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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 09-02-25

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] Commission assesses Stability and Convergence Programmes of Italy, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Portugal
  • [02] Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of consumer credit company Cofidis by Crédit Mutuel
  • [03] State aid: Commission approves €7.4 million investment aid to Pirelli for tyre plant in Piemonte, Italy
  • [04] Aides d'État: la Commission autorise la France accorder une aide de 46,5 millions d'euros en faveur du projet de R&D «Solar Nano Crystal»
  • [05] State aid: Commission issues guidance on state aid enforcement by national courts
  • [06] Commission meets employers and trades unions to tackle the economic crisis and take action on jobs
  • [07] EU support to fight the crisis in the automotive sector
  • [08] Commission authorises Irish tonnage tax amendment
  • [09] Airport financing: Commission gives green light to state support for Kassel-Calden Airport in Germany
  • [10] Airport financing: Commission gives green light to state support for Münster/Osnabrück Airport in Germany
  • [11] EU Commissioner Potočnik to receive Declaration from European Science Parliament
  • [12] Commission clears acquisition of Okna by Penta
  • [13] Commission clears acquisition of Sedas and by Akenerji by CEZ and Akkok
  • [14] Vice-President Günter Verheugen to visit Ireland on 26 February
  • [15] Commission increases flexibility of structural funds in response to financial crisis
  • [16] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2009-02-25 Reference: MEX/09/0225 Date: 25/02/2009 EXME09 / 25.02

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    25/02/09


  • [01] Commission assesses Stability and Convergence Programmes of Italy, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Portugal

    Today the European Commission has examined the updated Stability and Convergence Programmes (SCPs) of Italy, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Portugal. As with last week's 17 other programmes (see IP/09/273 andIP/09/274 ), the assessment take place against the background of the ongoing sharp economic downturn. Budgetary positions are projected to deteriorate markedly in 2009 in Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal. In the latter two countries, this also reflects significant economic stimulus packages adopted in line with the European Recovery Plan that called for timely, targeted and temporary fiscal measures in Member States with fiscal room for manoeuvre. Italy's recovery measures are budgetary neutral, which seems adequate in view of the country's very high debt ratio. In Lithuania, the planned restrictive fiscal stance over the whole programme period is an appropriate response to address the existing economic imbalances. However, budgetary outcomes in the programme are subject to significant downside risks.

    [02] Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of consumer credit company Cofidis by Crédit Mutuel

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of consumer credit company Cofidis by retail banker and insurer Crédit Mutuel, both headquartered in France. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    [03] State aid: Commission approves €7.4 million investment aid to Pirelli for tyre plant in Piemonte, Italy

    The European Commission has authorised, under the EC Treaty’s rules on state aid, €7.4 million of aid to Pirelli Industrie Pneumatici S.r.l. (Pirelli Tyre S.p.A.) for an initial investment project in Settimo Torinese. The project is aimed at extending the existing plant of Pirelli and introducing new innovative products. The investment should safeguard 900 jobs and facilitate the creation of a pole for innovation and production in the area. The project is in line with EU Regional Aid Guidelines (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/05/1653&format=HTML&aged=1&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/05/1653) because it will contribute to regional development without unduly distorting competition.

    [04] Aides d'État: la Commission autorise la France accorder une aide de 46,5 millions d'euros en faveur du projet de R&D «Solar Nano Crystal»

    La Commission européenne a décidé, en vertu des règles du traité relatives aux aides d'État, de ne pas soulever d'objections au soutien financier de 46,5 millions d'euros que la France envisage d'accorder au projet de recherche et de développement intitulé Solar Nano Crystal. L'objectif de ce projet, mis en œuvre par un consortium dirigé par PV Alliance LabFab, est de développer l'ensemble de la filière de l'énergie solaire, allant de la production de silicium aux modules photovoltaïques. La Commission a constaté que cette aide était compatible avec l'encadrement européen des aides d'État la recherche, au développement et l'innovation (voir <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/06/1020&format=HTML&aged=1&language=FR&guiLanguage=en">IP/06/1600) parce que, conformément aux objectifs de l'Union européenne, elle encourage des activités de recherche et développement qui n'auraient pas été menées en l'absence de l'aide et qui visent promouvoir les formes d'énergie durables et diversifiées. Ces avantages l'emportent sur les risques de distorsion de la concurrence.

    [05] State aid: Commission issues guidance on state aid enforcement by national courts

    The European Commission has issued a set of guidelines to assist Member States' courts in applying EU state aid rules. These guidelines are aimed at supporting national courts and potential claimants in relation to domestic state aid challenges, in particular concerning the recovery of illegal aid from the beneficiary, interim relief or possible damages actions. In addition, the guidelines cover how national judges can ask the Commission for information or opinions on the application of the state aid rules.

    [06] Commission meets employers and trades unions to tackle the economic crisis and take action on jobs

    The European Commission today continued its work to implement the European Economic Recovery Plan with a special meeting with the representatives of trades unions and employers at EU level. It showed a wide consensus that the internal market and the Recovery Plan provided the right springboard for tackling the crisis and taking action on jobs in Europe, and that further measures would have to be put in place at EU level.

    [07] EU support to fight the crisis in the automotive sector

    The automotive sector with its 12 million jobs depending on this strategic industry has been hit particularly hard by the current economic crisis with new registrations down by 20% and gloomy expectations for 2009. Due to its close links to other sectors and the wide spread of supply industry and vehicle trade, the negative economic effects reaches out to millions of employees in all Member States. In today's communication, the European Commission defends a proactive stance to support industry in their efforts to withstand the crisis, soften negative effects and ensure long-term competitiveness. Building on the European Economic Recovery Plan of 2008, it sets various measures to improve access to credit, to clarify the rules for granting state aid in the particular circumstances, to boost the demand for new vehicles through coordinated national action, to minimise social costs and retain the skilled workforce and to defend fair competition in open markets. The Commission suggests a new partnership with industry, trade unions and Member States in the context of the CARS 21 process to accompany the common crisis response.

    [08] Commission authorises Irish tonnage tax amendment

    The Commission decided today to authorise an amendment of the Irish tonnage tax related to time charter rules as it contributes to the development of Community maritime policy.

    [09] Airport financing: Commission gives green light to state support for Kassel-Calden Airport in Germany

    The European Commission has today decided not to raise any objections to German authorities giving financial support to a project developing Kassel- Calden Airfield into a regional airport for scheduled, charter, commercial and cargo traffic.

    [10] Airport financing: Commission gives green light to state support for Münster/Osnabrück Airport in Germany

    The European Commission has today decided not to raise any objections to German authorities giving financial support to a project developing Münster/Osnabrück Airport into an airport offering new intercontinental connections and air cargo services.

    [11] EU Commissioner Potočnik to receive Declaration from European Science Parliament

    Tomorrow EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, will meet representatives of the European Science Parliament, of which he is patron, to receive the Parliament's Aachen Declaration. This Declaration represents the conclusions of the European Science Parliament's first meeting, on the topic 'Europe energised – Will lights go out in 2050?'. The Declaration will call on the European Union and Member States to take action on a number of issues, ranging from ensuring 'that existing laws on energy efficiency reflect the state of the art of science' to 'increasing the role of ecological issues in education and teacher training'. A full copy is available at <a href="http://www.science-parliament.eu/">http://www.science- parliament.eu/. The European Science Parliament is an ongoing discussion forum dealing with current topics related to science and research. In October 2008, 120 participants of different age and professions from various EU Member States took part in the first meeting of the European Science Parliament – among them more than 70 pupils and students, representatives of the younger generations. EU Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Philippe Busquin, MEP, will meet a delegation of official representatives of the ESP, among them Lord Mayor of Aachen Dr. Jürgen Linden and Rector of the University of Aachen (RWTH) Prof. Ernst Schmachtenberg, at the Representation of the State of North Rhine- Westphalia to the European Union, Rue Montoyer 47,at 11 am, 26 February 2009. Journalists interested to attend and should contact Winifried Broemmel at the ESP (<a href="mailto:winfried.broemmel@mail.aachen.de">winfried.broemmel@mail.aachen.de).

    [12] Commission clears acquisition of Okna by Penta

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Okna RąbieD Sp. zo.o. (Okna) of Poland by Penta Holding Limited (Penta) of the Czech Republic. Penta is a private equity company. Okna assembles and distributes windows and glass doors. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [13] Commission clears acquisition of Sedas and by Akenerji by CEZ and Akkok

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Akenerji Elektrik Uretim A.S. (Akenerji) of Turkey and Sakarya Elektrik Dagitim A.S. (Sedas), both of Turkey by CEZ, a.s. of the Czech Republic and Akkok Sanayi Yatirim ve Gelistirme A.S. (Akkok) of Turkey. CEZ generates, distributes and sells electricity and is active in coal mining. Akkok is active in energy, chemicals, textiles and real estate. Akenerji is active in the generation of electricity and steam. Sedas distributes and sells electricity. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [14] Vice-President Günter Verheugen to visit Ireland on 26 February

    Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for Enterprise and Industry, will pay a visit to Ireland tomorrow to meet Mary Coughlan, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Vice President Verheugen will also meet with European Affairs committee of the Irish Parliament. During his visit Vice President Verheugen will focus on what can be done to overcome the recession, restore long-term growth prospects and mitigate adverse social effects. He will draw attention to important EU policies which can help to stimulate and preserve employment, such as the European Commission's economic recovery plan and the recently adopted Small Business Act, which aims at assisting Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) by cutting red tape and putting their needs in the centre of policy making. He will discuss how Ireland's entrepreneurial potential, its capacity for innovation and its highly skilled work force can be harnessed to rebuild growth and jobs. Vice- President Verheugen will also address the Institute of European Affairs, a Dublin-based think tank, and the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC). IBEC represents over 7,500 member businesses and organizations from all sectors.

    Rediffusion

    [15] Commission increases flexibility of structural funds in response to financial crisis

    In response to the financial and economic crisis, Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner has announced a package of decisions by the European Commission aimed at giving Member States more flexibility in their use of the structural funds. The changes will extend the deadline for EU countries to use up their allocations from the 2000-2006 funding period and ensure that every available euro can be used to maximum effect.

    [16] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Background on the situation in the car industry

    • Memo on State aid: Commission issues guidance on state aid enforcement by national courts - frequently asked questions

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    TPV/Philips Branded Monitors From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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