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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-06-07

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 du 16 mai 2006 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 16 May 2006

  • [01] Aides d’Etat et liberté d’établissement : La Commission réexamine la compensation financière pour la distribution du livret bleu ; ouvre une procédure d’infraction sur les droits spéciaux de distribution des livrets A et bleu
  • [02] Oceans and seas: Commission sets a new vision for Integrated Maritime Policy
  • [03] European Commission authorises Dutch aid to promote the European Train Control System
  • [04] Transport aérien / Régions ultrapériphériques: la Commission européenne autorise l’extension d’une aide française caractère social pour les passagers aériens de la Réunion
  • [05] The European Commission authorizes a State guarantee for the financing of new rail infrastructure in Ireland
  • [06] GALILEO: la Commission dresse l’état des lieux
  • [07] The Commission fully assumes political responsibility for management in 2005
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [08] Commission clears acquisition of Moto UK by Macquarie, Westscheme, Statewide, MTAA and ARF
  • [09] Commission clears acquisition of SSP by EQT
  • [10] April 2006 compared to April 2005 - Volume of retail trade up by 2.8% in euro area - up by 3.8% in EU25
  • [11] EU-Iraq: a new chapter
  • [12] EU and US continue to work jointly on biotechnology research
  • [13] Crisis distillation of wine to be opened in France and Italy
  • [14] Vice-President Margot Wallström to visit Poland, 8-9 June 2006
  • [15] Rédiffusion
  • [16] Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Tele Pizza by CVC
  • [17] Mergers: Commission approves takeover of BOC by Linde, subject to conditions
  • [18] Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Carmen by Boeing
  • [19] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-06-07 Reference: MEX/06/0607 Date: 07/06/2006 EXME06 / 7.6

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communicationb

    07/06/06


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 16 mai 2006 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 16 May 2006

    [01] Aides d’Etat et liberté d’établissement : La Commission réexamine la compensation financière pour la distribution du livret bleu ; ouvre une procédure d’infraction sur les droits spéciaux de distribution des livrets A et bleu

    La Commission européenne a adressé aujourd’hui la France deux décisions concernant les livrets A et bleu, distinctes mais complémentaires: une enquête aide d’Etat limitée au livret bleu, et une procédure d’infraction relative aux droits spéciaux accordés pour les livrets A et bleu. En matière d’aide d’Etat, la Commission poursuit une enquête concernant la compensation octroyée par l’Etat au Crédit Mutuel pour distribuer le livret bleu pour établir s’il y aurait une surcompensation. En ce qui concerne les droits spéciaux octroyés La Poste, aux Caisses d’Epargne et au Crédit Mutuel pour distribuer les livrets A et bleu, la Commission a décidé d’envoyer une lettre de mise en demeure invitant la France lui communiquer ses observations sur leur justification. La Commission craint en effet que ces droits spéciaux ne soient contraires aux dispositions du traité en imposant des obstacles la liberté d’établissement et la libre prestation de services (les articles 43 et 49). Ces décisions n’impliquent aucun changement dans le fonctionnement de ces livrets pour les particuliers.

    [02] Oceans and seas: Commission sets a new vision for Integrated Maritime Policy

    The European Commission is today publishing a Green Paper entitled, “Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European vision for the oceans and seas” asking citizens how they want to deal with oceans and seas and launching one of the largest consultation exercise in the EU’s history. The audition responds to a growing awareness both of the vital role which the sea already plays as a driver of Europe’s prosperity, and of its potential for providing more jobs and greater well-being. The results of this exercise will help the Commission define a new vision for an Integrated Maritime Policy.

    [03] European Commission authorises Dutch aid to promote the European Train Control System

    The Dutch aid measure approved today by the European Commission will promote railway freight transport by supporting the installation of the new European standard for train control. The Commission considers this measure compatible with the proper functioning of the common market.

    [04] Transport aérien / Régions ultrapériphériques: la Commission européenne autorise l’extension d’une aide française caractère social pour les passagers aériens de la Réunion

    La Commission a décidé aujourd’hui d’autoriser la modification d’un régime d’aide d’Etat caractère social, couvrant la même période de ceci au bénéfice de certaines catégories de passagers qui souhaitent rejoindre la France métropolitaine partir de l’île de la Réunion. Cette modification doit permettre de répondre de manière plus efficace au désavantage permanent dont souffrent les habitants de cette île, en ce qu’ils sont confrontés des coûts de transport bien plus élevés que les habitants de France métropolitaine.

    [05] The European Commission authorizes a State guarantee for the financing of new rail infrastructure in Ireland

    The Commission has today decided that the State guarantee which Ireland grants to Cor s Iompair Eirann, the Irish transportation board, for the financing of new rail infrastructure, does not constitute State aid. Accordingly, it has not raised any objections to this measure, which Ireland had notified in 2004.

    [06] GALILEO: la Commission dresse l’état des lieux

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd’hui une communication sur l’état des lieux du programme GALILEO de radionavigation par satellite. Le document décrit les principaux éléments de cet ambitieux projet européen et comprend un calendrier consolidé de mise en oeuvre. Il sera transmis au Parlement européen, au Conseil, au Comité économique et social européen ainsi qu’au Comité des régions.

    [07] The Commission fully assumes political responsibility for management in 2005

    Following the European Parliament and the European Court of Auditors encouragement, the Commission has further formalised the expression of its political responsibility for management of the EU budget, in accordance with article 274 of the Treaty. Today, with the adoption of its Synthesis report for 2005, the Commission has made it clear beyond any doubt that it fully assumes its duties and obligations in this regard. Overall, the Commission considers that the internal control systems in place provide reasonable assurance on the legality and regularity of operations, with the limitations expressed in the reservations made by the Commission’s Directors-General in their annual activity reports.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [08] Commission clears acquisition of Moto UK by Macquarie, Westscheme, Statewide, MTAA and ARF

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Moto Hospitality Limited and Pavilion Services Group Limited (together Moto UK) of the UK by Macquarie Bank Limited (Macquarie) of the UK and Australian enterprises Westscheme Proprietary Limited (Westscheme), Statewide Superannuation Proprietary Limited (Statewide), Motor Trades Association of Australia Superannuation Fund Proprietary Limited (MTAA), and Australian Retirement Fund Proprietary Limited (ARF). The Moto UK companies are active in motorway service areas and trunk road service areas, (including restaurants and fuel and forecourt retailing) in Great Britain under the brand name Moto and are currently part of Select Service Partner, the concession catering business of Compass Group PLC. Macquarie is a diversified provider of specialist financial and investment banking services. Each of the other investors is an Australia-based superannuation/retirement fund. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [09] Commission clears acquisition of SSP by EQT

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of part of Select Service Partner and the whole of Create Host Services, known together as SSP of the UK and both belonging to the Compass Group PLC, by EQT IV Ltd (EQT) of the Channel Islands. EQT is a private equity fund, investing mainly in Northern Europe. SSP is active in the operation of catering and retail units in over 550 sites, primarily airports and railway stations, across 26 countries. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [10] April 2006 compared to April 2005 - Volume of retail trade up by 2.8% in euro area - up by 3.8% in EU25

    In April 2006, compared to April 2005, the volume of retail tradegrew by 2.8% in the euro area and by 3.8% in the EU25. Compared to March 2006, the retail sales index rose by 1.4% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU25. In April 2006, compared to April 2005, retail trade of “food, drinks and tobacco” gained 1.9% in the euro area and 2.6% in the EU25. The non food sector increased by 3.2% and by 4.6% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, total retail trade rose in Estonia (+17.0%), Latvia (+16.6%), Sweden (+12.5%), Luxembourg (+9.7%), Slovakia (+9.1%), Poland (+7.8%), Finland (+7.6%), Slovenia (+5.5%), Lithuania (+5.0%), the United Kingdom (+4.8%), Austria (+4.3%), Denmark (+4.0%), Portugal (+3.1%), Germany (+2.8%), France (+2.4%) and Belgium (+1.9%), while it remained stable in Spain. In April 2006, compared with March 2006, “food, drinks and tobacco” gained 1.1% in the euro area and 0.7% in the EU25. The non food sector increased by 1.5% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU25. Among the Member States for which data are available, total retail trade increased in Slovenia (+4.4%), Luxembourg (+2.9%), Germany (+2.8%), Estonia and Poland (both +2.5%), Belgium (+2.1%), Sweden (+1.8%), Austria (+1.6%), Finland (+1.5%), Latvia and Portugal (both +1.0%), France (+0.9%), the United Kingdom (+0.4%) and Slovakia (+0.2%), remained stable in Denmark, while falls were recorded only in Lithuania (-1.4%) and Spain (-0.6%).

    These first estimates come from Eurostat.

    [11] EU-Iraq: a new chapter

    The formation of Iraq’s new government gives the EU an opportunity to open a new chapter in its relations with Iraq. The European Commission has examined how the EU can step up its engagement with the country and is today presenting a number of recommendations with a special focus on consolidating democracy and building Iraq’s economy. The aim is to strengthen the EU’s partnership with the Iraqi leadership, focussing on areas where the EU has a particular value added to offer. A critical factor for EU engagement will be an improvement in security conditions. Once the plan set out in today’s Communication, has been discussed with the Council and the European Parliament, it is intended to provide the basis for an EU-wide strategy.

    [12] EU and US continue to work jointly on biotechnology research

    On the occasion of a visit on 8 June to the United States of America, Janez Potočnik European Science and Research Commissioner, will sign the renewal of an administrative arrangement for the EC-US Task Force on Biotechnology Research. Since 1990 this task force has fostered the transatlantic dialogue of the European Commission with the US government to underline Europe’s role as an important global player in life sciences and biotechnology research. Within the new ERA-LINK scheme the Commissioner will also meet European scientists working in the US to inform them about latest developments in the European Research Area (ERA).

    [13] Crisis distillation of wine to be opened in France and Italy

    The Wine Management Committee voted today on proposals from the European Commission to open crisis distillation of wine in France and Italy. For France a maximum of 1.5 million hectolitres of table wine and of 1.5 million hectolitres of quality wine can be offered for crisis distillation. For Italy crisis distillation has been opened for a maximum quantity of 2.5 million hectolitres of table wine and 100,000 hectolitres of quality wine. Further demands from Spain and Greece are still under examination.

    [14] Vice-President Margot Wallström to visit Poland, 8-9 June 2006

    On 8 and 9 June Margot Wallström will visit Poland in the framework of the European Commission's Plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate. During these 2 days she will meet with political leaders: President Lech Kaczynski, Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga and Marshal of the Sejm Marek Jurek, and opposition leaders - Jan Rokita and Wojciech Olejniczak. She will also use the visit to meet Polish NGO's, students and citizens to discuss Poland´s place in the EU during several events: Café babel debate in Warsaw, meeting with students of the College of Europe, and a meeting with NGOs in Krakow.

    [15] Rédiffusion

    [16] Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Tele Pizza by CVC

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of sole control of Tele Pizza, a Spanish company active in the fast food sector, by CVC, which is specialised in managing investment funds. CVC will acquire sole control by way of a public bid. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    [17] Mergers: Commission approves takeover of BOC by Linde, subject to conditions

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed takeover of the UK-based BOC by the German company Linde. Both companies are active in industrial and specialty gases. The initial market investigation found that the proposed acquisition could have created significant competition problems by removing an important competitor of Linde on a number of gas markets. These competition concerns are removed by the remedy package offered by the parties which includes the divestiture of Linde’s industrial gases business in the UK and BOC’s industrial and specialty gases business in Poland. The approval is further conditional on divesting several helium wholesale supply contracts of both Linde and BOC. Linde will also break its structural link with Air Liquide in a number of Asian Joint Ventures. In the light of these commitments, the Commission has concluded that the proposed operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    [18] Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Carmen by Boeing

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Carmen Systems AB, of Sweden by The Boeing Company of the US. Both Carmen and Boeing are active in the provision of software- based logistical services to airlines. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    [19] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner on «The European Neighbourhood Policy: bringing our neighbours closer” at the 10th Euro-Mediterranean Economic Transition Conference in Brussels

    Discours de Olli Rehn “Elaborer un nouveau consensus sur l’élargissement” la Délégation de l’Assemblée nationale de l’Union européenne Paris

    Questions and answers on Maritime Policy in the EU From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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