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EXME 12 / 03.05
Midday Express of 2012-05-03
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Today, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, launches the fourth consecutive annual health prize for journalists. To have a chance to win the top prizes, journalists are invited to submit articles on: - One or more of the topics of the Europe for Patients campaign. These are pharmaceuticals, cross-border healthcare, rare diseases, health workforce, patient safety, organ donation and transplantation, cancer, vaccination, prudent use of antibiotics, mental health, and Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; - Active and healthy ageing, in light of the European Year for active ageing and solidarity between generations 2012; - Special prize topic: smoking cessation.
In March 2012, compared with February 2012, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.5% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.6% in the EU27. In February prices increased by 0.6% and 0.9% respectively. In March 2012 compared with March 2011, industrial producer prices gained 3.3% in the euro area and 3.8% in the EU27.
GMO: Proposal to authorise a GM soybean product to be examined by Appeal Committee
A draft decision authorising genetically modified (GM) soybean products was not endorsed yesterday by Member States during a meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH). The proposal will now be examined by the GM appeal committee as set up by Regulation (EC) No. 182/2011 . The proposal for the authorisation of GM soybean product, MON 87701 x MON 89788, concerns food and feed uses and not cultivation. The Commission tabled the proposal following an application submitted by Monsanto Europe S.A. and a favourable scientific assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which addressed all safety concerns surrounding this GM soybean. EFSA concluded in its opinion that this soybean is as safe as its non-genetically modified counterpart with respect to potential effects on both human and animal health and the environment. EFSA also addressed the questions raised by Member States before delivering its scientific opinion. For more information on GM food and feed uses: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/index_en.htm
"Anti-Dumping duties" - what's it all about?
The European Commission will organise a short hands-on seminar for journalists on the EU’s trade defence instruments (anti-dumping duties, anti-subsidy duties, safeguards) on Monday 7 May at 10:30-11:30 in Aquarium 4 at the Berlaymont building. Trade Defence Instruments (anti-dumping duties, anti-subsidy duties, safeguards) are one of the Commission’s main instruments to fight against unfair trade practices worldwide. The EU applies them in accordance with WTO rules to counter the dumping of under-priced products on its markets, re-establish a level playing field for its businesses in the face of unfair subsidies in non-EU countries and ensure healthy competition through safeguards, in the event of sudden shifts in trade flows. The seminar will give journalists the opportunity to ask all basic questions on the – sometimes somewhat technical - procedures involved in the establishment, review or prolongation of anti-dumping duties. It will be on background. Please register for this seminar with Felicitas.firstname.lastname@example.org . More information on the EU’s trade defence instruments: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/tackling-unfair-trade/trade-defence/ . EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht will speak at a conference on the review of trade defence instruments on 10 May 2012: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=797
Commission clears acquisition of PIPELIFE by Wienerberger
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the dissolution of the joint venture PIPELIFE International GmbH. Wienerberger AG which already holds 50% of the shares in the joint venture will acquire the remaining 50% shares from the Solvay group. Wienerberger AG is based in Austria and is active in the production of construction materials, in particular of clay bricks and tiles, as well as sewage pipes made from stoneware. PIPELIFE International GmbH, also based in Austria, is active in the manufacturing and distribution of pipes made of plastic. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission clears acquisition of Pringles Snack Business by Kellogg
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of the entire Pringles Snack Business of The Procter & Gamble by Kellogg, both of the US. Kellogg is a producer of ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods, such as cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavoured snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. Pringles Snack produces and sells "Pringles" potato crisps and "Pringles Stix". The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission clears joint control of RPE Recyclingpark Eisenerz by Scholz Austria
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU merger regulation to the proposed acquisition of joint control by Scholz Austria, controlled by the German Scholz group and the Austrian Voestalpine group, of Recyclingpark Eisenerz that is operating a recycling park in Eisenertz, Austria. The Asamer group is active in a variety of activities, including recycling. The Scholz group is active in trading, sorting and processing of metal scrap and the trading and processing of metals. The Voestalpine group produces and processes steel. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Conference on "Scientific support for growth, jobs and sustainability: the example of the eco-industries"
The European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre, is organising on 15 May a conference on "Scientific support for growth, jobs and sustainability: the example of the eco-industries". High level speakers from science and industry will discuss the main sectors concerned: water, air quality, waste, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Màire Geoghegan-Quinn, will take part in the opening session. Eco-industries produce goods and services to measure, prevent, limit, minimise or correct environmental damage to water, air and soil as well as problems related to waste and eco-systems. They have a significant innovation and technological potential, which can create economic growth and jobs at local level. Already, eco-industries account for more than 3.4 million direct jobs in the EU and have a turnover of more than €300 billion (2.5% of the EU's GDP). The conference will take place in Brussels, in the Charlemagne building (Alcide di Gasperi auditorium) from 09:00h to 17:30h on 15 May. "Speed dating" with a selection of speakers will be available for media. Agenda and registration (mandatory) are available online: www.jrc.ec.europa.eu/events/ecoindustry . For further information, please contact: JRC-PRESS@ec.europa.eu
"The economy is there for people, not the other way round" recalled European Commissioner László Andor at a conference today in Manchester organised by the UK's three largest trade unions (GMB, Unison, Unite). On the UK's "strong economic medicine", Andor asked "one is entitled to wonder whether the medicine is killing or curing the patient". He recalled that the European Council had noted that fiscal consolidation "should go hand in hand with determined efforts to boost jobs and growth". The Commission's 18th April Employment Package "should be at the core of a future EU Growth Agenda which EU leaders will be discussing in the coming weeks", Andor explained. He outlined the three main areas covered in the Package: the urgent need to focus policy efforts on the demand side of the labour market and support job creation, the need to make the European labour market more dynamic and improved employment policy governance, notably the full involvement of the EU social partners in employment policy-making. "Our values of social justice, solidarity and equal opportunities must remain at the heart of European construction and continue to be understood as prerequisites for our future economic prosperity, for the well-being of European citizens and for European cohesion".
Galileo's second launch of 2 satellites is confirmed for 28th September 2012. The resulting 4-satellite mini-constellation will enable testing of the functioning of the vast Galileo infrastructure. This also means that European enterprises can start to develop and test innovative products based on the Galileo satellite navigation signals. Today's announcement by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani together with Jean Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, in the presence of industry CEOs involved in the programme, was reached in agreement with the European Space Agency. The ramp up of the system progresses on schedule with more frequent launches in the planning for 2013. All launches take place from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana.
During his visit to Kenya, EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced new support to address food security in Kenya, which is often affected by recurrent drought. Up to €40 million will be dedicated to nutrition, water supply and livelihood support. Mothers and children will be in particular focus of this initiative, as they are the first victims of drought and hunger. The funding comes as a part of the new €250 million EU initiative, called "Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE)", to support the people in the Horn of Africa to recover from the recent drought and to strengthen the population and regional economy to better withstand future crises.
Autre matériel diffusé :
• Speech by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn at the Conference of the Italian Association of Technology Districts (ADITE): "Research and Innovation in Europe – the role of Public-Private Partnerships in Horizon 2020"