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EXME 13 / 18.01
Midday Express of 2013-01-18
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
From January 19th 2013, all new driving licences issued across the EU will be in the form of a plastic "credit card," with a standard European format and tougher security protection. The new European licence will progressively replace the more than 100 different paper and plastic models currently in use by more than 300 million drivers across the EU. It is part of a broader package of measures (3rd EU Driving Licence Directive) coming into force designed to enhance free movement, tackle driving licence fraud and improve road safety across the EU.
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou will join the President of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Gašparovič, Prime Minister Robert Fico, Culture Minister Marek Maďarič and Mayor Richard Raši in Košice on 20 January to mark the official launch of the city's year as 2013 European Capital of Culture. They will be accompanied by the Slovak Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič.
Both EU27 exports and imports to Brazil increased steadily between 2003 and 2008, fell in 2009, and then recovered to reach peak levels in 2011. EU27 exports to Brazil amounted to 35.7 billion euro and imports to 38.9 bn in 2011. The EU27 registered a continuous deficit in trade in goods with Brazil up to 2011, reaching a peak of 11.5 bn in 2007, then falling progressively to 3.2 bn in 2011. The first nine months of 2012 showed a slightly different picture, with EU27 exports to Brazil growing from 26.2 bn euro in the first nine months of 2011 to 29.6 bn in the same period of 2012, while over the same period imports fell from 29.9 bn to 28.5 bn. As a result, the EU27 deficit in trade of goods with Brazil of 3.7 bn in the first nine months of 2011 turned into a surplus of 1.0 bn in the same period of 2012. Brazil accounted for just over 2% of the EU27's international trade in goods, and was the EU27's eighth most important trading partner in the first nine months of 2012.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Polish fertilizer producer Zakłady Azotowe Puławy by rival Zakłady Azotowe w Tarnowie-Mościcach S.A.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Zakłady Azotowe “Puławy” S.A. (“ZAP”), by Zakłady Azotowe w Tarnowie-Mościcach S.A. (“ATT”), both Polish fertilizer producers. The ZAP Group is currently controlled by the Polish State. The parties' activities overlap mainly in the manufacture and supply of nitrogen fertilizers, the production of which requires a number of chemical compounds and gives rise to certain intermediate and by-products, used in several industry applications. The Commission investigated the markets for the intermediate product nitric acid, and the by-products carbon dioxide and compressed hydrogen, and found that alternative suppliers for all these products are available to customers, both in Poland and abroad. The Commission's investigation also found that the merged entity would continue to face a number of strong competitors in the EEA-wide market for nitrogen fertilizers. The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns. 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.6695.
Commission publishes medium-term outlook for agricultural markets and income 2012-2022
The Commission has published today its medium term forecasts, "Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU 2012-2022" projecting the trends for major EU agricultural commodity markets until 2022. Based on a set of assumptions, EU commodity markets are projected to remain balanced - on average - over the outlook period. The report depicts a relatively positive outlook for arable crops in the EU, as a result of solid world demand and firm prices. Medium term prospects for milk and dairy products appear favourable due to the continuing expansion of world demand. Global population and economic growth, as well as increasing preference for dairy products are expected to be the main drivers, fuelling EU exports and sustaining commodity prices, especially for cheese and skimmed milk powder. The report hints for example at an increase in EU cheese exports of more than one third by 2022, based on sustained demand from main destinations of EU cheese (Russia, Middle East countries, the US, etc.). Similarly, skimmed milk powder exports are expected to increase by 30% by 2022, as compared to 2011, as a result of sustained demand from China, Algeria and Middle East countries. The EU meat market is expected to contract by 2% over the next two years, affected by the on-going economic downturn. The report can be accessed at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/markets-and-prices/reports_en.htm
Fisheries: 2013 fishing possibilities agreed between the EU and Norway
A new agreement for the management of shared fish stocks in the North Sea has been concluded between the European Union and Norway. The total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for the shared stocks in the North Sea were set and an agreement on the exchange of reciprocal fishing possibilities in each other's waters was also reached. Following the positive developments of the stock situation, the agreement involves increases in TACs for many of the important stocks compared to 2012, such as 15% for North Sea Haddock, 15% for North Sea Saithe, 11% for North Sea Whiting, 15% for North Sea Plaice, and 18% for North Sea Herring. Furthermore, it was possible to keep the TAC for North Sea cod at the same level as in 2012. In the absence of agreement with Iceland and the Faroe Islands, a catch limit for mackerel, which follows the scientific recommendations, was set. The EU quota for mackerel in 2013 amounts to 336.285 tonnes.
A l'occasion du Conseil des Affaires étrangères convoqué par la Haute Représentante de l'UE Catherine Ashton au sujet du Mali qui s'est tenu aujourd'hui, l’Union européenne a décidé de réserver un montant de € 50 millions au travers de la "Facilité de Paix pour l'Afrique" pour soutenir le déploiement de la Mission internationale de soutien au Mali sous conduite africaine (MISMA).
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