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Daily News of 2013-08-22
Commission Européenne - MEX/13/0822 22/08/2013
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EXME 13 / 22.08
22 / 08 / 13
The European Commission has concluded that additional commitments provided by Germany in the context of the restructuring of NORD/LB ensure that the State aid granted to the bank remains compatible with the internal market. This remains the case after the amendments to the terms of the so-called Fürstenberg hybrids, a set of four tranches of tier-1 instruments held by sundry investors.
The Commission found the amended commitments to be sufficient in nature and extent to off-set the coupon payment and so ensure the continued compatibility of the state aid received by Nord/LB. This is because the commitments contain measures aimed at strengthening the capital basis of the bank. The Commission considers in particular the combination of additional safeguards and additional structural measures will act as a disincentive to other financial institutions thinking of following the same approach.
The European Commission has tabled its proposal on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2014. This is the annual proposal for the amount of fish which can be caught by EU fishermen from the main commercial fish stocks in the Baltic Sea next year. The proposals are based on scientific advice and aim to make fisheries in the Baltic Sea environmentally and economically sustainable in the short and long term. The proposed measures would result in an overall increase by 10 % up to 644 000 tones in fishing opportunities for Union vessels in the Baltic Sea for all species except salmon stocks. This would increase the value of fishing opportunities for 2014 by 12 million euros to a total value of approximately 412 million euros.
Commission adopts Annual Report on the EU's development and external assistance policies
The European Commission has adopted its Annual Report 2013 on the EU's development and external assistance policies. Covering work done in 2012, the report gives a comprehensive overview of how the EU delivers on its development policy commitments, increasingly directing aid to where it is most needed and where it can have the greatest impact in terms of poverty reduction. In 2012, the Commission committed almost €13.8 billion to external assistance, the equivalent of 9% of the EU budget. Among many other activities, the EU provided swift and decisive support in situations of crisis and fragility such as the drought in the Sahel and the conflicts in Syria and Mali. For example, the Commission launched, together with international partners, an initiative for the Sahel region to break the vicious cycle of drought, hunger and poverty. The AGIR (Alliance globale pour l'initiative Résilience – Sahel) initiative will, among other things, invest in healthcare and other social sectors, in the functioning of food markets and in empowering women, including those working in agriculture. The EU as a whole remains the world’s largest donor of official development assistance, collectively providing €55.2 billion in 2012. The report can be accessed at: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/multimedia/publications/publications/annual-reports/2013_en.htm
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Klenk Holz by The Carlyle Group
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Klenk Holz AG of Germany by The Carlyle Group of the US. Klenk Holz produces and sells roundwood and fuel wood, manufactures wood products for the construction industries and DIY home use and provides advisory and planning services. Klenk also has activities in the generation of electricity. Carlyle is a global alternative asset manager. The Commission concluded that the acquisition would not raise competition concerns because there are no horizontal overlaps or vertical links between the business activities of Klenk Holz and Carlyle's portfolio companies. The transaction 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.7001 .