24 Sep 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 24 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
The European Commission has today closed the measure for Private Storage Aid (PSA) for cheese following a disproportionate surge in interest for this measure from cheese producers in certain regions not traditionally exporting significant quantities to Russia. This move is a precautionary step to avoid the possibility of reaching the maximum volume of 155 000 tonnes so soon after the measure was opened on September 5. Notifications for PSA volumes of Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and butter were much in line with expectations and the measures remain open for these products. Similarly, public intervention for butter and SMP will be open until the end of the year. A decision to repeal the PSA measure for cheese was published in the Official Journal today, applicable with immediate effect, see (EU) No 992/2014
President Barroso at the Climate Summit 2014
Yesterday, President Barroso took part in the Climate Summit, where he said that “since 1990, Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 19%, while our GDP rose by 45%. So we prove that climate protection and a strong economy can – and must – go hand-in-hand.”
The President also announced that the EU “agreed aim is to spend 20% of our overall 2014-2020 EU budget on climate action. This will amount to €180 billion spent inside and outside the EU by 2020.” Over the next 7 years, the President said, the EU aims to allocate more than €3 billion in grants to support sustainable energy in developing countries. “In total, the EU will provide €14 billion of public climate finance to partners outside the EU over the next seven years. This is all grant funding. And €2 billion of these climate grants will be blended with other sources, leveraging up to €50 billion of total private investment by 2020”, he added.
Today, President Barroso attends the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. He will have bilateral meetings with Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the UN, with Mr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia and with Mr. Manuel Vicente, Vice President of the Republic of Angola.
The European Commission is increasing its aid to Syria and neighbouring countries by €215 million, as a four-year civil war shows no signs of abating and the suffering of millions of ordinary people – including new refugees – soars. The new funding includes €50 million in humanitarian aid and €165 million to support longer-term development. It will provide relief inside and outside Syria, reducing pressure on its borders and in neighbouring countries. It will also help respond to the needs of the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to Turkey in recent days, the largest wave of displacement since the beginning of the conflict. The assistance will include emergency medical response, with both medical and psycho-social care to the wounded and the traumatized, especially children; provision of food and safe water; provision of shelter, registration and protection of refugees.
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of KS Aluminium-Technologie by KSPG and HASCO
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over KS Aluminium-Technologie GmbH (“KS AluTech”) by KSPG AG, controlled by Rheinmetall AG, all of Germany, and HUAYU Automotive Systems Co., Ltd., (“HASCO”), controlled by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (Group) (“SAIC Group”), both of China. KS AluTech is currently solely controlled by KSPG. SAIC Group is an automotive holding company whose companies are active in the entire automotive industry value chain including the development, manufacturing, sales and logistics of vehicles and components. Rheinmetall supplies automotive components and defence equipment. KS AluTech offers automotive casting. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given that the overlap of the companies’ activities is minimal. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7391 .
Concentrations : la Commission autorise la création d’une entreprise commune par S.A.E.M.E. et ID Logistics
La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, la création d’une entreprise commune par S.A.E.M.E. et ID Logistics, toutes les deux établies en France, pour la distribution d’eau en bouteille. S.A.E.M.E., qui fait partie du groupe Danone, commercialise de l’eau en bouteille. ID Logistics offre un large éventail de services logistiques à la fois en France et internationalement. La Commission a conclu que l’opération envisagée n’entrainerait pas de problèmes concurrentiels, étant donné la faible étendue des activités de l’entreprise commune au sein du territoire de l’espace économique européen (EEE). L’opération a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d’affaire M.7304 .
The first Competitiveness Council under the mandate of the Italian EU Presidency will take place in Brussels on 25-26 September 2014. On 25 September, Sandro Gozi, Italian Secretary of State for European Policy will chair the Council for the industry and internal market points. The European Commission will be represented by Vice-President Michel Barnier responsible for Internal Market and Services; Commissioner Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship; and Commissioner Neven Mimica, Commissioner for Consumer Policy. On 26 September, Stefania Giannini, Italian Minister for Research, will chair the Council for the research points and the Commission will be represented by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, responsible for Research, Innovation and Science and Vice-President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda.
Cracking the glass ceiling: more women on corporate boards than ever before!
New statistics released today by the European Commission show that the average share of women on the boards of the largest publicly listed companies in the EU has risen to 18.6% (April 2014). This unprecedented level represents an increase of nearly one percentage point since the last data collection six months previous (17.8%, October 2013). Following a strong backing by the European Parliament in November 2013 ( IP/13/1118), the Commission’s draft Directive aiming for a share of 40% of female non-executive members on the boards of listed companies is currently being discussed by the Council of the EU.
Commissioner Reicherts said: “Gender equality is not an option, it is not a luxury, it is an imperative. That is why Europe needs strong rules to tackle the gender imbalance in company boardrooms. Since we put forward a law – a procedural quota – the cracks have started to show in the glass ceiling. More and more companies are competing to attract the best female talent. Since October 2010, the share of women on boards has risen by 7.6 percentage points.” She added: “Today’s statistics show that regulatory pressure works! The Council of Ministers should now rise to the challenge and make swift progress on this draft law, which places qualification and merit at centre stage.”
Fisheries: Debate about state of European fish stocks open for journalists
On 26 September, the state of European fish stocks and the economics of fishing fleets around the EU will be discussed at a half-day seminar organised by the European Commission in Brussels. Scientists and experts will present and discuss the latest findings for the North Sea, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea. Representatives from the fishing sector, NGO’s, scientists from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the EU’s Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), representatives of EU Member States and Members of the European Parliament will give their input to the discussion. The full programme can be found here .
The seminar is part of the preparations for setting fishing opportunities for EU Member states for 2015. Each year, EU fisheries ministers set fishing quotas and maximum fishing effort levels for the main commercial fish stocks in European waters, based on proposals by the Commission. In its proposals, the Commission follows scientific advice towards sustainable fishing levels in line with the new Common Fisheries Policy and takes into account input from stakeholders, such as the results of this seminar.
The meeting will be held from 08h15 to 12h15 on 26th September at the Centre Albert Borschette, rue Froissart 36, Brussels, Belgium. It is open to the press upon prior registration at: http://fishstocks.onetec.eu . Attendance will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. The seminar can also be followed by web streaming .
Finally, the wait was over. For the past week, the University of Warsaw library had been packed with promising young scientists. 110 researchers aged 14 to 20 presented their projects during an intense competition, in the hope of impressing an international jury. They were competing for honours in the 26th annualEuropean Union Contest for Young Scientists(EUCYS), which concluded with the awards ceremony today. Aside from the right to count themselves among the best young scientists in Europe, the winners also divided up a total of €62.500 in prize money, as well as other coveted prizes such as science trips. See also MEMO/14/536 .
Vice President Katainen in Vilnius for euro changeover conference
On 1 January 2015 Lithuania will become the 19th member state of the euro area. To mark this occasion, the Bank of Lithuania, together with the ECB, the European Commission and the Lithuanian Ministry of Finance is organising a conference this Thursday morning in Vilnius called “Single Market, Single Currency, Common Future”. In addition to the forthcoming changeover, the event will discuss euro area enlargement and policy reforms aimed at strengthening the single market and the economic and monetary union. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, will participate.
You can follow the conference via webstream. For further information please see: