to enhance the management of krill fisheries. In particular, CCAMLR made the IMO ship identification numbers mandatory for toothfish vessels licensed to fish in the Convention area. This makes CCAMLR the first Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) to do so and is a fundamental step forward in the fight against the IUU fishing. Also, the transhipment notification system was extended to krill vessels, which will help to manage better this species, so vital to the Antarctic ecosystem. CCAMLR also agreed on a general framework to develop Marine Protected Areas. It closed - for the first time - two fishing areas to protect potential Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems, following the notifications of encounters of such ecosystems by fishing vessels. Moreover, a dedicated CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Programme Fund was established. It will finance ecosystem-related monitoring to help CCAMLR gather ecosystem information necessary for decision-making. The European Commission welcomes these decisions, which make CCAMLR a forerunner amongst RFMOs with regard to combating IUU and protecting marine ecosystems. Nevertheless, the European Commission is disappointed that two of its proposals – on market-related measures and on Port State Measures – could not be adopted. More information: Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Saxo Bank
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Saxo Bank by global private investment firm TPG and Saxo Bank's founding members. TPG manages a family of funds that invest in a variety of companies through acquisitions and corporate restructurings. The main activity of Saxo Bank's founders is to own, manage and trade in securities via Saxo Bank. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission clears acquisition of joint control over VNG Austria by CEMAG and VNG
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by CE Gas&Marketing and Verbundnetz Gas Aktiengesellschaft (VNG) of joint control over VNG Austria. VNG sold 25.1% of its shares in VNG Austria to CEMAG, leading to the creation of a jointly controlled full function joint venture which will be active in gas supply mainly in Austria. CEMAG is active in trading of natural gas and VNG is active in the import of natural gas, wholesale trading and transport of natural gas and operation of underground gas storage facilities and marketing of storage capacity mainly in Germany. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
The first test of trans-Atlantic responses to cyber incidents, including cyber attacks, took place in Brussels today. Experts from the US Government joined counterparts from EU Member States to simulate how cyber security authorities on both sides of the Atlantic would cooperate in response to attacks. Two hypothetical scenarios were tested: a cyber-attack which attempts to extract and publish online sensitive information from the EU's national cyber security agencies, and an attack on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems in EU power generation equipment.
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation into the planned acquisition of Synthes Inc. by Johnson and Johnson, both US companies active in the area of orthopaedic medical devices. The decision to open an in-depth inquiry does not prejudge the final result of the investigation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 19 March 2012, to take a final decision on whether the transaction would reduce effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA).
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