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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-11-20

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] Journée mondiale de l'enfance - La lutte contre le travail des enfants en point de mire
  • [02] Commission rewards European organisations for outstanding environmental management
  • [03] Aides d'Etat: la Commission approuve des aides conjointes de la Belgique, de la France et du Luxembourg pour le sauvetage de Dexia
  • [04] State aid: Commission approves Belgian state guarantee for Fortis Bank
  • [05] Now Online: "Europeana", Europe's Digital Library
  • [06] Ensuring that crime "does not pay": Commission proposes ten strategic priorities on confiscation and recovery of criminal proceeds
  • [07] Agriculture: CAP Health Check will help farmers meet new challenges
  • [08] The Arctic merits the European Union's attention – first step towards an EU Arctic Policy
  • [09] La Commission fait des progrès constants en matière de recrutement et de nomination de femmes
  • [10] Commission clears joint venture between Tessenderlo Chemie, SPV and IPCHL
  • [11] Commissioner Vassiliou visits Greece
  • [12] Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of Fantuzzi by Terex
  • [13] La Commission se félicite de l'accord politique intervenu sur un programme en faveur de la consommation de fruits l'école pour un montant de 90 millions € par an
  • [14] Fisheries Council meeting focuses on major issues
  • [15] EU proposes strong action in ICCAT to protect Atlantic sharks
  • [16] State aid: Commission authorises support package for Greek credit institutions
  • [17] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-11-20 Reference: MEX/08/1120 Date: 20/11/2008 EXME08 / 20.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    20/11/08


  • [01] Journée mondiale de l'enfance - La lutte contre le travail des enfants en point de mire

    Déclaration commune de Mme Ferrero-Waldner, Mme Ashton, M. Michel et M. pidla, membres de la Commission.

    [02] Commission rewards European organisations for outstanding environmental management

    The European Commission will tonight present awards to EU companies and public authorities for outstanding achievements in environmental management. The annual European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Awards celebrate and promote best practice in managing the environment. More than 6,200 sites are now registered under the scheme. This year, thirty-two organisations from 13 EU Member States have been nominated for awards. The nominees include a church, a hospital and a university. Prizes are given in five categories. The award ceremony will take place at the Hotel Plaza in Brussels.

    [03] Aides d'Etat: la Commission approuve des aides conjointes de la Belgique, de la France et du Luxembourg pour le sauvetage de Dexia

    La Commission Européenne a approuvé en vertu des règles du traité CE sur les aides d'Etat une garantie étatique en faveur du groupe financier Dexia, comme suite la détérioration du marché financier belge. L'aide, fournie conjointement par la Belgique, la France et le Luxembourg, était destinée assurer la survie du groupe, restaurer la confiance des investisseurs et stimuler le prêt interbancaire. Compte tenu de la taille de Dexia, de ses parts de marché et de la crise financière ambiante, une éventuelle défaillance du groupe aurait engendré un risque systémique. La Commission a conclu que la mesure constitue un moyen approprié, nécessaire et proportionné pour remédier une perturbation grave de l'économie belge et est, ce titre, compatible avec les règles de l'UE sur les aides d'Etat (Article 87.3.b) telles qu'explicitées dans la Communication sur leur application aux banques en temps de crise (voir <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1495&format=HTML&aged=0&language=FR&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1495). Elle a approuvé l'aide pour une durée de six mois en tant que mesure de sauvetage d'urgence, avec une possibilité de prolongation si la crise persiste. Les trois Etats Membres se sont engagés fournir des plans pour le futur du groupe dans un délai de six mois partir de la première intervention.

    [04] State aid: Commission approves Belgian state guarantee for Fortis Bank

    The European Commission has approved, under EC Treaty state aid rules, the state guarantee mechanism intended to facilitate the financing of Fortis Bank. The Commission found the aid to be in line with its Guidance Communication on state aid to overcome the current 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). The aid is necessary to ensure the viability of Fortis Bank and thereby avoid a serious disturbance in the Belgian economy. The guarantee plan is limited in time and scope to the minimum necessary to restore the financing, requires an adequate guarantee fee and provides safeguards to minimise distortions of competition. It is therefore compatible with Article 87.3.b. of the EC Treaty. The decision does not cover the measures implemented in favour of Fortis Bank from 29 September to 6 October 2008 (capital injection and sale to BNP Paribas), which are assessed separately.

    [05] Now Online: "Europeana", Europe's Digital Library

    Europeana, Europe’s multimedia online library opens to the public today. At <a href="http://www.europeana.eu">www.europeana.eu, Internet users around the world can now access more than two million books, maps, recordings, photographs, archival documents, paintings and films from national libraries and cultural institutions of the EU's 27 Member States. Europeana opens up new ways of exploring Europe’s heritage: anyone interested in literature, art, science, politics, history, architecture, music or cinema will have free and fast access to Europe's greatest collections and masterpieces in a single virtual library through a web portal available in all EU languages. But this is just the beginning. In 2010, Europeana will give access to millions of items representing Europe's rich cultural diversity and will have interactive zones such as communities for special interests. Between 2009 and 2011, some €2 million per year of EU funding will be dedicated to this. The Commission also plans to involve the private sector in the further expansion of Europe's digital library. In September 2007, the European Parliament supported, in a resolution voted by an overwhelming majority, the creation of a European digital library.

    [06] Ensuring that crime "does not pay": Commission proposes ten strategic priorities on confiscation and recovery of criminal proceeds

    The Commission intends to strengthen efforts to hit criminals where it hurts most: depriving them of the assets they acquired through crime. The large majority of organised crime activities have a financial motive. Even in the absence of reliable statistics, today the amounts recovered from organised crime remain modest compared to the profits of organised crime.

    [07] Agriculture: CAP Health Check will help farmers meet new challenges

    The European Commission welcomes the political agreement by EU agriculture ministers on the Health Check of the Common Agricultural Policy. The Health Check will modernise, simplify and streamline the CAP and remove restrictions on farmers, thus helping them to respond better to signals from the market and to face new challenges. Among a range of measures, the agreement abolishes arable set-aside, increases milk quotas gradually leading up to their abolition in 2015, and converts market intervention into a genuine safety net. Ministers also agreed to increase modulation, whereby direct payments to farmers are reduced and the money transferred to the Rural Development Fund. This will allow a better response to the new challenges and opportunities faced by European agriculture, including climate change, the need for better water management, the protection of biodiversity, and the production of green energy. Member States will also be able to assist dairy farmers in sensitive regions adjust to the new market situation.

    [08] The Arctic merits the European Union's attention – first step towards an EU Arctic Policy

    The European Commission today adopted a Communication on "The European Union and the Arctic Region" which highlights the effects of climate change and human activities in the Arctic. Apart from setting out EU interests and policy objectives, the text proposes a systematic and coordinated response to rapidly emerging challenges. Therefore the Communication is the first step towards an EU Arctic Policy and an important contribution to implementing the Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU.

    [09] La Commission fait des progrès constants en matière de recrutement et de nomination de femmes

    En 2007, la Commission a recruté plus de femmes que d'hommes dans toutes les catégories de personnel. Les femmes ont constitué 50,6 % des nominations des postes d'administrateur et 74 % des nominations des postes d'assistant. Les progrès sont particulièrement sensibles au niveau des nominations des postes d'administrateur: 54,2 % des nominations des postes d’administrateur en dehors de l’encadrement (contre 44 % en 2004), 31,5 % de l’encadrement intermédiaire (contre 23,2 % en 2004) et 35,1 % de l’encadrement supérieur (contre 12,8 % en 2004). Dans le même temps, les services de la Commission s'efforcent de sensibiliser le personnel, de concilier vie privée et vie professionnelle et de stimuler la progression de la carrière. Le rapport de suivi annuel du «Quatrième programme d'action pour l'égalité des chances entre femmes et hommes la Commission européenne» publie aujourd'hui tous les résultats obtenus.

    [10] Commission clears joint venture between Tessenderlo Chemie, SPV and IPCHL

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the joint venture between International Power Consolidated Holdings Limited (IPCHL) of the UK, Tessenderlo Chemie NV (Tessenderlo) of Belgium and Siemens Project Ventures GmbH (SPV) of Germany. Tessenderlo manufactures chemical products. SPV develops major infrastructure projects. IPCHL is a holding company for a large number of power generating assets. The joint venture, T Power, will develop, construct and operate a power station in Belgium. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [11] Commissioner Vassiliou visits Greece

    European Commissioner for Health Androulla Vassiliou will be in Greece for an official visit on November 20 to November 24. During her visit, Commissioner Vassiliou will be received by the President of Greece Karolos Papoulias, the Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, the Speaker of the Parliament Demetris Sioufas and the Greek deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Yiannis Valinakis. The visit will cover both policy areas of the Commissioner's portfolio. In the sphere of Public Health, Commissioner Vassiliou will be meeting the Greek Minister of Health and Social Solidarity Demetris Avramopoulos. Regarding the domain of Animal Health/Food Safety, the Commissioner will meet Greece's Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Alexandros Kontos and the Minister of Development Christos Folias. Commissioner Vassiliou will also address a joint meeting of the parliamentary committees of Social and European Affairs of the Greek Parliament and an Economist Conference in Athens, where she will talk about the need to balance research and innovation in pharmaceutical policy.

    Rediffusion

    [12] Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of Fantuzzi by Terex

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Fantuzzi Group of Luxembourg by Terex Corporation of the US. Fantuzzi makes container handling equipment while Terex makes equipment for a range of industries including construction and quarrying. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    [13] La Commission se félicite de l'accord politique intervenu sur un programme en faveur de la consommation de fruits l'école pour un montant de 90 millions € par an

    La Commission européenne se félicite de l'accord politique intervenu aujourd'hui au sein du Conseil «Agriculture» sur sa proposition relative un programme l'échelle de l'Union européenne en vue de la distribution de fruits et légumes aux écoliers. Les fonds européens, d'un montant de 90 millions € par an, permettront d'acheter et de distribuer des fruits et légumes frais dans les écoles et seront complétés par des fonds nationaux et privés dans les États membres qui ont choisi de participer au programme. Le programme en faveur de la consommation de fruits l'école vise encourager les bonnes habitudes alimentaires chez les jeunes, qui selon les études, restent ensuite généralement acquises. Outre la distribution de fruits et légumes un groupe cible d'écoliers, le programme exigera de la part des États membres participants l'élaboration de stratégies, y compris des initiatives en matière d'éducation et de sensibilisation et le partage des meilleures pratiques. Selon les estimations, 22 millions d'enfants dans l'Union européenne présentent une surcharge pondérale. Plus de 5 millions d'entre eux sont obèses, et ce chiffre devrait augmenter de 400 000 chaque année. Une meilleure alimentation peut jouer un rôle important dans la lutte contre ce problème. Le programme démarrera au début de l'année scolaire 2009-2010.

    [14] Fisheries Council meeting focuses on major issues

    Yesterday and today the Council met to discuss a number of key fisheries issues. European Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg said " On the cod recovery plan, I am glad that we did reach a political agreement on a text which will make substantial and positive changes to the way in which we manage these stocks".

    [15] EU proposes strong action in ICCAT to protect Atlantic sharks

    The EU has tabled three ambitious proposals at this year's annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) which, if adopted, will represent a major leap forward in the protection of vulnerable shark species in the Atlantic. The proposals call for the banning of directed fisheries on the endangered thresher and hammerhead sharks, the freezing of effort on the vulnerable blue and shortfin mako sharks, and defined steps leading to a coherent global approach in 2009 on the protection of porbeagle in the Atlantic Ocean. Taken together with the Commission's recent proposal to ban all fishing on porbeagle in EU waters, these measures represent a landmark package of initiatives to protect these highly sensitive species.

    [16] State aid: Commission authorises support package for Greek credit institutions

    The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules a Greek package intended to stabilise the markets as a response to the global financial crisis. The package would provide eligible credit institutions with new capital and securities which can be converted into liquidity with the ECB. It also includes guarantees on short and medium term newly issued debt, under strict conditions. The Commission found the measures 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=FR&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1495). In particular, the package ensures non discriminatory access, is limited in time and scope, provides for market-oriented remuneration and foresees adequate safeguards to minimise potential distortions of competition. The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme was an adequate means to remedy a serious disturbance in the Greek economy and as such compatible with Article 87.3.b of the EC Treaty.

    [17] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on EUROPEANA – Europe's Digital Library: Frequently Asked Questions

    • Memo on "Europe Needs More Ambition in Radio Spectrum Policy": Joint Statement by EU Telecoms Commis-sioner Reding and Dániel Pataki, Chairman of the European Regulators Group and newly elected Chairman of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group

    • Memo on Arctic Communication

    • Memo sur l'Égalité des sexes la Commission européenne: questions fréquemment posées

    • Memo on Antitrust: Commission welcomes Court ruling in Irish beef case

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Allianz / Cominvest

    Veolia Transport/SNCM

    EADS/SSTL From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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