Midday Express of 2012-02-07
European Commission - MEX/12/0207 07/02/2012
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EXME 12 / 07.02
Midday Express of 2012-02-07
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Almost all Member States have improved their innovation performance according to the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011. However, innovation performance growth is slowing down and the EU is not closing the persistent gap with global innovation leaders US, Japan and South Korea. The largest gap for the EU27 remains in terms of private sector innovation. The EU still maintains a clear lead over the emerging economies of China, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa. However, China is improving its innovation performance and is catching up progressively. Within the EU, Sweden confirms its position at the top of the overall ranking, followed closely by Denmark, Germany and Finland (see complete ranking below). Firms' innovation activities stand out as an important factor to achieve top positions at EU and international level.
On Wednesday, 8 February, Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development, will stress European Commission's commitment to achieve sustainable energy for all by 2030 at the official European Launch of UN's Year on Sustainable Energy for All. This ambitious goal was set up by a new initiative led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The event will address the types of commitments to action needed from all sectors to provide access to energy for the poorest people on the planet.
New Protocol to Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Greenland
The EU and Greenland have agreed on a new 3 year Protocol to implement the EU/Greenland Fisheries Partnership Agreement, which will enter into force on 1 January 2013. The Member States with interests in this Protocol are: Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Germany, the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. The Protocol foresees that Greenland will provide the EU with a total fishing opportunity of 85 765 tonnes, down from 91 700 tonnes under the current Protocol. As a counterpart, the EU will pay Greenland up to € 17.8 million annually. This amount includes the payment of sectoral support to the Greenlandic fisheries sector. In addition, vessel owners will have to pay a license fee in order to be authorised to fish in Greenlandic waters, as is the current situation. Both Parties expressed satisfaction with the results of the negotiations, which have taken almost one year to conclude and which are soundly based on the precautionary approach through the decisions being taken on the basis of scientific advice.
Fisheries: catch limits agreed for jack mackerel in the South Pacific
The European Commission is generally satisfied with the outcome of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) Third Preparatory Conference, which just ended in Santiago, Chile. The renewal of the Interim Measures for the jack mackerel stock for 2012 was the main issue on the agenda. It was agreed to further limit catches to 40% of the 2010 baseline. This is fully in line with the EU position and the scientific advice. The EU overall catch limit was fixed at 27 000 tonnes for 2012, a sharp reduction from 135 000 tonnes in 2010. However, the Commission is concerned with Peru's lack of cooperation. Peru set a unilateral quota for its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which does not comply with the scientific advice and risks to undermine the general effort deployed from all other Participants in the fishery for the conservation and management of the jack mackerel stock. The SPRFMO Convention will likely enter into force before the end of 2012, allowing the SPRFMO to start working properly at the beginning of 2013. At the moment, all decisions are taken on voluntary basis.
Exhibition of EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture/ Mies van der Rohe Award opens in Paris
A touring exhibition featuring models of the 45 buildings shortlisted for the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture/ Mies van der Rohe Award opens tomorrow in Paris. The exhibition at the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine is open to the public and runs to 4 March. The opening ceremony will be attended by David Chipperfield, the British architect who shared the 2011 EU Prize with Julian Harrap for their reconstruction of the Neues Museum in Berlin. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "I hope that many people will visit the exhibition as it tours Europe and will enjoy the array of extraordinary talent and creativity which exists in European architecture today." The aim of the exhibition is to make the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture/ Mies van der Rohe Award more widely known to the public. The exhibition can also be seen in the following locations (dates may be subject to change) in the next 12 months: M Museum, Leuven (21 March - 28 April); Haus der Architekten, Dusseldorf (1 May - 3 June); Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia (10 June - 12 July); Architekturzentrum Wien, Vienna (19 July - 8 October); Dansk Architectur Center, Copenhagen (25 October 2012 - 6 January 2013); Triennale di Milano, Milan (January - February 2013). Launched in 1987 and co-funded by the EU Culture Programme and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, the €60 000 prize is the most prestigious award in European architecture. For more information, see IP/11/341 , IP/11/453 and IP/11/758 .
Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, today announced her intention to appoint new Heads of the European Union Delegations to Libya and Haiti. Once accreditation procedures have been completed, Peter Zsoldos will become Head of Delegation in Tripoli and Javier Niño Perez will become Head of Delegation in Port-au-Prince.
Today, the European Commission and the US solved one of their most longstanding WTO disputes concerning the US calculation practice of so-called "zeroing" in anti-dumping investigations. They signed a roadmap which sets out the steps the US will take to comply with WTO rulings in the future calculation of duties when the US authorities find that some imported products from a particular exporter enter the US market below the normal market price. As a result, no EU exporter should be subject to an anti-dumping duty affected by zeroing in the future. The EU will closely monitor the US application of this new practice.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control of the Spanish company MaxamCorp Holding S.L. by US based Advent International Corporation and approximately 110 individuals including Maxam's current managers, technical experts, other employees and co-investors. The Commission examined the vertical links created by the proposed transaction and concluded that the merged entity would continue to face sufficient competition. - rediffusion
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