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EXME 14 / 05.08
05 / 08 / 14
The European Commission is launching a public consultation on a range of possible EU measures that would encourage the re-use of treated wastewater. Most wastewater from urban treatment plants is simply flushed out into rivers and lakes. But increasing re-use would help us respond to the increasing problems of water scarcity and drought. Re-use of water also has a lower environmental impact than getting it from other sources such as inter-regional water transfers or desalination. We want to know what citizens, stakeholders, businesses, NGOs and public authorities think about the potential of re-use and obstacles to it, and what kind of regulatory and non-regulatory EU measures could effectively address these concerns and increase the uptake of safe water re-use in the EU. The consultation is available here and is open until 7 November 2014.
The European Commission has adopted today the Danish national Operational Programme for the implementation of the European Social Fund in the period 2014-2020. This programme outlines the priorities and objectives to spend €400 million (of which over 200 from the EU budget), or around 3 billion DKK, contributing to strengthening economic growth in all Danish regions and to achieving the EUROPE2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. "I warmly congratulate the Danish authorities for the good work that has allowed us to swiftly adopt the first European Social Fund Operational Programme covering the 2014-2020 period. We now have the roadmap to put ESF funding to the best use in the country. The ESF will contribute to helping people improve their skills and start their own business, thus boosting employment and productivity", Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, commented.
In June 2014 compared with May 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 0.4% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.3% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In May retail trade increased by 0.3% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU28.
Quality food products: Two new products get EU protection
The European Commission has approved the addition of two new quality farm products to the register of protected designations of origin (PDOs) and protected geographical indications (PGIs). These are, for Poland, “ Cebularz lubelski ” (PGI), a round flatbread from the province of Lublin made with wheat flour and topped with a layer of diced onion and poppy seeds ; and, for Sweden, “ Upplandskubb ” (PDO), a typical rustic bread made from rye and wheat mixed with syrup in the county of Uppland, in the East of Sweden. The denominations will be added to the list of more than 1,200 products already protected. For more information: see webpages on quality products and DOOR database of protected products.
The European Commission has issued a questionnaire to seek the views of stakeholders on the functioning and the future of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (IBER), which exempts certain agreements between companies in the insurance sector from EU antitrust rules. Submissions can be made until 4 November 2014. The purpose of the questionnaire is to consult stakeholders on the application and future of the IBER, which is due to expire in March 2017. Based on the contributions received the Commission will submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council by the end of March 2016.
The European Commission has authorised under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Rolls-Royce's aero-derivative gas turbine business, compressor activities and aftermarket services as well as Rolls Royce's 50% stake in Rolls Wood Group, both of the UK, by Siemens of Germany. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction does not raise competition concerns, in particular because the parties are not close competitors and a number of competitors will remain in the market after the transaction.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of EdRCP by Bridgepoint.
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Edmond de Rothschild Capital Partners (EdRCP) of France by Bridgepoint Advisers Group Limited of the UK. EdRCP is a private equity fund holding interests in a number of portfolio companies, active in a wide range of sectors across the European Economic Area (EEA) and in particular the manufacturing of ophthalmic and dental equipment, surgical products and medical devices. Bridgepoint is a private equity fund controlling a number of entities active in a wide range of industry sectors across the EEA, among others the provision of ophthalmic and dental surgical services in hospitals. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise any competition concerns, in particular because there are no overlaps between the activities of the parties' portfolio companies. Moreover, the vertical relationships between, on the one hand, the supply of ophthalmic and dental healthcare products, and on the other hand the provision of ophthalmic and dental surgical services in hospitals is not likely to lead to shutting out competitors from these markets because the vertical links are limited in number and occur only at a local level in France. The transaction was assessed 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.7309 .
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The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of CWT B.V. (CWT) of the Netherlands by Carlson, Inc. of the US. CWT provides travel management and travel consulting services and Carlson Inc. provides hotel services. Since Carlson Inc. already has joint control over CWT, the only change brought about by the transaction is from joint to sole control. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns. 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.7315 .
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Domusvi Dolcea Participations SAS (DVD Participations) by PAI Partners SAS (PAI), both of France. DVD Participations operates medicalised and non-medicalised nursing homes for the elderly. PAI manages and advises dedicated private equity funds which control companies active in five core sectors (business services, food & consumer goods, general industrials, healthcare, and retail & distribution). The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns since the parties are not active in the same market nor in directly related markets. 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.7320 .