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EXME 13 / 13.03
Midday Express of 2013-03-13
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Today the Commission launched a proposal to improve the planning of maritime activities at sea and the management of coastal areas. The proposal – which takes the form of a draft directive – aims to establish a common European framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management in EU Member States, with a view to ensuring that the growth of maritime and coastal activities and the use of resources at sea and on coasts remain sustainable.
The European Commission today announced a package of measures to ensure that air passengers have new and better rights to information, care and re-routing when they are stranded at the airport. At the same time there will be better complaint procedures and enforcement measures so passengers can actually obtain the rights to which they are entitled.
The European Union steps up its efforts to fight against world hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. This is the goal of a new policy, just adopted by the European Commission, which aims to improve the nutrition of mothers and children in order to reduce mortality and diseases, as well as the impediments to growth and development caused by under-nutrition.
The economic crisis is expected to have a major impact on the drugs market, for example through an increase of demand for illicit drugs, according to the findings of a study published today by the European Commission. Today's study reveals that more young people are expected to sell or even produce drugs – especially home grown cannabis – to make money. But the economic crisis is also expected to lead to cuts in budgets devoted to drug policy, in particular for treatment and harm reduction measures.
In January 2013 compared with December 2012, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.4% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In December 2012 production grew by 0.9% and 0.8% respectively. In January 2013 compared with January 2012, industrial production decreased by 1.3% in the euro area and by 1.7% in the EU27.
Worldwide conference on the prudent use of antimicrobial agents in animals
The worldwide conference "International Solidarity to fight against Antimicrobial Resistance" will take place in Paris, from 13 to 15 March. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), organiser of the conference, has received the full support of the European Commission, who has placed the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on top of its priority list. Over the past decades, irresponsible and incorrect use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicines have accelerated the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria. The situation has worsened for lack of investments in developing effective antibiotics. Each year, drug resistant infections result in 25.000 patients dying and €1.5bn healthcare costs and productivity losses in the EU. In response to the severity of the problem, the Commission launched, in 2011, a 5-year Action Plan against AMR in the human and veterinary areas. The OIE's conference is one of the activities of the Commission's plan. It aims to present an overview of the current situation on AMR, encourage international cooperation, explore opportunities to improve data collection on antimicrobial usage in animals and the development of antimicrobial resistance, and present research projects on the development of new antimicrobials and alternatives to treatment. For more information on: Commission's 5-year Plan against AMR ; OIE conference
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition by Goldman Sachs and TPG Lundy over Mavisbank
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition by The Goldman Sachs Group of the USA and TPG Lundy, ultimately controlled by the TPG Group based in the USA, of joint control over Mavisbank of the UK. Mavisbank provides print management, packaging and reprographic services, promotional items and management services. Goldman Sachs, based in the USA, provides financial services as a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The TPG Group is a global private investment firm. TPG Lundy, based in the Cayman Islands, is a newly formed investment vehicle. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because none of the companies controlled by Goldman Sachs or the TPG Group is active in the same markets as Mavisbank nor in vertically-related markets. 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.6838 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition by Goldman Sachs and TPG Lundy over Romanes Media
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition of joint control over Romanes Media Group Ltd by the Goldman Sachs Group of the US and TPG Lundy, ultimately controlled by the TPG Group based in the US. Romanes Media is a publisher of local and regional newspapers in the United Kingdom and owns a radio station in Scotland. Goldman Sachs provides financial services as a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The TPG Group is a global private investment firm. TPG Lundy, based in the Cayman Islands, is a newly formed investment vehicle. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because none of the companies controlled by Goldman Sachs or the TPG Group is active in the same markets as Romanes Media nor in vertically-related markets. 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.6840 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Mercedes-Benz Österreich, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Austria and Mercedes-Benz Hungária by Daimler AG
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Daimler AG of Germany, of sole control of Mercedes-Benz Österreich Vertriebsgesellschaft, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Austria, both of Austria, and Mercedes-Benz Hungária. The three undertakings, mainly active in wholesale and retail of motor vehicles and automotive financial services in Austria and Hungary, were previously jointly controlled by Daimler and the Pappas Group. The operation was examined under the simplified procedure. More information will be available on the competition website, in the Commission's public case register under the case number M.6809 .
Mergers: Commission clears joint acquisition of Powercrop by Enel Green Power and Seci Energia
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of Powercrop by Enel Green Power, controlled by the Enel Group, and Seci Energia S.p.A., all of Italy. EGP is active in the field of energy generation from renewable resources, primarily in Europe and the Americas. Seci, the sub-holding of the Seci Group, is active in the development, promotion, and implementation of projects for the generation of energy from renewable resources such as biomass, biogas, solar, wind and hydroelectric power. Powercrop implements projects for the generation of electricity from renewable resource in the framework of the restructuring of the sugar-beet industry, through the operation of generation plants, which will enter into full activity by December 2018. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website in the public case register under the case number M.6849 .
For young unemployed people, the starting point for the Youth Guarantee is when a young person registers with an employment service. Implementing the youth guarantee will require public employment services in Europe to act rapidly to ensure a quality offer for employment within four months to young unemployed. It means that public employment services need to have the resources and expertise needed. "This is where the Commission - and you, the heads of public employment services network - can make a difference, by sharing your knowledge and experience." This is the key message that László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion will deliver on 13 March to the heads of German, Austrian, French and Swedish public employment services at a seminar on Youth Guarantee in Berlin. The Council of Employment and Social Ministers agreed on 28 February to establish Youth Guarantee schemes that will ensure that young people under 25 year old receive a good quality job offer, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four month of leaving school or becoming unemployed. On 12 March the Commission proposed rules to allow Member States to use the €6 billion Youth Employment Initiative to make the Youth Guarantee a reality. Andor will call for public employment services to assist the Commission in monitoring the implementation of the Youth Guarantee and to act as a sounding board for practical questions. "Any support that you can offer as individual public employment services or as a network is much needed and will be very welcome" Andor will conclude. The SPEECH/13/219 will be available on Rapid at 14.00 CET
The European Commission has proposed operational rules to implement the Youth Employment Initiative to combat youth unemployment. The Youth Employment Initiative was proposed by the 7-8 February 2013 European Council with a budget of €6 billion for the period 2014-20.
The European Commission today agreed the draft mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with the United States, effectively firing the starting gun for what is hoped to be a relatively quick negotiation. The draft mandate will now be sent to the Council for the Member States to approve it before negotiations can start.
Political parties should nominate a candidate for European Commission President in the next European elections and they should display their European political party affiliation, under a recommendation adopted by the European Commission today. The proposals aim to better inform voters about the issues at stake in next year's European Parliament elections, encourage a Europe-wide debate and ultimately improve voter turnout. The Commission is also calling on Member States to agree on a common voting date for the elections, traditionally spread out over a period of four days.
Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy said today: "This is really a breakthrough and will give a big push to much needed infrastructure: Rather than waiting up to 12 years or longer for a permit, developers of crucial cross-border infrastructure - such as pipelines or power grids - will have a decision in about 4 years. This will save them time and money – and will help us creating a true European market where energy systems are physically connected with each other. Consumers and companies will profit because competition keeps costs down.''
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