Daily News of 2014-04-28
European Commission - MEX/14/0428 28/04/2014
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EXME 14 / 28.04
28 / 04 / 14
The European Commission welcomes the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) enabling gas flows from Slovakia to Ukraine, which is set to take place this afternoon in Bratislava. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, will attend the ceremony together with Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico and Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan. The Commission acted as a facilitator in the negotiations that led to today’s breakthrough. Along with the MoU, the gas pipeline operators concerned – the Slovakian company Eustream and the Ukrainian company Ukrtransgaz – will sign a Framework Interconnection Agreement today, laying out the technical details of the foreseen solution.
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said: “I warmly congratulate all parties involved on the breakthrough in the negotiations on gas flows from Slovakia to Ukraine. This is an important first step to diversify Ukraine’s sources of gas supply and contributes to greater energy security in Eastern Europe and the EU as a whole. It shows the EU's strong commitment in support of Ukraine's energy sector, which is also reflected in the economic and financial package the Union has swiftly provided for Ukraine in the past weeks."
Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Energy, said: “Today’s deal marks a milestone. It is a first step for gas flows from Slovakia to Ukraine and strengthens the ties between the EU’s energy market and Ukraine. Gas via Slovakia will bring a considerable addition to the volumes that Ukraine can already import from Hungary and Poland. Deliveries from EU Member States offer Ukraine access to gas priced on the basis of fair and transparent principles.”
An EU-funded research project called SOLAR-JET has produced the world's first "solar" jet fuel from water and carbon dioxide (CO2). Researchers have for the first time successfully demonstrated the entire production chain for renewable kerosene, using concentrated light as a high-temperature energy source. The project is still at the experimental stage, with a glassful of jet fuel produced in laboratory conditions, using simulated sunlight. However, the results give hope that in future any liquid hydrocarbon fuels could be produced from sunlight, CO2 and water.
www.solar-jet.aero #Solarjet #FP7
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of APMT Elizabeth by Brookfield and APMTNA
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over APM Terminals North America Inc. ("APMT Elizabeth", the United States), by Brookfield Infrastructure Fund GP II LLC ("Brookfield", the United States), and APM Terminals North America Inc. ("APMTNA", the United States). APMT Elizabeth operates a container terminal in the Elizabeth Container Terminal of the Port of New York. Brookfield is active in asset management with investments in property, renewable power infrastructure and private equity. APMTNA operates container terminals in North America, holding interests in nine terminals in the United States. As APMT Elizabeth has no actual or foreseen activities within the territory of the EEA, the Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise any serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market. 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. 7218 .
Commissioner László Andor and ILO Director General Guy Ryder have agreed to step up cooperation in the area of health and safety at work as a means to enhance synergy and promote consistency in the way occupational safety and health challenges are addressed at global level, and so better address this key challenge across the world. The agreement coincides with the conference on working conditions taking place in Brussels today. "Working conditions concern the daily lives of not only over 214 million European workers, but also of their families. We are talking not only about how people are treated and what they receive at the workplace, but also about their contribution to the economy and to society. The European Union’s goal is a win-win solution based on a relatively straightforward equation: the better working conditions are, the more committed people can be to economic success. Improving working conditions can enhance efficiency and productivity within the enterprise, and it can boost competitiveness in broader terms", said Andor at the conference. See IP/14/479 and SPEECH/14/338 .
Rules on credit rating agencies (CRAs) equivalent to EU rules in five countries
The Commission has today adopted five implementing decisions which confirm that the rules in place on credit rating agencies in Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico and Singapore are equivalent to the EU rules on credit rating agencies. The adoption of these implementing decisions follows the positive technical assessment of the regulatory environments in these jurisdictions by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU supervisor for credit rating agencies. The equivalence decisions allow smaller CRAs in these countries to apply for certification in the EU with the result that their ratings can be used by EU financial institutions for regulatory purposes. More information on the equivalence decisions and the regulatory framework on credit rating agencies can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/securities/agencies/index_en.htm
Integration in European financial markets improved, but still worse than before crisis, new European Commission, ECB reports show
The European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) have today published reports analysing financial integration and stability in Europe. The two annual publications, “Financial Integration in Europe” and the “ European Financial Stability and Integration Report ”, were presented at a conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt. The reports show that significant financial fragmentation remains in the European Union and euro area, despite considerable improvements in recent years. “Both reports underline the crucial importance of implementing the banking union to restore the financial sector’s capacity to support economic activity in the single market without creating excessive amounts of risk for society,” said Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier. “After the entry into force of the Single Supervisory Mechanism regulation, the Single Resolution Mechanism and Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive were voted by the European Parliament on 15 April, and are scheduled to be voted by the Council in May. The new legal framework will ensure that banks will face the same market discipline as any other business, rather than being bailed out by European taxpayers.”