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EXME 13 / 04.06
04 / 06 / 13
It is estimated that over 400.000 deaths are caused in the Europe each year by poor air quality, and the burden on Health budgets due to illnesses caused by air pollution is estimated to run to billions of euros. Despite good progress in recent years, several air quality standards are still widely exceeded in the EU's most densely populated areas.
Green Week, Europe's largest environment conference, takes place from 4-7 June, at The Egg Conference Centre in Brussels. 3000 participants will discuss air-related issues. In the autumn, the Commission will deliver a revised strategy for EU Air Policy.
The second day of the EU-Russia summit in Yekaterinburg continues with a plenary session in the morning, followed by a working lunch and a press conference. During the meeting, leaders will address overall EU-Russia relations, including the new EU-Russia agreement, the partnership for modernisation, WTO and trade issues, energy and aviation, as well as visas and mobility, including passenger names records. Freedom, security and justice will also be discussed, including judicial cooperation, crisis management and counter-terrorism. Human Rights and fundamental freedoms, including rule of law and civil society, are expected to be discussed as well. During the working lunch, leaders will discuss a wide range of regional and international issues. The press conference is expected to start at 12:00 Brussels time. See the speaking points (available after the press conference) given by European Commission Barroso. See also MEMO/13/485 on 31st EU-Russia summit.
A delegation from the European Commission, in liaison with the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the European Banking Authority, carried out the third review of the financial sector assistance programme for Spain from 21 May to 31 May 2013. On the basis of the review, it can be concluded that the programme remains on track.
Progress made and the remaining challenges for the financial sector and the Spanish economy as a whole are presented in this statement.
In April 2013, compared with March 2013, the industrial producer price index fell by 0.6% in the euro area2 (EA17) and by 0.7% in the EU27, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In March prices decreased by 0.2% in both zones. In April 2013 compared with April 2012, industrial producer prices fell by 0.2% in both the euro area and the EU27.
Commissioner Hedegaard visiting Portugal
On Wednesday and Thursday European Commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard will be visiting Portugal, where she will take part in the World you like campaign event about sustainable transport in Lisbon and the Lisbon cycles for the climate cycling tour on Thursday 6 June. The Commissioner will also meet with the Minister of Agriculture, Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning, Assunção Cristas. Furthermore, the Commissioner will take part in a national parliament hearing with the European Affairs and Environment Committees and meet with journalists and the think tank Platform for Sustainable Growth. On Wednesday evening 5 June, the Commissioner will visit EDP's offshore wind energy project Windfloat, which has recently been awarded EU-funding in the context of the NER-300 Programme.
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of Unicorn by Nordic Capital VIII Limited, one of the four active general partners to the Nordic Capital private equity funds. The Nordic Capital funds invest in large and medium-sized companies, predominantly in Europe. Unicorn is a Danish company active, through its subsidiary Unifeeder, in maritime transportation services for containerized goods mainly in Northern Europe. 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.6926 .
2. Commission clears acquisition of controlling stake in Dutch frozen snacks producer Ad van Geloven by private equity firm Avedon Capital Partners
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control over Ad van Geloven by the Dutch private equity firm Avedon Capital Partners and private equity company Lion Capital of the UK. Ad van Geloven is currently solely controlled by Lion Capital, a private equity company focusing on businesses active in consumer-branded goods. Ad van Geloven is active in the production and sale of mainly frozen snacks, both branded and private label, for the retail and out-of-home channels mainly in the Netherlands. Avedon Capital Partners is a Dutch private equity investor focusing on small and medium sized companies in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany. 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.6899.
3. Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Liaoning Jinxin Biology and Chemistry by Syral China and Wilmar China New Investments
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control over Liaoning Jinxin Biology & Chemistry Co. Ltd. by Syral China Investment, which belongs to the Belgium based Tereos group, and Wilmar China New Investments Pte. Ltd., which belongs to the Singapore based Wilmar group. Liaoning Jinxin Biology & Chemistry is currently solely controlled by Wilmar. It manufactures and sells starches, sweeteners, proteins and co-products made from corn starch exclusively in China. Tereos and Wilmar (based in Singapore) are agribusiness multinationals. 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.6894 .
4. Commission approves joint venture between Danone and Norbert Dentressangle for logistics services, food and beverages in Russia
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed creation of a joint venture by OJSC Unimilk Company of Russia, ultimately controlled by Danone Group, and NDL International belonging to the Norbert Dentressangle Group, both of France. OJSC Unimilk produces and sells milk and dairy products, mainly in Russia. NDL International provides logistics services. The joint venture, to operate under the name NDL Holding Russia BV will be based in the Netherlands and will provide logistics services and distribute chilled food and beverage products in Russia. It will have no activities in the European Economic Area (EEA). The operation was therefore 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.6915
What Commissioners said
Neelie Kroes outlines her vision for guaranteeing competition and safeguarding the open Internet for all. This speech is a follow-up to her Parliament speech on mobile roaming, and explores the next element – "net neutrality" - in the wider single market package she is developing. Kroes says: "Net neutrality can be a polarising debate." She wants "new rights for every citizen … to safeguard the open internet for every European" while also being aware that companies need scope to innovate and invest: "The fact is, the online data explosion means networks are getting congested. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) need to invest in network capacity to meet rising demand: and the right predictable regulatory framework will help them. At peak times, traffic management will continue to play a role … like separating time-critical traffic from the less urgent."
"Austerity may have been the necessary response for the short term — given the lack of a better design for Economic and Monetary Union and in the absence of more solidarity — but it has made the crisis worse and it cannot represent the solution for the years to come ", said László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, at the Growing Inequalities Impacts conference taking place in Amsterdam today. "We need to widen our focus to the real economy, and improve the design of EMU, with more solidarity between the Member States and a more symmetrical rebalancing", added Andor. "Economic governance of the EMU must include collective action to address severe employment and social problems before they develop disproportionately at Member State and euro-area level", he concluded. (Embargo 12:30 CET)
In the wake of the floods in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn has said that the European Commission is ready to help with aid from the EU Solidarity Fund. The Fund can be requested by a member State to help cover the costs of rescue and other emergency operations as well as helping communities to rebuild after a disaster. Commissioner Hahn said," We offer our condolences to the families and friends of the victims of these floods. I would like to reassure them, the communities affected and the political authorities that we, the European Family, stand ready to help where help is needed most." See also video message on EbS