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EXME 12 / 12.04
Midday Express of 2012-04-12
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
A new survey today revealed that 95% of Europeans think that access to energy is an important precondition for overcoming poverty in developing countries. In fact, nine out of ten EU citizens want the EU to help people in developing countries to gain access to energy.
G8 and NATO summits in May: Media advisory:
President Barroso, together with President Van Rompuy, will participate in the G8 summit on 18-19 May in Camp David (U.S.) and in the NATO summit on 20-21 May in Chicago (U.S.)
Accreditation deadlines for journalists:
G8 summit: no fixed deadline yet. More information: http://fpc.state.gov/c49906.htm
Important: Access to the Camp David media centre will be possible only for those journalists accompanying G8 leaders to the summit.
NATO summit: deadline 13 April 2012. Online accreditation: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_85164.htm
Soil sealing – the covering of the ground by an impermeable material – is one of the main causes of soil degradation in the EU. Soil sealing often affects fertile agricultural land, puts biodiversity at risk, increases the risk of flooding and water scarcity and contributes to global warming. New guidelines on best practice to limit, mitigate and compensate soil sealing made public by the European Commission today collect examples of policies, legislation, funding schemes, local planning tools, information campaigns and many other best practices implemented throughout the EU. The guidelines call for smarter spatial planning and using more permeable materials to preserve our soil.
Bristol, Copenhagen and Frankfurt have been chosen as the three finalists in the competition to find Europe's Green Capital for 2014. They have been selected from the 18 cities that applied for the 2014 award. The finalists were proposed by an independent panel of experts, who assessed the entries in 12 different areas.
The "Internet of Things" (IoT) is a future in which everyday objects such as phones, cars, household appliances, clothes and even food are wirelessly connected to the Internet through smart chips, and can collect and share data. The European Commission wants to know what framework is needed to unleash the potential economic and societal benefits of the IoT, whilst ensuring an adequate level of control of the devices gathering, processing and storing information. The information concerned includes users' behavioural patterns, location and preferences. The Commission wants to ensure that the rights of individuals are respected and is launching a public consultation inviting comments by 12th July 2012.
In February 2012 compared with January 2012, seasonally adjusted industrial production grew by 0.5% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.2% in the EU27. In January production remained stable in both zones. In February 2012 compared with February 2011, industrial production dropped by 1.8% in both the euro area and the EU27.
Accounting: European Commission prolongs the equivalence mechanism in relation to third-country Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
The EU supports, along with other key trading partners (e.g., China, Japan, South Korea, etc.), the principle of a common set of worldwide accounting standards for listed companies. Thus, the Prospectus and Transparency Directives require third country issuers to prepare financial reports in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or any other standard which has been declared equivalent to IFRS. The Commission has adopted two delegated Regulations and one implementing Decision to revise and update the equivalence mechanism. These acts will be published in the Official Journal of the EU tomorrow and the Regulations shall enter into force three days later, applying retroactively from 1 January 2012. This prolongation gives more time to countries which had committed to converge or replace their Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAPs) to IFRS (e.g. India) and have made important progress towards that goal. It also enables the Commission to pursue discussions with other third countries in order to encourage the use of IFRS throughout the global financial markets. In 2007 and 2008, the Commission established a mechanism to determine the equivalence of GAAPs from third countries and adopted legal measures which identified as equivalent to IFRS the US GAAPs, the Japanese GAAPs, and accepted financial statements using the GAAPs of China, Canada, India, and South Korea within the EU on a temporary basis, until 31 December 2011. The GAAPs of China, Canada, and South Korea are declared equivalent and the transitional period is prolonged as regards Indian GAAPs until 31 December 2014. The measures mean that foreign companies listed on EU markets will continue to be able to file their financial statements prepared in accordance with those GAAPs. More information: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/accounting/third_countries/index_en.htm
Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of Rába by MNV
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of Rába Járműipari Holding NYRT by the State Holding Company Magyar Nemzeti Vagyonkezelő ZRT, both of Hungary. MNV is a special purpose company which is entrusted by law with the holding, management and use of assets owned by the Hungarian State. The portfolio companies of MNV are active in a variety of sectors including passenger transport, agriculture, IT services as well as electricity generation and supply. Rába is active in the production of motor vehicle components and specialty vehicles including military trucks. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission clears the acquisition by APMT and Bolloré of joint control over Congo Terminal
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by APM Terminals, a wholly owned subsidiary of A.P. Møller-Mærsk, both of Netherland, and the French Bolloré, of joint control over Congo Terminal. BothAPMM and Bolloré as well as Congo Terminal are active in the provision of port terminal (stevedoring) services to deep-sea vessels. However, Congo Terminal is only active in the port of Pointe-Noire and has no actual or foreseen activities in the EEA. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Unless there is rapid progress in the coming days to open the humanitarian space and allow in supplies of food and medicines to northern Mali, there will be a major humanitarian disaster which could spill over to neighbouring countries, warns Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. The European Commission is giving an additional €9 million to respond to the new humanitarian needs in northern Mali, but fighting and insecurity are hindering aid delivery to those most in need.
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