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Libyan Newswire

Daily News 16 / 02 / 2015

Commission and European Investment Bank launch two financial tools for environment, energy efficiency, and climate action projects

Today, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launch two financial instruments to drive investment in energy efficiency, efforts to preserve natural capital, and adaptation to climate change. The objective is to unlock public and private investments by combining EIB loans with financing under the EU LIFE Programme for Environment and Climate Action. The first instrument – the Natural Capital Financing Facility – foresees a total budget of €100–125 million for 2014-2017 and will support viable nature and climate adaptation projects. The second instrument aims to increase private financing for energy efficiency projects. The Commission has committed €80 million for 2014-2017, anticipating an 8-fold leverage effect. Both mechanisms complement the Investment Plan for Europe, helping to remove market barriers by investing in projects with real added value for the European economy. Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy are participating in the official launch of these tools. A press release is available online. (for more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172; Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel. +32 229 56186; Iris Petsa – Tel.: +32 229 93321; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)




Commission and European Investment Fundcall on banks to sign up to a € 3bn loan scheme for Erasmus+ Master students

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have opened a call for banks to sign up to the new Erasmus+ Master Loans Guarantee Scheme. This scheme will see up to € 3 billion in loans provided for students completing a full Master’s degree abroad. A call for expression of interest just launched invites eligible financial institutions such as banks and student loan companies to offer the guarantee scheme in Member States. Loans will become available later in 2015 and are estimated to benefit up to 200,000 students by 2020. Welcoming the call, Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said: “The European Commission is firmly committed to ensuring the long-term success of Erasmus+ Master Loans to support talented young Europeans who want to study for a Master’s degree in another Erasmus+ programme country. I encourage banks across Europe to sign up to this new funding scheme. This will help us to offer young people more opportunities, enhancing their skills and fostering stronger economic growth.” The press release with more details on the scheme can be found on the EIF webpage. (for more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Bratoz – Tel.: +32 229 87278)

EU announces €156 million in humanitarian aid for the people of the Sahel region

The European Union is giving €156 million in assistance to the victims of the complex crises in the Sahel. The new aid was announced by EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides who is currently in Senegal, and will travel to Mali from there. In addition to alleviating malnutrition and food insecurity, these funds will also help meet the needs of people affected by conflict and epidemics. “Sahel is the poorest region in the world and must continue to be our high priority. We need to prevent acute malnutrition and food insecurity from becoming a norm in West Africa”, said Commissioner Stylianides. A press release is available online. (for more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69921; Irina Novakova – Tel.: +32 2 295 75 17)

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition by Siemens of rotating equipment manufacturer Dresser-Rand

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of rotating equipment manufacturer Dresser-Rand of the US by Siemens of Germany is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. Both companies supply turbo compressors as well as the engines which drive these compressors (“drivers”). The combination of a turbo compressor with a driver is called a turbo compressor train. For turbo compressor trains driven by aero-derivative gas turbines, the Commission has concerns that the proposed transaction may reduce competition for both components, namely turbo compressors and drivers as well as for turbo compressor trains. Furthermore, the Commission’s preliminary investigation also found possible competition concerns in the market for small steam turbines of less than 5 MW. The opening of an in-depth investigation does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 30 June 2015, to take a decision. Press release available here (for more information: Ricardo Cardoso +32 229 80100, Carolina Luna +32 229 68386)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of remaining shares in Italian DIY retailer Brico Business Cooperation by OBI of Germany

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of the remaining shares in Brico Business Cooperation Srl of Italy by OBI GmbH of Germany. Brico Business Cooperation – currently a joint venture of OBI and UNICOOP Firenze – operates and provides franchise services for more than 50 do-it-yourself stores under the trademark ‘OBI’ in Italy. OBI operates a franchise system for do-it-yourself stores in Europe under the same trademark. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because prior to the present transaction OBI had already joint control over Brico Business Cooperation together with UNICOOP Firenze. Furthermore, OBI does not have any business operations in Italy outside of its existing participation in Brico Business Cooperation. 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.7509 (for more information: Ricardo Cardoso +32 229 80100)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of IT services provider EVRY by private equity fund

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Evry ASA (“EVRY”), an IT service provider headquartered in Norway, by private equity funds whose investments are controlled by Apax Partners LLP (“APAX”), a private equity firm registered in the UK. Both EVRY and APAX provide various types of IT services. APAX also sells security software and enterprise application software (EAS), which are used as an input for IT services. The Commission concluded that neither the overlap in activities nor the vertical link would raise competition concerns because of the low combined market shares of EVRY and APAX. The case 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.7495 (for more information: Ricardo Cardoso +32 229 80100)

EUROSTAT: First estimate for 2014; Euro area international trade in goods surplus €194.8 bn; €24.2 bn surplus for EU28

The first estimate for the euro area (EA18) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in December 2014 gave a €24.3 billion surplus, compared with +€13.6 bn in December 2013. The November 20142 balance was +€21.2 bn, compared with +€16.5 bn in November 2013. In December 2014 compared with November 2014, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.1% and imports by 2.4%. A press release is available online. (for more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185, Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)



Preparation of Economic and Finance Ministers Council (ECOFIN)

On 17 February in Brussels, Vice-President Georgieva, Vice-President Dombrovskis, Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Moscovici will participate in the EU’s Council of Economic and Finance Ministers’ meeting. EU budgetary issues rank high on the meeting’s agenda. The Council is expected to set priorities for the 2016 EU budget and to adopt a recommendation to the European Parliament on the 2013 EU budget discharge. Further, the High Level Group on Own Resources will present to the Council its first assessment report on the EU budget’s own resources system. On the legislative work front, the Ministers will discuss the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The Commission stands ready to provide all the technical support needed to get the proposal adopted by the co-legislators swiftly. The Council is also due to adopt conclusions on the Annual Growth Survey, which sets out the overarching economic and social priorities for the EU for this year.Council’s conclusions are also expected for the Alert Mechanism Report (AMR), which provides an early warning on imbalances and identifies Member States warrant an in-depth review of their economies. (for more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 2 295 61 53; Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 2 295 05 95)