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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-10-03

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] A confident, open, reforming Europe, actively promoting the European interest, can ensure the well-being of its citizens in the age of globalisation, says Commission paper for EU summit
  • [02] Margot Wallström : "Let's end the Blame Game!"
  • [03] Commission confirms approval of recorded music joint venture between Sony and Bertelsmann after re-assessment subsequent to Court decision
  • [04] La Commission inflige des amendes d'un montant total de €183 millions pour des accords de partage du marché et de coordination des prix en Espagne
  • [05] Commission fines Visa €10.2 million for refusing to admit Morgan Stanley as a member
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [06] Commission to recover €145.2 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
  • [07] La lenteur des réformes en matière d'éducation et de formation menace la compétitivité européenne long terme
  • [08] EU-Canada : towards increasing cooperation in higher education, training and youth
  • [09] La Commission autorise le projet d'acquisition d'Alcan par Rio Tinto
  • [10] Commission clears joint venture between Wacker and Schott Solar
  • [11] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Connexxion Holding par Transdev
  • [12] Commission clears acquisition of Archstone-Smith by Tishman Speyer and Lehman Brothers
  • [13] Commission urges to resolve the open gas payment issue
  • [14] Volume of retail trade up by 0.1% in euro area
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-10-03 Reference: MEX/07/1003 Date: 03/10/2007 EXME07 / 3.10

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    03/10/07


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

    [01] A confident, open, reforming Europe, actively promoting the European interest, can ensure the well-being of its citizens in the age of globalisation, says Commission paper for EU summit

    The Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs is the right backbone for the European response to globalisation. Its further deepening is the way to create the wealth that can give practical meaning to core European values of social inclusion and of European and international solidarity. This means increasing the EU's adaptability to provide for the sustainable well- being of its citizens. The above are the main themes of a European Commission discussion paper for EU Heads of State and Government at the Lisbon informal summit on 18-19 October, adopted by the Commission today. The paper fulfils the request of this year's Spring European Council for an interim report on the Lisbon Strategy. It argues that Europe is already achieving notable successes in shaping globalisation, under the broad approach agreed at the Hampton Court summit in October 2005 and centred on the Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy, renewed in the spring of 2005 after its original launch in 2000. But globalisation is constantly evolving. So Europe must ensure that its external and internal policies are mutually reinforcing and be ready to refine them in the light of events, such as changes in energy markets or the recent financial instability. The paper is entitled: "The European Interest: succeeding in the age of globalisation".

    [02] Margot Wallström : "Let's end the Blame Game!"

    The European Commission has presented proposals for "Communicating Europe in Partnership". Building on its own earlier initiatives, the Commission proposes, among other things, an agreement on communication priorities with other EU institutions and voluntary management partnerships with Member States.

    [03] Commission confirms approval of recorded music joint venture between Sony and Bertelsmann after re-assessment subsequent to Court decision

    The European Commission has confirmed clearance under EU merger control rules for the creation of Sony BMG, a joint venture combining the recorded music businesses of Sony and Bertelsmann after concluding that the transaction would not create or strengthen a dominant or collectively dominant position in the music markets in the EEA (restricted to the 15 countries who were Member States of the EU before 1 May 2004). The merger had first been approved by the Commission in 2004 (see IP/04/959). Following the annulment of this approval by the Court of First Instance in 2006, the Commission has conducted an in-depth re-assessment of the merger.

    [04] La Commission inflige des amendes d'un montant total de €183 millions pour des accords de partage du marché et de coordination des prix en Espagne

    La Commission européenne a infligé des amendes d’un montant total de € 183.651.000 aux sociétés BP, Repsol, Cepsa, Nynäs et Galp pour avoir participé une entente sur le marché du bitume en Espagne, en violation de l'interdiction des pratiques commerciales restrictives prévue par le traité CE (article 81). De 1991 2002, ces sociétés se sont partagé le marché du bitume utilisé dans la construction routière et en ont coordonné les prix. BP a été la première société divulguer des informations concernant l'entente dans le cadre de la communication sur la clémence de la Commission de 2002 et a bénéficié, ce titre, d’une immunité de l’amende.

    [05] Commission fines Visa €10.2 million for refusing to admit Morgan Stanley as a member

    The European Commission has fined Visa €10,200,000 for a serious infringement of the EC Treaty and EEA Agreement rules on restrictive business practices (Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement). From March 2000 to September 2006, Visa refused to admit Morgan Stanley as a member without an objective justification. The Commission found that the exclusion of Morgan Stanley from Visa membership restricted competition in the provision of credit card acceptance services to merchants in the United Kingdom. Morgan Stanley had concrete plans and expertise to contribute to more efficient competition and generate positive effects on prices and the quality of service in a highly concentrated market.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [06] Commission to recover €145.2 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

    A total of €145.2 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is claimed back as a result of a decision adopted by the European Commission. The money returns to the Community budget because of inadequate control procedures or non-compliance with EU rules on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.

    [07] La lenteur des réformes en matière d'éducation et de formation menace la compétitivité européenne long terme

    Les systèmes européens d'éducation et de formation ne progressent pas suffisamment, d'une manière générale, sur la voie des objectifs fixés dans la stratégie de Lisbonne pour la croissance et l'emploi : telle est la principale conclusion de l'édition 2007, publiée aujourd'hui, du rapport annuel de la Commission européenne sur les progrès accomplis en direction des objectifs de Lisbonne dans le domaine de l'éducation et de la formation. Le rapport retrace les progrès réalisés depuis 2000 la lumière de certains indicateurs clés et met l'accent sur cinq critères de référence en matière d'éducation arrêtés conjointement par les Etats membres. Du côté positif, le nombre de diplômés de troisième cycle dans les filières mathématiques, scientifiques et technologiques continue d'augmenter. En revanche, les progrès accomplis au regard des autres critères ont été limités.

    [08] EU-Canada : towards increasing cooperation in higher education, training and youth

    Less than a year after the signature of a new eight-year EU-Canada agreement in higher education, vocational training and youth, the European Commission and the Canadian authorities are launching 11 new transatlantic cooperation projects as of October 2007. These three-year projects will be financed to develop joint study programmes as well as mobility schemes for 650 European and Canadian students and academic staff members. The amount of €1.4 million invested by the Commission in the European part of the consortium will be matched by the Canadian government for the transatlantic partners.

    [09] La Commission autorise le projet d'acquisition d'Alcan par Rio Tinto

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement CE sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle d'Alcan (Canada) par Rio Tinto (Royaume-Uni). Ces deux sociétés produisent de l'aluminium au niveau mondial. Après examen, la Commission a conclu que l'opération envisagée n'entraverait pas de façon significative l'exercice d'une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen (EEE) ou dans une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [10] Commission clears joint venture between Wacker and Schott Solar

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of a newly created joint venture (JV) in Germany by Wacker Chemie AG (Wacker) of Germany, controlled by the Dr. Alexander Wacker Familiengesellschaft (Germany), and Schott Solar GmbH also of Germany, controlled by Schott AG, belonging to the German Carl Zeiss Group. Wacker is active in silicone and polymer chemicals, special and fine chemicals, semiconductor industry and silicon production. Schott Solar produces and distributes solar wafers, solar cells and solar modules, as well as photovoltaic systems. The JV will develop, produce and distribute crystalline solar wafers. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [11] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Connexxion Holding par Transdev

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement Concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de l'entreprise Connexxion Holding N.V. (Connexxion, Pays-Bas) par l'entreprise française Transdev S.A., contrôlée par la Caisse des Dépôts (France). La Caisse des Dépôts est active dans les services bancaires, fonds d'épargne, financement du développement, assurance, immobilier et les participations privées. Transdev effectue des services de transport et services connexes en France, Italie, Portugal, Espagne, Allemagne, Royaume-Uni, Canada et Australie. Connexxion a des services de transport et services connexes aux Pays-Bas. 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.

    [12] Commission clears acquisition of Archstone-Smith by Tishman Speyer and Lehman Brothers

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Archstone-Smith Trust and Archstone-Smith Operating Trust (together Archstone-Smith) of the US by Tishman Speyer Properties L.P. (Tishman Speyer) and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (Lehman Brothers), both of the US. Tishman Speyer is the owner, developer, fund manager and operator of commercial and residential real estate. Lehman Brothers is an investment bank. Archstone-Smith is active in residential real estate. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [13] Commission urges to resolve the open gas payment issue

    ON 2 October, the European Commission was informed by Gazprom about a problem of payments for gas delivered to Ukraine and a possibility to reduce gas deliveries to Ukraine if no satisfactory solution was found. At the same time, Gazprom committed itself to honour all existing gas supply commitments to European companies, which were informed about intended measures vis-a-vis Ukraine. The Commission urges to find a speedy settlement for this issue.

    [14] Volume of retail trade up by 0.1% in euro area

    In August 2007, compared to July 2007, the volume of retail trade grew by 0.1% in the euro area (EA13) and by 0.3% in the EU27. In July retail trade increased by 0.4% and 0.3% respectively. In August 2007, compared with August 2006, the retail sales index gained 1.0% in the euro area and 2.6% in the EU27. These first estimates come from Eurostat.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Communiquer sur l'Europe en partenariat

    FAQs on Communicating Europe in partnership

    Commission fines Visa for refusing to admit Morgan Stanley as a member – frequently asked questions

    Commission action against cartels – Questions and answers

    Réunion informelle des ministres en charge de l'égalité hommes-femmes (04/10, Lisbonne)

    Speech by Leonard Orban : "Europe's culture a reversible fabric" at European Parliament - Cultural Committee (! embargo 15h00 !) 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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