EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 14 MAY

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS - 14 MAY
14 May 2018

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 14 MAY

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Commission proposes to boost further social dialogue within large transnational companies

The European Commission has published today an evaluation of the European Works Council Directive (recast Directive 2009/38/EC), adopted in 2009, confirming its added value for workers and companies. European Works Councils are bodies of social dialogue within large transnational companies. Through them, management informs and consults workers on the progress of the business and any significant decision at European level that could affect their employment or working conditions. In light of the positive evaluation of these European Works Councils, the Commission proposes to create a practical handbook and provide €7 million funding to social partners to support the implementation of the Directive and the effectiveness of European Works Councils. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, commented: “We should build on good practice among companies already using European Works Councilsand on the knowledge of EU social partners to stimulate more take-up of this important instrument and to make existing ones even more effective. And the Commission will put its money where its mouth is: We will dedicate a €7 million grant programme in 2019 to support the implementation of the handbook and step up our support to social dialogue in the EU.” All stakeholders, including national authorities and social partners, consider the rules under the new Directive relevant and find they offer a significant contribution to ensuring transnational social dialogue at company level. According to the report, information for workers improved in terms of quality and scope. The Commission also finds that the effectiveness of the consultation procedure can still be improved. The evaluation report will now be shared with the European Parliament and the Council.

WiFi4EU: From tomorrow municipalities can start applying for EU financing of free wireless internet hotspots in public spaces 
The first call for municipality applications for free Wi-Fi hotspots will open tomorrow, Tuesday 15 May, at 13:00 (CEST). Through this call some 1,183 municipalities will receive a WiFi4EU voucher of €15,000 to finance Wi-Fi equipment and its installation in public spaces. Upon receiving the voucher, municipalities will have to offer secure Wi-Fi services, free-of-charge and without adverts, for at least 3 years. Funding will only be provided for networks that do not duplicate already existing private or public free Wi-Fi services of a similar quality in the same public spaces. To be eligible to apply, municipalities need to be registered on the WiFi4EU.eu web portal. This portal was opened on the 20 March (see the press release) and over 17,000 municipalities have already registered. The selection will be based on a ‘first-come first-served’ basis. To ensure a balanced geographical distribution among Members States, each country will obtain a minimum of 15 and maximum of 95 vouchers. This is the first of a total of five calls that will be published till 2020. More details are in the Questions and AnswersFactsheet, and video.

Floods in Kenya: EU releases initial €1.5 million to help victims of dam tragedy

In response to the recent devastating floods in Kenya, the European Commission has provided €1.5 million in emergency humanitarian funding to assist the most affected families. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management,Christos Stylianides, said: “The European Union is saddened by the loss of life in Kenya from the dam burst in Solai and from extreme flooding in different parts of the country. The EU is doing its part to assist the most affected by this tragedy. Our new funding will help deliver emergency supplies. As members of one global family and humanity, we are committed to help people in crisis, wherever in the world they may be, and to bring relief to their suffering. The funding will help cover basic needs such as emergency shelter and basic household essentials, food and nutrition, drinking water and repair of damaged water and sanitation facilities, as well as emergency health care and epidemics prevention.The full press release is available here.

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of General Cable by Prysmian

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of General Cable of the US by Prysmian of Italy. Both Prysmian and General Cable are active worldwide in the development, manufacturing, and supply of cables used in the energy and telecommunications industries. The Commission’s investigation focused on the companies’ overlapping activities in optical fibre cables, general wiring cables, and power cables of different voltages, both for submarine and underground use. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns as a number of strong competitors will remain in the market after the transaction. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competitionwebsite, in the public case register under the case number M.8770.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Altamira Cyprus by Cyprus Cooperative Bank and Apollo Management

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Altamira Cyprus by Cyprus Cooperative Bank (“CCB”), both of Cyprus, and Apollo Capital Management, L.P. (“Apollo”) of the US. Altamira Cyprus is active in the management, enforcement and recovery of non-performing loans, currently from CCB only. It intends to expand its activities to provide its services to other banks and financial institutions in Cyprus. CCB is a bank, active in retail and corporate banking and bankassurance, exclusively in Cyprus. Apollo is a group of global investment funds. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns as it would increase the number of non-performing loan management service providers in Cyprus, thus improving the competitive environment. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8888.

Floods in Kenya: EU releases initial €1.5 million to help victims of dam tragedy

In response to the recent devastating floods in Kenya, the European Commission has provided €1.5 million in emergency humanitarian funding to assist the most affected families. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management,Christos Stylianides, said: “The European Union is saddened by the loss of life in Kenya from the dam burst in Solai and from extreme flooding in different parts of the country. The EU is doing its part to assist the most affected by this tragedy. Our new funding will help deliver emergency supplies. As members of one global family and humanity, we are committed to help people in crisis, wherever in the world they may be, and to bring relief to their suffering. The funding will help cover basic needs such as emergency shelter and basic household essentials, food and nutrition, drinking water and repair of damaged water and sanitation facilities, as well as emergency health care and epidemics prevention.The full press release is available here(For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of General Cable by Prysmian

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of General Cable of the US by Prysmian of Italy. Both Prysmian and General Cable are active worldwide in the development, manufacturing, and supply of cables used in the energy and telecommunications industries. The Commission’s investigation focused on the companies’ overlapping activities in optical fibre cables, general wiring cables, and power cables of different voltages, both for submarine and underground use. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns as a number of strong competitors will remain in the market after the transaction. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competitionwebsite, in the public case register under the case number M.8770.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Altamira Cyprus by Cyprus Cooperative Bank and Apollo Management

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Altamira Cyprus by Cyprus Cooperative Bank (“CCB”), both of Cyprus, and Apollo Capital Management, L.P. (“Apollo”) of the US. Altamira Cyprus is active in the management, enforcement and recovery of non-performing loans, currently from CCB only. It intends to expand its activities to provide its services to other banks and financial institutions in Cyprus. CCB is a bank, active in retail and corporate banking and bankassurance, exclusively in Cyprus. Apollo is a group of global investment funds. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns as it would increase the number of non-performing loan management service providers in Cyprus, thus improving the competitive environment. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8888.

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