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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-11-14

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

  • [01] Telecommunications: Commission raises serious doubts about proposed Spanish broadband regulation
  • [02] State aid: Commission approves Finnish support scheme for financial institutions
  • [03] State aid: Commission authorises Italian scheme for refinancing credit institutions
  • [04] Compagnies aériennes interdites d’exploitation dans l’UE: la Commission actualise sa liste noire
  • [05] Lisbon Conference: European Commission steps up efforts to improve Member States' financial controls on structural funds
  • [06] Danuta Hübner: High growth rate in Algarve underpinned by EU Cohesion Policy
  • [07] Pêche: la Commission propose une réorganisation radicale du cadre de contrôle
  • [08] Young Europeans are enthusiastic about science – but still reluctant to pursue scientific careers
  • [09] Fisheries: Commission regrets lack of progress at IATTC and CCAMLR meetings
  • [10] Un sommet européen pour l’égalité professionnelle entre hommes et femmes
  • [11] Euro area and EU27 GDP down by 0.2%
  • [12] Euro area annual inflation down to 3.2%
  • [13] Commission clears acquisition of SGRHVS by Accueil Partenaires, CDC and RHVS
  • [14] Commission clears joint venture between Metso Power and Wärtsilä Finland
  • [15] Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Bentita Ferrero-Waldner on the closing of Gaza crossings
  • [16] Consumers: European Commission hosts first high level EU-China-US product safety summit (Monday 17 November, Brussels)
  • [17] Call for tender for the organisation of promotion events and high- level trade visits in third countries
  • [18] EU and China agree level playing field for financial information providers
  • [19] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-11-14 Reference: MEX/08/1114 Date: 14/11/2008 EXME08 / 14.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    14/11/08


  • [01] Telecommunications: Commission raises serious doubts about proposed Spanish broadband regulation

    The European Commission has informed the Spanish telecoms regulator, Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones (CMT), that it has serious doubts that the draft measures on the Spanish wholesale broadband access market, notified under the Electronic Communications Framework Directive, are compatible with EU law. It is unprecedented that a national regulator proposes to regulate wholesale broadband access only up to a certain speed (30 Mb/s in this case). The CMT further proposes to impose less stringent regulation in areas where alternative infrastructure operators seem to be active. In the context of the transition towards high speed broadband in Spain, the Commission needs to ensure that the proposed measures do not hinder broadband competition and are supported by empirical evidence. The Commission now has two months (until 13 January 2009) to take a final decision on whether or not the regulator can adopt the proposed measures.

    [02] State aid: Commission approves Finnish support scheme for financial institutions

    The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules a Finnish support scheme to stabilise financial markets by providing guarantees to eligible financial institutions. The Commission found the measure to be in line with its Guidance Communication on state aid to overcome the financial crisis (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1495&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1495). In particular, the scheme is non-discriminatory, limited in time and scope, provides for behavioural constraints to avoid abuses and is subject to a market-oriented remuneration from the beneficiaries. The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme was an adequate means to remedy a serious disturbance of the Finnish economy and as such in line with Article 87.3.b of the EC Treaty.

    [03] State aid: Commission authorises Italian scheme for refinancing credit institutions

    The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty state aid rules Italy's liabilities' guarantee and swaps scheme for credit institutions aimed at stabilising financial markets. The Commission concluded that the scheme is an appropriate, necessary and proportionate means to remedy a serious disturbance in the Italian economy, in line with the criteria set out in the Commission's Communication on support for banks during the financial crisis (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1495&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1495), and is, therefore, compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty). In particular, the scheme provides for non-discriminatory access, is limited in time and scope, and introduces proper safeguards for limiting distortions of competition. The recapitalisation measures notified by Italy will be the dealt with in a separate decision.

    [04] Compagnies aériennes interdites d’exploitation dans l’UE: la Commission actualise sa liste noire

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui la neuvième version de la «liste noire» des compagnies aériennes interdites d’accès aux pays de l'Union européenne en raison de problèmes de sécurité. En plus des restrictions existantes, la Commission a imposé une interdiction totale d’exploitation la compagnie cambodgienne Siem Reap Airways International. Elle a également étendu l'interdiction dont fait l’objet TAAG Angola Airlines toutes les compagnies aériennes certifiées en Angola en raison de l'existence de problèmes de sécurité graves soulevés par l'OACI dans son rapport d'audit du 1er octobre 2008, qui restent sans solution et nuisent la sécurité des activités de tous les transporteurs aériens angolais.

    [05] Lisbon Conference: European Commission steps up efforts to improve Member States' financial controls on structural funds

    Danuta Hübner, the European Commissioner for regional policy, is today participating in a conference in Lisbon on “Use and control of EU structural funds”. The conference follows the publication, on Monday 10 November, of the annual report of the European Court of Auditors, which encouraged the Commission to continue in its efforts to help Member States address weaknesses in management and control systems for the Structural Funds.

    [06] Danuta Hübner: High growth rate in Algarve underpinned by EU Cohesion Policy

    Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for regional policy, is today in the Algarve as a guest of Francisco Nunes Correia, the Portuguese Minister of environment, spatial planning and regional policy. The Commissioner will meet regional representatives responsible for implementation of the European Cohesion Policy, which supports projects including road and rail systems, tourism and regeneration initiatives, research centres and small business start-ups. The Commissioner will visit several projects which have been jointly financed by the European Union.

    [07] Pêche: la Commission propose une réorganisation radicale du cadre de contrôle

    La Commission européenne a proposé aujourd'hui un nouveau règlement du Conseil qui restructure le système communautaire de contrôle de la pêche. Cette restructuration permettra de moderniser complètement le régime communautaire d'inspection, de suivi, de contrôle, de surveillance et d'exécution des mesures de la politique commune de la pêche (PCP) tout le long de la filière de commercialisation, de la capture au détaillant. L'introduction de normes plus élevées et de procédures d'inspection harmonisées permettra la mise en œuvre uniforme de la politique de contrôle au niveau des États membres, tout en prenant en compte la diversité et les spécificités des différentes flottes. Des mesures seront mises en place pour promouvoir une culture du respect des règles dans tout le secteur, notamment la simplification du cadre réglementaire et l'introduction de sanctions dissuasives harmonisées. La capacité d'intervention de la Commission pour garantir la mise en œuvre et l'exécution effectives des règles de la PCP par les États membres sera également renforcée. D'une manière générale, tous les aspects relatifs au contrôle et au suivi des activités de pêche seront simplifiés et rendus plus efficaces grâce aux nouvelles règles.

    [08] Young Europeans are enthusiastic about science – but still reluctant to pursue scientific careers

    Today, the EU Commissioner for science and research, Janez Potočnik, will be in Paris with a group of young Europeans who will propose how to get young people more involved in research and innovation. Science tops the table of young Europeans' interests, but that does not seem to be enough to make them consider a scientific career, indicates a new ‘Eurobarometer’, published today. Young people's recommendations will be given to Commissioner Janez Potočnik and French Minister for Higher Education and Research Valérie Pécresse during the "European City of Science", a public exhibition of 70 research projects, including 20 funded by the EU.

    [09] Fisheries: Commission regrets lack of progress at IATTC and CCAMLR meetings

    Commissioner Joe Borg has expressed his disappointment at the lack of progress made at the most recent meetings of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The European Commission had been hoping that both of these organisations would take decisive steps in areas in which the European Union has consistently urged action to strengthen conservation and to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

    [10] Un sommet européen pour l’égalité professionnelle entre hommes et femmes

    Ce 13 et 14 novembre, la Présidence française de l'UE a organisé une conférence Lille sur le thème de l'égalité professionnelle entre les femmes et les hommes. Une réunion informelle des Ministres chargés de l'égalité des chances s'est aussi tenue en parallèle sur l'écart de rémunération et la valorisation au niveau européen des bonnes pratiques d’entreprises.

    [11] Euro area and EU27 GDP down by 0.2%

    GDP declined by 0.2% in both the euro area (EA15) and the EU27 during the third quarter of 2008, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat. In the second quarter of 2008, growth rates were -0.2% in the euro area and 0.0% in the EU27. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP grew by 0.7% in the euro area and by 0.8% in the EU27 in the third quarter of 2008, after +1.4% and +1.7% respectively in the previous quarter. During the third quarter of 2008, US GDP decreased by 0.1% compared with the previous quarter, after +0.7% in the second quarter. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP rose by 0.8% in the US (+2.1% in the previous quarter).

    [12] Euro area annual inflation down to 3.2%

    Euro area annual inflation was 3.2% in October 2008, down from 3.6% in September. A year earlier the rate was 2.6%. Monthly inflation was 0.0% in October 2008. EU annual inflation was 3.7% in October 2008, down from 4.2% in September. A year earlier the rate was 2.7%. Monthly inflation was 0.0% in October 2008. These figures come from Eurostat. In October 2008, the lowest annual rates were observed in Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal (2.5% each), and the highest in Latvia (13.7%), Bulgaria (11.2%) and Lithuania (10.7%). Compared with September 2008, annual inflation fell in twenty-four Member States and rose in two. The lowest 12-month averages up to October 2008 were registered in the Netherlands (2.2%), Portugal (2.9%) and Germany (3.1%), and the highest in Latvia (15.8%), Bulgaria (12.6%) and Lithuania (11.0%).

    [13] Commission clears acquisition of SGRHVS by Accueil Partenaires, CDC and RHVS

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of SGRHVS of France by French companies Accueil Partenaires, belonging to the Accor group, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) and RHVS 1% Logements (RHVS), controlled by a number of inter-professional committees in France. Accueil Partenaires manages temporary housing; hotels and related services. CDC is active in insurance, real estate and capital investment. RHVS helps structure employers' efforts in building housing. SGRHVS supplies accommodation to people on a low income. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [14] Commission clears joint venture between Metso Power and Wärtsilä Finland

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the joint venture between Finnish companies Metso Power Oy and Wärtsilä Finland Oy. Metso Power is active in engineering, development and manufacture of machinery, including boiler plants. Wärtsilä Finland produces power systems, engines, turbines and power and heat plants. The joint venture, Noviter Oy, will design and manufacture boiler plants. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [15] Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Bentita Ferrero-Waldner on the closing of Gaza crossings

    "I am profoundly concerned about the consequences for the Gazan population of the complete closure of all Gaza crossings for deliveries of fuel and basic humanitarian assistance. I call on Israel to re-open the crossings for humanitarian and commercial flows, in particular food and medicines. Facilitation of fuel deliveries for the Gaza Power Plant should be resumed immediately. International law requires the provision of access to essential services such as electricity and clean water to the civilian population. Recent infringements of the calm agreed in June must not lead to a renewed cycle of violence. I call on all parties to exercise restraint."

    [16] Consumers: European Commission hosts first high level EU-China-US product safety summit (Monday 17 November, Brussels)

    EU Consumer Commissioner, Meglena Kuneva, the US Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Nancy Nord, and the Chinese vice-Minister of AQSIQ, Wei Chuanzhong will meet in Brussels on Monday 17 November for the first high-level trilateral summit on product safety. The trilateral summit meeting is intended to send a strong political signal of the determination of all sides to keep product safety at the top of the international political agenda, recognising that open markets can only be built on strong and secure management of global product supply chains. The results of the trilateral meetings, including a reinforced Memorandum of Understanding strengthening the EU and China's bilateral co-operation on controls to enforce product safety standards, as well as decisions on future priorities for trilateral co-operation, will be presented in the Berlaymont press room by EU Consumer Commissioner Kuneva, Chairman Nancy Nord and vice-Minister Wei at 11.30 on Monday.

    [17] Call for tender for the organisation of promotion events and high- level trade visits in third countries

    The European Commission's Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development has launched a call for tender for the conclusion of a Framework Contract for the organisation of promotion events and high-level trade visits in third countries in the context of the Regulation on information provision and promotion measures for agricultural products on the internal market and in third countries. The promotion events to be organised in countries outside the European Union can include services such as press conferences, meetings with importers/distributors, seminars, European Union stands, promotion and public relation activities and exhibitions. High-level trade visits can be led by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development or a high ranking official of DG Agriculture and Rural Development. The aim of such information and promotion actions to be managed directly by the Commission is to raise the profile and enhance sales of European Union products on external markets. The duration of the Framework Contract will be 4 years from the date of its signature for a budget that will not exceed € 4 million. The deadline for submitting offers expires on 5 February 2009. Details are available at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/agriculture/tenderdocs/2008/289840/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/agriculture/tenderdocs/2008/289840/index_en.htm

    Rediffusion

    [18] EU and China agree level playing field for financial information providers

    The EU and China (together with the United States and Canada) have today reached a landmark agreement on the treatment of financial information services in China. Financial information suppliers such as Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones will in future benefit from a new regulatory framework that will help to ensure a level playing field for all operators in the Chinese market. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today in Geneva addresses the concerns that had led the European Commission to launch WTO consultations on this matter in March 2008. The changes are due to be put in place by 1 June 2009.

    [19] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Memorandum of Understanding with China on financial information services

    • Memo on Telecoms: Commissioner Reding welcomes commitment of Italy's telecoms regulator AGCOM to further reduce mobile termination rates as an "important step in the right direction"

    • Memo on Reform of Common Fisheries Policy control framework – questions and answers

    • Memo on Young Europeans are enthusiastic about science – but still reluctant to pursue scientific careers

    • Opening remarks of President Barroso on the 2nd Strategic Energy Review, Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Michel 'Natural Resources: challenges and opportunities', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Reding 'Empowering users: the key to the development of the Information Society', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Reding Digital Europe: the Internet Mega-trends that will Shape Tomorrow's Europe, Brussels

    • Calendrier hebdomadaire du 17 au 23 novembre

    • Top News from the European Commission

    A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Caja Navarra/Aegon/CAN Soluciones De Salud

    Dow/Rohm and Haas From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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