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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 96-11-14

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

14/11/1996


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 13 novembre - Outcome of Commission's meeting of 13 November (voir aussi - see also Midday Express 13.11)

  • [01] European Union to be present at the 1998 Lisbon World Expo
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [02] Jacques Santer: "No return to 19th century Dickensian sweat-shops"
  • [03] Franchises voyageurs - La Commission propose des dérogations pour le Danemark, la Finlande et la Suède
  • [04] Programme d'action Tacis 1996 en faveur de l'Ukraine
  • [05] Comité consultatif de l'énergie: ouverture et transparence pour les actions et la politique énergétique
  • [06] Follow-up to Rio 1992 Environment Summit: Commission presents communication on the way forward
  • [07] Aerial photography: infringement proceedings against Belgium for excessive restrictions
  • [08] Sir Leon Brittan: "Time to push for a restart of talks on Chinese membership of WTO"
  • [09] Christos Papoutsis: "The Information Society is one of the most important challenges for the commerce and distribution sectors"
  • [10] Franz Fischler: "EU's position on food security"

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 13 novembre - Outcome of Commission's meeting of 13 November (voir aussi - see also Midday Express 13.11)

    [01] European Union to be present at the 1998 Lisbon World Expo

    The European Commission adopted on 13 November a communication proposing to the European Parliament and to the Council that the European Union should participate in the 1998 World Expo in Lisbon, Portugal. Some eight million visitors are expected at this exhibition, on the theme "The oceans, a heritage for the future". Running from 22nd May to 30th September, it will be the last international world exhibition of the 20th century.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [02] Jacques Santer: "No return to 19th century Dickensian sweat-shops"

    ( !!! embargo 2.30 pm !!!) Speaking at the 7th European Day of Commerce in Brussels today, organized by Eurocommerce, European Commission President Jacques Santer strongly expressed himself in favour of the 48-hour work rule upheld by the Court of Justice. "Yes, we need more flexible labour markets but not a return to the Dickensian sweat-shops of the 19th Century. Those who seem to say the less social regulation, the better it is for competitivity - do they mean no regulation at all ? A 48-hour week is a very long week - a minimum standard - which allows those who want to work more if they so wish. The Directive allows working time to be planned reasonably and flexibly. It is not disruptive and most employers say so." ( !!! embargo 2.30 pm !!!)

    [03] Franchises voyageurs - La Commission propose des dérogations pour le Danemark, la Finlande et la Suède

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition de directive pour autoriser le Danemark, la Finlande et la Suède à continuer à limiter les quantités de certaines boissons alcooliques et de certains produits de tabac achetés dans d'autres Etats membres et introduits sur leurs territoires par des particuliers pour leur propre usage. La proposition prévoit une augmentation progressive des quantités en question jusqu'au 30 juin 2002, date à laquelle la dérogation au régime commun expire.

    [04] Programme d'action Tacis 1996 en faveur de l'Ukraine

    La Commission européenne a approuvé le 13 novembre 1996, le Programme d'Action Tacis 1996 en faveur de l'Ukraine. Ce programme comprend une série d'actions dans trois domaines de coopération selectionnés, à savoir: la réforme et le développement des Institutions, le développement du secteur privé ainsi que la réforme et le développement du secteur énergétique. L'objectif commun de ces actions est d'aider et d'accélerer la transition de l'Ukraine vers une économie de marché. Le programme sera financé au moyen d'une aide de la Commission de 27,35 millions d'Ecus.

    [05] Comité consultatif de l'énergie: ouverture et transparence pour les actions et la politique énergétique

    La Commission européenne a décidé la création d'un Comité Consultatif de l'Energie en vue de garantir qu'à l'avenir les politiques et les actions communautaires dans le domaine de l'énergie soient développées dans un esprit d'ouverture et de transparence. La création de ce Comité Consultatif de l'énergie poursuit un double but: susciter des idées nouvelles sur la politique énergétique européenne et créer les bases d'un dialogue "informel institutionnalisé" permettant à la Commission de s'assurer du soutien du secteur lors de l'élaboration d'une décision.

    [06] Follow-up to Rio 1992 Environment Summit: Commission presents communication on the way forward

    The European Commission today unveiled a Communication called "A Common Platform" which proposes policy guidelines for the Union's preparation for the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (known as UNGASS) to be held in New York in June 1997. UNGASS will review the Agreements reached at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio Earth Summit). The Commission Communication takes stock of the progress made since Rio and sets out a number of areas where further action is needed to stop the continuing degradation of the global environment. It recognises that high-level political impetus is still needed to set more specific obligations in some areas. Furthermore, it proposes that more detailed commitments to protect forests should be one of the major outcomes of the Special Session. It highlights the need for global cooperation and increased assistance to developing countries and it encourages the "greening" of private investments as a means of ensuring sustainable development.

    [07] Aerial photography: infringement proceedings against Belgium for excessive restrictions

    In view of Belgium‘s refusal to allow companies or aircraft based in other Member States to undertake aerial photography over Belgian territory, the European Commission has decided to send Belgium a reasoned opinion (the second stage of formal infringement proceedings under Article 169 of the EC Treaty). The Commission considers the aerial photography restrictions violate EC Treaty rules on the freedom to provide services (Article 59) and the freedom of establishment (Article 52). In the absence of a satisfactory response to the reasoned opinion within 40 working days, the Commission could refer the case to the Court of Justice.

    [08] Sir Leon Brittan: "Time to push for a restart of talks on Chinese membership of WTO"

    The European Union is determined to restart negotiations on Chinese membership of the WTO in earnest. A serious initial offer is needed, and China must ensure that all countries are treated equally during the endgame of negotiations if consensus is to be achieved, says Trade Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan during a speech to the International Herald Tribune conference in Beijing today.

    [09] Christos Papoutsis: "The Information Society is one of the most important challenges for the commerce and distribution sectors"

    ( !!! embargo 2.30 pm !!!) Addressing the annual Conference "Retail and Distribution on the information highways", organised by Eurocommerce, Commissioner Christos Papoutsis said that on the eve of the 21st century commerce is confronted with important challenges, such as the introduction of the Euro, employment and competitiveness as well as the information society and in particular the electronic commerce. Mr Papoutsis emphasized that "we should not believe that the acceptance of the information technologies will be a panacea" for commerce and distribution, because despite the immediate benefits, "there will be a need for readjustment to the introduction of new methods of selling and new ways of organising business" and "if electronic commerce begins to acquire an important part of the market, a new division of the market will occur". The Commissioner also announced the forthcoming adoption by the European Commission of a Green Paper addressing these issues and launching a public debate and consultation, whith the objective of identifying and proposing the appropriate answers. ( !!! embargo 2.30 pm !!!)

    [10] Franz Fischler: "EU's position on food security"

    ( !!! embargo 5 pm !!!) Addressing the Family Farmers' Summit on World Food Security on the occasion of his participation in the World Food Summit in Rome today, Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Franz Fischler outlined the position of the EU on food security. The EU, one of the world's largest donors of food aid, has an important role to play in food security, but the complexity of the issue is such that "even if we limit ourselves simply to the agro-food elements of food security, we must ask ourselves whether we can at one and the same time pursue partly contradictory objectives, such as: greater market orientation, notably stock reduction, extensification of agriculture and more organic and quality farming, keeping as many people as possible on the land, reducing food prices for consumers ... and most important, help address the needs of the 800 million chronically undernourished people in the world." Mr Fischler stressed that there was no ready-made solution, but that the EU and its Member States would continue to play an active part in solving the problems of food security, an essential element of which was continuing the CAP reform. ( !!! embargo 5 pm !!!)

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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