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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-03-11

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 européenne rationalise les règles relatives la protection en cas de pollution maritime
  • [02] Floods in Ecuador – EU sends MIC expert team to assist
  • [03] Des normes pour stimuler l'innovation et la compétitivité
  • [04] The European Migration Policy Centre: a new platform linking policy- making and research
  • [05] EU bans sale of non-child resistant and novelty cigarette lighters
  • [06] EU real agricultural income per worker up by 5.4%
  • [07] Commission clears acquisition of Biffa by Montagu and GIP
  • [08] VAT reduced rates: Commission launches public consultation
  • [09] Rediffusion
  • [10] Company law: Commission holds conference on the European Private Company
  • [11] Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Galvex by ArcelorMittal Midday Express of 2008-03-11 Reference: MEX/08/0311 Date: 11/03/2008 EXME08 / 11.03

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    11/03/08


  • [01] La Commission européenne rationalise les règles relatives la protection en cas de pollution maritime

    La Commission européenne présente aujourd’hui une proposition qui vient renforcer la législation communautaire actuelle sanctionnant les personnes responsables des pollutions causées par les navires.

    [02] Floods in Ecuador – EU sends MIC expert team to assist

    The European Commission, through the Community Civil Protection Mechanism and its Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), has sent an expert team to Guayaquil, Ecuador. Its task is to help the Ecuadorian Civil Defence and the United Nations deal with the floods that have ravaged the country for the past 13 weeks. The MIC team will help coordinate the response to the disaster, assist with logistical management, evaluate the damage caused by the floods and provide technical expertise in updating emergency plans. The Community Civil Protection Mechanism can provide assistance anywhere in the world in response to a request.

    [03] Des normes pour stimuler l'innovation et la compétitivité

    La normalisation peut apporter une contribution importante au développement de la politique industrielle durable, libérer le potentiel des marchés innovants et renforcer la position de l'économie européenne par une meilleure exploitation de sa base de connaissances. Telles sont les conclusions majeures d'une communication de la Commission européenne intitulée «Vers une contribution accrue de la normalisation l’innovation en Europe», publiée aujourd'hui. Dans ce document, la Commission identifie les principaux défis relever, présente des objectifs concrets de normalisation et d’utilisation des normes et fait la synthèse des efforts en cours et des mesures proposées qui devront être mises en œuvre tant par les parties prenantes que par la Commission.

    [04] The European Migration Policy Centre: a new platform linking policy- making and research

    One of the European Union's top political priorities is to devise and implement an effective and forward-looking European Migration Policy that benefits the EU Member States, their citizens and migrants alike. Europe’s migration strategy covers policy areas such as Europe’s labour market needs, demographic changes, the integration of immigrants into increasingly multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies and the fight against illegal migration, while at the same time ensuring a secure environment for the free movement of its citizens. In order to underpin policies that address these complex challenges, the EU should create a special platform where research focuses on the evolving needs of policy- making in the area of migration management. It is from this perspective that Vice-President Frattini supports the establishment of a European Migration Policy Centre (EMPC), the opening of which is envisaged for as early as the autumn of 2008.

    [05] EU bans sale of non-child resistant and novelty cigarette lighters

    On 11 March the Commission Decision banning the sale of non-child resistant and novelty lighters to consumers enters into force. The decision was adopted by EU Member States represented within the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) Committee on 13 February 2007. The Decision enhances consumer safety by requiring that, as of 11 March, cigarette lighters that are dangerous to children can no longer be sold to European consumers. Placing on the market and importing such lighters was already forbidden since 11 March 2007, giving the industry a year in which to sell off their stocks. Moreover, the Decision requires Governments to ensure that common cigarette lighters placed on the EU market are child-resistant. It also forbids the placing on the market of lighters which resemble objects that are particularly attractive to children (also called "novelty lighters").

    [06] EU real agricultural income per worker up by 5.4%

    EU27 real agricultural income per worker rose by 5.4% in 2007, after increasing by 3.3% in 2006. This increase was the result of a growth in real agricultural income (+3.1%) and a reduction in agricultural labour input (-2.2%). This growth in EU27 real agricultural income in 2007 was itself the result of an increase in output of agriculture at basic prices in real terms (+4.3%); a rise in input costs (+5.8%) and a slight decrease in depreciation (-0.3%), in real terms and a decrease in the real value of subsidies net of taxes (-2.8%). These estimates for the EU27 published3 by Eurostat are based on data supplied by the national authorities in the Member States.

    [07] Commission clears acquisition of Biffa by Montagu and GIP

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Biffa PLC of the UK by Montagu Private Equity LLP (Montagu) of the UK and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) of the US. Montagu and GIP are private equity funds. Biffa collects, treats, disposes of and recycles municipal, commercial and industrial waste. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [08] VAT reduced rates: Commission launches public consultation

    The European Commission is launching an online consultation to gather stakeholders' views on the current EU VAT legislation on reduced rates and possible changes. The VAT Directive provides for the application of a minimum 15% VAT rate all over EU. However, it also sets out a restricted list of goods or services for which Member States have the possibility to apply a reduced rate. Moreover, certain Member States are granted some derogations which allow them to apply reduced rates on other goods or services, thereby preventing a coherent EU legislation. The Commission is seeking stakeholders' opinions and evidence on the impact that applying reduced VAT rates on different categories of goods or services has on prices, demand, employment, environment and on any factor which could distort the smooth functioning of the internal market. The consultation is of interest to all stakeholders, in particular businesses which might face distortions in competition from companies established in Member States where reduced rates are applied. The Commission will take into account the opinions and views from the consultation in its legislative proposal planned for July 2008. Comments are invited by 12 May 2008. For further background information on VAT reduced rates see:

    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/vat/how_vat_works/rates/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/vat/how_vat_works/rates/index_en.htm. Online consultation: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/consultations/tax/index_en.htm">Consultations - Get involved!

    [09] Rediffusion

    [10] Company law: Commission holds conference on the European Private Company

    The European Commission is holding a conference today on the European Private Company ("Societas Privata Europaea", SPE). Speakers will discuss the economic advantages of a new European company form dedicated to SMEs and the content of the future Statute. Some 120 participants from 24 Member States are expected to attend, representing businesses, public administrations, academic circles and advisory professions.

    [11] Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Galvex by ArcelorMittal

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the galvanised steel business of the Estonian Galvex Group by ArcelorMittal, a leading global steel company based in Luxembourg. The Commission’s investigation found that the proposed transaction would not impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Questions and Answers on criminal law measures against maritime pollution

    • Memo on European Migration Policy Centre

    • Speech by Commissioner Almunia on Expanding Asia: unprecedented opportunities and new global challenges, Brussels 10 March

    • Speech by Commissioner Rehn on Montenegro's journey to the EU, Montenegro 7 March

    • Speech by Commissioner Rehn 'Communication on the Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective', Brussels 11 March

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Autogrill / Aldeasa From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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