Compliance with EU law: More progress by Member States needed in applying commonly agreed rules
Today’s 34th Annual report on monitoring the application of EU law sets outhow the Commission monitored and enforced EU rules in 2016. The online Single Market Scoreboard (edition 2017), also published today,shows that whilst most barriers to the free movement of persons, services, goods and capital are being eliminated, in some fields the situation is stalling or even worsening. It also ranks Member States’ performance in this respect. The Single Market remains Europe’s most precious asset for the millions of citizens and businesses, and the Commission is committed to ensure, by checking on the implementation of EU Single Market rules, that they benefit each day from the freedom to live, work, shop and trade in 28 Member States. For the Annual Report, a full press release and an EU-28 fact sheet are available online as well as 28 fact sheets by country. For the EU Single Market Scoreboard, see the performance overview and the performance per Member State (28 EU + 3 EEA). Finally, answers on the frequently asked questions on the general EU infringement procedure are available here.
EUROSTAT: First release for the first quarter of 2017 – Household saving rate up to 12.3% in the euro area – Household investment rate also up to 8.9% in the euro area
The household saving rate in the euro area was 12.3% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 12.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016. The household investment rate in the euro area was 8.9% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 8.6% in the previous quarter. Full text available here
EUROSTAT: First release for the first quarter of 2017 – Business investment rate down to 22.2% in the euro area – Business profit share also down to 40.3% in the euro area
In the first quarter of 2017, the business investment rate was 22.2% in the euro area, compared with 23.6% in the previous quarter. The business profit share in the euro area was 40.3% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 40.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016. Full text available here
Mergers: Commission alleges Merck, General Electric and Canon breached EU merger procedural rules
The Commission has sent three separate Statements of Objections to Merck, General Electric and Canon alleging they breached EU merger rules: General Electric and Merck / Sigma-Aldrich by providing incorrect or misleading information; Canon by implementing a merger before notification and clearance. To be able to deliver accurate decisions within very tight timelines, the EU merger control system is built on clear procedural rules that companies must fully respect. EU merger rules require that merging companies notify transactions of Union dimension prior to their implementation and do not implement them until they have been notified to and cleared by the Commission. The Commission’s merger assessment system also counts on companies providing complete and correct information. This is essential for the Commission to review mergers in a timely and effective manner. The three Statements of Objections sent today to Merck, General Electric and Canon relate to three separate cases concerning breaches of EU merger procedural rules. The current investigations are limited to the assessment of breaches of the EU merger procedural rules and will not have an impact on the Commission decisions approving the three mergers, which will remain effective. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “We need companies to work with us to ensure fast and predictable merger control, to the benefit of both companies and consumers. But we can only do our job well if we can rely on cooperation from the companies concerned – they must obtain our approval before they implement their transactions and the information they supply us must be correct and complete.” The full press release is available online in here
Promoting cross-border research and innovation in the EU: Selection of consortia to participate in staff exchanges under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
80 successful consortia have been selected under the 2017 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) call for proposals, which is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. The RISE programme promotes cross-border and cross-sector collaboration through sharing knowledge and ideas from research to market and vice versa within Europe and beyond. With an overall budget of EUR 80 million, 811 participating organisations (including 113 SMEs and 227 organisations from third countries) involved in research and innovation activities will receive funding for 7,480 staff exchanges in all scientific domains. Researchers at doctoral level, post-doctoral fellows as well as technicians, managerial and administrative staff are involved in the exchanges. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: “These research and innovation exchanges are a very powerful tool, promoting creativity and entrepreneurship and helping to turn creative ideas into innovative products, services or processes. They are instrumental in boosting the transfer of knowledge necessary to address Europe’s challenges. I am delighted to see so many business partners involved in this year’s selection, providing a boost to the EU’s innovation capacity.” Research and Innovation Staff Exchange represents a unique opportunity for individuals to expand their horizons, enlarge their networks, receive innovative research training and develop new career opportunities. By participating in Research and Innovation Staff Exchange, organisations can form partnerships with leading research and innovation organisations from across the world. Year-long celebrations are currently taking place to mark the 20th anniversary of the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions, a programme dedicated to boosting excellence by supporting the human resources that drive research and innovation. Further details are available here.
Vice-President Dombrovskis attends the Ukraine Reform Conference in London
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union is attending today the Ukraine Reform Conference in London, organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. During the main plenary session, Vice-President Dombrovskis spoke about Ukraine’s ambitious reform agenda and the EU’s substantial and longstanding support to the country and the Ukrainian people: “EU-Ukraine partnership is stronger than ever, with visa-free travel in place, growing trade ties, and Association Agreement soon in effect […]. Ukraine has achieved a lot since 2014. Last year, Ukraine returned to economic growth and important reforms have been taken in major areas such as judiciary, banking, energy, and public administration. It shows Ukraine’s impressive commitment to reform. The EU has supported this reform process, pledging around €12.8 billion for the period up to 2020, including €3.4 billion in macro-financial assistance.” The Ukraine Reform Conference is taking place ahead of the 19th EU-Ukraine Summit of 12-13 July 2017. The Vice-President’s speech is available here and more information on EU-Ukraine relations, the EU’s Delegation in Ukraine and on Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine can be found online.
RESULTS IN FULL