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EXME 12 / 12.12
Midday Express of 2012-12-12
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Today the European Business Schools Women on Boards Initiative is migrating their 'Global Board Ready Women' list of 8 000 women into an online database. The women on this list all fulfil stringent criteria for Corporate Governance as defined by publicly listed companies and are well qualified and ready to go on boards as of today. This ever growing list of "Board Ready Women" – which will now be consultable online for corporations and for executive search companies – makes it clear that there are more than enough eminently qualified women to help lead Europe’s and the world’s corporations into the 21st century and that it is now time to shatter the glass ceiling that keeps these women from ascending to board of directors positions.
Due to the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan and South Sudan, the European Commission is boosting its humanitarian assistance by €30 million for both countries. The main concern is the ever increasing number of refugees and displaced people fleeing the conflict area of South Kordofan and Blue Nile State in Sudan, mainly to South Sudan and Ethiopia.
In October 2012 compared with September 2012, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 1.4% in the euro area2 (EA17) and by 1.0% in the EU27, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In September production decreased by 2.3% and 2.1% respectively. In October 2012 compared with October 2011, industrial production dropped by 3.6% in the euro area and by 3.1% in the EU27.
EU27 real agricultural income per worker has increased by 1.0% in 2012, after an increase of 8.0% in 2011, according to first estimates issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. This increase results from a rise in real agricultural income (+0.5%), together with a reduction in agricultural labour input (-0.5%). These estimates for the EU27 are based on data supplied by the national authorities in the Member States. Between 2005 and 2012, EU27 real agricultural income per worker is estimated to have increased by 29.7%, while agricultural labour input has fallen by 20.0%. The increase in EU27 real agricultural income in 2012 is mainly the result of a rise in the value of the output of the agricultural sector at producer prices in real terms (+1.8%), while input costs in real terms grew (+1.6%). Real agricultural income per worker in 2012 is estimated to have risen in sixteen Member States and fallen in eleven. The highest increases are expected in Belgium (+30.0%), the Netherlands (+14.9%), Lithuania (+13.6%) and Germany (+12.1%), and the largest decreases in Romania (-16.4%), Hungary (-15.7%) and Slovenia (-15.1%).
Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Russ Out Of Home by JCDecaux CEE and Rus AD Invest Coöperatief
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by JCDecaux Central Eastern Europe Holding, controlled by the French group JCDecaux and active in the outdoor advertising business, of a stake in Russ Out Of Home. Russ Out Of Home is active in the outdoor advertising business in Russia. It is currently solely controlled by Rus AD Invest Coöperatief U.A., a company belonging to the Russian VTB Group and active in the management or ownership of assets. As a result of the transaction, JCDecaux CEE and Rus AD Invest will jointly control Russ Out Of Home. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Commission approves prolongation of Irish bank guarantee scheme
The European Commission has approved, until 30 June 2013, the prolongation of the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee scheme that allows the Irish authorities to grant state guarantees to credit institutions in Ireland. This scheme was initially approved on 20 November 2009 (see IP/09/1787) and prolonged in May 2010 (see MEX/10/0531), June 2010 (see IP/10/854), September 2010 (see IP/10/1154), November 2010 (see MEX/10/1110), June 2011 (see IP/11/673), December 2011 ( MEX/11/1208) and June 2012 (MEX/12/0604) . The Commission found the prolongation of the measure to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1495 and IP/11/1488). In particular, the prolonged measure is well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The Commission, therefore, concluded that the scheme is compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), that allows to grant aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Bergen Bunkers by O.W. Bunker
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Bergen Bunkers AS of Norway by O.W. Bunker & Trading A/S of Denmark, controlled by the private equity firm Altor Fund II of Jersey. O.W. Bunker supplies and trades marine (bunker) fuel and lubricants and provides logistic services on a worldwide basis. Bergen Bunkers is an international trading and brokering company trading in bunkers and lubricants worldwide. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given moderate market positions or small increments resulting from the proposed transaction and the presence of credible competitors both in the trade and physical supply of bunker fuels. The operation was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information will be available on the competition website, in the Commission's public case register under the case number M.6697.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today welcomed the European Parliament's backing for a major political and economic deal with Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) as well as an important trade deal with both Peru and Colombia. A majority of MEPs (Central America: 557 MEPs in favour, Peru/Colombia: 486 MEPs in favour) supported these deals which will work to boost trade ties, economic growth, sustainable development and regional integration.
Following the five-day passage of Typhoon Bopha across the Philippines last week and an assessment that has identified large-scale humanitarian needs, the European Commission today released €3 million to provide emergency assistance to those worst affected, targeting vulnerable groups such as children, households run by single women, and the elderly.
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