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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 29 / 03 / 2019

Brussels, 29 March 2019

EU scores final victory in the WTO Boeing dispute

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Appellate Body's ruling yesterday vindicated the EU's long held position that the United States has taken no steps to comply with organisation's rules in respect to support to Boeing. The ruling confirms that the United States has failed to remove the massive and trade-distorting subsidies granted to the aircraft manufacturer and dismissed all of the US appeal points. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “Today's ruling is a welcome one for the EU, its aircraft-producing industry and workers across EU Member States in this strategic sector. The Appellate Body has now settled this case definitively, confirming our view the US has continued to subsidise Boeing despite WTO rulings to the contrary. We will continue to defend a level-playing field for our industry. European companies must be able to compete on fair and equal terms and today's ruling is important in this respect." Yesterday's decision marks the final step in the compliance proceedings in this long running dispute. For more information, see the full press release, the WTO report and the history of the case. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)


Juncker Plan: €100 million for innovative small businesses in Finland

The Investment Plan for Europe, or Juncker Plan, is backing a €100 million agreement signed between the European Investment Bank Group and LocalTapiola, a Finnish lending fund. This agreement is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Juncker Plan, and by Horizon 2020's InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility. Thanks to this agreement, innovative small and medium businesses will receive a financial boost through this financing and will be able to further develop their activities. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "With this agreement supported by the Investment Plan, Finnish small and medium-sized enterprises will get access to the financing they need to grow and innovate. They will join the 929 000 SMEs already benefitting from the Juncker Plan across Europe: we can all be proud of this success." A press release is available here. As of March 2019, the Juncker Plan has mobilised almost €390 billion of additional investments, including €8.1 billion in Finland, and supported 929,000 enterprises across Europe. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)


Financial services: Commission adopts equivalence decision on supervisory and capital requirements in Argentina

The European Commission today recognised that Argentina has requirements equivalent to those of the EU in terms of the prudential and supervisory framework for the purpose of credit-risk weighting. This decision will enable EU banks to apply a more favourable and proportionate capital treatment for exposures to credit institutions and certain public sector entities located in Argentina. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union said: "By adding Argentina to the list of equivalent countries for the purposes of credit risk-weighting, we are further clarifying the capital provisions that EU banks need to hold against certain non-EU exposures. This means EU credit institutions will be able to apply more proportionate capital requirements against their exposures in Argentina. This decision strengthens the single rulebook and benefits EU banks with global operations". The Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) foresees that certain categories of exposures to entities located in third countries, including central governments, can benefit from a more favourable treatment in terms of capital requirements, following the adoption by the Commission of an equivalence decision. The first of such decisions (2014/908/EU), identifying an initial list of equivalent third countries, was adopted by the Commission on 12 December 2014 and subsequently amended twice (Decisions 2016/230/EU and 2016/2358/EU). Today's decision, building on technical advice from the European Banking Authority (EBA), adds Argentina to the list of third countries whose regulatory and supervisory arrangements are deemed equivalent for the purposes of the relevant rules. The Commission, with the assistance of the EBA, continues to monitor the evolution of the supervisory and regulatory arrangements of equivalent third countries. This may result, where relevant developments make it necessary, in the re-assessment of the relevant equivalence decisions. More information is available here. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958)


Legal migration: EU rules are fit for purpose but need better implementation and communication

Today, the European Commission presented its assessment of EU legislation on legal migration, as part of the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme. This 'fitness check' revealed that the current EU rules are largely fit for purpose, providing minimum harmonised procedures and rights for non-EU nationals who follow legal migration paths to the EU. At the same time, the report notes that more efforts are needed to raise awareness about the rights and procedures established by EU legislation and improve their implementation by Member States. In addition, a more harmonised and effective approach should be promoted to attract highly skilled workers. Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship said: “As we move from crisis management to finding long-term structural approaches to migration, a more proactive approach to managing legal migration is needed. This is about economics, stability, growth. We need to better regulate the existing rights and conditions of all those who come to Europe for study, work or family reasons. This is in the interest of the Member States as well as those migrating to the EU legally.” As part of this fitness check the Commission assessed 9 pieces of EU legislation on legal migration and carried out an extensive consultation process with key stakeholders and a public consultation, as well as commissioned an external study. The Commission is also reporting today on the implementation of the 3 Directives on the status of non-EU nationals with long-term residence permits, the right to family reunification and single work permit. All the reports are available online. More information about migrating legally to the EU can also be found on the Immigration Portal. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Kasia Kolanko – Tel.: +32 229 63444)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control of certain Ilva steel service centres by ArcelorMittal and CLN

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control of two Italian steel service centres (the ‘Ilva SSCs') by ArcelorMittal SA of Luxembourg and Coils Lamiere Nastri SpA (‘CLN') of Italy. The Ilva SSCs are two steel service centres located in Legarno and Paderno Dugnano, which were part of the Ilva assets acquired by ArcelorMittal. The Commission cleared the acquisition of control of Ilva's assets (including the concerned steel service centres) by ArcelorMittal in May 2018 (case M.8444). ArcelorMittal is active in the production, distribution, marketing and sale of steel products. CLN is active in the production of steel automotive components and steel wheels, and distribution of steel products. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because: (i) there are only minimal horizontal overlaps between the activities of the companies, and (ii) the vertical links between ArcelorMittal's upstream activities and Ilva SCCs' distribution activities are pre-existing to the transaction. 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.9317. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)






La haute représentante/vice-présidente Mogherini à Tunis pour le Sommet de la Ligue des États arabes

Samedi 30 et dimanche 31 mars, la haute représentante/vice-présidente Federica Mogherini se rendra à Tunis à l'occasion du Sommet de la Ligue des États arabes. La Haute Représentante/Vice-présidente participera pour la troisième fois au Sommet annuel de la Ligue des États arabes, qui se tiendra cette année sous la présidence de la Tunisie. Le Sommet sera une nouvelle occasion d'approfondir les liens entre l'Union européenne et la Ligue des États arabes, suite au premier Sommet UE-Ligue Arabe du 25 février. La Haute Représentante/Vice-présidente prononcera un discours à l'ouverture du Sommet qui sera disponible sur EbS. En marge du Sommet, la Haute Représentante/Vice-présidente rencontrera les leaders tunisiens, afin de discuter de l'ambitieux agenda de travail commun, avec un accent particulier sur le suivi du partenariat Tunisie-UE pour la jeunesse lancé par le président Essebsi et la Haute Représentante/Vice-présidente en décembre 2016. Une rencontre est également prévue avec le président irakien Salih. Précédemment, la Haute Représentante/Vice-présidente participera samedi à la réunion du Quartet pour la Libye convoquée par le secrétaire général de la Ligue des États arabes Gheit, aux côtés du secrétaire général des Nations Unies Guterres, le président de la Commission de l'Union africaine Faki et le Représentant spécial des Nations Unies en Libye Salamé. Cette rencontre permettrade réitérer le soutien de l'UE au Plan d'action de l'ONU pour la Libye et aux efforts du Représentant spécial Salamé pour parvenir à une transition politique durable en Libye. Une conférence de presse commune est prévue à l'issue de la rencontre à 19h30 et sera accessible sur EbS. Les photos et vidéos de la visite seront disponibles sur EbS(Pour plus d'informations: Maja Kocijančič – Tél.: +32 229 86570; Matteo Arisci - Tél: +32 229 80833)


Commissioner Navracsics in Ireland for first Cultural Heritage Platform

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, will be at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Monday to deliver the closing speech at the Platform on Cultural Heritage and Social Innovation. This is the first in a series of three global platforms announced in the European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage, published by the Commission last December to ensure that the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage has a lasting impact. The event on Monday will involve 100 participants from national governments and their agencies, from key global institutions as well as young leaders. Commissioner Navracsics said:The 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage was a great success. Now, we are building on the momentum it has generated to ensure that cultural heritage stays high on the political agenda. This series of platforms will help us explore how we can best promote and safeguard cultural heritage and harness its potential to help us tackle many of the challenges our societies are facing.” The meeting on Monday will focus on heritage as a powerful source of innovation in a variety of areas: revitalising rural communities; crowdsourcing of smart solutions for societal challenges and the promotion of peace around the world. The second platform is planned for Prague in October and the third for Lisbon in 2020. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)



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