Latest daily news

L’UE investit pour une eau potable plus saine et accessible en Roumanie

155 millions d’euros du Fonds de Cohésion sont investis dans 6 grands projets d’infrastructure afin d’améliorer la collecte, le traitement et la distribution de l’eau à travers le pays. La Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Creţu a déclaré: « La politique de Cohésion investit pour que chacun ait en permanence accès à une eau saine ; c’est la santé de nos citoyens et notre environnement que nous préservons ainsi. »  Ces 6 projets comprennent : (1) 51 millions d’euros pour améliorer l’accès à l’eau pour 179 000 habitants, dans le comté de Vaslui. Ce projet, qui concerne les zones urbaines de Vaslui, Barlad, Husi et Negresti, comprend la construction et rénovation de plus de 130 km de réseau. (2) 46 millions d’euros pour, notamment, la construction et modernisation de 7 stations de traitement de l’eau dans le comté de Prahova, pour le bénéfice de 167 000 habitants. (3) 12.6 millions d’euros pour un meilleur accès à l’eau potable dans le comté de Satu Mare, avec notamment le forage de 4 puits et 40 km d’extension du réseau d’égout. (4) 21 millions d’euros pour des travaux dans le comté de Maramureş, avec en particulier l’extension sur près de 60 km du réseau de distribution d’eau, pour une population de 230 000 personnes. (5) Dans le comté de Dâmbovița, 6.3 millions d’euros pour, notamment, la rénovation de 2 réservoirs et 10 km de réseau de distribution d’eau additionnel. (6) 18 millions d’euros pour, entre autres, la construction et rénovation de 18 puits et de 3 stations de traitement de l’eau dans le comté d’Argeș, pour près de 200 000 personnes. (Pour plus d’informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

Smoother, faster road connections in Greece thanks to EU investments

The Commission welcomes the inauguration today of the Ionian Highway, construction of which has been 100% supported by Cohesion Policy funds thanks to the exceptional measures the Commission put forward in the 2015 “A New Start for Growth and Jobs in Greece” plan. Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: “The EU invests to improve the everyday lives of Greek citizens with safer roads and reduced travel time. Better transport connections also mean new economic opportunities and faster growth. The Ionian Highway is a new token of steadfast EU solidarity and friendship with Greece.” The new, 200 km-long highway connects the city of Ioannina in the region of Epirus (North-Western Greece) to Antirrio, in Western Greece, and cuts travel time by two hours. The highway reaches the Peloponnesus peninsula in the South, via the EU-funded Rio-Antirrio bridge and, in the North, allows smoother access to Greece’s neighbours countries in the Western Balkans. The Ionian highway is one of the 5 EU-funded motorway concessions in the country, with the Moreas Motorway in the Peloponnesus, the Aegean Motorway linking Athens to Thessaloniki, the Olympia Motorway from Corinth to Patras and the middle section of the E65 Motorway in Central Greece. They have been supported with €3.6 billion of EU funds. By seamlessly connecting Greece with the rest of Europe along a strategic trans-European network and allowing a smooth flow of people and goods, those 5 motorways make a key contribution to a steady economic growth in the country. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

State aid: Commission approves German rescue aid to Air Berlin

The European Commission has endorsed under EU State aid rules Germany’s plans to grant Air Berlin a temporary €150 million bridging loan. The measure will allow for the orderly wind-down of the insolvent airline Air Berlin without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. The purpose of the loan is to allow Air Berlin to continue operations in the coming months, with the aim of maintaining its services while it concludes ongoing negotiations to sell its assets. At the end of the process, Air Berlin is expected to cease operating and exit the market. Rescue and restructuring aid are among the most distortive types of State aid and can only be granted to companies once these have exhausted all other market options. The Commission found that the measure will help to protect the interests of air passengers and to maintain air passenger services. At the same time, the strict conditions attached to the loan, its short duration and the fact that Air Berlin is expected to cease operations at the end of the process, will reduce to a minimum the distortion of competition potentially triggered by the State support. The Commission therefore concluded that the measure is compatible with EU State aid rules. The full press release is available online in EN, DE and FR. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

Mergers: Commission clears the creation of a joint venture by Centerbridge Partners and Enel in the Greek wind power sector

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture by Centerbridge Partners, L.P. of the USA and Enel S.p.A. of Italy. The joint venture does not carry out any business activity yet, its object is to build and operate seven wind farms at Kafireas (Euboea) in Greece with a total installed capacity of 154 MW. Centerbridge Partners is an investment management firm focused on private equity and distressed investment opportunities. Enel is an Italian multinational company active in the production and distribution of electricity and gas. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the limited 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.8592. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)

Eurostat: Le volume des ventes du commerce de détail en baisse de 0,3% dans la zone euro, en baisse de 0,2% dans l’UE28

En juillet 2017 par rapport à juin 2017, le volume des ventes du commerce de détail corrigé des variations saisonnières a diminué de 0,3% dans la zone euro (ZE19) et de 0,2% dans l’UE28, selon les estimations d’Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne. En juin, le commerce de détail avait progressé de 0,6% dans la zone euro et de 0,5% dans l’UE28. En juillet 2017 par rapport à juillet 2016, l’indice des ventes de détail s’est accru de 2,6% dans la zone euro et de 2,7% dans l’UE28. Un communiqué de presse Eurostat est à votre disposition en ligne. (For more information: Lucía Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278)


Application for 2018 edition of the Women Innovators Prize opens today

The European Commission launches today the fifth edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators which will be awarded to women entrepreneurs who successfully brought their outstanding innovations to market. The first prize is €100.000, second and third prizes of €50.000 and €30.000 respectively and a special prize of €20.000 will be dedicated to the Rising Innovator Award. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “The EU Prize for Women Innovators gives public recognition to outstanding women entrepreneurs and inspires other women to follow in their footsteps. We have seen some exceptional achievements since the start of the competition. For example, the 2017 winners created an innovation lab bringing together scientists and artists, or invented the first ever digital tablet for blind users. I look forward to seeing many more fresh ideas and talent in the new edition of the contest.” The contest is open to women across the EU or from countries associated to Horizon 2020 who have founded or co-founded their company and benefitted from public or private research and innovation funding. Applications have to be submitted by 15 November 2017 and the winners’ names will be announced on International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018. Further information for the competition can be found here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: + 32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278; Maud Noyon – Tel.: +32 229 80379)



Statement on the humanitarian situation in Myanmar

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides has issued a statement on the ongoing situation in Myanmar: “Unrestricted humanitarian access, including for aid workers, is critical to reaching 350,000 vulnerable people in Rakhine State. They must be allowed to do their job to try to prevent the further deterioration of an already serious humanitarian situation. I call on all sides to de-escalate tensions and fully observe international human rights law, and in particular to refrain from any violence against civilians. Many Rohingya civilians are suffering greatly and are now fleeing the violence across the border into Bangladesh. They must not be turned back or deported. We greatly appreciate the hospitality extended by the Government and people of Bangladesh for many decades. The assistance and protection of the Bangladeshi authorities regarding these new refugees is crucial until the situation in Rakhine State has stabilised and they can safely return. The European Union is committed to supporting all efforts to bring a return to aid deliveries in Rakhine State and is working tirelessly with all stakeholders to achieve this.” The statement is available here. Commissioner Stylianides visited Rakhine State in Myanmar in May earlier this year where he announced EU humanitarian funding. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

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