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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 96-12-10

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

10/12/1996


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission supports small and medium-sized enterprises in Finland with ECU 11 million
  • [02] Business and Consumer surveys - Increasing optimism among managers
  • [03] EU agrees strong new moves to control wildlife trade
  • [04] Chairman-in-office of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) visits the European Commission
  • [05] ECU 27.5 million of 1996 Tacis funding for Ukraine
  • [06] European broadcasters honoured in Dublin at first ECHO TV and radio awards

  • [01] Commission supports small and medium-sized enterprises in Finland with ECU 11 million

    The European Commission has approved a regional programme for developing small and medium-sized enterprises in Finland. Some ECU 11 million of EU- aid coming from the EU's structural funds will be provided over four years. Finnish public authorities will contribute ECU 7.6 million and the private sector ECU 9.2 million, thus bringing the total investment to about ECU 28 million. The aid comes under the Community Initiative "SME" and will center mainly on job creation.

    [02] Business and Consumer surveys - Increasing optimism among managers

    Industrial confidence continued its rise in almost all Member States. For the first time since October 1995 there is a majority of European manufacturing managers who saw their production augment in recent months. Construction confidence increased for the third consecutive month, reaching the highest level of the year. Consumer confidence as well as its components remained unchanged at the European level, with on the one hand increasing optimism in the United Kingdom and on the other increasing pessimism in Italy.

    [03] EU agrees strong new moves to control wildlife trade

    The Environment Council of Ministers of the European Union yesterday gave final approval to a new Regulation which will radically overhaul legislation relating to the EU's trade in wild animals and plants. The Regulation, to come into effect on 1 June 1997, will tighten controls and improve enforcement. "As one of the world's major consumers of wildlife and wildlife products, the EU must take its responsibilities for ensuring that trade is at sustainable levels" commented Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard. Simultaneously and jointly with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), she announced the launch of an EU-wide information and education programme designed to alert the public to the impact of trade on conservation and to the requirements of the new Regulation.

    [04] Chairman-in-office of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) visits the European Commission

    Mr Valdis Birkavs, Chairman-in-office of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia visited the European Commission on 9 and 10 December where he met Commissioners Hans van den Broek and Monika Wulf-Mathies. They reviewed progress in the Baltic Sea Region Cooperation since the Summit meeting of Heads of Government in Visby (Sweden) in May and the regular ministerial meeting in Kalmar (Sweden) in July this year. At these meetings, the Ministers agreed on persisting their fight against organised crime, on strengthening their cooperation in areas of democracy, on fostering regional economic development and on promoting the environment. The European Union supports this through its Phare and Tacis programmes for the transition countries and through the EUs Structural Funds as far as the EU Member States are concerned.

    [05] ECU 27.5 million of 1996 Tacis funding for Ukraine

    The 1996 Financing Memorandum for Ukraine was signed today in Brussels It confirms the financial commitment of ECU 27.5 million made to Ukraine under the 1996 Tacis Programme for the mainstream national projects. In addition, Ukraine will benefit from other Tacis Programmes such as Democracy, LIEN, City Twinning, Tempus, Nuclear Safety, EU/G7 Action Plan for Chernobyl to be covered by separate financing memoranda.

    [06] European broadcasters honoured in Dublin at first ECHO TV and radio awards

    The first ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Office) TV & Radio Award Ceremony was held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin last night in the presence of Mary Robinson, President of Ireland, Emma Bonino, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, and Joan Burton, Minister for Development at the Department of Foreign Affairs. The awards recognize the crucial role played by broadcasters and journalists in informing the public about increasing worldwide humanitarian needs in situations of conflict and natural disaster. The 18 shortlisted programmes were selected from over 220 entries from all 15 member states, in 6 categories which reflect the diverse areas in which ECHO funds are used and humanitarian aid takes place.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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