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EXME 12 / 28.11

Midday Express of 2012-11-28

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

State aid: Commission approves restructuring plans of Spanish banks BFA/Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia

The European Commission has concluded that the restructuring plans of the four Spanish banks BFA/Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia are in line with EU state aid rules. The in-depth restructuring undergone by BFA/Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc will allow them to become viable in the long-term without continued state support. Moreover, the banks and their stakeholders adequately contribute to the costs of restructuring. Finally, the plans foresee sufficient safeguards to limit the distortions of competition induced by the state support. Because its viability could not be restored on a standalone basis, Banco de Valencia will cease to exist as an independent entity and will be sold and integrated into CaixaBank. The restructuring plans were submitted for Commission approval as foreseen by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed between Spain and the Eurogroup in July 2012. The Commission's approval will allow the banks to receive aid from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) in the context of the financial assistance programme to recapitalise the Spanish banking sector.

Transport: New portal on Trans-European Network with dynamic maps

The European Commission is launching today a public portal allowing citizens and businesses to access up to date information on the advancement of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) through satellite-based dynamic maps, facts, figures and various audio-visual and interactive elements. In practice, it will allow users to see the live development of the TEN-T network in the region of their interest.

New EU support for Justice and Security Sectors in Jordan

The European Commission has today adopted a decision to provide further assistance to "Support justice sector reform in Jordan" and to "Support for the security sector in applying the rule of law".

L'Union européenne soutient la relance économique en Tunisie

Aujourd'hui, l'Union européenne (UE) a approuvé un programme d'assistance financière pour la Tunisie qui vise à accompagner le processus de transition. D'un montant de 68 millions d'euro, ce programme soutiendra l'approfondissement des réformes engagées depuis la révolution, dans le domaine économique et social ainsi que celui de la bonne gouvernance.

New EU support for youth in East Partnership region

The European Commission has today adopted a programme to support cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries in the field of youth. Youth exchanges, raising awareness, voluntary activities, trainings and networking opportunities will be supported to strengthen skills of young people and capacities of youth organisations in the Eastern Partnership countries. In total, more than 1,400 projects will be financed involving about 21,000 young people and youth workers.

The EU increases its support to higher education in the European Neighbourhood region

The European Commission adopted today a new support package for higher education in the European Neighbourhood region.

The EU in the world - Comparing demographic, economic and social trends among the G-20 members

The G-20 brings together the world’s major advanced and emerging economies. It includes the EU, four EU Member States (Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom) and 15 countries from the rest of the world (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States). Together the members of the G-20 covered over 60% of the world’s land area, generated 87% of the global GDP and were home to 65% of the world population in 2010. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, releases today the latest edition of "The EU in the world", in which the EU and the 15 non-EU G-20 countries are compared across many statistical fields using a range of harmonised European and international statistics. For many indicators the total for the world is also included.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of stakes in Dutch wholesale clothing company HVEG by ABN AMRO and Rabobank

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by the Dutch banks ABN AMRO and Rabobank of controlling stakes in HVEG, a Dutch wholesale company specialized in clothing and accessories. HVEG is currently controlled by Vecelia which is itself a holding company for a private individual. Vecelia will exercise joint control over HVEG along with the two Dutch banks after the transaction. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the operation would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.

Commission clears the acquisition by Advent International of Mediq


Commission, Parliament and Council meet philosophical and non-confessional organisations to discuss solidarity between generations across Europe

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso today hosted a meeting with representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations in the Commission's headquarters in Brussels, under the motto "Intergenerational solidarity: setting the parameters for tomorrow's society in Europe". Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Vice-President of the European Parliament László Surján co-chaired the meeting. The European leaders and the representatives exchanged views on how to strengthen solidarity between generations and to foster an active-ageing culture in Europe, all against the backdrop of important demographic challenges and a growing need for social innovation.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Swedish paper producer Billerud by Swedish investment company Kinnevik, subject to conditions

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Swedish pulp- and paper-based packaging products manufacturer Billerud by the Swedish investment company Kinnevik, owner of the rival paper company Korsnäs, also of Sweden. The clearance is conditional upon the divestment of Korsnäs' white sack kraft paper and white machine finished/unglazed ("MF/UG") kraft paper business. The Commission had concerns that the transaction would have reduced effective competition in these markets. The commitments offered by the parties address these concerns.

Autre matériel diffusé :

Memo "Statement by President Barroso on Greece" – rediffusion

Speech by President Barroso on the Multiannual Financial Framework: Debriefing from the European Council, 22-23 November 2012 – rediffusion

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with philosophical and non-confessional organisations – rediffusion

Memo " Mission for Growth: creating economic ties to benefit Tunisia and the EU"

Memo "Statement by Commissioner Michel Barnier following the agreement in trilogue of new European rules to regulate credit rating agencies" - rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President Neelie Kroes at the ECTA Regulatory Conference: "Balancing investment and competition in European broadband market" - rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President Reding: "Auf dem Weg zu mehr Frauen in den Aufsichtsräten: Für eine intelligente Quote statt starrer Vorgaben" - rediffusion

Speech by Vice-President Reding: "Protecting businesses against misleading marketing practices and ensuring effective enforcement" - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Hahn: "Celebrating the first year of the EU Strategy for the Danube regionEurope in Action - the EU Danube Strategy counts its achievements and plots the way ahead" - rediffusion

Speech by Commissioner Stefan Füle: "Opening remarks High-level Dialogue on the Accession Process between EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina" – rediffusion

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