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EXME 12 / 04.12
Midday Express of 2012-12-04
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The Internal Market Information System: new rules clear the path for future growth
The new Regulation on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System (the 'IMI Regulation' - 1024/2012) , which enters into force today, puts the operation of the IMI system onto a solid legal basis. It provides robust guarantees for the protection of personal data handled in this system, which is already being used by more than 7 000 authorities across Europe.. In addition, it enables the Commission and the Member States to test the efficiency of IMI in possible new Single Market areas through pilot projects. IMI is used, for example, by the Portuguese chamber of dentists if it needs to check if the diploma of a German dentist is valid. It can contact its German counterpart through IMI and receive a reply much quicker than without IMI. This saves time and money. More than 10 000 such information exchanges have already taken place in IMI. More information:
On 5 December, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström together with US Attorney General Eric Holder will launch a Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online. The initiative aims to unite decision-makers all around the world to better identify and assist victims and to prosecute the perpetrators. Participants at the launch include Ministers and high-level officials from 27 EU Member States, who are also joined by 21 countries outside the EU (Albania, Australia, Cambodia, Croatia, Georgia, Ghana, Japan, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Serbia, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America, and Vietnam). The countries of the alliance are committing themselves to a number of policy targets and goals. Thanks to increased international cooperation, the fight against child sexual abuse online will therefore be more effective.
Many Member States are seriously lagging behind and not yet fully compliant with requirements to make nine Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) fully operational, for the deadline of 4 December 2012. A critical deadline has been missed for FABs, the regional airspace blocks which are a key element for the ambitious plans to create a single European airspace – tripling European airspace capacity and halving air traffic control costs. The Commission warned today that it will launch infringement procedures against Member States for all the Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) which are not yet fully compliant with all legal requirements. It will also present a new package of legislative measures in Spring 2013 to accelerate reforms and ensure the full delivery of a Single European Sky.
The European Commission has adopted today the 20th update of the European list of air carriers which are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list". Because of important safety concerns, air carriers certified in Eritrea have been added to the list. On the other hand, following improvement in the safety situation in Mauritania, it was possible to remove from the list all air carriers certified in Mauritania. The same was true for the Jordan carrier Jordan Aviation, which was also removed from the list. Progress was also noted in Libya but the Libyan authorities agreed that Libyan carriers would not be permitted to operate to Europe until they are fully recertified to the satisfaction of the Commission.
The second annual Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion will take place in Brussels on 5-7 December 2012. Commission President José Manuel Barroso, President Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council, Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament, László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy will address the opening ceremony. The Convention will review the progress made towards reaching the poverty target and act as a forum for consultation on the upcoming Social Investment Package.
In October 2012, compared with September 2012, the industrial producer price index rose by 0.1% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In September prices increased by 0.2% and 0.3% respectively.
In October 2012 compared with October 2011, industrial producer prices gained 2.6% in the euro area and 2.5% in the EU27.
Commission clears acquisition of Cunningham Lindsey Group by CVC
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by CVC Capital Partners SICAV-FIS SA and its subsidiaries and affiliates, Luxembourg based entities whose activities include providing investment advice to, and/or managing investments on behalf of, CVC Funds, of Cunningham Lindsey Group Limited (US). CVC Funds hold controlling interests in a number of companies in various industries including chemicals, utilities, manufacturing, retailing and distribution, primarily in Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific region. Two of CVC Funds' Portfolio Companies, AA/Saga and Brit Insurance, are engaged in insurance activities. Cunningham Lindsey Group Limited is active in the provision of insurance loss adjusting, claims management, loss consultancy and property reinstatement services in 61 countries including the UK and Ireland. The operation was examined under the ordinary merger review procedure.
Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Euskaltel by TCP Cable, International Cable Holdings and Kutxabank
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition by TCP Cable, International Cable Holdings and Kutxabank of joint control of Euskaltel, of Spain. Euskaltel is a telecommunication operator, which is mainly active in the Basque Country. Kutxabank is a Spanish savings bank, which currently solely controls Euskaltel. TPC Cable and International Cable Holdings are both based in Luxembourg and are ultimately owned by private equity funds. The Commission considered that the concentration does not lead to any horizontal overlap or vertical relations in the various telecommunication markets where Euskaltel operates and/or to any anti-competitive spill-over effect between the activities of Euskaltel's new parent companies. The Commission therefore concluded that the concentration does not raise competition concerns. The operation was examined under the ordinary merger review procedure.
Today European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding has handed the Access City Award 2013 to the city of Berlin. The prize has been awarded in recognition of Berlin's comprehensive and strategic approach to creating an accessible city for all. The award is organised by the Commission together with the European Disability Forum, and was presented on the occasion of the annual European Day of People with Disabilities conference in Brussels. The prize aims to encourage cities to share their experience and to improve accessibility for the benefit of all.
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