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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 19 / 12 / 2018

Brussels, 19 December 2018

COLLEGE MEETING: The European Commission replies to the Italian government on its fiscal plans

The European Commission has today sent a letter to the Italian government regarding the fiscal measures set out by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Finance Minister Giovanni Tria in their letter of 18 December. On 21 November, the Commission adopted an Opinion on the revised draft budgetary plan of Italy, confirming a "particularly serious non-compliance" with the recommendation made by the Council of the European Union to Italy on 13 July. This was followed by a report under Article 126(3) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, concluding that an Excessive Deficit Procedure for non-compliance with the debt criterion was warranted. This conclusion was shared by the Eurogroup of 3 December, which also supported the ongoing dialogue between the Commission and the Italian authorities. Today's letter takes note of the new fiscal measures presented by the Italian government and indicates that if they are voted by the Italian parliament before the end of the year, this would allow the European Commission not to recommend the opening of an Excessive Deficit Procedure at this stage. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp– Tel.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)


COLLEGE MEETING: Visa liberalisation: Commission reports on fulfilment of visa-free requirements by Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries

The Commission is today reporting on its assessment of the fulfilment of the visa liberalisation benchmarks by the Western Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia as well as the Eastern Partnership countries: Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The full press release and Questions and Answers will be available online at the beginning of the press conference by Commissioners Avramopoulos and Jourová. Watch online on EbS. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)


COLLEGE MEETING: Visa non-reciprocity: Commission takes stock of progress and developments

The Commission is today reporting on progress made in the past 12 months towards achieving visa-reciprocity with the United States, as the only remaining case of non-reciprocity. Visa reciprocity is a fundamental principle of the European Union's common visa policy, and the Commission remains fully committed to achieving visa free travel to the United States for all EU Member States as a matter of priority. The full press release and Questions and Answers will be available online at the beginning of the press conference by Commissioners Avramopoulos and Jourová. Watch online on EbS. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)


COLLEGE MEETING: EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

Today the European Commission publishes its report on the second annual review of the functioning of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. This year's report shows that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield from the EU to participating companies in the U.S. The full report and press release will be available online at the beginning of the press conference by Commissioners Avramopoulos and Jourová. Watch online on EbS(For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Mélanie Voin – Tel.:+32 229 5865)


COLLEGE MEETING: Brexit: European Commission implements “no deal” Contingency Action Plan in specific sectors

Given the continued uncertainty in the UK surrounding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, as agreed between the EU and the UK on 25 November 2018 – and last week's call by the European Council (Article 50) to intensify preparedness work at all levels and for all outcomes – the European Commission has today started implementing its “no deal” Contingency Action Plan. This delivers on the Commission's commitment to adopt all necessary “no deal” proposals by the end of the year, as outlined in its second preparedness Communication of 13 November 2018. Today's package includes 14 measures in a limited number of areas where a no deal scenario would create major disruption for citizens and businesses in the EU27. These areas include financial services, air transport, customs, and climate policy, amongst others. For more information, read our press release here. (For more information: Alexander Winterstein– Tel.: +32 229-93265; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229-91382; Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: +32 229-86500)


COLLEGE MEETING: Commission appoints senior managers in its departments for energy, financial services and capital markets

The European Commission has today decided to appoint Mr Klaus-Dieter Borchardt to the position of Deputy Director-General in its department for Energy (DG ENER) and Mr Klaus Wiedner to the position of Director “Financial system surveillance and crisis management” in its department for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA). Mr Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, a German national, has extensive management experience in the Commission, notably in the areas of energy and agriculture. He joined the Commission in 1987. Between 1990 and 1995 he worked in the Court of Justice of the European Union before coming back to the Commission's Legal Service. He has been on management jobs since 2001, when he became a Head of Unit in the Commission's department for agriculture (DG AGRI) to deal with agricultural law. Between 2004 and 2010, Mr Borchardt worked in the private office of Commissioner Fischer Boel responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development. He has been working as a Director since 2010, first in DG AGRI and, as of 2013, in DG ENER. Mr Wiedner, an Austrian national, joined the Commission from the Austrian civil service in 1996 to consecutively work in the areas of competition and internal market. He took up his first Head of Unit job in 2009 and has held middle management positions since then. Mr Wiedner is currently a Head of Unit of DG FISMA's Bank Regulation and Supervision team. (For more information: Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 229 93265; Andreana Stankova - Tel.: +32 229 57857)


COLLEGE MEETING: European Commission appoints new Heads of its Representations in The Netherlands and in Finland

The European Commission has today decided to appoint Mr Didier Herbert as the new Head of its Representation in The Hague, The Netherlands, and Mr Antti Ilmari Peltomäki as the new Head of its Representation in Helsinki, Finland. Mr Herbert will take up office on 1 February 2019, and Mr Peltomäki - on 1 April 2019. Mr Herbert, a Belgian national, is currently Director and Acting Chair (since October 2018) of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, an independent body of the Commission, which provides a central quality control and support function for the Commission's impact assessment and evaluation work. Mr Peltomäki, a Finnish national, is currently the Deputy Director-General in the Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME's (DG GROW). More information is available in the press releases here (also in DE, FR, and NL) and here (also in FR, DE, and FI). (For more information: Mina Andreeva - Tel.: +32 229 91382; Alexander Winterstein - Tel.: +32 229 93265)


Juncker Plan: PLN 1.44 billion agreement to support small and medium businesses in Poland

The Juncker Plan has backed a PLN 1.44 billion (€335.3 million) agreement between the European Investment Bank Group and Alior Bank. The agreement will facilitate access to finance for small and medium businesses in Poland. Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “I welcome this new Juncker Plan agreement, which will give Polish small and medium businesses the financing they need to turn their ideas into innovative products, grow and create jobs. Poland is in the top 10 of countries benefitting from the Juncker Plan, and already almost 45,000 businesses are set to benefit from better access to finance thanks to European Union assistance. That is great news.” As of December 2018, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) at the heart of the Juncker Plan has already mobilised €371.2 billion of investment across Europe, including €16.2 billion in Poland alone, and supported 856,000 small and medium businesses across the EU. A full press release is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)


Single-use plastics: Commission welcomes agreement on new rules to reduce marine litter

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have reached a provisional political agreement on the ambitious new rules proposed by the Commission in the Single-use plastics proposal presented in May. The proposal for a Directive made as part of the world's first comprehensive Plastics Strategy aims to tackle marine litter at its source, targeting the 10 plastic products most often found on our beaches as well as abandoned fishing gear. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development said: "I warmly welcome today's ambitious agreement. It truly helps protect our people and our planet. The EU as a whole has shown true courage in addressing plastic waste, making us the global leader in tackling plastic marine litter." Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, added: "Tackling the plastics problem is a must. At the same time it brings new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and job creation. With the agreement reached today we are showing that Europe is doing a smart economic and environmental choice and is advancing towards a new truly circular plastics economy." The new EU directive on Single-Use Plastics will be the most ambitious legal instrument at global level addressing marine litter. It envisages different measures to apply to different product categories. Where alternatives are easily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market. The ban will apply to plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers sticks for balloons, products made of oxo-degradable plastic and food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene. For products without straight-forward alternatives, the focus is on limiting their use through a national reduction in consumption, design and labelling requirements, and waste management/clean-up obligations for producers. Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: "When we have a situation where one year you can bring your fish home in a plastic bag, and the next year you are bringing that bag home in a fish, we have to work hard and work fast. So I am happy that with the agreement of today between Parliament and Council, we have taken a big stride towards reducing the amount of single-use plastic items in our economy, our ocean and ultimately our bodies." More information is available in the press release. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniela Stoycheva - Tel.: +32 229 53664)


Commission welcomes political agreement on conclusion of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package

New rules for making the EU's electricity market work better have been provisionally agreed by negotiators from the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission in the early hours this morning. This concludes the political negotiations on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package and is a major step towards completing the Energy Union and combatting climate change, delivering on the priorities of the Juncker Commission. Negotiators were able to reach a political agreement on the new Electricity Regulation and Electricity Directive. This agreement follows previous agreements on the Governance proposal, the revised Energy Efficiency Directive, the revised Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive and the Regulations on Risk Preparedness and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Today's deal marks the completion of negotiations on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, putting the EU in the lead in terms of rules to accelerate and facilitate the clean energy transition. This takes us a step closer towards delivering the Energy Union, one on the priorities President Juncker set out for this Commission at the start of the mandate. Today's agreement on the future electricity market design is a vital part of the package. The new market will be more flexible and facilitate the integration of a greater share of renewable energy. An integrated EU energy market is the most cost-effective way to ensure secure and affordable supplies to all EU citizens. The new rules will create more competition and will allow consumers to participate more actively in the market and play their part in the clean energy transition. I am particularly pleased that we agreed on a balanced approach to limit capacity mechanisms and reconcile security of supply with our climate objectives. Capacity mechanisms will not be used as a backdoor subsidy of high-polluting fossil fuels as that would go against our climate objectives." The press release is available online. (For more information Anca Paduraru- Tel: +32 229-91269; Lynn Rietdorf +32 229-74959)


A better deal for consumers: Commission welcomes agreement on cheaper cross-border payments and fairer currency conversions

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council that will make cross-border payments in euro cheaper across the entire EU. The agreed rules will also bring full transparency in currency conversion when consumers are paying by card. Consumers and businesses in euro and non-euro countries alike will benefit from low-cost euro transactions across borders. The new regulation will ensure that currency conversion charges are fully transparent and comparable, allowing consumers to save money on currency conversion costs when they travel or shop abroad. Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “With this agreement, non-euro country citizens will also enjoy one of the benefits of the euro. That is, low-cost euro transactions using highly efficient euro payments infrastructure. Moreover, this regulation will boost competition in the area of currency conversion. And it will allow Europeans to easily check and compare conversion charges when paying abroad with their cards, or when sending money online to a country with another EU currency." Provisionally agreed by the European Parliament and Council last week, the new rules were given a green light by EU Permanent Representatives at their meeting in Brussels today. A press release is available online. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 85615; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958)


€405 billion invested in Europe's real economy under the European Structural and Investment Funds

By October 2018, nearly two-thirds of the European Structural and Investment Funds' budget for 2014-2020 had been committed to concrete projects. By end of 2017, 1 million businesses, including 74.000 start-ups, had received support to expand, innovate, launch new products and create jobs. Overall, 1.7 million investment projects have been selected for EU support across Europe, in addition to 2.7 million beneficiaries under rural development programmes. These are just some of the take-aways from a Commission report published today that shows the main results under the five European Structural and Investment Funds, halfway through the 2014-2020 EU budget period. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "This report shows that the European Structural and Investment Funds are helping us reach our EU-wide goals of growth and jobs in key areas such as research and innovation as well as transition towards low-carbon, circular economy. The progress made clearly shows the added value of structural funds for businesses and citizens alike." Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: "Cohesion policy is delivering. The figures speak for themselves: the implementation of the programmes is continuing at cruising speed, halfway into the 2014-2020 budget period. Besides these impressive numbers are the stories of millions of Europeans whose lives are changing for the better thanks to EU investments. This is a solid argument for a strong Cohesion Policy after 2020." More information is available in the press release and in the factsheet online. You can read the report here. (For more information: Christian Spahr -Tel.: +32 229 50055, Andreana Stankova – Tel.: + 32 229 57857)


Fishing opportunities for 2019 in the Atlantic, North Sea and Black Sea

This morning, EU ministers reached an agreement on fishing opportunities for 2019 in the Atlantic, North Sea and Black Sea following negotiations at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 17-18 December. The negotiations were based on the Commission's proposal for Total Allowable Catches (TAC), presented by Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, Karmenu Vella. This morning's agreement will bring 59 catch limits (TACs) for stocks managed by the EU or by the EU and Norway together to Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels in 2019, from only 5 stocks at Maximum Sustainable Yield in 2009. Nearly 99% of expected landings in the Baltic, North Sea and the Atlantic, subject to MSY-advice and managed exclusively by the EU, will be fished at sustainable levels. And, in order to put an end to the wasteful practice of discarding fish, as of 1 January 2019, the landing obligation will apply fully to all EU fishing fleets. This means that all catches of regulated commercial species taken on-board (including by-catch) are to be landed and counted against each Member States' respective quotas. Furthermore, progress was made on protecting the eel stock which is still in a critical condition. Commissioner Vella welcomed the outcome: "Next year will be a milestone year for European fisheries. With collective efforts we have paved the way to a good transition to the full landing obligation which starts on 1 January 2019. While we are continuing to achieve progress towards our target of sustainable fishing by 2020, I would like to particularly thank our fishermen for their considerable efforts." The fishing opportunities agreed today are worth over €5 billion, benefitting more than 50,000 fishermen. As the size of some key fish stocks is increasing – notably for seabass, northern haddock, Norway lobster in Skagerrak/Kattegat, Northern hake and Southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated EUR 1.4 billion for 2018. You can find more information and read Commissioner Vella's statement on the outcome here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Daniela Stoycheva – Tel.: +32 229 53664)


Commission authorises two genetically modified products for food and feed use

Today, the Commission authorised two Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), both for food and feed uses (MON 87427 × MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122, and maize combining two, three or four of the single MON 87427, MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017 and 59122) and renewed the authorisation of one (maize NK603 x MON 810) also for food and feed. All of these Genetically Modified Organisms have gone through a comprehensive authorisation procedure, including a favourable scientific assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The authorisation decisions do not cover cultivation. All Member States had the right to express their view in the Standing Committee and subsequently the Appeal Committee, and the outcome is that the European Commission has the legal backing of the Member States to proceed with the authorisation. The authorisations are valid for 10 years, and any products produced from these Genetically Modified Organisms will be subject to the EU's strict labelling and traceability rules. For more information on GMOs in the EU see here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624


More stable and consistent tax systems in EU Member States in 2018

European Union Member States' taxation systems saw continued stability in terms of their design in 2018, according to a new study published today by the European Commission. The Tax Policies in the EU 2018 Survey examines how EU Member States' tax systems help to promote investment and employment, reduce tax fraud, evasion and avoidance, address income inequalities, and ensure social fairness. It also analyses taxation as an environmental policy instrument, the implications of new forms of work for labour taxation and the influence of the overall tax mix on progressivity in the EU. In addition, the report presents the main indicators used by the European Commission to analyse tax policies in the context of the European Semester and the case for the priorities outlined in the Commission's Annual Growth Survey in this field. Finally, a summary of notable business taxation reforms in non-EU countries and an overview of recent EU tax initiatives in the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion are included. Policy makers across Europe will find in the report reform options to improve efficiency and fairness in tax systems. As such, it provides them with clear insights into challenges that lie ahead and with an excellent evidence base for action.Download the full report here. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 2 29 58615; Patrick McCullough - Tel.: +32 229 87183)


Future of work: Commission's advisory body outlines implications of economic transformation on society

The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), an independent advisory body to the Commission, has yesterday published an opinion examining the trends and implications shaping the new work landscape: from the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, and new ways of working in the gig economy, to the use of smart tools and data to recruit and track workers. The opinion provides an important reference point for the Commission in its ongoing deliberations around the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Future of Work. Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said: “A new world of work is becoming reality and we have to take the reins and steer this evolution towards the societies we want to live and work in. This Opinion is a call to action and a reminder that technological innovation must be accompanied by both social and public sector innovation”. Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen added: “The EU prides itself on its high standards of labour and social protection. The advent of new technologies must strengthen, rather than undermine European values of justice and solidarity. This Opinion will feed into thinking on the future of work.” The report finds that new technologies create value and bring efficiency gains. However, evidence indicates a considerable accumulation of wealth by a small section of society as others face increasing hardship and widening inequality. In the face of rapid change, the EGE calls for a shift of the current focus from individual to societal upskilling and appropriate social frameworks. In its recommendations the EGE calls upon the Commission and Member States to consider how social security benefits can be provided outside formal employment arrangements and calls upon Member States to implement fiscal policies that simultaneously foster growth and reduce income inequality. The opinion builds on the EGE's statement on artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous systems published in March 2018. More information on today's opinion can be found online. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Victoria von Hammerstein-Gesmold - Tel.: +32 229 55040; Andreana Stankova – Tel.: + 32 229 57857)


Commission appoints top scientists to the European Research Council's governing body

The Commission has today appointed three eminent researchers to the governing body of the European Research Council (ERC), the Scientific Council. They are: Ben Feringa, 2016 Nobel Prize winner, Full Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Groningen, and member and vice-president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences; Lene Vestergaard Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard University; and Manuel Arellano, Professor of Economics at the Centre for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI), Madrid. The Commission has also renewed the mandates of three current Scientific Council members for two more years: Professors Tomas Jungwirth, Janet Thornton and Fabio Zwirner. The Commission established the ERC in 2007 with the mission to encourage excellent frontier research in Europe through competitive funding, supporting top researchers across all fields and of any nationality. The ERC Scientific Council, composed of 22 distinguished scientists and scholars representing the European scientific community, is an independent governing body of the ERC. Its main role is setting the strategy for granting ERC funding, which is provided under Horizon 2020, the EU programme for research and innovation. All of its members are selected following recommendations of an independent Identification Committee. An ERC press release is available online. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Victoria von Hammerstein-Gesmold - Tel.: +32 229 55040)


State aid: Commission approves reductions in renewable electricity and cogeneration surcharges for energy-intensive companies in Greece

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, reductions granted to energy-intensive companies on a surcharge to finance support for renewable electricity production and high-efficient cogeneration in Greece. Greece provides support to renewable electricity and high-efficient cogeneration of electricity and heat. This support is financed through a surcharge imposed on final electricity consumers based on their electricity consumption, known as the “ETMEAR levy”. EU State aid rules, in particular the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy, authorise reductions – up to a certain level – in contributions levied on energy-intensive companies exposed to international trade and used to fund renewable energy support schemes. These provisions enable Member States to support renewable energies while safeguarding the international competitiveness of their energy-intensive companies. The Commission found that the reductions of the ETMEAR levy will only be granted to energy-intensive companies exposed to international trade. Furthermore, Greece submitted an adjustment plan to align the level of reductions for all eligible companies and to phase out after a transitory period the reductions for non-eligible companies that were benefitting from an ETMEAR levy reduction until now. Therefore, the Commission found that the Greek measure and the adjustment plan are in line with EU State aid rules. The press release is available online in EN, FR, DE, EL. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


State aid: Commission approves Bavarian project for Gigabit broadband networks

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a Bavarian project to deploy very high capacity networks in six municipalities. Germany notified to the Commission the Bavarian gigabit project, which aims to develop a new, publicly financed very high capacity connectivity infrastructure that will deliver a faster internet for households, companies and public institutions. The new network will be capable of offering broadband speeds which are far above those that users currently have in the target areas. The Commission found that the new networks will bring about a significant improvement - a "step change" - in connectivity. The project is in line with the strategic objectives of the Gigabit Communication, as it allows for public investment in areas where the new 2025 targets are not yet met and no sufficient infrastructure is to be provided by private investors within the next three years. To avoid duplication of infrastructures, the German authorities will take existing and planned investments by market operators into account. The aid will be awarded on the basis of open, transparent and non-discriminatory tenders, with all technologies being able to compete for provision of the service. On this basis, the Commission has approved the Bavarian gigabit project under the Broadband State aid Guidelines. Today's decision is the first time the Commission has looked at a support measure in the context of the objectives of the Gigabit Communication and, in particular, is the first support measure involving a “step change” approved by the Commission. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: "The very high-capacity networks are increasingly important in our economies, for the education sector, for healthcare, for manufacturing or transport. Our decision that for the first time endorses a public investment to achieve the connectivity targets set out in the Gigabit Communication will help reach these targets while ensuring that competition is not unduly distorted, to the benefit of citizens and businesses." The press release is available online in EN, FR, DE.(For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over IDI Logistics by Ivanhoé and Oxford

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over IDI Logistics of the US, by Ivanhoé Cambridge and Oxford Properties (“Oxford”), both of Canada. IDI Logistics is a subsidiary of Ivanhoé Cambridge and is active in the US, investing in and developing industrial logistics real estate assets. Ivanhoé Cambridge is a global real estate investor and a subsidiary of the Canadian pension manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Oxford is part of the wider OMERS Administration Corporation Group of Canada, which manages a diversified global portfolio of stocks and bonds as well as real estate, private equity and infrastructure investments. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns since the joint venture has no actual or foreseen activities within 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.9222. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Aspen by Apollo

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited ("Aspen") of Bermuda by Apollo Management L.P. ("Apollo") of the US. Aspen is a global provider of insurance and reinsurance. Apollo is a global investment fund that has holdings in businesses in a variety of sectors. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the minor horizontal and vertical overlaps 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.9149. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)


Eurostat: La production dans le secteur de la construction en baisse de 1,6% dans la zone euro

En octobre 2018 par rapport à septembre 2018, la production dans le secteur de la construction, corrigée des variations saisonnières, a diminué de 1,6% dans la zone euro (ZE19) et de 1,2% dans l'UE28, selon les premières estimations d'Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. En septembre 2018, la production dans le secteur de la construction avait augmenté de 2,1% dans la zone euro et de 1,9% dans l'UE28. En octobre 2018 par rapport à octobre 2017, la production dans le secteur de la construction a augmenté de 1,8% dans la zone euro et de 3,0% 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)





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