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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 16 / 03 / 2016

Brussels, 16 March 2016

Commission adopts Communication on next operational steps with Turkey on migration and Report on relocation and resettlement

Today the Commission set out its contribution to Thursday's European Council and Friday's meeting of the EU Heads of State or Government with the Turkish Prime Minister. In a Communication on the next operational steps in EU-Turkey cooperation in the field of migration, the Commission outlines the legal, operational and financial details of how the deal agreed in principle at the 7 March meeting with Turkey could be feasible. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "The proposals discussed between the EU and Turkish leaders to return all new irregular migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Greece from Turkey, as a temporary and extraordinary measure taking effect as soon as possible, together with resettling Syrians from Turkey to the EU, can break the smugglers' business model once and for all. But this will and can only take place in accordance with the international and EU legal framework." The Commission is also today reporting on the progress made on relocation and resettlement commitments. Today's Report includes recommendations for how to improve the implementation of the temporary emergency relocation scheme and the European resettlement scheme. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "With the humanitarian situation in Greece getting more acute every day, Member States urgently need to deliver on their commitments and prevent a further deterioration of the situation for refugees in Greece." The College of Commissioners also discussed what longer term measures need to be taken, notably as regards improvements to the current system for deciding which Member State is responsible for dealing with an asylum claim (the Dublin System). Following today's Orientation Debate, the College will set out its strategic vision of possible reform options on 6 April. Press releases on the Communication and the Report can be found here. Relocation and resettlement factsheets can be found here in English, French and German. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Tim McPhie - Tel.: +32 229 58602; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423)


Steel industry: Commission takes action to preserve sustainable jobs and growth in Europe 

The European Commission has presented today a Communication setting out how the short-term and long-term challenges of the EU steel sector can be addressed with the support of Member States and the EU institutions. A joint effort is needed to overcome serious challenges fuelled by global overcapacity, a dramatic increase of exports and an unprecedented wave of unfair trading practices. High energy costs and changing market conditions require energy-intensive industries to adapt and innovate to ensure their long-term competitiveness and sustainability. The Commission is taking and will continue to take action to accompany that process. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "We must do more to help the steel sector and other energy-intensive industries adapt, innovate and compete on the basis of quality, cutting-edge technology, efficient production and a highly skilled workforce. We now have a record level of anti-dumping measures on steel products in place and the Commission is determined to restore a global level playing field. We will take steps to further streamline our procedures but Member States must also act together and urgently adopt our legislative proposal to modernise EU trade defence instruments and make fairer trade a reality." In addition to the ongoing efforts and measures already taken by the Commission, the Communication "Steel: Preserving sustainable jobs and growth in Europe" calls on the Parliament and Council to urgently move on the trade defence modernisation proposal put forward in 2013, indicates the Commission's readiness to propose further legislative action quickly to speed up the overall procedure for trade defence measures and modify the use of the lesser duty rule, and invites stakeholders to provide input on whether and how the EU should change the treatment of China in anti-dumping investigations after December 2016. To guarantee the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of energy-intensive industries like steel, the Commission stands ready to give targeted advice to industry and Member States to make sure that state aid and EU funding possibilities are fully exploited. A read-out by First Vice-President Frans Timmermansof today's College meeting is taking place today and can be followed live on EbS. A press release and a memo are available online. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185)


EU steps up humanitarian assistance for Ukraine by €20 million

Today the European Commission is increasing its humanitarian response to help people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with a new humanitarian aid package worth €20 million. The announcement comes as European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides arrives in the country for a visit from 16-18 March 2016. "The EU remains as committed as ever to supporting the Ukrainian people. Ukraine needs to stay high on our agenda. Today we are announcing new support to help people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The support will boost our on-going aid operations, reaching the most vulnerable people both in government and non-government-held areas. Despite the decrease in breaches to the ceasefire, the impact of the violence on the civilian population remains a humanitarian concern. It is essential that humanitarian aid gets to all vulnerable people affected by the conflict swiftly, safely and impartially", European Commissioner Christos Stylianides said. A press release is available here. (For more information: Alexandre Polack – Tel.: +32 229 90677; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


EU institutions and social partners gather at Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment

This afternoon, the Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment will take place in Brussels, bringing together European employer and employee representatives ("social partners"), the European Commission, the European Council and representatives of the European Parliament, as well as the EU Heads of State or Government and Employment and Social Affairs Ministers from the countries holding the current and future EU Council Presidencies. The spring Tripartite Social Summit will focus on "A strong partnership for job creation and inclusive growth – taking stock of the new start for social dialogue". One year ago, the high-level conference "New Start for Social Dialogue" marked the beginning of a renewed partnership between social partners and EU Institutions, and showed the importance of European social dialogue in addressing today's economic and social challenges. Today's Summit will be an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved so far and which challenges lie ahead. In addition, participants are invited to express their views on the implementation of country specific recommendations and the recommendations for the euro area, on the progress made and the role of the social partners in the integration of refugees into the labour market and on the challenges for the labour market and skills arising from digitalisation of the economy. Finally, the Summit will also be an opportunity to present the social partners the first outline of the European Pillar of Social Rights in more detail, given their key role in the consultation process. The Commission will be represented by President Juncker, who will give a speech at the opening of the Summit, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen. The press conference will take place today at 19:00 and can be followed on EbS. A joint statement will be made available here, and a memo taking stock of the first year following a new start for social dialogue here. The programme of the Summit can be found here.(For more information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


Un an après la "Déclaration de Paris", le Commissaire Navracsics poursuit ses efforts contre la radicalisation des jeunes

Demain, jeudi 17 mars, il y aura exactement un an que le Commissaire Tibor Navracsics chargé de l'Education, la Culture, la Jeunesse et des Sports a signé, avec les Ministres européens de l'Education, la Déclaration de Paris. Dans ce texte, adopté en réaction aux attentats terroristes perpétrés en janvier 2015 contre Charlie Hebdo et l'Hyper Casher à Paris, les signataires se sont engagés à utiliser davantage les politiques d'éducation et à mieux coordonner leurs actions pour lutter contre le phénomène de radicalisation violente en Europe. "Nous nous devons d’agir au plus vite et également à l’échelle européenne pour retisser les liens qui unissent nos sociétés. Face aux attaques terroristes qui endeuillent l'Europe et le monde, je suis plus déterminé que jamais à m’impliquer aux côtés des Etats membres en mobilisant les fonds nécessaires et en les aidant à coopérer", a déclaré le Commissaire Navracsics. Depuis lors, la Commission a prévu de mobiliser plus de fonds financiers dans le cadre de son programme Erasmus + - jusqu'à 400 millions d'euros en 2016 – pour soutenir des projets qui promeuvent les valeurs européennes et des systèmes éducatifs plus inclusifs. La Commission vient aussi de lancer un appel à propositions de 13 millions d'euros visant à aider les enseignants et les éducateurs à mener leurs projets sur le terrain. Enfin, la Commission publie aujourd'hui deux rapports : l'un recense les mesures prises par les Etats membres suite à la signature de la Déclaration de Paris, l'autre analyse le rôle joué par l'éducation dans l'apprentissage de la tolérance, du respect de la diversité et de la responsabilité civique. Plus d'informations ici. (Pour plus d'information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tél.: +32 229 67083, Axel Fougner - Tél.: +32 229 57276)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of USG People by Recruit Holdings

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of USG People N.V. ('USG') of the Netherlands by Recruit Holdings of Japan. USG is a provider of temporary employment services, permanent placement services and other HR related services in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Recruit is a provider of marketing media, human resources media and employment services, mainly active in Japan. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the moderate combined market positions resulting from the proposed transaction and the presence of a number of strong players in all 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.7964.(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)


Concentrations: la Commission autorise l'acquisition d'un immeuble de bureaux à La Défense par AXA et Assurances du Crédit Mutuel Vie

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle en commun d'un immeuble de bureaux situé dans le quartier d'affaires de La Défense, en région parisienne en France, par les entreprises AXA SA et Assurances du Crédit Mutuel Vie SA ("ACM Vie"), basées en France. AXA est un groupe global actif dans le secteur de l'assurance ainsi que dans la gestion d'investissements. ACM Vie est une filiale du Groupe des Assurances du Crédit Mutuel SA, lui-même contrôlé par la Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel, en charge du développement et de la commercialisation d'une gamme complète de produits d'assurances de personnes. La Commission a conclu que l’opération envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème concurrentiel, compte tenu de son impact très limité sur la structure du marché. L'opération a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.7953. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)


Eurostat: January 2016 compared with December 2015 - Production in construction up by 3.6% in euro area - Up by 1.6% in EU28

In January 2016 compared with December 2015, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 3.6% in the euro area (EA19) and by 1.6% in the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In December 2015, production in construction fell by 0.7% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU28. A Eurostat press release is available here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Heli Pietila – Tel.: +32 22964950)




Vice-President Dombrovskis in Berlin

Vice-President Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, will visit Berlin on Thursday and Friday to discuss economic and social policies in Germany and the EU. He will meet Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, members of the Bundestag and  Rainer Hoffmann, Chairman of the German Trade Union Association DGB. He will also discuss deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union with renowned German economists. The Vice-President will conclude with a visit to the Berlin Space Technologies, an EU-supported project. Vice-President Dombrovskis will be in Berlin in the context of the European Semester, the economic policy coordination cycle of the European Union. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)


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