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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 07 / 04 / 2015

Brussels, 07 April 2015

EU increases its emergency aid in Yarmouk, Syria

The European Union is providing emergency funding of €2.5 million for life-saving assistance to Palestinian refugees in Syria. “The suffering of civilians in Yarmouk camp is reaching intolerable levels. Once again, I strongly urge all parties to the conflict to allow immediate and unconditional humanitarian access, and to afford all necessary protection to Palestinian refugees and all affected civilian populations in Syria,” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. With intense fighting in the Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, the humanitarian situation is dramatically deteriorating for 18 000 Palestinian refugees and Syrians in the camp. The EU's aid (cash and emergency relief items) will be channelled through UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees. Full press release available here. (for more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69921; Irina Novakova, +32 2 295 75 17)

EUROSTAT - February 2015 compared with January 2015, Industrial producer prices up by 0.5% in euro area, up by 0.6% in EU28

In February 2015, compared with January 2015, industrial producer prices rose by 0.5% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.6% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In January 2015 prices fell by 1.1% in in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28. In February 2015, compared with February 2014, industrial producer prices decreased by 2.8% in the euro area and by 3.4% in the EU28. A EUROSTAT press release is available online. (for more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Heli Pietila – Tel.: +32 229 64950)

State aid: Commission approves three aid schemes for the French aviation sector

Today the Commission approved, for the first time, three state aid schemes for airports and airlines on the basis of the new Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines adopted in February 2014. The Commission considers, in particular, that these schemes for the French aviation sector promote regional connectivity without causing undue distortion of competition in the Single Market. The schemes will enable France to grant individual aid that complies with the criteria laid down in the Guidelines without further intervention by the Commission. Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy, said: "These Commission decisions illustrate the effectiveness of the new rules on state aid to airports and airlines. The three aid schemes approved today will enable more sustainable support to the European aviation sector, thereby improving the mobility of citizens." Read the full press release here. (for more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control in Porterbrook by Allianz, AIMCo and UTA

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control in Porterbrook of the United Kingdom, by Allianz of Germany, Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) of Canada and Utilities Trust of Australia (UTA) of Australia.  Porterbrook supplies all types of railway rolling stock and associated equipment to British passenger train operating companies and freight companies. Allianz offers insurance and asset management products and services. AIMCo is a Canadian institutional investment fund manager. UTA invests mainly in energy, utilities and transport and has a portfolio of assets in Australia, Europe and the United States. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the companies are not active 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.7536.  (for more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)




World Health Day: Commissioner Andriukaitis joins forces with the World Health Organisation to highlight the importance of food safety

On the occasion of the World Health Day today, Tuesday 7 April, Commissioner Andriukaitis said: "This year, World Health Day is dedicated to food safety, a topic that reminds us that all too often in Europe we take for granted that the food on our plates is safe. Europe should be proud that its 500 million consumers benefit from the highest food safety standards in the world and that many other countries take them as the norm to be followed. However, with the globalisation of trade in food, maintaining food safety and hygiene standards whilst providing non-EU countries access to our market is more important than ever." Read the full statement online. (for more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel. +32 229 87624)

Statement by First Vice-President Timmermans, Commissioners Thyssen, Jourová and Creţu ahead of International Roma day on 8 April 2015

"Today, the Roma community, Europe's largest ethnic minority with around 6 million people living in the European Union, still face exclusion, inequality and discrimination. Access to jobs, education, housing and healthcare remains unequal for many; Roma children often cannot benefit from the same quality of education as other children. Change will not happen overnight, but the European institutions and Member States are committed to fighting discrimination and improving integration. Since 2011, the EU has successfully put Roma integration onto the political agenda across Europe. The European Commission is also supporting Member States in their work to implement public policies and services for Roma inclusion; the new financial framework 2014-2020, for example, makes it easier to use EU funds for the socio-economic integration of the Roma population." Read the full statement online. More information on EU's Roma policy is available online. (for more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)




Vice-President Dombrovskis on European Semester visit to Bucharest

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, will pay an official visit to Romania tomorrow 8 April, to discuss the European Semester, Romania's structural reforms and the country's financial assistance programme. The Vice-President will meet Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu, Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, National Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu as well as Members of Parliament and social partners. Vice-President Dombrovskis is travelling to Member States as part of the Commission's outreach on the European Semester of economic policy coordination. This takes place in the light of Commission's assessment of Member States' economic and social developments, or Country Reports, published in February. The purpose of the visits is to engage national authorities and social partners in a constructive discussion on the issues raised in the reports. After Romania, the Vice-President will visit Italy on 13 April and Germany on 22-23 April. (for more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)

Commissioner Avramopoulos in Egypt to discuss Migration

Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos is in Cairo today and tomorrow to discuss migration. Commissioner Avramopoulos will notably meet with the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and with the Prime Minister of Egypt Ibrahim Mahlab. He will also meet with Egyptian Minister of Manpower and Migration Nahed Ashry and Egyptian Minister of the Interior, Magdy Abdel Ghafar. A press point by Commissioner Avramopoulos is foreseen at 11:30 EET tomorrow8 April 2015. (for more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)


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