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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-06-16

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 Headquarters "wrapped" in White Band for Africa
  • [02] Commission approves acquisition of Mölnlycke by Apax Partners
  • [03] Commission approves acquisition of the chemical company Great Lakes by Crompton
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of SAP by CGE, AMGA and SMAT
  • [05] Commission clears acquisition of Astron by RRD
  • [06] Marché intérieur : la Commission lance une consultation sur l’assurance automobile
  • [07] Internal market : Commission seeks mandate to negotiate UN Convention on "e-contracting"
  • [08] May 2005 : Euro-zone and EU25 annual inflation down to 1.9%
  • [09] Rendre le programme-cadre de recherche de l'UE plus accessible
  • [10] EU Structural Funds contribute with an investment €13 billion to research and innovation projects
  • [11] Regional policy benefits the whole EU, not just poor regions
  • [12] EU and Ukraine launching project on the destruction of landmines
  • [13] EU and Sao Tomé extend fisheries protocol by a year
  • [14] Lászlo Kovács meets Philippe de Buck and Jean-Paul Mingasson, UNICE
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-06-16 Reference: MEX/05/0616 Date: 16/06/2005 EXME05 / 16.6

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Général Presse etb

    Communication

    16/06/05


  • [01] Commission Headquarters "wrapped" in White Band for Africa

    Today, the European Commission's Headquarters in Brussels - the Berlaymont Building - are "wrapped" in a white band in support of the campaign for the "Global Call to Action against Poverty". It is the first of a number of well known buildings across Europe to be "wrapped" with a white band in the coming months - the Coliseum in Italy, the Brandenburger Tor in Germany and, in France, the Trocadero's buildings which sit either side of the Eiffel Tower will be wrapped with two white bands. The President of the Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has launched the white band with Development Commissioner Louis Michel, René Grotenhuis, GCAP Spokesperson, and Axelle Red, the well known Belgian singer, long time campaigner on poverty issues, and one of the headline acts for the Live 8 concert in Paris. The aim is to send a clear message to EU leaders at the Summit to give their full backing to ambitious development aid targets on the Summit agenda. The GCAP campaign will present President Barroso with a three metre white band with the message "Aid, Trade and Debt". A huge campaign banner has been mounted on the side of the Berlaymont Building overlooking the Council's Justus Lipsius building.

    [02] Commission approves acquisition of Mölnlycke by Apax Partners

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Mölnlycke Health Care AB (“Mölnlycke”), a Swedish supplier of single use surgical and wound care products, by Apax Partners, a group of investment funds. After examining the transaction, the Commission concluded that it would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

    [03] Commission approves acquisition of the chemical company Great Lakes by Crompton

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Great Lakes Chemical Corporation by Crompton Corporation. Although there were a few overlaps in the companies' activities, notably in the area of polymer additives, the Commission has concluded that the concentration would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it. This is in particular due to competition from other US and Asian producers.

    [04] Commission clears acquisition of SAP by CGE, AMGA and SMAT

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Societ Azionaria per la Condotta di Acque Potabili S.p.A. (SAP) of Italy by Compagnie Générale des Eaux (CGE) of France and. SAP's current parent companies, Azienda Mediterranea Gas e Acqua S.p.A. (AMGA) and Societ Metropolitana Acque Torino S.p.A. (SMAT). The transaction concerns the water sector in Italy. CGE is the holding company of the water division of the French group Veolia Environnement. CGE is active in various regions in Italy in all the stages of the provision of water. AMGA is the holding company of a group that operates in the utilities sector in Italy through the management of gas distribution networks, the provision of water-related services and the production and sale of electricity. SMAT is a publicly-owned company exclusively engaged in the provision of water and other water-related services. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [05] Commission clears acquisition of Astron by RRD

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Astron Group Limited (Astron) of the UK, by US based undertaking RR Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD), through an indirectly wholly owned UK subsidiary, RRD Inks Limited. RRD is an international print provider whose activities include printing magazines and catalogues, white & yellow pages directories, retail inserts and conventional and digital photography services, printing books, direct mail and business communications services. RRD is primarily active in North America and has a more limited scope of operation in Europe. RRD's printing operations are located in Poland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the UK and Hungary. Astron is predominantly active in the UK in business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions. Astron's principal clients are organisations in sectors which produce and process a large volume of external and internal communication, such as utilities, financial services and government bodies. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [06] Marché intérieur : la Commission lance une consultation sur l’assurance automobile

    La Commission européenne a lancé une consultation publique en ligne sur deux questions relatives l'assurance automobile : la connaissance qu'a le grand public des organismes nationaux d'indemnisation et sa perception de leur efficacité en matière de règlements des sinistres, d'une part, et les problèmes rencontrés pour faire assurer les remorques, d'autre part. Les réponses seront prises en compte dans un prochain rapport de la Commission au Parlement européen et au Conseil. Ouverte jusqu'au 15 juillet 2005, cette consultation est accessible l'adresse suivante :

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/yourvoice/consultations/index_fr.htm">http://europa.eu.int/yourvoice/consultations/index_fr.htm

    [07] Internal market : Commission seeks mandate to negotiate UN Convention on "e-contracting"

    The European Commission has asked the Council for authorisation to open negotiations, on behalf of the EU, on a draft UN Convention aiming to make it easier to conclude international business to business contracts electronically. The negotiations will take place within the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

    [08] May 2005 : Euro-zone and EU25 annual inflation down to 1.9%

    Euro-zone annual inflation was 1.9% in May 2005, down from 2.1% in April, reports Eurostat. A year earlier the rate was 2.5%. Monthly inflation was 0.2% in May. EU25 annual inflation was 1.9% in May 2005, down from 2.1% in April. A year earlier the rate was 2.4%. Monthly inflation was 0.2% in May. EICP annual inflation was 1.9% in May 2005. In May 2005, the lowest annual rates were observed in Sweden (0.2%), Finland (0.6%), the Czech Republic (0.9%) and the Netherlands (1.1%), and the highest rates were recorded in Latvia (6.5%), Luxembourg (3.7%), Hungary (3.5%) and Greece (3.2%). Compared with April 2005, annual inflation rose in three Member States, fell in nineteen and remained stable in three. The lowest 12-month averages up to May 2005 were in Finland (0.3%), Sweden (0.9%), Denmark (1.1%) and the Netherlands (1.3%) ; the highest were in Latvia (7.0%), Hungary (5.3%), Slovakia (5.0%) and Estonia (4.2%).

    [09] Rendre le programme-cadre de recherche de l'UE plus accessible

    La Commission européenne organise un atelier de deux jours sur le thème "Simplifier la participation aux activités de recherche de l'UE – une plus grande accessibilité pour tous", afin d'évaluer une série de nouvelles mesures qui visent rendre plus accessible le 7e programme-cadre de recherche de l'UE pour la période 2007-2013. La réduction des contraintes bureaucratiques dans le domaine des activités de recherche et d'innovation devrait faciliter la participation, notamment celle des petites entités. Les thèmes qui seront traités sont les suivants : règles juridiques et financières, systèmes de financement communautaires, droits de propriété intellectuelle, et procédures d’évaluation et de sélection.

    [10] EU Structural Funds contribute with an investment €13 billion to research and innovation projects

    The Structural Funds play a substantial role in promoting research and innovation in the European Union. Between 2000 and 2006, roughly €13 billion will be spent on research infrastructure and networks, innovative business start-ups and the modernisation of small and medium-sized enterprises, financed through the Structural Funds. This amount is expected to increase from 2007, as the EU's regional policy focuses increasingly on the Union's goals of greater competitiveness and dynamism.

    [11] Regional policy benefits the whole EU, not just poor regions

    An ambitious European Union regional policy benefits the whole EU, not only the poorest regions on which most funding is concentrated. First, a better geographical balance of economic development means better use of resources and higher growth potential in the EU as a whole. Second, up to 40% of Structural Funds invested in the poorest countries returns to other Member States through contracts and the purchase of equipment and expertise. Third, under the European Commission's proposals, 18% of the funds would still be invested in regions that are outside the very poorest, but where there is scope for strengthening competitiveness and employment, and 4% would go towards promoting cooperation between regions.

    [12] EU and Ukraine launching project on the destruction of landmines

    Following the ratification by the Ukrainian Parliament of the Mine Ban Treaty in May 2005, the European Commission and the Government of Ukraine have just successfully concluded the negotiation of the terms of reference of a €6 million project on the destruction of PFM-1 landmines stockpile in Ukraine. This will allow the project to be launched by the end of this year. Article 4 of the Treaty commits every State Party to destroy all stockpiled landmines within a 4-year period after the Treaty enters into force.

    [13] EU and Sao Tomé extend fisheries protocol by a year

    The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, and Sao Tomé e Principe have agreed to extend the current three-year protocol to their fisheries agreement by a year (from 1 June 2005 to 31 May 2006). This extension will allow the 63 EU tuna vessels to continue their fishing activities in the waters of Sao Tomé e Principe (36 tuna seiners, 25 surface long-liners and 2 pole and line vessels). The financial compensation for the year will amount to €637,500, of which 40% will be allocated to measures designed to help develop the local fishing sector and to promote sustainable fisheries in the waters of Sao Tomé. The Union will also provide €50,000 for an evaluation study on deep-water crab which, though planned under the previous protocol, was not carried out. The EU and Sao Tomé have also agreed to accelerate the equipping of fishing vessels with the satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS). The one-year extension of the protocol will allow Sao Tomé to implement these measures and to prepare for the negotiation of a fisheries partnership agreement with the EU. These negotiations are expected to start towards the end of 2005.

    [14] Lászlo Kovács meets Philippe de Buck and Jean-Paul Mingasson, UNICE

    This morning European Taxation and Customs Commissioner Lászlo Kovács met Mr Philippe de Buck, the Secretary General of the European Union of Industries (UNICE), and Mr Jean-Paul Mingasson, General Adviser at UNICE. They took the opportunity to discuss how tax policy could contribute to the attainment of the Lisbon agenda. In this regard they focused in particular on the Commission's proposals for an EU-wide consolidated company tax base (see IP/0/1468), for a VAT "one-stop-shop" system whereby a trader could fulfil all his EU-wide compliance obligations in the Member State in which he is established (see IP/04/1331 and MEMO/04/249) and for an extension of the scope of the EU Interest and Royalties Directive (see IP/04/105). Commissioner Kovács stressed that the implementation of the Lisbon strategy required continuous political and technical support from all stakeholders and he invited UNICE to provide active support at adequate level.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Background note - White Band on the European Commission Headquarters in Brussels

    Speech by Peter Mandelson : "Trade and Development: the road ahead" at EPC- KBF Conference on Trade and Development

    Speech by Janez Potočnik : "Simplifying participation in EU Research: opening up accessibility for all" at Luxembourg Presidency Workshop 'Simplification and accessibility within FP7' (Luxembourg) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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