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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 27 / 06 / 2016

Brussels, 27 June 2016

President Juncker thanks the UK Task Force as its work is completed

At today's meeting of the College of Commissioners, the first since the UK Referendum of 23 June, President Juncker informed the College of his decision to dissolve the Task Force for Strategic Issues related to the UK Referendum. The President recorded his thanks to all members of the Task Force for their loyal service and for their invaluable work in recent months in this special function. The President underlined in particular their support in the negotiation of the new Settlement for the UK which was agreed at the 18-19 February European Council and which has ceased to exist after the UK Referendum. He also thanked them for their important counsel to him and his team about ongoing political developments in the UK throughout the Referendum campaign. The Task Force is dissolved today but its members will remain in function until all the administrative and archiving procedures necessary for the dissolution are completed and at the latest until 30 September 2016. As of that stage, all members of the Task Force will return to the services of the Commission for which they were working prior to being assigned to the Task Force. (For more information: Alexander Winterstein – Tel.: +32 229 93265; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)


President Juncker, HR/VP Mogherini and Members of the College attend meeting with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, hosted by President Tusk, with EU-Ukraine cooperation strengthened through the association of Ukraine to EURATOM and Eurojust*

On Monday evening, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz will welcome the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko to Brussels. The High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini as well as a number of Commissioners will also participate in the meeting, which will take place in the Justus Lipsus. The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss matters of importance to both the EU and Ukraine, including the positive steps made by Ukraine to implement reforms, including in the area of the judiciary and the visa liberalisation process. The leaders are also expected to discuss the state of play in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. In the margins of the leaders' meeting, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin will sign an agreement associating Ukraine to the Euratom Research and Training Programme, strengthening our cooperation in science and research. More information on the agreement is available here. Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vĕra Jourová will witness the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between Eurojust and Ukraine by Michèle Coninsx, President of Eurojust and Yuriy Lutsenko, Prosecutor General of Ukraine. This agreement will strengthen judicial cooperation to better fight crime, including organised crime and terrorism. Both signing ceremonies will take place from 18:00 in the Berlaymont VIP corner, in the presence of President Poroshenko. Coverage will be available on EbS. For more information on EU-Ukraine relations, see the factsheet. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.:+32 229 86570; Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253)


Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen co-sign statement with EU social partners following up on the 'New Start for Social Dialogue'

This afternoon, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis, together with Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, signed on behalf of the Commission a statement following up on the 'New Start for Social Dialogue' as initiated by President Juncker at a high-level conference on 5 March 2015. At that conference, the Commission called for a renewed partnership between the social partners and the EU institutions to focus on the priorities to promote growth and create jobs. The joint statement identifies actions which will be undertaken by the signatories to deliver results in each of these areas and will be co-signed by the European Commission, the European cross-industry social partners and by the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Vice-President Dombrovskis said: "We were eager to launch a new start for social dialogue in March last year. The European Commission has made it clear that only tangible action by all parties will bring success for social dialogue at EU and national levels. We are happy to ensure more substantial involvement of the social partners when and where they can have the most impact in broad areas of the Commission's political priorities." Commissioner Thyssen added: "Social partners have a key role to play in addressing the main challenges our societies and labour markets are facing. This is why the Commission has been giving a prominent role to social partners in shaping EU policy priorities, such as the European Pillar of Social Rights and the recently adopted New Skills Agenda." (For more information:Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


New Commission proposal helps Cyprus and Greece fully seize investment opportunities under ESI Funds

The financial and economic crisis had a profound impact on national and regional budgets in many Member States, limiting funding for all types of investment. As a result, the importance of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds in public investment in the EU has significantly increased, especially in those Member States most affected by budgetary difficulties. The Commission has decided to continue helping these Member States make the most out of the Funds by proposing to amend the 2014-2020 ESI Funds Regulation, in order to maintain the EU co-financing rate of 85% for Cyprus and to extend the "top-up" mechanism, which can benefit Greece. "In many EU countries, the ESI Funds are a key source of financing for public investments. Strategically invested in sectors such as Research & Innovation or support to SMEs, they can help pave the way for a prosper future," said Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Crețu, "but sometimes, lack of liquidity can hamper the smooth implementation of ESI Funds programmes. Today's proposal shows that we are ready to lend a helping hand." More information is available in this press release. (For more information: Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)


State aid: Commission publishes the non-confidential version of the final negative decision with recovery regarding the tax treatment by The Netherlands of Starbucks

Today the Commission has published the non-confidential version of the final negative decision with recovery adopted on 21 October 2015, which closed the in-depth investigation into transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Starbucks in the Netherlands. The decision is available under the case number SA.38374 on the competition website. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)


Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts by Marriott

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts by Marriott International, both of the US. The Commission found that the takeover would not adversely affect competition in Europe. Commissioner for Competition, Margaret Vestager, said: “This is an important merger for the hotel industry and its customers. Our investigation confirmed that the hotel sector will remain competitive for customers in Europe following the merger, so I am pleased that the Commission was able to clear the transaction quickly". Both companies are mainly active as managers and franchisors of hotels worldwide. At global level, more than 4,500 hotels in 85 countries operate under a Marriott brand and about 1,300 hotels in nearly 100 countries under a Starwood brand. The Commission assessed the impact of the proposed acquisition on competition in Europe in the market for hotel accommodation services and in the markets for hotel management and hotel franchising services and concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns. A full press release is available in EN, FR and DE. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information will be available on the competition website, in the public case registerunder the case number M.7902. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Komel – Tel.: +32 229 61175) 


Mergers: Commission clears joint acquisition of TCR by 3i Group and DAAM

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of TCR of Belgium by 3i Group and Deutsche Alternative Asset Management (DAAM), both of the United Kingdom. TCR provides rental and maintenance of ground support equipment to ground handlers in the aviation sector. 3i is an investment manager. DAAM is a subsidiary of the Germany-based Deutsche Bank, providing investment and fund management services. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because neither 3i nor DAAM is engaged in business activities related to ground support equipment. 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.8054. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Komel – Tel.: +32 229 61175) 




President Juncker and High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini meet U.S. Secretary of State Kerry to discuss EU-US cooperation

Today, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini met with the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry. The High Representative and the Secretary of State gave press statements following the meeting, available here. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.:+32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359)



Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)


*Updated on 27/06/2016 at 18:01, correcting the modalities of the signature ceremonies.


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