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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 30 / 08 / 2019

Brussels, 30 August 2019

South America fires: EU Civil Protection Mechanism activated to help Bolivia

Following a request for assistance from Bolivia on 29 August 2019, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated to help in efforts to stop the spread of forest fires in the Chiquitania region. As an immediate first response, the Commission is mobilising a team of experts from EU Member States to be deployed to the affected areas. “The EU stands in solidarity with Bolivia and all countries in the region affected by these devastating fires. The fires in the Amazon region show that climate change has increased the threat of natural disasters globally. We have a common duty to work together to protect our environment”, said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. The European Union's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in close contact with the Bolivian authorities to monitor the situation and channel further EU assistance. In addition, the EU's emergency Copernicus satellite service is currently providing maps of areas hit by forest fires.  (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)


EU invests in modern tram fleet in Dresden, Germany

The EU is investing €102.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund to buy 30 new tram vehicles for the city of Dresden, Saxony, by December 2021. This project will increase the capacity of the network and make it accessible to people with disabilities. Dresden's current population of 550,000 should indeed reach almost 600,000 by 2040 and the tramways are already working at full capacity during peak hours. The EU-funded project will therefore help meet the inhabitants' needs for a reliable and efficient urban transport system. Commissioner Budget and Human Resources Günther H. Oettinger said: “The inhabitants of Dresden will soon enjoy better tram services in their city and, ultimately, better air quality, with this clean transport system.” In 2016, Dresden's trams were used for some 157.1 million journeys, up 18.6 million from 2005. This figure is expected to rise by a further 19.5 million by 2023. (For more information: Christian Spahr – Tel.: +32 2 295 00 55, Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tel.: +32 229 56169)


Jeunes traducteurs: la Commission lance son concours de traduction 2019 pour les écoles secondaires

La Commission européenne a annoncé aujourd'hui la 13e édition de son concours annuel “Juvenes Translatores destiné aux lycéens de toute l'Europe. Dès le 2 septembre, les écoles de tous les États membres de l'UE pourront s'inscrire en ligne afin que leurs élèves puissent se mesurer à des pairs de toute l'Europe. Cette année, les adolescents participants devront traduire un texte portant sur ce que les jeunes peuvent faire pour contribuer à façonner l'avenir de l'Europe. Günther H. Oettinger, commissaire européen chargé du budget, des ressources humaines et de la traduction, a déclaré à cet égard: « En Europe, nous avons la chance de parler et de nous comprendre dans quelques dizaines de langues différentes. Il est formidable de constater que les jeunes apprécient les avantages de la maîtrise des langues étrangères et sont avides d'en apprendre davantage. Je les encourage à participer au concours Juvenes Translatores de cette année et à montrer leurs impressionnantes compétences linguistiques. » Les participants pourront choisir n'importe laquelle des 552 combinaisons linguistiques possibles entre les 24 langues officielles de l'UE. Au cours de l'édition de l'année dernière, les élèves ont utilisé, au total, 154 combinaisons linguistiques. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'informations: Mina Andreeva – Tél.: +32 229 91382; Andreana Stankova – Tél.: +32 2 29 57857)


Baltic Sea fishing opportunities for 2020: Commission proposes a prudent package to ensure sustainable fisheries

Today, the Commission has adopted a proposal for fishing opportunities for the commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea for 2020. The Commission proposes to increase catches for herring in the Gulf of Riga and maintain the levels for salmon in the Gulf of Finland. For the remaining stocks (central, western and Gulf of Bothnia herring, plaice, sprat, eastern and western Baltic cod), a reduction in catches is foreseen. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "Despite efforts by our fishermen and authorities, the situation of fish stocks in the Baltic is serious, particularly for eastern Baltic cod and western herring. In line with scientific advice, we propose a prudent package to ensure that sustainable fisheries can continue in the Baltic Sea over time." The proposed total allowable catches (TAC) are based on scientific advice from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas and follow the Baltic multiannual management plan adopted in 2016 by the Council and the European Parliament. Joint efforts by stakeholders in recent years have succeeded in rebuilding important stocks in the Baltic Sea and in allowing, where complete scientific advice is available, to set 7 out of 8 TACs in line with the principle of maximum sustainable yield, covering 95% of fish landings in volume. However, scientists have recently discovered that the situation was less stable than previously estimated.Decisive action is therefore necessary to ensure all stocks are at levels that allow for sustainable exploitation. The Council will now examine the Commission proposal, with the aim of adopting it on 14-15 October. A news item is available here. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Ana Parrondo Crespo – Tel.: +32 229 81325)


State aid: Commission approves compensation to energy-intensive companies in Poland for indirect emission costs

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Polish plans to compensate energy-intensive companies for higher electricity prices resulting from indirect emission costs under the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). The scheme will cover the period 2019-2020, with a provisional budget of PLN 1.78 billion (approximately €417 million). The measure will benefit companies active in Poland in sectors facing significant electricity costs and which are particularly exposed to international competition. The compensation will be granted through a partial refund of electricity costs to eligible companies. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular its Guidelines on certain State aid measures in the context of the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme post-2012 and found that it is in line with the requirements of the Guidelines. In particular, the scheme will avoid an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions due to companies relocating to countries outside the EU with less stringent environmental regulation. Furthermore, the Commission concluded that the aid granted is limited to the minimum necessary. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the State Aid Register under the case number SA.53850. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)


Mergers: Commission clears the creation of a joint venture between Sumitomo and PT Tuah Turangga Agung

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture between Sumitomo Corporation ("SC") of Japan and PT Tuah Turangga Agung ("TTA") of Indonesia, ultimately controlled by Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited of China. The joint venture will be active in the trading of thermal coal, predominantly in Asia. SC provides integrated trading and investment activities, in particular trading of metal products, transportation and construction of systems, environment and infrastructure, chemicals and electronics, media, networks and lifestyle related goods, mineral resources, energy and life sciences, in Japan and around the world. TTA is active in mining and trading of coal, in Asia. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns, because of the limited activities of the joint venture in the European Economic Area. 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.9498. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344)


Concentrations : La Commission autorise l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint d'une entreprise commune nouvellement créée par les filiales d'AXA et le groupe NN

La Commission Européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle en commun de l'entreprise commune nouvellement créée par les sociétés Lindisfarne S.L., basée en Espagne, ESI One S.à.r.l. (« ESI »), basée en France, Alterimmo Europe S.à.r.l, basée en France, toutes contrôlées in fine par la société AXA S.A., basée en France, et REI Spain B.V., basée aux Pays-Bas, qui appartient au groupe NN, basé aux Pays-Bas. L'entreprise commune sera active dans le marché de la location de locaux d'habitation en Espagne. Les sociétés Lindisfarne, ESI, et Alterimmo sont actives dans la gestion immobilière en Espagne et en Europe. AXA est un groupe global actif dans le secteur de l'assurance et dans la gestion d'investissements. REI intervient dans l'acquisition, la détention et la gestion d'actifs immobiliers en Europe. Le groupe NN est une institution financière globale offrant des services d'investissement et d'assurance. La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, compte tenu de son impact très limité sur la structure du marché. La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée de contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d'affaire M.9354. (Pour plus d'informations: Lucía Caudet – Tél.: +32 229 56182; Giulia Astuti - Tél.: +32 229 55344)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Gategroup by Temasek and RRJ Captital

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control of Gategroup of Switzerland by Temasek of Singapore and RRJ Capital of Hong Kong. Gategroup is mainly active in in-flight catering and retail on-board services, as well as the provision of related airport hospitality solutions at global level. Temasek is an investment company that owns a majority shareholding in Singapore Airlines, which operates passenger flights to/from certain European airports where Gategroup is active. RRJ Capital is an investment firm that focuses on private equity investments in Asia. The Commission's investigation found that to due Gategroup's significant activities in the provision of in-flight catering and retail on-board services, the transaction gives rise to vertical links between Gategroup and Singapore Airlines' activities in Europe. However, given the very low market share of Singapore Airlines in passenger air transport services at certain European airports, the investigation confirmed that following the transaction, Gategroup would not have the ability or incentive to restrict Singapore Airlines competitors' access to catering and retail on-board services at these airports. The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns. 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.9418. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel. +32 229 56182; Giulia Astuti - Tel.: +32 229 55344) 


Eurostat: Le taux d'inflation annuel de la zone euro stable à 1,0%

Le taux d'inflation annuel de la zone euro est estimé à 1,0% en août 2019, stable par rapport à juillet selon une estimation rapide publiée par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. S'agissant des principales composantes de l'inflation de la zone euro, l'alimentation, l'alcool & le tabac devrait connaître le taux annuel le plus élevé en août (2,1%, comparé à 1,9% en juillet), suivis des services (1,3%, comparé à 1,2% en juillet), des biens industriels hors énergie (0,4%, stable comparé à juillet) et de l'énergie (0,6%, comparé à 0,5% en juillet). Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'information: Johannes Bahrke – Tél.: +32 229 58615; Enda McNamara – Tél.: +32 229 64976; Annikky Lamp – Tél.: +32 229 56151)


Eurostat: Le taux de chômage à 7,5% dans la zone euro et à 6,3% dans l'UE28 en juillet 2019

Dans la zone euro (ZE19), le taux de chômage corrigé des variations saisonnières s'est établi à 7,5% en juillet 2019, stable comparé à juin 2019 et en baisse par rapport au taux de 8,1% de juillet 2018. Cela est le taux le plus faible enregistré dans la zone euro depuis juillet 2008. Dans l'UE28, le taux de chômage s'est établi à 6,3% en juillet 2019, inchangé par rapport au taux de juin 2019 et en baisse de 6,8% en juillet 2018. Cela demeure le taux le plus faible enregistré dans l'UE28 depuis le début de la série mensuelle sur le chômage en janvier 2000. Ces chiffres sont publiés par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne. Eurostat estime qu'en juillet 2019, 15,613 millions d'hommes et de femmes étaient au chômage dans l'UE28, dont 12,322 millions dans la zone euro. Par rapport à juin 2019, le nombre de chômeurs a augmenté de 27 000 dans l'UE28 et a diminué de 16 000 dans la zone euro. Comparé à juillet 2018, le chômage a baissé de 1,093 million de personnes dans l'UE28 et de 898 000 dans la zone euro. Un communiqué de presse est à votre disposition en ligne. (Pour plus d'information: Christian Wigand – Tél.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tél.: +32 229 67094)






Commissioner Thyssen participates in G20 meeting of Labour and Employment Ministers

On 1 and 2 September, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, will attend the G20 meeting of Labour and Employment Ministers in Matsuyama, Japan. This year's G20 ministerial gathering focuses on ‘Shaping a Human-Centred Future of Work'. Commissioner Thyssen will reaffirm the EU's commitment to multilateralism and a human-centred future of work. These topics are particularly aligned with EU priorities, not least with the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Commissioner will share the progress made during the Juncker Commission in this area, for instance with the new Directives on a better work-life balance for working parents and carers and on predictable and transparent working conditions, the recommendation on access to social protection for all workers and the self-employed and the new European Labour Authority. Commissioner Thyssen will participate in working sessions on social dialogue, demographic change, gender equality, new forms of work and on ending child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains. The main outcomes of these discussions will be summarised in the ‘Matsuyama Declaration'. The gathering of ministers will also be an occasion for Commissioner Thyssen to meet with the Turkish Minister of Family, Labour and Social Services, Zehra Zümrüt Selcuk, the Spanish Minister of Labour, Migrations and Social Security, Magdalena Valerio Cordero, and the President of the International Social Security Association, Prof. Dr. Joachim Breuer. (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253; Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: + 32 229 86500)



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