Brussels Daily
28 Oct 2014


Brussels Daily

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2015

The European Commission has today proposed fishing opportunities for 2015 for the Atlantic and the North Sea. This is the annual proposal for the amount of fish which can be caught by EU fishermen from the main commercial fish stocks next year and it is for the first time based on the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). One of the key pillars of the new CFP is to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels, the so-called Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). Whenever possible, the scientists advise how to bring the stocks to MSY levels. For fish stocks in European waters, ie not agreed with international partners, the Commission proposes to increase or maintain the catch limits for 29 stocks, and reduce them for 40 stocks, in line with scientific advice.

For many of the stocks shared with international partners, negotiations are still ongoing. The proposal therefore only includes figures for about half of the stocks at this stage. It will be completed once negotiations with third countries and within Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) have taken place. The proposal will be discussed by the Member States’ ministers at the Fisheries Council on 15/16 December and will apply from 1 January 2015.

Climate Action: EU continues to reduce emissions and will overachieve its 2020 target

Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU have reached their lowest levels since 1990 in 2013, falling by 1.8% compared to 2012, according to estimates in the annual Progress Report of European Commission and European Environmental Agency. This puts Europe well on track to reach and overachieve the 20% target by 2020. It also shows that the EU is ready to step up its act and reach at least 40% by 2030, as agreed by EU leaders last week. It is also encouraging news that Member States are investing most of their current revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for climate related purposes, exceeding the 50% level recommended in the EU ETS Directive.

Employment: Commission proposes €1.8 million from Globalisation Fund for former workers of Whirlpool in Italy

The European Commission has today proposed to provide Italy with €1.8 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 608 former workers of Whirlpool Europe S.r.l. to find new jobs. The redundancies occurred in the Autonomous Province of Trento. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers for their approval.

EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: “The crisis has hit household demand for domestic appliances. As a result EU production of domestic appliances has been falling since 2008. This proposal to allocate €1.8 million from the European Globalisation Fund would help to prepare over six hundred redundant Whirlpool workers in Trento for new job opportunities in other sectors with a more promising outlook.”

State aid: Commission approves creation of Portuguese development financial institution

The European Commission has concluded that Portuguese plans for setting up a financial institution (the Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento, IFD), were in line with EU state aid rules. The IFD, funded by the Portuguese state and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), will manage holding or specialised funds and provide SMEs with access to funding on a co-investment basis with private investors. In particular, the Commission found that the measure would address market failures that hamper SMEs access to finance, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Total’s CCP Composite Business by PCCR USA in chemical sector

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Total’s CCP Composite Business of Ireland by PCCR USA, Inc. (‘PCCR’) of the US. PCCR, a subsidiary of Polynt Group, is a chemical company producing resins for the coating and composite industry in the US and Canada. Total’s CCP Composite Business consists of a group of companies active worldwide in the production and the sale of unsaturated polyester resins and gel coats. The proposed transaction creates overlaps only on the market for the production of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR), where both companies are active. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the moderate presence of both CCP Composite Business and PCCR on the UPR market, as well as the fact that other strong players continue to supply the UPR market and to exercise competitive constraints on the merged entity. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information will be available on the competition website, in the Commission’s public case register under the case number M.7359 .

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of US producer of digital cinema solutions Doremi by rival Dolby

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Doremi by Dolby, both of the United States. The Commission’s investigation confirmed that, despite the overlap between the two companies’ activities in the production of digital cinema servers (DCS) worldwide and in the European Economic Area (EEA), the proposed transaction would not lead to any anticompetitive effects because of the presence of alternative suppliers, the fast-moving nature of the market and the ease of switching for customers. The Commission’s investigation also confirmed the absence of any anti-competitive conglomerate effects resulting from the combination of the parties’ activities in the production of DCS and digital cinema audio processors.

Commission welcomes improved situation for clients of car rental companies

Following constructive dialogue between the European Commission services and three car rental companies (EUROPCAR, HERTZ and AVIS), they have reaffirmed their commitment to respect the principle of non-discrimination in the EU Single Market and provided detailed explanations for their pricing policies. This follows a letter sent to international car rental companies in August, asking them to end practices preventing consumers from accessing best available prices on the basis of their country of residence (IP/14/917).

Meet Poppy, the open-source, 3D-printed robot set to inspire innovation in classrooms

Meet Poppy, the first completely open-source, 3D printed, humanoid robot ( @poppy_project ). Poppy is a robot that anybody can build and program. That means it’s not just a tool for scientists and engineers: the team of developers aims to make it part of vocational training in schools, giving students the opportunity to experiment.

European exhibition on space vision 2030

The European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) have set up an exhibition entitled ‘Space for our future’ to highlight achievements made in the field of European space policy in the past two terms, including the launch of the Galileo and Copernicus programmes. This exhibition will take place from the 27th October to the 14th November 2014 in the European Commission (Berlyamont building) in Brussels. On the occasion of the inauguration of the exhibit, President Barroso said: “I have been a strong supporter of European space policy, because I am absolutely convinced that this is a strategic sector, which contributes to the health of our economy, to the well-being and security of our citizens and to Europe’s independence and influence on the global stage. The European Commission has been fully supportive of the European Union’s space ambitions; from our satellite navigation systems, EGNOS and Galileo, to our earth observation programme, Copernicus. These programmes are very important for the European economy, at a critical moment of our recovery. They are generators of innovation and technological excellence, as well as new and highly skilled jobs. So they are essential for Europe’s industrial competitiveness and for Europe’s growth and jobs creation.

More information on the exhibit is available online.

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