15 Sep 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 15 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
Animal Health: Commission further reviews control measures to combat African Swine Fever
An update of EU control measures to combat the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) was endorsed by Member State experts on Friday, 12 September 2014. These regionalised restrictions, affecting, to differing degrees, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Estonia, identify four levels of risks to animal health, redefine the regionalisation and differentiate between these restricted zones in accordance to the level of risk. The four levels of restrictions, in order of severity are: a) stringent restrictions in Sardinia because ASF is endemic in pigs and wild boar, b) a re-demarcation of the infected area in Lithuania and Latvia where the disease is present in wild boar and also in domestic pigs but not yet stabilised, c) a re-demarcation of some areas in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Estonia where the disease was found mainly in wild boar and d) an additional zone adjacent to the zones mentioned above to prevent the further spread of the disease. Two cases of ASF in wild boar have been recently detected in Estonia in zones already under restriction, which is adjacent to the restricted zone in Latvia where cases in wild boar and backyard pig holdings were reported over the past few weeks. The new boundaries take account of these recent findings. Since January 2014, a total of 39 outbreaks occurred in pigs and 87 notifications in wild boar occurred in these countries. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/controlmeasures/asf_en.htm
The first estimate for the euro area (EA18) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in July 2014 gave a €21.2 bn surplus, compared with +€18.0 bn in July 2013. The June 2014 balance was +€16.7 bn, compared with +€15.7 bn in June 2013. In July 2014 compared with June 2014, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 0.2% while imports rose by 0.9%.
The first estimate for the July 2014 extra-EU28 trade balance was a €1.7 bn surplus, compared with +€10.8 bn in July 2013. In June 2014 the balance was +€2.8 bn, compared with +€8.6 bn in June 2013. In July 2014 compared with June 2014, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 0.3% while imports rose by 2.3%.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of APCOA by Centerbridge Partners
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the APCOA Parking Holdings GmbH of Germany by funds managed by affiliates of Centerbridge Partners, LP of the US. Centerbridge is an investment firm that focusses on private equity and “distressed” investments. APCOA offers car park management services, parking consultancy and enforcement services and taxi and shuttle management services. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the companies are not active in the same markets. 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.7377.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over Diacine France by Montagu funds and Astorg funds
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Diacine France SAS of France, by Montagu Private Equity LLP, of UK, and Astorg Partners SAS, of France. Both Montagu and Astorg are fund managers investing in a broad range of industry sectors. Diacine is the holding company of Sebia SA, an in vitro diagnostics specialty company developing solutions in the fields of oncology, haemoglobin disorders and other metabolic disorders such as diabetes. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, given the parties’ moderate combined market position and the presence of a number of strong players on 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.7346 .
Visit by President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III
Today, 15 September, President Barroso receives the President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III for a bilateral meeting here in the Berlaymont building of the European Commission. They will discuss bilateral issues , in particular some priority aspects of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (which was signed in 2012), the Mindanao Peace negotiations, trade and investment, bilateral development cooperation and maritime issues. They will also address EU and Asia relations.
Philippines Benigno Aquino III visits Brussels to mark the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Philippine Embassy in Belgium.
This meeting will be followed by a VIP corner of the two Presidents at 15:45; the press point will be broadcast via EBS .
What Commissioners said
Following the bilateral meeting with President Poroshenko on Friday 12 September in Kiev, President Barroso said: “This visit to Kiev means a lot to me. I think we can say it is a clear symbol of Europe’s support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity. […] Today we have discussed how to best achieve progress for a sustainable political solution to the conflict, based on the respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty. This is our primary goal – a political solution for this conflict based on the principle of Ukraine’s sovereignty. […] Let me share with you very briefly one point on the humanitarian situation on the ground. Just yesterday the European Commission has decided to mobilise an additional €22 million to meet the most urgent needs of the population, this adding to the efforts already taken.”
“I am shocked by the news of the murder by ISIS terrorists of David Haines, a British relief worker. I condemn this horrible and despicable act. My thoughts and sympathy at this tragic moment are with his family, relatives and friends who mourn his death. David was a dedicated humanitarian worker whose only motivation and mission was to provide assistance to civilians affected by the conflict in Syria. His mission was a peaceful one, like that of all other humanitarian organisations whose only fight is to promote humanity and solidarity and deliver assistance, irrespective of identity, religion or nationality. Humanitarian aid is the common good of all nations and people. As such, International Humanitarian Law must be respected by everyone. All parties to a conflict must uphold the security and protection of relief workers.”