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EXME 12 / 29.05
Midday Express of 2012-05-29
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Europe needs new ideas to boost its growth potential. Industrial innovation is one of the key drivers to improve our competitiveness. This is why the Commission is launching today a new public consultation, which is meant to provide input for the mid-term review of the industrial policy communication planned for September 2012. This review will focus on developing a limited number of new initiatives that can deliver substantial results in the short- to medium-term. Moreover new policy initiatives should have a demonstrable and significant impact on competitiveness, growth and jobs. The European Commission draws the attention to this important component of its economic growth strategy on the occasion of today's Conference "Mission Growth: Europe at the Lead of the New Industrial Revolution"
The spring Consumer Scoreboard published today on the occasion of the European Consumer Summit 2012 shows that in 2011 for the second year running after the fall in 2009 there were improvements in many EU countries. Consumer conditions are measured e.g. by consumer trust in authorities, retailers and consumer organisations, in the safety of products, the effectiveness of solving disputes and satisfaction with handling complaints. The Scoreboard also shows that consumers still cannot shop as easily across borders as they can at home, thereby missing out on greater choice and savings, with potential gains of as much as EUR 204 billion per annum.
EU/US cooperation against illegal fishing worldwide
On 30 May, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, and her guest, Dr Jane Lubchenco, US Under-Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, will participate in a European Parliament hearing on EU/US cooperation at the international level to promote sustainable fisheries management in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and other international fora. A key area of joint action is the fight against IUU (Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated) fishing where cooperation was enshrined in form of a joint statement signed by Commissioner Damanaki and Dr Lubchenco in the US in September last year. The event will also be an opportunity for Commissioner Damanaki to present her views on how sustainability can be achieved worldwide in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy reform. Dr Lubchenco will give her view in that respect and describe accomplishments by US policy. On 31 May, Commissioner Damanaki and Dr Lubchenco will discuss sustainable fisheries management and the international fight against illegal fishing with representatives of fisheries stakeholders and NGOs. The hearing at the European Parliament (15h00- 16h00) is open to the press and will be webstreamed at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20120530-1500-COMMITTEE-PECH&vodtype=Live). After the hearing, Ms Damanaki and Dr Lubchenco will be available for a short press point.
Commission clears Austrian facility management JV of ALPINE and RGM
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control over Blumauerplatz Immobilien Projektentwicklungs ("BIP") of Austria by ALPINE Bau, also of Austria and RGM Facility Management of Germany. BIP will provide integrated facility management services in Austria. ALPINE is active in building, road and railway construction, bridge construction, mining, civil engineering, sports facilities, power plants and energy and environmental technology. RGM provides technical, commercial and infrastructure management of commercial real estate. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission clears the creation of a JV between CNP Assurances and Swisslife
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the creation of a joint venture between CNP Assurances and Swisslife (both internationally active insurance groups), bringing together their assistance businesses in France (respectively Filassistance International and Garantie Assistance). The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
European Employment Commissioner László Andor emphasises the importance of the digital economy for job creation in a speech today at an event hosted by MEP Edit Herczog. He underlines the important role of the Employment Package recently adopted by the Commission, which offers policy guidance on job creation in a number of specific areas, including information and communications technology. Almost all jobs now call for some ICT knowledge: by 2015 it will be 90%. Having the right digital skills is thus vital for employability. The ICT sector offers many opportunities to Europe's young people. Commissioner will also insist that the Member States need to step up their efforts in developing young people's digital competencies to prepare and encourage them to take up the ICT jobs, which calls for active involvement of the industry.
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