Brussels Daily
12 Jul 2017


Brussels Daily


Michel Barnier debriefs the College on the state of play of Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom

The European Commission’s Chief Negotiator for Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom, Michel Barnier, will hold a press conference today following the meeting of the College of Commissioners. You can watch the press conference live here. A memo on the state of play of the Article 50 negotiations is available online here. Michel Barnier’s introductory comments are available here.


12 new species classified as invasive to protect biodiversity and economic activity in the EU

Today, the Commission took another important step towards halting biodiversity loss with the inclusion of 12 new species in the list of invasive alien species that require action across the EU. Invasive alien species are one of the major causes of biodiversity loss. They have major economic negative consequences in areas such as health care costs, crop yield losses, fish stock losses and damage to infrastructure. These 12 new species – including the muskrat and the alligator weed – have been added, following the positive opinion of experts from Member States. They damage on a scale that justifies dedicated measures across the Union. Member States are required to address these species by preventing them from being introduced, kept, sold, transported, reproduced or released. They will also need to put in place appropriate measures to tackle new invasions or established populations. The rules will start applying 20 days after publication of the list in the Official Journal of the European Union. Underpinning with scientific work, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre has recently published the first ever Baseline Distribution of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern for 37 species. It has also developed a smartphone application on the 37 species of Union concern, called Invasive Alien Species Europe, which allows citizens to report the presence of these species on the European territory and to raise awareness on the issue. The list and more information are available here.


Positive moment for the EU-Ukraine partnership as 19th Summit takes place in Kyiv

The 19th Summit between the European Union and Ukraine will take place in Kyiv on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th July. The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker will represent the European Union, alongside the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. President Petro Poroshenko, will represent Ukraine. European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will also be present. The Summit takes place at a very positive moment in the partnership between the European Union and Ukraine, with the finalisation of the ratification of the EU – Ukraine Association Agreement yesterday, Ukrainian citizens’ being granted visa free travel to the Schengen area in June, and autonomous trade measures, which would further benefit Ukrainian exports, set to be adopted soon. The Summit will provide an opportunity for leaders to review the substantial progress made since the last Summit, in particular as regards Ukraine’s implementation of its ambitious reform agenda, to which the EU is providing unprecedented support. It will also identify further reform priorities notably as regards the fight against corruption. The leaders are expected to discuss security and conflict-related matters, as well as regional and foreign policy issues. On Wednesday, President Poroshenko will host Presidents Juncker and Tusk for a working dinner. A joint press conference of the three Presidents is due to take place on Thursday at 13:00 local time, 12:00 CET, and will be preceded by the Summit’s plenary session and followed by a working lunch. Coverage will be available via Europe by Satellite. For more information, visit the dedicated Summit website, the website of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, or consult the factsheet on EU-Ukraine relations.


President Juncker to be awarded Doctor Honoris Causa, by the Faculty of Law, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

On Thursday 13 July, President Juncker will be in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he will be awarded Doctor Honoris Causa, by the Faculty of Law, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in a ceremony chaired by Rector of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Professor Pericles Mitkas and the Dean of the Faculty of Law Professor, Georgios I. Dellios. Also attending, are Commissioner Avramopoulos, Prime Minister Tsipras, with whom President Juncker will meet bilaterally, and members of the Greek government and parliament. President Juncker will also deliver a speech which will be broadcast live on EbS, along with photos of the visit.


EU to announce additional humanitarian aid for Iraq

The European Commission is scaling up its response to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, which will enable the EU to continue supporting emergency relief in newly retaken areas and for newly displaced families. It will also allow to continue emergency medical services, attending injured civilians from the frontlines, to the final point of rehabilitation. Speaking in Washington today during a High-Level Meeting on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Crisis in Mosul, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “The end of the Mosul military campaign marks the beginning of a new phase of international support to Iraq. One that requires our rock solid commitment to preserving humanity during and after the conflict, to ensure that all civilians are protected in Telafar, West Anbar and Hawidja, as well as in their locations of displacement. Our humanitarian commitment will remain faithful to our guiding humanitarian principles.” The new funding will further help filling the gaps between assistance provided in current locations of displacement and potential areas of return, and strengthen community-based, conflict-sensitive actions aimed at providing information, coordination and effective delivery of services available to IDPs, conflict-affected host communities, and returnees.


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over logistics asset in Spain by SEGRO and PSPIB

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over CAT SITE, a 5.3 hectare plot of land leased as a car park in Madrid, Spain, , by SEGRO plc (SEGRO) of the UK and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSPIB) of Canada, via their joint venture SEGRO European Logistics Partnership S.à.r.l. of Luxembourg. SEGRO is a real estate investment trust focused on warehousing and light industrial properties. PSPIB is a pension investment manager with a global portfolio including stocks, bonds and investments in private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, and private debt. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the limited changes it brings to the market. 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.8521.


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over OHL México by OHL and IFM

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over OHL México S.A.B. de C.V. (OHL México) of Mexico by Obrascon Huarte Lain, S.A. (OHL) of Spain and IFM Investors Pty Ltd (IFM) of Australia. OHL México builds, manages and operates seven toll roads and one airport in Mexico. Previously, OHL México was solely controlled by OHL, a global company primarily engaged in infrastructure and industrial construction projects and concessions. IFM is a global investment manager with assets across infrastructure, listed equities, private capital and debt investments. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns in Europe, because OHL México will only be active in Mexico. 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.8538.



May 2017 compared with April 2017 – Industrial production up by 1.3% in euro area – Up by 1.2% in EU28

In May 2017 compared with April 2017, seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 1.3% in the euro area (EA19) and by 1.2% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In April 2017 industrial production rose by 0.3% in euro area and by 0.1% in the EU28. Full text available here



Vice President Maroš Šefčovič in Georgia

Energy Union Vice President Maroš Šefčovič is on an official visit to Georgia from 12 until 13 July. He is meeting President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the Chairman of the Parliament, Mr Irakli Kobakhidze for bilateral meetings. Vice President Šefčovič will also attend this year’s Batumi International Conference “Ensuring Regional Stability” where he delivers a key note on energy security in the opening session in the presence of the President, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Parliament. The conference is organised by the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration since 2007 and represents an important venue for high level officials to discuss issues related to politics, security, economic developments in the EU and its neighbourhood. This year the Conference will focus on the European Agenda, particularly on energy security and diversification of energy markets. Ahead of the visit, Energy Union Vice President Maroš Šefčovič said: “The EU-Georgia Association Agreement entails Georgia’s alignment to key EU energy legislation. In this regard, I welcome the recent ratification by the Georgian Parliament of the accession protocol to the Energy Community. This represents a major milestone for a proper and timely implementation of the commitments made under the Association Agreement and I encourage efforts to ensure a comprehensive implementation of commitments. Furthermore, Georgia has a key transit role to play in the opening of the Southern Gas Corridor. For the EU and Georgia the timely implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor is important as well as its extension over time to additional supply countries.” More information about the conference can be found online.



DAILY NEWS 12 – 07 -2017

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