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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 09-01-09

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] Monitoring team starts work in Kiev and Gas Coordination Group urges Naftogaz and Gazprom to resume gas deliveries immediately
  • [02] Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Rohm and Haas by Dow Chemical
  • [03] Cinéma: l'aide européenne s'internationalise
  • [04] Financial services: Commission launches consultation on review of Prospectus Directive
  • [05] Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of DSM Special Products by Arsenal Capital Partners, subject to conditions
  • [06] Volume of retail trade up by 0.6% in euro area
  • [07] Over 500 responses to Green Paper on agricultural product quality
  • [08] First week in the euro area for Slovakia
  • [09] Quatre autres pays lèvent les restrictions l’accès des travailleurs bulgares et roumains leur marché du travail
  • [10] Concentrations: la Commission donne le feu vert au projet de rachat d’Oleon par Diester Industrie
  • [11] Boosting Creativity and Innovation in Europe: Official launch of the European Year 2009 in Prague
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2009-01-09 Reference: MEX/09/0109 Date: 09/01/2009 EXME09 / 09.01

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    09/01/09


  • [01] Monitoring team starts work in Kiev and Gas Coordination Group urges Naftogaz and Gazprom to resume gas deliveries immediately

    The Gas Coordination Group met today together with experts from Gazprom, Naftogaz and Ukrainian administration in Brussels to discuss the current gas crisis and to reach a common understanding between experts of the main elements of the dispute in order to facilitate an immediate resumption of gas supply to the EU. As the European market has lost about 30% of its gas imports, at a time of very low temperature, the Group underlined the importance and the necessity for both disputing parties to resume urgently supply and transit of gas towards the EU.

    [02] Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Rohm and Haas by Dow Chemical

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Rohm and Haas Company by The Dow Chemical Company, both based in the US. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it.

    [03] Cinéma: l'aide européenne s'internationalise

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui un vaste programme de coopération internationale dans le secteur audiovisuel, intitulé MEDIA MUNDUS, afin d'intensifier les relations culturelles et commerciales entre la cinématographie européenne et les créateurs de pays tiers. Au cours de la période 2011-2013, l'Union européenne consacrera 15 millions d'euros des projets soumis par des professionnels de l’audiovisuel provenant de l'UE et de pays tiers. La coopération avec l'industrie cinématographique européenne suscite une forte demande dans le monde entier, comme en témoignent les premiers résultats positifs de l'action préparatoire MEDIA International, qui prévoit une contribution financière de 2 millions d'euros pour 18 projets impliquant des partenaires internationaux (<a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1273&format=HTML&aged=0&language=FR&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1273). Le nouveau programme MEDIA MUNDUS, qui couvre la période 2011-2013, mettra profit cet engouement de plus en plus vif pour exploiter les possibilités offertes par la coopération cinématographique internationale. Il élargira le choix des consommateurs en proposant sur les marchés européens et internationaux des produits plus diversifiés sur le plan culturel et ouvrira de nouvelles perspectives aux professionnels de l'audiovisuel d'Europe et du monde entier.

    [04] Financial services: Commission launches consultation on review of Prospectus Directive

    The European Commission has launched a consultation on its review of the application of the Prospectus Directive, including some proposals to improve and simplify this Directive. The Prospectus Directive aims to ensure that investors are provided with clear and comprehensive information when making investment decisions. The Commission now wishes to assess the potential impact of its proposals and the merit of any alternative approaches. All interested stakeholders, in particular businesses, investors and consumers, are invited to participate. The proposal is a key element of the Commission's action plan to reduce administrative burdens on EU companies. The closing date for replies is 10 March 2009.

    [05] Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of DSM Special Products by Arsenal Capital Partners, subject to conditions

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of chemical company DSM Special Products (DSP) of The Netherlands by Arsenal Capital Partners (Arsenal), a US private equity firm. Arsenal owns Velsicol, a chemical company active in the EEA through its Estonian plant. DSP is a chemical company with a single production plant, in Rotterdam. Both parties produce benzoic acid, a raw material used in the production of a variety of goods, including as an antimicrobial preservative in food and drinks, in plasticisers, pharmaceutical goods and pet food. In August 2008, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1249&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1249) because of competition concerns. Arsenal made the commitment to divest the whole of its liquid and solid benzoic acid production, as well as sodium benzoate production in the European Economic Area (EEA). In the light of these commitments, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

    [06] Volume of retail trade up by 0.6% in euro area

    In November 2008, compared with October 2008, the volume of retail trade grew by 0.6% in the euro area (EA15) and by 0.3% in the EU27. In October retail trade fell by 1.0% and 0.5% respectively. In November 2008, compared with November 2007, the retail sales index decreased by 1.5% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU27. These first estimates come from Eurostat.

    [07] Over 500 responses to Green Paper on agricultural product quality

    On 15 October 2008, The European Commission launched a consultation on agricultural product quality (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1503&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=nl">IP/08/1503). At the close of the consultation period on 31 December 2008, more than 500 written responses had been received from a broad range of stakeholders: from farmers, retailers, European interest group representatives, local authorities, consumers, environmental NGOs, and many others. Contributions reflect a wide range of views on, among other matters, the pros and cons of obligatory labelling of the place of farming on foodstuffs, the future of geographical indications, and development of private-sector food quality certification schemes. Contributions have been sent from all 27 EU Member States as well as from some countries outside the EU. Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development said "I am delighted by the extent of the stakeholder response. The development of agricultural quality policy is a priority for the Commission in 2009 and this gives a great boost to our work. I am looking forward to hearing the detail of the replies and I intend to bring forward a major policy initiative on quality policy in May 2009." The Commission services have started analysing the contributions received and will upload all contributions to the DG AGRI website <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/policy/opinions_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/policy/opinions_en.htm in the coming weeks. A summary of responses will be prepared and published; this is planned to be available before the Czech Presidency conference on quality policy to be held in Prague on 12-13 March 2009. This will set the scene for a major strategy paper, the Communication on agricultural product quality policy, planned for adoption by the Commission in May 2009.

    Rediffusion

    [08] First week in the euro area for Slovakia

    The citizens of Slovakia have successfully passed the first week with their new currency- the euro. Six out of ten cash payments are now made in euro and a majority of people have mostly euro cash in their wallets.

    [09] Quatre autres pays lèvent les restrictions l’accès des travailleurs bulgares et roumains leur marché du travail

    La Commission a annoncé aujourd’hui que la Grèce, l’Espagne, la Hongrie et le Portugal levaient les restrictions l’accès des travailleurs bulgares et roumains leur marché du travail. Ces quatre pays rejoignent les dix États membres de l’Union européenne qui ont déj ouvert leur marché du travail aux travailleurs de Bulgarie et de Roumanie. Des restrictions demeurent dans onze États membres.

    [10] Concentrations: la Commission donne le feu vert au projet de rachat d’Oleon par Diester Industrie

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en application du règlement communautaire sur les concentrations, le projet d’acquisition du producteur belge de produits oléochimiques Oleon par le fabricant français de biodiesel Diester Industrie. La Commission a conclu que l'opération n'entraverait pas de manière significative l’exercice d’une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen (EEE) ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [11] Boosting Creativity and Innovation in Europe: Official launch of the European Year 2009 in Prague

    The Czech Presidency of the EU and European Commission launched the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 on Wednesday, 7 January with the slogan “Imagine. Create. Innovate”. The Year was inaugurated during a ceremony in Prague by the Commission President José Manuel Barroso and the Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek. At the accompanying launch conference, the Ambassadors for the Year presented a report on creativity and innovation in the EU, whose message is that investment in education and in the skills and creative capacity of Europe should be the top priority of EU institutions and governments.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Speech by Commissioner Kroes 'Avoiding the protectionist trap', Paris

    • Speech by Commissioner Almunia 'What moves Europe? Global crisis and the euro', Bratislava

    • Speech by President Barroso 'A Day for Celebration and Congratulation', Bratislava

    • Calendrier hebdomadaire du 12 au 16 janvier

    • Top News from the European Commission

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Otsuka Pharmaceutical / Nardobel

    OP Trust / Deutsche Bank London / Lloyds TSB Bank / BNP Paribas /Porterbrook Leasing

    Kühne/HGV/TUI/Hapag–Lloyd

    Doprastav / Ceskomoravsky Beton / TBG Doprastav From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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