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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 06/01/2016

Brussels, 6 January 2016

First official visit of President Juncker and the College of Commissioners to the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On the occasion of the start of the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2016, President Juncker and the College of Commissioners will pay their first official visit to the Dutch Presidency today and tomorrow, 6 and 7 January. Tonight, the College members will be received by the Mayor of Amsterdam, Mr Eberhard Van der Laan, who will host a working dinner. On Thursday, the College of Commissioners will be welcomed by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Members of his Cabinet at the National Maritime Museum. At 10:30, President Juncker and Prime Minister Rutte will meet bilaterally, followed by a press conference at 11:10, which can be followed on EbS. After the press conference, the College and Dutch Cabinet members will hold so-called "cluster meetings". During these meetings, they will address and discuss the five priorities outlined in the strategic agenda of the Dutch Presidency: Jobs, growth and competitiveness; the Economic and Monetary Union, financial services, social affairs and regional policy; the Energy Union, climate and transport; the EU as a strong global player; and finally, freedom, justice, security and counter-terrorism. At 12:30, the College will be hosted by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima at the Royal Palace Amsterdam for a working lunch. The College will then travel to The Hague, where a dialogue with members of the States General of the Netherlands will conclude the visit. This is the 12th time that the Netherlands are chairing the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, last time being in 2004. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382)

 

Latest Eurobarometer on Europeans and Agriculture shows broad support for the Common Agricultural Policy

According to a new Eurobarometer survey published today, there is a growing awareness among Europeans of the contribution of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to the European Commission's top priorities, with over 80% of the respondents considering the role of the CAP "very or fairly important" for stimulating jobs and growth and for supporting the role of the farmer in the food chain. Respondents also agree that the CAP contributes to improving trade relations between the EU and the rest of the world (66% agree) and to the smooth running of the EU single market (65% agree). Commenting on this publication, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, said: "I welcome the growing importance that citizens are putting on agriculture and rural areas, and appreciate that 70% of Europeans believe that the EU is fulfilling its role in securing the European food supply. I also welcome the indications that EU citizens understand how the CAP is contributing to investment, growth and jobs. These will feed into our deliberations when determining EU policy for the future." The outcome of the survey also highlights the importance for the future that the general public puts on agriculture and rural areas (>90%) and confirms the trend from previous surveys which shows increasing concern about the future of agriculture and rural areas as well as improved awareness of the CAP. The aim of this Special Eurobarometer Survey was to understand the relationship between Europeans and agriculture, by exploring the level of importance they attach to agriculture, understanding their view of the role of the farmer and what they believe are the main objectives of the EU with regards to agriculture. More findings can be found here and the full Eurobarometer report is available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel: +32 229 56172; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52509)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of GCA by Thomas H. Lee and Goldman Sachs

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of GCA Services Group, Inc. by Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. ("THL") and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., all of the US. THL is investing in growth-oriented global businesses. Goldman Sachs offers a range of banking, securities and investment services worldwide and GCA provides a wide range of facility services, such as janitorial and custodial services as well as labour management. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because GCA is not active in the European Economic Area (EEA). 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.7882. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Precision Castparts by Berkshire Hathaway

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Precision Castparts Corp., of the US, by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., also of the US.  Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of diverse business activities. Precision Castparts Corp. is a manufacturer of complex metal components and products. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the absence of horizontal overlaps and the limited vertical relationships between the activities of the two companies. 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.7827(For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

State aid: Commission invites comments on functioning and future of simplified procedure for treatment of certain types of aid

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to seek stakeholders' views on the Commission Notice on a Simplified Procedure for the Treatment of Certain Types of Aid. This Notice sets out the conditions under which the Commission can follow a simplified procedure for assessing certain types of state aid cases. The Commission consultation seeks feedback from public authorities, citizens, companies, organisations and other interested parties on their experience with the implementation of the Notice. In light of the replies, the Commission intends to carry out a review to take account of feedback received as well as to reflect changes brought about by the Commission's State Aid Modernisation (SAM) initiative. Comments are invited until 6 April 2016. Further information as well as the full text of the questionnaire is available on the consultation page(For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

EUROSTAT: Industrial producer prices down by 0.2% in euro area

In November 2015, compared with October 2015, industrial producer prices fell by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.3% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In October 2015 prices decreased by 0.3% in both zones. In November 2015, compared with November 2014, industrial producer prices fell by 3.2% in the euro area and by 3.5% in the EU28. A Eurostat press release can be found here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Siobhan Millbright - Tel.: +32 229 57361)

MEX/16/21


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