Brussels Daily
06 Sep 2017


Brussels Daily


European Agenda on Migration: Commission presents progress reports

The Commission is today presenting four progress reports on the implementation of actions taken under the European Agenda on Migration to better manage migration and protect the EUs external borders. The package includes reports on the implementation of the EU’s relocation and resettlement schemes and the EU-Turkey Statement as well as on the roll-out of the European Border and Coast Guard and the progress made with partner countries under the Partnership Framework on Migration and along the Central Mediterranean route. Press releases will be available online (on the Partnership Framework report and the other reports) at the start of the press conference with Commissioner Avramopoulos, which follows the readout of the College meeting. Factsheets on relocation and resettlement, the European Border and Coast Guard and the Partnership Framework on Migration will also be available online.

€1 billion for Poland under Juncker Plan and InnovFin Science

The EU is providing almost €1 billion in financing to Poland to invest in energy networks and scientific research. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a €250 million loan to Energa to upgrade and extend its electricity distribution network in northern and central Poland. The loan is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central element of the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan. With this loan, Energa will extend its electricity networks, improve the security of supply, invest in renewable energy sources and develop smart meters. The EIB is also providing Poland with two loans amounting to €730 million for research, development and innovation (RDI) activities in scientific research institutes and universities. These loans are supported by InnovFin Science, which is backed by the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. Some 150,000 researchers, technicians and support staff work in the Polish public science sector. The InnovFin Science-backed loans will not only help to fund the existing research jobs in science in Poland, but will also create new career opportunities, in particular for young researchers. Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Today’s agreement in Poland under the InnovFin Science programme is momentous. With a fresh injection of €730 million for research, development and innovation activities, research institutions in Poland will see huge benefits. I am also proud that the Juncker Plan is helping to upgrade and improve the electricity networks in Poland. The European Fund for Strategic Investments is already set to trigger more than €225 billion in investment across the EU, with 26 projects already approved in Poland. I encourage project promoters and small companies seeking financing to make the most of the support offered by the Juncker Plan.” For the latest EFSI figures country-by-country, see here. A full press release on today’s agreement is available here.


More than 400 top young researchers awarded with a total €605 million of EU funding

The Commission announces today the awarding of the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants to 406 early-career top researchers in all Europe. The funding, worth €605 million in total and up to €1.5 million per grant, will enable them to set up their own research teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Top talent needs good conditions at the right time to thrive. The EU provides the best possible conditions at the early stages of a researcher’s career through the ERC Starting Grants. That’s why this funding is so crucial for the future of Europe as science hub: it keeps and attracts young talent”. The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, added: “I’m delighted that the 2017 ERC Starting Grant call has attracted more women researchers than ever. Even better, four out of ten of the grant winners are women – also a record since the ERC’s launch. I am confident that this bodes well for the future of science in Europe – we need to capitalise on all talent available.” The new grantees will work on a wide range of topics: from health research on chronic infections or asthma, to disaster management, network security, and climate change. The grants are awarded under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme. More information here.


State aid: Commission approves prolongation of the Italian guarantee scheme for non-performing loans

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, the prolongation of the Italian guarantee scheme to facilitate the securitisation of non-performing loans (GACS) for 12 months. The scheme was initially approved in February 2016. Under the scheme, Italian banks, meeting certain conditions, will continue to be able to request a State guarantee on the lower-risk senior notes issued by private securitisation vehicles which help to finance the purchase of non-performing loan portfolios from them. The more risky funding tranches of the securitisation vehicles are to be held by private investors and will not be guaranteed by the State. By assisting banks to securitise and move non-performing loans off their balance sheet, the scheme will help Italy to tackle banks’ asset quality problems. The Commission’s assessment showed that the State guarantees on the senior notes will continue to be remunerated at market terms according to the risk taken, i.e. in a manner acceptable for a private operator under market conditions. On this basis, the Commission was able to maintain its conclusion that the measure is free of state aid within the meaning of EU state aid rules. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website in the public case register under the case number SA.48416 once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Japan Renewable Energy by Colindale and Goldman Sachs

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Japan Renewable Energy Corporation (JRE) of Japan by Colindale Investment Private Limited, indirectly controlled by GIC Private Limited both of Singapore, and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. of the US. JRE is a developer, owner and operator of renewable energy projects in Japan. Colindale is an investment vehicle of GIC which manages a diversified global portfolio of investments in private equity, venture capital and infrastructure funds, as well as direct investments in private companies. Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns as JRE is active only in Japan. 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.8596.



Commissioner Creţu in Romania

Tomorrow and Friday, Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu is in Romania to discuss issues related to Cohesion policy in the country. Tomorrow the Commissioner will meet Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds Sevil Shhaideh, Minister for European Funds Rovana Plumb and Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu and Nicolae- Liviu Dragnea, respectively presidents of the Romanian Senate and Chamber of Deputies. Commissioner Creţu will then participate in a Citizen’s Dialogue with Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Committee of the Regions. On Friday, the Commissioner will meet the Mayor of Bucharest Gabriela Firea, as well as Transport Minister Alexandru-Răzvan Cuc and the Minister for European Affairs Victor Negrescu.


Commissioner Jourová visits Paris


Tomorrow, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourová is in Paris, where she will meet the Minister of Justice, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet to discuss, among other things, the fight against terrorism, the proposal on insolvency and on digital contracts. The Commissioner and the Minister will inaugurate the exhibition “60 years of Europe, what progress for justice” in the presence of the magistrates of the Tribunal de Grande Instance, Créteil. Commissioner Jourová will then meet with the President of the National Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties (CNIL), Mrs Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, to prepare for the implementation of the data protection regulation and the first control of the EU-US data protection shield. Finally, she will meet Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State to the Prime Minister in charge of equality between women and men.


DAILY NEWS 06- 09 -2017

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