EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 16 SEPTEMBER

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS - 16 SEPTEMBER
16 Sep 2014

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 16 SEPTEMBER

Brussels Daily

President Barroso’s call with President Putin

President Barroso spoke with President Putin by phone yesterday following the trilateral talks of last Friday on the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area .

Both Presidents marked their agreement with the joint conclusions reached in the trilateral talks. These conclusions should be implemented and on the EU side this will now be discussed with the Member States. On this basis, President Putin confirmed that there would be no changes to the current bilateral trade regime between Russia and Ukraine . The two Presidents also discussed the energy situation and it was agreed that a trilateral meeting at ministerial level should take place. Russia will propose a date for this very shortly. President Barroso underlined the need for a full respect of the 12 point cease fire plan agreed in Minsk.

Both Presidents agreed that these steps should contribute to a political and peaceful solution, in full respect of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

OTHER NEWS

Climate protection with economic growth is a reality, confirms new major economic report

It is possible to reduce carbon emissions AND improve economic growth together, concludes a major new economic report released by a commission of global leaders today.  The New Climate Economy report clearly shows that rapid technological innovation and new investment in clean infrastructure are helping to protect the climate and to drive economic growth at the same time.

Commenting on the report’s findings, European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said: “Why pursue a growth strategy that delivers either a better economy or a better climate when leading economic experts conclude in this report that we can achieve both better growth and better climate at the same time? The political choice should not be that difficult.” The study, which has been unveiled today in New York, was commissioned by 24 global leaders under the chairmanship of former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, with advice from a panel of leading economists chaired by Lord Nicholas Stern.

More information on the report can be found here .

EU ‘single market for research’ now depends on national reforms, study finds

The ERA partnership between Member States, research stakeholders and the Commission has made good progress in delivering ERA. The conditions for achieving a European Research Area (ERA) , where researchers and scientific knowledge can circulate freely, are in place at the European level. Reforms must now be implemented at the Member State level to make ERA work. This is the main conclusion of the latest ERA progress report , presented today by the European Commission. The report updates last year’s overview ( IP/13/851), and presents individual country reports that give a snapshot of implementation on the ground, notably at the level of research organisations.

EU Science and Technology Flagships pick up steam

The European Commission published today a report on its ambitious science and technology Flagships. The report draws the lessons from setting up the first two such Flagships, Graphene and the Human Brain Project, each representing an investment of EUR 1 billion. It also sets out the future working arrangements for the two Flagships underway. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: “The Human Brain Project and the Graphene Flagships have the potential to revolutionise science, boost industry and improve peoples’ lives with new products and medical treatments. No funding agency, no scientific community, no company, no Member State can achieve this alone: we need to find the best way to join forces and the Flagship model is here to stay.” (See also MEMO/14/531).

The EU Youth Guarantee – where do we stand?

Ahead of the debate on the Roll-out of the European Youth Initiative in the European Parliament on Wednesday 16 September, where the Commission will be represented by European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor, the Commission is publishing a MEMO on the EU Youth Guarantee . The MEMO features comprehensive information on implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Member States, outlines of the type of reforms that need to be introduced to improve school-to-work transitions and the employability of young people and an overview of the financial support available from the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund . It also highlights examples of successful schemes already in place in some Member States.

Second quarter of 2014: Annual growth in labour costs up to 1.2% in both euro area and EU28

Hourly labour costs rose by 1.2% in both the euro area (EA18) and the EU28 in the second quarter of 2014, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the first quarter of 2014, hourly labour costs increased by 0.6% and 1.0% respectively. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, wages & salaries per hour worked grew by 1.2% and the non-wage component by 1.0%, in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the first quarter of 2014 the annual changes were +1.0% and -0.6% respectively. In the EU28, hourly wages & salaries rose by 1.2% and the non-wage component by 1.1% for the second quarter of 2014, compared with +1.4% and -0.2% respectively for the first quarter of 2014.

Second quarter of 2014: Euro area job vacancy rate stable at 1.7% – EU28 stable at 1.6%

The job vacancy rate in the euro area (EA18) was 1.7% in the second quarter of 2014, unchanged compared to the previous quarter, but up from 1.5% in the second quarter of 2013, according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The job vacancy rate in the EU28 was 1.6% in the second quarter of 2014, also unchanged compared to the previous quarter and up from 1.5% in the second quarter of 2013. In the euro area, the job vacancy rate in the second quarter of 2014 was 1.0% in industry and construction and 2.2% in services. In the EU28 the rate was 1.1% in industry and construction and 2.1% in services.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over UK production company All3Media by Liberty Global and Discovery

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over All3Media Holdings Limited, of the United Kingdom, by Liberty Global plc, of the United Kingdom and Discovery Communications, Inc, of the United States. All3Media is a TV and digital production and distribution company, active in particular in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Liberty Global operates cable networks in several countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), with a focus on phone, internet and retail TV services. Discovery operates TV channels worldwide and is active as well in the production and distribution of TV content in the EEA. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because of the limited horizontal overlaps between the parties’ activities in the production and licensing of general entertainment TV content. The proposed transaction also creates a vertical relationship between All3Media and Discovery’s TV production and licensing activities and Liberty Global and Discovery’s acquisition of TV content. However, the Commission concluded that such vertical relationship between the parties’ activities would not give rise to anticompetitive effects because of the parties’ limited combined activities at the upstream level and the presence of alternative customers at the downstream level in the EEA. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7282 .

Mergers: Commission clears joint venture between Metal one and Mitsui & Co. Steel

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of Metal One Mitsui Bussan Resource & Structural Steel Corporation (‘MOMBR & SSC’), a joint venture between Metal One, controlled by the Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsui & Co. Steel Ltd, part of the Mitsui Group, all of Japan. The joint venture will primarily distribute steel products for construction use, and trade steel waste and scrap in Japan. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns as the entities contributed to the joint venture have no assets in the European Economic Area (EEA) and do not generate any turnover there. The case 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.7357

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