Midday Express of 2013-07-15
European Commission - MEX/13/0715 15/07/2013
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EXME 13 / 15.07
15/ 07 / 13
In Europe we waste about 89 million tons of food every year. A growing number of analyses question the sustainability of current trends in the production and consumption of food. The food system has a significant impact on the environment through, for example, greenhouse gas emissions, the use of land and water resources, pollution, depletion of phosphorus, and the impact of chemical products such as herbicides and pesticides. That is why the European Commission is asking for opinions about the European food production and consumption system. The consultation asks stakeholders, citizens, businesses, NGOs and public authorities for ideas on immediate action to reduce food waste and more generally on how to ensure our food system is using resources efficiently. These will provide input for a Communication on Sustainable Food later this year. Respondents are asked what they think the priorities for action should be, how to measure the impacts of food production, the best ways of promoting more sustainable production and supply chains and more sustainable patterns of food consumption, how to prevent and reduce food waste, and what policies would be best suited to address these challenges.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on ways to improve access to justice in the field of the environment. Access to justice – the right to challenge decisions or omissions by public bodies that are suspected of not complying with environmental law – is an international obligation under a UN Convention ratified by the EU in 2005. Although EU legislation covers many areas related to access to justice, there are gaps which are only filled by case law. Stakeholders are concerned by the legal uncertainty that they currently face and both the Council and Parliament have called for action to improve access to environmental justice. This consultation asks for views on what action at EU level might be needed to complement or clarify existing legislation, to ensure fair and effective access to national courts in environmental matters.
After the decline in EU27 trade in goods with South Africa observed in 2009, exports recovered strongly to reach a peak of 26.6 billion euro in 2012, while imports grew more slowly to reach 20.5 bn in 2012, still below the peak of 24.6 bn in 2008. As a result, EU27 trade with South Africa registered a surplus of 6.1 bn in 2012, compared with +1.3 bn in 2010 and +4.4 bn in 2011. On the occasion of the sixth European Union - South Africa summit, which will take place on 18 July 2013 in Kliptown, Soweto in South Africa, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, issues data on trade and investments between South Africa and the EU.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of JELD-WEN by Onex
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of JELD-WEN Holding, inc. by Onex Corporation. Onex is a Canadian investment firm that participates in companies in a large number of industry sectors through a number of private equity funds. Onex currently has joint control over JELD-WEN. JELD-WEN is a US-based global manufacturer and distributor of windows and doors which has operations in several European countries. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, because none of the portfolio companies controlled by Onex are engaged in activities within the EEA which overlap with or are vertically linked to those of JELD-WEN. 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.6959 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of TIFG by SNAM and GISCI
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Transport et Infrastructure Gaz France S.A. (TIGF) of France by Snam S.p.A., ultimately controlled by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. (CDP), both of Italy, and Pacific Mezz S.a.r.l. (Pacific Mezz) of Luxembourg, ultimately controlled by GIC Special Investments Pte. Ltd. (GICSI) of Singapore. TIGF is currently wholly owned by Total S.A., via Total Gaz Electricité Holdings France S.A.S. Snam is active in Italy in the transmission, storage and distribution of natural gas and operates an LNG terminal. CDP is a joint-stock company under public control of the Italian Government, Pacific Mezz and GICSI are global private equity investment companies. TIGF is active in the transmission and storage of natural gas in the South-west of France. 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.6887 .
The first round of negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) took place in in Washington, D.C. last week. 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. You can watch last Friday's press conference with the EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero and US Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney on EbS .