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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 96-11-13

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

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

13/11/1996


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] La Commission lance un plan d'action de 50 millions d'Ecus pour la recherche sur l'ESB et les maladies à prions
  • [02] Commission will not admit genetically modified maize without scientific advice
  • [03] Commission approves draft negotiating mandate for accession to a new- look Eurocontrol
  • [04] Commission proposes strategy to remove technical barriers to trade for European exporters
  • [05] La Commission a proposé de renouveler les enveloppes de prêts de la BEI aux pays tiers
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [06] Phare and Tacis democracy programme 1996
  • [07] Conference on the role of the media in the peace process in ex- Yugoslavia

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] La Commission lance un plan d'action de 50 millions d'Ecus pour la recherche sur l'ESB et les maladies à prions

    Face aux risques graves que fait peser le développement de l'encéphalopathie spongiforme bovine (ESB) sur la santé humaine, un effort de recherche déterminé, associant les meilleures équipes au niveau européen, apparaît particulièrement urgent. C'est pourquoi la Commission européenne a décidé de lancer un plan d'action de recherche sur l'ensemble des encéphalopathies spongiformes transmissibles (EST), qui regroupent l'ESB et les autres maladies à prions, dont la maladie de Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Reprenant les priorités de recherche identifiées par le rapport du groupe Weissmann, ce plan devrait être doté d'un budget de 50 millions d'Ecus, dont 35 issus d'un complément financier au 4ème programme-cadre européen de recherche que devront approuver le Conseil des Ministres et le Parlement européen.

    [02] Commission will not admit genetically modified maize without scientific advice

    The European Commission postponed its decision on whether or not to authorize the placing on the market of genetically modified maize awaiting the opinions of three Scientific Committees: the Scientific Committee on Food, the Scientific Committe on Animal Nutrition and the Scientific Committee for Pesticides. The Scientific Committees were regrettably not able to deliver their opinion in full before the Commission's meeting today. In the light of the widespread public and political debate on the issue the Commission maintains that it will not take any decision in this field without a full scientific picture. The Commission expects to deal with the question at one of its meetings in December.

    [03] Commission approves draft negotiating mandate for accession to a new- look Eurocontrol

    The European Commission approved a draft negotiating mandate for the Community's accession to the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation known as Eurocontrol. This approach by the Commission is the logical follow-up to the White Paper on Air Traffic Management: "Freeing Europe's Airspace", adopted in March. The organisation of air traffic management is a major factor in flight delays and one of the cost-burdens on air carriers that the Commission is pledged to reduce as part of its commitment to the liberalisation of Europe's civil aviation sector. However, the draft accession mandate, in line with institutional changes already being discussed by ECAC - the European Civil Aviation Conference - presupposes changes to Eurocontrol enabling it to implement decisions more quickly.

    [04] Commission proposes strategy to remove technical barriers to trade for European exporters

    In an effort to simplify the red tape that can stifle companies exporting and investing outside the European Union, the European Commission is taking a strategic overview of all the different worldwide standards, regulations and approval regimes that exporters face when selling to foreign markets. Sectors ranging from vehicles, foodstuffs, telecoms to pharmaceuticals face a barrage of competing and often conflicting standards set by different countries and bodies without sufficient coordination. In a Communication to the Council, the Commission recommends that standard-setting be made a high priority in upcoming negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at Singapore in December, as well as when China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other countries join the WTO. The Commission also lays out a forward looking agenda for international harmonisation of regulations. And it also suggests that Mutual Recognition Agreements of the kind being negotiated between the European Union and the USA, which enable one country to export without facing bursensome approval procedures at home and abroad, might ultimately be negotiated among regions rather than just bilaterally.

    [05] La Commission a proposé de renouveler les enveloppes de prêts de la BEI aux pays tiers

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition de renouvellement global des mandats de la Banque Européenne d'Investissement (BEI) pour l'octroi de prêts aux pays tiers pour la période 1997-1999 et pour un montant de 6.825 millions d'Ecus. Pour les régions concernées, cela représente une augmentation globale d'environ 12,5% par rapport à la moyenne des prêts des trois dernières années. Les propositions de la Commission portent sur les garanties de prêts accordées par le budget communautaire pour les enveloppes BEI dans les pays d'Europe centrale et orientale, les pays méditerranéens et les pays d'Asie, d'Amérique latine et d'Afrique du Sud. Les mandats de la Banque pour ces régions arrivaient à échéance dans les prochains mois et pour la plupart fin 1996. La proposition de la Commission repose sur l'hypothèse que ces prêts seront à l'avenir garantis par le budget communautaire à hauteur de 65%. Cela tient compte des conclusions du Conseil Ecofin du 14 octobre qui envisageait des garanties comprises dans une fourchette de 65 à 75%. Les nouveaux mandats feront l'objet d'une décision du Conseil selon l'article 235.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [06] Phare and Tacis democracy programme 1996

    The European Commission decided to grant aid to 50 projects submitted by non-governmental organisations under the Phare and Tacis Democracy Programme 1996: 20 projects in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, 25 projects in the New Independent States and Mongolia, and 5 inter- regional projects are to receive a total of ECU 3,5 million from the Phare budget and a total of ECU 3,7 million from the Tacis budget. The Democracy Programme forms part of the European Democracy Initiative of the European Parliament. It seeks to support the activities and efforts of non- governmental bodies promoting a stable open society and good governance and focuses support on the difficult or contentious aspects of political reform and democratic practice, where local advocacy bodies are weak and where professional expertise is particularly lacking.

    [07] Conference on the role of the media in the peace process in ex- Yugoslavia

    On the initiative of External Relations Commissioner Hans van den Broek, a conference on the role of the media in strengthening the peace process in Ex-Yugoslavia will be organized in Brussels, Friday 29 November 1996. The conference will be chaired by Mr Leo Tindemans, Member of the European Parliament, and is organized with the support of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the International Federation of Journalists. Journalists from the countries which are signatory to the Dayton/Paris peace agreements will be present as well as journalists and media experts from EU Member States and other countries.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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