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EXME 13 / 06.08


06 / 08 / 13

Commissioner Cecilia Malmström urges the Maltese authorities to take action

According to the information available to the Commission, the master of the ship M/V SALAMIS has fulfilled his humanitarian duties to save the lives of 102 people on the high sea, amongst them four pregnant women, one injured woman as well as a five months old baby.

After the rescue, the master of the ship continued its way to its port of destination in Malta.

The ship is now closest to Malta and waiting to disembark the rescued people. It is first and foremost important to save the lives of the rescued persons. Any dispute about the responsible search and rescue authority, including the involvement of the Italian and Libyan authorities, as well as the right place of disembarkation does not help the persons in immediate need. These issues should be clarified at a later stage.

At this point in time, it is the humanitarian duty of the Maltese authorities to allow these persons to disembark. Sending the ship back to Libya would be contrary to international law. The master of the ship has dispatched an urgent medical request as the injured woman needs immediate hospitalisation.

The Commission therefore urges Malta to let these persons disembark as soon as possible.

Finalists selected to honour best projects in EU Regional Policy

The finalists for the RegioStars 2014 awards to honour Europe's most inspirational regional projects are announced today. 19 projects from regions and cities in 17 EU member states have been singled out. They are all co-financed through the European Regional Development Fund and/or European Social Fund. Whether they are promoting renewable energy from biomass or developing ecofriendly trolleybuses, introducing disadvantaged young people to running a restaurant or creating new links between hi-tec designers and traditional furniture makers – all the projects demonstrate impact, innovation, sustainability and partnership. They comprise four categories:  support for small and medium sized business; supporting green jobs; creating jobs for young people and investing in sustainable urban public transport. The finalists will showcase their work at the EU Regional Policy OPEN DAYS Event in Brussels on October 7-10. EU Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn presents the winners on March 31, 2014.

774% difference in phone call prices across the EU

Mobile users across the European Union face huge price differences for the same services. The biggest price difference is in domestic mobile calls – a 774% difference between Lithuania, the cheapest country, and Netherlands, the most expensive. These price differences cannot be explained by differences in quality, differences in the cost to provide the service, or by differences between countries in consumer purchasing power.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "As these numbers clearly show, the 28 national telecoms markets in Europe today are not benefitting consumers like a single market would. It is critical for the whole EU to move quickly to build a real single market to achieve a truly connected continent."

Other news

MEDIA and Creative Europe in the spotlight at Locarno Film Festival

Nine films supported by the European Union's MEDIA programme for cinema will be screened at the 66th Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland (7-17 August). Five of the films are in competition and four will be shown in the 8 000 capacity Piazza Grande, one of the world's largest open-air screens. Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for the MEDIA programme, will attend the festival this weekend. Highlights at this year's festival will include appearances by Christopher Lee, Faye Dunaway, Anna Karina, Werner Herzog, Sergio Castellitto, Otar Iosseliani and Jacqueline Bisset, who will receive a lifetime achievement award.

Mergers: Commission approves proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines' holding company AMR Corporation, subject to conditions

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed merger between US Airways Group and AMR Corporation, including its main subsidiary American Airlines, Inc, all of the United States. Both US Airways and American Airlines are major US flag commercial airlines providing scheduled air passenger services. The transaction would lead in particular to a monopoly on the London-Philadelphia route, where US Airways and American Airlines through its membership in a metal neutral joint venture with British Airways and Iberia (the "Transatlantic Joint Business", see background) are the only carriers offering non-stop flights (the route is de facto operated by British Airways). The decision is conditional upon the release of one daily slot pair at London Heathrow and of other commitments in order to induce entry on the London-Philadelphia route. In light of these comprehensive commitments, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Bausch & Lomb by Valeant

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the global eye health company Bausch & Lomb Holdings Inc. of the Unites States by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. of Canada. The parties' activities overlap in the markets for ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, consumer vision products and ophthalmic medical products. The Commission's investigation found that the overlaps in consumer vision and ophthalmic medical products segments were very limited; therefore the transaction would not have an appreciable effect on competition in these markets. In ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, the Commission found that the parties' products were not close substitutes and that a number of strong competitors would remain in the market after the merger. The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns. 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.6969 .

"Kraški med" registered as a Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO)

The European Commission has added the denomination " Kraški med ", a honey produced in Slovenia's Karst area, to the list of protected denominations of origin (PDOs). More than 1,100 products are already protected by the legislation on protection of Geographical Indications (PGIs), Denominations of Origin (PDOs) and Traditional Specialties (TSGs). More information on quality products as well as the list of protected denominations are available at the following address:

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