EduBourseActualitésEuropean Commission - Midday Express of 2005-09-26

European Commission – Midday Express of 2005-09-26

News from the Press and Communication Directorate General’s midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Général Presse et Communication

President Barroso calls on the European Parliament to work closely with the European Commission to stimulate Europe-wide national debates on the future of Europe
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso offers the European Parliament to co-operate closely to make a contribution during the period of reflection, following the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands earlier this year.

Financial markets: first meeting of the re-established Inter-institutional Monitoring Group for financial services
The Inter-institutional Monitoring Group (IIMG) for financial services met for the first time on 15 September 2005. The Monitoring Group was re-established following an agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission in spring this year (see IP/05/1002). It has an extended mandate to assess the progress made on implementing the Lamfalussy process (see IP/02/195), now covering all relevant financial services areas (i.e. securities, banking, insurance, occupational pensions and UCITS). The meeting took place at the premises of the European Commission in Brussels. The launch of the Group was highlighted by inauguration speeches, given by Ms Pervenche Berès, Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in the European Parliament (ECON), Mr. Peter Curwen, Economic and Financial Counsellor, UK Permanent Representation, and Mr. Charlie McCreevy, Member of the European Commission. The speeches are available on the following website: http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/finances/cross-sector/index_en.htm

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Lynx by UPS
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Lynx Express Limited (“Lynx”), a UK-based parcel delivery company, by UPS (UK Holding) Limited (“UPS UK”), the UK-based subsidiary of the US company United Parcel Service, which is active world-wide in delivery services. After examining the operation carefully, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it and has therefore approved the acquisition.

Provision of deficit and debt data for 2004 – Euro-zone and EU25 government deficit at 2.7% and 2.6% of GDP respectively – Government debt at 70.8% and 63.4%
In 2004 the government deficit of the euro-zone and of the EU25 improved compared to 2003 and the government debt increased. In the euro-zone the government deficit decreased from 3.0% of GDP in 2003 to 2.7% in 2004, and in the EU25 it fell from 3.0% in 2003 to 2.6% in 2004. In the euro-zone the government debt to GDP ratio rose from 70.4% in 2003 to 70.8% in 2004, and in the EU25 from 63.0% to 63.4%. In this news release Eurostat is providing government debt and deficit data based on figures reported in the second 2005 notification by EU Member States for the years 2001-2004 for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). This notification is based on the ESA95 system of national accounts. This news release also includes data on government expenditure and revenue.
Rédiffusion

Déclaration de la Commission sur le résultat du referendum en Suisse concernant l’extension de l’accord sur la libre circulation des personnes aux nouveaux Etats membres de l’Union européenne
Le Président de la Commission Européenne a félicité aujourd’hui le Président de la Suisse Samuel Schmid est le peuple suisse d’approuver l’extension de l’accord sur la libre circulation des personnes aux nouveaux Etats membres ayant rejoint l’Union européenne en 2004. Ce résultat rend possible la poursuite de l’application de l’accord de 1999 sur la libre circulation des personnes, qui est un élément indispensable du cadre constitué par les accords bilatéraux conclus avec la Suisse. En commentant le référendum, le Président Barroso a déclaré: “Je me félicite vivement de la décision de la Suisse d’étendre le bénéfice de la libre circulation des personnes à tous les ressortissants de l’Union européenne. Ce vote démontre que la Suisse et l’Union européenne travaillent ensemble avec succès pour promouvoir l’intégration de nos peuples et de nos économies et pour renforcer la cohésion de l’Europe.” La libre circulation des personnes entre la Suisse et les nouveaux Etats membres de l’Union européenne va être mise en œuvre par le biais de mesures transitoires, similaires à celles dont disposent les anciens Etats membres. Par ailleurs, la Suisse bénéficiera de la clause de sauvegarde prévue par l’accord de 1999, qui s’applique jusqu’en 2014. En juin dernier, le peuple suisse a approuvé l’association de la Suisse à l’espace Schengen, prévoyant l’abolition des contrôles aux frontières et une coopération renforcée dans le domaine de la sécurité, ainsi que l’accord de Dublin, qui détermine le pays compétent en matière de demandes d’asile. Ensemble avec ces accords, l’accord sur la libre circulation avec la Suisse va permettre aux personnes une libre circulation dans un espace sans contrôles aux frontières intérieures. L’association de la Suisse à Schengen et Dublin devrait être effective d’ici trois ans.

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth inquiry into Omya’s purchase of J.M. Huber’s on-site paper mineral business
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation of Swiss-based Omya’s proposed acquisition of J.M. Huber’s On-site Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (“PCC”) Business. J.M. Huber, headquartered in the United States, is selling its twelve on-site PCC production facilities which were purpose built on paper mill sites to provide a ready supply of minerals used in paper production. Six of these plants are in the EEA, the rest are in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Russia. This case was originally referred to the Commission by the Finnish Competition Authority who considered the deal to have a European dimension. The Commission will investigate the markets for all carbonates supplied to the paper industry and not just those produced on-site. The analysis will cover the markets for paper filling and paper coating applications. The opening of this in-depth investigation does not in any way prejudge the final outcome. The Commission now has 90 working days (until 26th January 2006) to take a final decision on whether the concentration would significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area or a significant part of it.

Autre matériel diffusé
Speech by Vice-President Jacques Barrot at the Maritime Cyprus 2005 Conference on “EU Shipping Developments”
Speech by Siim Kallas on “Fighting for Four Freedoms”

EU civil protection assistance to United States after hurricane Katrina

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Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
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