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EXME 12 / 08.06
Midday Express of 2012-06-08
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The Single Market is a key driving force behind economic growth. But to deliver growth and jobs, better implementation of existing rules is essential. This is why the European Commission has today adopted a course of action to ensure that Single Market rules work better in practice. The Commission is also proposing measures to improve the way the services sector works, which is vital as the Services Directive accounts for more than 45% of EU GDP and must play a strategic role in promoting economic growth.
Public support for humanitarian aid has gone up in the European Union in spite of the economic crisis. This is one of the key findings of the latest Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid and civil protection.
The European Commission has today adopted a special measure for Syria, under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) to enable a rapid, simple response to the most pressing needs of the Syrian population and Syrian refugees. In addition to the humanitarian assistance already provided by the Commission, the special measure will help to respond to the crisis situation in Syria itself and in areas affected by the influx of refugees in neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan.
As teams prepare to go out on the pitch, the Commission is working with the Polish authorities to ensure a safe Euro 2012 football championship. In a bid to enhance public protection and provide concrete support for Member States, over the last few months the Commission has been providing support to the Polish Police and Border Guards in training and developing the methodology for the use of mobile chemical and bio detection equipment to scan for explosives and terror weaponry at Polish stadiums and airports. The Commission has also chipped in with financial support so the Poles could have the equipment free of charge. It is the first time that mobile detection equipment for explosives, chemical and biological threats have been deployed in the EU during such a high profile public event.
Today, Lithuania announced its decision to join the enhanced cooperation procedure allowing international couples to select which country's law applies to their divorce. The EU adopted its first decision on enhanced cooperation two years ago ( IP/10/347). It will enter into application end June 2012. Enhanced cooperation allows a group of at least nine member states to implement measures if all 27 Member States fail to reach an agreement. In this case, it allows the 14 participating countries and now Lithuania, to move forward with a Regulation that will give couples legal certainty and prevent a "rush to court" and forum shopping in divorces, while at the same time avoiding emotionally and financially costly proceedings.
In a consultation document adopted today, the European Commission sets out its intentions for fixing fishing opportunities for 2013. Through this annual document the Commission asks for the views of Member States and stakeholders on the setting of Total Allowable Catches (TACs), quotas and fishing effort (days-at-sea) for the following year. The document shows that the Commission's efforts to phase out overfishing are starting to bear fruit. There are now 20 fish stocks in European seas which are known not to be overfished, compared to only 5 stocks in 2009. Reducing TACs in the past years even made it possible to increase some TACs for 2012. This could result in at least €135 million extra income for the fishing industry.
The EU27 external current account recorded a deficit of 8.8 billion euro in the first quarter of 2012, compared with a deficit of 31.3 bn in the first quarter of 2011. In the first quarter of 2012, the EU27 external balance of trade in goods was in deficit by 28.6 bn euro, compared with a deficit of 47.3 bn in the first quarter of 2011. In the first quarter of 2012, the external balance of trade in services was in surplus by 25.2 bn, compared with a surplus of 20.4 bn in the first quarter of 2011.
Commission clears acquisition of TES Holdings by Mitsubishi, the Development Bank of Japan and DVB Bank
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of TES Holdings of the UK by Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, the Development Bank of Japan and DVB Bank of Germany. MC is Japan's largest general trading company with operations in approximately 80 countries worldwide. DBJ is a Japanese financial services provider, providing integrated investment and loan services. DVB is headquartered in Frankfurt and specialises in international Transport Finance. TES is a UK-based company established in 1995 which is engaged in aircraft engine management, short term end of life aircraft engine leasing ("stub leasing"), and aircraft part and material sales. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission clears the creation of a JV between Experian and Cerved
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the creation by Experian Holding Italia S.r.l. and Cerved Holding S.p.A. (both groups active in Italy in the collection of credit and other business information data) of a joint venture, bringing together their credit bureau business in Italy (EIS and CG, respectively). The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commissioner Dacian Cioloş visits China to strengthen cooperation in agriculture and quality food products
European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development Dacian Cioloş will be in China from 8-13 June 2012 to deepen EU-China cooperation in the fields of agriculture and rural development. Speaking before his departure, Commissioner Cioloș stated: "Food security, food safety, food quality, climate change and the balanced development of rural and urban areas are key challenges that need to be addressed in the upcoming years both by the European Union and China. I am pleased to take up the invitation of Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu to visit China to strengthen our cooperation in Agriculture and Rural Development. Our cooperation projects and our trade relations are increasing on the basis of long term relations and mutual trust. Europe and China are the two largest agricultural producers in the world. Our capacity to work together is crucial to build a global food security compact in the context of climate change and demographic growth". During the visit Commissioner Cioloş will meet leading members of the Chinese government, including Vice-Premier (responsible for agriculture) Hui Liangyu, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Minister Zhi Shuping of the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) as well as Minister Zhou Bohua of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC). These meetings will be of key importance to foster the current bilateral and multilateral cooperation in agriculture, with a particular emphasis on knowledge-sharing in the field of rural development via people-to-people projects; enhancing quality food products' recognition with a new step in the talks on Geographical Indications and on organic agriculture; and strengthening cooperation in fighting counterfeiting in the wines & spirits sector.
Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President in charge of transport, thanked the Danish Presidency for its energetic management of the Better Airports proposals, which has now seen agreement reached by the Council both for groundhandling (on 22 March) and today for noise.
Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President responsible for transport and mobility, welcomed the efforts of the Danish Presidency and the outcome of today's Transport Council reaching a partial general approach on the initiative known as 'Connecting Europe Facility'
Autre matériel diffusé :
• Memo "Better governance for the Single Market - Frequently Asked Questions"
• Memo "Implementation of the Services Directive: a partnership for new growth in services 2012-2015 – Frequently Asked Questions"
• Speech of Commissioner Michel Barnier "Financial regulation, fiscal consolidation, governance, growth: Europe is taking up its challenges", Institute of International Finance (IIF) Conference, Copenhagen, 7 June 2012 - Rediffusion