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Daily News of 2014-09-04

European Commission - MEX/14/0904   04/09/2014

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EXME 14 / 04.09

DAILY NEWS

04 / 09 / 14

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Morgan Stanley's Global Oil Merchanting Unit by Rosneft

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of parts of Morgan Stanley of the United States, namely Morgan Stanley's Global Oil Merchanting Unit, by OJSC Oil Company Rosneft of Russia. The parties' activities overlap on various markets for oil and refined petroleum products, including fuel oil sales in the EEA. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because the overlaps are very limited and a number of strong players would remain in the market after the merger. The transaction 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. 7318 .

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Aviapartner by H.I.G. European Capital Partners

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control of the Belgian company Aviapartner by H.I.G. European Capital Partners SAS a French management fund. H.I.G. SAS is a private equity firm focused on management buy-outs and recapitalizations of middle market companies as well as growth equity investments. Aviapartner and its subsidiaries provide ground handling services, in particular ramp and passenger services, cargo handling and freight related services. It is present at 27 airports in 6 European countries, namely Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because the parties are not active in the same markets and therefore the transaction would not involve any addition in market share, nor are there any significant vertical links. 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 case number M.7362 .

President Barroso at the NATO Summit

Today and tomorrow, the President of the European Commission will join world leaders at the NATO Wales Summit in Newport (UK) in a particular security environment caused mainly by the instability in Eastern Europe but also in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Ukrainian crisis will be in the top of the agenda of the Summit. President Barroso will take part at the session on Afghanistan . He is expected to reiterate the EU long-term commitment to the country, exemplified in new strategy and funding until 2020 – including for the policing commitments made at the Chicago Summit in 2012.

Vassiliou and Liu Yandong to hold talks over EU-China cooperation for education, culture and women's rights

The European Union and China plan to work more closely together in education, culture and youth policy as well as new areas including gender equality and efforts to address violence against women. These are among potential new priority areas for the 'High-Level-People-to-People Dialogue' (HPPD) between the EU and China, which aims to build trust and understanding between the two regions' peoples. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will meet Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong in Beijing on 6 September to take stock of the HPPD's achievements since its launch two years ago. The two leaders will also discuss other areas where the EU and China could expand cooperation, including greater participation of Chinese institutions in the U-Multirank university ranking and a new project to promote cultural festivals in China.

Innovative textiles to boost EU seaweed farming

Seaweed is an important but under-exploited resource for food and feed ingredients, biochemicals and the production of biofuels. But it has been difficult to harvest efficiently on a large scale. Until now. The EU-funded AT~SEA project has developed advanced textiles that give high yields from floating seaweed farms and allow easy, mechanised cultivation. Project coordinator Bert Groenendaal of Belgium-based Sioen Industries said that farming seaweed on the scale made possible by the new textiles can help create a multi-billion euro industry in Europe – boosting growth and jobs. Sioen is one of seven companies involved in the project, along with four research centres.

Report on Roma Health underlines extent of poor health outcomes for Roma

An evidence-based review of literature from 2008 to 2013 on Roma health, published today, confirms that the Roma population in Europe suffer disproportionately from illnesses that are associated with the social determinants of health. Roma die on average at least ten years younger than non-Roma, have higher rates of infant mortality and poorer access to health services. Although there are still vast gaps in Roma health data which prevent a full understanding of the situation, there are some indications that the economic crisis has spurred a further deterioration in health status and health access for this population group in a number of countries and regions. The report, commissioned by the European Commission, suggests that further initiatives and health interventions, including systematic health data collection are needed to improve the health of Roma across Europe.

To read the report in full.

Follow us on Twitter: @EU_Health

Quality food products: European Commission approves Bulgarian Роле Трапезица as a new TSG

The European Commission has approved the addition of a new Bulgarian quality food product to the register of Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG). The name ‘ Роле Трапезица’ (Role Trapezitsa) of this unique Bulgarian product is derived from ‘Trapezitsa’, the name of a historical hill in Veliko Tarnovo, the old imperial capital of Bulgaria. ‘Role Trapezitsa’ is a pressed, raw dry-cured meat product prepared from chilled or frozen pork collar and a mixture of salt and natural seasonings (black or white pepper and garlic) stuffed into a casing made of bovine blind gut or collagen and netting and bound with twine. This soft and succulent meat is characterized with an exceptional taste and flavour. The denomination will be added to the list of more than 1,200 products already protected. More information: webpages on quality products and DOOR database of protected products.

Le Commissaire Andris Piebalgs annonce un nouveau soutien au Bénin lors de sa visite dans le pays

Le Commissaire européen pour le Développement, Andris Piebalgs, annoncera demain que le soutien de l’Union européenne au Bénin pour la période 2014-2020 s’élèvera à près de 450 millions d'euros. Cette annonce sera faite dans le cadre de sa visite au Bénin du 4 au 5 septembre 2014.

Il s'agit pour l'UE de continuer à appuyer le secteur de la gouvernance, auquel s'ajouteront les secteurs de l'agriculture et de l'énergie. Pour ce dernier, l'aide se concentrera sur l'accès des populations à l'énergie, la promotion des énergies renouvelables et l'efficacité énergétique.

Cette visite permettra de réaffirmer la volonté de l'Union européenne d'accompagner le Bénin dans son processus de développement. Elle sera par ailleurs l'occasion d'un échange de vues du Commissaire Piebalgs avec les autorités béninoises sur les questions économiques et de développement, les résultats obtenus et les perspectives de la coopération entre l'Union européenne et le Bénin.

New Narrative for Europe: artists at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of "La Biennale di Venezia" organize a Domino Conversation with President Barroso, 7 September

On 7 September at 4 pm CET, President Barroso will participate in a Domino Conversation organized in the framework of the New Narrative for Europe project in the context of the Weekend Specials Program of Monditalia, an essential part of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition settled in the Corderie of Arsenale, one of the main venues of la Biennale di Venezia. The Domino Conversations are an initiative of the collective theTomorrow , which provides a digital space that involves a large group of intellectuals, artists, scientists, researches, students and various players in European cultural life to look at the near future of Europe. The European Commission, in the context of the New Narrative project, supports the activities of theTomorrow.

For the Domino Conversation, a select group of European artists and intellectuals as Rem Koolhaas, Alice Rohrwacher, Stefano Boeri, Elif Shafak, Okwui Enwezor and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev will prepare a statement that focuses on and engages one of the themes addressed in the Declaration " The Mind and Body of Europe ", the main output of the New Narrative for Europe project. Each intervention concludes with a question addressed to President Barroso. This conversation will be published in the book " The Mind and Body of Europe: a new narrative", together with the main contributions received throughout the two years of the project. The book will be presented at the closing event of the project.

Agriculture and Fisheries Council, 5th September 2014

The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of September 2014 will take place in Brussels on 5th September 2014, starting at 2pm. The Commission will be represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş. A press conference will be held at the end of the discussions and can be followed by video streaming: http://video.consilium.europa.eu . EU Ministers will have a detailed discussion on the potential impact of the Russian import ban on certain EU agricultural products and on the policy response. It is the only issue on the agenda. As soon as the Russian measures were announced on August 6, the Commission acted swiftly to coordinate the EU reaction. Having set up a task force of Commission experts, a meeting with Member State experts was organised - and a monitoring system has now been established which allows the Commission to follow the price for every "banned" product every week in every Member State. Similar meetings take place every week at technical level, but this Council will be the first full political discussion.


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