Brussels Daily
08 Aug 2018


Brussels Daily



Federica Mogherini discussed enhanced bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the EU and New Zealand in Wellington

On 7 August, Federica Mogherini was in New Zealand for the first visit by an EU High-Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission to the country. While in Wellington, she met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. They discussed the excellent EU-New Zealand bilateral relations under the Partnership Agreement and explored ways of increasing cooperation between the two even further, including on global challenges such as climate change and terrorism, protection and strengthening of the rules-based international order, and working for peace, security and sustainable development in their respective neighbourhoods and beyond. Together they committed to swift progress on the recently-launched negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and reiterated their united position in favour of global free trade. The High Representative also met her counterparts Foreign Minister Winston Peters – a joint press release was issued after their meeting – and Defence Minister Ron Mark. They discussed priorities such as the joint commitment to continued implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and support for the diplomatic efforts aimed at full denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. They also committed to increase cooperation on security in the Pacific region, including on the peaceful and sustainable use of the Pacific Ocean. For more information on EU-New Zealand cooperation visit the website of the EU Delegation to New Zealand.

Victims of the earthquake in the Indonesian island of Lombok receive EU support

The European Commission is closely following through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism the impact of the strong earthquakes that struck the Indonesian island of Lombok in late July and in early August that displaced thousands of people. The EU’s emergency Copernicus Satellite mapping system has been activated to help the Indonesian civil protection authorities and the first maps have already been delivered. The Commission is also allocating a first emergency assistance of €150 000 to provide to the most affected communities. The aid will directly benefit 4 000 people in the worst hit districts of East Lombok and North Lombok. This initial EU funding supports the Indonesian Red Cross Society in delivering life-saving support to the most vulnerable through the distribution of emergency shelter material and relief items, such as tarpaulins, blankets, mattresses, family kits and hygiene parcels. The assistance also ensures access to clean water, good hygiene services, basic health care, as well as psychological support to the affected families. To contribute to the restoration of livelihoods, targeted individuals will also receive unconditional cash grants to help them to recover and increase their resilience to future shocks. In addition, the EU Delegation in Jakarta formed a consular protection group which organised an EU/Schengen Consular Desk at the airport in Lombok. The group is formed by representatives of the EU Delegation and embassies of ES, FR, IE, IT, NL, SE and UK. The group so far assisted around 1 000 European citizens with information, availability of flights, assistance in booking flights and access to waiting lists, assistance to injured people.


Mergers: European Commission clears acquisition of Sisaho International, its subsidiary Siaci Saint Honoré and its subsidiaries, by Watling Street Capital Partners

The European Commission has approved, under the European Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control of Sisaho International SAS, its subsidiary Siaci Saint Honoré SAS and its subsidiaries, all together “Siaci”, based in France, by Watling Street Capital Partners LLP, based in the United Kingdom. Siaci is active in insurance brokerage covering the two main categories of risk, namely life and health insurance and property and casualty insurance. Watling Street brings together a group of investment fund management companies whose portfolio companies are predominantly headquartered in Western Europe. Through the company Funecap Topco SAS, which Watling Street plans to acquire control, the latter will be active in funeral insurance. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, given the limited horizontal overlaps and the lack of vertical business relationships. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger control procedure. Further information is available on the competition website of the Commission, in the public case register under the case number M.9022

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