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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-07-18

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] RĂ©sultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] La Commission s'emploie Ă combler l'Ă©cart de rĂ©munĂ©ration entre hommes et femmes
  • [02] Water scarcity and droughts in Europe : Commission addresses key challenge
  • [03] La Commission ouvre le marchĂ© intĂ©rieur europĂ©en aux services de tĂ©lĂ©vision mobile
  • [04] La Commission autorise sous condition l'acquisition de TĂ©lĂ© 2 France par SFR
  • [05] La Commission est favorable Ă la dĂ©marche de l'Italie qui compte clarifier les procĂ©dures d'autorisation dans le secteur des autoroutes Ă pĂ©age
  • [06] La Commission approuve €1,8 milliard d'aide pour les dĂ©partements d'outremer français (DOM)
  • [07] Commission endorses €262 million aid to AMD for large investment project in Dresden, Germany
  • [08] Commission endorses aid for Czech banks Agrobanka and GE Capital
  • [09] La Commission enjoint Ă la Grèce de rĂ©cupĂ©rer les exonĂ©rations fiscales illĂ©gales
  • [10] Commission endorses €9 billion capital contributions for German public banks WestLB and NORD/LB
  • [11] Antitrust : Commission closes proceedings against past roaming tariffs in the UK and Germany
  • [12] Commission launches formal investigation into annual compensation payments, investment and training grants to Irish Bus and Dublin Bus
  • [13] La Commission approuve un rĂ©gime d'aide au transport par voies navigables en Belgique
  • [14] Commission formally requests Italy to comply with EU rules on electronic communications
  • [15] Nature protection : Bulgaria warned over breaches of EU environmental law
  • [16] Free movement of services : infringement proceedings against Austria, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom
  • [17] JoĂŁo Aguiar Machado est nommĂ© directeur gĂ©nĂ©ral adjoint Ă la direction gĂ©nĂ©rale des relations extĂ©rieures
  • [18] Hugues Mingarelli est nommĂ© directeur gĂ©nĂ©ral adjoint Ă la direction gĂ©nĂ©rale des Relations extĂ©rieures
  • [19] Nicholas David Bearfield appointed Head of the European Communities Personnel Selection Office (EPSO)
  • [20] KatarĂ­na Mathernová appointed Deputy Director-General for Regional Policy
  • [21] Antti Peltomäki appointed Deputy Director-General for Information Society and Media
  • [22] Paola Testori-Coggi nommĂ©e directrice gĂ©nĂ©rale adjointe de la DG santĂ© et protection des consommateurs
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [23] Reaction President Barroso and Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on ruling of Libyan High Judicial Council
  • [24] Emissions trading: Commission adopts decision on Cyprus' national allocation plan for 2008-2012
  • [25] Commission clears acquisition of Sachsenfonds by Nikko Principal Investmentsand Eastmerchant
  • [26] Commission clears acquisition of Valentino Group by Red & Black
  • [27] Commission clears joint venture between Mapfre and Cattolica
  • [28] Commission takes further steps to improve nuclear safety through dialogue and transparency
  • [29] Euro area external trade surplus €1.7 billion ; € 15.0 billion deficit for EU27
  • [30] La production dans le secteur de la construction en hausse de 0,2% dans la zone euro ; hausse de 0,1% dans l'UE27
  • [31] Autre matĂ©riel diffusĂ© Midday Express of 2007-07-18 Reference: MEX/07/0718 Date: 18/07/2007 EXME07 / 18.7

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    18/07/07


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

    [01] La Commission s'emploie à combler l'écart de rémunération entre hommes et femmes

    Dans l'Union européenne, les femmes continuent de gagner en moyenne 15% de moins que les hommes, estime la Commission européenne. Un rapport publié aujourd'hui énonce des solutions permettant à l'UE de combler cet écart, qui ne s'est guère modifié au cours des dix dernières années. L'écart salarial entre hommes et femmes représente la différence entre la rémunération horaire moyenne brute des premiers et celle des secondes dans l'ensemble de l'économie. Il reflète les discriminations et les inégalités qui caractérisent le marché du travail et dont les femmes sont, dans la pratique, les principales victimes.

    [02] Water scarcity and droughts in Europe : Commission addresses key challenge

    Moving the European Union towards a water-efficient and water-saving economy is the aim of a Communication presented by the European Commission. The objective is to open a debate on the ways the EU can address water scarcity and droughts in an environment dominated by climate change. The Communication presents an initial set of policy options and raises issues to be taken into account to ensure the availability of water for all human, economic and social activities. The Commission will report on the progress of these issues in 2008.

    [03] La Commission ouvre le marché intérieur européen aux services de télévision mobile

    La Commission a adopté une stratégie pour favoriser le décollage de la télévision mobile dans les 27 Etats membres de l'UE. Elle pousse les Etats membres et les acteurs du secteur à soutenir et à accélérer le déploiement de la télévision mobile dans toute l'Europe et encourage l'utilisation du DVB-H la norme européenne de TV mobile.

    [04] La Commission autorise sous condition l'acquisition de Télé 2 France par SFR

    La Commission européenne a approuvé, en application du règlement sur les concentrations de l'UE, le rachat des activités de téléphonie fixe et d'accès à Internet de Télé 2 France par l'opérateur de téléphonie mobile français SFR. La Commission a considéré que l'opération projetée, telle qu'initialement notifiée, soulevait des doutes sérieux d'atteinte à la concurrence sur les marchés de la télévision payante en France, et a ouvert une enquête approfondi (voir IP/07/347). Ces doutes ont été écartés par des engagements garantissant aux opérateurs DSL une égalité de traitement avec la nouvelle entité concernant l'accès aux contenus audiovisuels détenus par le groupe Vivendi, dont SFR fait partie. A la lumière de ces engagements, la Commission a conclu que la concentration n'entravera pas de manière significative une concurrence effective dans l'espace économique européen (EEE) ou une part substantielle de celui-ci.

    [05] La Commission est favorable à la démarche de l'Italie qui compte clarifier les procédures d'autorisation dans le secteur des autoroutes à péage

    Après des discussions constructives avec la Commission européenne, les autorités italiennes ont présenté une proposition de règles destinées à clarifier le cadre règlementaire qui régit l'autorisation de transfert des concessions autoroutières en Italie. Ces règles prendront la forme d'une "Direttiva" (à adopter par les ministres des infrastructures et de l'économie). La Commission est favorable à la démarche des autorités italiennes et remarque que le projet de "Direttiva" se propose de régler les questions soulevées dans l'affaire opposant la Commission à l'Italie en application de l'article 21 du règlement sur les concentrations (voir IP/06/1418 et IP/07/117). Lorsque la Direttiva et ses dispositions d'application entreront en vigueur, la Commission pourra clôturer l'affaire qu'elle a engagée en application du règlement sur les concentrations.

    [06] La Commission approuve €1,8 milliard d'aide pour les départements d'outremer français (DOM)

    La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu des règles du traité CE en matière d'aides d'Etat, dix régimes d'aides en faveur des départements français d'outre-mer. Cette décision s'inscrit dans le cadre global du réexamen des aides régionales en place dans tous les Etats membres (voir IP/05/1653 et MEMO/05/491) conformément aux nouvelles lignes directrices, adoptées en décembre 2005. Ces nouvelles lignes directrices visent à réorienter les aides régionales vers les régions les plus défavorisées de l'Union élargie. Les dix régimes d'aide concernent des exemptions de taxes et de charges sociales qui visent à compenser les handicaps spécifiques des régions ultrapériphériques, dont font partie les DOM, reconnus par le traité CE dans son article 299(2).

    [07] Commission endorses €262 million aid to AMD for large investment project in Dresden, Germany

    The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, €262 million of aid, which the German authorities intend to grant to AMD for the conversion and extension of its existing micro-processor wafer plants in Dresden. The Commission's assessment found the measure to be compatible with the Single Market, as it meets the requirements of the applicable Regional Aid Guidelines of 1998 and the rules for regional aid for large investment projects of 2002 (see IP/02/242). The investment project of €2.2 billion into the high-tech sector by AMD will significantly contribute to the further regional development of Saxony.

    [08] Commission endorses aid for Czech banks Agrobanka and GE Capital

    The European Commission has decided that the guarantee measures and a so- called "Put Option" in favour of the Czech Agrobanka Praha a.s. and GE Money Bank a.s. (former GE Capital Bank a.s.) are compatible with EC Treaty state aid rules and has closed its formal investigation procedure. Although the measures were granted before the Czech accession to the EU, the Commission has jurisdiction to rule on them as the potential financial exposure of the Czech State was not sufficiently defined at the date of accession (1st May 2004).

    [09] La Commission enjoint à la Grèce de récupérer les exonérations fiscales illégales

    La Commission européenne a décidé, en vertu des règles du traité CE relatives aux aides d'Etat, que les déductions fiscales accordées au titre de la loi grecque n°3220/2004 étaient incompatibles avec le marché unique et devaient être récupérées auprès des bénéficiaires. Des aides incompatibles pour un montant d"environ €200 millions ont été accordées à des milliers d'entreprises en vertu de ladite loi. L"article 2 de la loi grecque n°3220/2004 a permis aux entreprises de certains secteurs de déduire de leur base d'imposition jusqu'à 35% de leurs bénéfices, ce qui leur a conféré un avantage déloyal. Les secteurs concernés étaient notamment la production de matériaux textiles et de métaux de base, l'industrie manufacturière, la production d'énergie, l'exploitation minière, l'agriculture et la pêche intensives et certaines entreprises touristiques. La mesure n'a jamais été notifiée à la Commission et est donc illégale. Sur la base de son enquête approfondie, la Commission vient de décider que l'aide était également incompatible avec les règles du traité CE relatives aux aides d'Etat (article 87), car elle fausse la concurrence et les échanges entre les Etats membres, et que les autorités grecques devaient récupérer les aides versées aux entreprises bénéficiaires, intérêts compris.

    [10] Commission endorses €9 billion capital contributions for German public banks WestLB and NORD/LB

    The European Commission has authorised, in accordance with the EC Treaty's rules on state aid, eight capital contributions worth a total of some €9.1 billion for the German public banks WestLB AG (€6.2 billion) and NORD/LB (€2.9 billion) from their public shareholders. The capital contributions are aimed at strengthening the core capital of the two banks. The Commission has concluded that the capital increases have been made on conditions which a private investor would have accepted (the market investor principle) and therefore do not constitute state aid within the meaning of Article 87 of the EC Treaty.

    [11] Antitrust : Commission closes proceedings against past roaming tariffs in the UK and Germany

    The European Commission has decided to close the competition proceedings opened against Vodafone UK, O2 UK, Vodafone Germany and T-Mobile Germany regarding the roaming tariffs applied to other European mobile network operators up to 2003.

    [12] Commission launches formal investigation into annual compensation payments, investment and training grants to Irish Bus and Dublin Bus

    The European Commission has decided to open a formal investigation regarding the annual operating compensation payments for urban, suburban and regional bus transport services, as well as investment and training grants to the companies Irish Bus and Dublin Bus. The Commission has to examine whether these measures are in line with the European legislation. Ireland is therefore requested to submit its comments and to provide all information needed for the Commission to assess the measures.

    [13] La Commission approuve un régime d'aide au transport par voies navigables en Belgique

    La Commission européenne a autorisé un régime d'aide destiné à encourager le développement du transport par voies navigables en Belgique. Ce régime soutiendra les entreprises de transport exploitant des services réguliers au départ et à destination du port de Bruxelles. Le régime d'aide couvre la période 2007-2009 et son montant s'élève à un total de €450.000.

    [14] Commission formally requests Italy to comply with EU rules on electronic communications

    The European Commission has sent a formal request to Italy to bring its broadcasting legislation in line with the EU Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications. The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. The Commission considers that the Italian legislation regulating the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial TV places unjustified restrictions on the provision of broadcasting transmission services and attributes unjustified advantages to existing analogue operators. The current situation in analogue TV, where only few operators are able to compete on the market for broadcasting transmission services, risks being reproduced in digital terrestrial TV, thus maintaining the reduced choice for Italian consumers. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice in July 2006 (see IP/06/1019). If Italy does not take the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months of receipt, the Commission may decide to refer Italy to the European Court of Justice.

    [15] Nature protection : Bulgaria warned over breaches of EU environmental law

    The European Commission is sending Bulgaria a first written warning in two separate cases over its failure to properly transpose EU environmental laws into its national legislation. The first case concerns the directive on the conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora and the second the directive on the conservation of wild birds. These two directives form the core of EU policy on nature and biodiversity.

    [16] Free movement of services : infringement proceedings against Austria, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom

    The European Commission has taken action to put an end to obstacles to the free movement of services in Austria, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Commission has decided to refer Germany to the European Court of Justice over its application of a bilateral agreement with Poland in relation to the construction sector. Austria will be referred to the Court over its legislation restricting the free movement of services for patent agents. The Commission has also decided to send formal requests to Spain and the United Kingdom concerning their rules on reimbursement of urgent hospital treatment in another Member State. These requests take the form of 'reasoned opinions', the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [17] João Aguiar Machado est nommé directeur général adjoint à la direction générale des relations extérieures

    La Commission européenne a nommé M. João Aguiar Machado au poste de directeur général adjoint à la direction générale des relations extérieures (DG RELEX). Il sera chargé des relations avec l'Asie et l'Amérique latine.

    [18] Hugues Mingarelli est nommé directeur général adjoint à la direction générale des Relations extérieures

    La Commission européenne a nommé ce jour Hugues Mingarelli au poste de directeur général adjoint à la direction générale des relations extérieures (DG RELEX). Il sera en charge de la politique européenne de voisinage et des relations avec l'Europe orientale, le Caucase du Sud et l'Asie centrale, le Moyen-Orient et la Méditerranée du Sud.

    [19] Nicholas David Bearfield appointed Head of the European Communities Personnel Selection Office (EPSO)

    Mr Nicholas David Bearfield has been appointed as Head of the European Communities Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), an interinstitutional office whose mission is to organise open competitions to select staff for the various institutions and advisory bodies of the European Union. He will be responsible for overall management of EPSO, under the supervision of its management board.

    [20] Katarína Mathernová appointed Deputy Director-General for Regional Policy

    The European Commission appointed Katarína Mathernová as Deputy Director- General of the Directorate-General for Regional Policy (DG REGIO). She will be responsible for the three policy directorates, and for coordinating relations with the Commission's other Directorates-General and with authorities in the Member States and regions.

    [21] Antti Peltomäki appointed Deputy Director-General for Information Society and Media

    The European Commission appointed Antti Peltomäki as Deputy Director- General of the Directorate-General for the Information Society and Media (DG INFSO). He will be responsible for promoting international cooperation in information and communication technology (ICT) research and for representing the Commission in negotiations on ICT development, the regulatory environment and the availability and accessibility of ICT-based services.

    [22] Paola Testori-Coggi nommée directrice générale adjointe de la DG santé et protection des consommateurs

    La Commission européenne a désigné Paola Testori-Coggi au poste de directeur général adjoint de la direction générale santé et protection des consommateurs (DG SANCO). Elle sera responsable de la politique de la Commission en matière de sécurité alimentaire, en particulier la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire humaine et animale, la santé animale, le bien-être animal et la santé des plantes. Elle assistera également le directeur général dans la gestion générale de la DG.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [23] Reaction President Barroso and Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on ruling of Libyan High Judicial Council

    Reacting to the decision of the Libyan High Judicial Council on 17 July to convert the death sentence of the Bulgarian Nurses and the Palestinian doctor into a prison term, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: "The fact that the High Judicial Council did not uphold the death sentence is a first relief. However, our objective is a solution which allows for the departure of the Bulgarian and Palestinian medical personnel from Libya and their transfer to the EU as soon as possible. We will now study the ruling and its implications with the Libyan authorities and others involved. But we do hope that this tragic and long-running case can be brought to a speedy solution."

    [24] Emissions trading: Commission adopts decision on Cyprus' national allocation plan for 2008-2012

    The European Commission concluded the assessment of Cyprus' national plan for allocating carbon dioxide (CO2) emission allowances for the 2008-2012 trading period of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The Commission accepted the plan on condition that certain changes are made, including a reduction in the total number of emission allowances proposed. The cleared annual allocation is 5.48 million tonnes of CO2 allowances, 23% less than Cyprus had proposed. The Emissions Trading Scheme ensures that greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and industry sectors covered are cut at least cost to the economy, thus helping the EU and its Member States to meet their emission commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

    [25] Commission clears acquisition of Sachsenfonds by Nikko Principal Investmentsand Eastmerchant

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Sachsenfonds Holding GmbH (Sachsenfonds) of Germany by Nikko Principal Investments Ltd of the UK and Eastmerchant GmbH of Germany. Nikko Principal Investments is a private equity investments company. Eastmerchant is a financial investments company. Sachsenfonds is active in the design, initialisation, distribution and management of closed-end funds. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [26] Commission clears acquisition of Valentino Group by Red & Black

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A. (Valentino Group) of Italy by Red & Black Lux S.Ă€ R.L. (Red & Black) of Luxembourg, controlled by Permira IV fund ('P IV', Guernsey, Channel Islands), which is ultimately controlled by Permira Holdings Limited (PHL) of Guernsey, the Channel Islands. PHL invests in companies at all stages of development and in different market sectors. Red & Black is a special purpose vehicle established for the purpose of the transaction. Valentino Group is active in the design, production and wholesale distribution of luxury women's and men's clothes and related accessories. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [27] Commission clears joint venture between Mapfre and Cattolica

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the joint venture between Mapfre S.A of Spain and Societá Cattolica di Assicurazioni soc.coop. (Cattolica) of Italy. The joint venture - Mapfre Cattolica Auto S.p.A. – will provide motor vehicle liability insurance services in Italy. Mapfre and Cattolica are both insurance companies operating primarily in Spain and Italy respectively. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [28] Commission takes further steps to improve nuclear safety through dialogue and transparency

    The European Commission decided on 17 July to establish a High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management. The Group will develop a common understanding and reinforce common approaches in the safety of nuclear installations. The high level of representation expected from countries that operate or possess nuclear installations as well as countries that have chosen not to use this form of energy, should facilitate Europe-wide cooperation and increase confidence in the levels of safety in European nuclear facilities.

    [29] Euro area external trade surplus €1.7 billion ; € 15.0 billion deficit for EU27

    The first estimate for the euro area (EA13) trade balance with the rest of the world in May 2007 gave a €1.7 billion surplus, compared with €-3.9 billion in May 2006. The April 2007 balance was €+2.3 billion, compared with €-2.7 billion in April 2006. The first estimate for May 2007 extra- EU27 trade was a deficit of €15.0 billion, compared with €-17.9 billion in May 2006. In April 2007 the balance was €-13.9 billion, compared with €-16.6 billion in April 2006. These data are released by Eurostat.

    [30] La production dans le secteur de la construction en hausse de 0,2% dans la zone euro ; hausse de 0,1% dans l'UE27

    Dans le secteur de la construction, la production corrigée des variations saisonnières a augmenté de 0,2% dans la zone euro (ZE13) et de 0,1% dans l'UE27 en mai 2007 par rapport au mois précédent. En avril, la production avait baissé de 1,2% dans la zone euro et de 0,3% dans l'UE27. Par rapport à mai 2006, la production a enregistré en mai 2007 une hausse de 1,8% dans la zone euro et de 1,9% dans l'UE27. En avril, la croissance annuelle était de 3,3% dans la zone euro et de 4,8% dans l'UE27. Ces premières estimations sont diffusées par Eurostat.

    [31] Autre matériel diffusé

    Combler l'écart de rémunération entre hommes et femmes

    An EU Strategy for Mobile TV – Frequently Asked Questions

    Speech by Mariann Fischer Boel : "Wine Reform" at audience with Italian Senate (17/07, Rome)

    Statement by Ferrero-Waldner on the announcement of the Libyan families (17/07) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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