Midday Express of 2013-07-04
European Commission - MEX/13/0704 04/07/2013
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EXME 13 / 04.07
04 / 07 / 13
The European Commission has launched a consultation with representatives of trade unions and employers' organisations on possible future EU measures to prevent and deter undeclared work through improved cooperation between Member States enforcement authorities, such as labour inspectorates, tax and social security authorities. László Andor commented: "Undeclared work is a scourge – it puts workers at greater risk of poverty and potentially dangerous working conditions. It undermines workers' job security, access to pensions and health care. It deprives governments of tax and social security revenue. Governments, employers and trade unions should work together at EU level to prevent and deter undeclared work". The consultation will help the Commission to implement its policy objectives to tackle undeclared work, as set out in the April 2012 Employment Package . The employees' and employers' organisations have until 20 September 2013 to submit their views and comments.
The Single Market Scoreboard is now available in a new online version. New figures are available in a more comprehensive and user-friendly system. The Scoreboard, which helps to make the single market a reality - incorporates comprehensive reports on 13 governance tools including monitoring the correct transposition of EU directives, analysis of single market related infringement proceedings, administrative cooperation networks and various information and problem-solving services. This latest edition covers the results that have been achieved by the Member States, but also provides examples of the difficulties citizens and businesses still face in exercising their EU rights.
Today, the European Commission announced €27 million of financial support to help improve the renewable energy policy in Nigeria. Currently, a large part of the Nigerian population lacks access to energy or relies on polluting fuels such as fuel wood and charcoal with severe consequences for health and the environment. "At the moment, 80 per cent of the population in rural Nigeria have no access to electricity at all. Our overall objective is to help decrease this number significantly, but it is also important to improve the wellbeing of those who do have access, since they often suffer from inadequate lightning to carry out their housework and from inhaling toxic smokes due to unmaintained cooking stoves", said European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs.
A response to recent tragedies in Bangladeshi garment factories
In view of improving conditions for workers in Bangladesh after the recent disasters in its garment manufacturing industry, EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht will host a meeting entitled "Staying Engaged – A Sustainability Compact with Bangladesh" in Geneva on Monday 8 July 2013. It will bring together representatives of the government of Bangladesh including the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister, Dr Dipu Moni, the government of the United States, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and representatives of employees, the industry and employers. The high level discussion will focus on agreeing on ways for continued improvements to trade and sustainable development in the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh, in particular in the areas of respecting labour rights, safety and health at work, and responsible business conduct. There will be a press conference at 15:30 at the EU’s Delegation in Geneva which can be followed on EbS. For more information on this event and press accreditation click here .
Commission publishes summer short term agricultural outlook
A rise in autumn planting of cereals and favourable weather conditions in recent months, especially in the South of Europe, are likely to see a higher EU cereals harvest this year that could bring market relief and higher stocks in marketing year 2013/14, according to the Commission's Summer 2013 Short Term Agricultural Outlook published today. By contrast, poor pasture and forage conditions in Central and Western Europe are expected to affect strongly milk supply in the EU in 2013. In addition, overall meat production has declined in the last two years. Nevertheless the expected good harvest in the Northern hemisphere could lead to lower feed prices and higher margins for livestock producers. In a context of an improved economic situation this could generate an increase in meat and milk production in 2014. The Outlook report, published three times a year, is based on contributions from the Commission's market experts. For more details, see http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/markets-and-prices/short-term-outlook/index_en.htm . In addition to this broad market report, the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed an advanced crop yield forecast system which forecasts total cereal production in 2013 to be well above 2012 levels – see MEMO/13/655 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Globul and Germanos by Telenor
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile EAD (trading as "Globul") and Germanos Telecom Bulgaria EAD, both of Bulgaria, by Telenor ASA of Norway. Telenor provides telecommunications and related services in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary and internationally. Globul provides mobile telecommunications and related services in Bulgaria. Germanos is the retail distribution network operator of Globul in Bulgaria. The parties' activities do not overlap in any of the markets for the provision of mobile telecommunications and related services since they are active in different geographic markets. There are some vertical relationships between the parties in relation to the wholesale of international roaming services in Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Hungary, mobile call termination in Bulgaria, and fixed and mobile call termination in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Hungary. The Commission found that the proposed transaction would not raise any competition concerns on the markets for wholesale international roaming services. In particular, a number of other players will remain active in these markets, the prices for these services are regulated by the Roaming Regulation, roaming charges are an insignificant part of telecommunications operators' costs and the parties account for a minor part of the relevant roaming traffic. The Commission also found that the proposed transaction would not raise any competition concerns on the markets for fixed and mobile call termination services. Indeed, these markets are regulated, a substantial proportion of international calls are made through international carriers and the traffic volumes concerned are insignificant. The case 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. 6948 .
What Commissioners said
Implementing concrete and complementary action at national and European level is needed to fight youth unemployment in Europe. This was the clear message President Barroso conveyed at the round table for the Promotion of Youth Employment in Europe, hosted by Chancellor Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday. He highlighted five main areas where the Commission provides added value: 1: ensure implementation of country specific recommendations, including concrete structural reforms of labour markets. 2: support member states in their efforts to implement the Youth Guarantee and by frontloading the Youth Employment Initiative.3: accelerate work with member states so that European Social Fund can provide extensive support. 4: promote cross-border mobility among young people. 5: ease transition from education to work, e.g. through European Alliance for Apprenticeships and ERASMUS+.
At the press conference after the Berlin Round Table on Youth Employment on Wednesday, President Barroso commented on the impact of the alleged U.S. surveillance of the EU on the start of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): "We are committed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, but we expect that in parallel we have work in the EU-US working groups that will analyse the oversight of the intelligence activities, intelligence collection and also the question of privacy and data protection".
He underlined the major importance and huge potential for both sides of the TTIP and stressed: "For it to be a success we need confidence among partners and confidence can come better if there is a clarification of some issues that are of very serious concern at European level."
"I am happy to say that the other European institutions here represented, and of course France and Germany, have fully supported this approach."