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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-12-12

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] La Commission présente un train de nouvelles mesures pour améliorer la protection des infrastructures critiques en Europe
  • [02] European Court of Justice dismisses German action against the Tobacco Advertising Directive
  • [03] Des aliments plus sains et de meilleure qualité grâce la recherche européenne
  • [04] German promotion programme for poultrymeat accepted
  • [05] L'UE signe le protocole sur les transports de la convention alpine
  • [06] Commission authorises increase in Dutch aid for the European Train Control System
  • [07] VAT on Financial and Insurances Services : results of the study on the economic effects of VAT exemption
  • [08] Commission clears acquisition of Peel Ports by RREEF and Peel Ports Holdings
  • [09] Commission clears acquisition of Rimi by ICA
  • [10] Commission clears acquisition of United Biscuits by Blackstone and PAI
  • [11] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Pfizer's consumer healthcare business by Johnson & Johnson, subject to conditions
  • [12] Commission announces substantial increase in financial assistance to the Republic of Moldova
  • [13] First estimate for the third quarter of 2006 : EU25 current account deficit €22.9 billion ; €14.8 billion surplus on trade in services
  • [14] New edition of 'Fin-Focus' newsletter on what EU financial services policies mean for consumers
  • [15] La Commission poursuit les Etats membres n'ayant toujours pas ouvert correctement leurs marchés de l'énergie
  • [16] Energy Performance of Buildings : Commission sends Reasoned Opinion to Slovenia
  • [17] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-12-12 Reference: MEX/06/1212 Date: 12/12/2006 EXME06 / 12.12

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    Communication

    12/12/06


  • [01] La Commission présente un train de nouvelles mesures pour améliorer la protection des infrastructures critiques en Europe

    Comment pouvons-nous lutter plus efficacement contre le terrorisme et renforcer la protection des citoyens? La Commission européenne a adopté une communication sur un programme européen de protection des infrastructures critiques, une proposition de directive concernant le recensement et le classement des infrastructures critiques européennes visant renforcer la protection des infrastructures critiques dans l'UE et une communication sur la protection des infrastructures critiques européennes dans les domaines de l'énergie et des transports.

    [02] European Court of Justice dismisses German action against the Tobacco Advertising Directive

    The European Court of Justice today dismissed the action brought by Germany against the Tobacco Advertising Directive (Case C-380/03). The Court held that the conditions warranting the choice of Article 95 EC as legal basis were in fact met. The Commission will now insist that Germany transposes the Directive, which it should have done by the end of July 2005. Markos Kyprianou, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said: "I was always confident that this Directive would be upheld by the Court. I am pleased that Germany did not wait for this judgement and is already proceeding with the transposition of the directive. We now expect Germany to finalise the adoption of its national law as soon as possible, just as other Member States have done."

    [03] Des aliments plus sains et de meilleure qualité grâce la recherche européenne

    Les résultats de travaux de recherche présentés Bruxelles aujourd'hui démontrent que la recherche contribue rendre nos aliments plus sains et de meilleure qualité. De nouveaux travaux de recherche montrent que les aliments issus de l'agriculture biologique ont une valeur nutritive plus élevée que ceux produits de manière classique. Bien qu'on connaisse depuis longtemps les bienfaits du poisson et des fruits de mer pour la santé, grâce leur teneur en oméga-3, un projet a maintenant révélé que ces aliments contiennent aussi d'autres composants importants pour la santé. Les chercheurs ont également examiné les possibilités d'améliorer le bien-être des animaux de ferme, non seulement parce que les consommateurs réclament des niveaux plus élevés de bien-être, mais aussi parce que de bonnes conditions d'élevage peuvent améliorer sensiblement la qualité de nos aliments. Tous ces projets ont été financés au titre du sixième programme-cadre de recherche de l'UE et seront présentés, avec d'autres résultats de travaux de recherche, lors d'une conférence organisée Bruxelles aujourd'hui.

    [04] German promotion programme for poultrymeat accepted

    Today, the European Commission approved an information and promotion programme for poultrymeat, submitted by Germany. It was proposed by the CMA (Centrale Marketinggesellschaft mbH). The total budget of the programme is €5.4 million and the EU contribution 50% of this budget (€2.7 million). The avian influenza crisis at the beginning of the year destabilised the poultry sector, leading to a significant fall in consumption and a crisis in consumer confidence in poultrymeat. Therefore, the possibility was given to the Member States to submit programmes promoting poultrymeat in the framework of the Regulation providing for information and promotion actions for agricultural products on the internal market of the EU. Those programmes were to be examined by the Commission within the shortest delay. Germany was the only Member State that made use of this possibility.

    [05] L'UE signe le protocole sur les transports de la convention alpine

    L'Union européenne a signé aujourd'hui officiellement le protocole de mise en œuvre de la convention alpine dans le domaine des transports. Ce protocole vise principalement garantir une mobilité durable dans les Alpes tout en assurant un niveau élevé de sécurité et de protection de l'environnement. Le document a été signé par Mme Susanna Huovinen, ministre des transports et des communications, représentant la présidence finlandaise, et par M. Jacques Barrot, vice-président de la Commission européenne, représentant la Communauté européenne.

    [06] Commission authorises increase in Dutch aid for the European Train Control System

    The Dutch state aid measure approved by the European Commission concerns a budgetary increase from €15 million to €25 million in support of the installation of the European Train Control System (ETCS) - a signalling and speed control system and the new European standard for train control.

    [07] VAT on Financial and Insurances Services : results of the study on the economic effects of VAT exemption

    The European Commission has made public the results of a study on the economic effects of VAT exemption for Financial and Insurances Services. The findings of the study will contribute to the Commission's ongoing work in this area where the intention is to make a legislative proposal in 2007. The report on the study (dated 02/11/06) confirms the concerns expressed by stakeholders during the public consultation launched in March 2006 and the public conference held in May 2006 (IP/06/602). It concludes that the rules are outdated, their implementation does not provide equality of treatment between member states, creates uncertainty and acts as a barrier to economic efficiency. It also analyses a range of options for dealing with these concerns. The study is available at the following web link:

    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/publications/studies/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/publications/studies/index_en.htm

    [08] Commission clears acquisition of Peel Ports by RREEF and Peel Ports Holdings

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Peel Ports Holdings (Cl) Ltd (Peel Ports) of the UK by RREEF Pan-European Infrastructure Fund LP (RREEF) of the UK, managed by Deutsche Bank, and Peel Ports Holdings (Guernsey) Limited, belonging to the Peel group of companies. Currently, Peel Ports is solely controlled by Peel Ports Holdings. RREEF is active in real estate and infrastructure investments. Peel Ports Holdings is part of the Peel group which is active in land and property investment and development, including shopping centres, ports and airports. Peel Ports operates and maintains port facilities in the UK and Ireland, including the provision of terminal services. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [09] Commission clears acquisition of Rimi by ICA

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of the joint venture Rimi Baltic AB (Rimi) of Sweden by ICA Baltic AB, a subsidiary of ICA AB (together ICA) of Sweden. ICA is active in retail sales of everyday consumer goods. Rimi is a joint venture between ICA and Ruokakesko OY (Kesko) of Finland and is active in retail sales of everyday consumer goods in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [10] Commission clears acquisition of United Biscuits by Blackstone and PAI

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of United Biscuits of the UK by Blackstone Group (Blackstone) of the US and PAI Partners (PAI) of France. Blackstone is a private merchant banking firm. PAI is a private equity firm. United Biscuits produces and sells sweet and savoury biscuits, cakes and snacks. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [11] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Pfizer's consumer healthcare business by Johnson & Johnson, subject to conditions

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Pfizer's consumer healthcare business ("PCH") by Johnson & Johnson ("J&J"), subject to conditions. The Commission found that the proposed transaction as initially notified would give rise to competition concerns in three product areas: topical dermatological antifungals in Italy, daily-use mouthwash in Greece and nicotine replacement therapy ("NRT") products in the EEA. However, J&J has offered to divest the overlapping activities in Italy and in Greece and, in whole or in part, its global nicotine patch manufacturing business. The remedies remove all overlaps between J&J and PCH for topical dermatological antifungals and daily-use mouthwash and remove the vertical relationship between J&J's nicotine patch manufacturing activities and PCH's NRT business. In the light of these commitments, the Commission has concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

    [12] Commission announces substantial increase in financial assistance to the Republic of Moldova

    At today's donor meeting organised jointly by the European Commission and the World Bank, the Commission will be announcing that it is to more than double its financial assistance to the Republic of Moldova over the next four years. Under the new European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) €209 million will be made available over the period 2007-2010 to support the reform process and the implementation of the EU-Moldova European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan. In addition, the Commission has made a proposal to the Council to grant macro-financial assistance of €45 million for 2007-2008 to address Moldova's current balance of payment problems. This would bring the micro-financial aid to a total of €254 million over the next four years.

    [13] First estimate for the third quarter of 2006 : EU25 current account deficit €22.9 billion ; €14.8 billion surplus on trade in services

    The EU25 external current account recorded a deficit of €22.9 billion in the third quarter of 2006, as compared to a deficit of €20.6 billion in the third quarter of 2005 and a deficit of €22.0 billion in the second quarter of 2006. In the third quarter of 2006, the EU25 external balance of trade in services recorded a surplus of €14.8 billion, as compared to a surplus of €11.2 billion in the third quarter of 2005 and a surplus of €20.7 billion in the second quarter of 2006. These provisional data, issued by Eurostat will be subject to revision.

    [14] New edition of 'Fin-Focus' newsletter on what EU financial services policies mean for consumers

    The second issue of the Fin-Focus newsletter is now available, which is a new European Commission publication explaining, in accessible language, what recent developments in financial services mean for consumers and users. The subjects covered by this issue include: the new rules to be adhered to when selling certain investment products to retail customers; the development of a more integrated payments market; initiatives to address payment fraud; new policy developments on investment funds; the code of conduct for the post-trading industry; and a new study into long- term savings. There is also a table of upcoming events and publications. Fin-Focus is available to download in all 20 official EU languages at:

    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/finances/news/newsletter_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/finances/news/newsletter_en.htm

    [15] La Commission poursuit les Etats membres n'ayant toujours pas ouvert correctement leurs marchés de l'énergie

    (! embargo 16h00 !) Avec 26 avis motivés envoyées aujourd'hui 16 Etats membres, la Commission européenne a confirmé sa volonté de suivre la mise en œuvre de la législation relative au marché intérieur de l'énergie. Cette seconde phase de la procédure d'infraction pour violation des directives de 2003 sur l'ouverture des marchés du gaz et de l'électricité concerne l'Allemagne, l'Autriche, la Belgique, la République tchèque, l'Estonie, l'Espagne, la France, la Grèce, l'Irlande, l'Italie, la Lituanie, la Lettonie, la Pologne, la Suède, la Slovaquie et le Royaume-Uni. Seules la Finlande et l'Autriche – mais seulement pour le gaz – ont avancé des arguments suffisants pour que les procédures leur encontre soient arrêtées.

    [16] Energy Performance of Buildings : Commission sends Reasoned Opinion to Slovenia

    (! embargo 16h00 !) The European Commission sent a reasoned opinion - the last step before a formal complaint to the Court of Justice is lodged - to Slovenia for failure to notify sufficient national implementing measures requested in the 2002 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The aim of the Directive is to reduce energy consumption in buildings by obliging Member States to lay down minimum energy performance standards and apply those for new buildings and for renovations of larger existing buildings. It is thus an important part of EU legislation aimed at improving overall energy efficiency.

    [17] Autre matériel diffusé

    The European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP)

    Food research – showcasing a dozen European Research projects

    Marché intérieur du gaz et de l'électricité – avis motivés (! embargo 16h00 !)

    The Commission to act over EU energy markets (! embargo 16h00 !)

    Speech by Viviane Reding : "Why we need more consistency in the application of EU telecom rules" at Telecom Italia Reception (11/12) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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