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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 22 / 01 / 2018

Brussels, 22 January 2018

Le Vice-Président Dombrovskis et le Commissaire Moscovici participent à la réunion de l'Eurogroupe et au Conseil ECOFIN du 22-23 janvier 2018

Le Vice-Président Dombrovskis et le Commissaire Moscovici représenteront la Commission Européenne à la réunion de l'Eurogroupe de ce jour. Les ministres discuteront des derniers progrès réalisés dans le cadre du troisième programme d'ajustement économique pour la Grèce. Ils seront également mis à jour par la Commission Européenne et la Banque Centrale Européenne (BCE) sur les conclusions du dernier rapport sur la mission de surveillance post-programme (SPP) au Portugal. Le Fonds Monétaire International (FMI) présentera les conclusions la mission de consultation article IV sur la zone euro. Les ministres discuteront ensuite du projet de recommendations de la Commission pour l'ensemble de la zone euro pour 2018 et ils auront un débat sur les suites à donner au Sommet de la zone euro de décembre dernier. Enfin, l'Eurogroupe procèdera à la nomination formelle du nouveau Président du Eurogroup Working Group (EWG). Le Commissaire Moscovici participera à la conférence de presse clôturant cette réunion. Lors du Conseil ECOFIN de demain, le Vice-Président Dombrovskis et le Commissaire Moscovici représenteront la Commission Européenne. D'abord, le Conseil discutera de la feuille de route de la Commission sur l'approfondissement de l'Union Economique et Monétaire du 6 décembre 2017. Sur la base du premier rapport de la Commission sur la réduction des prêts non performants en Europe, les Ministres seront informés du plan d'Action contre les prêts non performants. Par ailleurs, le Conseil devrait adopter les conclusions de l'Examen annuel de la croissance 2018et sur les déséquilibres macroéconomique dans les Etats Membres, et approuver le projet de recommendations de la Commission pour l'ensemble de la zone euro pour 2018. La Commission présentera ses dernières propositions pour plus de souplesse en matière de taux de TVA, moins de formalités administratives pour les petites entreprises. Les Ministres devraient aussi confirmer la suppression de huit pays sur la liste commune des juridictions de pays tiers de l'UE à des fins fiscales. Une présentation du Programme de travail de la Présidence Bulgare du Conseil aura également lieu. Le Vice-President Dombrovskis participera à la conférence de presse clôturant cette réunion du Conseil ECOFIN. (Pour plus d'informations: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 2 295 61 94; Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)

 

Commission launches consultation on future "Counterfeit and Piracy watch-List"

The Commission launched today a public consultation to establish its first world-wide "Counterfeit and Piracy Watch-List". The aim is to identify the marketplaces outside the EU where counterfeiting, piracy or other forms of intellectual property abuse are common practice. The initiative is part of the Commission's strategy announced in the 2017 Communication "A balanced Intellectual Property enforcement system responding to today's societal challenges". Based on stakeholders' input, the future watch-list will help to raise awareness of consumers that might be buying products in those marketplaces, and encourage their operators and owners to crack down on intellectual property abuse. The Commission will also monitor the measures taken by local authorities to reduce the availability of goods and services infringing intellectual property rights in identified markets. Intellectual property infringement is a particular scourge on European industry and hampers investment and employment in industries reliant on creativity and innovation.According to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the OECD, trade in counterfeit and pirated products amount to around €338 billion worldwide. The European Union is particularly affected, with counterfeit and pirated products amounting up to around 5% of all imports or as much as €85 billion a year. Contributions to the public consultation should be sent before 31 March 2018. More information is available on a dedicated webpage. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska - Tel.: +32 229 51383)

 

Trade negotiations: Commission reports on latest progress in talks with Mercosur

The Commission published a report summarising the progress made during the latest negotiating round for the EU-Mercosur trade agreement. The round held between 29 November and 8 December in Brussels was followed by further technical and political level talks at the margins of the 11th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires. The report includes an update on all areas of the negotiations, including trade in goods, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary rules, services, intellectual property (including geographical indications), government procurement, as well as trade and sustainable development. As part of the final stretch of the talks, a ministerial meeting is now planned for 30 January in Brussels to take stock of progress and instruct negotiators on the way forward in the endgame negotiations in the weeks that follow. The EU is committed to reach an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive trade agreement with Mercosur. An EU-Mercosur trade agreement is an historic opportunity that will have a positive impact on growth and jobs creation. It will build bridges between our regions and it will send a signal to the rest of the world on the importance of open, mutually beneficial and rules-based trade. Crucially, it will also provide for joint action in the field of sustainable development. The EU Mercosur agreement - just like the one concluded recently with Japan - will include an explicit reference to the Paris climate agreement. The rules-based trade the partners are aiming for will also necessarily imply maintaining high EU standards, including food safety rules, for all products entering the European market. The most recent Commission proposals made in the course of the negotiations can also be accessed through the dedicated transparency page. See more information on EU-Mercosur talks online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska - Tel.: +32 229 51383)

 

Commission applauds Council transparency in EU-Chile trade negotiations

The Commission welcomes today's publication of the negotiating directives for the new modernised EU-Chile association agreement by the Council. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "This is a very welcome decision by the Council and unprecedented so early in the negotiations. Transparency is essential to inform citizens about our trade policy and build trust in what we do. Publishing the negotiating mandates should be part of this exercise. Trade negotiations must be conducted in a transparent and inclusive way, as it ultimately helps to deliver better trade agreements. This should be the standard approach for all future deals." Based on a proposal submitted by the Commission, the negotiating directives are discussed and adopted by Member States. They provide Commission negotiators with political guidance and a framework on what the future agreement should contain. This is the first time that the Council is publishing the full mandates so close to the beginning of negotiations. The Commission is committed to take this effort even further and is now publishing all its recommendations for negotiating directives for trade agreements. This new policy was announced by President Juncker during the State of the Union speech, in September 2017, and took immediate effect with the publication of the draft mandates for bilateral trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand, and for a multilateral agreement on investment dispute settlement. The EU and Chile held so far two negotiating rounds for the trade part of a new and modernised EU-Chile Association Agreement. As usual, a report on the results of the talks will be published on the Commission website, together the initial textual proposals tabled by the EU in this round. More information. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska - Tel.: +32 229 51383)

 

La Commission européenne lance une consultation publique sur le développement rural

La Commission européenne lance aujourd'hui une consultation publique de trois mois pour recueillir les impressions des citoyens et des parties prenantes sur les programmes de développement rural mis en œuvre entre 2007 et 2013. Le but de cette large consultation est d' obtenir une vision d'ensemble sur les points forts et les points faibles de la politique de développement rural dans le cadre de la réflexion actuelle sur la modernisation et la simplification de la Politique Agricole Commune (PAC). Les contributions ainsi recueillies serviront à l'élaboration des propositions législatives faisant suite à la publication en novembre dernier de la Communication sur le futur de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation.  La politique européenne de développement rural vise à aider les régions rurales de l'UE à relever les nombreux défis économiques, environnementaux et sociaux du XXIe siècle. Souvent considérée comme le «second pilier» de la politique agricole commune PAC, elle complète le régime de paiements directs aux agriculteurs et les mesures permettant de gérer les marchés agricoles (le «premier pilier»). Un budget de 98 milliards d'euros de l'UE était consacré au développement rural dans les 28 Etats membres de 2007 à 2013, budget augmenté de 2 milliards d'euros pour 2014-2020. Les projets cofinancés peuvent aller du soutien aux petites entreprises dans les zones rurales à des investissements dans l'agro-tourisme en passant par des formations pour les jeunes agriculteurs. Plus d'informations sont disponibles en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52509)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Mayfield Holdings by Amtrust Financial Services and Madison Dearborn Partners

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over the joint venture Mayfield Holdings LLC. ("Mayfield") by Amtrust Financial Services Inc. ("Amtrust") and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC ("MDP"), all of the US. Mayfield is the holding company for the companies and assets comprising the joint venture, focussing on the distribution of insurance products. Amtrust is a US based insurance conglomerate. MDP is a US-based private equity investment firm, with investments in a range of industries, including among others insurance distribution in the UK. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because Mayfield has no activities in the European Economic Area. 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.8737. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over CaetanoBus by GSC and Mitsui

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of joint control over Fabricação de Carroçarias, S.A. ("Caetanobus") by Grupo Salvador Caetano SGPS, S.A. ("GSC"), both of Portugal, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui") of Japan. CaetanoBus is a manufacturer of buses and bus bodies in Portugal, currently solely controlled by GSC. GSC is active in various industries and services including the production and sale of buses (through Caetanobus), multi-brand trading in the automotive retail industry, and the sale of equipment and systems in the field of renewable energy and engineering services. Mitsui is a Japanese trading house engaged in a number of businesses, including iron and steel, coal and non-ferrous metals, machinery, electronics, chemicals, and energy-related commodities. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns as Mitsui and GSC are not active in the same markets as CaetanoBus in the European Economic Area. 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.8734. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Belron by CD&R and D'Ieteren

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of joint control over Belron Group S.A. of Luxembourg by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice ("CD&R") of the US and SA D'Ieteren NV of Belgium. Belron is a vehicle glass repair and replacement services group. In some countries, it also manages vehicle glass and other insurance claims for some insurers. CD&R is a private investment firm. D'Ieteren engages, through its subsidiaries, in automobile distribution, vehicle glass repair and replacement, and the manufacturing of fabricated products. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns as the companies do not compete in the same 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.8745. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

La Commission débat du futur de la politique spatiale européenne [updated on 22/01/2018 at 12:23]

Le 23 et 24 janvier, la Commission européenne débattra avec des décideurs, des chefs d'entreprises, des chercheurs et la société civile de la façon dont la politique européenne de l'espace et les programmes européens dédiés, tels que Copernicus, Galileo et EGNOS, peuvent contribuer à une Europe qui protège et défend, une base industrielle forte qui crée de la croissance, une société et une économie connectées, une mobilité sûre et durable, une meilleure qualité de l'air et les engagements en faveur du climat.La conférence sera également une opportunité pour explorer comment parvenir à ces objectifs sous le prochain cadre financier pluriannuel. La haute représentante/vice-présidente Federica Mogherini et la commissaire Elżbieta Bieńkowska, chargée du marché intérieur, de l'industrie, de l'entrepreneuriat et des PME, ouvriront la conférence, et seront suivies par le vice-président en charge de l'union de l'énergie Maros Šefčovič, et des commissaires Günther Oettinger (budget et ressources humaines), Violeta Bulc (transport), et Mariya Gabriel (économie et société numériques). Cette conférence sera aussi l'occasion pour la Commission d'annoncer un nouveau "EIC Horizon Prize" doté de 10 millions d'euros qui récompensera un projet de développement d'une solution européenne, low-cost et indépendante technologiquement, pour le lancement de satellites légers dans l'orbite terrestre basse. En marge de la conférence, la Haute représentante/vice-présidente participera à la signature de l'accord administratif entre SatCen et l'Agence spatiale européenne pour renforcer la collaboration et les synergies entre les activités défense et sécurité. La 10e Conférence sur la politique spatiale européenne s'appuie sur la stratégie spatiale pour l'Europe et fait suite à la récente visite du président de la Commission Jean-Claude Juncker au Centre Spatial Guyanais de Kourou. Plus d'informations sur la politique de l'espace européenne ici et ici. Les discours seront retransmis via EbS. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet - Tél.: +32 229 56182; Victoria von Hammerstein - Tél.: +32 229 55040; Maud Noyon - Tél.: +32 229-80379)

 

Commissioner Stylianides to meet with Ministers of Finland, Denmark and Sweden on rescEU, the EU's civil protection proposal

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides meets today with the Finnish Interior Minister, Ms Paula Risikko. He will travel tomorrow to Denmark to meet with the Danish Minister of Defence, Mr Claus Hjort Frederiksen, in the morning before meeting the Swedish Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, Mr Morgan Johansson in the afternoon. During the meetings the Commissioner will present and discuss rescEU, the Commission's plan to strengthen Europe's ability to deal with natural disasters. A more robust civil protection mechanism will enable the EU to better support all Member States in responding to natural disasters. The Commission proposal was announced on 23 November 2017 and focuses on two strands of action: 1) Strengthening Europe's collective response capacities through a reserve at EU level to be used only when national capacities are overwhelmed, and 2) Stepping up disaster prevention and preparedness. The proposal also aims to simplify administrative procedures in order to reduce the time needed to deploy life-saving assistance. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

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

MEX/18/385


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