19 Sep 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 19 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
“I welcome the decision of the Scottish people to maintain the unity of the United Kingdom. This outcome is good for the united, open and stronger Europe that the European Commission stands for.
The European Commission welcomes the fact that during the debate over the past years, the Scottish Government and the Scottish people have repeatedly reaffirmed their European commitment. The European Commission will continue to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Scottish Government, in areas under its responsibility, that are important to Scotland’s future, including jobs and growth, energy, climate change and the environment, and smarter regulation.”
69th session of the UN General Assembly
Next week, President Barroso will travel to New York for the plenary week of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly ( UNGA 69) and to attend the UN Secretary General’s Climate Leaders’ Summit on 23 September – the first occasion of world leaders meeting on climate since Copenhagen in 2009. The Summit is bringing together an expected 120 world leaders with CEOs of business and leaders of civil society and it shall give added momentum for reaching a new global climate agreement in Paris next year..
Following the invitation of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon President Barroso will also address the High-level meeting on Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak on the 25 September.
While in New York, President Barroso will have several bilaterals. He will meet the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. He will also meet the new President of the UN General Assembly, Sam Kutesa of Uganda, as well as the Ukrainian President P Poroshenko and the Malian President Keita.
Four EU Commissioners will also be present during UNGA Ministerial Week. Commissioners Connie Hedegaard and Andris Piebalgs will largely focus on the Climate Summit and sustainable energy and development events. Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva will notably focus on the humanitarian situations in Syria and CAR, while Commissioner Štefan Füle will participate in the regular Western Balkans Foreign Ministers meeting.
During the UNGA Ministerial week the main attention of the High Representative/Vice President Ashton will focus on making progress in the talks with Iran on its nuclear programme, which she leads. Intensive talks have been planned for the period between at least 16 and 26 September. High Representative/Vice President Ashton will also host the EU28 foreign ministers’ meeting; attend the EU–US reception and the Transatlantic dinner, and participate in a series of other high-level meetings.
Commissioner Hedegaard to push for global climate ambition at New York Climate summit
Tomorrow, the EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard will start a series of climate meetings in New York, where she will also attend the UN Climate Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Tuesday, 23 September. At the Climate Summit she will join President Barroso in calling on global leaders to step up their efforts in the fight against climate change and present their national contributions for the new global climate agreement to be reached in Paris next year. In the run-up to the summit, she will host an Informal Ministerial Roundtable on Climate Change on Saturday to discuss progress on the UN climate negotiations. On Sunday and Monday, she will participate in the Major Economies Forum, where she will also take part in the special session with foreign ministers, as well as attend the High Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). She will also continue the series of bilateral meetings at ministerial level on Tuesday and Wednesday. As part of these talks, Connie Hedegaard will meet with ministers responsible for environment and climate issues from the United States, Norway, Israel, Peru, Chile, Colombia and other African and Asian countries.
The European Commission welcomes the adoption of the Dutch national Operational Programme for the implementation of the European Social Fund in the period 2014-2020. This programme outlines the priorities and objectives to spend €1.014 billion (of which over €500 million from the EU budget), contributing to strengthening economic growth in all Dutch regions and to achieving the Europe 2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: “I am happy to see the Netherlands fighting social exclusion by focussing a major part of the ESF resources on helping those the furthest away from the labour market finding a job.”
Volcanic eruptions are notoriously difficult to predict. With increased seismic activity at Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano, and lava flowing at nearby Holuhraun, experts are carefully monitoring and analysing large amounts of data being collected from the area.Many Icelandic volcanoes are ice-covered, a factor that often contributes to explosive, ash-rich eruptions similar to Eyjafjallajökull in April 2010. Eyjafjallajökull spewed large ash clouds across northern Europe, leading airlines to make costly flight cancellations and disrupting travel for some 10 million people. Financial damage is estimated at up to €3.9 billion. But this time there is a difference. In response to Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption, the EU has been funding research to provide more accurate and timely warnings. The approaches being pioneered by such projects aim is to give civil protection authorities, and economically important commercial groups such as airlines, more time to react effectively – helping to protect lives and reduce damage to Europe’s economy.
The G-20 comprises the world’s major advanced and emerging economies. It includes the EU, four EU Member States (Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom) and 15 countries from the rest of the world (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States). Together the members of the G-20 covered over 60% of the world’s land area, were home to 65% of the world population and generated 86% of the global GDP in 2012. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, releases today the latest edition of “The EU in the world” , in which the EU and the 15 non-EU G-20 countries are compared across many statistical fields using a range of harmonised European and international statistics. For many indicators the total for the world is also included.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of WILD companies by the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of WILD Flavors GmbH and the related company WILD Dairy Ingredients GmbH (WDI) by the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM). ADM is a US-based agricultural commodity trader and processor. WILD Flavors, which is headquartered in Switzerland, manufactures flavour systems used in the food and drink industries. WDI produces fruit-based preparations for use in dairy products, ice cream and bakery products. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because the overlaps between the companies’ activities are limited. 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.7354 .
Mergers: Commission clears joint venture between KKR and Riverstone in US energy sector
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture, Trinity River Energy LLC between KKR & Co. L.P. and Riverstone Holdings LLC, all of the US. KKR provides a broad range of asset management services, including for unconventional oil and gas assets. Riverstone is a private equity firm focused on investments related to energy and power. Trinity will hold the combined assets and business activities of KNR, a KKR portfolio company, that invests in unconventional oil and gas assets in the US, and of Legend, a Riverstone portfolio company, active in the acquisition and development of long-lived oil and natural gas properties primarily in the basins around Texas. The overlaps in the companies’ activities are limited to the US. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns. The operation 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.7386 .
Geothermal Energy in Europe
Today Vice-President Günther H. Oettinger met with Icelandic Minister for Industry and Commerce Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir as part of a high-level roundtable on geothermal energy in Europe. Over 60 high-level Icelandic and EU representatives from geothermal industry, academia and finance met to discuss barriers to the growth of geothermal energy and, in particular, geothermal district heating in Europe. At the roundtable it was emphasised that more support from policymakers is needed to improve the contribution of secure, stable and indigenous renewable heat to the overall European Energy mix and that many lessons can be learned from Iceland’s exemplary leadership in this field. Iceland is a world leader in the use of geothermal district heating. Today, almost 90% of Iceland’s houses and buildings are heated by natural hot water. Europe has considerable potential for geothermal energy and further development thereof would assist many EU Member States in achieving their renewable energy targets and becoming more self-sufficient. For further information please consult der website of Vice President Oettinger.