Midday Express of 2013-05-27
European Commission - MEX/13/0527 27/05/2013
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EXME 13 / 27.05
27 / 05 / 13
This is an important week for economic governance, with the entry into force of the Two Pack legislation and the publication by the European Commission of the annual country-specific recommendations (CSRs). The Two Pack contains two new laws to complete the budgetary surveillance cycle for the euro area and further improve economic governance, and will apply from 30 May in all euro area member states. The Two Pack strengthens the rules that apply during the European Semester, the EU's annual calendar for economic policy coordination. In order to explain how the rules fit in to the existing governance system, the European Commission will hold a technical briefing on the European Semester on 27 May at 11am. For more information: MEMO/13/457 and MEMO/13/318 .
President Barroso discusses Syria crisis with leading UN officials
Today President Barroso meets with Ms Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Mr Etharin Cousin, UN Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme. They will discuss the effects of the Syria crisis, in particular the political, security and humanitarian conditions on the ground. They will also address the implications of the Syria crisis for the region and the role of the UN as well as of the EU in the crisis.
President Barroso welcomed today the Prime Minister of Libya Ali Zeidan in Brussels. The political, security and economic situation in Libya and EU-Libya bilateral relations (including the prospects for an Association Agreement, development assistance, mobility, transport and aviation safety) are on the agenda.
Environment or Economy: Can we have both?
Protecting the environment is often cited as an unaffordable luxury in these times of economic crisis. Where are the red lines and what are the compromises that are made to ensure we can restore degraded environments and degraded economies? Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik discusses with the Welsh Government’s Natural Resources and Food Minister Alun Davies at the Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, UK. Speaking points will be available after delivery (around 15.00)
The European Commission has reaffirmed its commitment to the sustainable management of bluefin tuna during the 2013 main fishing season in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic. The period 26 May to 24 June marks the season where large vessels, purse seiners, are allowed to fish for bluefin tuna. Together with fish traps the quotas for purse seiners account for 83% of the overall 2013 EU quota of 7 548,1 tonnes. Vessels from seven EU member states are active in the fishery (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus).
The European Union, the United States and Canada today agreed to join forces on Atlantic Ocean research. The agreement focuses on aligning the ocean observation efforts of the three partners. The goals are to better understand the Atlantic Ocean and to promote the sustainable management of its resources. The work will also study the interplay of the Atlantic Ocean with the Arctic Ocean, particularly with regards to climate change. The EU and its Member States alone invest nearly two billion euro on marine and maritime research each year. The 'Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation' was signed today at a high level conference at the Irish Marine Institute in Galway. The Prime Minister of Ireland, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, attended the event ( MEMO/13/455).
Commission publishes call for applications for the European Food Safety Authority's Management Board
The Commission is organising a selection procedure to replace 7 out of 14 members of the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Management Board whose mandate will expire on 30 June 2014. The call for expressions of interest has been published in the EU Official Journal (OJ C138 of 17.05.2013). The deadline for submitting applications is 12 July 2013. A list of candidates will be drawn up by the Commission and sent to the Council, who will then appoint the new Management Board members, in consultation with the European Parliament. The Management Board is responsible for monitoring EFSA’s work to ensure that it carries out its mission in accordance with its mandate. For more information: http://www.efsa.europa.eu ; http://ec.europa.eu/food/efsa_en.htm
In the EU27, household electricity prices rose by 6.6% between the second half of 2011 and the second half of 2012, after an increase of 6.3% between the second half of 2010 and 2011. Household gas prices increased by 10.3% in the EU27 between the second half of 2011 and 2012, after a rise of 12.6% between the second half of 2010 and 2011. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Commissioner Hedegaard to visit Sofia, Bulgaria
On Tuesday 28 May 2013 European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard will host a public debate in Sofia, to discuss the economic and environmental benefits of creating an energy-efficient, low-carbon society in Bulgaria. The event is part of the Commission's flagship campaign on climate action A world you like. With a climate you like. Commissioner Hedegaard has invited Bulgarian citizens, business and civil society to explore together Bulgaria’s current and future plans for creating a sustainable building and living future that is cost-effective, competitive, and enhances growth and jobs. Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and Minister of Environment and Water Julian Popov will also participate. This is one of a series of public events in eastern and southern Europe to engage European citizens in the climate change debate and encourage individuals to take action. During her visit to Bulgaria, Commissioner Hedegaard will also meet with Bulgaria's energy regulator, NGOs and business representatives together with the Bulgarian MEP Vladko Panayotov.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Cookson European Precious Metals Business by L. Possehl
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition of Cookson European Precious Metals Business of the UK by the German company L. Possehl & Co. Cookson European Precious Metals Business is active in the supply of fabricated precious metals and precious metals refining services. L. Possehl & Co. is an industrial investment company active, inter alia, in precious metals processing. 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.6914 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Anvis Group by Sumitomo Electric Industries
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Anvis Group GmbH of Germany by Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. (TRI) of Japan. TRI is controlled by Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. (SEI), also of Japan. SEI is a conglomerate global corporate group active in automotive, information and communication, electronics, industrial materials, environment and energy. Anvis manufactures anti-vibration systems (e.g.: chassis components, aggregate storage, exhaust system hangers as well as decoupling elements and mass dampers). The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the parties' activities overlap only to a limited extent on the markets for anti-vibration systems and the merged entity will face significant competitive pressure from both competitors and customers. 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.6876 .
What Commissioners said
Commissioner Malmström will speak at the 'We are the Others' conference in Berlin: "In recent years, many European countries have been grimly reminded of the threat from right-wing extremism, creating concern that this phenomenon in Europe is on the rise. The potential for violent extremism exists in all countries. It may manifest itself in different forms, be it right- or left-wing extremism, separatism, religiously motivated or some other form of extremism, but it always leaves scars on society. We need better European and international cooperation to develop an understanding on how to solve these challenges. Addressing violent extremism must be at the heart of the EU's focus. We need strong political leadership to condemn extreme violent acts and discourses. The time to act is now – not tomorrow, or when the economic crisis is over."