Brussels Daily
26 Nov 2014


Brussels Daily

Investment Plan for Europe

Today, 26 November, President Juncker presented his Investment Plan for Europe at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, announcing a € 315 billion Investment Plan to get Europe growing again and get more people back to work. President Juncker said: “This is an investment offensive that optimises our economic policy. We are focusing on long-term, large-scale European investment to create jobs. We are also targeting SMEs – Europe’s job creators – to give a boost to the real economy. We are turning a corner, completing fiscal responsibility and structural reform with innovative investment plans and instruments. This ground-breaking investment plan, mobilising all levels of government, is the missing part of the puzzle, the third point in the virtuous triangle. The omne trium perfectum made whole. We will stand tall on three pillars: the money, the projects and the rules to create the right business environment. We are offering hope to millions of Europeans disillusioned after years of stagnation. Yes, Europe can still become the epicentre of a major investment drive. Yes, Europe can grow again. Yes, the European social model will persevere. Now that we are going in the right direction, there will be no turning back.” The full speech by President Juncker as well as the speech by Vice-President Katainen from today’s European Parliament’s plenary session are both available online. A press release and a dedicated website provide further information and fact sheets. A joint press conference by President Juncker, President of the European Investment Bank Hoyer and Vice-President Katainen on the same topic has taken place today at 11:00 CET and can be viewed online via EBS.


Infringements decisions: Commission acts for full and proper implementation of European legislation

The Commission has decided today to refer 4 Members States to the EU Court of Justice: Austria, Greece, Ireland and Spain. The Commission will also send 32 reasoned opinions to 21 countries: AT, BE, BG, CY, DE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HU, IE, IT, LT, LU, LV, NL, PL, PT, RO, SI and SK. With a total of 205 decisions, the Commission aims at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. A summary of the main decisions can be found in the MEMO/14/2130. On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12.

EU reimburses €868m to European farmers

The Commission adopted on 24 November 2014 a regulation a regulation to reinstate monies that had been reduced from direct payments in 2014. EUR 868 million is to be reimbursed to farmers, following a regulation adopted by the Commission (published today in Official Journal). Direct aids to farmers were reduced by EUR 868 million in financial year 2014 by applying the financial discipline mechanism. This reduction was necessary to establish the agricultural crisis reserve and to ensure that total CAP expenditure for market measures and direct aids stayed within the ceiling agreed in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. However, in 2014 it was not necessary to use the crisis reserve. In fact the support measures taken from August 2014 onwards in the wake of the Russian embargo on EU agricultural products will only lead to EU expenditure for the 2015 budget. Moreover, unused amounts of the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund in the 2014 budget were mobilised to prevent a cut to farmers’ payments. Therefore, the Commission adopted on 24 November 2014 a regulation allowing Member States to reimburse, as of 1 December 2014, farmers a total of EUR 868 million. The reimbursement should be made no later than 15 October 2015. This reimbursement mechanism was agreed in the 2013 CAP reform, and is now applied for the first time.

Ebola support: Commission pays €22 million to Liberia to strengthen public services and health

The EU has provided €22 million to Liberia to support the country in its Ebola response and strengthen the macro-economic situation in the crisis-ridden country. The EU support will contribute to, among other things, important pay to health workers. Today’s disbursement comes as part of the overall package of €138 million of EU support in development cooperation to the countries that are affected by Ebola. Most of this package is provided successively over a period of months, in late 2014 and early 2015 to stabilize the countries and assist them in recovering from the crisis and beyond. This will help them deliver urgently needed public services – in particular health care – and also maintain macro-economic stability. More information on the EU’s response to the Ebola emergency is available online.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Taminco by Eastman

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Taminco Corporation by Eastman Chemical Company, both of the United States. Taminco is a global specialty chemicals company that produces amines primarily for the agriculture, water treatment, personal & home care, animal nutrition and oil & gas end-markets. Eastman is a global specialty chemicals company that produces a broad range of advanced materials, chemicals, and fibres. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the companies’ moderate combined market shares on the markets concerned. 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.7440.

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of TIBCO by Vista

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of TIBCO Software, Inc. (“TIBCO”) of the US, by Vista Equity Partners, LLC (“Vista”), of the US.  TIBCO provides infrastructure and business intelligence software. Vista is a private equity firm that is focused on investment in software, data and technology-enabled businesses. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns as the activities of Vista and TIBCO do not overlap and the vertical relationships between their 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.7436. 


Commissioner Mimica visits China from 26 – 28 November

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, is travelling to China from 26 – 28 November to participate in the EU-China High Level seminar on Post 2015 development agenda and to meet with high level Chinese interlocutors on bilateral and global development issues. The event will bring together EU and Chinese academics, policy makers and international partners to discuss the future development agenda with a focus on sustainable economic, social and environmental development.  The Commissioner’s visit will be the first of an EU development Commissioner since 2008 and is the first contact between the EU and Chinese Ministries at political level since the new College took office on 1 November this year.

High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos attend two ministerial conferences in Rome on EU-Africa relations

On 27 and 28 November 2014 Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, and Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, will be in Rome to participate in the 4th Ministerial Conference in the context of the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (also known as Rabat Process) as well as in the Ministerial Conference of the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (Khartoum Process). Both events are organised in the context of the Italian Presidency of the EU Council.

EU-Commissioner Hahn in Kiev to urge reforms

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will pay a visit to Kyiv on 27-28 November 2014. He will meet with President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Yatseniuk, leaders of the main political groups in the Parliament, business representatives, Ukrainian civil society and international donors. “I come to Ukraine at a crucial moment: a new and decisively pro-reform Parliament will soon vote into office a new government, exactly a year after the start of Maidan. My main message to all interlocutors is that swift and concrete implementation of the reform agenda is now urgent, to make Ukraine a stable, prosperous and well–governed modern state.” Commissioner Hahn’s visit also comes as the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is violated daily. Referring to this situation, he said: “My visit is a sign of the EU’s determination to stand by Ukraine, and to support its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The EU is making unprecedented levels of assistance available to Ukraine, and I will be signing a further financing agreement during my visit. But Ukraine must also shoulder its own responsibilities, and I am looking forward to discussing with leaders the way forward”.

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