07 Jan 2015
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 07 JANUARYBrussels Daily
European Commission publishes TTIP legal texts as part of transparency initiative
The European Commission published today a raft of texts setting out EU proposals for legal text in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) it is negotiating with the US. This is the first time the Commission has made public such proposals in bilateral trade talks and reflects its commitment to greater transparency in the negotiations. ‘I’m delighted that we can start the new year by clearly demonstrating through our actions the commitment we made to greater transparency just over a month ago,’ said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. The so-called ‘textual proposals’ published today set out the actual language and binding commitments which the EU would like to see in the parts of the agreement covering regulatory and rules issues. The eight EU textual proposals cover competition, food safety and animal and plant health, customs issues, technical barriers to trade, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and government-to-government dispute settlement (GGDS, not to be confused with ISDS). Besides these, the Commission has also published TTIP position papers explaining the EU’s approach on engineering, vehicles, and sustainable development, bringing the total number of position papers it has made public up to 15. To make the online documents more accessible to the non-expert, the Commission is also publishing a ‘Reader’s Guide’, a glossary of terms and acronyms, and a series of factsheets setting out in plain language what is at stake in each chapter of TTIP and what the EU’s aims are in each area. All texts (textual proposals, position papers, Reader’s Guide and factsheets) are available online. See press release.
EUROSTAT: Euro area annual inflation down to -0.2% (December 2014)
Euro area annual inflation is expected to be -0.2% in December 2014, down from 0.3% in November, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.This negative rate for euro area annual inflation in December is driven by a fall in energy prices (-6.3%, compared with -2.6% in November), while prices remain stable for food, alcohol & tobacco (0.0%, compared with 0.5% in November) and non-energy industrial goods (0.0%, compared with -0.1% in November). The only annual increase is expected for services (1.2%, stable compared with November). See full press release.
EUROSTAT: Euro area unemployment rate at 11.5%; EU28 at 10.0% (November 2014)
The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in November 2014, stable compared with October 20144, but down from 11.9% in November 2013. The EU281 unemployment rate was 10.0% in November 2014, down from 10.1% in October 2014 and from 10.7% in November 2013. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Eurostat estimates that 24.423 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 18.394 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2014. Compared with October 2014, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 19 000 in the EU28 and increased by 34 000 in the euro area. Compared with November 2013, unemployment fell by 1.487 million in the EU28 and by 522 000 in the euro area.See full press release.
Commission approves “Kranjska klobasa” as a new Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
The Commission has approved the addition of a new Slovenian product to the register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs). “Kranjska klobasa“is a semi-durable sausage made from minced pork meat and back fat, spiced with sea salt, garlic and pepper and mildly hot-smoked in beech wood. It is presented by pairs of sausages skewered with a wooden dowel and it is preferably warmed up in hot water before consumption. The denomination will be added to the list of more than 1,200 products already protected. More information: webpages on quality products and DOOR database of protected products.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Eggborough by EPH
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Eggborough HoldCo 2 S.à r.l. (“Eggborough”) of Luxembourg by Energetický a průmyslový holding (“EPH”) of the Czech Republic. EPH produces and distributes electricity and heat and supplies gas, mainly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Poland. It is also active in the extraction of coal in the before mentioned countries Eggborough owns a coal-fired power plant producing electricity in the UK. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, because the companies’ activities do not overlap. 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.7439.