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European Commission – Midday Express of 2005-09-06

News from the Press and Communication Directorate General’s midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Général Presse et Communication

Commission moves forward in assisting Benghazi HIV-AIDS sufferers
The European Commission signed yesterday a Memorandum of Understanding with the Libyan authorities and will start work immediately to implement an Action Plan to provide urgent policy advice and technical support to the Libyan health authorities and upgrade the capacity of the Benghazi Centre for Infectious Diseases and Immunology (BCIDI) to international standards. EU and Libyan experts will hold their first operational meeting today. The “HIV Action Plan for Benghazi” was launched by the EU in November 2004 and is being implemented by the Libyan authorities with support from the Commission and EU Member States.

“Europe Cares” – European Commission launches information campaign on its support to the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals)
In the run-up to the UN’s World Summit on 14 September, the European Commission has launched an information campaign on the internet and through audiovisual spots to promote the EU’s support to the Millennium Development Goals. The European Commission has launched a temporary website and will show audiovisual spots on major European airlines and on the TV news channel Euronews during September. The spots will be shown in 6 languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish) and feature themes such as health, education, poverty and environmental sustainability. The website displays the European Union’s policy priorities in supporting the MDGs: additional funds, improved policy-coherence and coordination and increased speed of aid delivery. The website also displays the state of achievement of the MDGs, shows examples of EU aid projects and features an open forum for debate.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Ruhrgas Industries by CVC Capital Partners S.a.r.l.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Ruhrgas Industries of Germany, a group of companies mainly active in the manufacture and sale of meters for gas, electricity and water consumption, and in the supply of related services, by CVC Capital Partners S.a.r.l. of Luxembourg. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

L’apprentissage tout au long de la vie en Europe en 2003 – Dans l’UE25, 42% des personnes âgées de 25 à 64 ans ont participé à une activité d’apprentissage
En 2003, 42% de la population de l’UE25 âgée de 25 à 64 ans ont participé à au moins une activité d’éducation, de formation ou d’apprentissage au cours des douze mois précédents. Pour 4% d’entre eux, il s’agissait d’éducation formelle, pour 17%, d’éducation non formelle et près d’une personne sur trois a déclaré avoir suivi une forme d’apprentissage informel. S’il convient de noter que plus de 10% des personnes ont pris part à plus d’un type d’activité d’apprentissage, les données montrent cependant que 58% des citoyens de l’UE25 n’en ont suivi aucun. Ces données sont extraites d’une publication d’Eurostat, qui présente les principales statistiques sur l’apprentissage tout au long de la vie dans les 25 États membres de l’UE, sur la base des résultats d’un module ad hoc inclus dans l’enquête européenne sur les forces de travail de 2003.

July 2005 compared to July 2004 – Volume of retail trade stable in the euro-zone – Up by 0.9% in EU25
In July 2005, compared to July 2004, the volume of retail trade remained stable in the euro-zone and grew by 0.9% in the EU25. Compared to June 2005, the retail sales index fell by 0.5% in the euro-zone and by 0.2% in the EU25. In July 2005, compared to July 2004, retail trade of “food, drinks and tobacco” dropped by 1.0% in the euro-zone, but gained 0.5% in the EU25. The non food sector increased by 0.5% and 1.2% respectively. These first estimates are released by Eurostat.

Commission clears acquisition of Neumayer by Barclays Bank
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Neumayer Tekfor GmbH (Neumayer) of Germany by Barclays Private Equity Ltd, controlled by Barclays Bank Plc of the UK. Barclays Bank Plc is a UK based financial services provider. It controls investment funds, holding a number of portfolio companies in various industries, including several suppliers of the car industry. Neumayer designs and manufactures forged steel components and assemblies (for example nuts and bolts and camshafts) for the car industry. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission clears acquisition of Moeller by DHC
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Moeller Holding GmbH (Moeller) of Germany by Doughty Hanson & Co. Ltd. (DHC) of the UK. DHC is a private equity fund manager managing a number of private equity investment funds on behalf of institutional and private investors. Moeller is engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of electrical engineering devices and systems, including low-voltage electrical distribution devices for commercial, industrial and residential use (switchboards, fuses, circuit breakers etc.) and low-voltage automation devices (push buttons, switches, ignitions etc.). The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission clears acquisition of SGK by WestLB, NordLB, Shinsei and Flowers
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of newly created company SGK Servicegesellschaft Kreditmanagement (SGK) of Germany by WestLB AG, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale AöR (NordLB), both of Germany, Shinsei Bank Ltd. (Shinsei) of Japan and J.C.Flowers & Co., LLC (Flowers) of the US. WestLB is the central institution of the savings banks in North Rhine-Westphalia and Brandenburg and an international universal bank, offering products and services in the areas of asset management, corporate, private and investment banking. NordLB is the State Bank for the German Länder of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt and an international commercial bank which is mainly active in investment, agricultural and real estate banking, corporate finance and private banking. Shinsei is a Japanese commercial bank active in investment and retail banking. Flowers is a US domiciled private partnership focussing on private equity investments, including the acquisition, management and sale of investments in companies. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission clears acquisition of MLP Life by Clerical Medical
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of MLP Lebensversicherung AG (MLP-Life) of Germany by Clerical Medical International Holdings B.V. (Clerical Medical) of the Netherlands. MLP Life is an insurance company offering life insurance policies in Germany. It currently belongs to MLP AG, a German financial advisory group. Clerical Medical is a holding company belonging to HBOS, an international bank and financial services group. HBOS’ activities in the insurance sector are mainly carried out in the UK. Its presence in the German and Austrian markets is very limited. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.


Joint Statement of the 8th EU-China Summit
The eighth China-EU Summit was held in Beijing on 5 September 2005. Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of China attended the meeting on behalf of the People’s Republic of China. The EU was represented by the President of the European Council, Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK, President of the European Commission, Mr. José Manuel Barroso, and Secretary General of the Council of the EU and High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, Mr. Javier Solana.

European Commission gives further €9 million for Afghan parliamentary and provincial elections
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, today announced her intention to make available €9 million in additional funding for the Afghan parliamentary and provincial elections. With elections less than 2 weeks away, the election budget still faces a shortfall and the additional contribution of the European Commission (EC) will cover most of the remaining financing needs for the elections. Closing this gap is essential to ensure that the elections can proceed smoothly, with adequate election staff and security around polling stations as planned.

Florence Forum discusses state of the internal electricity market
On 1–2 September, the European Electricity Regulatory Forum, known as the Florence Forum, held its 12th meeting. The Forum gave Commissioner Piebalgs, who participated for the first time, the opportunity to listen first hand to the views of all stakeholders regarding the functioning of the electricity markets and potential improvement to the regulatory framework. “Europe has set itself an ambitous challenge in the area of energy policy”, he said. “the Florence Forum plays an important role in ensuring that all stakeholders are fully involved in the process of developing detailed rules that enable the market to function in practice. Whilst much has been achieved, more remains to be done. Today made another small but significant step forward, notably on the allocation of capacity for transport of electricity between EU Member States and improving the security and reliability of networks help to avoid blackouts

Autre matériel diffusé

Speech by Commissioner Peter Mandelson on « Challenges and opportunities for EU and China in the age of Globalisation » in Beijing

Discours de Vladimir Spidla à la Rencontre avec la China Academy of Social Science à Pekin

Discours de Louis Michel à la Conférence FMLSTM à Londres

Speech by Stavros Dimas on Recent Environmental disasters at the Plenary Session, European Parliament

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