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EXME 13 / 14.03
Midday Express of 2013-03-14
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The best school twinning projects of the year will be honoured at the 2013 eTwinning Awards in Lisbon today. This year's top prize is awarded to the 'Rainbow Village' project which brought together 12-15-year-olds in France, Greece, Romania, the UK, Turkey, Italy, Slovakia and Poland. The pupils created a virtual post-Armageddon world and explored themes such as survival, conservation and citizenship. The eTwinning network is a virtual classroom in which pupils and teachers from 100 000 schools in 33 European countries take part in interactive projects via the internet. Nine awards in total will be announced at this afternoon's ceremony.
The Commission is today able to report about some success in its strategy to fight global trade barriers. The efforts of the European Commission to fight protectionism over the last year bear fruit and could create better trade and investment conditions for EU companies. Yet the struggle against protectionism continues. The resistance of Europe's strategic partners to the plea for open markets comes into the limelight in the European Commission's third annual Trade and Investment Barriers Report published today. In particular, China, India, Mercosur and Russia do not escape criticism.
Today, the European Commission outlined a series of actions to tackle aggressive commercial practices across the EU such as fake ‘free’ offers, ‘bait and switch’ advertising for products which cannot be supplied, and exhortation of children. Five years after it entered into force, the Commission reviewed the application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and announced plans to step up enforcement of the rules to increase citizens' trust when shopping in Europe’s internal market.
The number of persons employed decreased by 0.3% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.2% in the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the third quarter of 2012, employment decreased by 0.1% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU27. These figures are seasonally adjusted. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment fell by 0.8% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2012 (after -0.6% and -0.4% respectively in the third quarter of 2012). Over the whole year 2012, employment decreased by 0.7% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU27, compared with +0.3% in both zones in 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2012, 222.6 million men and women were employed in the EU27, of which 145.7 million were in the euro area. These figures are seasonally adjusted.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Ainscough Crane Hire by Goldman Sachs and TPG Lundy
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition of joint control over Bradley Hall Holdings Limited, the UK holding company for Ainscough Crane Hire Group, by Goldman Sachs Group of the US and TPG LundyCo of the Cayman Islands. Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking and securities firm. TPG LundyCo is part of the TPG Group, a global private investment firm. Ainscough which is active in crane hire, contract lifting and ancillary services throughout the UK, as well as construction, maintenance, servicing, retro-fit and major component changes for wind turbines. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular, because it would not significantly alter the market structure.. The operation was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website in the public case register under the case number M.6832 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Brookgate by Goldman Sachs and TPG Lundy
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control over Brookgate Limited of the United Kingdom by Goldman Sachs Group and TPG LundyCo L.P. Goldman Sachs is a US based global investment banking and securities firm. TPG Lundy of the Cayman Islands is part of the TPG Group, a global private investment firm. Brookgate is active in property development and investment in the UK. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular, because it would not significantly alter the market structure. The operation was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website in the public case register under the case number M.6834 .
EU institutions look for highly-talented economists
The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) is today launching a search for experienced financial and macro-economists. Applicants should have a university education (preferably post-graduate) and at least six years' professional experience in the field of macro-economics or finance. Positions will be primarily based in the European Commission's Directorates-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, and Internal Market. But other institutions and Commission departments are also looking to reinforce their economic analysis capacity. Applications open today and close at midday (CET) on 16 April 2013. As well as relevant professional experience and educational background, applicants must be an EU citizen, fluent in one of the official EU languages, with either English, French or German as a second language. For more information: www.eu-careers.eu
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Joint message of congratulations by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, to the newly elected Pope and Head of the Vatican State, his Holiness Francis I - rediffusion