29 May 2018


Brussels, Brussels Daily



MEETING OF THE COLLEGE: EU Budget – Regional Development and Cohesion Policy after 2020

For the EU’s next long-term budget 2021-2027, the Commission proposes to modernize Cohesion Policy, the EU’s main investment policy and one of its most concrete expressions of solidarity. Even if the EU economy recovers, further investment efforts are needed to address persistent imbalances within and between Member States. With a budget of € 373 billion in commitments for the period 2021-2027, the future cohesion policy has the necessary investment power to bridge these gaps. Resources will continue to be directed to those regions that are most in need of catching up with the rest of the EU. At the same time, the Cohesion Policy will remain a strong and direct link between the EU, its regions and its cities. Jyrki Katainen, Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Over the next decade, Cohesion Policy will help all regions to modernize their industry and improve their competitiveness. investing in innovation and the transition to a low-carbon, low-carbon economy. “Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, added:” Today we are proposing a Cohesion Policy for all regions, which leaves no one behind. on the one hand, we have relaxed it so that we can adapt to new priorities and better protect our citizens. “The main features of the Commission’s proposal for a modernized Cohesion Policy are: 1. focus on main investment priorities, in which the EU is best placed to achieve its objectives; 2. Cohesion policy for all regions and a more tailor-made approach for regional development; 3. Fewer, clearer and shorter rules and a more flexible framework. 4. A stronger link with the European Semester to improve the investment environment in Europe. A press release and a memo in all languages ​​are available online. Legal texts, fact sheets and other information on the next EU long-term budget are also available


Posting of Workers: Commission welcomes European Parliament vote confirming the political agreement on the revision of the Directive

Today in Strasbourg, the European Parliament confirmed the political agreement reached on 1 March on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “Today’s vote by the European Parliament marks an important milestone in the process of building a fairer single market. I would like to thank in particular the two co-rapporteurs of the European Parliament, Elisabeth Morin Chartier and Agnes Jongerius, who made the agreement possible. The political agreement voted by the European Parliament today represents a substantive improvement of the rules of the 1996 Directive, both for posted workers and companies. At the heart of it is the principle of equal pay for equal work in the same place. I believe that with this revised Directive, we are together making an important contribution to preserving the fairness of the internal market.” A revision of the Directive was originally proposed by the Commission in March 2016. Since then it has been the subject of a series of trilogues between the Parliament and the Council. The text voted on today in the plenary of the European Parliament is the result of an agreement reached following the 7th trilogue at the Council on 1 March 2018. It maintains the main elements of the Commission’s original proposal, including the principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place. A press conference with Commissioner Thyssen and European Parliament co-rapporteurs Elisabeth Morin-Chartier and Agnes Jongerius will take place at 15:00 in the Parliament in Strasbourg and can be followed here.Commissioner Thyssen’s statements during the plenary debate and following the vote are available here.

Bathing water: excellent quality at vast majority of European bathing sites

85% of swimming sites across Europe monitored in 2017 met the EU’s highest and most stringent ‘excellent’ quality standards for waters mostly free from pollutants, according to the latest annual European bathing water quality report published today.Nearly all 21 801 bathing water sites monitored last year across Europe, of which 21 509 were in the 28 EU Member States (95.9%), met the minimum quality requirements under EU rules according to the report by the European Environment Agency and the Commission. ‘Excellent’ quality standards across Europe dropped marginally from 85.5% in 2016 to 85% last year. Similarly those meeting minimum ‘sufficient’ standing fell from 96.3% to 96.0%. The reason for the slight drop was due mostly to the effect of summer rain on test results as well as changes in testing methodology in Romania and Sweden. The number of overall ‘poor’ rated sites remained mostly unchanged from 2016 across the EU. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said:  “The quality of our bathing water is a source of pride for Europeans. That quality is due to good cooperation and constant vigilance. We all play a part: industry, local authorities and services together with citizens. We are happy to report that the European spirit of cooperation on bathing water is alive and continues to deliver for our citizens. When you add in our recently proposed measures to keep plastics out of our seas, it really has been a good year for European seas, beaches and lakes.” Europe’s bathing water quality has vastly improved over the last 40 years due to the introduction of rules under the EU’s Bathing Water Directive. A press release, country reports and interactive map are available online.


Mergers: Commission clears the creation of a joint venture by SWO and BAG Netz

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Stadtwerke Olching Stromnetz GmbH & Co. KG (“NG Olching”) and Stadtwerke Olching Stromnetz Verwaltungs GmbH (“Olching Verwaltungs”) by Stadtwerke Olching GmbH (“SWO”), and Bayernwerk Netz GmbH (“BAG Netz”), belonging to the E.ON group. All companies are based in Germany. SWO, jointly controlled by Stadt Olching and Stadtwerke Schwäbisch Hall GmbH, provides electricity, gas, district heating and related services and operates the electricity distribution system in an industrial park in the city of Olching. BAG Netz develops, operates and maintains electricity and gas distribution networks. Currently, it holds the electricity distribution grid concession in the rest of the city of Olching. NG Olching will hold the electricity distribution grid concession transferred by BAG Netz and will participate in the 2019 tender for the concession of electricity distribution grid in the whole of the city of Olching. Olching Verwaltungs will manage NG Olching (both “the joint venture”). The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the joint venture’s limited activities within the European Economic Area. 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.8835.


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