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EXME 13 / 05.03
Midday Express of 2013-03-05
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Union is increasing its emergency aid to the victims of Typhoon Bopha by €7 million, bringing the total humanitarian funding to €10 million since the region was struck by its force in December.
During a high level visit to Malawi, EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, and José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), will meet today President Joyce Banda to discuss the country's challenges on nutrition and food security and underline ongoing EU and FAO support in this area.
Healthy life years measure the number of years that a person can expect to live in a healthy condition. At birth, both women and men in the EU27 could expect to live 62 years in a healthy condition in 2011. At the age of 50, they could expect another 18 years living in a healthy condition, while at the age of 65, they could expect to have an additional 9 healthy life years.
Fisheries: Commission announces deductions to Spanish mackerel quota
Further to overfishing by Spain of its mackerel quota in 2009, the European Commission has decided on a deduction scheme for future Spanish quotas. Following a detailed investigation, Spain is to pay back a total of 65 429 tonnes of mackerel over 11 years, i.e. by 2023. This scheme takes into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects of the fishery in a balanced manner. Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Enforcement of fisheries rules is the flipside of sustainability. When overshooting happens, the damage done to the stocks must be repaired. This should happen, whenever possible, without ruining fishermen, in particular those who complied with the rules". The new regulation, adopted under the EU's Fisheries Control Regulation (1224/2009), is the result of detailed investigations. The Commission had serious doubts about the true levels of mackerel fishing registered in Spain in 2009, following inconsistencies between the data collected regarding catches and the sales of mackerel. Beyond today's decision, the Commission is cooperating closely with the Spanish administration to put in place the necessary mechanisms to prevent any such overfishing from arising again in the future. The Commission highlights, in this perspective, the adoption of an Action Plan to bolster control measures and catch registration in particular, as agreed with Spain in July 2012. This Action Plan is now in its first phase of implementation.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Norwegian food producer Rieber & Søn by rival Orkla
The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Rieber & Søn ASA by Orkla ASA, both food companies headquartered in Norway. Orkla's activities also include financial investments and the manufacture and sale of aluminium profiles. Following a pre-notification request by Orkla, the Commission referred the Norwegian part of the transaction to the Norwegian Competition Authority, which is competent to assess the effects of the proposed transaction on the relevant markets in Norway. The Commission assessed only the part which concerns Sweden and Denmark. The Commission's decision is without prejudice to the outcome of the proceedings with the Norwegian Competition authority. The parties' activities overlap mainly in food production and sales to retail and food service customers in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. With regard to Denmark, the Commission investigated the retail and food service markets for ketchup and mustard as well as the food service market for other cold sauces and wet hot sauces. For Sweden, the Commission investigated the retail markets for ketchup, frozen pastry and ambient soup as well as the food service market for ketchup. The Commission's investigation found that in most of the markets the increment in market share would be limited, competitors are present both in the branded and private label segments, and retail chains have strong buyer power. 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.6753 .
The European Commission will provide an additional €30 million to Lebanon to alleviate the impact of the high influx of refugees from Syria, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle announced during his visit to Beirut. “Lebanon receives the highest number of people fleeing the horrible bloodshed in Syria and we know that it puts this country under enormous strain. The hospitality and generosity displayed by the Lebanese towards their neighbours is admirable and commendable. The EU remains committed to assisting the Lebanese Government in its response to the refugee crisis,” Commissioner Füle said after informing President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati about the new financial allocation. At the same time he welcomed Lebanon's comprehensive response plan to deal with the refugee crisis and conveyed the EU´s appreciation of the fact that Lebanon keeps its borders open to people fleeing the violence in the neighbouring country.
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