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Daily News 

30 / 01 / 2017

 

The European Union channels firefighting teams for Chile forest fires

EU support has been mobilised to support Chile following numerous wildfires that have caused multiple casualties and damages, particularly in central and southern areas of the country. The assistance comes as the Government of Chile issued an appeal for international help, activating the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism. Chile requested forest fire fighting teams, equipment and expertise. "The EU stands in full solidarity with the people and authorities of Chile as forest fires affect many parts of the country. Through our EU Civil Protection Mechanism, we have dispatched teams of firefighters and experts, at Chile's request, to help during these difficult times. Our thoughts are with all the people affected in the country and the national first responders. Let me thank all Member States who have offered their valuable support." said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. In response to the request for EU help, France, Portugal and Spain offered forest fighting teams and support, consisting of 65, 55 and 60 firefighters respectively. In addition, an EU Civil Protection team of eight experts in total from Spain, France, Sweden and Finland, as well as liaison officers from the Emergency Response Coordination Centre have been deployed to the country. (For more information: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi –  Tel.: +32 229 69140)

 

Investment Plan for Europe: EUR 200 million for SMEs in the Czech Republic

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Komerční banka have signed an InnovFin SME guarantee agreement to provide a EUR 200 million worth of loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in the Czech Republic. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. It is estimated that over 300 innovative SMEs will stand to benefit from this agreement over the next two years. European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “SMEs play a critical role in Czech Republic's economy. Today's agreement is yet another illustration that our strategy to support these SMEs with the financing solutions needed to innovate, grow and create jobs is working. I wish the SMEs that will access the finance provided by the Investment Plan every success.” A full press release is here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

 

Pologne: l'UE investit dans des connections routières stratégiques pour une meilleure cohésion territoriale

Plus de 530 millions d'euros du Fonds de Cohésion seront investis sur des sections routières stratégiques au Nord de la Pologne, dans le cadre de deux "grands projets". Le premier, dans lequel l'UE investit près de 463 millions d'euros, concerne des travaux de modernisation sur la section Gdańsk-Elbląg de la route nationale DK7, située sur le corridor Baltique-Adriatique du Réseau Transeuropéen de Transport (RTE-T) qui relie le Nord de l'Europe au Sud. Le second, doté de près de 68 millions d'euros du Fonds de Cohésion, consiste à rénover la section entre Wyszków et Białystok sur la route internationale E67 qui, ancrée sur le corridor RTE-T Mer du Nord-Baltique, relie l'Ouest de l'Europe au Nord-Est par Prague, Varsovie, Riga, Tallinn et Helsinki. "La politique de Cohésion investit stratégiquement pour améliorer la cohésion territoriale; grâce à ces projets, les citoyens polonais pourront plus  rapidement et facilement rejoindre les grands centres régionaux, y compris Varsovie. Nous pensons également aux voyageurs et investisseurs étrangers, car ces projets auront un impact positif sur le tourisme et le commerce avec les pays voisins; c'est l'économie européenne toute entière qui en bénéficiera," a déclaré la Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Creţu. En plus de la réduction des temps de trajets, ces travaux de rénovation garantiront plus de confort et de sécurité aux conducteurs. La section Gdańsk-Elbląg devrait être opérationnelle d'ici octobre 2018 et la section Wyszków et Białystok, d'ici juillet 2017. Plus d'informations sur les Fonds structurels et d'investissement européens en Pologne sont disponibles ici et sur la plateforme Open Data. (Pour plus d'informations: Jakub Adamowicz - Tél.: +32 229 50595; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr - Tél.: +32 229 56169)

 

WTO rules in favour of the EU in dispute on Russian duties on light commercial vehicles

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel declared as illegal the Russian anti-dumping duties that hinder exports of Italian and German light commercial vehicles (LCVs). The panel ruled that Russia failed to observe a number of WTO rules when introducing the anti-dumping duties in 2013, which range from 23% to nearly 30% and affect exports of Italian and German vehicles. This is just one example of multiple measures taken by Russia in the recent years against EU exports. "I am glad to see a very clear ruling by the WTO against one of the unfair, protectionist and anti-competitive measures that we see today in Russia. The duties on light commercial vehicles are not in line with commitments by Russia at the time it joined the WTO. Those measures now have to be removed. I hope to see Russia honouring its international obligations and respecting this ruling without delay", said Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. The panel agreed with the EU on all procedural claims and recognised several problems with the analysis by Russia that led to the introduction of duties. The parties have 60 days to appeal the decision. Otherwise, Russia will be expected to remove its anti-dumping duties on LCVs from the EU. A full press release is available online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Axel Fougner - Tel.: +32 229 57276)

 

Concentrations: la Commission approuve la création d'une entreprise commune par ArcelorMittal et Cellino

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations,  l'acquisition du contrôle en commun de l'entreprise italienne Steelcame par l'entreprise française ArcelorMittal et l'entreprise italienne Cellino. Steelcame est une entreprise nouvellement créée à laquelle ArcelorMittal et Cellino apporteront des actifs préexistants en France, en Italie et en Pologne, principalement dans le secteur de la tôle industrielle. ArcelorMittal est un groupe sidérurgique au niveau mondial. Cellino est actif dans la production de composants en acier de petite et moyenne tailles. La Commission a conclu que la concentration ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, étant donné que les entreprises ne sont présentes sur les mêmes marchés que de manière limitée et que de nombreux concurrents resteront présents dans les marchés concernés. La transaction 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 M.8159. (Pour plus d'information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Intel Security by TPG Capital

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Intel Security by TPG Capital, both of the United States. Intel Security designs and develops security solutions for servers, computers, smartphones and other devices. TPG Capital is part of TPG, a private investment firm that manages funds that invest in a variety of companies through acquisitions and corporate restructurings. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because Intel Security and TPG are not active on the same markets or on related markets. 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.8252. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Kaican Service Limited by Centerbridge Partners and Alpha Bank

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control of Kaican Services Limited of the UK, by Centerbridge Partners of the US and Alpha Bank of Greece. Kaican is a coordinator of debt management services, management information system services and recoveries. Centerbridge Partners is an investment management firm focused on private equity. Alpha Bank provides financial products and services, banking services, asset management and distribution of insurance products. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because there are no overlaps between the companies' activities. 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 8321. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Micheldever by Sumitomo

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Micheldever Group Ltd of the United Kingdom, by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Limited of Japan. Micheldever is mainly active as a wholesale and retail distributor of tyres in the United Kingdom. Sumitomo is active worldwide mainly as a manufacturer of tyres. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because it would not significantly change the market structure. 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.8292. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

EUROSTAT: Statistiques des finances publiques - Quelle est l'ampleur des engagements conditionnels et prêts improductifs dans les États membres de l'UE?

Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union européenne, publie aujourd'hui des informations sur les engagements conditionnels et prêts improductifs des administrations publiques pour l'année 2015. Ces données ont été fournies par les États membres de l'UE dans le contexte du renforcement de la gouvernance économique et fiscale européenne (“six pack”). Les engagements conditionnels publiés dans ce communiqué comprennent des données sur les garanties publiques, les passifs liés aux partenariats privé-public enregistrés hors bilan des administrations publiques ainsi que les passifs des entités contrôlées par l'État classées en dehors du secteur des administrations publiques (sociétés publiques). Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (For more information: For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Letizia Lupini Tel: +32 229 51958)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Mimica attended High Level Event on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia

Neven Mimica, Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development took part in the High Level Event on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia as a key speaker. The event was organised on the occasion of the 28th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on 29 January 2017. The event was co-chaired by Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Guterres, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Demeke Mekonnen. Commissioner Mimica said "Ethiopia has become a place of refuge for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing problems at home. We commend its open door policy despite the strains placed on Ethiopian hosting communities. The country also faces the challenge of climate change. Many millions of Ethiopians are suffering due to the current droughts and are in urgent need of food assistance. These are immense challenges that no community and no country can, or should, face alone. The governments of the Horn of Africa, and of the international community, must work better together. Unless we redouble and refocus our efforts, these problems will continue to place unacceptable burdens on the people and countries of this region." In the last two years, Ethiopia was hit by the worst drought of the past five decades, affecting more than 10 million people and tripling humanitarian needs within a year. In 2016, the European Union mobilised over €168.3 million for Ethiopia in response to El Niño and other humanitarian priorities. (For more information: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229-65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: +32 229 92256)

 

Commissioner Avramopoulos in Rome tomorrow

Tomorrow, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos will be in Rome where he will address the Constitutional Affairs, Foreign Affairs and European Affairs committees of the Chamber of Deputies and the Italian Senate in a joint parliamentary hearing. Discussions will focus on the current migratory challenges the EU and Italy are facing and measures to address them both internally and through enhancing relations with third countries. The hearing is scheduled to start at 13.30 and can be followed live here. Commissioner Avramopoulos will also meet with the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini and with the Chairs of the Constitutional Affairs, Foreign Affairs and European Affairs committees of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, respectively Mazziotti Di Celso, Fabrizio Cicchitto and Michele Bordo. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 80423)

 

 

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)