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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 05 / 07 / 2018

Brussels, 5 July 2018

Visite du Collège à Vienne à l'occasion de la présidence autrichienne du Conseil de l'Union européenne

Le Collège des Commissaires se rendra demain jeudi et vendredi à Vienne pour sa visite traditionnelle au pays assurant la présidence du Conseil de l'Union européenne. Une réception sera tout d'abord donnée en l'honneur du Collège jeudi soir par le chancelier Sebastian Kurz et en présence du gouvernement fédéral autrichien. Vendredi, le président Juncker rencontrera le chancelier Kurz et les membres du Collèges s'entretiendront avec les membres du gouvernement fédéral autrichien. Une réunion plénière entre le Collège et le gouvernement fédéral sera suivie d'une conférence de presse du président Juncker et du chancelier Kurz à 11h30, diffusée en direct sur EbS. Une rencontre bilatérale du président Juncker avec le président de la République fédérale Alexander Van der Bellen aura enfin lieu au Palais Hofburg. Après un déjeuner de travail, l'après-midi sera consacré à une session de travail de la Commission et du Parlement autrichien, en présence également des Présidents des deux chambres du Parlement. Lors de son discours au Parlement européen à Strasbourg ce mardi, 3 juillet, à l'occasion du début de la Présidence autrichienne, le président Juncker a dit: "J'attends avec impatience cette présidence autrichienne [...] Je connais Sebastian Kurz depuis de nombreuses années et je sais qu'il est mené par des convictions européennes, tout comme le gouvernement fédéral autrichien [...] Le programme du gouvernement fédéral autrichien a une tonalité clairement pro-européenne." (Pour plus d'informations: Margaritis Schinas – Tél.: +32 229 60524; Alexander Winterstein – Tel.: +32 229 93265; Mina Andreeva – Tél.: +32 229 91382)

 

Have your say: Commission launches public consultation on daylight saving time

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the clock changes that occur twice a year to cater for the changing patterns of daylight (EU summertime directive). European citizens and stakeholders are invited to share their views on the matter by filling-in this online questionnaire (available in all EU languages) by 16 August. This consultation is part of an assessment of the EU summertime directive, which the Commission has recently launched to evaluate whether or not the rules should be changed. This follows the vote by the European Parliament of a resolution on summertime in February 2018, as well as requests from citizens and certain EU Member States. The consultation and more background information are available here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Alexis Perier – Tel.: +32 229 6 91 43)

 

Pologne: plus de 145 millions d'euros de la politique de Cohésion pour la route Varsovie-Lublin

145.8 millions d'euros du Fonds de Cohésion sont investis pour améliorer la connexion routière dans la région de Mazovie, au centre-est du pays, entre les agglomérations de Varsovie et de Lublin. Une nouvelle section de l'autoroute S17 reliera le village de Góraszka à la ville de Garwolin, améliorant la sécurité routière, le confort de voyage et les temps de trajet. "Les habitants de la Mazovie vont bientôt pouvoir profiter d'une autoroute moderne, sûre et rapide entre  Góraszka et Garwolin," a commenté la Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Creţu, "Et outre un meilleur confort de voyage, ce projet contribuera à renforcer la cohésion territoriale dans cette partie de la Pologne et à assurer de meilleures connexions avec les pays voisins." Situé sur le réseau transeuropéen de transport, la S17 relie en effet la Pologne à l'Ukraine. Les travaux sont en cours, et la section devrait être ouverte au public en novembre 2019. (Pour plus d'informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615 – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

EU-Switzerland: more legal certainty for non-life insurers

The EU and Switzerland have signed an updated agreement covering non-life insurance products such as car, house or travel insurance. This amendment to the 1991 EU-Switzerland agreement on non-life insurance allows both EU and Swiss insurers to comply with only one set of solvency rules when it comes to these types of insurance products, and brings legal certainty to businesses and supervisors. The update was technically necessary given the fact that the insurance legislation has in the meantime changed both in Switzerland and the EU. In practice, this means that Swiss branches of EU non-life insurers will apply the latest set of EU solvency rules (i.e. Solvency II Directive rather than Solvency I rules as hitherto). In return, EU branches of Swiss non-life insurers will be able to apply the latest Swiss Solvency Test. This agreement does not concern subsidiaries, nor life insurance and does not allow direct cross-border provision of services. Other prudential requirements such as governance, sound and proper conduct of business and technical provisions remain subject to the rules of the jurisdiction where the branch is located. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Letizia Lupini - Tel.: +32 229 51958)

 

Agriculture: the Commission publishes a new production and markets' forecast

The Commission published today a report presenting a short-term agricultural markets' outlook. The report covers production, exports and imports and the overall situation of global markets for several sectoral products, including dairy, cereals, oilseeds, pigmeat, poultry and beef. For the first time, the report also covers tomatoes, peaches and nectarines. Due to adverse weather conditions, cereal yields are expected to slightly decrease. Bad weather is also expected to impact EU oilseed harvest. One sector that however benefits from the climatic conditions is the olive oil with a production expected to be close to record levels of last years. Concerning milk, the growth in EU milk collection has been lower than anticipated and the demand for EU dairy products is expected to stay strong both on domestic and global markets. This should lead to an increase in milk price in the EU in the second half of the year. The full in-depth analysis is available here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel: +32 2 29 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52 509)

 

Antitrust: Commission consults stakeholders on draft guidelines to help national courts estimate the economic harm caused by cartels

The European Commission is inviting comments on draft guidelines to help national courts estimate the share of price increases caused by a cartel that are passed on to indirect purchasers and final consumers. The Antitrust Damages Directive helps citizens and companies claim damages if they are victims of infringements of EU antitrust rules. This applies not only to direct customers of companies found participating in a cartel, but also to indirect customers and final consumers, who may also suffer harm when direct customers are able to fully or partially pass on a cartel overcharge further down the supply chain.  It is for national courts to decide upon the level of such compensation, on a case by case basis. However, since determining the exact amount of overcharges passed on to indirect customers can be difficult, the Damages Directive foresees that the Commission issue non-binding guidelines to help national courts estimate the share of the overcharge passed on to indirect purchasers. The draft guidelines under consultation describe the procedural instruments available to national courts when assessing the existence of overcharges passed on to indirect customers and the national courts' power to estimate the amount of the overcharge that was passed on and include an overview of the most common economic methods and techniques to quantify passed-on overcharges.Responses to the consultation can be submitted until 4 October 2018. The press release is available online in EN, FR, DE. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of joint control over Health and Protection Solutions by HPS Investment and Madison Dearborn

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Health and Protection Solutions Limited ("HAPS") of the UK by HPS Investment Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners ("MDP"), both of the US. HAPS, currently solely controlled by Axa PPP Healthcare Group Limited, which is part of the AXA Group, is a provider of private medical, dental and travel insurance and related services to individuals and corporate groups. HPS is an investment company focusing on acquisitions and strategic financing of recapitalisation of companies that require financial assistance. MDP is a private equity investment company, with investments in a broad range of industries. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the minor horizontal overlaps and vertical relationships between the companies' activities. 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.8987. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of a joint venture in Malaysia by Mitsubishi Estate, Mitsui and Sime Darby

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Sime Darby MIT Development Sdn Bhd, a joint venture based in Malaysia, by Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. ("MEC"), Mitsui & Co. Ltd, both of Japan, and Sime Darby Property (Sungai Kapar) Sdn Bhd ("SDPSK") of Malaysia. The joint venture will acquire and develop logistics and industrial property in Malaysia. MEC is active in real-estate development and property management. Mitsui is a trading houseengaged in a number of world-wide commodities. SDPSK is active in property development in Malaysia. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the joint venture has no actual or foreseen 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.8866. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)

 

Eurostat press release: EU28 current account surplus €63.9 bn, €47.5 bn surplus for trade in services – first quarter of 2018

The EU28 seasonally adjusted current account of the balance of payments recorded a surplus of €63.9 billion (1.6% of GDP) in the first quarter of 2018, down from a surplus of €68.0 billion (1.8% of GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2017 and up from a surplus of €43.9 billion (1.2% of GDP) in the first quarter of 2017, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the first quarter of 2018 compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, based on seasonally adjusted data, the surplus of the goods account decreased (+€34.7 bn compared to +€41.1 bn), as did the surplus of the services account (+€47.5 bn compared to +€49.9 bn). The primary income account turned from deficit into a surplus (+€2.3 bn compared to -€1.6 bn). The deficit of the secondary income account dropped (-€20.6 bn compared to -€21.5 bn), as did the deficit of the capital account (-€1.9 bn compared to -€4.2 bn). A full Eurostat press release is available online. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

 

 

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

MEX/18/4370


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