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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 15 / 10 / 2015

Brussels, 15 October 2015

Tripartite Social Summit focused on jobs, growth and convergence in Europe

EU leaders and social partners met this morning, ahead of the European Council, at the Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment. Focus of discussions was “Boosting convergence, jobs and growth: towards a strengthened role of social partners". The Commission was represented by President Juncker, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen. The social partners were represented by BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME, CEEP for the employers' side, and ETUC for the workers' organisations. Social partners at national and sectorial levels also participated. President Juncker said: "We have been working for jobs and growth from day one of my mandate. A recovery that is based on social fairness, and can deliver renewed convergence within and between Member States. From the Investment Plan for Europe to the Energy Union, Digital Single Market, Capital Markets Union, to the completion of Economic and Monetary Union, our agenda is in full stream. Social partners at national and EU levels are key to success." Vice-President Dombrovskis said: "Since we took office, the Commission has very consistently ensured that the new start for social dialogue remains a priority that delivers tangible results. We have promoted a more substantial involvement of social partners in the European Semester than in the past. Social Partners are being consulted on a wider range of EU policies and initiatives at an earlier stage. Together, we can build on the European social market economy, making it more resilient and fair." Commissioner Thyssen highlighted: "A close involvement of social partners is indispensable for delivering on the Commission's agenda to promote growth and jobs. The initiative on long-term unemployment as well as the planned mobility package and consultation on work-life balance are good illustrations of where we need the expertise of social partners to shape our policies and to ensure a proper implementation in Member States. I am happy to see that we can count on the social partners to contribute to fostering upward convergence in the social and employment field." The Tripartite Social Summit press conference can be followed live on Ebs at 12:30. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Tove Ernst - Tel.: +32 229 86764)


A new start for Jobs and Growth for Greece: €35 billion plan well underway

The European Commission welcomes yesterday's signature of the Jobs and Growth Plan for Greece by the European Parliament and by the Council. The exceptional measures presented by the Commission for Greece can thus enter into force tomorrow. Greece is set to receive over €35 billion already earmarked from the EU budget over 2014-2020, with €20.6 billion from the European Structural and Investment Funds. €800 million will be paid next week. Overall, almost €1.4 billion will be released in 2015 and €1 billion in 2016; while these exceptional measures will also allow Greece to spend around €2 billion less from its national budget. Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis said: "With the entry into force of the Commission's proposals the EU funds can begin flowing to Greece, starting with a payment of €800 million next week. It is investment in the real economy, in people and companies in Greece. The Commission stands ready to give Greece all the technical assistance it needs to make the most of EU funds at this critical time." Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy said: "I was in Greece last week to discuss the implementation of this package with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. These measures are a strong message of European solidarity. It is now up to our Greek partners to do their part and ensure the best use of EU funds on the ground." The Jobs and Growth Plan for Greece is intended to flank the comprehensive set of reforms agreed between the Greek Government, the Commission and international partners in the context of the new economic adjustment programme. The Commission also offers technical assistance and expertise to Greece through its new Structural Reform Support Service to ensure the swift activation of the funds and their best use to support recovery, and create foundations for sustainable growth. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)


Commission draws on EXPO 2015 to find ways to bolster food and nutrition security

Ahead of the closing of the EXPO 2015 Universal Exhibition in Milan, the European Commission today welcomes new independent experts' recommendations on how European research and innovation can help improve food and nutrition security around the world. The advice will ensure a strong legacy from the Commission's presence at EXPO, which has been dedicated to the theme of global food and nutrition challenges. The findings are part of a larger collection of scientific knowledge on the issue of food security and offer directions for future research and innovation actions at EU and international level. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and responsible for the Joint Research Centre (JRC) which coordinated the EU presence at EXPO, said: "Continuous scientific progress is needed to help us ensure safe and nutritious food for all. I welcome the great effort made by scientists, policy makers, industry representatives and citizens to compile evidence on food security challenges. These recommendations are a truly valuable basis for future research actions at EU level." The recommendations were presented to the Commission at a high-level conference a day ahead of World Food Day. The findings, presented a day in advance of World Food Day, have been welcomed by EU Commissioners Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Science and Innovation; Phil Hogan, responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development and Vytenis Andriukaitis, responsible for Health and Food Safety, and Neven Mimica, responsible for International Cooperation and Development, who attended the concluding events at EXPO 2015. A press release is available online. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278)


Shaping ocean governance: global engagement in EU consultation

Today marks the end of the Commission's international public consultation on how the EU could contribute to achieving better international governance of oceans and seas to the benefit of sustainable blue growth. The Commission received views from over 90 governments, public bodies, NGOs, industry representatives, academics and other stakeholders within and outside of Europe. In addition, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella has travelled to Portugal, Ireland, the USA, Malta, Norway, Alaska, Chile, Spain and China to collect views as international discussion on the topic is mounting due to the increasing use of marine resources. The EU is a global frontrunner in the development of sustainable ocean based economies through its robust set of environmental rules, reformed Common Fisheries Policy and its global fight against illegal fishing. Commissioner Vella remarked: "Governance gaps exist when it comes to managing our oceans sustainably. This puts our marine resources and environments at risk. Better managed oceans are healthier oceans – and healthy oceans are the basis for blue growth and a thriving ocean economy. I am convinced that the responses we have received will allow us to make solid proposals that further build on the existing cooperation and dialogue with our international partners." Based on the views gathered, the Commission will launch a major political initiative on international ocean governance next year. More information available here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321)


Mergers: Commission signs best practices cooperation framework with China

The European Commission's competition department and the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) of the People's Republic of China have signed today in Beijing best practices for cooperation on reviewing mergers. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, commented: “A growing number of international transactions need to get the green light in several jurisdictions. The cooperation framework agreed today between the Commission and China's merger review authority Mofcom reflects our commitment to a stronger cooperation between our two competition authorities." The practical guidance document signed today creates a dedicated framework to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the Commission and China's merger review authority, Mofcom. A full press release is available here in EN, FR, DE. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889; Carolina Luna Gordo - Tel.: +32 229 68386)


Mergers: Commission clears Intel's acquisition of Altera

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Altera by Intel, both US suppliers of electronic components. The companies supply different types of semiconductors. Semiconductors are electronic components that can be found in virtually every electronic device today. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "I am glad that we can approve this transaction, which shows that multibillion euro deals in complex industries can be cleared unconditionally after an initial investigation. Our decision demonstrates that relevant deals can be swiftly approved if they raise no competition concern". The Commission's investigation focussed on several semiconductor markets, where the activities of the companies are linked. The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. A full press release is available here in EN, FR, DE. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7688. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo - Tel.: +32 229 68386)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Davigel Group by Bain Capital

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Davigel SAS of France and Davigel España of Spain (together 'Davigel Group') by Bain Capital Europe of the United Kingdom. Bain Capital is a private equity investment fund. Davigel Group is specialised in the production and distribution of out-of-home food products. At the request of the companies, the Commission referred the assessment of the transaction's impact on the French market to the French competition authority, because it was best placed to carry out this assessment at national and local level. The Commission concluded that the remainder of the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the overlaps between the companies' activities were very 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.7651. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo - Tel.: +32 229 68386)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Securitas Direct by Hellman & Friedman

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Dream Luxco SCA, the ultimate holding company of Securitas Direct, and its subsidiaries (together 'Securitas Direct') of Sweden, by Hellman & Friedman LLC, of the US.  Securitas Direct offers security services and provides monitored alarm solutions for residential and small business customers. Hellman & Friedman is a private equity firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because neither Hellman & Friedman nor any of its portfolio companies are active in the same markets as Securitas Direct. 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.7783. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo - Tel.: +32 229 68386) 



Commissioner Avramopoulos and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg Asselborn in Lesbos and Athens tomorrow

Commissioner Avramopoulos and Luxembourgish Minister Asselborn will be in Lesbos tomorrow to visit the first reception centre Moria as well as the Mytilini reception and registration centre, and to see how the Hotspot support teams are operating on the ground. This is the first Hotspot area to be operational in Greece, and the remaining Hotspots (Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros) are expected to be fully functional by the end of November 2015. Commissioner Avramopoulos said: "Last week we witnessed the opening of the first Hotspot in Italy, and now we are seeing the first Hotspot operating in Greece. This is European commitment, solidarity and responsibility being put in action. It is an important start, but we still have a long way to go in rolling out Hotspots in other areas, in starting relocations and improving returns. It is another important step towards addressing the refugee crisis comprehensively." A press conference is foreseen in Athens at 16.00 (local time), at the Representation of the European Commission. The press conference will also be available on EbS. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)

Commissioner Crețu in Cyprus

On 15 and 16 October, Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu is in Cyprus. She meets Ministers involved in the management of Cohesion Policy funds and visits EU co-financed projects. "This visit focuses on what Cohesion Policy can achieve in the Republic of Cyprus in terms of growth and job creation. Our investments over 2014-2020 will aim at preserving the environment and promoting a sustainable use of resources, supporting the low carbon economy and boosting the local businesses' innovation capacities. Furthermore, under President Juncker's guidance, I'm also here to reiterate the Commission’s support to a Cyprus settlement. As Commissioner for Regional Policy, my mandate is to encourage the economic development of Turkish Cypriot community and promote contacts and dialogue." For 2014-2020, Cyprus has been allocated around €735.6 million in Cohesion Policy funding. More information on Cohesion Policy in Cyprus and on the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community is available online. (For more information: Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)


Development Education and Awareness Raising Fair

In the framework of the European Year for Development 2015, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica will give a keynote speech at the EU's Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) fair on 23 October. The EU Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) Programme Fair will bring together an exhibition of around 80 DEAR projects from all 28 EU Member States. Over the last four years the EU provided approximately €120 million for this Programme. The projects work towards an increased awareness and critical engagement on development issues in the current global context. The fair will consist of an exhibition of development education and awareness raising projects, but will also have a parallel programme consisting of plenary sessions, workshops and presentations. The participation of representatives of approximately 100 Civil Society Organisations (CSO), 20 Local Authorities (LA) as well as participants of EU Institutions, Member States and Academia is also being envisaged.  The event will take place over the span of two days and will close at 16:00 on 23 October. It will be housed at the MCE- Conference and Business Centre, Rue de l'Aqueduc 118, 1050, Brussels. For registration to the fair, please contact and/or (For more information: Alexandre Polack - Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb - Tel.: +32 229 92256)




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