Daily News of 2014-08-06
European Commission - MEX/14/0806 06/08/2014
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EXME 14 / 06.08
06 / 08 / 14
The first ever EU programme in development and cooperation that covers Africa as a whole, called "Pan-African Programme", has today been launched with an allocation of €415 million for this first phase (2014-2017). Welcoming the initiative, President Barroso said: "The challenges with which we are faced can no longer be tackled within national borders. This is as true in Europe as it is in Africa or elsewhere. This is why I have proposed to create a Pan-African programme to find solutions at regional and continental scale and support the process of African integration." It will contribute, amongst others, to increased mobility on the African continent, better trade relations across regions and also better equip both continents for addressing trans-national and global challenges, such as climate change or security. It will fund projects ranging from sustainable agriculture, environment, and higher education to governance, infrastructure, as well as research and innovation.
The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Romania setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds throughout the country. Today’s agreement paves the way for investing €23 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding and the allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative). Romania also receives €8 billion for rural development and €168 million for fisheries and the maritime sector. The EU investments will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, towns and rural areas. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and support the development of an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy. See also MEMO/14/331 .
EU-Canada: Negotiators finished their work regarding the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
Following last October's breakthrough on the political issues regarding the free trade agreement with Canada, the negotiators have now finished their work and reached a complete outcome. The text is being seen by the EU Member States and the Canadian Provinces and Territories, and it will be formally concluded in September.
An EU-Canada Summit is being planned for September.
Nothing to cook for dinner? While rushing to the supermarket, you will soon be able to consult the FoodLoop app and find the best offers close to you. This system – made possible thanks to an EU-funded toolbox – informs you if a product is reduced in price because the "best before" date is coming up. You save money but also help reduce waste. FoodLoop will be launched soon in two bio supermarkets and a bakery around Bonn, Germany. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes says: "I am happy FoodLoop is based on the building blocks provided by FI-WARE. The EU invested in one set of tools that can be used again and again to support other such great ideas."
Mergers: Commission clears joint venture between D'Ieteren and Continental in car sharing services
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture between S.A. D'Ieteren N.V. (D'Ieteren) of Belgium, controlled by the D'Ieteren family, and Continental Automotive Holding Netherlands BV (Continental) of the Netherlands, controlled by Continental AG of Germany. D'Ieteren sells new vehicles of different brands, spare parts, accessories and after-sale services across Belgium. Continental is a global supplier of various components to the automotive industry, including braking systems, sensors, tires as well as electrical and electronic products. Recently, D'Ieteren has started offering virtual key systems for car sharing solutions, under the Keyzee brand. A virtual key system is a technical solution to allow the shared use of a car, principally in a commercial or professional context (corporate fleet or car rental companies, for instance). The parties intend to set up a joint venture that will take over all their activities related to the development, manufacture and sale of virtual key systems for car sharing purposes. The Commission concluded that the proposed concentration would not raise competition concerns, because the size of the JV's activities in the EEA will be limited. 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.7266 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Northwind by Parkwind, Aspiravi, Summit
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Northwind NV by Parkwind NV, Aspiravi Offshore (Aspiravi), all of Belgium and Summit Renewable Energy Northwind (Summit) of the UK. Northwind is currently jointly controlled by Parkwind and Aspiravi Offshore. Parkwind is an investment and development vehicle of the Korys/Colruyt Group and PMV. The principal activity of the Korys/Colruyt Group is retail of daily consumer goods. PMV is an independent investment company controlled by the Flemish regional government. Aspiravi Offshore is a 100% subsidiary of Aspiravi Holding. Aspiravi Offshore’s only current activity is the holding of a stake in Northwind. Aspiravi Holding is indirectly controlled by Belgian municipalities. Summit was set up as a special purpose vehicle for the purpose of the proposed concentration and is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation. Sumitomo Corporation is active in the operation and construction of wind farms in Japan, China, the US and South Africa. Northwind holds a concession and the necessary licences to operate an offshore wind farm of 216 MW in the Belgian Exclusive Economic Zone in the North Sea. The Commission found that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, because there are no overlaps between the parties' activities. 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.7295 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Vedici Groupe by CVC Capital Partners
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Vedici Groupe SAS of France by CVC Capital Partners SICAV-FIS S.A. of Luxembourg. Vedici owns and operates 35 medical centers, mostly private hospitals, in France. CVC manages and advises investment funds holding interests in a number of companies in various industries in Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific region. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns since the parties are neither 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.7321 .