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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 09-03-11

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] Visit to Slovak Republic, meeting with Prime Minister Fico: Commissioner Hübner applauds support for research and development
  • [02] State aid: Commission authorises temporary Hungarian scheme allowing subsidised state guarantees to boost real economy
  • [03] Cinquième journée européenne des victimes du terrorisme
  • [04] Commission welcomes the adoption of the Directive on airport charges by the European Parliament and the Council
  • [05] EU27 current account deficit 21.0 bn euro
  • [06] 17 March: Industrial Competitiveness Conference
  • [07] Commissioner Joe Borg to deliver keynote speech at Arctic conference
  • [08] Commission clears acquisition of ERSA by EDF and EnBW
  • [09] Commission clears acquisition of Kogeneracja by EDF and EnBW
  • [10] State aid: The Commission endorses the revised privatisation plan for Olympic Airlines and Olympic Airways Services
  • [11] The Commission proposes making rights to slots more flexible in order to counteract the impact of the crisis on air transport
  • [12] Aides d'État: la Commission étend son enquête sur les tarifs réglementés de l'électricité en France
  • [13] Aides d'État: la Commission ordonne l'Espagne de récupérer une aide illégale auprès de SNIACE
  • [14] Aides d'État: la Commission approuve une aide la restructuration de 33,5 millions € en faveur de l'entreprise polonaise Huta Stalowa Wola
  • [15] Joint statement by the Presidency of the ECOFIN Council and the Commission on providing medium-term financial assistance to Romania
  • [16] EU-funded Ethiopian film "Teza" awarded main African film prize for best film
  • [17] Authorisation for State aid to German combined transport aid scheme
  • [18] Aid to maritime transport: Commission approves modifications in the Dutch tonnage tax scheme
  • [19] Commission approves Czech aid scheme supporting renewal of public transport services
  • [20] La Commission européenne autorise un régime belge d’aide au transport combiné rail/route
  • [21] Concentrations : la Commission autorise le projet de prise de contrôle de Thales par Dassault Aviation et TSA
  • [22] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2009-03-11 Reference: MEX/09/0311 Date: 11/03/2009 EXME09 / 11.03

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    11/03/09


  • [01] Visit to Slovak Republic, meeting with Prime Minister Fico: Commissioner Hübner applauds support for research and development

    Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, will be in the Slovak Republic on 12-13 March to visit projects in Žilina and Trenčin which have received investment support through the EU's Cohesion Policy. On 13 March, the Commissioner will meet the Slovak Prime Minister Róbert Fico, to discuss the package of measures taken by the European Commission in response to the financial and economic crisis.

    [02] State aid: Commission authorises temporary Hungarian scheme allowing subsidised state guarantees to boost real economy

    The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty rules on state aid a Hungarian 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 to grant aid in the form of subsidised guarantees for investment and working capital loans and financial leasing 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), as amended on 25 February 2009, 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.

    [03] Cinquième journée européenne des victimes du terrorisme

    La Commission européenne exprime sa solidarité indéfectible et sa profonde sympathie l’égard de l’ensemble des victimes d’attentats. À l’occasion de la cinquième journée européenne des victimes du terrorisme, la Commission européenne rend hommage celles et ceux qui ont perdu la vie lors d’attentats commis en Europe et ailleurs dans le monde, ainsi qu’aux personnes qui portent encore les cicatrices physiques et psychologiques de ces événements tragiques. La Commission européenne s’associe la douleur des victimes, de leurs familles et de leurs proches.

    [04] Commission welcomes the adoption of the Directive on airport charges by the European Parliament and the Council

    The EU legislators agreed today on a Directive on airport charges. Vice- President Antonio Tajani, responsible for transport said: "I am delighted with this outcome: it is an important first step in addressing airport charges in Community law. Airport charges must be transparent and non- discriminatory, which will benefit the citizens of Europe".

    [05] EU27 current account deficit 21.0 bn euro

    The EU27 external current account recorded a deficit of € 21.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with a deficit of € 14.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007 and a deficit of € 60.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008. In the fouth quarter of 2008, the EU27 external balance of trade in services recorded a surplus of € 23.0 billion, compared with a surplus of € 19.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007 and a surplus of € 19.3 billion in the third quarter of 2008. With this News Release from Eurostat, a revised methodology has been applied. As a result, the figures for the current account have been revised from the first quarter of 2004. See the annex to this News Release for more details. The data are provisional.

    [06] 17 March: Industrial Competitiveness Conference

    The high-level conference “Industrial competitiveness: Challenges, opportunities and the role of policy in difficult times?” will bring European and international leaders together to discuss the way ahead. The European economy is greatly affected by the unwinding of the global financial and economic crisis Falling demand and lost jobs are hitting businesses, families and communities throughout the EU. The EU has every interest in maintaining a strong and competitive industrial base as it moves towards a knowledge-based and low carbon economy. The European Union needs to intelligently use its economic policies to reinvigorate growth and job creation and to fully exploit its long term strengths. A key speaker is Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the Vice-President and Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, Günter Verheugen as well as ministers, business leaders, and internationally renowned economists will also speak at the conference which will take place on Tuesday, 17th of March 2009 in Brussels. <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/enterprise_policy/industry/industrial_competitiveness_conference.htm">More information and on-line registration

    [07] Commissioner Joe Borg to deliver keynote speech at Arctic conference

    Joe Borg, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will be in Berlin this evening to deliver the keynote address at an international conference on new chances and new responsibilities in the Arctic region. This major 3-day event, organised by the German Foreign Office, in cooperation with the Foreign Offices of Denmark and Norway, will bring together participants from a number of countries and a variety of spheres, including politics, business, science and civil society. In his address Mr Borg will outline the EU's vision for the Arctic and emphasise how dialogue with the indigenous communities and international cooperation involving Arctic States, peoples and the wider international community hold the key to lasting and effective solutions to the problems facing the region. The conference will comprise plenary sessions and three thematic forums – a first focusing on the environment, research and social issues, a second on resources and maritime traffic, and a third on international law. It will focus on reconciling conflicting interests in the Arctic, on co-operation among Arctic and non-Arctic states, and on the role of supranational organisations such as the EU and UN.

    [08] Commission clears acquisition of ERSA by EDF and EnBW

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Elektrownia ‘Rybnik’ S.A. (ERSA) of Poland by E.D.F. International of France, controlled by Électricité de France SA (EDF) and Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) of Germany. EDF and EnBW are both active in the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity. ERSA generates, processes and distributes electricity in Poland The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [09] Commission clears acquisition of Kogeneracja by EDF and EnBW

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Zespół Elektrociepłowni Wrocławskich Kogeneracja S.A (Kogeneracja) of Poland by E.D.F. International of France, controlled by Électricité de France SA (EDF) and Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) of Germany. EDF and EnBW are both active in the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity. Kogeneracja generates electricity and heat in Poland. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    Rediffusion

    [10] State aid: The Commission endorses the revised privatisation plan for Olympic Airlines and Olympic Airways Services

    The Commission has today decided that the revised privatisation plan for Olympic Airlines and Olympic Airways Services does not raise State aid concerns. The original privatisation plan, which had been approved by the Commission on 17 September 2008, was based on an open, transparent and non- discriminatory public tender procedure. However, given the financial and economic crisis, the tender process was not successful. The Greek authorities have now pursued the sale by direct negotiation with interested parties, in compliance with EC law.

    [11] The Commission proposes making rights to slots more flexible in order to counteract the impact of the crisis on air transport

    The European Commission has today adopted a proposal for an amendment to the 'slots' Regulation which it is submitting to the European Parliament and the Council for urgent adoption. This temporary measure would allow airlines to keep their rights over slots.

    [12] Aides d'État: la Commission étend son enquête sur les tarifs réglementés de l'électricité en France

    La Commission européenne a étendu l'enquête approfondie, ouverte en 2007 au titre des règles du traité CE sur les aides d'Etat, au sujet de tarifs d'électricité réglementés dont bénéficient certaines grandes et moyennes entreprises en France (voir <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/815&format=HTML&aged=1&language=FR&guiLanguage=en">IP/07/815). Ces tarifs artificiellement bas semblent procurer un avantage économique important certaines entreprises et entraîner des distorsions de concurrence sur le marché unique de l'Union européenne. L'extension de l'enquête porte sur une prolongation du système des "tarifs de retour" (ou "TARTAM") jusqu'en juin 2010, ainsi que sur l'ouverture de ce dispositif de nouveaux bénéficiaires. Ce système, conçu comme une mesure temporaire, a bénéficié jusqu' présent un petit groupe d'entreprises qui sont essentiellement de très grands consommateurs d'électricité. L'enquête ainsi étendue ne porte pas sur les tarifs réglementés applicables aux ménages et aux petites entreprises.

    [13] Aides d'État: la Commission ordonne l'Espagne de récupérer une aide illégale auprès de SNIACE

    En vertu des règles du traité CE relatives aux aides d'État, la Commission européenne a estimé que la non-exécution de plusieurs accords de rééchelonnement de la dette en faveur du producteur espagnol de fibres synthétiques, SNIACE, entre 1993 et 1996, suppose une aide d'État. Une telle aide est incompatible avec le droit communautaire car elle exonère simplement l'entreprise du paiement de ses charges commerciales ordinaires que ses concurrents ont dû payer, sans pour autant servir un quelconque objectif d’intérêt public. Une telle aide confère au bénéficiaire un avantage concurrentiel indu. La Commission a donc ordonné l'Espagne de récupérer auprès de SNIACE l'aide qui s'élève plus de 22,6 millions €, majorée des intérêts. L'enquête, ouverte initialement en 1998, a été rouverte suite deux arrêts de la Cour en 2004 et 2007.

    [14] Aides d'État: la Commission approuve une aide la restructuration de 33,5 millions € en faveur de l'entreprise polonaise Huta Stalowa Wola

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en application des règles du traité CE sur les aides d'État, une aide la restructuration de 33,5 millions € que la Pologne envisage d'accorder l'entreprise Huta Stalowa Wola S.A. (HSW). À l'issue d'une enquête approfondie, ouverte en octobre 2007 (voir <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/1481&format=HTML&aged=1&language=FR&guiLanguage=en">IP/07/1481), la Commission a conclu que le plan de restructuration présenté par les autorités polonaises devrait permettre de garantir la viabilité de l'entreprise long terme, que l'aide se limitait au minimum nécessaire pour mener bien cette restructuration et qu'elle ne créerait pas de distorsion indue de la concurrence.

    [15] Joint statement by the Presidency of the ECOFIN Council and the Commission on providing medium-term financial assistance to Romania

    In view of the adverse effects of the global financial turmoil on the economic and financial situation in Romania, the Council Presidency and the Commission express the European Union's readiness to support Romania in avoiding risks of increasing market pressures and in achieving the orderly unwinding of imbalances.

    [16] EU-funded Ethiopian film "Teza" awarded main African film prize for best film

    After "Slumdog Millionaire", winner of 8 Oscars at this year's Academy Award ceremony, EU support to international cinema has yet another success to celebrate: "Teza", a movie by Ethiopian film maker Haile Gerima about the "red terror" in Ethiopia, was the jury's unanimous choice for this year's top African film prize during the 21st pan-African Cinema and Television Festival (FESPACO) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

    [17] Authorisation for State aid to German combined transport aid scheme

    The European Commission authorised today a German scheme which intends to encourage the development of combined transport by supporting the construction of new infrastructure and the introduction of innovative equipment.

    [18] Aid to maritime transport: Commission approves modifications in the Dutch tonnage tax scheme

    The European Commission decided today to authorise the changes the Netherlands plan to make to their tonnage tax scheme. This tax regime enables shipping companies not to pay company tax but only a flat-rate tax based on the tonnage of their fleet.

    [19] Commission approves Czech aid scheme supporting renewal of public transport services

    Today, the European Commission approved a Czech aid scheme benefiting transport undertakings that carry out public services in the regions of Jihovýchod, Jihozápad, Moravskoslezsko, Severozápad, Severovýchod, Střední Čechy and Střední Morava. The State aid scheme aims at facilitating the acquisition and modernisation of buses, trams, trolleybuses, rail rolling stock and other vehicles in the Czech Republic.

    [20] La Commission européenne autorise un régime belge d’aide au transport combiné rail/route

    Le régime d’aide belge approuvé aujourd’hui entrera en vigueur pour 4 ans et sera doté d'un budget de 25 millions d’euros par an. La mesure vise encourager le développement d’offres comodales, en particulier par voie ferroviaire.

    [21] Concentrations : la Commission autorise le projet de prise de contrôle de Thales par Dassault Aviation et TSA

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement CE sur les concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de contrôle conjoint sur Thales par Dassault Aviation et TSA, tous trois français. Après examen, la Commission est parvenue la conclusion que l’opération n’entraverait pas de manière significative l’exercice d’une concurrence effective dans l’Espace économique européen (EEE) ou dans une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [22] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo Antitrust : La Commission confirme avoir mené des inspections chez EDF

    • Discours du Président Barroso sur la Préparation du Conseil Européen, Strasbourg

    • Speech by Commissioner Piebalgs on EU Energy and Climate Policy, Doha

    • Speech by Commissioner Ferrero-Walner on the Energy in the Euro- Mediterranean region, Barcelona – in Spanish only From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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