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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-04-18
Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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CONTENTS / CONTENU
MIDDAY EXPRESSNews from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction GĂ©nĂ©rale Communicationb
 Changeover to the euro in Cyprus and MaltaThe vast majority of the population in Cyprus and in Malta, 95% and 90% respectively, consider the changeover to the euro in their country to have been smooth and efficient . Vigilance by the authorities on price conversions kept both prices themselves, and public perceptions of price rises, in check â€“ even against a background of rising inflation due to increasing energy and food prices, which has affected Cyprus and Malta as well as the rest of the euro area and the world.
 More than 250 million Europeans regularly use Internet, says Commission's ICT Progress ReportMore than half of Europeans are now regular Internet users, 80% of them have broadband connections and 60% of public services in the EU are fully available online. Two thirds of schools and half of doctors make use of fast Internet connections, thanks to strong broadband growth in Europe. These are the findings of a Commission report on the results achieved so far with i2010, the EU's digital-led strategy for growth and jobs.
 The EU moves toward the creation of a Support Office in the field of asylum managementThe JHA Council adopted today conclusions on practical cooperation which invite the Commission to come forward in the near future with proposals to provide adequate support for practical cooperation activities between Member States, including the creation of an Asylum Support Office which would provide for adequate structural and financial backing in order to guarantee the level of ambition necessary to complete the Common European Asylum System.
 L'Europe se prĂ©pare Ă lutter contre les feux de forĂŞt: un exercice de simulation de grande envergure menĂ© en SardaigneAvec l'augmentation des tempĂ©ratures, le risque de feu de forĂŞt s'accroĂ®t dans les pays du Sud de l'Europe. La Commission europĂ©enne et les Ă‰tats membres coopĂ¨rent Ă©troitement pour se prĂ©parer Ă la prochaine saison de feux de forĂŞt, en exploitant les enseignements tirĂ©s des expĂ©riences tragiques de 2007. Cinq Ă‰tats membres et le centre de suivi et d'information (Monitoring and Information Centre, MIC) de la Commission participent du 16 au 19 avril Ă un exercice de simulation Ă grande Ă©chelle en Sardaigne. Cet exercice, baptisĂ© SARDINIA 2008, s'inscrit dans un projet pilote plus vaste cofinancĂ© par la Commission europĂ©enne qui vise Ă dĂ©velopper le concept d'une force europĂ©enne d'intervention rapide en cas de catastrophes.
 Candidates for "European Capitals of Culture 2012" present their plansThe selection panel appointed to assess applications for the European Capitals of Culture in 2012 will meet on 23 April in Brussels. Two cities will present their plans for the 2012 title: GuimarĂŁes in Portugal, and Maribor in Slovenia. A report on these cities' candidatures will be written by the selection panel and published by the Commission in the following weeks. This report will then be forwarded to the European Parliament, the Council and the Committee of the Regions. Culture Ministers are due to make a final decision on the Capitals of Culture for 2012 under the French Presidency during the second half of 2008.
 Europol deviendra une agence de l'Union en 2010Le centre de coordination policiĂ¨re siĂ©geant Ă la Haye fera dĂ©sormais partie de la famille des organismes de l'Union.
 Justice and Home Affairs Ministers adopt EU Action Plan on Enhancing the Security of ExplosivesOn 18 April 2008, the Council of the European Union adopted the EU Action Plan on Enhancing the Security of Explosives. The Action Plan is based on the Commission's Communication of 6 November 2007 on enhancing the security of explosives and has been adopted following intensive negotiations between the Member States and the Commission.
 Euro area and EU27 government deficit at 0.6% and 0.9% of GDP respectivelyIn 2007, the government deficit of both the euro area (EA15) and the EU27 fell compared with 2006, while the government debt increased in absolute terms. In the euro area the government deficit decreased from 1.3% of GDP in 2006 to 0.6% in 2007, and in the EU27 it fell from 1.4% to 0.9%. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio fell from 68.4% at the end of 2006 to 66.3% at the end of 2007, and in the EU27 from 61.2% to 58.7%. In this News Release Eurostat, is providing government deficit and debt data based on figures reported in the first 2008 notification by EU Member States for the years 2004-2007, for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). This notification is based on the ESA95 system of national accounts. This News Release also includes data on government expenditure and revenue and an annex with the main revisions since the October 2007 News Release.
 Commission clears acquisition of Colfilm by Colony Capital and Morgan StanleyThe European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Colfilm SAS of France by Colony Investors VII, L.P.,and Colyzeo Investors, L.P. (both UK-based) controlled by the Colony Capital group of the US, and Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, belonging to the Morgan Stanley group, also of the US. Colony Capital is a private equity firm. Morgan Stanley provides global financial services. Colfilm is the holding company of Paris Saint-Germain Football SA and related sports activities. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
 Commission clears acquisition of SITA by SuezThe European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of SITA Sverige AB (SITA) of Sweden by Suez Environnement (Suez) of France, belonging to the Suez group. Suez is active in water and waste management worldwide. SITA: is active in the same sector in Sweden and Finland. Suez currently jointly controls SITA with E.ON Sverige AB. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
 Commission clears joint venture between PARE and ACEAThe European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed joint venture between Pirelli & C. Ambiente Renewable Energy S.p.A. (PARE) and ACEA S.p.A., both of Italy. PARE is active in the sector of renewables and in particular in the treatment of waste for the production of combustibles. Acea is active in the generation and distribution of electricity, gas distribution and waste management. The joint venture will produce CDR-Q, a combustible derived from high quality waste. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
 Competitiveness â€“ common goal of competition and industrial policiesNeelie Kroes will today outline her view that there is no longer a division between competition and industrial policy at the Aspen Institute in Paris. Competition is not an ideology or a niche, she said, "it is the common language of the increasingly integrated global economy." The latest example of this being China's soon-to-be-introduced Anti-Monopoly Act. Kroes said that the European Commission's State Aid and Merger rules were flexible and reasonable and called on critics to be precise if they expected to the Commission to act on their views. "Vague assertions aren't enough to cause to abandon complex policies that we know are working, or turn our back on a path that has delivered prosperity to Europe for 50 years," Kroes said. - EMBARGO 18:00 CET- (see SPEECH/08/207)
 Science and research Commissioner Janez PotoÄŤnik met today Dr. Lino BaraĂ±ao, the new Minister for Science and Technology of ArgentinaThis visit is part of the strategy of the new government to develop further science, technology and innovation as a driving force of Argentina's economy. At the meeting, both sides expressed satisfaction with recent progress in implementing the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between Europe and Argentina. A meeting yesterday allowed to identify ways to create new cooperation opportunities in the area of food, biotechnology, health, energy and nanotechnologies. Argentina wants to renew and refocus its science and technology base and strengthen strategic links with Europe, not only its major export market, but also a major partner in science and cultural cooperation and source of foreign direct investment in other sectors.
 Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, today welcomed the swearing-in of the new coalition government in KenyaCommissioner Michel stated, "I am delighted that this important day has finally come for Kenya and its people. This is the political solution that Kenya needs."
 Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Vedior by Randstad, subject to conditionsThe European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Vedior by Randstad, both Dutch employment services providers. The Commission's decision is conditional upon Randstad's commitment to divest its entire business activities in Portugal. The Commission has concluded that the transaction, as modified by this commitment, would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
 Autre matĂ©riel diffusĂ©â€˘ Speech by President Barroso 'At the Heart of an open Europe', Dublin
â€˘ Speech by Commissioner McCreevy on 'Making the best of SEPA', Dublin
â€˘ Speech by Commissioner Borg on 'Engineers' role in developing Europe's integrated maritime policy', Malta
â€˘ Speech by Commissioner Kroes 'Competitiveness â€“ the common goal of competition and industrial policies', Paris - EMBARGO 18:00 CET -
â€˘ Calendrier hebdomadaire du 21 au 27 avril 2008
â€˘ Top News from the European Commission
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