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Daily News

10 / 04 / 2017

 

EU Justice Scoreboard 2017: justice systems becoming more effective, but challenges remain

Commenting on today's presentation of the main findings of this year's EU Justice Scoreboard, Commissioner Jourová said: "The 5th edition of the EU Justice Scoreboard confirms that effective justice systems are essential to build trust in a business and investment-friendly environment in the single market. I encourage Member States to ensure that any justice reform respects the rule of law and judicial independence. This is key for citizens and businesses to fully enjoy their rights. An independent and well-functioning justice system is a fundamental pillar of every democracy." The EU Justice Scoreboard which gives a comparative overview of the efficiency, quality and independence of justice systems in the EU Member States. Its aim is to assist national authorities in their efforts to improve their justice systems by providing this comparative data. In this fifth edition, the Justice Scoreboard includes, for the first time, information on how consumers can access justice and data on the length of anti-money laundering cases. On the situation of judicial independence in Member States, this edition presents a new survey on the reasons for the perceived lack of independence of the justice system by citizens and companies and shows new data on safeguards for protecting judicial independence. The Commission also published today the results of Eurobarometers analysing the perceived independence of the national justice systems in the EU among the general public and among companies. You'll find more information in the press release, the full 2017 Scoreboard, the Q&A, the factsheet and the press conference.  (For more information: Christian Wigand – Tel: +32 229 62253; Melanie Voin – Tel: +32 229 58659)

 

L’Union européenne renforce son soutien au Tchad

Le Commissaire européen en charge de la coopération internationale et du développement Neven Mimica, en visite à N'Djamena, annonce un soutien supplémentaire de 100 millions d'euros. Le Commissaire Neven Mimica a fait la déclaration suivante: «Ce nouveau paquet de 100 millions d'euros témoigne de la détermination de l'Union européenne à aider le Tchad à faire face à la crise économique et budgétaire, ainsi que soutenir ses efforts de réforme et de lutte contre la pauvreté. Le Tchad est un partenaire important de l'Union européenne, il fait face à de nombreux défis et nous sommes à ses côtés.» Cet appui vise à soutenir des secteurs essentiels tels que la nutrition, la sécurité alimentaire et la résilience, l'agriculture durable, la gouvernance démocratique, la promotion de l'Etat de droit. Au cours de sa visite, le Commissaire Neven Mimica va également signer un engagement financier relatif à la gestion des aires protégées et des écosystèmes fragiles pour un montant de 33 millions d'euros issus du Fonds Européen de Développement. Un second engagement financier concerne un projet pour l'insertion socio-professionnelle des jeunes pour un montant de 10.3 millions d'euros, issus du Fonds fiduciaire d'urgence pour l'Afrique et mis en œuvre à travers l'Agence Française de Développement. (Pour plus d'information: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: + 32 229 92256)

 

Commission publishes latest round report and EU proposals for trade agreement with Mercosur

The Commission today published as part of its commitment to a more transparent trade and investment policy – a report summarising the progress made during the latest round of negotiations for a trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), which took place in Buenos Aires during the week of 20 March. During the round, the EU tabled textual proposals on trade and sustainable development, transparency, access to energy and raw materials, an annex on technical barriers to trade in the automotive sector, and a proposal on agriculture including provisions on bilateral and multilateral cooperation, wine and spirits, and other topics. These proposals are now also available online on DG Trade's Transparency in Action portal. The latest round of negotiations included meetings in working groups covering 15 different areas. Parties also agreed to merge their proposals into consolidated texts and, in the area of competition, reached provisional agreement on a full text. After the round, the EU and Mercosur also published a joint communiqué, which is available here. Both sides agreed to hold an inter-sessional round in Buenos Aires at the end of May. The next full round is scheduled before the summer break. More information on the EU-Mercosur talks is available on the website of DG Trade. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Axel Fougner - Tel.: +32 229 57276)

 

Mergers: Commission clears 21st Century Fox's proposed acquisition of Sky under EU merger rules

The European Commission has approved unconditionally under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Sky by Twenty-First Century Fox, a US-based diversified global media company. The proposed transaction would combine Sky plc (Sky), the leading pay-TV operator in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the UK and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc (Fox), one of the six major Hollywood film studios (20th Century Fox), as well as a TV channel operator (Fox, National Geographic). The Commission found that the proposed transaction would lead to only a limited increase in Sky's existing share of the markets for the acquisition of TV content as well as in the market for the wholesale supply of TV channels in the relevant Member States. Given that the merging companies are mainly active at different levels of the market, the Commission's assessment focused on whether, as a result of the proposed transaction: (a) Fox would be able to prevent or significantly limit access by Sky's competitors to its films and other TV content, as well as to its TV channels, (b) Sky would have the incentive to cease purchasing content from Fox's competitors and (c) Sky could prevent competing channels from accessing its platform. Based on the results of its market investigation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns. As the Commission's findings concern solely the competition aspects of the proposed transaction, today's clearance decision is without prejudice to the UK's ongoing media plurality review of the proposed transaction. A full press release is available online in EN, FR and DE (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Delta Lloyd by NN Group in Dutch insurance sector

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control over Delta Lloyd N.V. by NN Group N.V., both of the Netherlands. Delta Lloyd and NN are insurance companies that provide company pension schemes, individual life insurance policies and non-life insurance. They are both also active in banking and asset management.  The Commission's investigation focused particularly on the possible effects on competition in pensions in the Netherlands, where the companies have the strongest market position. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns either in this or any of the other areas where the companies' activities overlap in insurance and insurance distribution in the Netherlands and Belgium. In the Dutch pensions market, the Commission found that the new entity would continue to face competition from both other major insurance companies and from other pension providers. This is partly due to recent changes on the Dutch pensions market, which have increased competition by allowing a range of new actors to offer pension solutions. In all other areas, the Commission concluded that the merged entity would continue to face significant competition, and that the transaction would not have any detrimental effect on consumer choice. Following notification of the transaction to the Commission, the Dutch authorities requested a referral of the case to the Dutch Competition Authority. As the transaction does not give rise to any competition concerns, the legal grounds for referral are not met and the Commission therefore rejected the referral request. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8257.  (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Żabka Polska by CVC Capital Partners

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Żabka Polska S.A. of Poland by CVC Capital Partners of Luxembourg. Żabka Polska S.A. operates a franchise network of grocery retail stores in Poland. CVC Capital Partners is a private equity company. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because the companies are not active in the same markets and because market shares in all vertically linked markets remain 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.8428. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni - Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

L'Union européenne et l'Algérie renforcent leurs relations dans le domaine de l’énergie

Le 11 Avril, le Commissaire européen chargé de l'Action pour le climat et de l'Energie Miguel Arias Cañete rencontra à Bruxelles le Ministre algérien de l'Energie M. Noureddine Boutarfa. Ils discuteront du Partenariat Stratégiquesur l'énergie entre l'Union européenne et l'Algérie. Le Commissaire Miguel Arias Cañete a déclaré, avant la rencontre : «Le Partenariat stratégique euro-algérien sur l'énergie a été lancé il y a deux ans lors de ma première visite à Alger et est maintenant une composante permanente et structurelle des relations euro-algériennes. L'UE et l'Algérie sont dans une relation d'interdépendance: l'Europe s'appuie sur le gaz algérien pour sa sécurité d'approvisionnement et l'Algérie compte sur le marché européen pour la sécurité de la demande. Mais l'Algérie a également un grand potentiel dans les domaines des énergies renouvelables et de l'efficacité énergétique. L'UE est fortement engagée à soutenir l'Algérie dans ces domaines politiques.» Le Partenariat Stratégique UE-Algérie prévoit une coopération dans les domaines du gaz naturel et du pétrole brut ainsi que de l'électricité, des énergies nouvelles et renouvelables, de l'efficacité énergétique et du développement des infrastructures. Dans le cadre de ce partenariat le premier Forum d'Affaires Euro-Algérien sur l'énergie a eu lieu en mai 2016. Lors de la réunion de demain le Commissaire Arias Cañete et le ministre Boutarfa examineront les progrès qui ont été faits depuis lors dans la coopération sur l'énergie, surtout en ce qui concerne les investissements européens dans la production et l'approvisionnement de gaz et le secteur de l'énergie renouvelable en Algérie. Un coin VIP aura lieu le 11 Avril à 11:30 CET au Berlaymont avec le Commissaire et le Ministre algérien de l'Energie, il sera retransmis par Europe by Satellite. (Pour plus d'informations: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tél.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tél.: +32 229 52589)

 

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