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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 10 / 05 / 2019

Brussels, 10 May 2019

Le Plan Juncker soutient la technologie médicale en Allemagne et les petites et moyennes entreprises en Espagne

Le Plan d'investissement pour l'Europe –le plan Juncker– soutient un prêt de 110 millions d'euros de la Banque européenne d'investissement (BEI) à une entreprise allemande spécialisée dans les technologies médicales et de sécurité. Dräger utilisera ce nouveau financement pour financer des projets de recherche et développement (R&D) en technologie médicale ciblant les systèmes pour sauver des vies, tels que les appareils d'anesthésie et les ventilateurs. Ses activités de R&D seront axées sur le développement et l'amélioration des produits de surveillance des patients, en particulier sur la connectivité des appareils médicaux, en les reliant à l'infrastructure informatique des hôpitaux. Jyrki Katainen, vice-président pour l'emploi, la croissance, l'investissement et la compétitivité, a déclaré: « Les produits et systèmes développés par Dräger rendent nos vies plus sûres et plus saines. Des systèmes de surveillance des soins intensifs aux respirateurs pour bébés prématurés, cette société européenne crée des innovations révolutionnaires. Grâce au financement de 110 millions d'euros de la banque de l'UE soutenue par le plan d'investissement pour l'Europe, Dräger peut continuer à repousser les limites de la technologie médicale. » La BEI fournit également une garantie de 70 millions d'euros dans le cadre du plan Juncker à Banca March, afin d'accorder davantage de prêts aux petites et moyennes entreprises (PME) en Espagne. Les communiqués de presse sont disponibles ici. En avril 2019, le plan Juncker a mobilisé près de 393 milliards d'euros d'investissements supplémentaires, dont près du quart (23%) au bénéfice de projets de R&D. Le plan soutient actuellement 945 000 petites et moyennes entreprises en Europe. (Pour plus d'informations: Vanessa Mock – Tél.: +32 229 56194; Siobhan Millbright – Tél.: +32 229 57361)

 

10 years of the Eastern Partnership: celebrations take place in Brussels

This coming Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 May, to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership (#EaP10), the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, are hosting a series of high-level gatherings in Brussels with the participation of the six Eastern partner countries, EU Member States and other stakeholders. High Representative /Vice-President, Federica Mogherini, will chair the annual Eastern Partnership Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting on 13 May with the 28 EU Member States, the EU's six Eastern partners and the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn. The meeting will take stock of the progress made under the ambitious 20 Deliverables for 2020 work plan adopted at the last Eastern Partnership Summit of November 2017. President Juncker, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn will attend on Monday evening a celebratory dinner hosted by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, for the six Heads of State or Government of the Eastern partner countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. On Tuesday 14 May, President Juncker will host a High-level Conference in the European Commission's Charlemagne building. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Commissioner Hahn and the Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, will also participate. The event will be an opportunity to discuss the developments of the partnership during this first decade and exchange on its future among a wide audience of key stakeholders active in the region or directly involved in this policy framework. Coverage will be provided by EbS. The full press release and dedicated factsheets are available here. Further information is available on the website of the 10th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. (For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Adam Kaznowski – Tel: +32 229 89359)

 

European Defence Union: new guidance to help Member States run joint defence procurements 

The European Commission has published guidance on cooperative defence procurement to help Member States apply the Defence Procurement Directive (Directive 2009/81/EC) consistently and make use of all the cooperation possibilities it offers. This will facilitate Member States' participation in collaborative defence projects under the future European Defence Fund and its current precursor programmes. Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: "With the European Defence Fund we are helping Member States research and develop cutting-edge technologies and equipment needed to protect Europeans. The guidance will further encourage defence cooperation across Europe by making joint defence procurement easier." The guidance, announced in the 2016 European Defence Action Plan and in the Evaluation of the Directive, provides practical information on cooperative procurement between two or more Member States and promotes openness in defence markets, while respecting the security interests of individual Member States. In particular, the guidance clarifies the conditions for cooperative projects to be compatible with EU procurement rules applicable in the area of defence and security. The guidance complements the European Defence Fund, through which the EU provides financial support all along the lifecycle, from research to prototype development up to certification. The European Defence Fund will be fully operational in 2021. Meanwhile, EU funded defence cooperation is already materialising with precursor programmes. For the first time in European history, under the current EU budget period, the EU is incentivising European defence cooperation with a budget envelope of €590 million. Several research projects are already underway and the Commission recently issued the first calls for projects to jointly develop defence equipment and technology covering all domains (air, land, sea, cyber and space). More information in the factsheet “Towards a European Defence Union”. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: + 32 229 56182; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tel.: +32 229 55040)

 

State aid: Commission approves provisional measure ensuring security of local electricity supply in Slovakia

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the compensation granted by Slovakia to electric utility company Slovenské Elektrárne a.s. for temporarily supplying a mandatory quantity of electricity from indigenous fuel sources into the Bystričany electricity system node in Slovakia. Slovakia notified the Commission of its plans to entrust electric utility company Slovenské Elektrárne a.s. with a temporary public service obligation to ensure security of supply in the geographical area around the Bystričany electricity system node, which is insufficiently connected with the rest of the Slovak electricity grid.Under the public service obligation, Slovenské Elektrárne will supply from its power plant in Nováky a mandatory quantity of at least 870 gigawatts hours and up to 1 100 gigawatts hours per year of electricity from indigenous fuel sources into the geographical area around the Bystričany node of the Slovak electricity grid. Slovenské Elektrárne will be compensated by the Slovak State for fulfilling this public service obligation, to cover the difference between its revenues from the sale of electricity and other services and its production costs. The Commission assessed the measure under the EU State aid rules on services of general economic interest (SGEI). The Commission found that: (i) The only electricity producers located in proximity of the Bystričany electricity system node are the Nováky power plant and some very small-scale hydropower units. Without the public service obligation, the current power production infrastructure would not ensure reliable electricity supply for the geographical area around the Bystričany electricity system node; (ii) The measure is proportionate, as the expected rate of return for the Nováky power plant is in line with that of similar power units and does not lead to overcompensation; (iii) The measure is limited in time and will terminate once the new supply infrastructure is operational and, in any event, no later than the end of 2023. Therefore, the Commission concluded that the Slovak measure is in line with EU State aid rules, as it promotes security of supply in the geographical area around the Bystričany electricity system node, without unduly distorting competition. The full press release is available online in EN, FR, DE, SK. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

State aid: Commission approves new commitments package for National Bank of Greece

The European Commission has concluded that Greek support, approved by the Commission in 2014 and 2015, for National Bank of Greece (NBG) remains compatible with EU State aid rules based on a new commitments package submitted by the Greek authorities. Since 2015, NBG has successfully executed a significant rationalisation of its operations and sold a substantial part of its non-core assets outside of Greece in line with its commitments under the Commission's 2015 decision. At the same time, NBG has not managed to implement within the foreseen timeframe some other commitments, in particular to divest its insurance activities and certain other non-core assets outside of Greece. On 10 April 2019, the Greek authorities submitted a new commitments package to the Commission, including revised deadlines to sell these remaining assets or alternative additional assets, as well as compensatory measures, including additional restructuring commitments and the prolongation of key existing commitments. The Commission can accept modifications to existing State aid commitments by Member States, if the new commitments are equivalent to the original ones. In its assessment, the Commission took into account several factors, including NBG's divestment efforts and that NBG's viability is only moderately affected by the delay in the sale of certain limited assets. On this basis, and based on the compensatory measures to further rationalise NBG's operations as well as the proposed prolongation of most of the key existing commitments, the Commission concluded that the proposed commitments can be considered equivalent to the existing commitments under the 2015 decision. Therefore, it has approved Greece's new commitment package under EU State aid rules. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register, under the case number SA.43365. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of joint control over IFCO Group by Triton and Luxinva

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over IFCO Systems B.V. of the Netherlands, by Triton Fund V GP S.à r.l. of Luxembourg, Triton Managers V Limited, Triton Fund V F&F No. 3 General Partner Limited and TFF V Limited, all three of Jersey (together referred to as “Triton Fund V”), and Luxinva S.A. of Luxembourg. The IFCO Group is active in the food transportation packaging sector. Triton Fund V belongs to a group of independent European private equity funds managed and advised by the Triton group. Luxinva is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a government entity owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which manages a global investment portfolio. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because of its limited impact on the food transportation packaging sector. 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.9335. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

 

 

Calendar – Commissioner's weekly activities

 

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

MEX/19/2473


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