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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 29 / 08 / 2016

Brussels, 29 August 2016

The Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2017

The European Commission today tabled its proposal on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2017. The proposal is based on the recently adopted multiannual fisheries management plan for the Baltic Sea, and takes into consideration scientific advice received in May 2016. The Commission proposes to increase catch limits for 6 out of 10 fish stocks (Western, Bothnian and Central herring, sprat, plaice and main basin salmon) and to decrease catch limits for 2 stocks (Gulf of Riga herring and Gulf of Finland salmon). The Commission is collecting more information before proposing catch limits for the remaining 2 stocks (Western and Eastern cod). Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said: "Making Europe's fisheries sustainable is a key deliverable of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy. The fishing opportunities proposed today are set with this objective firmly in mind. This is good news for all those who have an interest in healthy fisheries, first and foremost fishermen themselves." In socio-economic terms the Commission proposal should improve overall economic performance in the Baltic Sea as a whole, in spite of significant differences across fleets segments and fisheries. This proposal could increase both profits by €13 million and employment. The proposal will be discussed by Member States' fisheries ministers at the October Fisheries Council in Luxembourg. Further information is available in a press release (in all languages). (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Clemence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52509)


State aid: Commission approves Greek support to improve electricity generation on non-interconnected islands

The European Commission has found Greek plans to support the modernisation of power plants on non-interconnected Greek islands to be in line with EU state aid rules. In December 2015 Greece notified plans to grant the Greek electricity company PPC a State guarantee, which would enable the company to secure a €190 million loan from the European Investment Bank ('EIB'). This loan will cover half of the costs for the necessary upgrade, expansion and refurbishment of existing power plants on 18 islands not connected to the electricity grid of the mainland. PPC will finance the other half of the costs from its own budget. The measure involves state aid, because the terms of the public loan are more favourable than those a commercial operator would have accepted. The Commission found that this aid is in line with EU rules, in particular the Commission's 2011 rules on services of general economic interest, since the measure is necessary to allow PPC to continue to supply consumers on the islands concerned with affordable electricity. It ensures the availability of the required electricity generation capacity on the islands concerned. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.43168. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)


Mergers: Commission clears Synthos' acquisition of INEOS Styrenics'EPS-related business

The European Commission has approvedunder the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the EPS-related business of INEOS Styrenics Industries Holdings Limited of the UK by Synthos S.A. of Poland. INEOS Styrenics is part of the INEOS Group, a global manufacturer of petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and oil products. INEOS Styrenics produces, inter alia, expanded polystyrene beads, used in the construction and packaging sectors. Synthosis a Polish manufacturer of chemical products, including expanded polystyrene beads, styrene monomer, polystyrene and adhesives. The companies' activities overlap mainly in the supply of expanded polystyrene. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns as the companies' combined market shares are moderate on all markets where their activities overlap. Moreover, the merged entity will continue to face significant competition from established suppliers. 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.8015. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)


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