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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-06-27

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

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Flexicurité : pour un plus grand nombre d'emplois de qualité
  • [02] Commission prohibits Ryanair's proposed takeover of Aer Lingus
  • [03] Renforcer la démocratie européenne, le débat politique et la participation des électeurs aux élections au Parlement européen
  • [04] Commission adopts a Communication on the future Joint EU-Africa Strategy
  • [05] Commission endorses tax reductions for the free zone of Madeira for the period 2007-2013
  • [06] La Commission approuve €50 millions d'aide au rhum dans les départements d'outremer (DOM) français
  • [07] Commission endorses €106 million aid for two separate investment projects in the pulp and paper sector in Figueira da Foz Portugal
  • [08] Commission opens formal investigation into €7.7 million training aid for DHL in Leipzig-Halle
  • [09] Commission approves €2 million investment aid to modernise German shipyard Peene-Werft
  • [10] Commission opens in-depth inquiry into €9 million public support to Spanish china producer Pickman
  • [11] Commission conditionally authorises €900 million state guarantee for BAWAG-PSK
  • [12] Maritime transport : Commission authorises income tax and social insurance refund mechanism for Swedish shipping
  • [13] La Commission nomme Loretta Dormal directrice générale adjointe de l'Agriculture et du développement rural
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [14] Cohesion policy 2007-2013 : Commission agrees plan and priorities with Romania
  • [15] Innovation in regional policy highlighted during Danuta Hübner's visit to Northern Norway
  • [16] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par Salzgitter de Vallourec Précision Etirage et de l'aciérie de Zeithain
  • [17] Commission clears acquisition of Gambro Healthcare by Bridgepoint
  • [18] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Ineos CV's Specialty PVC Business by Vinnolit
  • [19] Louis Michel renews call for immediate humanitarian access to Gaza
  • [20] Joe Borg at La Baule and Rotterdam to discuss European Maritime Policy
  • [21] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-06-27 Reference: MEX/07/0627 Date: 27/06/2007 EXME07 / 27.6

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    27/06/07


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] Flexicurité : pour un plus grand nombre d'emplois de qualité

    La Commission européenne a proposé l'établissement de principes communs de flexicurité dans le but de promouvoir davantage d'emploi et de meilleure qualité grâce une alliance de flexibilité et de sécurité au bénéfice des travailleurs et des entreprises. Les stratégies de flexicurité peuvent contribuer la modernisation des marchés du travail en Europe et permettre de mieux relever les défis de la mondialisation, tout en tirant un meilleur parti des possibilités offertes par celle-ci. Elles associent en parallèle des modalités contractuelles flexibles et fiables, des politiques actives du marché du travail, des stratégies globales d'apprentissage tout au long de la vie et des systèmes de protection sociale modernes apportant une aide au revenu adéquate pendant les périodes de chômage. La Commission définit aussi plusieurs approches caractéristiques afin d'aider les Etats membres, d'une part, élaborer leur propre stratégie nationale de flexicurité et, d’autre part, tirer les enseignements de leurs expériences respectives et des bonnes pratiques en place. Dans le prolongement de la stratégie de Lisbonne pour l'emploi et la croissance définie par l'UE, ces principes communs de flexicurité entendent permettre un plus grand nombre d'Européens de tirer le meilleur parti des mutations rapides d'une économie mondialisée.

    [02] Commission prohibits Ryanair's proposed takeover of Aer Lingus

    The European Commission has prohibited, on the basis of the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed takeover by Ryanair of Aer Lingus. The acquisition would have combined the two leading airlines operating from Ireland which currently compete vigorously against each other. The Commission concluded that the merger would have harmed consumers by removing this competition and creating a monopoly or a dominant position on 35 routes operated by both parties. This would have reduced choice and, most likely, led to higher prices for more than 14 million EU passengers using these routes to and from Ireland each year. The Commission's investigation and market test of remedies offered by Ryanair demonstrated that these remedies were inadequate to remove the competition concerns. In particular the limited number of airport "slots" offered was not likely to lead to competition sufficient to replace the competitive pressure currently exercised by each airline on the other. The Commission therefore concluded that the concentration would significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it.

    [03] Renforcer la démocratie européenne, le débat politique et la participation des électeurs aux élections au Parlement européen

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition qui permettra la mise en place de fondations politiques européennes. Cette proposition crée de nouvelles opportunités pour renforcer un débat documenté sur les problématiques européennes présentes et venir.

    [04] Commission adopts a Communication on the future Joint EU-Africa Strategy

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal presenting key flagship policy initiatives that embody the new approach to EU-Africa relations which will be put forward by the future Joint EU-Africa Strategy. These joint policy initiatives will be discussed with the African partners and shall be launched in Lisbon during the second EU-Africa Summit. The Communication further details the rationale and historical background at the heart of the current elaboration of a Joint EU-Africa Strategy initiative.

    [05] Commission endorses tax reductions for the free zone of Madeira for the period 2007-2013

    The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules a scheme providing tax reductions worth €300 million until 2020 to companies setting up in the free zone of Madeira (ZFM) between 2007 and 2013. The granting of the aid is subject to requirements to create jobs and strict safeguards as to the implementation of the aid. The Commission was satisfied that the aid was intended to promote regional development in Madeira by enabling companies established in this outermost region to overcome their structural handicaps.

    [06] La Commission approuve €50 millions d'aide au rhum dans les départements d'outremer (DOM) français

    La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu des règles du traité CE en matière d'aides d'Etat, une réduction du droit d'accise sur le rhum traditionnel produit dans les départements d'outremer français (DOM) et consommé en France. Cette décision s'inscrit dans le cadre global du réexamen des aides régionales en place dans tous les Etats membres (voir IP/05/1653 et MEMO/05/491) conformément aux nouvelles lignes directrices, adoptées en décembre 2005. Ces nouvelles lignes directrices visent réorienter les aides régionales vers les régions les plus défavorisées de l'Union élargie, tout en tenant compte de la nécessité d'améliorer la compétitivité et d'assurer une transition sans heurts. Le régime d'aide en faveur de la filière du rhum vise effectivement compenser les handicaps spécifiques des régions ultrapériphériques, dont font partie les DOM, reconnus par le traité CE (article 299(2)).

    [07] Commission endorses €106 million aid for two separate investment projects in the pulp and paper sector in Figueira da Foz Portugal

    The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, €59.32 million of aid, which the Portuguese Government intends to grant to Celbi, a subsidiary of the Altri group, for the extension of its existing pulp production plant in Figueira da Foz, and €46.5 million of aid to Soporcel, a subsidiary of the Portucel Soporcel group, for the extension and modernisation of a pulp and paper production plant, also in Figueira da Foz. The Commission's investigation concerning both investment projects found the measures to be compatible with the Single Market, as they met the requirements of the applicable (1998) Regional Aid Guidelines and the rules for regional aid for large investment projects (see IP/02/242).

    [08] Commission opens formal investigation into €7.7 million training aid for DHL in Leipzig-Halle

    The European Commission has opened a formal investigation under EC Treaty state aid rules regarding over €7 million of training aid which Germany intends to grant to a new DHL site. Following its move to Leipzig-Halle, Germany, DHL envisages a significant training project for its employees, around 60% of the costs of which would be covered by state aid. At this stage, the Commission has doubts as to the compatibility of the aid with the EC Treaty rules on state aid which may distort competition within the Single Market (Article 87) as much of the training seems to be required by law or be otherwise necessary to operate in the new location. The opening of the investigation will give interested parties an opportunity to submit their views, and does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

    [09] Commission approves €2 million investment aid to modernise German shipyard Peene-Werft

    The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules regional investment aid of about €2 million to the German shipyard Peene- Werft. The Commission has concluded that the investment is limited to modernisation of the yard necessary to improve its productivity. It would not result in a disproportionate capacity increase.

    [10] Commission opens in-depth inquiry into €9 million public support to Spanish china producer Pickman

    The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation to establish whether public support measures worth €9.06 million granted by the Spanish authorities to chinaware producer Pickman are compatible with the EC Treaty rules on state aid. The Commission is concerned that the subsidy package including credits, guarantees, direct subsidies and social security debt waivers, may not be in conformity with the behaviour of a private investor under normal market conditions and so may not be compatible with the rules on state aid to firms in difficulties. The opening of an in-depth investigation allows interested parties to comment on the proposed measures. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

    [11] Commission conditionally authorises €900 million state guarantee for BAWAG-PSK

    The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty state aid rules a €900 million guarantee granted in 2006 to BAWAG-PSK, the fourth largest bank in Austria, by an Austrian law, the 'BAWAG P.S.K Sicherungsgesetz'. The authorisation is conditional on the achievement of the restructuring plan and the implementation of compensatory measures. The Commission had opened in November 2006 an in-depth investigation into whether this state guarantee was compatible with EC Treaty state aid rules (IP/06/601).

    [12] Maritime transport : Commission authorises income tax and social insurance refund mechanism for Swedish shipping

    The European Commission has approved the modified reintroduction of a mechanism in Sweden to refund seafarer's income tax deducted at source as well as employers' social insurance contributions in respect of Swedish tax liable seafarers working on Swedish flagged vessels. The measure is expected to decrease flagging-out of the European maritime fleet, preserving employment and maritime know-how in the Community.

    [13] La Commission nomme Loretta Dormal directrice générale adjointe de l'Agriculture et du développement rural

    La Commission européenne a nommé Loretta Dormal Marino directrice générale adjointe de la direction générale Agriculture et développement rural (DG AGRI). Elle sera la tête de trois directions chargées de la politique de développement rural et de l'application des programmes de développement rural.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [14] Cohesion policy 2007-2013 : Commission agrees plan and priorities with Romania

    European Regional policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner and Employment and Social affairs Commissioner Vladimír `pidla have reached agreement with Romania on its national plan and priorities for Cohesion policy 2007-2013. In their National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), Romanian authorities describe how they plan to use EU funding worth €19.21 billion over seven years in line with the Lisbon agenda. The adoption procedure has now been completed on the Romanian framework, including its priorities, indicative annual allocations, and list of operational programmes.

    [15] Innovation in regional policy highlighted during Danuta Hübner's visit to Northern Norway

    Innovation in regional development will be highlighted during European Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner's visit to Northern Norway on 27-29 June. She will make a presentation on research, development and innovation at a seminar organised in cooperation with the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities, as well as contributing to other meetings and seminars with regional authorities and project promoters.

    [16] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par Salzgitter de Vallourec Précision Etirage et de l'aciérie de Zeithain

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement communautaire sur les concentrations, le projet de transfert de Vallourec Précision Etirage S.A.S. (VPE), entreprise française de tubes en acier de précision, et de l'aciérie de Zeithain de Vallourec SA (Vallourec) Salzgitter AG (Salzgitter). Au terme d'un examen approfondi de l'opération envisagée, la Commission a considéré qu'elle n'entraverait pas de manière significative le jeu d'une concurrence effective dans l'EEE ou dans une partie substantielle de celui-ci et l'a donc autorisée. Salzgitter est une entreprise sidérurgique allemande qui produit des aciers plats au carbone. Vallourec est une entreprise sidérugique française qui produit des tubes d'acier pour les industries pétrolière et gazière. VPE et Salzgitter fabriquent des tubes ronds en acier de précision pour des applications dans les secteurs de l'automobile, de la mécanique et de l'énergie.

    [17] Commission clears acquisition of Gambro Healthcare by Bridgepoint

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Gambro Healthcare of Sweden by Bridgepoint Capital Group Limited (Bridgepoint) of the UK. Bridgepoint manages private equity. Gambro Healthcare provides kidney dialysis clinic services. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [18] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Ineos CV's Specialty PVC Business by Vinnolit

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition the Specialty PVC Business of Ineos CV of the UK by Vinnolit GmbH & Co KG of Germany. The Commission concluded that the operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    [19] Louis Michel renews call for immediate humanitarian access to Gaza

    Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, has called on 26 June for the opening of the border between Israel and Gaza to enable vital relief supplies to reach the people inside the Gaza Strip. "We know the needs are increasing all the time. The problem now is providing secure access to those who are suffering. €30 million in supplies and funding from the EU are ready and waiting : give us the tools to get on with the job."

    [20] Joe Borg at La Baule and Rotterdam to discuss European Maritime Policy

    European Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Commissioner Joe Borg today travels to France where he will address the opening dinner of the fifth World Investment Conference (WIC) in La Baule. He will also take part in a meeting organised by the Green Atlantic for Sustainable Development (GASD) consortium, where he will attend the official handout of GASD's contribution to the ongoing consultation on a future European maritime policy. On Thursday, Mr Borg will be in the Netherlands, where he will address the Ports of the Future Leadership Summit organised jointly by General Electric the Port of Rotterdam.

    [21] Autre matériel diffusé

    Commission Communication on flexicurity

    Introductory remarks by Neelie Kroes at press conference on Ryanair/Aer Lingus decision

    Operational programmes for the South of the Netherlands

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner : "The European Union and New Zealand – New Perspectives" (Wellington)

    Discours de M. Leonard Orban : "France et Roumanie, un bon exemple de peuples unis dans la diversité" la rencontre franco-roumaine

    Speech by Margot Wallström on the Constitutional reform process at the Constitutional Affairs Committee meeting (26/06)

    Speech by Siim Kallas : "Commission's Synthesis Report 2006 and Internal Audit Report 2006" to EP Committee for Budgetary Control (26/06)

    Speech by Viviane Reding : "Self regulation applied to interactive games : success and challenges" at ISFE Expert Conference (26/06)

    Speech by Joaquin Almunia : "Financial Services and the euro: a partnership powering European Integration" to FESE (Federation of European Securities Exchanges) (26/06)

    Speech by Neelie Kroes : "Competition Policy: Achievements in 2006; Work Programme in 2007; Priorities for 2008" to European Parliament Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (26/06)

    Speech by Mariann Fischer Boel : "Designing the Dairy Market of the Future" at Panel discussion on 'Designing the Dairy Market of the Future' (26/06)

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "Challenges for EU supervisory arrangements in an increasingly global financial environment" (26/06)

    Discours de M. Louis Michel : "Relancer l'Entreprise Afrique" au Forum des Affaires UE-Afrique d'Accra (22/06, Ghana) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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