EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 20 NOVEMBER

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS - 20 NOVEMBER
20 Nov 2014

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 20 NOVEMBER

Brussels Daily

Joint Statement on the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day and the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Federica Mogherini, High Representative and Vice-President, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and Vera Jourova, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality made the following statement: “Today as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the rights of the child, we wholeheartedly welcome the unprecedented global support for this important Convention. This year we celebrate the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the young Pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai and to the Indian child right’s activist Kailash Satyarthi. Both have fought courageously for the girls’ right to education which the EU considers as the best investment we can make in development. Children have always been and remain at the heart of EU policy. Inspired by the Convention, the EU promotes children’s rights through specific Guidelines as well as through the EU Agenda for the rights of the child for internal action.” See full statement

Antitrust: Commission sends statement of objections to suspected participants in trucks cartel

The European Commission has informed a number of heavy and medium duty truck producers that it suspects them of having participated in a cartel in breach of EU antitrust rules. The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The Commission has concerns that certain heavy and medium duty truck producers may have agreed or coordinated their pricing behaviour in the European Economic Area (EEA). Such behaviour, if established, would breach Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 53 of the Agreement on the EEA, which prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices. See press release

OTHER NEWS

EU and Senegal sign Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement

Following an eight year hiatus the EU and Senegal have today signed a new five-year Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement. The agreement will allow up to 38 EU boats to fish in Senegalese waters in return for a €8.69m payment by the EU. This represents good value for money for both parties and, as with all of the EU’s fishing partnerships, the agreement is based on the principles of resource sustainability, good governance, and local development. As part of the deal the EU will invest €750,000 a year into developing the local fisheries sector. In particular, support will be directed towards improving surveillance, combatting illegal fishing, and promoting scientific cooperation. Local artisanal fishermen will also directly benefit from the conservation and rehabilitation of spawning areas and vulnerable ecosystems on which their livelihoods depend on. The Senegalese Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Omar Gueye, and the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, will meet this afternoon to stress the importance of reactivating this sustainable partnership between two of the major fishing players in West Africa after eight years without agreement. The partnership will further strengthen the region’s general governance of fisheries and its fight against illegal fishing.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Club Mediterranée by Fosun

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Club Méditerranée by Fosun, a Chinese-based investment fund. Club Méditerranée is a French company that offers travel and holiday services. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the activities of Club Méditerranée and Fosun do not overlap. 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.7430.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of CSC ServiceWorks by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Pamplona Capital Partners

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over CSC ServiceWorks Holdings, Inc. (“CSC”) of the United States by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (“OTPP”) of Canada and Pamplona Capital Partners III, L.P. of the United States, managed by Pamplona Capital Management LLP (“Pamplona”) of the United Kingdom. CSC provides multi-family housing and commercial laundry solutions in the United States and air vending solutions in the United States and in the European Economic Area (EEA). OTPP administers and invests in pension funds. Pamplona is a global private equity firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the companies are not active in the same markets within the EEA. 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.7433.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of joint control over two Portuguese insurance companies by Aegon and Santander

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over Aegon Santander Portugal Vida – Companhia de Seguros de Vida, S.A and Aegon Santander Portugal Não Vida- Companhia de Seguros de Vida, S.A. (the “targets”), both of Portugal, by Aegon Spain Holding B.V. of Spain and Santander Totta Seguros of Portugal. Aegon Spain offers life and non-life insurance and pension products in Spain and is owned by the Aegon Group. Santander Totta Seguros provides life and non-life insurance in Portugal and is owned by the Santander Group. One of the targets will provide life insurance products whereas the other will offer non-life insurance ones, both in Portugal. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the minimal overlaps between the companies’ activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.More information will be available on the competition website, in the Commission’s public case register under the case number M.7389. 

STATEMENTS

Statement by Commissioner Violeta Bulc after her meeting with the German Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt

EU Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, Violeta Bulc met the German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt in Brussels today, and made the following statement: Read the full statement here.

Speech by Marianne Thyssen at the opening session of the Annual Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion

EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen delivered a speech at the Annual Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: “I don’t need to tell you the dire situation in which so many European citizens find themselves. There are 24 million unemployed people and almost 123 million at risk of poverty. There is a risk that our youth will become a ‘lost generation’ with poor skills and no work experience. Not only are there almost 12 million people across the EU who have been unemployed for more than 12 months, but long-term unemployment is also becoming a structural phenomenon. And Europe is getting further and further behind in meeting the headline targets for raising the employment rate to 75% and reducing the number of people living at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 20 million by 2020. Those are the challenges we face. And this Commission will be measured by its ability to address them successfully. We are setting our sights high. President Juncker is convinced that investment, jobs and rebalancing the economic and social agenda are necessary to give new impetus to the European project; to drive a job-rich recovery with better access to decent jobs as the highest priority. And I am fully committed to delivering on the President’s pledge before the European Parliament. This is a fresh start – with the chance to have a fresh look at what we do and how we do it. We need to put all our energy into generating jobs, growth, fairness and democratic change. We shall do this by building on investments and structural reform. We are fully aware that this is perhaps the last chance and that is why we must do our utmost to get Europe a triple A social rating.” See full speech

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissioner Mimica attends high-level conference on Nutrition in Rome

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, takes part today in the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Commissioner Mimica is expected to reaffirm the EU’s commitment to fight malnutrition. In 2013, the Commission proposed a new policy framework on nutrition in the form of a Communication, which was later endorsed by Member States. The EU committed to reducing the number of stunted children under 5 by seven million by 2025. The same year, the EU pledged to mobilise €3.5 billion for nutrition in the 2014-2020 period. The EU is now working on the implementation of its Nutrition Action Plan, designed to enhance political mobilisation, scale-up work on nutrition and improve knowledge and research in this area. The main objective of today’s conference is to transform the political momentum on nutrition into concrete actions by reviewing the progress made so far; as well as the relevant policies with an impact on nutrition (e.g. fisheries or trade), and strengthening institutional policy coherence and coordination. More information about the conference

Civil Protection Exercise ARETE 2014: Preparing for disasters

On 20 November 2014, the European Commission, in cooperation with the Belgian Civil Protection and Federal Police, is organising a field exercise close to Antwerp in Belgium. “ARETE 2014” simulates a complex chemical and terrorism emergency including hostage-taking. It will enhance each Member States’ capability to deal with major crises and coordinate with each other. ARETE 2014 will also test the coordination between EU crisis management instruments to respond efficiently to disasters. The field exercise will be overseen by Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship and Jan Jambon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Belgium.

Preparation of the Foreign Affairs Council, 21 November 2014

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) Trade on 21 November will be the first of the new Juncker Commission. It brings together Trade Ministers from the Member States and will consider a number of current important trade files. It is chaired by Carlo Calenda, Italy’s Trade Minister, who currently holds the six-month rotating presidency. The meeting will be opened by EU High Representative and Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini, who will underline the linkages between foreign policy and trade. A press conference will be held on the end of the discussions. The public debates and the press conference can be followed by video streaming.

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