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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 26 / 07 / 2019

Brussels, 26 July 2019

Sécheresse en Europe : La Commission présente des aides supplémentaires pour les agriculteurs européens

La Commission européenne a annoncé hier son soutien aux agriculteurs confrontés aux vagues de sécheresse qui frappent l'Europe. Le commissaire chargé de l'agriculture, Phil Hogan, a déclaré: « Ces conditions climatiques prolongées sont préoccupantes pour nos agriculteurs. La Commission maintient des contacts étroits avec les États membres et évalue la situation sur le terrain. Comme toujours, nous nous tenons prêt à venir en aide aux agriculteurs touchés par la sécheresse. C'est pour cela que nous avons décidé de mettre en place des avances de paiement plus élevées ainsi que des dérogations à certaines règles du verdissement pour faciliter la production d'aliments pour animaux. » D'une part, les agriculteurs européens pourront recevoir un pourcentage plus élevé de leurs avances en matière de paiements directs et de paiements au titre du développement rural. D'autre part, afin de pouvoir nourrir leurs animaux, ils disposeront d'une plus grande souplesse quant à l'utilisation de terres qui, en temps normal, ne sont pas utilisées à des fins de production. L'adoption d'autres types de dérogations au « verdissement » pourront également être envisagés, permettant aux agriculteurs une plus grande souplesse de production. Pour plus amples informations, vous pouvez consulter le communiqué de presse disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations : Daniel Rosario – Tél.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tél.: +32 229 51383)

 

Commission extends post-programme framework for Greece and discontinues position of Mission Chief

The European Commission has adopted a decision to extend the Enhanced Surveillance framework for Greece by six months, as provided for under Regulation (EU) No 472/2013 (part of the so-called "two-pack"). This extension is a normal and expected process that serves to ensure continued support for the completion, delivery and implementation of reforms agreed under Greece's stability support programme, in line with the commitments made by the Greek authorities. The implementation of these reforms is crucial to further strengthening Greece's economic recovery. Earlier this week, the Commission decided to appoint Mr Declan Costello, currently the Mission Chief for Greece, to the position of Deputy Director-General at the Directorate‑General for Economic and Financial Affairs. Mr Costello's departure from his position as Mission Chief follows the successful conclusion of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme last summer, and the position will not be filled again. Enhanced Surveillance reports are published regularly and are available here. The next Enhanced Surveillance report will be published in autumn. More information on the Enhanced Surveillance framework for Greece is available here(For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

 

EU and Canada agree on an interim appeal arrangement for disputes in the World Trade Organization

EU and Canada yesterday agreed on an interim appeal arbitration arrangement for potential future trade disputes. The agreed rules will apply in the likely event the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is unable to hear appeals as of December 2019. The interim arrangement is based on existing rules of the WTO and aims to preserve an effective and binding dispute settlement system, and thus thepossibility to enforce the multilateral trade rules. An enduring absence of consensus between WTO members to fill the vacancies on the WTO Appellate Body risks currently undermining the viability of the international rules-based trade system. While an interim solution might become necessary, the resolution of the blockage of the existing Appellate Body remains a clearpriority for both partners. Both EU and Canada intend to continue working with all WTO members to restore a fully operational Appellate Body without delay. For more information, see the joint statement available online and the text of the interim appeal arrangement(For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel.: +32 229 51383)

 

Inauguration du tramway de Caen, un projet cofinancé par l'UE

La Commission européenne salue l'inauguration demain du tramway de Caen, un projet financé à hauteur de 15 millions d'euros par le FEDER (fonds européen de développement régional). Les 267 000 habitants de l'agglomération caennaise, en Normandie, bénéficieront désormais d'un moyen de transport plus fiable et confortable et qui contribuera à atteindre nos objectifs européens pour une mobilité propre.  Ce projet participera également au désenclavement des quartiers prioritaires de la politique de la ville. Le commissaire Pierre Moscovici, en charge des Affaires économiques et financières, de la fiscalité et des douanes, a commenté : « Ce tramway est un beau projet de la politique de cohésion, qui permettra le développement dynamique et harmonieux du bassin de Caen et améliorera la qualité de vie des habitants. Grâce à cet investissement de l'UE, les Caennais auront accès à un moyen de transport moderne, rapide et confortable et bénéficieront à terme d'un air plus pur dans la région. » Le projet concerne la transformation de la ligne 1 de TVR (Transport sur voie réservée) en tramway fer et la mise en place de la ligne « Presqu'île en tramway ». Les deux lignes amélioreront la qualité de service notamment sur le tronc central, avec des intervalles de passages d'environ 3 minutes 30, de 5h30 à 1h toute l'année. (Pour plus d'informations: Christian Spahr – Tél.: +32 2 295 00 55; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tél.: +32 229 56169)

 

The European Union opens a structured consultation on the future Eastern Partnership

The European Union institutions open a board and inclusive structured consultation on the future strategic direction of the Eastern Partnership(EaP). Over the past decade, the strengthened cooperation between the EU, its Member States, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukrainehas proven to be mutually beneficial and has been delivering concrete results for citizens.The joint reform agenda of “20 Deliverables for 2020”, has successfully achieved key progress in working towards building stronger economies, stronger governance, stronger connectivity and stronger societies across the region. To mark the 10th anniversary of the EaP, a High Level Conference took place on 14 May, during which President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker launched discussions on the future of the Eastern Partnership.In this context, the European Council has tasked the Commission and the European External Action Service to present proposals for the future of the Eastern Partnership. Member States and Eastern partner countries; international organisations; international financial institutions; civil society; business and the private sector; academia; think-tanks; youth; media and other stakeholders are invited to share their views on a new post-2020 policy frameworkon the following website by 31 October 2019. Dedicated consultation events will be also held in partner countries and in the EU during this period. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86576; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887; Adam Kaznowski - Tel.: +32 229 89359)

 

Anti-corruption: Third report on combatting corruption in the private sector marks progress

Today, the European Commission is publishing its third report on combatting corruption in the private sector. The report finds that many Member States have stepped up their efforts to amend national legislation and bring sanctions linked to corruption in line with the minimum standards set out by the Council Framework Decision. The Commission's assessment focused on Member States' efforts to: criminalise various aspects of active and passive corruption in the private sector, including bribery; penalise the instigation of corruption as well as aiding or abetting corruption; and to implement legal penalties for individuals. Work must continue to enforce the measures and to eliminate possible limitations to the scope of the Decision, such as, for example, omitting non-profit entities or specifying certain conditions in which the offence may be committed. In any event, the Commission will continue to support Member States in transposing, implementing and enforcing EU legislation in the field of anti-corruption. The report is available online. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423).

 

The Commission authorises nine genetically modified products for food and feed uses and one as ornamental cut flower

Today, the Commission authorised ten Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): seven for food and feed uses (cotton GHB614xLLCotton25xMON1598, maize 5307, maize MON 87403, maize 4114, maize MON87411, maize Bt11xMIR162x1507xGA21, soybean MON87751), two renewed authorisations also for food and feed (oilseed rape Ms8xRf3 and maize 1507xNK603) and one carnation as ornamental cut flower. 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. Given the outcome of the process the European Commission has the legal duty 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: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.:  +32 2 29 56186; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 2 29 87624)

 

TRADE: Commission publishes the latest updates on trade and investment talks with Australia, New-Zealand, Indonesia, Chile and China

As part of its commitment to transparency, implemented since the beginning of the current Commission mandate, the European Commission today published its regular reports summarising the latest progress in trade negotiations with Australia, Chile, Indonesia and New Zealand, as well as the investment talks with China. This relates the negotiating rounds that took place from 17 to 21 June with Indonesia, from 1 to 5 July with Australia, the following week (8-17 July) with New Zealand, and just a week ago (14-19 July) with Chile. In addition, the Commission has made publicly available the latest EU text proposals presented in the talks with Australia and New Zealand. For all the details, please see our trade transparency page, as well as the page dedicated to all ongoing and concluded EU trade agreements. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel.: +32 229 51383)

 

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of joint control over CEPSA by the Carlyle Group and Mubadala

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A.U. (“CEPSA”) of Spain by The Carlyle Group (“Carlyle”) of the US and Mubadala Investment Company PJSC (“Mubadala”) of the United Arab Emirates. Prior to the acquisition, CEPSA was solely controlled by Mubadala. CEPSA is an integrated oil and gas company. Carlyle is a global investment firm, which manages funds that invest globally across four business segments, including corporate private equity, real assets, global credit, and investment solutions. Mubadala is active in direct principal investments in a wide range of sectors, including energy, utilities, real estate, aerospace, metals and mining, oil and gas, petrochemicals, semiconductors and a global portfolio of financial holdings. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns as the horizontal and vertical overlaps between the activities of the companies are moderate. 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.9381. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke - Tel.: +32 229 58615; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526) 

 

State aid: Commission approves prolongation of amendments to the Dutch tonnage tax scheme

The European Commission has authorised, under EU State aid rules, the prolongation of three amendments to the Dutch tonnage tax regime until 31 December 2028. Originally approved in 2009 and 2010, the three measures concern a reduced tonnage tax rate for large vessels exceeding 50 000 net tons, a reduced tonnage tax base for ship management companies and the application of the tonnage tax schemes to cable-laying vessels, pipeline laying vessels, research vessels and crane vessels. The Commission assessed the prolongation under its Guidelines on State aid to maritime transport and the Ship management Communication and concluded that it is in line with EU State aid rules. With the prolongation of the three measures, the Netherlands want to contribute to a stronger Dutch and EU maritime cluster and encourage reflagging to Dutch and Member States' registers from outside the EU. In order to obtain the Commission's approval for the prolongation, the Dutch authorities committed notably to change their tonnage tax law with regard (i) to flagging requirements for ship management companies, (ii) to requiring at least one EU or European Economic Area flagged vessel in the fleet when entering the tonnage tax scheme and (iii) to imposing a 50% cap on the revenues of activities considered ancillary to maritime transport. The Netherlands will implement the changes by 1 January 2020. The financial impact of the three measures is estimated at €6.5 million per year. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public State-Aid Register, under the case number SA.51263. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke - Tel.: +32 229 58615; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526) 

 

State aid: Commission approves support for six offshore wind farms in France

The European Commission has found support to six large offshore wind farms in French territorial waters to be in line with EU State aid rules. The six sites are located in French territorial waters off the North-Western coast of France. The sites are "Courselles-sur-Mer", "Fécamp", "Saint-Nazaire", "Iles d'Yeu / Noirmoutier", "Dieppe / Le Tréport" and "Saint-Brieuc". The selected installations will receive support in the form of feed-in tariffs over a period of 20 years. The construction of the first of the wind farms is to start this year and they should be operational as of 2022. Once finalised, the wind farms will increase France's renewables generation capacity by about three gigawatts. The Commission assessed the six support measures under EU State aid rules, in particular the Commission's 2008 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection.The Commission found that: (a) the support measures will help France boost its share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources to meet its climate targets, in line with the environmental objectives of the EU; (b) the level of aid granted to the six projects is proportionate and does not entail overcompensation of the beneficiaries, in line with the requirements of the Guidelines. On this basis, the Commission has concluded that the measures will encourage the development of renewable energy and will help France meet its climate targets, without unduly distorting competition. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke - Tel.: +32 229 58615; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526) 

 

Eurostat : Le revenu réel des ménages par habitant en hausse dans la zone euro et dans l'UE28, la consommation réelle par habitant en hausse dans la zone euro et stable dans l'UE28 (premier trimestre 2019)

Dans la zone euro, en termes réels, le revenu des ménages par habitant a augmenté de 0,6% au premier trimestre 2019, après une hausse de 0,4% au trimestre précédent. La consommation réelle des ménages par habitant a augmenté de 0,4% au premier trimestre 2019, après une augmentation de 0,1% au quatrième trimestre 2018.En ce qui concerne l'UE28, le revenu réel des ménages par habitant a augmenté de 0,3% au premier trimestre 2019, semblable au trimestre précédent. La consommation réelle des ménages par habitant est restée stable au premier trimestre 2019, après une hausse de 0,2% au quatrième trimestre 2018. Ces informations proviennent des données détaillées ajustées des variations saisonnières sur les comptes européens trimestriels des secteurs publiés par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne, et la Banque centrale européenne (BCE). Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tél.: +32 229 67083; Sara Soumillion – Tél.: + 32 229 67094)

 

 

STATEMENTS

 

 

Timely testing saves lives: Statement by Commissioner Andriukaitis on the World Hepatitis Day

Each year on this day, we have an opportunity to reflect how far we have come on the path to eliminating hepatitis globally, but also, to think how much more needs to be done to achieve this goal by 2030. ‘Invest in eliminating hepatitis', this year's theme could not be more timely in encouraging us all to set a clear direction for investment to ensure long-term, patient-focused results can be reached.  It saddens me to see the large number of people still living in the EU/EEA with Hepatitis B – which is preventable, and Hepatitis C - which is both preventable and curable. The figures are overwhelming - an estimated 4.7 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B, 3.9 million with hepatitis C, and we lose more lives to Hepatitis B and C than HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined. […] This situation can and has to change. […] Like other communicable diseases, vaccination, testing, early diagnosis and linkage to care for hepatitis can interrupt transmission and save lives. So my one simple message today is: we need to focus our efforts on prevention. We have fantastic life-saving preventative tools at our disposal, so let's utilise them. Take vaccination, the great public health alley of our time, that can prevent both hepatitis A and B! A true investment in elimination means making sure these preventative tools are not only available, but accessible to European citizens, and where diagnosis does sadly fall, that they be properly supported with targeted, quality care.” Full statement is available here. You can find more information here. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

 

 

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

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