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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 12 / 04 / 2017

Brussels, 12 April 2017

College discusses legal issues relating to Hungary and decides on next steps

At the initiative of President Jean-Claude Juncker, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans led a debate today in the College of Commissioners on recent developments in Hungary which have widely raised concerns about compatibility with EU law and the common values on which the Union is based. The College discussed the Hungarian Higher Education Act, a draft law concerning foreign funding of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the 'Stop Brussels' national consultation, and ongoing legal concerns in the fields of asylum and non-discrimination. The College agreed to take forward the relevant and legally mature individual infringement cases in the next cycle of infringement procedures at the end of this month. The Commission will also swiftly complete a thorough legal assessment of the Higher Education law and decide on next steps in the next infringement cycle. On the draft law on NGO funding, the Commission will closely monitor the process and will revert to the matter on the basis of an analysis of the legal issues at stake. Finally, with regards to the national consultation 'Stop Brussels', the Commission decided today to prepare and make public its own response to the consultation. The issues discussed today by the College relate both to the respect of Union law and the respect of the Union's common values as enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. Taken cumulatively, the overall situation in Hungary is a cause of concern for the Commission. The College therefore agreed to start a political dialogue with the Hungarian authorities, the other Member States and the European Parliament. The remarks of First Vice-President Timmermans will be available here after his College readout in the press room. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)

 

Protecting all children in migration: Commission outlines priority actions 

Over the past two years, a growing number of children in migration have arrived in the EU, many of them without their families. While EU and Member States' legislation provide a solid framework for protection, the recent surge in arrivals has put national systems under pressure and exposed gaps and shortcomings. This is why the Commission is today setting out actions to reinforce the protection of all migrant children at all stages of the process. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "We need to make sure that children who need protection actually receive it. And we need to do it now. This is our moral duty as well as our legal responsibility." Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos added: "One in three asylum seekers in Europe is a child. Children are the most vulnerable migrants and ensuring their protection from the moment they leave their home countries should be mainstreamed in our migration policy. This means that we need a comprehensive and stepped-up response. Both the Commission and our EU agencies stand ready to move forward to implement these actions." Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vĕra Jourová said:"When speaking about child migrants, we should never forget that first and foremost they are children. Child migrants, especially those who are unaccompanied, should be supported by guardians or foster families, as early as possible. The integration of these children into our societies depends on how fast they can go back to a more stable life. Child protection is a central priority in the European Agenda on Migration and the Commission will continue to support Member States' efforts through training, guidance, operational support and funding. A press release,a Q&A and a factsheet are available online. (For more information: Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Christian Wigand – Tel: +32 229 62253)

 

Relocation and resettlement: Steady progress made but more efforts needed to meet targets

Today, the Commission adopted its eleventh progress report on the EU's emergency relocation and resettlement schemes, assessing actions taken since 2 March 2017. Member States have made steady progress on relocation, setting a new monthly record with an additional 2,465 persons relocated. The total number of relocations now stands at 16,340. However, more efforts are needed from all Member States to ensure that all people eligible are relocated over the coming months. On resettlement, Members States have continued to make significant progress, with safe and legal pathways being provided to 15,492 persons so far. To help improve the relocation and the resettlement process, today's report includes targeted recommendations for Member States. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "In March, we reached a new record number of people relocated. This is solidarity in action and a demonstration of responsibility. Now is the time for our Member States to deliver on their commitments and to intensify their efforts. They have a political, moral and legal duty to do so. I call on those countries that have not yet joined this common effort to do so. Relocating all people eligible from Greece and Italy over the coming months is perfectly feasible. At the same time, we managed to resettle over two thirds of the 22,500 people we committed to offer a safe and legal path to in July 2015. This is welcome news. We are delivering on our commitments to share responsibility with third-countries such as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon." press release and a factsheet are available. (For more information: Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423)

 

Security Union: Commission outlines priorities on combatting serious and organised crime

Today, the European Commission is presenting the sixth report on progress made towards an effective and genuine Security Union. The report outlines the implementation of the priority files in the area of security, including the recently-approved Directive on combatting terrorism and the revision of the Schengen Borders Code. The report also sets out the Commission's view on future EU priorities to combat serious and organised crime and identifies eight specific threats, namely (1) cybercrime, (2) drugs crime, (3) migrant smuggling, (4) organised property crime, (5) trafficking in human beings, (6) firearms trafficking, (7) VAT fraud and (8) environmental crime. These priorities should feed into the new EU Policy Cycle for 2018-2020 to ensure effective cooperation between Member States in addressing the most pressing criminal threats facing the EU. The Commission calls on the Council to endorse these priorities at the June 2017 Justice and Home Affairs Council. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "The recent terrorist attacks in Europe and in our neighbourhood show the urgency to step up our efforts to deliver an effective and genuine Security Union. Our citizens expect the Union to deliver concrete results against the threat of terrorism, but also on organised crime, which exploits new opportunities such as the migration crisis to generate criminal profits." Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: "As we step up our efforts to squeeze the space that terrorists and organised crime groups operate in, this report provides a solid basis for discussion on EU priorities on combatting serious and organised crime for the next four years." The progress report is available here and the updated factsheet here. The next progress report, foreseen for mid-May 2017, will focus on the findings of the High Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability. (For more information: Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Katarzyna Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

First steps taken to implement the Malta Declaration: EU Trust Fund for Africa adopts €90 million programme on protection and improved migration management in Libya

Following-up on the Malta Declaration of 3 February, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa, upon proposal from the European Commission, has adopted today €90 million to reinforce protection and resilience of migrants, refugees and host communities in Libya. High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini said: "For the European Union, Libya and the Libyans have been and stay a top priority. We are working to promote a political solution to the Libyan crisis and to support the Libyan authorities on the many challenges they have to face, including the managing of the migration flows. As the first donor for Libya, we already are providing a sizeable package of support worth €120 million to assist the authorities and the population. And while we are working to provide training and capacity building to the coast guard to save lives in the Mediterranean Sea, we are addressing the appalling situation the migrants stranded in Libya face, together with international organisations such as IOM and UNHCR. The additional €90 million we adopt today are aimed at protecting and assisting migrants in the country, and the people who host them. Our aim remains cooperating in protecting lives, and promoting peace and stability in Libya. The European Union is doing its part and the Libyan authorities, all of them, have to do theirs." Commissioner Hahn added: "At the initiative of the European Commission, the EU Trust Fund for Africa is taking rapid action on a pressing priority for both the EU and our partner countries. By supporting actions in Libya, today's newly adopted programme will address the needs of the migrants and contribute to a better management of migration flows. In addition, the projects will also support improved socio-economic conditions for all in Libya, and thus contribute to reducing the drivers of irregular migration and make the smugglers' task more difficult". The programme will support improved migration management in the country, taking into account the complex socio-economic conditions in Libya and the need to assist all affected populations, including vulnerable migrants, refugees and host communities, internally displaced persons and returnees. Activities will focus on protection, such as assistance to migrants and refugees through primary healthcare, and socio-economic development and local governance, through strengthening capacities of local authorities to provide services and foster local development and stability. The programme will be implemented through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ). For more information, a full press release and a factsheeton EU-Libya relations are available online. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887; Esther Osorio – Tel.: +32 229 62076)

 

Pompéi: les fonds de l'UE subliment un joyau du patrimoine européen

Aujourd'hui, la Commission a alloué près de 50 millions d'euros du Fonds européen de développement régional à la poursuite des travaux de rénovation et de conservation sur l'emblématique site archéologique italien. Après l'achèvement des travaux de restauration, l'ancienne ville romaine classée au patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO devrait accueillir près de 200 000 visiteurs supplémentaires par an. La Commissaire à la politique régionale, Corina Creţu, qui a visité le projet en février, a déclaré: "À Pompéi, nous restaurons et préservons les œuvres d'art du passé, mais nous le faisons pour notre avenir; afin que nos petits-enfants puissent profiter de ce site unique qui fait partie de notre histoire commune et de notre identité culturelle. Nous contribuons également de manière significative au développement économique de la région de Campanie, en stimulant le tourisme et la création d'entreprises." Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tél.: +32 229 56169)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of B/E Aerospace by Rockwell Collins

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of B/E Aerospace by Rockwell Collins, both of the US. B/E Aerospace is a supplier of aircraft cabin interior products such as cabin seats, lighting and oxygen systems, and food and beverage preparation and storage equipment. Rockwell Collins is a provider of avionics and cabin electronics products and solutions for commercial and government application aircrafts. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because there are no overlaps or vertical links between the products of B/E Aerospace and Rockwell Collins. The Commission further concluded that the combination of the two companies' products would not lead to shutting out competitors from the market, as other suppliers of aviation and cabin interior products already have the possibility to offer a similar combination of products or could partner-up to compete against the merged entity for commercial opportunities. 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.8305.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of the seats and metal business of Grupo Antolín by Lear

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition by Lear Corporation of the USA of the seats and metal business of Grupo Antolín-Irausa, S.A. of Spain. This consists of twelve industrial facilities and two R&D centres located in the Czech Republic, France, Morocco, Portugal and Spain, active in the manufacturing of automotive seats and seating components. Lear is a first tier supplier of complete automotive seating systems and components, as well as electrical distribution systems and electronic components. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the parties' moderate combined market positions resulting from the proposed transaction and the presence of a number of strong players. 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.8405. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Eurostat: le taux d'épargne des ménages en baisse à 12,0% dans la zone euro

Au quatrième trimestre 2016, le taux d'épargne des ménages s'est établi dans la zone euro à 12,0%, contre 12,3% au troisième trimestre 2016. Le taux d'investissement des ménages a quant à lui été de 8,5% au quatrième trimestre 2016 dans la zone euro, contre 8,6% au trimestre précédent. Ces informations, qui proviennent de la première diffusion de données, corrigées des variations saisonnières, sur les comptes européens trimestriels des secteurs, sont publiées par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne, et la Banque centrale européenne (BCE). Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Corentin Cassiers – Tel.: +32 229 53208)

 

Eurostat: le taux d'investissement des entreprises en hausse à 23,5% dans la zone euro

Au quatrième trimestre 2016, le taux d'investissement des entreprises s'est établi à 23,5% dans la zone euro, contre 22,0% au trimestre précédent. La part des profits des entreprises s'est quant à elle située à 41,0% au quatrième trimestre 2016 dans la zone euro, contre 40,7% au troisième trimestre 2016. Ces informations, qui proviennent de la première diffusion de données, corrigées des variations saisonnières, sur les comptes européens trimestriels des secteurs, sont publiées par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne, et la Banque centrale européenne (BCE). Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Corentin Cassiers – Tel.: +32 229 53208)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Jourová participates in Citizens' Dialogue in the Czech republic

As part of a series of debates and dialogues taking place across the Union on the future of Europe and following the presentation of the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe, Věra Jourová Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality will participate in a Citizens' Dialogue on 12 April in Prague, Czech republic. Commissioner Jourová will discuss in this Citizens' Dialogue the European Public Prosecutor's Office, consumer rights, dual quality of food within the EU and data protection. The dialogue will start at 19:00 CET and can be followed live on Facebook. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel: +32 229 58659)

 

 

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