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Midday Express of 2013-07-10
Commission Européenne - MEX/13/0710 10/07/2013
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EXME 13 / 10.07
10 / 07 / 13
The Commission has today proposed a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for the banking union. The mechanism would complement the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and deepen the integration of the eurozone. It would apply the substantive rules on bank recovery and resolution, on which the EU's Council of Finance Ministers reached agreement on a general approach last week. It would ensure that – not withstanding stronger supervision - if a bank subject to the SSM faced serious difficulties, its resolution could be managed efficiently with minimal costs to taxpayers and the real economy. Like the SSM, the SRM is open to all Member States willing to join the banking union and would come into force in 2015 (Find out more in MEMO/13/675)
The European Commission, EU Member States and European industry will invest more than €22 billion over the next seven years in innovation for sectors that deliver high quality jobs. Most of the investment will go to five public-private partnerships in innovative medicines, aeronautics, bio-based industries, fuel cells and hydrogen, and electronics ( MEMO/13/673). These research partnerships will boost the competitiveness of EU industry in sectors that already provide more than 4 million jobs. They will also find solutions to major challenges for society that are not being solved quickly enough by the market alone, such as reducing carbon emissions or providing the next generation of antibiotics ( MEMO/13/669). The package also proposes to extend an initiative to pool research and innovation investments in Air Traffic Management (SESAR), in support of the Single European Sky ( IP/13/664).
The European Commission has fined the car parts suppliers Sumitomo, Yazaki, Furukawa, S-Y Systems Technologies (SYS) and Leoni a total of € 141 791 000 for operating five cartels for the supply of wire harnesses to Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Renault. Wire harnesses conduct electricity in cars, for instance to start the motor, to open the window or to switch the air-conditioner on. They are often described as the 'central nervous system' of the car. The cartels covered the whole European Economic Area (EEA).
President Barroso will visit Poland
On Thursday President Barroso travels to Warsaw. He will meet with Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski to discuss current matters of interest. President Barroso, together with the Prime Minister Tusk, will also launch the General Assembly of the "New Narrative for Europe". The assembly will gather around 250 personalities from the cultural, intellectual and scientific worlds to discuss the challenges facing Europe. The project was launched in April this year and the meeting in Warsaw will be followed by the assemblies in France and in Germany. The General Assemblies should lead to the publication by the participants and other interested parties of a manifesto on the "New Narrative for Europe".
The European Commission has adapted its temporary state aid rules for assessing public support to financial institutions during the crisis. The main changes are aimed at improving the restructuring process and the level playing field between banks. In particular, banks will be required to work out a sound plan for their restructuring or orderly winding down before they can receive recapitalisations or asset protection measures. Moreover, in case of capital shortfalls, bank owners and junior creditors will be required to contribute as a first resort, before banks can ask for public funding.
The SRM press material is accompanied by a memo on the reform of the financial framework and on the architecture of the banking union. This document provides a comprehensive overview of what the Commission has done so far to profoundly reform and strengthen the financial framework of the 28 Member States and a state of play on the banking union.
The European Commission updated today the safety list containing all airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, for a total of 278 airlines certified in 20 different states, plus two independent airlines. The EU air safety list was created for the protection of European skies and citizens, but it can also serve as a wake-up call to countries and airlines in need of getting their safety up to standards. In this round, Philippine Airlines and Venezuelan Conviasa are re-admitted to EU skies. Good progress was also noted from a number of African countries.
The SESAR Joint Undertaking pools all research and development activities related to air traffic management (ATM) in the EU. It is the technological arm of the Single European Sky project ( IP 13/523) and a unique public–private partnership that guarantees continuity and avoids fragmentation of research. The European Commission has now proposed to prolong its mandate for a further 8 years, until 2024. To unblock congestion in Europe's airspace, the Single European Sky needs a new generation of ATM systems capable of coping with growing air traffic, under the safest, most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly conditions.
Future of Europe: President Barroso and Vice-President Reding to debate with citizens in Warsaw
After 22 dialogues in 14 countries, on 11 July 2013, Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Vice-President Viviane Reding, and Member of European Parliament Róża Thun, will hold a debate with over 300 citizens at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. President Barroso said: "I want to see a real debate on how the European Union should evolve in the years to come, both in the economic and in the political sense. A debate which engages every citizen. That is why we will be in Warsaw tomorrow and in every EU country this and next year." Vice-President Reding said: "Poland belongs to the inner circle of the European Union and Polish influence has been crucial in leading Europe out of the crisis and equipping Europe with the right tools to ensure the mistakes of the past cannot happen again. I expect Poland to continue playing an active and important role in role in pushing for a stronger Europe." (see also IP/13/675)
Malta considering push-backs: statement by Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström
Commissioner Malmström expressed her great concern for the statements of the Maltese Prime Minister about the possibility to send back persons recently arrived to Malta. She stressed that according to EU and international obligations, all people arriving in the EU territory are entitled to file an asylum request and to have a proper assessment of their situation. Any return operation has to respect in full these obligations and in particular the principle of non-refoulement inscribed in the EU law and in the International Conventions. Commissioner made clear that she will use all the tools at its disposal to make sure Member States fully respect their obligations in this regard. For more information: MEMO/13/676 .
EU Commission proposes 5% staff cut over 5 years in EU agencies
The Commission has adopted a communication to implement the 5% staff cut in all EU institutions by 2018 in 32 EU decentralised agencies. This is in line with the political agreement on the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The Commission recommends making a distinction between already established agencies with no new duties, those to whom new tasks have been conferred, and newly established agencies. The latter will be allowed to increase their staffing levels. As a result of the exercise, the staffing levels in agencies will decrease from the current 6050 to 5796 over the next five years. The total EU contribution to EU agencies will reach EUR 6.4 billion over the period 2014-20. 346 existing posts will form a redeployment pool to enable agencies to function properly in the next financial period. The Communication will be submitted to the budgetary authority (European Parliament and the Council). For more information, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/biblio/documents/fin_fwk1420/fin_fwk1420_en.cfm#agencies
Commission amends estimates of own resources for 2013 (Draft amending budget 6)
Following its May 2013 meeting with Member States on data relevant for the revenue calculations the Commission is proposing amendments to the 2013 EU budget taking into account the latest economic forecasts as well as received other revenue. According to the updated forecasts received from EU Member States, in 2013 the revenue to the EU budget from customs duties are forecast to be 10,1 % lower than expected in May 2012. The main reason for this decrease is a lower estimated average tariff (1,21% instead of 1,32%). The VAT base used for the calculation of the VAT own resource is now forecast at 2,3 % lower than in 2012. The lower amounts of these two resources would be offset by an increase in contributions on the basis of GNI (€1.7bn) and the €0.56bn fine paid by Microsoft. Every year, the Commission adjusts its forecasts of own resources through an amending budget. It is subject to an agreement by budgetary authority of the EU, i.e. the Council and the European Parliament.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of FTE by Bain Capital
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of automotive component supplier FTE of Germany by Bain Capital of the US. Bain Capital is a private equity investment firm, active worldwide across many sectors, including information technology, healthcare, retail and consumer products, communications, chemicals and industrial. FTE is a manufacturing company, active worldwide in particular in the development, production and sale of hydraulic clutch actuation systems, hydraulic brake systems and components. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, because no horizontal overlaps or vertical links exist between the Parties' activities. 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.6951 .
What Commissioners said
Outlines Neelie Kroes plans for Telecommunications Single Market
In this speech Neelie Kroes outlines the main elements of in her "Telecommunications Single Market: A Connected Continent" package she will take to the College of Commissioners in September. This speech is the reference document for those plans until a proposal is adopted. Kroes said: "This isn't just about one sector. I'm looking at the whole picture… The fact is, the whole economy is relying on digital tools and networks. Sectors from banking to logistics, automotive to audiovisual. And, beyond that: all kinds of companies are crying out for the connectivity that could transform their business: from videoconferencing to cloud computing to 3D printing. Companies of every size in every sector. They are fed up with not having them. We cannot leave them stranded." ( SPEECH/13/622)