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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 19 / 02 / 2016

Brussels, 19 February 2016

President Juncker welcomes renewed commitment to European approach to refugee crisis at European Council

Last night, European Heads of State and Government reaffirmed in the European Council that the comprehensive strategy agreed to tackle the refugee crisis "will only bring results if all its elements are pursued jointly and if the institutions and the Member States act together and in full coordination." Speaking after yesterday's migration session, President Juncker welcomed the renewed commitment to a coordinated European response to the refugee crisis. President Juncker said: "Avant la réunion, il y avait ceux qui doutaient de la nécessité de résoudre la crise des réfugiés ensemble avec la Turquie. Nous avons confirmé aujourd'hui qu'il n'y a pas d'alternative à une bonne coopération avec la Turquie. Avant la réunion, il y avait ceux qui doutaient de la nécessité d'une approche européenne. Nous avons dit à l'unanimité ce soir que la démarche doit être européenne et les solos nationaux ne sont pas recommandables. J'ai l'espoir que nous avancerons plus rapidement lors de nos prochains rendez-vous, puisque lors de ce Conseil tous à l'unanimité ont confirmé leur intention de résoudre le problème à travers un mécanisme de relocalisation, alors qu'avant ce Conseil certains s'en étaient distanciés." The European Council welcomed the Commission Communication of 10 February as an important contribution to the Leaders' discussion. Leaders recalled the importance of a comprehensive approach to stem the flows, protect the external borders, reduce irregular migration and safeguard the integrity of the Schengen area. The Council Conclusions stressed that all the elements agreed in December should be implemented rapidly, including the decisions on relocation and measures to ensure returns and readmission, and that work should be accelerated on the Commission's proposal for a European Border and Coast Guard with a view to reaching a political agreement under the Netherlands Presidency and to making the new system operational as soon as possible. A further EU-Turkey Summit is foreseen for March. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764)

 

Facility for Refugees in Turkey: Steering Committee advances implementation of EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan

The first Steering Committee meeting of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey was held in Brussels on 17 February, chaired by the Commission with the participation of all EU Member States plus Turkey in an advisory capacity. The first projects to provide humanitarian aid and support access to education of refugee children in Turkey will shortly be presented to the appropriate committees. The Committee gave the Commission the mandate to immediately implement the 2016 contribution from the EU budget to provide more urgently needed humanitarian aid and access to education for refugee children in Turkey. The first projects to provide humanitarian aid under the new Facility for refugees in Turkey are already in the process of being launched, to ensure instant access to life-saving assistance reaches people most in need as quickly as possible. The rapid deployment of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey is part of the comprehensive approach to solving the refugee crisis which leaders committed to at the European Council. The Facility will give effect to the European commitment to mobilise new funds to support refugees under the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan. A press release is available here. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570)

 

La Commission approuve une nouvelle indication géographique protégée roumaine

La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d'enregistrement du deuxième produit roumain dans le registre des indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Le «Salam de Sibiu» est un saucisson cru sec recouvert d'une fine couche de moisissure. Il est produit dans les départements de Bacău, Brașov, Bucarest, Covasna, Călărași, Ilfov, Prahova et, comme son nom l'indique, de Sibiu. Dès la fin du XIXe siècle, on trouve des références à la production et à la commercialisation du «Salam de Sibiu», qui portait initialement le nom de «Salam de iarnă» (saucisson d’hiver. Cette appellation va rejoindre plus de 1300 produits déjà protégés, dont la liste est disponible dans la base de données DOOR. Pour plus d'informations, voir aussi les pages sur la politique de qualité. (pour plus d'information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 2 29 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52 509)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of FISCHAPARK by Allianz and SPAR

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over FISCHAPARK Shopping Center GmbH of Austria by Allianz SE of Germany and SPAR Holding of Austria. FISCHAPARK is a shopping centre in Wiener Neustadt in the Austrian region of Lower Austria. FISCHAPARK is currently solely controlled by SPAR. SPAR is mainly active in food retail and in the real estate sector in Austria and neighbouring countries. Allianz is an international insurance and financial services provider. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns, because of the negligible overlap between Allianz's and SPAR's activities as regards the letting of real estate space. 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.7913.(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Mergers: Commission clears joint venture between PostFinance AG and SIX Group AG

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over SIX Paynet AG by PostFinance AG and SIX Group AG, all of Switzerland. PostFinance comprises the banking activities of the Swiss Post. SIX Group manages the Swiss financial infrastructure, providing services such as trading and settlement of securities, processing of financial information and cashless payments. SIX Paynet is currently solely owned by SIX Group and provides services in the context of electronic invoicing, electronic payments and related services. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because SIX Paynet has limited activities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the companies have a moderate combined position in the market where their activities overlap. 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.7886. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Eurostat: 18% of unemployed persons in the EU found a job

Out of all persons in the European Union who were unemployed in the second quarter 2015, 62.7% (12.9 million persons) remained unemployed in the third quarter 2015, while 17.9% (3.7 million) moved into employment and 19.4% (4.0 million) towards economic inactivity in Q3 2015. Of all those initially in employment, 96.7% (169.6 million persons) remained in employment, while 1.4% (2.4 million) of those employed in the second quarter were observed to be unemployed in the third quarter, and 2.0% (3.5 million) transitioned into economic inactivity. A Eurostat press release is available here. (For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094).

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

La Commissaire Cecilia Malmström en visite officielle à Paris et Vienne

La Commissaire au Commerce Cecilia Malmström est aujourd'hui en visite à Paris, France. Elle y rencontre le Secrétaire d’Etat chargé du Commerce Extérieur, Matthias Fekl et participera avec lui cet après-midi à un dialogue citoyen à l'Université Paris-Dauphine sur le thème de la place de l'Europe dans la mondialisation. La Commissaire échangera aussi avec des membres du Mouvement Européen France (MEF) lors d'un déjeuner en compagnie de Jean-Marie Cavada, Membre du Parlement européen et président du MEF. Ensuite, La Commissaire Cecilia Malmström se rendra à Vienne le lundi 22 février pour rencontrer le Vice-Chancelier Reinhold Mitterlehner, les chefs de partis politiques et des parlementaires ainsi que des représentants de syndicats et de l'industrie. Lors de sa visite à Vienne, elle prendra également part à un débat public sur le Partenariat Transatlantique de Commerce et d'Investissement (TTIP). (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

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