24 Oct 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 24 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
At the press conference following the first day of the European Council meeting, President Barroso said on the 2030 climate and energy package: “I’m delighted that the European Commission’s ambitious proposals for a cut of at least 40% in greenhouse gas emissions has been approved. When we tabled our strategy back in January, many said it was the wrong thing to do at the wrong moment. Tonight we proved those doubters wrong. We have approval and we have an unanimous backing of the European Council of this very ambitious target.”
On Ebola, President Barroso said: “We mobilised immediately €180 million and activated our emergency response centre to coordinate the delivery of medical expertise and facilities. We facilitated a solution for the fast evacuation of severely sick humanitarian workers. […] As part of these ongoing efforts, the Commission has today announced €24.4 million of immediate support for research into protecting healthcare workers, treating patients and preventing further contagion, namely investing on research for a vaccine.”
The video of the press conference is online on EBS .
A final press conference will take place after the end of the European Council / Euro Summit (exact time to be confirmed) and will be live broadcast via EBS .
Commenting on the agreement, Connie Hedegaard said: ”The EU climate action Commissioner is very proud that the 28 EU leaders, despite economic uncertainty and other severe international crises, were able to get their act together on this pressing climate challenge.
A binding 40% CO2 reduction effort domestically in Europe is not an easy task. It can only be achieved through a major transformation in all parts of the society. That is why the EU leaders’ decision to adopt the Commission’s proposal is an ambitious and important step forward. Important not only to Europe and the Europeans, but also to the rest of the world. We have sent a strong signal to other big economies and all other countries: we have done our homework, now we urge you to follow Europe’s example.
In order to get Europe on the right track towards a low-carbon society, it is extremely important that the leaders also accepted the renewables target binding at the EU level just as the Commission proposed. And it is good that they agreed to do more on energy efficiency, although here the Commission wanted more ambition.
But now the direction towards 2030 has been set. States, regions, municipalities, businesses, investors and citizens now all know where we are heading. This is a very good day for Europe’s climate politics.”
The European Green Capital Award is recognition of a city at the cutting edge of environmentally-friendly urban living. The deadline for submitting entries to the European Green Capital 2017 competition cycle has expired and the following cities have entered: Bursa (Turkey), Cascais (Portugal), Cork (Ireland), Essen (Germany), ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), Istanbul (Turkey), Lahti (Finland), Lisbon (Portugal), Nijmegen (Netherlands), Pécs (Hungary), Porto (Portugal), Umeå (Sweden). An international Expert Panel will perform a detailed technical assessment of each entry and in June 2015, the shortlisted cities will be invited to make a presentation to an international Jury. The winner will be announced at an Award ceremony in June 2015 in Bristol, UK, the 2015 European Green Capital.
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn is visiting EU supported projects and meeting local representatives in Kozani, Western Macedonia today completing his tour of the 13 Greek regions which he began two years ago. In 2014-2020 Greece will receive more than 15 billion EURO for investments under EU Cohesion Policy to stimulate growth and the creation of jobs. Currently the 13 regions are negotiating their operational programmes on how the investments can be best spent to help Greece’s recovery.
Commissioner Hahn said: “Today I complete this tour if the 13 Greek regions in Western Macedonia. I have met many people and seen an exceptional dynamism and determination across the country, even at the most severe moments of the crisis. And I am more convinced than ever that Greece’s regions are the key to the country’s recovery and its transformation into a productive economy. Our new Regional Policy for 2014-2020 provides the tool to bring this about: creating jobs by supporting the real economy and focusing on key growth sectors- and crucially helping regions to identify their particular strengths and competitive advantages.”
Eurostat publishes for the first time quarterly government deficit figures based on the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010) methodology. The data include revisions due both to the implementation of ESA2010 and to the incorporation of other statistical adjustments.
In the second quarter of 2014, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 2.5% in the euro area (EA18), a slight decrease compared with the first quarter of 2014. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio remained nearly stable at 3.0% of GDP.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of IT company Imtech by Vinci
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the Imtech ICT Group (“Imtech”) of the Netherlands by Vinci Energies SA (“Vinci”) of France, belonging to the Vinci group. Imtech is an information technology service provider, active in several EU countries. The Vinci Group is a diversified group active in energy, information technologies, concessions, infrastructures, building and road works across the European Economic Area (EEA). The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because there are only limited overlaps between the companies’ activities in the provision of IT services and alternative providers will continue to be present after the transaction. 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.7423 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of ZF Lenksysteme by Bosch
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the ZF Lenksysteme GmbH by Robert Bosch GmbH, both of Germany. ZF Lenksysteme is a joint venture between Bosch and ZF Friedrichshafen AG (case M.1291 , IP/98/801). With the present transaction, ZF sells its remaining shares in the joint venture to Bosch, which thereby acquires sole control over ZF Lenksysteme. Bosch produces a variety of consumer goods such as household appliances, power tools, industrial and automotive components including electric drives, controls and sensors which are used in electronic steering systems. ZF Lenksysteme GmbH produces electronic steering systems. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because the companies’ market shares remain modest and the new entity will continue to face competition from a number of credible players both in the upstream markets for electric drives, controls and sensors as well as in the downstream market for electronic steering systems. 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.7418 .
The European Commission has proposed to provide France with €918,000 from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 760 former workers of GAD, an enterprise which slaughters pigs and processes pork. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers for approval.
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: “The French pork sector, especially in Brittany, has been particularly hard hit by the economic crisis, with feed prices increasing and demand decreasing. Today’s decision will help the former GAD workers to find a new job by giving them relevant guidance and counselling”.