Midday Express of 2013-07-12
European Commission - MEX/13/0712 12/07/2013
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EXME 13 / 12.07
12 / 07 / 13
Final day of first EU-US Trade talks in Washington
The first round of negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will be concluded in Washington, D.C today. All topics on the table for this trade deal were discussed during this first week, ranging from market access, agriculture, investment, government procurement, services, energy and raw materials to financial services. The EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero will hold a press conference with US Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney at 15:30 CET today give a debriefing from this first round of talks. It can be followed live on EbS and will be screened in the Berlaymont Press Room.
Preparation of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, 15 July 2013
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of July 2013 will take place in Brussels on 15th July 2013. It will be the first Council under the presidency of Mr Vigilijus Jukna, Lithuanian Minister of Agriculture. The Commission will be represented by Agriculture & Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloş, Health Commissioner Tonio Borg and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Commissioner Maria Damanaki. There will be a press conference at the end of the session on Monday early evening. The public debates and the press conference can be followed by video streaming: http://video.consilium.europa.eu .
(see also: MEMO/13/684)
EU to push for establishment of Marine Protected Areas in Antarctica
The European Union wants to see the vulnerable areas around Antarctica better protected in recognition of their global importance. To this effect, the EU will put forward a proposal for the creation of a system of marine protected areas in Antarctica – the East Antarctic Representative System of Marine Protected Areas - at a special meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources (CCAMLR) on 15–16 July in Bremerhaven, Germany. The EU's proposal, which is presented together with Australia and France (on behalf of its overseas territories), aims to ensure conservation of seven ocean regions with particular open ocean and seabed biodiversity. The selected areas are home to a distinctive water flora and fauna. A wide range of sea marine mammals, penguins and other seabirds find important feeding grounds here. This system will provide important reference areas for understanding the effects of fishing and the consequences of climate change. The European Commission is looking forward to a successful outcome from the meeting. More information: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/cf/mare/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=11373&subweb=347&lang=en
In May 2013 compared with April 2013, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.3% in the euro area2 (EA17) and by 0.6% in the EU27, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In April production increased by 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. In May 2013 compared with May 2012, industrial production decreased by 1.3% in the euro area and by 1.6% in the EU27.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of sole control over Bohnhorst Agrarhandel by BayWa
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of sole control over the German agricultural trading company Bohnhorst Agrarhandel GmbH by rival BayWa AG. Bohnhhorst Agrarhandel is currently jointly controlled by BayWa and the holding company Wilhelm Bohnhorst (see case M.6751). BayWa AG is a worldwide trading and services group in the three core segments of agriculture, energy and building materials. Bohnhorst Agrarhandel sells agricultural products and equipment to farmers and traders. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, because it will not lead to any market share increment or a significant alteration of the market structure as BayWa already has joint control over Bohnhorst Agrarhandel. 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.6496 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Philips 66 Power Operations by Vitol
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Philips 66 Power Operations (PPOL) of the UK by Vitol of the Netherlands. Vitol is active in trading of various commodities, including crude oil, oil products, LNG, natural gas, coal, electricity and carbon emissions. PPOL is active in the generation and wholesale supply of electricity, in the retail supply of electricity and industrial process steam to local industrial customers. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because the parties are not active on the same markets and only have a limited vertical relationship. 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.6933 .
Commissioners' weekly activities
Upcoming Commission activities for the weeks ahead
What Commissioners said
President Barroso's visit in Warsaw
During his visit in Warsaw, President Barroso launched the first general assembly with men and women of science and culture on the New Narrative for Europe. He debated with citizens together with Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first Prime Minister of democratic Poland. President Barroso said: "Only a self-confident and open Europe can be able to rise up to the challenges of today's globalised world. […] I believe Europe has all of what it takes to succeed and move forward in this world, with pride but without arrogance, deserving the trust and support of citizens and especially of young people." He also met the Polish President and Prime Minister. The meeting with the Polish Prime Minister Tusk was focused on the banking union and, in particular, on the Single Resolution Mechanism proposal. The main issue discussed with President Komorowski was the relations of the European Union with its Eastern neighbours, in particular with Ukraine. Read the press statements and speeches: SPEECH/13/625 , SPEECH/13/626 , SPEECH 13/627 , SPEECH/13/628 .
At a conference organised in London today by Policy Network, the European Parliament and the City of London to mark 40 years of the UK's EU membership – "Sitting at the Top Table? The Future of the UK in European Financial Services" - Commissioner Barnier underlined that the EU needs the UK, with its long democratic history, its influence in the world and its great financial centre, the City of London. He also said he believed that the UK needs the EU, not only because of the benefits of the Single Market, but because these days no EU state can exercise sufficient global influence alone. See