30 Sep 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 30 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
The European Commission has adopted a new programme for emergency market measures for perishable fruit & vegetables in the wake of the Russian ban on imports of certain EU agricultural products. Worth up to €165 million, this new scheme provides support to withdraw surplus volumes from the market and comes in addition to the programme worth up to €125 million € for fruit & vegetables that was announced on August 18, but suspended on September 10 because provisional applications showed that the full budget allocation had already been claimed. In order to be better targeted, the new scheme includes an annex outlining eligible volumes in individual Member States with specific figures per product group. These volumes are based on export volumes for this period in the last 3 years with amounts deducted to take account of volumes already claimed under the first €125 million scheme. The new plan also includes oranges, mandarins and clementines for the first time.
Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 0.3% in September 2014, down from 0.4% in August, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, services is expected to have the highest annual rate in September (1.1%, compared with 1.3% in August), followed by food, alcohol & tobacco (0.2%, compared with -0.3% in August), non-energy industrial goods (0.1%, compared with 0.3% in August) and energy (-2.4%, compared with -2.0% in August).
The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in August 2014, stable compared with July 2014, but down from 12.0% in August 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.1% in August 2014, the lowest value since February 2012. The rate was down from 10.2% in July 2014, and from 10.8% in August 2013. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented:
“The level of unemployment has been slowly decreasing in Europe over the last year, but remains unacceptably high. Almost 25 million jobseekers still cannot find work in the EU, including almost 5 million youngsters under the age of 25. By providing individual support at one of the most sensitive stages in life, the Youth Guarantee can ensure that every young person gets help to find either a decent job or the opportunity to find training, experience or learning relevant to getting a job in the future. The Youth Guarantee can therefore help make any economic recovery job rich. The European Commission and Member States have been working hard to make the Youth Guarantee a reality. The Milan Youth Summit on 8 October will be a further occasion to give high level political impetus to implementing the Youth Guarantee, and so to improve the lives of millions of young people.”
Mergers: Commission clears joint venture between Areva and Gamesa in off-shore wind turbine sector
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture by the Areva group of France and the Gamesa group of Spain. Areva and Gamesa will each contribute their activities in off-shore wind turbines production to the joint venture. Both groups produce and market power generation solutions. While Areva focuses on nuclear power and renewable energies, Gamesa focuses on renewable energies, in particular wind energy. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because the overlaps and relationships between the activities of Areva and Gamesa 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.7363 .
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of UBM by the Ortner Group and the Strauss Group
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of UBM Realitätenentwicklung Aktiengesellschaft by the Ortner Group and the Strauss Group, all of Austria. UBM develops real estate property. The Ortner Group is active in the building technology and industrial plant construction sectors. The Strauss Group is involved in own asset management and forest development. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, given the parties’ limited combined market positions resulting from the proposed 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.7373 .
State aid: Commission publishes non-confidential versions of decisions to open investigations into transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Apple (Ireland) and Fiat Finance and Trade (Luxembourg)
Today the Commission has published non-confidential versions of two decisions taken on 11 June 2014 to open in-depth investigations into transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Apple in Ireland and Fiat Finance and Trade in Luxembourg (see IP/14/663). The decision concerning Apple (in English) is available under the case number SA.38378 and the decision concerning Fiat Finance and Trade (in French) is available under the case number SA.38375 on the competition website.
The European Commission has today adopted three Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) to implement key provisions of the Regulation on Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs). These RTS set out disclosure requirements for CRAs on structured finance instruments; and reporting requirements for the European Rating Platform and on fees. These RTS were developed by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), drawing on its experiences as single supervisor for CRAs and taking into account the results of stakeholder consultations. They have now been endorsed by the European Commission and will be sent to the European Parliament and the Council who have one month to exercise their right of objection, with the possibility to extend – twice – this period for another month at their initiative. Following the expiry of this objection period, the RTS will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force on the twentieth day following the date of their publication.