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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-11-08

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] "Regions For Economic Change" - Commission strengthens exchange of best practices in innovation among European regions
  • [02] La Commission réadopte la décision relative l'entente sur les poutrelles en acier et inflige une amende de €10 millions Arcelor
  • [03] Commission approves regional aid map 2007-2013 for Germany
  • [04] Commission investigates proposed new Swedish CO² tax reductions
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [05] Transparence : la Commission facilite l'accès aux informations des Etats membres sur les bénéficiaires des paiements de la PAC
  • [06] Telecommunications : Commission welcomes readiness of German regulator for deeper analysis of the wholesale leased lines markets
  • [07] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Mazeikiu refinery by PKN Orlen
  • [08] Commission approves planned acquisition of Intermagnetics by Philips
  • [09] La Commission approuve le projet de rachat par Thales des activités d'Alcatel dans les secteurs ferroviaire et de l'intégration de systèmes
  • [10] Commission clears acquisition of Discount24 by Otto and Cdiscount
  • [11] Neelie Kroes welcomes withdrawal of obstacles to Abertis-Autostrade merger and offer of full cooperation
  • [12] Pour des règles plus simples : rencontre avec les professionnels du secteur du transport par route
  • [13] High-level group set up to advise Commission on the future of aviation regulation
  • [14] Margot Wallström in Rome to discuss the institutional issues
  • [15] EU-US Informal Economic Ministerial meeting Washington DC (09/11)
  • [16] Public hearing on future single market policy (29/11)
  • [17] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-11-08 Reference: MEX/06/1108 Date: 08/11/2006 EXME06 / 8.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    08/11/06


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

    [01] "Regions For Economic Change" - Commission strengthens exchange of best practices in innovation among European regions

    The European Commission has presented plans to boost innovation by bringing European regions together into strong partnerships and to help them take advantage of experience and best practice. This new initiative "Regions For Economic Change" was adopted today by the Commission under the "Territorial Cooperation" objective. It introduces new ways to dynamise regional and urban networks to help them work closely with the Commission to have innovative ideas tested and rapidly disseminated into the mainstream programmes. An annual 'Regions For Economic Change' conference featuring innovation awards is foreseen to coincide with the Spring European Council to further enhance communication and dissemination of best practice results in line with the EU agenda for growth and jobs.

    [02] La Commission réadopte la décision relative l'entente sur les poutrelles en acier et inflige une amende de €10 millions Arcelor

    La Commission européenne a réadopté une décision sur une entente dans le secteur des poutrelles en acier et a infligé Arcelor Luxembourg SA (anciennement Arbed SA), Arcelor International SA (anciennement TradeArbed SA) et Arcelor Profil Luxembourg SA (anciennement ProfilArbed SA) des amendes d'un montant total de €10 millions pour avoir pris part une entente dans le secteur des poutrelles en acier, en violation de l'article 65 du traité instituant la Communauté européenne du charbon et de l'acier (CECA) et de l'article 81 du traité CE. Entre 1988 et 1991, les entreprises en question ont fixé des prix, réparti des quotas et échangé des informations confidentielles dans le secteur des poutrelles en acier pour l'ensemble du marché unique. Cette réadoption fait suite un arrêt rendu le 2 octobre 2003 par la Cour de justice, qui annulait l'arrêt du Tribunal de première instance (T-137/94) et, pour vice de procédure, la décision de la Commission en ce qu'elle concernait Arbed SA.

    [03] Commission approves regional aid map 2007-2013 for Germany

    The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules the regional aid map covering the period 2007-2013 for Germany. This decision forms part of a wider exercise to review regional aid systems in all Member States in accordance with the new Regional Aid Guidelines (see IP/05/1653 and MEMO/05/491) adopted in December 2005. The new guidelines aim at re- focussing regional aid on the most deprived regions of the enlarged EU, while allowing to improve competitiveness and to provide for a smooth transition. The maps of twelve other Member States have already been approved by the Commission (Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Malta, Czech Republic, Ireland and Lithuania - see IP/06/1176, IP/06/1393 and IP/06/1451).

    [04] Commission investigates proposed new Swedish CO² tax reductions

    The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to examine whether Swedish plans to grant CO² tax exemptions to companies covered by the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) are compatible with EC Treaty state aid rules. The Commission is concerned that the measure might distort competition by increasing tax differentiation in an area where the EU has harmonised taxes in order to create a level playing field between companies. Furthermore, the Swedish measure might run against the "polluter- pays" principle, a leading principle of the EU's environmental policy, as companies participating in the EU ETS have received the emission allowances for free. The opening of a formal investigation gives interested parties the opportunity to comment on the intended measures. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [05] Transparence : la Commission facilite l'accès aux informations des Etats membres sur les bénéficiaires des paiements de la PAC

    Afin de continuer améliorer la transparence et l'accès l'information, la Commission européenne affiche sur son site EUROPA une page comportant des liens vers les sites Internet des Etats membres contenant des informations au sujet des bénéficiaires finaux des paiements effectués au titre de la politique agricole commune (PAC). Cette action s'inscrit dans le cadre de l'Initiative européenne pour la transparence (IET). La publication de la liste de l'ensemble des bénéficiaires des paiements de la PAC conformément aux propositions de la Commission figurant dans le règlement financier devrait garantir une transparence totale. Le Conseil a approuvé le lancement de ce processus compter de 2009 et les discussions se poursuivent ce sujet au Parlement européen.

    [06] Telecommunications : Commission welcomes readiness of German regulator for deeper analysis of the wholesale leased lines markets

    Today, the German telecom regulator, Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), informed the European Commission that it will continue assessing the German wholesale leased lines markets. BNetzA is therefore withdrawing its earlier draft decision (see IP/2006/1304). It now plans to seek additional data and further analyse recent market developments, in particular relating to new technologies for providing wholesale leased lines in Germany.

    [07] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Mazeikiu refinery by PKN Orlen

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta by the Polish petroleum company PKN Orlen. The Commission concluded that the operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

    [08] Commission approves planned acquisition of Intermagnetics by Philips

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by the Dutch company Philips of the US-based company Intermagnetics. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

    [09] La Commission approuve le projet de rachat par Thales des activités d'Alcatel dans les secteurs ferroviaire et de l'intégration de systèmes

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en application du règlement CE sur les concentrations, le projet de rachat des activités du groupe français de télécommunications Alcatel en matière de signalisation et de contrôle ferroviaires, ainsi que d'intégration de systèmes (Divisions Transport et Systèmes d'Alcatel) par la société française Thales. Après avoir examiné l'opération envisagée, la Commission en a conclu qu'elle n'entraverait pas de manière significative l'exercice d'une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen ou dans une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [10] Commission clears acquisition of Discount24 by Otto and Cdiscount

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Discount24 GmbH & Co KG (Discount24) of Germany by Otto GmbH & Co KG (Otto) of Germany and Cdiscount SA of France, belonging to the Rallye group. Otto sells non-food products by mail order and via the Internet. Cdiscount and Discount24 both sell non-food products via the Internet. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [11] Neelie Kroes welcomes withdrawal of obstacles to Abertis-Autostrade merger and offer of full cooperation

    Following her meeting in Brussels on 7th November with Antonio Di Pietro, Italy's Minister for Public Works, European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes expressed her satisfaction that the Italian authorities have removed what the Commission considered to be unjustified obstacles to a merger between Abertis of Spain and Autostrade of Italy. Commissioner Kroes also welcomed Mr Di Pietro's undertaking to respect in full the EU Merger Regulation and that any further authorisation measures concerning the merger would not be implemented without first obtaining the authorisation of the Commission in accordance with Article 21 of the EU Merger Regulation.

    [12] Pour des règles plus simples : rencontre avec les professionnels du secteur du transport par route

    Hier le 7 novembre, la Commission européenne a organisé une audition des principales associations au niveau européen représentant les transporteurs routiers, leurs syndicats et leurs clients. La journée visait préparer la revue des règles communautaires actuelles sur l'accès la profession et sur l'accès au marché, constituant les piliers du marché intérieur du transport routier. Les participants ont abordé les questions liées au cabotage dans le transport de marchandises, aux critères d'établissement des entreprises, l'intégration des systèmes de contrôles entre Etats membres, l'amélioration de la capacité financière et de la qualification professionnelle ainsi que la simplification de procédures.

    [13] High-level group set up to advise Commission on the future of aviation regulation

    Two years after the adoption of the Single European Sky regulations the Commission wishes to further pursue the simplification of the organisation of the sector. In September the European Commission invited representatives of the national civil aviation administrations, aviation industry and Eurocontrol to a conference in Brussels to find ways to improve the efficiency and performance of the system, while ensuring the highest safety standards. The conference made some radical conclusions, which are now being followed-up by the creation of a "high-level group".

    [14] Margot Wallström in Rome to discuss the institutional issues

    On 9 November Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, will be in Rome. She will meet the President of the Italian republic Mr Giorgio Napolitano, the Italian Prime Minister Mr Romano Prodi, the Italian Minister for European Policies and International Trade Ms Emma Bonino, and the Mayor of Rome Mr Walter Veltroni. She will also participate in the Rome Erasmus day. The focus of her talks with the Italian leaders will be on the process of institutional reform of the European Union, the celebrations of the 50 anniversary of the treaty of Rome and the consultation process on the White Paper on European Communication Policy.

    [15] EU-US Informal Economic Ministerial meeting Washington DC (09/11)

    An EU delegation, led by Vice-President of the European Commission, Günter Verheugen, and Finnish Minister for Trade and Industry Mauri Pekkarinen, will meet with a US delegation led by Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez for the second informal EU-US Economic Ministerial meeting. The meeting will be held in Washington on 9 November and will be hosted by Secretary Gutierrez. The purpose of the meeting is to review progress, under a joint Work Program, agreed last year, to tackle the most significant areas of the transatlantic economy, including innovation, intellectual property rights (IPR), and regulatory cooperation. The meeting follows on commitments made in the 2005 EU-US Summit, confirmed at the 2006 Summit, which called for further transatlantic economic integration. Business organisations, including UNICE, the American Chamber of Commerce and the Trans-Atlantic Business and Consumer Dialogues have renewed calls to keep transatlantic cooperation as a top priority. The next EU-US Summit is due to take place in the first half of 2007.

    [16] Public hearing on future single market policy (29/11)

    The European Commission will hold a Public Hearing on Future Single Market Policy on 29 November 2006. The hearing's primary purpose is to look at how Single Market policy should be modernised. In particular it will focus on : how to consult better and to reach out to all stakeholders in the Single Market ; which alternative tools to use, apart from legislation, to shape a modern Single Market policy ; how to grant citizens and businesses effective Single Market rights through better enforcement ; and what is needed for effective communication on the Single Market. The hearing draws on a recent public consultation on future Single Market policy and will feed into the Commission's work on the Single Market Review. Further information about the hearing is available at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/strategy/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/strategy/index_en.htm and registration for the event is open until 20 November.

    [17] Autre matériel diffusé

    Commission action against cartels – Questions and answers

    Commission Guidelines on National Regional Aid for 2007-2013, Germany - frequently asked questions

    Speech by Markos Kyprianou : "Towards a new Community Animal Health Strategy 2007-2013" at Animal Health Conference (07/11) 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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