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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 12 / 06 / 2019

Brussels, 12 June 2019

COLLEGE MEETING: Deepening Europe's Economic and Monetary Union: Commission takes stock of progress

Ahead of the Euro Summit on 21 June 2019, the European Commission today takes stock of the progress made to deepen Europe's Economic and Monetary Union since the Five Presidents' Report and calls on Member States to take further concrete steps. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “This Commission has fought hard for the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union: a lot has been achieved but a lot remains to be done. This is about creating jobs, growth and social fairness for our citizens. It is about preserving the stability and resilience of our economies and it is about Europe's capacity to take its future into its own hands." The Commission also takes stock of the ongoing work towards developing the international use of the euro, having consulted market participants in different sectors. Finally, in its fourth progress report on the reduction of non-performing loans (NPLs), the Commission today confirms that NPL levels are continuing their downward trajectory towards pre-crisis levels. The ratio of NPLs in EU banks has come down by more than half since 2014, declining to 3.3% in the third quarter of 2018 and down by 1.2 percentage points year-on-year. A press release on deepening Europe's Economic and Monetary Union is available here. A press release on the fourth progress report on the reduction of non-performing loans (NPLs) is available here. A number of factsheets on today's package are available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt - Tel.: +32 229 50055; Vanessa Mock - Tel.: +32 229 56194; Annikky Lamp - Tel.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara - Tel.: +32 229 64976; Guillaume Mercier - Tel.: +32 229-80564)


COLLEGE MEETING:   ‘No-deal' Brexit: European Commission takes stock of preparations ahead of the June European Council (Article 50)

Ahead of the June European Council (Article 50), the European Commission has today taken stock – in its fifth Brexit Preparedness Communication – of the European Union's Brexit preparedness and contingency measures, particularly in light of the decision taken on 11 April by the European Council (Article 50), at the request of and in agreement with the United Kingdom, to extend the Article 50 period to 31 October 2019. In light of the continued uncertainty in the United Kingdom regarding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement – as agreed with the UK government in November 2018 – and the overall domestic political situation, a ‘no-deal' scenario on 1 November 2019 very much remains a possible – although undesirable – outcome. Since December 2017, the European Commission has been preparing for a ‘no-deal' scenario. To date, the Commission has tabled 19 legislative proposals, 18 of which have been adopted by the European Parliament and Council. Political agreement has been reached on the remaining proposal – the contingency Regulation on the EU budget for 2019 –, which is expected to be formally adopted later this month. The Commission has also adopted 63 non-legislative acts and published 93 preparedness notices. In light of the extension of the Article 50 period, the Commission has screened all these measures to ensure that they continue to meet their intended objectives. The Commission has concluded that there is no need to amend any measures on substance and that they remain fit for purpose. The Commission does not plan any new measures ahead of the new withdrawal date. A full press release is available online. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Daniel Ferrie – Tel.:+32 2 299 86500)


COLLEGE MEETING: College of Commissioners receives the Members of the European Court of Auditors

The College of Commissioners is today welcoming the Members of the European Court of Auditors for a regular annual meeting. The objective of this dialogue is to further deepen the working relationship between the two institutions, which share the goal of managing the EU budget in a responsive manner that delivers real added value for the citizens. The focus of this year's meeting will be the challenges ahead of the EU and how lessons from the audit work can help address them. Commissioners will hold three parallel sessions with their counterparts from the European Court of Auditors, on the main challenges outlined in the Commission's Sibiu contribution: Influential and Protective Europe, Fair and Sustainable Europe and Competitive Europe. Audio-visual material from the meeting will be available on EbS. The European Court of Auditors is an important partner of the European Commission in managing the EU budget in an effective manner. It plays a key role in the annual discharge procedure of the EU budget, with its Annual Report bringing a substantial contribution to the procedure. Over the years, the European Court of Auditors has recognised the ongoing efforts of the European Commission to further improve the financial management of the EU budget and to make sure that every euro spent creates added value for the citizens. In 2018 the Court gave a clean bill of health to the EU budget for an 11th year in a row. (For more information: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Andreana Stankova – Tel.: +32 2 295 78 57)


La Commission approuve quatre nouvelles appellations d'origine protégée d'Espagne et d'Italie

La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d'inscription de « La Jaraba », « Vallegarcía », « Los Cerrillos » et « Nizza » dans le registre des appellations d'origine protégée (AOP). « Los Cerillos » et « Vallegarcía » regroupent des vins produits à partir de cépages cultivés dans la province de Ciudad Real dans le centre de l'Espagne.  Les vins rouges sous l'appellation de « la Jaraba » sont quant à eux produits dans la province espagnole de Cuenca. L'appellation « Nizza » couvre des vins rouges produits dans plusieurs municipalités de la province d'Asti située dans le nord-ouest de l'Italie. Ces quatre nouvelles appellations vont rejoindre les 160 appellations d'origine protégées vinicoles déjà enregistrées dont la liste est disponible dans la base de données eAmbrosia. Pour plus d'informations, voir aussi les pages sur la politique de qualité. (Pour plus d'informations: Daniel Rosario – Tél: +32 2 29 56185; Clémence Robin – Tél: +32 229 52 509)


Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of Multi-Color Corporation by Platinum Equity Group

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Multi-Color Corporation (‘MCC') by Platinum Equity Group, both of the US. MCC is active in the manufacture and supply of labels to commercial customers across a range of sectors, including home and personal care, food and beverage, healthcare, consumer durables, and wine and spirits. Platinum Equity is active in the merger, acquisition and operation of companies that provide services and solutions to customers in a broad range of businesses, including information technology, telecommunication, logistics, metal services, manufacturing and distribution. WS Packaging Group, Inc. (‘WSP') is a portfolio company of Platinum Equity, which is active in the manufacture and supply of labels. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the minor horizontal overlaps between the companies' activities and the limited increase in concentration on affected 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 M.9328. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)





Alliance Afrique-Europe: le vice-président Katainen au Togo et au Ghana afin de mobiliser des investissements durables

Le vice-président Jyrki Katainen, en charge de l'emploi, de la croissance, des investissements et de la compétitivité, sera à Lomé (Togo) et à Accra (Ghana) du 12 au 14 juin. Le 13 juin, le vice-président Katainen rencontrera le président du Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, et ouvrira le tout premier Forum économique Togo-Union européenne, auquel plus de 600 investisseurs sont attendus. L'événement vise à mobiliser les investissements privés dans le pays pour créer de la croissance et des emplois. Cette approche est conforme à l'Alliance Afrique-Europe pour stimuler l'investissement et le commerce pour une croissance et des emplois durables, alors que des investissements sont d'ores et déjà déclenchés par le plan d'investissement extérieur de l'UE. Le Vice-Président participera également au lancement de la chambre de commerce de l'UE au Togo et rencontrera plusieurs membres du gouvernement togolais. Le 13 juin, au Ghana, le vice-président Katainen rencontrera le vice-président du Ghana, Mahamudu Bawumia. Il prononcera également un discours sur l'Alliance Afrique-Europe au centre de formation aux technologies de l'information et de la communication de Kofi Annan. Le 14 juin, le Vice-Président se rendra au nouveau terminal du port de Tema, le principal port du Ghana. Il participera à un déjeuner de travail avec des ministres et des représentants du secteur privé pour discuter de l'amélioration d'un environnement favorable aux entreprises. Dans l'après-midi, le vice-président Katainen prononcera un discours lors de la cérémonie de clôture du premier Forum des entreprises Ghana-UE. (Pour plus d'informations: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela - Tél.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi - Tél.: +32 229 69140)


Vice-President Šefčovič in Moscow to discuss strategic energy-related issues

On 13 June, Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will be in Moscow to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak. The meeting will centre on several topics of strategic importance, such as trilateral gas talks set to ensure the long-term continuation of gas flows from Russia to the EU via Ukraine as of 2020. The Commission believes that the next trilateral meeting at ministerial level should be convened as soon as possible. During the visit the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity systems with the continental Europe, aimed at completing the European Union's internal energy market, will also be discussed: “The Commission stands fully behind this project, while making sure it happens in an orderly fashion and without any risk to the Baltics, Russia, including Kaliningrad, as well as Belarus,” Vice-President Šefčovič said. The programme in Moscow includes a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov and a discussion with European business representatives. A press point by Vice-President Šefčovič and Minister Novak will take place following their meeting and will be available on EbS. (For more Information: Anca Paduraru + 32 229-91269  Lynn Rietdorf + 32 229-74959)


Commissioner Thyssen participates in Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council

Tomorrow, 13 June, the first leg of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council meeting will take place in Luxembourg, in the presence of Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen. The meeting will start by a discussion on the selection of the seat of the European Labour Authority. Four Member States submitted offers to host the European Labour Authority: Bulgaria (Sofia), Cyprus (Nicosia), Latvia (Riga) and Slovakia (Bratislava). The European Labour Authority (ELA) was announced in September 2017 by President Juncker in his State of the European Union address, and aims to ensure that EU rules on labour mobility be enforced in a fair, simple and effective way.Following this decision, Ministers are expected to confirm the political agreements that were found on the Commission's proposals for a better work-life balance for working parents and carers and more transparent and predictable working conditions. Ministers will also have a discussion on the employment and social policy aspects of the 2019 European Semester, and are expected to adopt conclusions on the European Court of Auditor's report on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived as well as the changing world of work and its implications on workers' safety and health. Finally, the Ministers will be briefed on the progress achieved on the Directive on Equal Treatment, the regulation on European social statistics and the revision of the rules on the coordination of social security systems. The full meeting agenda can be found here. A press conference will take place around 16:30 and will be livestreamed here(For more Information: Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: + 32 229 67094)


Commissioner Hahn in Baku to attend the EU – Azerbaijan business forum

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn is travelling to Baku today to participate at the EU–Azerbaijan Business Forum and for a bilateral visit to Azerbaijan. Ahead of the mission, Commissioner Hahn said: “Cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan has intensified over the last few years: we adopted partnership priorities, launched high level dialogues on transport and security and we are in the final stages of negotiation on a new EU-Azerbaijan agreement. A lot has been done in the framework of the Eastern Partnership to promote regional cooperation, and bring tangible results to citizens. In my visit I will discuss connectivity and economy, support to civil society, youth and promotion of human rights, which is crucial for our relations”. Commissioner Hahn will meet with key political representatives including President Ilham Aliyev, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev as well as representatives of civil society and of youth organisations. The Commissioner will launch the EU funded project "Vulnerable children's civil society associations" implemented by UNICEF. Photos and videos of the visit will be available on EbS. More information on EU-Azerbaijan relations is available in our dedicated factsheet. (For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)


Commissioner Navracsics in Austria for Citizens' Dialogue

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, will be in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, tomorrow morning (13 June) to hold a Citizens' Dialogue with around 170 students of the Anton Bruckner University alongside Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra and a native of Linz. The dialogue will focus on the students' hopes for the future and how they see their role in shaping the future of Europe. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)


Commissioners Mimica and Gabriel in Bucharest to participate in Digital Assembly 2019

Tomorrow, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, will be in Bucharest, Romania, to participate in the 8th edition of the Digital Assembly 2019 co-organised by the Commission and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. This year's Digital Assembly will bring together representatives of EU Member States with stakeholders from industry, academia and civil society. The discussions will focus on what is needed to accelerate the digital transformation and ensure that the EU remains globally competitive (see the press release on the 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index). The full agenda of the Assembly is available here. Commissioners Mimica and Gabriel will attend the final session of the European Union – African Union Digital Economy Task Force (DETF), which will adopt its report with policy recommendations and concrete actions to strengthen cooperation on digital issues between the two continents. The DETF is one of the task forces established as part of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs launched by President Juncker in his 2018 State of the Union Address. The Digital Assembly will also feature the signature of the joint declaration to build a quantum communication infrastructure (QCI) that will boost Europe's capabilities in cybersecurity, quantum technologies and industrial competitiveness.Commissioners Mimica and Gabriel will hold a press conference together with Romanian Minister for Communication and Information Society, Alexandru Petrescu. Tomorrow's press conference can be followed live at 12:15 CEST. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela - Tel.: +32 229 65322; Marietta Grammenou- Tel.: +32 229 83583)


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


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