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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 96-06-24

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: HR-Net News Distribution Manager <dist@hri.org>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

24 / 06 / 1996


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] First meeting of high level group on taxation
  • [02] The European Union and Uzbekistan signed a partnership and cooperation agreement
  • [03] Ritt Bjerregaard: Better public transport is needed in European cities to counter air pollution from cars
  • [04] Ritt Bjerregaard on trade and environment

  • [01] First meeting of high level group on taxation

    Mario Monti, Commissioner for the Single Market and Taxation, will chair today in Brussels the first meeting of the High Level Group on Taxation in the European Union. The Group, composed of Personal Representatives of Finance Ministers, will assist the Commission in developing a new approach to taxation policy in the Union in the light of the discussion at the informal meeting of Ecofin Ministers in Verona on April 13.

    [02] The European Union and Uzbekistan signed a partnership and cooperation agreement

    The European Union and Uzbekistan signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement on 21 June in Florence after a second round of negotiations. This agreement provides for cooperation in a wide range of areas, covering relations in virtually all domains except military and security questions and for a political dialogue.

    [03] Ritt Bjerregaard: Better public transport is needed in European cities to counter air pollution from cars

    Speaking to the Citizens Network Forum in Brussels today, Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard recalled that, during the summer of 1994 alone, more than 1,200 deaths in Belgium were said to be attributed to excessive ozone in the lower atmosphere. This type of pollution is largely caused by emissions from cars. "It is no longer possible to promote the private car and public transport in urban areas at the same time if we wish to meet the need for mobility and at the same time achieve a better quality of life. There are many examples in Europe of Mayors or transport managers who, from Strasbourg to Leeds and Copenhagen via Freiburg, Amsterdam and Göteborg, have taken courageous decisions to make alternatives to the private car a priority in urban transport policy. These decisions have often led to short term electoral unpopularity followed by a recovery of votes as it becomes apparent that the policy can meet the mobility needs and bring improvements in quality of life. Public transport should be allowed to provide a more frequent, more regular service and quicker journey times. This is the wish of the users' associations and it is simple."

    [04] Ritt Bjerregaard on trade and environment

    !!! embargo 2 pm !!! Speaking at the conference on EU Policy and Global Trade and Environment in Brussels today, Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard emphasized that there is no inherent conflict between trade and environment: (i) If effective environmental policies are implemented, trade liberalisation should result in increased economic and environmental efficiency; (ii) Environmental protection can have a positive impact on competitiveness and employment; (iii) WTO rules are not an obstacle to the implementation of policies and measures aiming at a high level of environmental protection. "The EU wants results for Singapore Ministerial Conference in December", Mrs Bjerregaard said. "We believe that the report the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) has to submit to Singapore should contain action-oriented recommendations, particularly on two items: trade measures pursuant to multilateral environmental agreements and ecolabelling. This is important not only from an environmental perspective, but also to avoid conflicts which might be politically devastating for the WTO." !!! embargo 2 pm !!!

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://www.cec.lu/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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