Brussels Daily
06 Nov 2014


Brussels Daily

Commissioner Hill on Capital Markets Union: Finance serving the economy

Today, in Brussels, Commissioner Hill opened the High Level conference Finance for growth – Towards a Capital Markets Union by presenting his priorities as Commissioner responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. The conference addresses the following issues: how to kick-start growth, how to bring together public and private funding, how to increase the options businesses have for financing and how to get our economies back on track for the longer term. C said: “Good regulation underpins financial stability. It was a lack of regulation that contributed to the financial crisis. But right now, there is something else that threatens financial stability: lack of growth. President Juncker has rightly put jobs and growth at the top of his priorities. Therefore, as Commissioner, I will be looking at everything I do through the prism of jobs and growth. […] It is in all our interests to have a successful, competitive financial services sector. We do not make our economy stronger by making our financial services weaker. I want financial services to be seen as part of the economic mainstream, not cut off from society at large. […] I will be bringing forward proposals to deliver a Capital Markets Union; a project for all 28 EU Member States. […] My ambition is clear: to help unlock the capital around Europe that is currently frozen and put it to work in support of Europe’s businesses, particularly SMEs. And that is where the Capital Markets Union, a new frontier of Europe’s single market, comes in.” The full speech is available online.

Ebola response: Europe scales up aid on several fronts

A new European aid operation is being launched today to deal with the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Luxembourg was the first EU member state to commit an aircraft for medical evacuation operations; furthermore, a Dutch ship left today from the port De Helder in The Netherlands, carrying ambulances, laboratories, mobile hospitals and other facilities. It is the largest transport operation organised by Europe and coordinated by the European Commission. In addition, the Commission and the European pharmaceutical industry are boosting European research on the Ebola virus with € 280 million. This funding from Horizon 2020 and industry will allow Europe to step up vaccine and medication development on Ebola. With this announcement, a total of more than € 1 billion has been pledged by Member States and the European Commission for the Ebola crisis.The European Coordinator in the fight against Ebola, Christos Stylianides and the European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis will visit Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea from November 12 to 16 to assess the situation and demonstrate European solidarity with the victims and aid workers on the ground. All these concerted actions are obviously positively welcomed by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. 

Other News

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Linpac by SVP

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Linpac Packaging Limited (Linpac) by Strategic Value Partners LLC (SVP). Linpac is a European supplier of plastic packaging for food. SVP is a global investment firm headquartered in the US that manages hedge funds and private equity funds. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns as the activities of Linpac and SVP do not overlap and the vertical relationship between them is limited. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website in the public case registerunder the case number M.7412.

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Greek gas transmission system operator DESFA by SOCAR

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of the Greek gas transmission system operator DESFA by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission aims to ensure that the sale of DESFA will not result in competitive harm and ultimately higher gas prices for consumers in Greece. The opening of an in-depth inquiry does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The transaction was notified to the Commission on 1 October 2014. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 23 March 2015, to take a decision. Full press release is available online.


Statement by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, responsible for Energy Union, following the announcement by Naftogaz to transfer the first tranche of 1.45 bn USD to Gazprom

“I am delighted to hear that Ukraine’s Naftogaz has kept its end of the bargain and paid the first tranche of its debt to Russian´s Gazprom as the result of successful negotiations between Kiev and Moscow moderated by the European Commission. With winter at the doorstep it is essential that gas flow from Russia to Ukraine can be restarted. This is an important step in order to secure gas flows for citizens and business in Ukraine and in the European Union alike. The recent positive developments prove that with extensive cooperation of the European Commission with our partners in Ukraine and Russia as well as with International financial bodies solutions can be found even to the most difficult problems.” Watch the recorded statement on EBS.

Statement by the European Commission and the European Central Bank following the first post-programme surveillance mission to Portugal

A staff team from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank, undertook the first visit to Portugal in the context of the post-programme surveillance (PPS) on 28 October to 4 November. This was coordinated with the IMF’s first post programme monitoring (PPM) mission. Overall, the economic and financial conditions in Portugal have improved since the end of the EU/IMF supported programme in June. This statement presents the progress made and the remaining challenges for the Portuguese economy. In addition, an assessment of the Portuguese banking sector and of Portugal’s structural reforms complements the observations of the post-programme surveillance mission. The full statement is available online in English . 


Moldova: Commissioner Hahn on his first mission to a partner country

Commissioner Johannes Hahn is visiting Moldova today on his first mission as the new Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. During his visit he will be meeting President Nicolae Timofti, Prime Minister Iurie Leancă and Chairman of Parliament Igor Corman. On this occasion Commissioner Hahn and Prime Minister Leancă will be signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the Single Support Framework for EU support to the Republic of Moldova for the period of 2014-2017 together with a financing agreement to support the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with Moldova. The Single Support Framework aims at providing the necessary assistance for the implementation of the commitments and policy objectives defined in the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement and Agenda. Upon arrival Commissioner Hahn said: ‘Moldova is a European country and its efforts to implement the European values make it an important partner for the EU and a frontrunner of the Eastern Partnership. As Moldova and the EU come closer, the benefits and opportunities from embracing the European values will become more visible and more tangible. I am here today to confirm that Moldova can count on the EU.’

High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini travels to the Middle East from 7 to 9 November

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice President Federica Mogherini will be travelling to the Middle East from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 November. She will be visiting Tel Aviv – Jerusalem – Gaza and Ramallah where she will be meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. This first visit of Federica Mogherini as High Representative/Vice president in the region is a signal of the priority given to the Middle East by the EU and her will to play a role in the stabilization, reconstruction and revival of the peace process. The Middle East Peace Process is the key issue for EU and our relation with the immediate neighbourhood.

Commissioner Cecilia Malmström travels to Berlin on Monday 10 November

Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will be traveling to Berlin in one of her first trips of her new mandate as Commissioner for Trade. During this visit she will be meeting Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel and Reiner Hoffman, the President of the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB).

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