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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-06-15

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] Benita Ferrero-Waldner on the current developments in the Palestine Territory
  • [02] Louis Michel calls for a humanitarian truce in Gaza
  • [03] La Commission ouvre une enquête approfondie sur le projet de reprise de la division "panneaux stratifiés" de Constantia par le groupe Kronospan
  • [04] HgCapital abandons proposed acquisition of Denton and withdraws notification
  • [05] Commission clears acquisition of Générale de Santé by De Agostini and Santé Holdings
  • [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de PUMA par PPR
  • [07] All exports refunds for dairy products set at zero
  • [08] New priority section of the trans-European transport network completed: the Betuweroute starts operating between the Netherlands and Germany
  • [09] Free software now available to help companies fulfil their REACH obligations
  • [10] Commission regrets missed opportunity by NASCO to undertake a performance review
  • [11] Euro area external trade surplus €1.8 billion ; €14.4 billion deficit for EU27
  • [12] Mediterranean Economies and the Immediate Environmental Challenge
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-06-15 Reference: MEX/07/0615 Date: 15/06/2007 EXME07 / 15.6

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    15/06/07


  • [01] Benita Ferrero-Waldner on the current developments in the Palestine Territory

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner stated : "I remain extremely concerned especially about the situation in Gaza. The violence has to stop. We are analysing the situation after the decision of President Mahmud Abbas to dissolve the government and to declare the state of emergency. I will discuss the matter with other Quartet members during the course of the day. I urge all parties to restrain from violence and to spare civilians. I call on President Abbas, the legitimate President of all Palestinians, to make his utmost to resolve the situation through dialogue and to work towards national unity and reconciliation. And as we said in the past, we will not let the Palestinians down. We aim to continue our humanitarian assistance which is provided either through the TIM or through the direct delivery of food, water and medicine to both the West Bank and Gaza."

    [02] Louis Michel calls for a humanitarian truce in Gaza

    The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, called yesterday on the fighting parties in Gaza to accept a humanitarian truce to allow injured people to be evacuated and basic assistance - food, water and medical aid - to be delivered. Commissioner Michel said: "I am appalled by the current situation in Gaza that is preventing humanitarian workers from assisting people in desperate need." Security conditions in the Strip have forced the humanitarian partners of the Commission in Gaza temporarily to halt their work. "We are fully committed to helping the suffering people of Gaza and to upholding fundamental humanitarian principles. The assistance must resume as soon as possible", added Mr Michel.

    [03] La Commission ouvre une enquête approfondie sur le projet de reprise de la division "panneaux stratifiés" de Constantia par le groupe Kronospan

    La Commission européenne a ouvert une enquête approfondie, conformément au règlement CE sur les concentrations, concernant le projet d'acquisition par Kronospan Holding GmbH (Allemagne), membre du groupe Kronospan, des activités de panneaux stratifiés bruts et enduits de Constantia Industries AG (Autriche). Les deux sociétés sont spécialisées dans la fabrication et la fourniture de produits base de bois, et notamment de panneaux stratifiés bruts et enduits, de feuilles décoratives stratifiées et de composants. L'enquête approfondie permettra la Commission d'apprécier les conséquences de l'opération envisagée sur la concurrence, en particulier dans le secteur des panneaux stratifiés bruts. La Commission dispose présent d'un délai de 90 jours ouvrables (jusqu'au 19 octobre 2007) pour prendre une décision finale sur la question de savoir si l'opération de concentration entraverait ou non de manière significative une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci. La décision d'ouvrir une enquête approfondie ne préjuge pas du résultat final de l'enquête.

    [04] HgCapital abandons proposed acquisition of Denton and withdraws notification

    The European Commission has acknowledged the abandonment of the proposed acquisition of Denton (US) by the UK-based financial investment group HgCapital, owner of FTSS, and closed its investigation following the parties' agreement to terminate their sale and purchase agreement and to withdraw their notification of the proposed deal to the Commission.

    [05] Commission clears acquisition of Générale de Santé by De Agostini and Santé Holdings

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Générale de Santé S.A of France by De Agostini S.p.A. of Italy and Santé Holdings S.r.l. of Italy. De Agostini is a holding company active in the sector of media, lottery and games and equity and private fund investment. Santé Holdings is the current holding company of Générale de Santé. Générale de Santé is active in the health care sector. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de PUMA par PPR

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement Concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de l'entreprise allemande PUMA Aktiengesellschaft Rudolf Dassler Sport (PUMA) par l'entreprise française PPR S.A. PPR fabrique des produits de luxe et s'occupe de la distribution au détail. PUMA est active dans la production et la distribution en gros et au détail de vêtements, de chaussures et d'accessoires de sport ou en lien avec le sport. Il ressort de l'enquête menée par la Commission que l'opération envisagée n'entravera pas de manière significative la concurrence dans le marché commun. Cette affaire a été traitée selon la procédure simplifiée.

    [07] All exports refunds for dairy products set at zero

    The dairy management committee yesterday adopted the European Commission's proposal to set all refunds for dairy products at zero. This is the first time since the introduction of refunds that exports of all dairy products receive no refunds. For skimmed milk powder the refund was set at zero in mid-2006. At the start of 2007, the refunds for whole milk powder and condensed milk were set at zero and now the refunds for butter and cheese have also been set at zero. This is partly the result of the 2003 CAP reform, but mainly the result of extraordinary market conditions on the internal market and the world market. At the start of the 2003 CAP reform, refunds for SMP, WMP, butter and cheese were 57 euro/100kg, 98 euro/100kg, 178 euro/100 kg and 105 euro/100 kg respectively. Internal prices for dairy products are currently higher than before the 2003 reform. SMP prices are twice the intervention level and butter prices are 30% above the intervention level. On world markets, the same trends can be observed, with prices of milk powders well above US$400/100kg and cheese prices approaching US$400/100kg. Butter prices are also at a historically high level and rising. The Commission will continue to monitor the market very closely and adapt the refunds if necessary. See also Mariann Fischer Boel's blog:

    <a href="http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/blog_fischerboel/page/fischerboel">http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/blog_fischerboel/page/fischerboel

    [08] New priority section of the trans-European transport network completed: the Betuweroute starts operating between the Netherlands and Germany

    On 16 June 2007 about 160 km of dedicated rail freight line will start moving freights between the port of Rotterdam and Germany at a speed of 120 km/h. Through this new railroad, an average of 160 trains per day is expected to cross the Dutch-German border, carrying around 37 million tons of freight a year. "Today's celebrations mark a major milestone in the completion of the trans-European transport network. By contributing to this important project, the European Commission has supported not only the revitalisation of rail transport in Europe but the overall development of a region", said Jacques Barrot, Commission Vice-President in charge of transport, welcoming the first example of railway track in Europe solely dedicated to freight transport.

    [09] Free software now available to help companies fulfil their REACH obligations

    A new software application is now available to companies to allow them to supply the data required under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation which came into force on 1 June 2007. The software will allow companies to enter, manage, store and exchange homogenous data on the properties of the chemicals they produce. Along with its use for REACH compliance, the software has been designed in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This means that the data can be used for many other regulatory authorities, which makes the whole exercise much more efficient for companies. The software, called IUCLID 5, can be downloaded for free from http://euclid.eu. There is also a professional service desk to assist users with the installation and implementation of the software.

    [10] Commission regrets missed opportunity by NASCO to undertake a performance review

    The European Commission has expressed disappointment that the Contracting Parties to NASCO, which met last week in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA, did not agree to undertake a performance review of the organisation. Set up in 1983, NASCO is the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation responsible for the management of wild salmon stocks in the North Atlantic Ocean for which scientists recommend increasing conservation efforts. The EU had tabled a proposal that was fully in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution of December 2006, which calls urgently for Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, such as NASCO, to undertake such reviews with the involvement of external experts. Such reviews are seen as crucial to the strengthening of RFMOs as the best placed instruments to ensure sustainable fisheries on the high sea areas under their responsibility. RFMOs are also increasingly expected to be more accountable to the wider community for the fisheries resources entrusted to their stewardship. The Commission welcomes the important progress made at this meeting in addressing conservation concerns in relation to North Atlantic wild salmon. It is however disappointed that other NASCO Parties - which have been closely associated with the development of the review process in other RFMOs and in the UNGA - did not support the EU initiative to set a deadline by which the Performance Review should be undertaken. NASCO only agreed to examine the possibility again at the 2008 Annual Meeting with a view to adopting a timetable. The Commission remains fully committed to the strengthening of RFMOs to allow them to carry out their management tasks effectively, and to the establishment of new ones to ensure that all areas of the high seas are covered.

    [11] Euro area external trade surplus €1.8 billion ; €14.4 billion deficit for EU27

    The first estimate for the euro area (EA13) trade balance with the rest of the world in April 2007 gave a €1.8 billion surplus, compared with €- 2.7 billion in April 2006. The March 2007 balance was €+7.6 billion, compared with €+0.4 billion in March 2006. In April 2007 compared with March 2007, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.6% and imports by 2.2%. The first estimate for April 2007 extra-EU27 trade was a deficit of €14.4 billion, compared with €-16.5 billion in April 2006. In March 2007, the balance was €-10.5 billion, compared with €-13.7 billion in March 2006. In April 2007 compared with March 2007, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.7%, while imports rose by 0.1%. These data are released by Eurostat.

    [12] Mediterranean Economies and the Immediate Environmental Challenge

    Economists from both sides of the Mediterranean will gather on 18 and 19 June 2007 in Brussels to examine ways of limiting the likely adverse effects of ongoing environmental degradation on economic activity, jobs, growth and investment flows in the Mediterranean basin. The 11th Euro- Mediterranean Economic Transition Conference will bring together more than 300 participants and 65 speakers from the Mediterranean partner countries and the EU. Ministers and government officials, civil society, academics, researchers and representatives of think-tanks, international organisations, as well as media representatives will discuss the environmental challenge for the Mediterranean economies with a view to seize opportunities and react accordingly. The Conference will take place in the Charlemagne building. Journalists wishing to participate, please contact Non Rhian Jones, 02-2920900, <a href="mailto:Non-Rhian-Jones@ec.europa.eu">Non-Rhian- Jones@ec.europa.eu.

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by President José Manuel Barroso : "Malta: at the heart of Europe's past, at the heart of Europe's future" to Maltese Parliament (Valetta)

    Discours de M. Barrot l'inauguration du tunnel du Lötschberg, Suisse

    Speech by Joaquin Almunia : "Opportunities and risks in an era of growing financial market integration" at Wolfsberg Institute (Zurich, ! embargo 13h00 !)

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "Regions of the future: Innovation, Regional Development and Cohesion Policy" at IANIS+ Annual Conference (Bilbao, ! embargo 12h30 !)

    Calendrier du 18 au 24 juin 2007

    Top News from the European Commission (8 June-15 July 2007) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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