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EXME 12 / 22.05

Midday Express of 2012-05-22

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Environment: Green Week opens in Brussels

Europe's largest environment conference kicked off today under the banner “The Water Challenge – Every Drop Counts”. This year's edition of Green Week is dedicated to water, and will see some 3000 participants gather for three days to discuss water-related issues. Stakeholders, NGOs, government representatives and EU officials will search for solutions to key water problems, like how to safeguard the availability of good quality water against a backdrop of rapid population growth and ever more apparent climate change. Organisations and companies will showcase best practices at a 52-stand exhibition, and numerous side events include screenings of the films “La Soif du monde”, "Oceans", and “Africa Turns Green”. The week also features the European Business Awards for the Environment, which honour innovative companies that successfully combine innovation, competitiveness and outstanding environmental performance, and the 3rd European Water Conference, a high-level stakeholder event.

Environment: Wise up your water use with Water Maniac Walter

The European Commission launched a new viral clip today as part of the "Generation Awake!" campaign, which alerts consumers to the dangers of unsustainable patterns of consumption. The clip features Water Maniac Walter, a neurotic bucket who addresses the theme of excessive water use. The clip links to the Generation Awake website , a multilingual site intended to get citizens thinking about their consumption habits, and help them change their behaviour so as to live more sustainably.

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Inoxum by Outokumpu in stainless steel sector

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation into the proposed acquisition of Inoxum, the stainless steel division of ThyssenKrupp of Germany by the Finnish stainless steel company Outokumpu. The Commission’s preliminary investigation indicated potential serious competition concerns in various markets for the production and distribution of stainless steel flat products, where the merged entity would have very high market shares. The opening of an in-depth inquiry does not prejudge the final result of the investigation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 26 September 2012, to take a final decision on whether the proposed transaction would reduce effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA).

European Commission opens 'Access City Award' competition 2013

Today, the European Commission has opened the competition for the third “Access City Award”, the European Award for Accessible Cities. The annual prize recognises and celebrates cities that are dedicated to providing an accessible environment for all, and for persons with disabilities in particular. The Award is part of the EU's wider effort to create a barrier-free Europe: improved accessibility brings lasting economic and social benefits to cities, especially in the context of demographic ageing. The first award went to Avila in Spain for its development of accessible public buildings and tourist facilities (see IP/10/1641). Last year the prize went to the Austrian city of Salzburg for its long-standing commitment, coherent approach and excellent results in improving accessibility, achieved with the direct participation of people with disabilities (see IP/11/1492). Cities with at least 50,000 inhabitants have until 5 September 2012 (16:00 Brussels time) to submit their candidacy for the award. For more information see:

Autre matériel diffusé :

Main messages of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso at the NATO summit in Chicago (Meeting on Afghanistan at the level of Heads of State and/or Government on 21 May 2012) - rediffusion

Discours du Vice-président Šefčovič : "La fonction publique européenne : mythes, réalités et perspectives" – UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 18H00

Statement of Vice-President Almunia on the Google antitrust investigation - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Stefan Füle: "Statement on the Situation in Ukraine, Case of Yulia Tymoshenko"

Speech by Commissioner Stefan Füle on "Presentation of the European Neighbourhood Policy package" – rediffusion

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