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The Treaties of Rome at 60: President Juncker participates in anniversary celebrations and leads discussion on the future of the EU at 27

President Juncker will be in Rome, Italy on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 March to participate in events marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome – an occasion which paved the way for the creation of the European Union as we know it today. Tomorrow afternoon, President Juncker, accompanied by Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen, will attend an extraordinary meeting of EU social partners and EU institutions in the Palazzo Chigi, hosted by the Italian Prime Minister, to reaffirm the importance of Europe’s social dimension and to pave the way for progress on the European Pillar of Social Rights, as well as reflect on the social dimension of the EU within the framework of the White Paper on the future of the European Union. In the evening, President Juncker, along with Heads of State or Government of the European Union, will have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis in Vatican City before having a working dinner with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Nicola Alemanno, the Mayor of Norcia – theItalian town devastated by an earthquake in October 2016 and where the European Commission is contributing to reconstruction efforts. On Saturday, President Juncker will participate in the official ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome which takes place in Campidoglio. There he will join Presidents Tajani and Tusk as well as Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, and Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of Italy to deliver a speech. The 27 Heads of State or Government and the Presidents of the Institutions will then sign the Rome Declaration– in the room where exactly 60 years ago the Rome Treaties were signed. The Rome Declaration will feature the Union’s past achievements, present the challenges it faces and pledge to work for unity at 27 and strengthen common action in key policy areas, to the benefit of citizens. In that regard, it follows the presentation of the Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe published on 1 March, which sought to kick-start discussions on what future Europeans want for the European Union. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)

 

Consumer Financial Services Action Plan: Better products and more choice for European consumers

The European Commission is today presenting an Action Plan that sets out ways to provide European consumers with greater choice and better access to financial services across the EU. This Plan seeks to prise open national barriers as only 7% of consumers currently buy financial services from another EU Member State. All consumers should be able to choose freely from a wide range of financial services available across the EU and get the best value for their money while being confident that they are well protected. In a genuine Single Market, the distinction between domestic and foreign providers should no longer matter. Financial service providers should also be able to reap the benefits of the EU’s entire market.Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “European consumers and firms should be able to take full advantage of a true Single Market for financial services. Consumers should have access to the best products available across the EU, not just within their own country. At the same time, we want to explore the full potential of the technology that’s out there. If harnessed well, it has the potential to change for the better the financial industry and the way people access financial services.” This initiative is being launched in cooperation with Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. At the heart of today’s launch is a focus on technology, given that innovative online services will drive progress towards a more integrated market for financial services. To that end, we are also publishing a consultation on technology and its impact on the European financial services sector (so called ‘FinTech’) to spur our work in this area. For more information on the Action Plan see full press release, MEMO and factsheet available online (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958)

Digital Day in Rome: commitments on high-performance computing, connected mobility, and a new framework for interoperable digital public services

Today in Rome, seven Member States signed a joint declaration on high-performance computing and 29 European countries signed a letter of intent on cross border experiments on cooperative, connected and automated mobility. The declaration on high-performance computing outlines the plan to establish an integrated world-class infrastructure capable of at least 1018 calculations per second (so-called exascale computers). This will be available across the EU for scientific communities, industry and the public sector, no matter where the users are located. The Digital Day, a one-day Commission conference on the EU’s digital future, brings also news for digital public services: the Commission presents today the new European Interoperability Framework which will help public administrations to coordinate their digitisation efforts. This will contribute to reducing bureaucracy, for example when requesting certificates, enrolling to services, or handing in tax declarations. Discussions continue this afternoon on stepping up EU cooperation to digitise industry (more information will be available here as of 16:00 CET) and on jobs and skills in the digital era (more information will be available here as of 17:00 CET). Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “To secure Europe’s digital future, Europeans need digital skills. We also need to digitise our industry, make sure researchers and startups have access to data and first-class technologies. We need to connect transport and make sure mobility knows no borders in the EU. Today, we are making important steps forward to make this happen.” The Vice-President’s full statement can be found here. The Digital Day is part of the celebrations of the 60 years of the Treaties of Rome and a contribution to the debate on the Future of Europe initiated by the White Paper presented by President Juncker earlier this month. Read more in the press release and follow the debate via livestream. The sessions are interactive, with the possibility to engage on Facebook or on Twitter via #DigitalDay17 and @DSMeu. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Inga Höglund – Tel.: +32 229 50698)

 

Corps Européen de Solidarité: à la veille du sommet de Rome, la première volontaire arrive sur le terrain

L’Europe, qui célébrera samedi à Rome les 60 ans de ses traités fondateurs, s’emploie plus que jamais à préparer son avenir commun et celui de sa jeunesse. C’est dans ce contexte que l’UE a vu la première jeune volontaire du Corps Européen de Solidarité, Manon, une Française de 22 ans, arriver cette semaine à Budapest, en Hongrie. D’autres participants devraient suivre très prochainement. Dans le cadre de l’initiative Volontaires Interreg, l’un des programmes qui participe au Corps Européen de Solidarité, Manon sera chargée de faire connaitre au grand public les résultats du programme de coopération Danube, afin d’encourager la coopération transfrontalière en Europe. Au-delà des projets conjoints de recherche, de protection du patrimoine culturel ou d’intégration sociale, ce sont bien les valeurs européennes d’échange, de solidarité et d’unité que la jeune volontaire va promouvoir. Tibor Navracsics, commissaire chargé de l’éducation, de la culture, de la jeunesse et du sport, a déclaré: “Je suis ravi de voir la première volontaire du Corps Européen de Solidarité commencer son projet. Beaucoup de jeunes Européens sont prêts à apporter leur contribution. J’encourage les organisations à leur offrir des opportunités.” La Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Creţu, a ajouté: “En mettant à l’honneur les valeurs originelles de notre Union, le Corps Européen de Solidarité façonne l’identité européenne de demain. Je suis fière que la politique de Cohésion puisse contribuer à sa réussite.” Depuis son lancement en décembre dernier, plus de 25 000 jeunes Européens se sont inscrits auprès du Corps Européen de Solidarité. Depuis l’ouverture, il y a deux semaines, de la base de données aux organisations, plus de 2200 participants ont été contactés par 36 organisations, dont 19 qui ont déjà reçu une offre concrète. (Pour plus d’informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tél.: +32 229 56169)

 

Commission, data protection and consumer protection authorities look into issues with connected toys and apps

Today, the European Commission is hosting a first joint workshop with Member State authorities in charge of enforcing EU laws on data protection (Data Protection Authorities) and consumer protection (the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network) in Brussels. The aim is to ensure that traders of digital products such as connected toys or apps comply with EU law. Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová,said: “While technological developments and new digital products are enriching our daily lives, EU citizens rightly expect that their products are, first of all, safe. In particular, when it comes to the most vulnerable. For example, more and more children are playing with connected toys. Their parents must be able to rest assured that these toys are safe for them to play with and that their privacy is respected.” A team of scientists from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and international experts have published a study analysing both opportunities and risks associated with internet connected objects such as dolls, teddy bears or watches. While the study highlights these toys’ potential to expand educational opportunities, it warns against their ability to record, store and share information about their users, which raises concerns about children’s safety, privacy and social development. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the JRC, said: “It is easy to see why internet connected toys are attractive to children, but we should not ignore the implications that their use could have for their safety and privacy. The study led by the Joint Research Centre not only highlights areas where further analysis is needed, but also makes practical recommendations for policymakers on how to better deal with the opportunities and risks related to internet connected toys for children.” (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel. +32 229 62253; Johannes Bahrke – Tel. +32 229 58615)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Zenith by Bridgepoint

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Zenith by Bridgepoint, both of the UK. Zenith is an independent provider of vehicle leasing, outsourcing and fleet management services to corporate customers in the UK. Bridgepoint is a private equity group focused on investing in established European middle market businesses in a broad range of sectors, including consumer/retail, business services, industrials, financial services, healthcare and media. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the parties’ limited combined market shares resulting from the proposed transaction. 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.8395. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of a Radisson Blu Centrum hotel in Warsaw by Mitsubishi Estate Group and the Carlson Group

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over PHD Polska sp. z o.o. of Poland by Europa Capital LLP of the UK and Rezidor Hotels APS Danmark of Denmark. PHD Polska is the owner of the building in which the Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel is located. Europa Capital’s ultimate parent is the Mitsubishi Estate Group of Japan, which operates internationally in real estate sectors with its main focus on Japan. In Europe, it is present through Europa Capital. Rezidor is an operator of, among others, the Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel in Warsaw and it’s ultimate parent is the Carlson Group of the USA. The Carlson Group is a global hospitality and travel group, with several travel brands including Radisson Blu, Radisson and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because of its limited impact on the market structure. 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.8373. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Meridiana by Qatar Airways and Alisarda

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Meridiana fly S.p.A. of Italy, by Qatar Airways of Qatar and Alisarda of Italy. Meridiana is an airline that operates scheduled and charter passenger services and cargo services to destinations in Europe and Northern Africa and some destinations in the Americas and Asia. Through its subsidiaries, it is also active in aircraft maintenance services as well as tour operating and travel agency services. Qatar Airways is a full-service airline that operates international scheduled passenger air and cargo services. Alisarda is a holding company already controlling Meridiana. The activities of Meridiana and Qatar Airways overlap in a number of routes where at least one of the two parties flies indirectly (with a stopover) and the other directly or indirectly, mainly out of Milan and Rome. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, as the companies’ activities on the overlapping routes are very limited or these routes have a very low traffic density. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8361. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Atlas Elektronik by Thyssenkrupp

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the remaining shares in Atlas Elektronik GmbH, by Thyssenkrupp Technologies Beteiligungen GmbH, both of Germany. . Atlas Elektronik provides naval systems, in particular sonar systems and combat management system solutions for submarines, surface combatants and mine counter vessels, as well as naval weapons and naval communication systems. It is currently owned and controlled by Thyssenkrupp (51 %) and Airbus OS (49 %). Thyssenkrupp is active in the production of submarines and surface naval vessels, as well as in the production and trading of materials (including steel), industrial and capital goods and the provision of engineering solutions for industrial processes and services. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns. Despite the existing vertical relationships between Atlas Elektronik’s naval systems and Thyssenkrupp’s submarines and surface vessels, the proposed acquisition does not bring any substantive change to competition in the markets, given that Thyssenkrupp already controls Atlas Elektronik. 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.8393. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jean Monnet seminar: debating the future of Europe

Today and tomorrow, the Jean Monnet seminar “The future of Europe: a commitment for You(th)”, organised by the Commission, will be held in Rome as part of the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. The discussion will focus on the future of the EU in light of the current challenges facing the Union as well as the engagement of the young generation in the European project. The seminar will also look into how the EU is portrayed in the media as well as in academia, and how to better reach out to citizens. Jean Monnet seminars, which take place regularly, focus on topics of great relevance to the EU, encouraging dialogue between the academic world and policy-makers. The seminar in Rome will bring together over 100 participants, including Jean Monnet professors, but also European, international and national policy-makers, journalists, representatives of civil society and youth associations, as well as students. Launched in 1989, the Jean Monnet programme is today part of Erasmus+. By supporting short modules, chairs and centres of excellence, it promotes the study of and research on EU integration More information on the programme is available here.The seminar will be web streamed online. You can participate in the discussion on Twitter using the hashtags #EU60 and #EU60JeanMonnet. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel. +32 229 58615; Joseph Waldstein – Tel. +32 229 56184)

 

Vice-President Katainen in Finland for European Semester country visit

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, is in Finland today and tomorrow to discuss the future of Europe, European Defence and the economic situation in the country. The Vice-President will engage in an exchange of views with Members of the Finnish Parliament and participate in a meeting with social partners. He will also meet Mr. Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland and Mr. Mika Lintilä, Minister for Economic Affairs. The Vice-President will deliver the keynote address at a European Commission seminar on the European Defence Action Plan. Finally, he will take part in a Citizens’ Dialogue event which will focus on the Commission’s recently launched White Paper on the future of Europe. The visit takes place in the context of the European Semester, the economic policy coordination cycle of the European Union. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

Commissioner Malmström in Portugal to discuss future of Europe and EU trade agenda

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström is in Lisbon today, where she is participating in a Citizens’ Dialogue on the future of Europe and the ways ahead for the EU trade policy. On the eve of the 60 year celebrations of the Treaties of Rome, this event gives citizens the opportunity to exchange views with the Commissioner on the evolution of the EU in the years to come, following the publication of the Commission’s White Paper on the future of Europe on 1 March.The dialogue will also cover the challenges of the intensive EU trade agenda. Later today, the Commissioner will engage in a debate on the EU-Canada trade deal in the Portuguese Parliament, together with Secretary of State for European Affairs, Margarida Marques, Canada’s envoy for the trade agreement with the EU, Pierre Pettigrew, as well as representatives of political parties. As part of the visit, Commissioner Malmström is also attending a hearing at the Portuguese Parliament with members of the committees for European Affairs, Economy and Foreign Affairs, and is meeting with Secretary of State for Trade Paulo Ferreira and Secretary of State for European Affairs Margarida Marques. EbS photo and video will be available. The Citizens’ Dialogue will be web-streamed here at 13:00 Brussels time, and a recording will be available here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56 185; Axel Fougner – Tel.: +32 229 57276)  

La Commissaire Crețu visite la ville de Charleroi, en Wallonie

Demain,  la Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Crețu se rend à Charleroi, dans la région wallonne de la Belgique. Elle rencontrera M. Paul Magnette, Ministre-Président de la Wallonie et bourgmestre de la ville de Charleroi et visitera deux projets soutenus par la politique de Cohésion: le Parc Scientifique et Technologique de l’Aéropole, qui accueille centres de recherches, incubateurs et entreprises dans des secteurs à haute valeur ajoutée (aéronautique, numérique, biotechnologies…) et le “Quai 10“, un centre éducatif et culturel dédié à l’image animée et interactive, au cœur de la ville. “Je me rends à Charleroi pour réaffirmer le soutien sans faille de la Commission à la reconversion économique de la région, au vu notamment de la situation de Caterpillar. Nous sommes prêts à mobiliser les outils européens nécessaires pour accompagner la Wallonie dans sa transition vers une économie de la connaissance, durable et diversifiée. Les projets soutenus par l’UE que je vais visiter en sont d’ailleurs de bons exemples. Et parce que le futur de l’économie wallonne est aussi lié aux futurs investissements de l’UE, je viens également discuter de la politique de Cohésion après 2020 avec Monsieur Magnette et les représentants de la région,” a déclaré la Commissaire avant sa visite. La Wallonie bénéficie de plus de 680 millions d’euros au titre du Fonds Européen de Développement Régional (FEDER) jusqu’en 2023. Près de 7000 petites et moyennes entreprises et startups wallonnes devraient recevoir le soutien du FEDER durant cette période. (Pour plus d’informations: Jakub Adamowicz –Tél .: +32 229 50595, Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tél .: +32 229 56169)

Commissioner Bulc in Sofia to present transport investment opportunities

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc is in Sofia today and tomorrow where she participates in a conference on transport investment, which brings together public and private institutions involved in transport financing and planning. The objective of the event is to help countries in the region to make the best use of the opportunities offered by the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe to enhance their transport network. Boosting infrastructure investment is also vital to stimulate the recent economic recovery and better integrate the region to the internal market, important priorities of the Juncker Commission. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Public grants will not be enough to deliver on our vision for seamless, intelligent and sustainable mobility. With the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, we want to offer innovative solutions such as blending funds to mobilise additional private financing. This is particularly important in the cohesion countries where we still need more work to bridge the infrastructure investment gap with other parts of Europe. Boosting investment is also vital to strengthen the region’s competitiveness and stimulate the recent economic recovery.” More information is available here and on the website of the conference. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Alexis Perier – Tel.: +32 229 69143)

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

Daily News 15 / 07 / 2016

Interventions du Président Jean-Claude Juncker suite aux attentats à Nice, France

Suite aux attentats de hier soir à Nice, le président de la Commission européenne Jean-Claude Juncker a déclaré: “Je suis très touché et affligé par la terrible épreuve qui vient de toucher la belle ville de Nice en ce jour de fête nationale.” Le président a également adressé une lettre au président de la République française Francois Hollande, réaffirmant l’engagement de la Commission européenne à être aux côtés de la France et des autres États membres pour lutter contre le terrorisme à l’intérieur comme à l’extérieur de l’Union européenne, en écrivant “Notre détermination reste aussi ferme que notre unité.” Dans une lettre adressée au président du conseil régional de Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Christian Estrosi, il a exprimé sa plus grande solidarité envers les victimes, leurs familles et tous les Niçois et Niçoises aujourd’hui dans le deuil. Le Président Juncker et les leaders participant actuellement au Sommet Asie-Europe à Oulan-Bator ont également publié une déclaration commune sur le terrorisme international, condamnant les attentats récents en Europe, Asie et ailleurs. En outre, Le Président Juncker s’est réuni avec le Président du Conseil européen, M. Donald Tusk, ainsi que le Premier ministre du Japon, M. Shinzō Abe pour une conférence de presse pendant laquelle ils ont déclaré: “L’acte terroriste, qui fut lâche et barbare, qui a frappé la ville de Nice pendant la nuit m’a profondément choqué, attristé, affligé”. Intervenant à la session plénière de l’ASEM à Oulan-Bator ce matin le président Juncker a poursuivi: “Ce qui s’est passé à Nice est la négation de tout ce en quoi nous croyons, de tout ce qui nous réunit.” (Pour plus d’informations: Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)

 

Energy: EU invests €263 million in energy infrastructure

Today EU Member States agreed on the European Commission’s proposal to invest €263 million in key European energy infrastructure projects. The lion’s share of the investment will support the building of gas infrastructure in the Baltic Sea region as well as supporting the electricity sector across Europe. Nine projects were selected following a call for proposals under the EU funding support programme the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The selected priority projects aim to increase energy security, connect the isolated EU Member States to the wider European grid and contribute to the Energy Union objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy.The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Well-connected energy infrastructure is essential to achieving the Energy Union. This EU support will help fill existing gaps in energy infrastructure, putting us on the path to a truly connected European energy market. This is necessary to strengthen the security of energy supply and a more efficient use of the energy resources and integration of renewables into the grid.” With a total of €800 million available for grants under Connecting Europe Facility – Energy in 2016, the second 2016 call for proposals with an indicative budget of €600 million is currently ongoing and will close on 8 November. Under the Connecting Europe Facility, a total of €5.35 billion was allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period of 2014-2020. Read entire press release in EN, FR and DE. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

 

EU steps up humanitarian aid for victims of Boko Haram in Africa’s Lake Chad region

The European Commission has today announced €58.2 million in humanitarian aid to support the populations in the Lake Chad region in Africa. The funding brings the overall EU humanitarian aid package for the Sahel region to over €203 million in 2016. “A full-scalehumanitarian crisis has been fuelled by violence in a fragile region. The EU is committed to supporting those displaced and affected by the violence of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin. Our support will target the most vulnerable in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger where more than two and a half million people have been displaced by the terror of Boko Haram alone. Our aid will help provide food, shelter, clean water, and healthcare, as well as protection to the displaced and the host communities. Everything must be done so humanitarian aid workers can deliver lifesaving assistance safely and urgently access those in need” saidCommissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides who is currently on a visit to the region. The violence inflicted by the terrorist group Boko Haram from northern Nigeria has destabilised the entire Lake Chad region, causing large scale displacements of people.A full press release is available here. A map showing the funding is available here (For more information: Alexandre Polack – Tel.: +32 229 90677; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

EU adopts decisions to recognise equivalence and adequacy of US auditor oversight authorities

The European Commission has today adopted two decisions recognising the equivalence and adequacy of the US auditor oversight authorities. These decisions extend the current agreement, which expires on 31 July 2016, by a further six years. Commissioner Jonathan Hill, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union said: “I welcome the extension of both decisions as it provides a strong basis for continued cooperation between the EU and the US. Both partners share the objective of promoting confidence and protecting investors. The auditor oversight authorities are committed to strengthening their cooperation further in order to achieve even greater mutual reliance in the future.” For more information on the new audit rules, see our memo. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958)  

 

Mergers: Commission clears ice cream joint venture between PAI Partners and Nestlé

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of Froneri, a joint venture by PAI Partners of France and Nestlé of Switzerland. Froneri will manufacture and market ice cream products in and outside of Europe, and frozen food products in Europe. PAI Partners will contribute to Froneri its ice cream business, operating as R&R. Nestlé will contribute its ice cream business in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Philippines, Brazil and Argentina and part of its frozen food business in Europe. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because R&R and Nestlé are not close competitors in the European Economic Area ice cream markets and will continue to face competition from Unilever and several other ice cream manufacturers. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case registerunder the case number M.7946.(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Komel – Tel.: +32 229 61175)

 

Mergers: Commission approves the acquisition of joint control over Novy by BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity, Sofindev and DHAM

The Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Novy International NV by BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity Belgium NV, Sofindev IV NV and DHAM NV, all of Belgium. Novy is the holding company controlling the Novy Group which is active in the design, manufacture and marketing of high‑end kitchen appliances. BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equityis a branch office of BNP Paribas dedicated to private equity and mezzanine financing. Sofindev is a private equity firm, investing in Belgian small and medium sized enterprises. DHAM is the holding company of the Colruyt group which is mainly active in the retail of daily consumer goods, but is also involved in other activities including foodservice, fuel retail and wholesale of daily consumer goods. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because Novy’s activities do not overlap with those of BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity and Sofindev and their portfolio companies, nor with those of the Colruyt Group. 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.8094.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Giulia Komel – Tel.: +32 229 61175)

 

EUROSTAT: Mai 2016 – Excédent de 24,6 mrds d’euros du commerce international de biens de la zone euro, Excédent de 6,4 mrds d’euros pour l’UE28

D’après les premières estimations pour le mois de mai 2016, les exportations de biens de la zone euro (ZE19) vers le reste du monde se sont établies à 167,4 milliards d’euros, en hausse de 2% par rapport à mai 2015 (164,3 mrds). Les importations depuis le reste du monde ont quant à elles été de 142,8 mrds d’euros, en recul de 2% par rapport à mai 2015 (146,0 mrds). En conséquence, la zone euro a enregistré en mai 2016 un excédent de 24,6 mrds d’euros de son commerce international de biens avec le reste du monde, contre +18,3 mrds en mai 2015. Le commerce intra-zone euro a augmenté à 139,4 mrds d’euros en mai 2016, soit +1% par rapport à mai 2015. Un communiqué de presse EUROSTAT est disponible en ligne. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Axel Fougner – Tel.: +32 229 57276)

 

EUROSTAT: Le taux d’inflation annuel de la zone euro en hausse à 0,1%

Le taux d’inflation annuel de la zone euro s’est établi à 0,1% en juin 2016, contre -0,1% en mai. Un an auparavant, il était de 0,2%. Le taux d’inflation annuel de l’Union européenne s’est établi à 0,0% en juin 2016, contre -0,1% en mai. Un an auparavant, il était de 0,1%. Ces chiffres sont publiés par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne. Un communiqué de presse EUROSTAT est disponible en ligne.(For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Audrey Augier – Tel.: +32 229 71607)

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

Calendar

The Commissioners’ weekly activities

Daily News 22/01/2016

EU joint mission to Turkey: together to discuss common challenges

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini together with Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides will pay an official visit to Turkey. Commissioner Stylianides will arrive in Turkey this weekend, and will visit EU funded humanitarian aid projects assisting mainly refugees from Syria and Iraq in the regions most affected by the crisis. During the visit, HR/VP Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn will attend the High-Level Political Dialogue Meeting with the Turkish counterparts, in Ankara. The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the common challenges ahead as key partners and strategic allies in the region. In addition to dialogue with the authorities, HR/VP Mogherini and Commissioners Hahn and Stylianides will also meet with the representatives of the four main political parties and civil society representatives. HR/VP Mogherini and Commissioner Stylianides will then travel to the South East of Turkey to meet representatives of the many religious and ethnic communities living together in the region. Videos and photos of the visit will be available on EbS. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229-86570; Alexandre Polack – Tel.: +32 229-90677; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229-64887, Daniel Puglisi Tel.: +32 229-69140)

 

Commissioner Hogan welcomes improved market access to India for EU apple exports

EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan welcomes the announcement on the improved access to the Indian market for EU apple exports: “Improved access to the Indian market represents another positive step in finding alternative markets for EU producers, in light of the ongoing difficult market situation. Our efforts to break down any barriers to our agricultural exports and to open markets to our producers are ongoing, as part of the diplomatic offensive we are leading in 2016”. While all access points were closed to apples imports since September 2015 with the exception of one port, as of this week, European producers can get their apples into the Indian market through the sea ports and airports in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Cochin, as well as the airport in Delhi. The importation of apples is also allowed through India’s land borders. The Indian market has huge potential. EU exports of apples to India amounted to only around 7,000 tonnes in 2014, mainly from Italy, France and Belgium. Although provisional figures for 2015 show a considerable increase to around 11,000 tonnes, India has the potential to absorb a higher share of EU exports given its moderate domestic apple production (around 1.5 million tonnes in 2013, similar to Italy). While the Russian embargo on EU agri-food products lasts, European producers continue to actively seek alternative markets with the support of Member States and the European Commission. In this context, Poland reached an agreement with India and the first Polish apples entered the market in April 2015. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52509)

 

European Commission awards €20 million in top-up grants for most promising innovation projects

Today, the European Research Council (ERC) has awarded 135 grants in the third round of its €20 million Proof of Concept competition, which awards the most promising innovation projects by existing ERC grantees with up to €150 000 in funding. Announcing the grants at the a press conference about attracting talent to Europe at the World Economic Forum in Davos EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas said: “There can be no sustainable environment for European innovation without scientific excellence. Proof of Concept grants help researchers bridge the divide between academia and the market. They support the frontier science that leads to innovation with real-life applications, creating new opportunities for European jobs and products.” The grants, which can be used to establish intellectual property rights, or look for business opportunities, will seek to develop such innovative products like customised cancer treatments based on DNA information, develop super-hard graphene fibres weaved by bionic silkworms, and support the restoration of medieval architectural processes. More information can be found in the ERC press release. The press conference in Davos will start at 12:30 and will be web-streamed here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of UniCarriers Holdings by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of UniCarriers Holdings Corporation (‘UCHC’) of Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (‘MHI’) of Japan. MHI is a multinational engineering, electrical equipment and electronics company active amongst others in the production and sale of forklifts and warehouse equipment in the European Economic Area (EEA). UCHC is a holding company active in the development, manufacture and marketing of forklifts, containers carriers, transfer cranes and forklift engines. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition raises no competition concerns, as the companies’ market shares are very low in the markets where their activities overlap. The operation was examined under the simplified merger procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7880. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of TEN by Engie and REC

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte S.A. (TEN) of Chile by Engie S.A. of France and Red Eléctrica Corporación S.A. (REC) of Spain. Engie is a global energy player active in the areas of  electricity, natural gas and energy services. REC operates the national electricity grid and power transmission system in Spain and is also active in some countries in South America. TEN has currently no activity on the market but will develop and operate an electricity transmission line in Chile. The companies’ activities do not overlap. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns. 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.7889. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of HRA Pharma by Astorg Asset Management and Goldman Sachs. 

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of HRA Pharma, a French company that develops and sells pharmaceutical products and devices in women health and endocrinology sectors, by Astorg Asset Management, a private equity investment firm and Goldman Sachs, a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns, given that there are no overlaps between the activities of HRA Pharma on the one hand and the activities of portfolio companies controlled by Astorg and Goldman Sachs, on the other hand. 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.7887. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

GMOs: Commission withdraws authorisation of 4 GMOs for food/ feed uses

The Commission has withdrawn today the authorisation of 4 GMOs for food/feed uses, MON863 maize, MON863xMON810xNK603 maize, MON863xMON810 maize and MON863xNK603 maize. These GMOs have not been cultivated worldwide since 2011 and their commercial phase out is completed, therefore the company has asked for their withdrawal. For more information, see here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

Eurostat: Government debt fell to 91.6% of GDP in euro area

At the end of the third quarter of 2015, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA19) stood at 91.6%, compared with 92.3% at the end of the second quarter of 2015. In the EU28, the ratio decreased from 87.7% to 86.0%. This decrease in the EU28 government debt to GDP ratio is driven by exchange rate fluctuations of non-euro area Member States against the euro. Compared with the third quarter of 2014, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in the euro area (from 92.3% to 91.6%) and in the EU28 (from 86.9% to 86.0%). A Eurostat press release is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151

Eurostat: Seasonally adjusted government deficit down to 1.8% of GDP in the euro area

In the third quarter of 2015, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 1.8% in the euro area (EA19), a decrease compared with 2.2% in the second quarter of 2015. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 2.3%, a decrease compared with 2.6% in the previous quarter.A Eurostat press release is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151)

Calendar

The Commissioners’ weekly activities

Daily News 15 / 01 / 2016

President’s New Year’s press conference

President Jean-Claude Juncker today underlined his determination to focus on the Commission’s number one priority – growth and jobs – even as the European Union manages a series of crises. He called on Member States to pursue the strategy set out by the Commission year ago: structural reform, fiscal responsibility and strategic investment. Announcing major progress from the €315 Investment Plan, the President remarked: “People said the plan would not work, that governments would not like it, and the private sector did not believe in it. But in the first three months we have already mobilised €50 billion across 22 Member States. 81,000 SMEs are already benefitting from the plan.” Reaffirming the Commission’s determination to do everything necessary to maintain the Schengen area of passport-free travel, the President highlighted the costs of non-Schengen: “Waiting at an internal border would cost every lorry 55 euros for every hour.” He also called on Member States to respect their commitments: “I cannot accept that the relocation of 160,000 refugees is not implemented.” On the situation in Poland, the President called for dialogue and saw a way forward: “I believe there is room for amendments in different pieces of legislation – that is now up to the European Union and Poland.”  Watch the recorded version of the press conference on EbS. More information on the state of play of the Investment Plan for Europe here. (For more information:Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382)       

 

Investment Plan for Europe: another €500 million for SMEs in Germany

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the German promotional bankKfW Bankengruppe have signed an agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as small Mid-Caps, benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. The new agreement allows KfW via on-lending banks to provide innovative companies in Germany with access to a total of €500m of financing over the next 2 years. Speaking at the signing event in Berlin, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, said: “Germany is one of the leading EU Member States for innovation and I am pleased that it is dedicating more resources to financing innovative companies. The InnovFin SME Guarantee deal signed today with KfW Bankengruppe will open up new ways of funding innovative companies to enable them to grow and create jobs.” (For more information see press release or contact Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: + 32 229 57361)

 

The Commission announces the continuation of the Northern Ireland Task Force

Yesterday the European Commission announced the continuation of the Northern Ireland Task Force. Its work will help the region participate more actively in the EU policy process and fully benefit from EU programmes and projects fostering growth and jobs. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I welcome very much the useful contribution the Task Force has made to the promotion of socio-economic reconstruction and in that way to the consolidation of the ongoing peace process and securing reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The peace process in Northern Ireland requires continuing efforts and the Commission has a special role to play in this, as it also does in contributing to reinforce the region’s European engagement. I therefore believe that the Northern Ireland Task Force, with its valuable expertise, should continue to play an important role in the future.” Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu, responsible for the management of the work of the Northern Ireland Task Force, said: “With this renewed partnership, and in line with the priorities of the Commission, we will do everything we can to support growth and job creation in Northern Ireland, including on an all-island basis, as the region pursues the process of consolidating peace and reconciliation“.A press release is available online. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186, Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

European Commission awards journalists with Lorenzo Natali Media Prize for outstanding reporting on development

Last night, the European Commission honoured nine journalists reporting on development issues with the Lorenzo Natali Media Prizes. Out of more than 1400 registered participants from across the world, the nine selected journalists stood out for the quality of their journalistic work. Their journalistic reports covered topics ranging from the e-waste economy in Ghana, to innovative farming methods in slums in Kenya, drug crime in Mexico, and child prostitution in Myanmar. This year’s Grand Prize has been awarded to Arison Tamfu from Cameroon for his story ‘Africa’s billions might be buried forever’, published in the Cameroon Daily Journal. The story shows how the use of renewable energies is improving lives in rural communities in Africa.  Speaking about the winners, Commissioner Mimica said: “These talented journalists remind us why development and poverty eradication are so important for people’s lives around the world, as their powerful stories show. On behalf of the European Commission, I applaud and thank the winners and participants for their efforts and invaluable contributions.”  More information in the press release here. (For more information: Alexandre Polack – Tel.: +32 2 299 06 77, Sharon Zarb – Tel. + 32 2 29 92256)

European Commission consults on non-binding guidelines on disclosure of non-financial information by certain large companies

 The Commission Services have launched a public consultation today to feed into its upcoming non-binding guidelines that will set out how large public-interest entities, such as listed companies and banks, could disclose social and environmental information. These guidelines can assist companies in the reporting process, providing them with a methodology that will facilitate the disclosure of relevant, useful and comparable non-financial information. The guidelines will be drawn up in line with the requirements and scope set out in the Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies and groups, which applies to large public-interest entities with more than 500 employees. The consultation is open until 15 April 2016 and is available on the consultation page(For more information:Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229-56194; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229-51958)

State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into alleged aid to two container terminal operators in Port of Antwerp, Belgium

The European Commission has opened an in-depth inquiry into whether reductions in compensation payments granted by the Port of Antwerp to two container terminal operators gave them an undue advantage over competitors, in breach of EU state aid rules.Between 2009 and 2012, the two operators PSA Antwerp NV and Antwerp Gateway NV did not reach minimum tonnage requirements specified in their concession agreements. As a result, they were obliged to pay compensation to the Antwerp Port Authority. However, instead of collecting the compensation due from the two companies, the Authority retroactively revised the minimum tonnage requirements downwards. The Commission will now examine further whether a private investor would have accepted to reduce its compensation in a similar manner. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested third parties the opportunity to submit comments on the measures under assessment. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The full press release is available online in EN, FR, DE and NL. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

Mergers: Commission approves Ball’s acquisition of Rexam, subject to conditions

Following an in-depth review, the Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of beverage can manufacturer Rexam by rival Ball . The Commission’s investigation showed that the transaction, as notified, would have reduced competition in the already concentrated markets for beverage cans and risked increasing prices for customers. The Commission’s approval is therefore conditional upon Ball divesting ten plants making can bodies and two plants making can ends to a suitable purchaser, so as to address the Commission’s concerns. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, commented: “Soft drinks or beer in cans are widely consumed by European citizens. The substantial remedies offered will ensure that effective competition is maintained in the already concentrated drink can industry so consumers do not end up paying higher prices for their favourite refreshments”.The full press release is available online in EN, FR and DE. More information on this case is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7567. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Euro Garages by TDR Capital

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Euro Garages by TDR Capital, both of the UK. Euro Garages operates a portfolio of more than 300 filling stations. TDR Capital is a private equity firm investing in various areas, including motor fuel retail and car-wash. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because a significant number of competitors will remain active on the market for car wash services in the UK, the only market where the companies compete with each other. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7862(For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel. +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Eurostat: The tax-to-GDP ratio in 2014 varied by almost 1 to 2 across the EU Member States

The overall tax-to-GDP ratio, meaning the sum of taxes and net social contributions as a percentage of GDP, stood at 40.0% in the European Union (EU) in 2014, compared with 39.9% in 2013. In the euro area, tax revenue accounted in 2014 for 41.5% of GDP, up from 41.2% in 2013. Over recent years, the tax-to-GDP ratio in both zones has increased continuously since its low point in 2010. The tax-to-GDP ratio varies significantly between Member States, with the highest share of taxes and social contributions in percentage of GDP in 2014 being recorded in Denmark (50.8%), followed by Belgium and France (both 47.9%), Finland (44.0%), Austria (43.8%), Italy and Sweden (both 43.7%). At the opposite end of the scale, Romania (27.7%), Bulgaria (27.8%), Lithuania (28.0%) and Latvia (29.2%) registered the lowest ratios. This information comes from a report issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Tax indicators are compiled in a harmonised framework based on the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010), enabling an accurate comparison of the tax systems and tax policies between EU Member States. A Eurostat press release can be found here. (For more information:Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Patrick Mc Cullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)

 

Eurostat: Euro area international trade in goods surplus €23.6 billion

The first estimate for euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in November 2015 was €173.5 billion, an increase of 6% compared with November 2014 (€163.6 billion). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €149.9 billion, a rise of 5% compared with November 2014 (€143.5 billion). As a result, the euro area recorded a €23.6 billion surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in November 2015, compared with +€20.1 billion in November 2014. Intra-euro area trade rose to €145.7 billion in November 2015, up by 5% compared with November 2014. These data are released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. A Eurostat press release can be found here. (For more information:Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissioner Arias Cañete attends the International Renewable Energy Agency meeting in Abu Dhabi

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will travel to Abu Dhabi on 16-17 January to participate at the 6th General Assembly of the International Renewable Agency (IRENA). IRENA is the intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation on renewable energy. The meeting will serve to ascertain the concrete implementation of the Paris COP21 climate agreement and to set strong guidance as regards IRENA’s role for the promotion of renewable energy. One of the political priorities of the Juncker Commission is making the EU the world number one in renewable energy and leading the fight against global warming. Commissioner Arias Cañete will deliver a keynote speech on the need for concerted action to deploy renewable energy and will hold bilateral meetings with representatives from the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and other countries of the Gulf region. In addition, he will host a dinner with CEOs of international renewables companies, ministers, environmental organisations and other personalities from the renewables industry. To conclude his first international travel of 2016, Commissioner Arias Cañete will participate in a ministerial roundtable on financing renewables on Sunday morning, and at the Financial Times IRENA Question Time Debate in the evening, where he will be joined by Mr Henry Puna, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Ms Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Mr Yvo de Boer, Director General of the Global Green Growth Institute amongst others. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186)

Commissioner Hogan in Berlin for the International Green Week and the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture

Mr Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, attends the 81stInternational Green Week (IGW) opening today in Berlin. He will visit the Commission stand, which is built around the theme “From Farm to Fork” offering information on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Animal health and welfare, Health and Food as well as Maritime and Fisheries policies. Organised by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMEL), the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is being held during the IGW and Commissioner Hogan will participate today in its High Level Panel on development on sustainable cities “Feeding the Cities”. This event will be followed by a press briefing.  On Saturday 16 January, Commissioner Hogan will deliver a keynote speech at the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Summit 2016. On this occasion, he will also hold a series of bilateral meetings with Ministers present from around the globe. He also participates in the International Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) Panel which will be livestreamed. On Sunday 17 January, Commissioner Hogan participates in a roundtable on the Western Balkans’ agriculture and rural development. You can follow the events on social media with the following hashtags: #EUatGreenWeek #IGW2016 #GrüneWoche2016 #GFFA. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel: +32 229 56 172; Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52 509)

Calendar 18 – 24 January

The Commissioners’ weekly activities

CALENDRIER du 14 au 20 décembre 2015

(Susceptible de modifications en cours de semaine)

Déplacements et visites

Lundi 14 décembre

Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels (14-15/12).

European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg (14-17/12).

President Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Mr Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Prime Minister, President of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Military forces at the French Senate, in Strasbourg.

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Mr Ivan Korčok, State Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

Ms Federica Mogherini and Mr Johannes Hahn participate in the EU-Morocco Association Council, in Brussels.

Ms Kristalina Georgieva travels to Athens, Greece, to sign an agreement with the UNHCR, represented by Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Mr George Okoth-Obbo, and together with Mr. Ioannis Mouzalas, Greece’s Alternate Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction responsible for Migration Policy.

Mr Gunther Oettinger participates in the Federal Party Congress CDU, in Karlsruhe.

Mr Johannes Hahn participates in the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on Turkey, in Brussels.

Mr Johannes Hahn participates in the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on Serbia, in Brussels.

Mr Karmenu Vella meets with Mr Martijn van Dam, Dutch Minister for Agriculture, in the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

Mr Karmenu Vella meets with Mr Marek Gróbarczyk, Polish Minister for Maritime Affairs, in the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis in Vilnius, Lithuania: attends official ceremony of the opening in Lithuania (sole owner of an LNG terminal in the Baltics), of two new power interconnections – Litpol Link and NordBalt.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos meets with Mr Angelino Alfano, Minister of the Interior of Italy.

Ms Marianne Thyssen receives Mr Pim van Ballekom, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

Mr Pierre Moscovici is in The Hague: meets with Mr Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, and with Mr Eric Wiebes, State Secretary for Finance of The Netherlands.                    

Mr Phil Hogan meets with Mr Krzysztof Jurgiel, Polish Minister of Agriculture, in the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

Mr Phil Hogan meets with Mr Luís Capoulas Santos, Portuguese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, in the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

Ms Violeta Bulc receives Ms Fang Liu, Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Ms Margrethe Vestager receives Ms Monique Goyens, CEO of BEUC.

Mr Carlos Moedas meets with research organisations, companies, and other stakeholders ( including representatives of EARTO, EUREC, EIT, Nextury Ventures, the South Eastern European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association as well as the Carnegie Mellon and Católica-Lisbon universities) to discuss the European Innovation Council, in Brussels.

Mr Carlos Moedas receives Ms Margarida Marques, Portuguese State Secretary of European Affairs.

Mr Carlos Moedas meets with Mr Francisco Marin, Director General of The Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), in Brussels.

 

Mardi 15 décembre

College meeting, in Strasbourg.

General Affairs Council, in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council “Trade”, in Brussels.

President Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg on the Eurozone recommendation and on the completion of Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union.

President Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Roman Catholic Church, in Strasbourg.

Mr Frans Timmermans meets with Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Roman Catholic Church, in Strasbourg.

Mr Gunther Oettinger delivers the opening speech at World summit information society (UN), in New York.

Ms Cecilia Malmström and Mr Phil Hogan in Nairobi, Kenya, for the WTO 10th Ministerial Conference (until 17/12). On 15/12, Ms Cecilia Malmström meets with Mr Mauro Vieira, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs; meets with Mr Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization; meets with Ms Amina Mohamed, Kenyan Foreign Affairs & International Trade Cabinet Secretary. Mr Phil Hogan meets with Mr Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Ms Violeta Bulc meets with Mr Pierre Cardo, Chairman of the French Autorité de régulation des activités ferroviaires et routières (ARAFER), in Strasbourg.

 

Mercredi 16 décembre

Environment Council, in Brussels.

President Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg on the preparation of the European Council of 17-18 December.

President Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Mr Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian President, together with European Council President Donald Tusk.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič receives Mr Elyor Ganiev, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Mr Karmenu Vella meets with Mr Richard Brabec, Czech Minister of the Environment, in the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis delivers a speech on ‘Preventing and addressing chronic diseases – a Commission priority’ in the Chronic Diseases Conference, in the Charlemagne building, in Brussels.

Ms Cecilia Malmström and Mr Phil Hogan in Nairobi, Kenya, for the WTO 10th Ministerial Conference (until 17/12). On 16/12, Ms Cecilia Malmström delivers a speech at the Plenary Session; meets with Mr Motoo Hayashi, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry; meets with Ms Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister for International Trade; meets with Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry; meets with Mr Tofail Ahmed, Bangladesh Minster for Commerce. Together with Mr Phil Hogan, Ms Malmström also meets with Mr Andrew Robb, Australian Minister for Trade and Investment. Mr Phil Hogan meets with Mr Hidemichi Sato, Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and visits IBAR African Union Livestock Facility premises.

Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska in Kourou, French Guiana (16-17/12) on the occasion of the launch of two Galileo satellites on 17 December. On 16/12: visits the Guiana Space Center.

Mr Carlos Moedas is in Paris, France: meets with Prof. Jean-François Bach, President of the Academy of Sciences, and holds a meeting with the National Academy of Medicine; attends the Award ceremony for the “Etoiles de l’Europe” awarded by the French secretariat of higher education and research, at the campus of the International University of Paris.

Jeudi 17 décembre

European Council, in Brussels (17-18/12).

President Jean-Claude Juncker participates in the EPP summit ahead of the European Council, in Brussels.

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Mr Sandro Gozi, State Secretary for European Affairs of Italy.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos in Berlin: adresses the German Bundesrat and the Committee on Internal Affairs of the German Bundestag; takes part in the Citizen’s Dialogue; meets with Mr Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Thomas de Maizière, Minister of the Interior of Germany, and Mr Peter Altmaier, Head of the German Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs.

Ms Marianne Thyssen receives Ms Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment of the Netherlands.

M. Pierre Moscovici reçoit des représentants des associations d’éditeurs belges de presse quotidienne et de magazines.

M. Pierre Moscovici reçoit M. Elio Di Rupo, Président du Parti socialiste Belge.

Ms Cecilia Malmström and Mr Phil Hogan in Nairobi, Kenya, for the WTO 10th Ministerial Conference (until 17/12). On 17/12, Ms Cecilia Malmström meets with Mr Joshua Setipa, Lesotho Minister for Trade and Industry; meets with Mr Thomas Lembong, Indonesian Minister of Trade. 

Ms Violeta Bulc receives representatives from the European Transport Workers’ Federation.

Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska in French Guiana (16-17/12). On 17/12: visits the Galileo control center and ground station to attend the launch of two Galileo satellites.

Ms Vĕra Jourová speaks at the 9th EU-Israel Seminar on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism, in Brussels.

 

Vendredi 18 décembre

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Mr Dacian Ciolos, Prime Minister of Romania.

Mr Johannes Hahn is on official visit to Stockholm, Sweden.

11:00 Mr Karmenu Vella receives Ms Sherry Ayitey, Ghanaian Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis in Vilnius, Lithuania: presents the Annual Growth Survey 2016 in the Committee on European Affairs of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania; meets with Mr Saulius Skvernelis, Lithuanian Minister of the Interior to discuss refugees’ issues; meets with members of Vilnius city Municipality.

Mr Tibor Navracsics is in Budapest: meets with Ms Judit Czunyiné Bertalan, Minister of State for Public Education of Hungary.

Ms Margrethe Vestager in Copenhagen: meets with Mr Troels Lund Poulsen, Minister for Business and Growth; meets with Mr Morten Østergaard, Leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party; meets with Mr Rasmus Grue, General Secretary of the Danish Social Liberal Party; meets with Mr Uffe Elbæk, Leader of the Alternative Party; meets with Mr Jarl Frijs-Madsen, Associated Partner at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies; meets with Ms Eva Berneke, Chief Executive Officer of KMD.

 

Samedi 19 décembre

 

Dimanche 20 décembre

Prévisions du mois de janvier:

14/01 Eurogroup, in Brussels.

15/01 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels.

15/01 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.

18/01 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.

19/01 General Affairs Council, in Brussels.

18-21/01 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

25/01 Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de février:

01-04/02 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

11/02 Eurogroup, in Brussels.

12/02 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels.

16/02 General Affairs Council, in Brussels.

18-19/02 European Council, in Brussels.

24/02 Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council, in Brussels.

24-25/02 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels.

29/02 Competitiveness Council, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de mars:

03/03 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Brussels.

04/03 Environment Council, in Brussels.

07/03 Eurogroup, in Brussels.

07/03 Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, in Brussels.

07-10/03 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

08/03 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels.

10-11/03 Justice and Home Affairs Council, in Brussels.

14/03 Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

14/03 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.

14/03 General Affairs Council, in Brussels.

15/03 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Brussels.

17-18/03 European Council, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois d’avril:

11-12/04 Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Luxembourg.

11-14/04 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

18-19/04 Foreign Affairs Council, in Luxembourg.

27-28/04 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de mai:

09-12/05 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

12-13/05 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.

17/05 Eurogroup, in Brussels.

23/05 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.

24/05 General Affairs Council, in Brussels.

25/05 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels.

25-26/05 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels.

26-27/05 Competitiveness Council, in Brussels.

30-31/05 Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de juin:

06-07/06 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Luxembourg.

06-09/06 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

09-10/06 Justice and Home Affairs Council, in Luxembourg.

13/06 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Luxembourg.

22-23/06 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels.

23-24/06 European Council, in Brussels.

Permanence DG COMM le WE du 12 au 13 décembre:

Ricardo Cardoso, +32 (0)460 764 266

Permanence RAPID – GSM: +32 (0) 498 982 748

Service Audiovisuel, planning studio – tél. : +32 (0)2/295 21 23