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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-04-26

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Commission addresses specificities of social services
  • [02] State aid: Commission opens in-depth inquiry into proposed subsidy to General Motors Belgium
  • [03] State aid: Commission opens in-depth inquiry into proposed subsidy to General Motors Belgium
  • [04] Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Austrian mobile phone operator tele.ring by T-Mobile, subject to conditions
  • [05] Pertes pour les compagnies aériennes suite au 11 septembre 2001: la Commission européenne accepte en partie les mesures prises par la Grèce
  • [06] European Commission takes Greece to Court for aid to Olympic
  • [07] Counterfeiting and piracy: Commission proposes criminal law provisions to combat intellectual property offences
  • [08] State aids: Commission authorises transfer of nature protection areas in the new Laender of Germany
  • [09] Statement by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on the situation in Sri Lanka
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [10] February 2006 compared to January 2006 - Industrial production stable in both euro-zone and EU25
  • [11] February 2006 compared to January 2006 - Industrial new orders up by 2.7% in euro-zone - EU25 up by 0.5%
  • [12] Commission approves acquisition by E.ON of Endesa
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-04-26 Reference: MEX/06/0426 Date: 26/04/2006 EXME06 / 26.4

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Presse etb

    Communication

    26/04/06


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] Commission addresses specificities of social services

    As social services modernise in many EU Member States, often in partnership with the private sector and non-profit organisations, all involved need clarification on how European law affects this evolving situation. A new Communication adopted today by the European Commission addresses this issue and the rapid changes in 'social services of general interest'. The Communication presents for the first time a list of these services' specific characteristics and reviews the support which they receive from various existing community instruments. It also opens up a process of wide consultation, open to all actors of the sectors, Member States, Social Partners, NGOs and operators of social services, through which the Commission will better take into account the specificities of those services when implementing EU legislation. These services differ from country to country, but can include sectors such as social housing, childcare or services towards families and persons in need. However, it does not deal with health services, which will fall under a separate initiative from the Commission.

    [02] State aid: Commission opens in-depth inquiry into proposed subsidy to General Motors Belgium

    The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation to establish whether the €5.33 million grant the Flemish Region intends to give for supporting training at General Motors Belgium in Antwerp is compatible with the EC Treaty rules on state aid. The Commission doubts that the aid incites the company to undertake additional training activities, in which case the aid would not be necessary and would constitute a prohibited operating aid. The opening of an in-depth investigation allows interested parties to comment on the proposed measures. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

    [03] State aid: Commission opens in-depth inquiry into proposed subsidy to General Motors Belgium

    The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation to establish whether the €5.33 million grant the Flemish Region intends to give for supporting training at General Motors Belgium in Antwerp is compatible with the EC Treaty rules on state aid. The Commission doubts that the aid incites the company to undertake additional training activities, in which case the aid would not be necessary and would constitute a prohibited operating aid. The opening of an in-depth investigation allows interested parties to comment on the proposed measures. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

    [04] Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Austrian mobile phone operator tele.ring by T-Mobile, subject to conditions

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Austrian mobile phone operator tele.ring by T- Mobile Austria, subject to conditions and obligations. The Commission’s in-depth investigation showed that the concentration, as initially notified, would have led to a substantial impediment of effective competition on the Austrian market for the provision of mobile telephony services to final consumers. However, in the light of the commitment by the merging parties to divest UMTS frequencies and mobile telephony sites of tele.ring to operators with lower market shares than T-Mobile Austria, the Commission has now concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or a significant part of it.

    [05] Pertes pour les compagnies aériennes suite au 11 septembre 2001: la Commission européenne accepte en partie les mesures prises par la Grèce

    La Commission européenne a décidé aujourd’hui d’autoriser environ 2 millions d’euros d’aides versées par l’Etat grec la compagnie Olympic Airways pour compenser des pertes dues la fermeture de l’espace aérien entre le 11 et le 14 septembre 2001. En revanche, conformément la pratique établie pour d’autres pays la Commission ne peut accepter les mesures prises pour indemniser des vols non effectués après le 14 septembre 2001. La somme récupérer ce titre s’élève environ 2,8 millions d’euros.

    [06] European Commission takes Greece to Court for aid to Olympic

    The European Commission decided today to refer Greece to the European Court of Justice for failure to comply with its state aid decision of 14 September 2005. This decision required Greece to quantify and recover all the unlawfully granted aid to Olympic Airways and Olympic Airlines since December 2002. It also asked Greece to immediately suspend all further payments of aid to Olympic Airways and Olympic Airlines, and gave Greece two months to inform the Commission of the steps taken to comply.

    [07] Counterfeiting and piracy: Commission proposes criminal law provisions to combat intellectual property offences

    The Commission has today adopted a proposal for a directive to combat intellectual property offences that amends the proposal approved by it on 12 July 2005. It is thus responding to the Court ruling of 13 September 2005 in Case C-176/03, according to which the criminal law provisions necessary for the effective implementation of Community law are a matter for Community law . Accordingly, the proposal for a Council framework decision to strengthen the criminal law framework to combat intellectual property offences has been withdrawn and its provisions incorporated into the amended proposal for a directive.

    [08] State aids: Commission authorises transfer of nature protection areas in the new Laender of Germany

    The European Commission has today authorised Germany to transfer the ownership of land for free for the development of sustainable nature protection areas. Only land in nature protection areas, national parks, and in biosphere reservations is eligible for this transfer. The new owners – the Laender or the environmental protection foundations and associations – must maintain and develop these areas permanently according to nature protection goals.

    [09] Statement by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on the situation in Sri Lanka

    “I was shocked and disappointed to hear about the suicide bomb which targeted Lt General Sarath Fonseka and killed several people. I send my condolences to the families of those who were killed in the attack. There can never be any justification for attacks of this nature and I utterly condemn this bombing.” The Commissioner called on the LTTE to cease all violence. She expressed her grave concern about the recent deterioration of the situation in Sri Lanka, with incidents of communal violence and the killing of civilians. “It is totally unacceptable to pursue political goals through violence and this does nothing to help build the climate needed to work towards the lasting peace wanted by the vast majority of people in Sri Lanka.”

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [10] February 2006 compared to January 2006 - Industrial production stable in both euro-zone and EU25

    Seasonally adjusted industrial production remained stable in the euro-zone in February 2006 compared to January 2006. Production grew by 0.2% in both January and December. Output in the EU25 also remained stable in February 2006, after rises of 0.2% in January and of 0.4% in December. In February 2006 compared to February 2005, industrial production rose by 3.2% in the euro-zone and by 2.9% in the EU25. These estimates are released by Eurostat.

    [11] February 2006 compared to January 2006 - Industrial new orders up by 2.7% in euro-zone - EU25 up by 0.5%

    The euro-zone industrial new orders index increased by 2.7% in February 2006 compared to January 2006. The index decreased by 5.7% in January and increased by 5.5% in December. EU25 new orders rose by 0.5% in February 2006, after a fall of 3.5% in January and a rise of 5.9% in December. Excluding ships, railway and aerospace equipment4 industrial new orders grew by 0.3% in February 2006 in the euro-zone and fell by 1.1% in the EU25. In February 2006 compared to February 2005, industrial new orders increased by 13.3% in the euro-zone and by 10.4% in the EU25. Total industry excluding ships, railway and aerospace equipment grew by 10.4% in the euro-zone and by 7.6% in the EU25.

    These estimates are released by Eurostat.

    [12] Commission approves acquisition by E.ON of Endesa

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control through a public takeover bid for Endesa S.A. (Endesa), a Spanish energy company mainly active in the electricity sector, by E.ON AG (E.ON), based in Germany. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it and has therefore approved the concentration. The Commission will continue to keep the development in the German and Spanish gas and electricity markets and the other markets concerned under review.

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Memo sur la Communication de la Commission sur les services sociaux d’intérêt général

    Speech by Stavros Dimas : "Solutions for the responsible recycling of ships" at European Parliament Open Hearing (25/04)

    Speech by Janez Potočnik : "Back to basics - putting excellence at the heart of European Research" at London School of Economics and Political Science (25/04) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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