Daily News 07 / 02 / 2017

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Daily News 07 / 02 / 2017


Author: European Commission.


The following press release was issued by the European Commission on .

Investment Plan for Europe: European Fund for Strategic Investments to trigger more than EUR 168 billion in new investments across all 28 Member States

The Investment Plan for Europe is now expected to trigger more than EUR 168 billion in total investments. This comes just two years after the Plan was launched by the Juncker Commission and represents well over half of the EUR 315 billion target of total investments mobilised that was originally earmarked. These figures follow last week’s meeting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Board of Directors, which approved 14 new projects to be financed under the EFSI on the recommendation of the EFSI’s independent Investment Committee. The operations approved under the European Fund for Strategic Investments now represent a total financing volume of over EUR 31 billion and are located in all 28 Member States. The EIB has now approved 189 EFSI infrastructure projects worth over EUR 23 billion. The European Investment Fund (EIF) has approved 255 SME financing agreements, with total financing under the EFSI of over EUR 8 billion. The Commission’s proposal to extend the EFSI (the so-called “EFSI 2.0” proposal) has already made good progress. At its December meeting, the European Council welcomed an agreement by EU Finance Ministers to give their backing to the proposal and called for the extension to be adopted by the co-legislators in the first half of 2017. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

 

L’Union européenne renforce son soutien post-ouragan Matthew à Haïti avec 35 millions d’Euros supplémentaires

La Commission européenne renforce son aide à Haïti avec une contribution additionnelle de 35 millions d’euros pour l’année 2017, dont 16 millions d’euros en aide humanitaire et 19 millions d’euros comme soutien au développement. Cette nouvelle aide vise à répondre aux conséquences du passage de l’ouragan Matthew en octobre dernier qui a dévasté Haïti et créé des besoins humanitaires et de développement très importants dans un pays déjà fragile. “L’Union européenne est pleinement mobilisée pour aider le peuple haïtien dans ces temps difficiles. Pour répondre aux besoins urgents, 16 millions d’Euros supplémentaires en aide humanitaire seront fournis aux Haïtiens les plus vulnérables en termes d’alimentation, nutrition, abris, éducation, protection, eau, assainissement et hygiène” a déclaré le Commissaire européen chargé de l’aide humanitaire et de la gestion des crises, Christos Stylianides. Cette aide humanitaire permettra de couvrir les besoins alimentaires immédiats, ainsi que de renforcer les moyens d’existence d’environ 135 000 personnes vulnérables sévèrement affectées par l’ouragan. Pour sa part, le Commissaire pour la coopération internationale et le développement, Neven Mimica, a déclaré: “L’Union européenne travaille de longue date avec Haïti dans la mise en œuvre d’un important programme de coopération au développement, en appuyant notamment le renforcement des structures de l’état, la réhabilitation des infrastructures et la sécurité alimentaire. Cette forte présence ainsi que la nouvelle enveloppe de 19 millions d’euros vont permettre d’apporter une réponse rapide aux conséquences du désastre.” De cette enveloppe d’aide au développement, 15 millions d’euros seront transférés au budget de l’Etat haïtien afin d’appuyer la reconstruction des services de base. 4 millions d’euros serviront à financer des interventions visant à améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle des ménages les plus pauvres. En total, l’UE a apporté près de 39 million d’euros pour soutenir Haïti après le passage de l’ouragan Matthew. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’information: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

Commissioner Jourová met Volkswagen CEO Müller to discuss action plan on diesel emissions issue

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality met with Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen, in the framework of an ongoing dialogue with Volkswagen, which aims at finding a solution for European consumers following the diesel emissions issue. They discussed the implementation of the EU-wide action plan Volkswagen committed to in September 2016. The car manufacturer had agreed to inform customers by the end of 2016 and to have all cars repaired by autumn 2017. After the meeting, Commissioner Jourová said: “Volkswagen has delivered on some first steps to better inform customers and to make sure that affected cars are repaired in time. Mr. Müller has committed to inform the Commission regularly on the progress of the repairs, so it can monitor the repair process closely. However, I insisted again that Volkswagen should offer a bonus in kind to its European customers. European consumers deserve a fair treatment and Volkswagen should move on that point soon. We agreed to continue our discussion soon.” In addition, Commissioner Jourová will meet consumer authorities in the coming weeks to further discuss the situation of the repair process. Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, will discuss the wider policy implications of the emissions scandal with Dieter Zetsche, President of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), during a meeting in Brussels tomorrow afternoon. She will also hold an exchange of views with the European Parliament on the matter on Thursday 9 February. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Johannes Bahrke- Tel. : +32 229-58615; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

 

Infection virale ou bactérienne? La Commission récompense un test révolutionnaire avec un prix doté d’un million d’euros

Simple rhume ou infection nécessitant un traitement antibiotique? Une équipe scientifique a développé un test révolutionnaire qui détermine grâce à une simple piqûre au doigt, et en moins de dix minutes, si une infection est virale ou bactérienne. Hier soir, Carlos Moedas, commissaire en charge de la Recherche, des Sciences et de l’Innovation, a remis le Prix Horizon pour un meilleur usage des antibiotiques, doté d’un million d’euros, au test développé par Minicare HNL, un projet commun du Suédois P&M Venge AB et du Néerlandais PHILIPS Electronics. D’un fonctionnement simple et d’un coût unitaire initial attendu de cinq euros à son lancement en 2018, ce test permettra de s’assurer qu’un patient peut être traité sans antibiotique et pourra être facilement utilisé par les personnels de santé. Le commissaire à la Santé et à la Sécurité alimentaire, Vytenis Andriukaitis, a lui remis le 1erPrix européen de la santé pour les ONG luttant contre la résistance aux antimicrobiens au BEUC, leBureau européen des unions de consommateurs, pour leur campagne sur la résistance aux antibiotiques dans le domaine de l’élevage, doté de 20 000 euros. La résistance antimicrobienne est un enjeu de santé publique en Europe et dans le monde. Sans plan d’action, le recours systématique aux antibiotiques serait, d’ici 2050, à l’origine d’un million de décès dans le monde chaque année. Un communiqué de presse sur les lauréats et une fiche technique sur la recherche financée par l’UE dans le domaine de la santé sont disponibles ici, le replay ici et les extraits de la cérémonie ici. (Pour plus d’informations: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: + 32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278; Maud Noyon – Tel.: +32 473 865656)

 

Commission publishes negotiating proposals for EU-Indonesia trade deal

The European Commission published today nine initial European proposals for the trade agreement under negotiation with Indonesia. Together with the proposals, the Commission has made available the report from the second round of talks that took place in Indonesia between 24 and 27 January. The texts now made available represent the EU’s initial negotiating position, and its publication is part of the Commission’s commitment for a more transparent trade and investment policy. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “The EU’s aim in these trade talks is to build bridges with Indonesia, a country of over 250 million people and the largest market of Southeast Asia. Our ambition is to conclude an agreement that makes trade and investment easier and covers a broad range of issues, including rules on sustainable development.” Amongst other things, the texts presented by the EU in the negotiations so far aim to: increase participation of European companies in Indonesian public tenders and vice versa; increase cooperation on imports requirements related to food safety, plant and animal health; broaden protection of traditional European products, known as ‘geographical indications’; reduce unnecessary overlapping regulatory barriers to trade and increase the part of trade benefits that go to small companies. At the same time, the agreement will uphold levels of consumer, worker and environment protection and promote sustainable development. Further EU proposals will be made available as the negotiations progress on the Transparency in Action  portal, where EU proposals from other negotiations are already published since October 2015. The negotiations with Indonesia were launched in July of last year. More information on the recent round is available in a blogpost by Commissioner Malmström. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Axel Fougner – Tel.: +32 229 57276)

 

La Commission soutient les villes pour une meilleure intégration des migrants

Une table ronde avec la Commission et les maires de grandes villes européennes sur l’intégration des migrants est organisée aujourd’hui à Amsterdam. C’est la seconde du genre, la Commission ayant lancé en avril 2016 un dialogue direct avec ces maires afin de faire émerger bonnes pratiques et solutions innovantes pour améliorer l’intégration des migrants en milieu urbain. La Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Crețu et les maires d’Amsterdam, d’Athènes, de Barcelone, Gand, Gdańsk et Riga, les maires adjoints de Paris et Milan ainsi que des représentants de la société civile y discuteront de la situation de l’inclusion sociale et professionnelle des migrants depuis la première rencontre. “Intégrer les migrants qui arrivent dans nos villes, ce n’est pas simplement notre devoir de solidarité en tant que citoyens européens, c’est aussi une opportunité. Nos sociétés et nos villes s’enrichissent de la diversité de leurs communautés. C’est aussi une priorité clé de l’Agenda Urbain de l’UE,” a déclaré la Commissaire Crețu. La question d’un meilleur accès au financement pour les villes sera abordée, notamment à travers les fonds de la Politique de Cohésion qui peuvent financer des projets innovants accompagnant les migrants dans leur processus d’intégration. Enfin, les participants discuteront plus largement d’inclusion sociale en milieu urbain et de la manière d’aborder avec les citoyens les questions de migration. Une déclaration de la Commissaire Crețu à l’issue de la table ronde sera publiée ici à 16h. Plus d’informations sur la politique de Cohésion et l’Agenda Européen en matière de migration sont disponibles ici. (Pour plus d’informations: Jakub Adamowicz – Tél.: +32 229 50595; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tél.: +32 229 56169)

Investment Plan for Europe: GBP 30 million for British SMEs  

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the British Business Bank have signed an agreement under the European Commission’s InnovFin initiative to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK access an estimated GBP 30 million (ca. EUR 35 million) in financing. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Today’s agreement is excellent news for those innovative SMEs who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to obtain the finance they need to grow and create jobs. I am delighted that the Investment Plan is there to support them as they take their next steps.” A full press release is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

Cities and regions: key allies to modernize Europe’s economy

Today, Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič together with the President of the European Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula and economist Jeremy Rifkin participate in a high-level conference in Brussels on coalition-building to promote investment into smart cities and smart regions in Europe. “The transition to an economy that is low-carbon and efficient in the use of energy and resources is underway. Successfully improving the quality of life in urban areas largely depends upon the transformative capacities of cities”, said Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič during his opening remarks at the beginning of the event. “More than ever, it matters for EU politics to connect directly with mayors and urban stakeholders“, added Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Crețu ahead of today’s conference. The event is hosted by the European Committee of the Regions, will be livestreamed here and is attended by high-ranking officials from the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Spain and Romania. More information on the Urban Agenda for the EU is available here. (For more information: Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

Safer Internet Day 2017: European Commission welcomes cooperation for a better internet for minors

Today, millions of people in 120 countries are participating in the Safer Internet Day. The 2017 motto is “Be the change: unite for a better internet”. In this spirit, the European Commission, tech and telecoms companies, broadcasters, NGOs and UNICEF (who all form the Alliance to Better Protect Minors Online) will unveil today a self-regulatory initiative to address harmful content, conduct and contact online. Within the next three months, the tech and telecoms companies will present their individual commitments to improve online safety. This Alliance has been brokered by the Commission in line with its Better Internet for Kids strategy. Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “Today, our children are born into an increasingly digital society and start using the internet at an ever younger age. This gives them a direct involvement and importance in the Digital Single Market. While online activities stimulate their critical thinking, they may face risks that can harm their well-being and development. Creating a safe digital environment for children is a shared responsibility and so I welcome this self-regulatory initiative from companies and NGOs. I have high expectations of the Alliance’s work to make the internet safer and better for children.” More thoughts from the Vice-President can be found in his blog post. Further details on the Safer Internet Day and the Alliance are available here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of two Cargill oilseed processing facilities by Bunge

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of two Cargill oilseed processing facilities by Bunge of the Netherlands. The two Cargill oilseed facilities are an oilseed crushing and seed oil refining facilities located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and an oilseed crushing and storage facilities located in Brest, France. Bunge is a global agribusiness and food company, notably active in the production of vegetable oils and oilseed meals. Bunge and the Cargill assets sell soybean meal and soybean oil primarily to animal feed, food industry and biodiesel customers. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the presence of several alternative competitors in the soybean meal and oil markets, including importers. The operation was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8199. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Infor by Koch Industries and Golden Gate Private Equity

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Infor, Inc by Koch Industries, Inc and Golden Gate Private Equity, Inc, all of the US.  Infor provides Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and related services and is active globally. Koch Industries is a privately held corporation which is active worldwide in various industries and Golden Gate is a private equity investment firm with businesses in a wide range of industry sectors. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because there are no overlaps between the companies’ activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8332. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

State aid: Commission clears several public measures in favour of Lübeck airport and airlines

The European Commission has found a number of different measures concerning the financing and privatisation of Lübeck airport to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular its 2014 Aviation Guidelines. Lübeck Blankensee is a small regional airport in the north of Germany, 78 km from Hamburg. Following an in-depth investigation the Commission has concluded in particular that the City of Lübeck’s re-purchase of the majority of shares in Lübeck airport from Infratil, Ltd., a New Zealand-based infrastructure investment company, was carried out on market terms and therefore involved no state aid. As to the financing measures in favour of Lübeck airport, the Commission found that they were no longer caught under EU state aid rules, since Lübeck airport has ceased its main economic activity and no longer operates scheduled or charter flights. Moreover, the Commission found that de-icing charges and airport charges that airlines had to pay were applicable to all airlines using the airport. These charges were therefore not selective and involved no state aid to the airlines. The latter, in relation to airport charges, was confirmed by a judgment by the EU Court of Justice in December 2016, which enabled the Commission to conclude its assessment (Case C-524/14 P). Finally, the Commission found that the terms of an agreement regarding airport charges and marketing arrangements concluded in 2000 between Lübeck airport and Ryanair would have been acceptable to a profit-driven airport manager and also involved no state aid. The agreements concluded in 2010 between Lübeck airport and Ryanair will be subject to a separate decision. The non-confidential version of this decision will be made available under the case numbers SA.21877, SA.27585 and SA.31149 in the State Aid Register on the competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of State aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

#TellMyStory: La Commission européenne lance le Prix Lorenzo Natali 2017 pour le journalisme

La Commission européenne a annoncé aujourd’hui le lancement du Prix Lorenzo Natali 2017 pour le journalisme qui distingue des reportages de qualité sur les questions liées au développement et à l’éradication de la pauvreté. Le Prix est ouvert aux journalistes professionnels et amateurs, diffuseurs et blogueurs. Neven Mimica, Commissaire pour la Coopération Internationale et le Développement a déclaré: “Cette année marque le 25ème anniversaire du Prix Lorenzo Natali. Au fil des ans, nous avons étendu son champ d’attribution pour distinguer à la fois les journalistes amateurs et professionnels mais le but du Prix reste le même: mettre en valeur les meilleurs reportages sur les questions liées au développement. J’encourage les journalistes à participer à cette compétition et à partager leurs histoires avec nous et le reste du monde.” Lancée avec le hashtag #TellMyStory, le Prix Lorenzo Natali célèbre les meilleurs pratiques journalistiques mettant en valeur des histoires fortes et émouvantes, donnant une voix à ceux qui, souvent, trouvent impossible ou difficile d’être entendus. Le Prix Lorenzo Natali pour le journalisme sera décerné à un journaliste amateur et à un journaliste professionnel des cinq régions ci-après: l’Afrique, le Moyen-Orient et le monde arabe, l’Asie et le Pacifique, l’Amérique latine et les Caraïbes, ainsi que l’Europe. Chaque lauréat recevra un prix de 5 000 euros. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229-65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

High Representative/ Vice-President Mogherini to attend follow-up meeting to the 2015 Valletta Summit on Migration

On 8 and 9 February the Senior Officials Meeting on the state of play of the implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan will take place in Valletta, Malta. High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini will open the meeting that will focus on the next steps in EU-Africa relations on migration. The progress and actions achieved so far under the Khartoum and Rabat processes, drivers in the implementation of the Valletta Action Plan, will be presented during the meeting. Participants are also expected to approve a set of Joint Conclusions. At the 2015 Valletta Summit on Migration European and African Leaders adopted the Joint Valletta Action Plan to better manage migration together, guided by the principles of solidarity, partnership and shared responsibility. Consequently, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the new Partnership Framework on Migration and the European External Investment Plan were launched. The opening session can be followed live on EbS from 09:00. (For more information: Nabila Massrali – Tel.: +32 229-69218; Esther Osorio – Tel.: +32 229-62076)

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)


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