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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-04-04

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] Over 300,000 .eu web domains created in 2007
  • [02] Improved traceability of explosives in EU
  • [03] Joe Borg visits Mauritania
  • [04] State aid: Commission endorses proposed €83 million aid to Progroup for large investment project in Germany
  • [05] State aid: Commission requests France to recover unlawful aid from Arbel Fauvet Rail
  • [06] Commission clears acquisition of Delphi Steering by Platinum
  • [07] Prospects for agricultural markets and income 2007-2014
  • [08] Commissioner Janez Potočnik met today the Minister of Science and Technology of Vietnam, Mr. Hoang Van Phong. The first visit ever of a Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology to the European Commission.
  • [09] Commission welcomes decision of social partners to start negotiations on European Works Councils
  • [10] Mergers: Commission approves Heineken's acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle assets in Belgium, Finland, Portugal and UK; refers acquisition of Irish assets to Irish Competition Authority
  • [11] National Energy Efficiency Action Plans: Commission sends reasoned opinions to two Member States
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-04-04 Reference: MEX/08/0404 Date: 04/04/2008 EXME08 / 04.04

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    04/04/08


  • [01] Over 300,000 .eu web domains created in 2007

    What do Milka, Bridgestone and Versace have in common? They all chose the newly created ".eu" as the Top Level Domain (TLD) for their online web presence. During the past two years, businesses, NGOs and EU residents have secured over 2.8 million European internet identities, making .eu, at its second birthday today, the fourth most popular Top Level Domain in Europe and the ninth worldwide. By promoting an online identity that is distinctly European, .eu helps citizens and businesses to reap the full benefits of the single market and the freedoms that this provides.

    [02] Improved traceability of explosives in EU

    As one of a series of measures to help combat terrorism, the Commission has adopted today measures to strengthen the control of explosives for civil use, for instance in the mining industry. To prevent theft and to ensure that any thefts or losses are quickly detected, the new Regulation requires unique labelling of explosives throughout the EU. In addition, manufacturers, traders and users will be required to tighten recordkeeping and stock management. This will make it easier to trace the origin of lost or stolen explosives and to quickly establish whether persons holding explosives are doing so legally and what the itinerary of the explosives has been.

    [03] Joe Borg visits Mauritania

    European Commissioner for Maritime Affaires and Fisheries Joe Borg will arrive in Mauritania tomorrow morning for a one-day visit to meet political leaders and fisheries stakeholders. This trip follows the initialling of a revised protocol under the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between Mauritania and the EU which was finalised on 14 March. The new protocol aims to better meet Mauritania's needs for the sustainable development of the national fisheries sector, while also reflecting changes in the composition of the European fleet operating in Mauritanian waters. During his visit, Commissioner Borg will be able to see the positive impact of this major agreement on the Mauritanian economy first hand, and reaffirm the EU's commitment to a long-term partnership which will support not only the Mauritanian fisheries sector, but the development of the national economy as a whole.

    [04] State aid: Commission endorses proposed €83 million aid to Progroup for large investment project in Germany

    The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, €83 million of aid, which the German authorities intend to grant to Propapier PM 2 belonging to the German Progroup for the construction of a paper mill in Eisenhüttenstadt, in the Brandenburg-Nordost region. The Commission's assessment found the measure to be compatible with the requirements of the Regional Aid Guidelines 2007-2013 (see IP/05/1653). The investment project of €640 million by Progroup will significantly contribute to the diversification of Eisenhüttenstadt's economy, which is currently focused on the metal industry, thus benefiting the further development of the region.

    [05] State aid: Commission requests France to recover unlawful aid from Arbel Fauvet Rail

    The European Commission has decided under EC Treaty state aid rules that the French authorities must recover illegal state aid received by Arbel Fauvet Rail, a manufacturer of railway wagons. The aid took the form of lower interest charged on two loans together worth €2 million granted to the company by French local authorities. The Commission's investigation found that the loans were granted at an interest rate lower than the rate the company would have been able to obtain on the market. This difference in interest gave an unfair advantage to Arbel Fauvet Rail over its competitors and constitutes incompatible aid. The precise amount of the aid to be recovered will have to be determined by the French authorities.

    [06] Commission clears acquisition of Delphi Steering by Platinum

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Delphi Steering (DS) of the US by Platinum Equity, LLC (Platinum), also of the US. Platinumis active in the acquisition of businesses that provide services and support to the infrastructure and systems of other businesses. DS designs and manufactures steering and driveline systems and components for vehicle manufacturers and associated markets. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [07] Prospects for agricultural markets and income 2007-2014

    This report, published today, provides a picture of the likely medium-term developments of agricultural markets, based on a certain number of assumptions and on the statistical information available at the end of December 2007. The report covers the market and income prospects for the period 2007-2014 within the EU for the following products: cereals, oilseeds, meat, eggs, milk and the main dairy products. The changes in legislation proposed or adopted since January 2008, e.g. the latest decision to increase milk quotas by 2% from the 2008 marketing year, have not been taken into account. Furthermore, the projections do not take into account the potential outcome of the multilateral trade negotiations within the framework of the Doha Development Round. Medium-term income projections display a rather favourable outlook as the EU-27 agricultural income are forecast to grow by 18 % between 2006 and 2014 in real terms and per labour unit (7 % in the EU-15, 21 % in the EU-10 and 88 % in EU-2). However, the overall outlook for EU agricultural markets and income over the next seven years remains subject to some important uncertainties. These include the Doha Round, the macro-economic environment, policies on renewable energy, future climatic conditions and developments on GMOs. The report is available at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/caprep/prospects2007b/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/caprep/prospects2007b/index_en.htm

    [08] Commissioner Janez Potočnik met today the Minister of Science and Technology of Vietnam, Mr. Hoang Van Phong. The first visit ever of a Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology to the European Commission.

    The Minister expressed his wish to strengthen scientific and technological cooperation with Europe as a priority for developing excellent research in a fast growing economy. Vietnam has the objective of investing 1.5% of its GDP in research by 2010 (currently 0.45%). The visit was the occasion to reaffirm the EC commitment to cooperate with Vietnam in science and technology. Mechanisms to encourage participation of Vietnamese entities to the Seventh Framework Programme for research and to reinforce cooperation have been discussed, as well as ways to bring science and technology into the mainstream of the EC-Vietnam partnership. The Minister was accompanied by a delegation of 14 high-level S&T officials who attended working meetings in the European Commission on research topics of mutual interest such as food, health, environment and climate change.

    [09] Commission welcomes decision of social partners to start negotiations on European Works Councils

    The Commission welcomes the fact that the Social Partners have agreed to start negotiations on amendments to the Directive on European Works Councils (94/45/EC). The Trade Union ETUC as well as the employers' organisations BusinessEurope, UEAPME and CEEP informed the Commission this week of their agreement. Vladimír `pidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities said: "I very much welcome the decision of the Social Partners to start negotiations. I am of the strong opinion that this is the most effective and pragmatic way to improve the functioning of European Works Councils. I urge both social partners to start target-oriented negotiations immediately and expect an agreement as soon as possible."

    Rediffusion

    [10] Mergers: Commission approves Heineken's acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle assets in Belgium, Finland, Portugal and UK; refers acquisition of Irish assets to Irish Competition Authority

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by the Dutch company Heineken of the businesses of UK- based brewer Scottish & Newcastle in Belgium, Finland, Portugal and the United Kingdom as it found that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition on these markets. At the same time, the Commission has referred Heineken's proposed acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle's business in Ireland to the Irish Competition Authority following the latter’s request under the EU Merger Regulation. After a preliminary investigation, the Commission found that the proposed transaction threatens to significantly affect competition in the beer markets in Ireland. Those aspects of the transaction will now be examined by the Irish Competition Authority under national law.

    [11] National Energy Efficiency Action Plans: Commission sends reasoned opinions to two Member States

    The European Commission decided today to send reasoned opinions to Greece and Latvia for failing to submit their National Energy Efficiency Action Plans as required by the Energy Services Directive. A reasoned opinion is the last step in the legal procedure before referral to the Court of Justice.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme 2007-2013: Denmark, Sweden and Norway - Interreg IVA Öresund-Kattegatt-Skagerrak

    • Memo on Over 300,000 .eu web domains created in 2007 – FAQs

    • Memo "Calendrier hebdomadaire du 7 au 13 avril"

    • Speech by Commissioner Potočnik 'Paving the Way for a European Wind Industrial Initiative', Brussels

    • Speech by President Barroso 'The EC in Afghanistan: Ongoing Commitment and Future Priorities', Bucharest

    • Top News from the European Commission

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    - P7S1/United Internet/Maxdome JV From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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