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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 23 / 03 / 2016

Brussels, 23 March 2016

Message du Président de la Commission européenne suite aux attentats de Bruxelles

"Je désire présenter mes sincères condoléances à la population de Bruxelles, aux nombreux blessés, aux familles et proches des personnes injustement touchées ce matin lors des différentes explosions à l'aéroport international de Zaventem et dans la station de Métro Maelbeek. Je souhaite apporter aussi mon soutien et ma solidarité aux autorités belges. Je désire saluer les forces de sécurité, les services d'urgence et toutes les personnes qui ont porté secours aux victimes et qui pour beaucoup sont encore actives sur le terrain. Je désire également rassurer le personnel de la Commission européenne et des autres Institutions et leur dire que leur sécurité reste pour moi une priorité. Toutes les mesures possibles seront prises de concert avec les autorités belges. Ces attaques touchent aujourd'hui Bruxelles. L'Europe dans son entièreté est visée. L'Union européenne et les Institutions doivent et resteront unies face à la terreur. Ces évènements nous touchent mais ne nous effrayent pas. Nous continuons notre travail pour faire face ensemble à la menace terroriste et pour apporter des solutions européennes aux questions qui nous concernent tous." Ce message du Président Juncker est aussi en ligne en EN et DE. Ce matin, le Collège a tenu sa réunion hebdomadaire durant laquelle les membres du Collège ont discuté l'Agenda européen de sécurité. Un compte-rendu de cette réunion sera présentée par la Vice-Présidente Georgieva et le Commissaire Avramopoulos que vous pouvez suivre en directe sur EbS. Une minute de silence a été tenue en mémoire des victimes des attentats au Berlaymont à 12:00 aujourd'hui avec le Roi et la Reine des Belges, ainsi que le Président Juncker, le Premier Ministre Michel et le Premier Ministre Valls. Ensuite, le Président Juncker, le Président Michel et le Président Valls s'est rendu à la station de Métro Maelbeek pour rendre hommage aux victimes d'hier. (Pour plus d'informations: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)

 

Mergers: Commission approves Statoil Fuel and Retail's takeover of Shell's Dansk Fuels, subject to conditions

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shell's Danish retail and wholesale fuels business, Dansk Fuels, by Alimentation Couche-Tard of Canada, which operates in Denmark under the Statoil brand via its subsidiary Statoil Fuel and Retail ("SFR"). The decision is conditional upon an extensive commitments package including the divestment of over 200 petrol stations and Shell's commercial fuels business. The Commission had concerns that the merger as initially notified could have led to higher prices for fuel, diesel, gasoline and light heating oil customers in Denmark. The commitments offered by the companies address these concerns. The full press release is available online in EN, FR, DE and DA. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Jarden by Newell Rubbermaid

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Jarden Corporation by Newell Rubbermaid Inc., both of US.  Both companies sell a wide range of branded consumer products globally, including baby products, various tools, cleaning products, home and food storage and coolers amongst others. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the companies' activities were largely complementary and any overlaps between their 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.7925. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Engineering Ingegneria Informatica by Apax Partners and Neuberger Berman

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A. of Italy by investment funds Apax Partners of the UK and Neuberger Berman of the US. Engineering provides IT services almost exclusively in Italy to several sectors, including public administrations, utilities and telecoms, and financial services. It provides the full stack of IT services, with a particular focus on proprietary software development and management. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, in particular as there are only minor overlaps between the activities of Engineering on the one hand and those of portfolio companies of Apax Partners and of Neuberger Berman on the other hand. Moreover, numerous other competitors will remain active in the relevant 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.7967. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Pioneer US by Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic and Unicredit

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Pioneer Investment Management USA Inc. by private equity companies Warburg Pincus LLC and General Atlantic LLC, both of the US, and banking group Unicredit S.p.A. of Italy. Pioneer US is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unicredit and is active in the business of asset management, with operations in the US and Canada. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, since Pioneer US has no actual or foreseen activities and assets within the territory of the European Economic Area (EEA). The transaction was assessed 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.7874. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Commission seeks views on neighbouring rights and panorama exception in EU copyright

The Commissiontoday opened a public consultation as part of its work to update EU copyright rules for the digital age. It is seeking views on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain, including the possible extension to publishers of the neighbouring rights. Publishers do not currently benefit from neighbouring rights which are similar to copyright but do not reward an authors' original creation (a work). They reward either the performance of a work (e.g. by a musician, a singer, an actor) or an organisational or financial effort (for example by a producer) which may also include a participation in the creative process. The Commission is also consulting on the panorama exception, which concerns the use made of images depicting buildings, sculptures and monuments located permanently in public places.  The Commission wants to hear from everyone interested in the publishing sector and the digital economy such as authors, researchers, publishers, online service providers, readers, internet users and others in the creative industries. The Commission invites all respondents to back up their replies, whenever possible, with market data and other economic evidence.  Views expressed and information gathered will help the Commission assess the need for, or prepare initiatives, as part of its efforts to modernise EU copyright rules under the Commission's Digital Single Market strategy. The consultation will run until 15 June 2016. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Marie Frenay - Tel.: +32 229 64532)

 

Commission launches public consultation on insolvency in the European Union

Today, the European Commission is launching a public consultation on insolvency frameworks in the European Union. Well-functioning insolvency frameworks are critical for supporting business investment and growth across the EU and helping companies and individuals to do business across the EU single market, or invest from outside the EU.  Inefficiency and divergences in insolvency frameworks make it harder for investors to assess credit risk, particularly in cross-border investments, preventing the integration of capital markets in the EU. An appropriate insolvency framework is an essential element of a good business environment and is therefore also important for jobs and growth. Around 200,000 companies go bankrupt in the EU every year. The Commission wants to help businesses overcome financial difficulties in case of bankruptcy, while at the same time maximising the value received by creditors, shareholders, employees, investors, tax authorities, and other parties concerned. The consultation seeks to identify the targeted changes which could be made to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of insolvency frameworks, building on national regimes that work well. In particular, the consultation focuses on rules to support businesses that are in temporary distress to restructure their debt as soon as possible and to be given a second chance if their business is viable. The consultation will identify the measures which could be taken to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of insolvency frameworks. Věra Jourová, EU Justice Commissioner said: "Our top priority is to create the best possible environment to boost growth and cross-border investment across the EU. The Capital Markets Union needs modern insolvency rules which are easy to apply.  This way we will attract more investment in the EU. Our single market will work better if we can reduce inefficiencies caused by different national insolvency laws which create uncertainty and deter honest entrepreneurs." The online consultation will run until 14 June. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Decision to establish a Trust Fund for Colombia adopted today

The European Commission has today adopted the decision authorising the establishment of a Trust Fund for Colombia to support the implementation of a final Peace Agreement, in an effort to demonstrate the European Union's continued support to peace in the country. The Trust Fund counts on €70 million from the European Union financing instruments and will be complemented by contributions from EU Member States. To date, 9 EU Member States – Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and UK - have confirmed their intention to contribute to the Trust Fund. Additional contributions are expected from other donors. The Trust Fund will be formally established after the signing of a final Peace Agreement between the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). (For more information: Alexandre Polack Tel.: +32 229 90677; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

 

European Commission appoints Director in its Directorate-General for Competition

The European Commission decided today to appoint Mr Henrik Mørch to the position of Director “Markets and cases V: Transport, Post and other services” in its Directorate-General Competition (DG COMP). Mr Mørch, a Danish national, joined the European Commission in 1992. Between 2001 and 2005, he was a Member of the Cabinets of development Commissioner Poul Nielson and of agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel. He first became Head of Unit in 2005. Mr Mørch is currently Head of Unit "State aid Transport" and acting Director “Markets and cases V: Transport, Post and other services” in DG COMP. (For more information: Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 229 93265; Andreana Stankova – Tel.: +32 229 57857)

MEX/16/1063


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