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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 05 / 12 / 2018

Brussels, 5 December 2018

COLLEGE MEETING: Commission presents ways to further strengthen the euro's global role

In his State of the Union Address in September 2018, President Juncker highlighted the strategic importance of the euro and the need to ensure that the single currency can play its full role on the international scene. Supported by upcoming decisions to strengthen Europe's Economic and Monetary Union, complete the Banking Union and advance on the Capital Markets Union, the euro needs to develop its global role and fully reflect the euro area's political, economic and financial weight. To this end, the Commission in a Communication today outlines the benefits of such a strengthened international role of the euro for the EU and the international financial system, and proposes initiatives to boost the role of the single currency. As part of this effort, the Commission has adopted a Recommendation on the international role of the euro in the field of energy, promotinga wider use of the euro in this strategic sector. A press release, including quotes, memo and factsheet are available online. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186)

 

COLLEGE MEETING: A Europe that Protects: The EU steps up action against disinformation

To protect its democratic systems and public debates and in view of the 2019 European elections as well as a number of national and local elections that will be held in Member States by 2020, the European Union is presenting today an Action Plan to step up efforts to counter disinformation in Europe and beyond. Taking stock of the progress made so far and following up on the call made by European leaders in June 2018 to protect the Union's democratic systems, the European Commission and the High Representative are setting out concrete measures to tackle disinformation, including the creation of a Rapid Alert System and close monitoring of the implementation of the Code of Practice signed by the online platforms. The Action Plan also foresees an increase of resources devoted to the issue. The Action Plan focuses on four areas key to effectively build up the EU's capabilities and strengthen cooperation between Member States and the EU: improved detection; coordinated response; online platforms and industry; and raising awareness and empowering citizens. The European Commission and the High Representative will develop and implement the measures set out in the Action Plan, in close cooperation with Member States and the European Parliament. A full press releaseQ&A, and a factsheet will be available online.  (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Adam Kaznowski – Tel: +32 229 89359; Marietta Grammenou - Tel.: +32 229 83583)

 

Brexit: European Commission begins procedure for the signature and conclusion of the agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the EU

Following the endorsement by the European Council (Article 50) on 25 November 2018 of the draft Withdrawal Agreement – as completed at negotiator level on 14 November 2018 – the European Commission has today adopted two proposals for Council decisions on the signature and conclusion of the text. These proposals launch the formal process necessary for the EU to conclude the Withdrawal Agreement and follow the European Council (Article 50) conclusions, which invited the Commission to “take the necessary steps to ensure that the agreement can enter into force on 30 March 2019, so as to provide for an orderly withdrawal.” The Council must now authorise the signature of the Withdrawal Agreement on behalf of the Union. The European Parliament must then give its consent before being concluded by the Council. To enter into force, the Withdrawal Agreement will, of course, also have to be ratified by the United Kingdom, in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. Today's proposals are available online. For more information on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration, see here (For more information:Margaritis Schinas– Tel.: +32 229-60524; Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: +32 229-86500)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Unifeeder by DP World

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Unifeeder A/S of Denmark by DP World Investments B.V., a Dutch company belonging to the DP World group ("DP World") of Dubai. Unifeeder provides maritime transportation services for containerised goods, including feeder services and short-sea services, mainly in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. DP World is a worldwide operator of marine terminals and a provider of cargo handling and logistics services. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns as it would have a limited impact on the structure of the markets for the provision of container terminals services and of short-sea shipping services. 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.9093(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Recordati by CVC

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Recordati S.p.A of Italy by CVC Partners SICAV-FIS S.A of Luxembourg. Recordati develops and markets branded and generic drugs notably in relation to the treatment of cardiovascular disorders and rare diseases. CVC manages and provides advice to investment funds and platforms and has several portfolio companies active in the pharmaceutical sector, including notably Alvogen and DOC Generici. The Commission examined in particular the effect of the transaction on a limited number of markets for the supply of genericised molecules in Italy, Iceland, and Romania, where the transaction gives rise to horizontal overlaps between the companies' activities. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because of its limited impact on the markets concerned. 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.9044. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of joint control of Penha Longa Resort by Marriott and Carlyle

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Penha Longa Resort, of Portugal by Carlyle Group, L.P. ("Carlyle") and Marriott International Inc. ("Marriott"), both of the US. Penha Longa Resort is a hotel located in Sintra, Portugal. Carlyle is a global alternative asset manager. Marriott is the parent company of a diversified hospitality group of companies, which acts as a manager and franchisor of hotels and timeshare properties. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because of the limited impact it would have on the market. 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. 9186. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Skytec UMC by Sharp

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Skytec UMC Ltd of Cyprus by Sharp Corporation of Japan. Skytec UMC designs, manufactures and distributes TVs and other electronic appliances. Sharp is active globally in developing, manufacturing and selling multiple electronic products. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, as Sharp already has joint control over Skytec UMC, which will change to sole control following the transaction. 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.9194. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of NIS Energowind by MET Renewables and O Zone

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over NIS Energowing of Serbia, by MET Renewables of Switzerland, part of the MET Group,  and O Zone a.d. also of Serbia, part of the Gazprom group. NIS Energowind will develop and operate a 102 megawatts (MW) wind power plant in Serbia. MET Renewables is a holding company, holding participation in entities in the energy sector. O Zone is active in the ownership and management of hotels, resorts and restaurants in Serbia and Montenegro. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because MET Renewables does not have and will not have any business activity 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.9133. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Earls Gate Energy Centre by Covanta Holding, Green Investment Group and Brockwell Energy

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Earls Gate Energy Centre Limited (the "Earls Gate joint venture") of the UK by Covanta Holding Corporation ("Covanta") of the US, Green Investment Group Limited and Brockwell Energy Limited ("Brockwell"), both of the UK. The Earls Gate joint venture, currently wholly owned by Brockwell, is planning to build and operate a renewable energy plant in Grangemouth, Scotland. Covanta is a global sustainable waste and energy solutions business. Green Investment Group, which belongs to the Macquarie Group, is a specialist in green infrastructure principal investment, project delivery and the management of portfolio assets. Brockwell, which is jointly controlled by Davidson Kempner Capital Management, L.P. and Pioneer Point Partners LLP, is a vehicle to develop, own and operate interests in relation to renewable energy technologies. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the companies' moderate combined market positions in the business activities where their activities overlap. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9171.(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Eurostat: Le volume des ventes du commerce de détail en hausse de 0,3% dans la zone euro

En octobre 2018 par rapport à septembre 2018, le volume des ventes du commerce de détail corrigé des variations saisonnières a augmenté de 0,3% dans la zone euro (ZE19) et de 0,1% dans l'UE28, selon les estimations d'Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. En septembre 2018, le commerce de détail avait diminué de 0,5% dans la zone euro et de 0,3% dans l'UE28. En octobre 2018 par rapport à octobre 2017, l'indice corrigé des effets de calendrier des ventes de détail a augmenté de 1,7% dans la zone euro et de 2,1% dans l'UE28.Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tél.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tél.: +32 229 87278)

 

 

STATEMENTS 

 

Fighting Terrorism Online: Public-private sector cooperation as important as ever at the 4th EU Internet Forum

Today, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King will host the 4th ministerial meeting of the EU Internet Forum. Ahead of the meeting, Commissioners Avramopoulos and King issued the following joint statement: “Since the launch of the EU Internet Forum in 2015, we have made progress in tackling terrorist content online. We have enhanced our understanding of how terrorists misuse internet platforms and put the necessary mechanisms in place to address it.  Of course, more needs to be done by more companies, which is why the EU is currently in the process of adopting legislation to step up our collective efforts against online terrorist content. Nevertheless, the trust established within the Forum will have a critical role in implementing the Regulation, once it is agreed, and the Forum will continue to be on the frontline of EU efforts against terrorist content online." The EU Internet Forum was launched in December 2015 by Commissioner Avramopoulos to address the misuse of the internet by terrorist groups. Today's meeting will be an opportunity for representatives of companies, including Baaz, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Justpaste.it, Microsoft, Snap and Twitter to debrief EU Institutions, Ministers from EU Member States, and Europol on the work done over the last year and discuss next steps. The full statement is available online. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

 

 

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini travels to Milan for the OSCE Ministerial Council

On 6 December, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission will participate in the 25th Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Milan chaired by Mr Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Foreign Minister of Italy. The annual meeting provides the Foreign Ministers of the 57 OSCE members an opportunity to review and assess the Organisation's activities and strengthen dialogue on security issues in the OSCE area. Federica Mogherini will deliver a speech in the first plenary session and hold several bilateral meetings in its margins , including with Mr Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, and Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation. The speech and coverage of her meetings will be available on EbS. In June 2018, the EU moved to further strengthen cooperation with the OSCE, setting up a framework between the European Commission, the European External Action Service, and the OSCE's Secretariat, autonomous institutions and field operations. (For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski - Tel.: +32 229 89359)

 

Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Thyssen and Commissioner Jourová attend Employment, Social Policy, Consumers and Health Council

Tomorrow, 6 December, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová will attend the Employment, Social Policy, Consumers and Health Council (EPSCO) taking place in Brussels. At the meeting, EU Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs are expected to agree on the Commission's proposal for a European Labour Authority as well as the Commission's third proposal to strengthen workers' protection against cancer-causing chemicals. This will allow entering negotiations with the European Parliament in view of final adoption. Furthermore, they are expected to come to a political agreement on the Recommendation on access to social protection for workers and self-employed. EU Ministers will also hold a policy debate on the 2019 European Semester and approve the employment and social aspects of the recommendation on the economic policy of the euro. Several progress reports will be discussed, notably one on the Directive on Equal Treatment and another one on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. The Presidency and the Commission will also debrief the Ministers present on the most recent Tripartite Social Summit, pending social legislative files, upcoming events and activities, as well as a joint declaration on "Gender Equality as a Priority of the European Union today and in the future". Finally, a delegation of the upcoming Romanian Council Presidency will present its work programme during its mandate in the first half of 2019. Over lunch, participants will discuss the Commission's proposal for the next long-term EU budget, in particular the contribution of EU funds and programmes to convergence, fairness and competitiveness. More information on the meeting can be found here. The Council meeting will be followed by a press conference around 17:00, in presence of Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen, which will be web streamed here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

Vice-President Katainen in Helsinki 5 - 8 December to open the 'Europa Experience' space

Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen is in Helsinki, Finland on 5 – 8 December. On Wednesday 5 November, he will attend a working lunch of the former Finnish Prime Ministers hosted by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. He will also speak at a public event on the European Semester Autumn Package and give the opening speech at the 'Europa Experience' space at the grand opening of the Helsinki Central Library 'Oodi'. On Thursday 6 December, the Vice-President will attend the Finnish Independence Day Reception hosted by Mr Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland. On Friday 7 December, Vice-President Katainen will attend a youth event organised by the National Youth Council of Finland, the European Youth Parliament of Finland and Young European Federalists Finland. He will also meet with citizens at the Europa Experience space of the Helsinki Central Library Oodi. On Saturday 8 December, Vice-President Katainen will participate in the celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of the National Coalition Party of Finland. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tel.: +32 229 56169)

 

Le commissaire Hogan ouvrira l'édition 2018 de la conférence sur les perspectives agricoles

Le commissaire à l'agriculture, Phil Hogan, lancera demain matin, le 6 décembre, le coup d'envoi de la conférence annuelle sur les perspectives agricoles qui abordera entre autres le sujet de la modernisation et numérisation du secteur agricole. Le commissaire Hogan tiendra un point presse sur la future Politique Agricole Commune et sa contribution à la modernisation du secteur dans le bâtiment du Charlemagne (coin presse) à 10 heures jeudi 6 décembre. "La numérisation et l'utilisation des nouvelles technologies seront au cœur des développements à venir dans la production agricole en Europe, et ces sujets sont également de première importance dans la simplification et la modernisation de la Politique Agricole Commune. Je me réjouis des échanges que nous allons avoir sur la percée technologique à laquelle nous pouvons nous attendre pour le secteur agroalimentaire", a déclaré le commissaire Hogan avant l'événement. Les opportunités commerciales pour le secteur agricoles seront également abordées dans l'après-midi du 6 décembre. La 2ème journée de la conférence, vendredi 7 décembre, sera consacrée aux perspectives  à dix ans des marchés des produits laitiers, de la viande et des céréales. Le programme complet de la conférence est en ligne. Plus de 600 participants de tous horizons sont attendus pour l'événement. Toutes les sessions peuvent être suivies en direct et en ligne. Le hashtag de la conférence sur les réseaux sociaux est #AgriOutlook.  (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tél.: + 32 229 56185; Clémence Robin - Tél.: +32 229 52509)

 

Commissioners Avramopoulos, Jourová and King participate in the Justice and Home Affairs Council

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová and Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King will attend the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on 6 and 7 December. On Thursday morning, Commissioner Avramopoulos will join Ministers of Interior to discuss progress made on the reform of the Common European Asylum System and the EU's rules on return. Discussions will also focus on the Commission's proposal for a reinforced European Border and Coast Guard, where a partial general approach is expected to be adopted and later there will be a discussion on the state of play of the comprehensive approach to migration. Commissioners Avramopoulos and King, together with Ministers, will then examine new rules to take terrorist content off the web, with a view to Ministers agreeing on a general approach. The Ministers are also expected to adopt Council Conclusions on the fight against Antisemitism. In the afternoon, they are expected to approve measures on the fight against smuggling networks and to discuss priorities for the next long-term EU budget in the area of justice and home affairs. A press conference with Commissioner Avramopoulos and Austrian Minister of the Interior Herbert Kickl is scheduled to take place at +/- 17:30 on Thursday and will be streamed live on EbS+. On Friday, Justice Ministers joined by Commissioner Jourová are expected to reach general approaches on three important files: on Contract law and the Directive for the sales of goods, on new rules to better protect children in cross-border family proceedings (so called Brussels IIa regulation) and on the electronic evidence proposal. The Presidency will then update the Ministers on the progress made on the discussion on the assignments of claim regulation. Justice Ministers will discuss the fight against Antisemitism by criminal law before exchanging views in the afternoon on the international aspects facilitating the access to electronic evidence. The Commissioner Jourová will then update the Ministers on the setting up of the European Public Prosecutor's Office and Commissioner Kingon the state of play of data retention. Commissioner Jourová will participate in the press conference at +/- 18:00 on Friday which will be available on EbS+. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Christian Wigand- Tel.: +32 229 62253)

 

Platform on Food Waste: EU committed to halve global food waste by 2030

Tomorrow, 6 December, Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, in charge of Health and Food Safety, will address the members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste at its 5th meeting where progress made in EU actions to fight food waste will be discussed. Ahead of the meeting, Commissioner Andriukaitis said: "The momentum is here. We made some significant advances in 2018 and we are continuously working in the EU and worldwide to meet the global target of halving food waste by 2030. I am particularly glad that the EU is leading the way. The EU Platform will adopt recommendations for action in 2019, informed by work underway to assess the effectiveness of food waste prevention initiatives. Importantly, the new measures introduced in the waste legislation will provide the EU with new and consistent data on food waste levels needed to design effective strategies and monitor our progress. What gets measured gets managed.” The Platform brings together both public and private interests in order to foster cooperation amongst all key players in the food value chain and help accelerate the EU's progress towards the global Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste by 2030. Since its launch in 2016, the members of the Platform have supported the Commission in developing harmonised methodology for quantifying food waste, contributed to the development of EU guidelines on food donation and on the safe use of former foodstuffs as animal feed. It is currently helping to develop technical guidance to foster more consistent use of “best before” and “use by” dates by industry and control authorities.  Focussed on supporting members in taking effective action to prevent food waste, the afternoon sessions will be dedicated to sharing learning from EU research and innovation programmes as well as related funding opportunities. The meeting will be web-streamed here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 66430 - Aikaterini Apostola – Tel. +32 229 8762)

 

 

 

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

MEX/18/6684


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