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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 09-02-19

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] Free movement of capital: Commission refers Portugal to European Court of Justice over special rights held by the State in GALP Energia
  • [02] Public procurement: Commission requests Italy to comply with two Court of Justice judgements
  • [03] Nationality requirement for notaries: the Commission takes new steps to ensure compliance with the principle of non-discrimination in Portugal
  • [04] Internal Market: Commission requests Bulgaria to submit observations on possible restrictions on the free movement of Community lawyers and law firms
  • [05] Company law and corporate governance: Commission takes action to ensure that the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain implement EU laws
  • [06] Seven EU-funded films nominated for Oscars
  • [07] Waste water treatment: European Commission sends final warning to Italy
  • [08] Environment: Commission issues stern warnings over mitigation measures for protected site at Barajas airport, and nature conservation shortcomings in Portugal and Spain
  • [09] Direct Taxation: The European Commission refers Greece to the European Court of Justice over discriminatory tax provisions for the acquisition of a first residential real estate in Greece
  • [10] Direct taxation: The European Commission refers Portugal to the European Court of Justice over discriminatory taxation of non-resident taxpayers
  • [11] Direct taxation: The European Commission requests that Bulgaria end discriminatory tax treatment of foreign governmental, municipal and corporate bonds
  • [12] Direct Taxation: The European Commission refers Hungary to the Court of Justice over discriminatory tax provisions concerning the duty levied on the purchase of residential property
  • [13] Direct taxation: The European Commission requests that the Czech Republic end discriminatory taxation of non-resident taxpayers
  • [14] Direct taxation: Commission requests that Finland end discriminatory taxation of non-resident artists and sportsmen
  • [15] La Commission publie un document de travail de ses services sur le terrorisme et les droits fondamentaux dans l’Union européenne
  • [16] La Commission donne un avertissement l'Espagne concernant l'accès des retraités de l'UE aux soins de santé nécessaires
  • [17] State aid: Commission authorises temporary German scheme allowing reduced interest rates to boost economy
  • [18] GDP per inhabitant in 2006 ranged from 25% of the EU27 average in Nord- Est in Romania to 336% in Inner London
  • [19] Animal feedingstuffs: infringement proceedings against two Member States
  • [20] Animal health rules applicable to aquaculture animals: infringement proceedings against five Member States
  • [21] Organisms harmful to plants: the Commission acts against Italy and Hungary
  • [22] Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Vania and Polivé by Johnson & Johnson
  • [23] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2009-02-19 Reference: MEX/09/0219 Date: 19/02/2009 EXME09 / 19.02

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    19/02/09


  • [01] Free movement of capital: Commission refers Portugal to European Court of Justice over special rights held by the State in GALP Energia

    The European Commission has decided to refer Portugal to the European Court of Justice as it considers that the special rights held by the State in GALP discourage investment from other Member States in violation of EC Treaty rules.

    [02] Public procurement: Commission requests Italy to comply with two Court of Justice judgements

    The European Commission has requested Italy to comply immediately with two European Court of Justice judgements concerning the renewal of a number of concessions for horse-race betting operations and the award of public service contracts for the treatment of municipal waste in Sicily. The requests take the form of 'reasoned opinions' under Article 228 of the EC Treaty. If the Italian authorities do not comply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice and ask the Court to impose a lump sum or penalty payment on Italy.

    [03] Nationality requirement for notaries: the Commission takes new steps to ensure compliance with the principle of non-discrimination in Portugal

    The European Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Portugal as it allows only its own nationals to take up and practise the profession of notary.

    [04] Internal Market: Commission requests Bulgaria to submit observations on possible restrictions on the free movement of Community lawyers and law firms

    The European Commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice to Bulgaria in connection with its legislation concerning lawyers. The letter of formal notice represents the first stage in the pre-litigation procedure under Article 226 EC, under which the Commission requests Bulgaria to submit its observations within two months on the identified problems regarding the application of Community law.

    [05] Company law and corporate governance: Commission takes action to ensure that the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain implement EU laws

    The European Commission has decided to refer four Member States to the European Court of Justice over failure to implement into national law certain Internal Market Directives in the area of company law and corporate governance. The Commission will refer Luxembourg to the Court over its non- implementation of the Cross-Border Mergers Directive and of the Directive simplifying the formation, maintenance and alteration of companies' capital. With regard to the latter Directive, Portugal and Spain will also be referred to the Court. The Commission will refer the Czech Republic to the Court regarding a Directive on transparency obligations of listed companies.

    [06] Seven EU-funded films nominated for Oscars

    Seven films funded by the EU's MEDIA film support programme will compete in thirteen categories at this year's Academy Award ceremonies, to be held on Sunday 22 February. One of these MEDIA funded nominees, Slumdog Millionaire, will compete in the prestigious Best Film and Best Director categories. The MEDIA programme will also be represented by three of the nominees for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, including Entre les Murs ("The Class", France), winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2008 Cannes film festival (<a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/800&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/800). Last year, two films funded by MEDIA, the EU film support programme, brought home Oscars. In the last three years, MEDIA funded films have won a total of eight Oscar awards (see annex).

    [07] Waste water treatment: European Commission sends final warning to Italy

    The European Commission is sending Italy a final written warning for not complying with EU legislation on urban waste water treatment. Some 299 towns and cities have been listed as not having waste water treatment up to EU standard. Discharges of untreated urban waste water are the most significant source of pollution in coastal and inland waters and Italy faces the prospect of being brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

    [08] Environment: Commission issues stern warnings over mitigation measures for protected site at Barajas airport, and nature conservation shortcomings in Portugal and Spain

    The European Commission is sending Spain a final written warning about nature protection measures at Barajas airport. Spain has failed to implement additional steps it promised to mitigate the effects of the extension to the airport on a Natura 2000 site next to the airport. Separate warning letters are being sent to Spain and Portugal for other failures to take sufficient measures to protect nature. The cases concern the failure to designate a number of protected areas in the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores, as well as adopt the necessary conservation measures.

    [09] Direct Taxation: The European Commission refers Greece to the European Court of Justice over discriminatory tax provisions for the acquisition of a first residential real estate in Greece

    The European Commission has decided to refer Greece to the European Court of Justice for the fiscal treatment applied to the acquisition of a first residential real estate in its territory. The Greek legislation exempts permanent residents in Greece from real estate transfer tax on the purchase of their first residential property, but does not grant the same exemption to first-time buyers who do not live permanently in Greece, but intend to do so in the future. Moreover, under certain circumstances, the Greek rules, provide for an exemption from real estate transfer tax to Greek nationals living abroad when they acquire their first residential property in Greece, while the same exemption is not offered to foreign nationals.

    [10] Direct taxation: The European Commission refers Portugal to the European Court of Justice over discriminatory taxation of non-resident taxpayers

    The European Commission has decided to refer Portugal to the European Court of Justice for its tax provisions which oblige non-resident taxpayers to appoint a fiscal representative if they obtain taxable income in Portugal. The Commission considers the provision incompatible with the free movement of persons and the free movement of capital as guaranteed by Articles 18 and 56 of the EC Treaty and Articles 36 and 40 of the EEA Agreement.

    [11] Direct taxation: The European Commission requests that Bulgaria end discriminatory tax treatment of foreign governmental, municipal and corporate bonds

    The European Commission has formally requested Bulgaria to change its tax provisions according to which income from Bulgarian governmental, municipal and corporate bonds are exempt from tax, whereas no such exemption is granted for similar bonds issued abroad. The Commission considers that these rules are incompatible with the EC Treaty, which guarantees the free movement of capital. The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion (second step of the infringement procedure provided for in Article 226 of the EC Treaty). If there is no satisfactory reaction to the reasoned opinion within two months, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [12] Direct Taxation: The European Commission refers Hungary to the Court of Justice over discriminatory tax provisions concerning the duty levied on the purchase of residential property

    The European Commission has decided to refer Hungary to the European Court of Justice for its provisions concerning the duty levied on the purchase of residential property. Those provisions discriminate against taxpayers whose purchase is preceded or followed by the sale of their previous home in another Member State. The provisions are therefore incompatible with the free movement of persons and the freedom of establishment, as guaranteed by Articles 18, 39 and 43 of the EC Treaty and the corresponding articles of the EEA agreement.

    [13] Direct taxation: The European Commission requests that the Czech Republic end discriminatory taxation of non-resident taxpayers

    The European Commission has formally requested that the Czech Republic change its tax provisions, which tax certain non-residents' income of Czech origin on a gross basis, whereas residents may deduct expenses related to the same income. The Commission considers that these rules are incompatible with the EC Treaty, which guarantees the freedom to provide services and the free movement of capital. The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion (second step of the infringement procedure provided for in Article 226 of the EC Treaty). If there is no satisfactory reaction to the reasoned opinion within two months, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

    [14] Direct taxation: Commission requests that Finland end discriminatory taxation of non-resident artists and sportsmen

    The European Commission has sent Finland a formal request to amend its legislation which applies discriminatory taxation to non-resident artists and sportsmen. According to the Finnish legislation, non-resident artists and sportsmen pay a final tax of 15% on their revenues from Finland, after certain limited deductions for lodging, transport and daily allowances. Resident artists and sportsmen are subject to a progressive tax rate and may deduct the actual expenses linked to their income. The Commission's request takes the form of a ‘reasoned opinion’ (second step of the infringement procedure of Article 226 of the EC Treaty). If Finland does not reply satisfactorily to the reasoned opinion within two months the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [15] La Commission publie un document de travail de ses services sur le terrorisme et les droits fondamentaux dans l’Union européenne

    La Commission européenne a publié un document de travail de ses services intitulé «Synthèse des réponses des États membres au questionnaire sur le droit pénal, le droit administratif/procédural et les droits fondamentaux dans le cadre de la lutte contre le terrorisme». Ce document réunit des informations existantes provenant des États membres de l’Union en matière de législation antiterroriste et de droits fondamentaux.

    [16] La Commission donne un avertissement l'Espagne concernant l'accès des retraités de l'UE aux soins de santé nécessaires

    La Commission européenne a envoyé aujourd’hui un avis motivé l'Espagne pour non-respect de la législation communautaire relative aux droits en matière de sécurité sociale des personnes qui voyagent en Europe. La Commission estime que l'Espagne pratique une discrimination l'égard des retraités européens en leur refusant l'accès gratuit aux médicaments lorsqu'ils séjournent temporairement en Espagne. Les autorités espagnoles disposent maintenant de deux mois pour réagir. Si elles ne le font pas ou si leur réponse n'est pas satisfaisante, la Commission peut décider de traduire l’Espagne devant la Cour de justice européenne.

    [17] State aid: Commission authorises temporary German scheme allowing reduced interest rates to boost economy

    The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty rules on state aid a German scheme aimed at providing relief to companies encountering financing difficulties as a result of the credit squeeze in the current economic crisis. The scheme allows authorities at federal, regional and local level, including public development banks, to grant aid in the form of reduced interest rates on loans concluded by 31 December 2010. The scheme meets the conditions of the Commission’s Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1993&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1993), because it is limited in time, respects the relevant thresholds and applies only to companies that were not in difficulty on 1 July 2008. It is therefore compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty, which permits aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.

    [18] GDP per inhabitant in 2006 ranged from 25% of the EU27 average in Nord- Est in Romania to 336% in Inner London

    In 2006, GDP per inhabitant, expressed in terms of purchasing power standards, in the EU27's 271 NUTS-2 regions ranged from 25% of the EU27 average in the region of Nord-Est in Romania, to 336% of the average in Inner London in the United Kingdom. This information is taken from data released by Eurostat. The four leading regions in the ranking of regional GDP per inhabitant in 2006 were Inner London in the United Kingdom (336% of the average), the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (267%), Bruxelles/Brussels in Belgium (233%) and Hamburg in Germany (200%). Among the 41 regions exceeding the 125% level, eight were in Germany, six in the United Kingdom, five in the Netherlands, four in Austria, three each in Spain and Italy, two each in Belgium and Finland, one region each in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, France, Slovakia and Sweden, as well as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

    [19] Animal feedingstuffs: infringement proceedings against two Member States

    The European Commission has decided to send "Reasoned Opinions" to the governments of Portugal and Finland for failure to notify national implementing measures as required by Commission Directive 2008/38/EC. This Directive establishes a list of intended uses of animal feedingstuffs for particular nutritional purposes. The sending of a "Reasoned Opinion" is the second step in infringement proceedings under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If the Member States concerned are not able to assure the Commission that this Directive is in fact transposed under their national law, the next step will be for the Commission to lodge proceedings against them with the European Court of Justice.

    [20] Animal health rules applicable to aquaculture animals: infringement proceedings against five Member States

    The European Commission has sent "Reasoned Opinions" to the governments of Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, and Portugal over their failure to notify national implementing measures as required by Commission Directive 2008/53/EC. This Directive amends the list of aquatic animal diseases, established by Council Directive 2006/88/EC, which lays down animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products. The sending of a "Reasoned Opinion" is the second step in infringement proceedings under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If the Member States concerned are not able to assure the Commission that this Directive is in fact transposed under their national law, the next step will be for the Commission to lodge proceedings against them with the European Court of Justice.

    [21] Organisms harmful to plants: the Commission acts against Italy and Hungary

    The European Commission decided today to send "Reasoned Opinions" to the governments of Italy and Hungary for failure to notify national implementing measures as required by Directive 2008/64/EC. This Directive is on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community. The sending of a "Reasoned Opinion" is the second step in infringement proceedings under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If the Member States concerned are not able to assure the Commission that this Directive is in fact transposed under their national law, the next step will be for the Commission to lodge cases against them with the European Court of Justice.

    Rediffusion

    [22] Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Vania and Polivé by Johnson & Johnson

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the French companies Vania and Polivé by the US company Johnson & Johnson. All the companies sell cosmetics and female sanitary protection products. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it.

    [23] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Antitrust: Commission confirms inspections in the industry for compressors for refrigeration

    • Memo on English, a rare language?

    • Memo Questions & Answers on Interpretation

    • Memo on Wanted: English–language translators

    • Memo Commissioner Charlie McCreevy welcomes Industry Commitment to EU Central Counterparty for CDS

    • Transcript of Commissioner Almunia's Press Conference on assessment of Stability and Convergence Programmes and application of the Stability and Growth Pact, Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Kroes 'The return to long-term viability', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Fischer Boel 'Organic food and farming: building fresh success on a stronger legal foundation', Nürnberg

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Fortress/Unicredit/Torre From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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