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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 06 / 07 / 2015

Brussels, 06 July 2015

West Africa to receive €1.15 billion of new EU support

Today, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, co-signed new regional funding for cooperation with representatives of regional organisations from West Africa, covering the time until 2020. The so-called Regional Indicative Programme under the 11th European Development Fund amounts to a total of €1.15 billion. Commissioner Mimica commented: “Regional integration in West Africa is already bearing impressive fruits and today’s signing is the ambitious starting point for preparing new, concrete projects that will benefit the region and its countries. Having almost doubled our support from the last programming period, we will work with a wide range of partners to tackle the challenges that remain in West Africa, such as peace and security, economic integration and trade, as well as sustainable development.” A press release is available in EN, FR and DE. (For more information: Alexandre Polack Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229 92256)


Have your say on EU audio-visual media rules

How can we improve the current EU rules for broadcast and on-demand audio-visual media services in the digital age? How can we best protect children and other viewers, support European creative works, stimulate our rich cultural diversity, promote access to information and regulate advertising in the audio-visual online world? The European Commission is asking these and other questions to viewers and stakeholders (market players, public organisations, consumer organisations) in a public consultation that was launched today and which has the aim to propose, in 2016, a review of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Adopted in 2010, the AVMSD provides rules on issues likethe roles and responsibilities of all market players, promotion of European works, advertising and protection of minors. The Commission will examine whether the current system should be adapted. It will also consider whether its current scope should be broadened so as to apply to new services and players that are outside the definition of “audio-visual media services” given by the Directive.The audio-visual sector has a direct impact on people and businesses. It is at the heart of Europe's creative and digital economy.The consultation, open until 30 September, is part of the Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy, launched in May by Vice-President Ansip, in charge of Digital Single Market, and Commissioner Oettinger, in charge of the Digital Economy and Society. This is also part of a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) assessment: an example of the commitment to improve the quality of our laws and ensure they are modern and fit for purpose in the Commission's new Better Regulation Framework. (For more information, Nathalie Vandystadt +32 2 29 67083 and Marie Frenay +32 2 29 64532)


EU agri-food exports account for 7.2% of total trade with third countries  

Updated figures on trade of agri-food products between the European Union and the rest of the world in 2014 show that exports increased by 1.6% compared with 2013. These exports represent 7.2% of the total trade with third countries. The most exported product categories are alcoholic beverages (spirits, wine, etc) and wheat. Exports of infant food, flour, starch or milk preparations experienced the highest increase compared with the previous year: +23%. The most imported products are tropical fruits - fresh or dried - nuts and spices as well as unroasted coffee and tea in bulk. Imports of cocoa beans increased by 17% compared with 2013, which represents the highest increase among imported product categories. The EU's top destination for its agri-food exports are the United States, whereas it imports its biggest share from Brazil. All 2014 trade figures for EU28 agri-food trade with the world and individual countries are available here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 229 56 185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52 509)


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

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Morgan Stanley's Global Oil Merchanting Unit by Castleton Commodities International LLC, both of the United States. Morgan Stanley's Global Oil Merchanting Unit acquires and resells supplies of crude oil and petroleum products. Castleton trades physical and financial instruments related to energy commodities. The companies' activities overlap for the trading of crude oil and petroleum products. The Commission's investigation found that the overlaps were very limited and the Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would raise no 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.7665. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)


State aid: Commission approves third prolongation of Polish credit union resolution scheme

The European Commission has authorised, under EU State aid rules, the third prolongation of the Polish credit union resolution scheme until 31 December 2015. The Commission found the prolongation of the scheme, initially approved on 18 February 2014, to be in line with its rules on State aid to banks during the crisis. In particular, the prolonged measures are well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. More information is available on the Commission's competition website in the public case register under the case number SA.42078. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)




Commissioner Vella in New York on 6 - 8 July

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella is in New York on 6 – 8 July to participate at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The Commissioner will express the commitment, on behalf of the EU, towards the effective implementation of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. "The Forum, still ahead of the post-2015 summit, is a good opportunity to send clear messages on how we can best implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The economic, social and environmental pillars of the SDGs must work together to have the most positive impact", said Commissioner Vella. The Commissioner's speech will be made available online tonight at 17:30 CET. In the margins of the visit, the Commissioner will also celebrate the EU's accession to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on 8 July 2015. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321)


Commissioner Navracsics discusses integrity in sport at Informal Meeting of EU Sports Ministers

In the wake of the recent developments at FIFA, Commissioner Tibor Navracsics joins today the EU Sports Ministers at the Informal Sport Council in Luxembourg to discuss how to improve integrity in sport, cooperate with national sport movements and tackle other challenges like doping. The Commission also welcomes the news that tomorrow, Luxembourg and Poland are expected to join nine other EU Member States that have already signed the Council of Europe's Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions, the first legally binding international tool to fight match-fixing. Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Commissioner said: "The EU is doing important work to encourage good governance within sport federations. Sport needs credibility and integrity to be able to fully play its role in society. This can only be done through ongoing and strengthened cooperation between the European Commission, the EU Member States and the sport movement." (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt Tel.: +32 229 67083, Mirna Talko– Tel.: +32 229 87278)


Upcoming Conference on Financing for Development, Addis Ababa (13-16 July)

On behalf of the EU, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, will attend the International Conference on Financing for Development which takes place in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) between 13-16 July. The aim is for the international community to agree on the financial and non-financial means of implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This Agenda should be agreed upon by Heads of State in New York in September 2015 and will include new Sustainable Development Goals. A factsheet is available online. (For more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69921; Alexandre Polack Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229 92256)


Commissioner Stylianides to attend the Oslo Summit on Education for Development
Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, will speak in a panel on education in emergencies at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development tomorrow. The summit, organised by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, aims to mobilise a new political commitment to reach the 58 million children who are out of school worldwide. Education in emergencies is one of the most underfunded areas in humanitarian aid. At present, less than 2% of the global humanitarian budget is made available for this purpose. (For more information: Alexandre Polack Tel.: +32 229 90677; Daniel Puglisi Tel.: +32 229 69140)


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