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EXME 13 / 07.02
Midday Express of 2013-02-07
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Union budget is relatively small (around 1% of EU GNI), but it can make a big difference. Around 94% of the European Union budget supports researchers, businesses, farmers, regions, young people and many others. Too little is known about the concrete projects on the ground and how they bring about concrete results and benefits for citizens and businesses as well as for the wider European economy. This non-exhaustive list of good EU projects gives you an idea. Did you know for example that the EU supports solutions to traffic and environmental problems in European cities, that it helps to preserve our environment, allows for energy savings and makes our economy more sustainable? That top-class researchers are enabled to pool knowledge and save money in transnational research projects that benefit European competitiveness? That risks stemming from climate change and natural disasters are mitigated? For more examples, please see MEMO/13/74.
Football clubs spend around €3 billion a year on player transfers, but very little of this money trickles down to smaller clubs or the amateur game, according to a European Commission study published today. The number of transfers in European football more than tripled in the period 1995-2011, while the amounts spent by clubs on transfer fees increased seven-fold. But most of the big spending is concentrated on a small number of clubs which have the largest revenues or are backed by very wealthy investors. The situation is only increasing the imbalances that exist between the haves and have-nots, as less than 2% of transfer fees filter down to smaller clubs and amateur sport which are essential for developing new talent. The level of redistribution of money in the game, which should compensate for the costs of training and educating young players, is insufficient to allow smaller clubs to develop and to break the strangle-hold that the biggest clubs continue to have on the sport's competitions.
Ministerial debate on how Key Enabling Technologies can contribute to economic growth
In recent years, the gradual loss of competitiveness of the European industry has led Europe to implement a structured policy for economic recovery. To do this, six priority technologies - nanotechnology, micro and nano-electronics, photonics, advanced materials, industrial biotechnology and advanced manufacturing systems - so-called "Key Enabling Technologies" or KETs - have been identified as important levers for innovation and competitiveness. Today in Grenoble European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani participates in a Ministerial Summit to discuss a series of KETs-related actions for European competitiveness and economic growth. The debate will address issues such as the support for close to market KETs projects at EU, national and regional level corresponding with industrial needs, the impact of state aid rules on the EU's competitiveness, the promotion of trade in a spirit of mutual benefit as well as other actions to support the European strategy to boost the industrial deployment of KETs-based products in Europe. The Ministerial Summit is a joint initiative of Mr Arnaud Montebourg, French Minister for Industrial Revival and Ms Geneviève Fioraso, French Minister for Higher Education and Research. Mr Francesco Profumo, Italian Minister of Education, University and Research and Ms Carmen Vela Olmo, Spanish Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation will participate in the summit and the German and British Ministers for Research will be represented.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of coating resins business of Cytec by Advent
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition of the coating resins business (“CRB”) of Cytec Industries Inc. by Advent International Corporation ("Advent"), both of the USA. Advent is a private equity investor with shareholdings in various sectors, including media, communications, information technology, internet, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. CRB is a worldwide producer of coating resins, additives and cross-linkers which are used by third parties in the production of coatings, paints and inks. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the vertical links arising between the chemical manufacturer Oxea, which is already under the control of Advent, and CRB would not raise concerns as Oxea faces a number of competitors on most of the chemical markets in which it operates and CRB is not a significant consumer of these chemical. The Commission therefore concluded that the merged entity would not have the ability or incentive to engage in anticompetitive conduct. The case was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information will be available under the case number M.6778 in the Commission's public case register on the competition website. Regular up-dates on competition news are available in the weekly competition news summary .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of controlling stake in agricultural trader Bohnhorst Agrarhandel by rival BayWa
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the German agricultural trading company Bohnhorst Agrarhandel by its rival BayWa. BayWa will acquire 60% of the shares in Bohnhorst Agrarhandel from the holding company Wilhelm Bohnhorst which will retain joint control. The parties' activities mainly overlap on the German markets for the origination and marketing of grains and oilseed and the marketing of agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers, pesticides and seeds. The Commission's investigation showed that while BayWa is primarily active in Southern Germany and Austria, Bohnhorst’s activities focus on Northern and Eastern Germany. The Commission found that, a number of agricultural trading companies will remain active in all markets concerned, including at the local level. Accordingly, suppliers and customers would continue to have sufficient alternatives. The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns The case was examined under the normal merger review procedure.. More information is available under the case number M.6751 in the Commission's public case register on the competition website.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Severstal-SSC-Vsevolozhsk by Mitsui and OAO Severstal
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition by Mitsui&Co ("Mitsui") and OAO Severstal ("Severstal") of the Russian steel service centre Severstal-SSC-Vsevolozhsk. Mitsui is an international trading house active in the sale, distribution, purchase, marketing and supply of products in a variety of areas including iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, machinery, electronics, and the sale of motor vehicles and motorcycles as well as parts and accessories. Severstal is a company active in the steel production and steel related mining businesses. It is part of the MAA Group, one of the major Russian industrial groups with assets in metallurgy, banking, woodworking and other businesses. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Enregistrement de la dénomination "Gruyère" comme Indication Géographique Protégée
La Commission européenne a ajouté la dénomination "Gruyère" à la liste des indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Le fromage ayant une origine commune, franco-suisse, l'appellation "Gruyère" (France) coexistera avec celle de "Gruyère" (Suisse), protégée au sein de l'Union dans le cadre de l'accord UE-Suisse de 2011 sur les indications géographiques. Afin d'éviter toute confusion entre les deux appellations et de garantir la pleine information des consommateurs, des mesures d'étiquetage supplémentaires ont été prévues, suite à la consultation de la Suisse et de la France. Le pays d'origine, en l'occurrence la France, devra être indiqué dans le même champ visuel que la dénomination "Gruyère" dans des caractères de même taille. En outre, l'utilisation de tout drapeau, emblème, signe ou autre représentation graphique susceptible d'induire les consommateurs en erreur est interdite. De plus amples informations, y compris concernant le cahier des charges défini par le groupement des producteurs, sont disponibles à l'adresse suivante: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:298:0014:0019:FR:PDF . Cette dénomination s'ajoute à la liste de plus de 1100 produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur l'internet à l'adresse: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_fr.htm
The European Commission, together with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has published a cybersecurity strategy alongside a Commission proposed directive on network and information security (NIS). The cybersecurity strategy – "An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace" - represents the EU's comprehensive vision on how best to prevent and respond to cyber disruptions and attacks. This is to further European values of freedom and democracy and ensure the digital economy can safely grow. Specific actions are aimed at enhancing cyber resilience of information systems, reducing cybercrime and strengthening EU international cyber-security policy and cyber defence.
The European Commission welcomes today's vote of the European Parliament on the Commission's proposal for a new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). With this vote the Parliament is paving the way for negotiations with the Council with a view to concluding an agreement on the new policy.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Valeo's Comfort Access Mechanisms business by Japanese auto parts manufacturer U-Shin
The European Commission has cleared under the Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the French company Valeo SA's Comfort Access Mechanisms business ("CAM") by U-Shin Ltd. of Japan. CAM manufactures and distributes products that facilitate vehicle access and prevent unauthorised vehicle use, such as handles or locks. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition did not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.
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