07 Oct 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 07 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
The European Commission has today adopted a proposal to implement existing obligations in the 2009 amendment of the Fuel Quality Directive. Article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive obliges suppliers to reduce emissions intensity of the fuels for the use of road vehicles by 6% in 2020 and to report this information to Member States’ authorities. Following the Council’s inconclusive vote on the Commission’s original proposal in 2011, the Commission is today presenting a revised proposal. This establishes the methodology for calculating the greenhouse gas intensity of different fuel types, namely petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas. It also strengthens reporting requirements regarding the type and origin of fuels being used in EU road transport which suppliers have to report to Member States and the latter to the Commission. The new methodology and reporting rules will increase the transparency of what fuels are used in EU road transport and in turn lead to market signals that will ensure the 6% target is reached.
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether the decision by Luxembourg’s tax authorities with regard to the corporate income tax to be paid by Amazon in Luxembourg comply with the EU rules on state aid. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested third parties and the Member States concerned an opportunity to submit comments. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
The European Commission has proposed to provide Greece with €7.2 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 761 former workers of the clothing retail chain Sprider Stores to find new jobs, and to extend its support to 505 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs). Most of the redundancies happened in the regions of Attica and Central Macedonia. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers for approval. EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: “Today’s decision will help to prepare over 1,200 people for new jobs and first job opportunities”. He added: “Greek workers are going through a difficult period and we must use all the tools we have at our disposal to provide assistance. I am happy the Commission has responded positively to Greece’s request for EGF support to the redundant workers, along with young people not in employment, education or training”.
The European Commission has adopted a “Partnership Agreement” with Finland setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds throughout the country. Today’s agreement paves the way for investing €1.47 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding). Finland also receives €2.38 billion for rural development and €74.4 million for fisheries and the maritime sector.
The EU investments will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, towns and rural areas. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help to develop an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy. See also MEMO/14/331 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Styrolution by INEOS.
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control over Styrolution by INEOS. Styrolution is currently jointly controlled by INEOS and BASF. Styrolution produces chemical products such as styrene monomer, polystyrene and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), used for the manufacturing of household electrical appliances, information technology appliances, the automotive industry, etc. INEOS is a global manufacturer of petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and oil products. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given that INEOS already jointly controlled Styrolution together with BASF, and the low incremental market share brought about by the 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.7370 .
Five Basque Pelota players and four Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie athletes are in Oxford’s Vicon studios this week. High-tech motion capture technologies watch their every move, as part of the EU-funded project RePlay . Exceptional HD footage produced will be available for cultural and sport organisations. You will be able to see in museums and/or on online platforms such as Europeana . The research team also develops a system based on low-cost sensors and an open source 3D software to be used in all interested clubs. It will be tested as from next year and will help youngsters learn traditional sports. It will also enable experienced players to improve their skills.
The EU Council of Transport Ministers will meet in Luxembourg tomorrow Wednesday 8 October under the Italian Presidency of the EU. Ministers will focus their discussions on the fourth railway package, port services, civil use of drones and the cross-border enforcement of traffic offences. Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, will represent the European Commission.