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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-03-05

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

05/03/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

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

  • [01] La Commission adopte le paquet des prix agricoles pour 1997/98
  • [02] Commission proposal on joint action for temporary protection of displaced persons
  • [03] Commission asks Council to approve ITA
  • [04] Commission adopts an action plan on satellite communications in the Information Society
  • [05] ECU 80 million for industrial restructuring in The Netherlands
  • [06] La Commission appuie la restructuration industrielle au Grand-Duché du Luxembourg
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [07] Franz Fischler to lead on EU trade delegation to Japan
  • [08] EU aid to support Romania's reform package
  • [09] Commission supports expedition to MN Derbyshire wreck in order to determine the cause of the accident

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

    [01] La Commission adopte le paquet des prix agricoles pour 1997/98

    La Commission européenne a adopté ses propositions de prix agricoles pour 1997/98. À quelques petites exceptions près, les propositions reconduisent les dispositions existantes concernant les prix et les organisations de marché dans la ligne de la politique de stabilité qui est appliquée depuis la réforme de 1992. Les ajustements mineurs concernent notamment: la réduction des majorations mensuelles concernant les prix d'intervention des céréales et du riz et le remboursement des frais des stockage du sucre pour tenir compte de la baisse des taux d'intérêt; le taux de l'aide retenue pour la promotion du lin doit être fixé à 0 pour tenir compte du fait que le fonds recueille des sommes plus importantes que celles nécessaires pour les actions de promotion et l'aide totale par hectare est réduite du même montant; enfin l'aide par hectare pour le chanvre est réduite de 7,5% pour éviter que le chanvre ne devienne plus intéressant que le lin du fait que l'aide pour le lin a été réduite. L'impact budgétaire de toutes ces propositions se traduit par une économie de 82 millions d'écus pour 1998. Il convient de noter que la Commission a déjà proposé une réduction de l'aide en faveur des cultures arables, qui devrait dégager une somme de 1,4 milliard d'écus destinée au financement des mesures d'urgence en faveur de la viande bovine en 1998, à considérer en liaison avec le paquet des prix. Il est intéressant de relever qu'un certain nombre de rapports et de propositions dont il aurait normalement fallu traiter avec le paquet des prix sont déjà devant le Conseil et le Parlement européen, à savoir les rapports sur le tabac et l'huile d'olive, les modifications applicables au blé dur, les mesures en faveur du miel, les ajustements du régime applicable à la graine de lin, la réforme du régime vitivinicole, des adaptations du régime applicable à la banane et des mesures en faveur du secteur de la pomme de terre.

    [02] Commission proposal on joint action for temporary protection of displaced persons

    The European Commission proposed to the Council of Ministers a joint action on temporary protection of displaced persons. This joint action aims at creating a framework for common decision making between Member States regarding the opening up, prolongation and phasing out of temporary protection regimes as well as establishing a minimum threshold as regards rights and benefits for the persons under temporary protection. There is currently no common approach among Member States in this area. The recent mass influx of people fleeing from the conflicts in former Yugoslavia has clearly demonstrated the need for increased co-operation.

    [03] Commission asks Council to approve ITA

    An important step has been taken towards the adoption of a worldwide Information Technology Agreement (ITA), following the presentation of offers by a considerable number of countries in Geneva over the weekend. This paves the way for the conclusion of an historic tariff-cutting package by the end of March. The European Commission has today approved the terms of the agreement which will boost jobs and give industry access to the best technology at the lowest prices. The deal will now recommend to the Council of Ministers. The outline of an ITA deal was agreed among WTO countries at their Ministerial meeting in Singapore last December, but they left several issues outstanding. Firstly, they decided to continue working until countries representing 90% of the world IT trade were on board. This target has now been exceeded. Secondly, the EU and US decided to negotiate between themselves a balanced additional acceleration of tariff cuts in semi-conductors and other areas. This, too, has been achieved: the EU will cut semi-conductor tariffs in three stages by 1999, and the US will eliminate tariffs on ECU 2.3 billion worth of EU exports in July this year. As a result, the EU semi-conductor industry will become a full participant in the agreement reached between US and Japan semi-conductor companies. Technical verification of offers will be made in mid-March before formal conclusion of the negotiations in Geneva on March 26.

    [04] Commission adopts an action plan on satellite communications in the Information Society

    The European Commission has adopted an action plan which aims to improve significantly Europe's role in the provision of global satellite communications services and applications. The action plan has been coordinated closely with Europe's satellite industry, satellite operators, service providers, equipment manufacturers and users. The actions aim to focus the European industrial potential on the new generation of global satellite systems, advanced services and innovative applications which meet key user requirements in the global Information Society, namely personal mobility, fast response times, global connectivity and access to the broadband evolution of Internet. The action plan foresees a close public- private partnership effort between the Commission, Member States and all the related industry and service provision sectors.

    [05] ECU 80 million for industrial restructuring in The Netherlands

    The European Commission grants ECU 79.43 million in aid from European Union's Structural Funds for the restructuring of the industrial region of Twente in the Netherlands. This aid will be awarded in the context of a new programme launched under Objective 2 (economic conversion of industrial regions in decline). It will be used, among other things, to create some 2, 600 jobs. Furthermore 2,514 people at management level, 10,387 employees and 1,043 unemployed people will be trained. The aid will come from two sources: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will contribute ECU 50.84 million while ECU 28.59 million will come from the European Social Fund (ESF). It is estimated that the Community allocation will trigger a total investment of ECU 244 million, of which the private co-financing is estimated to be ECU 27 million.

    [06] La Commission appuie la restructuration industrielle au Grand-Duché du Luxembourg

    La Commission européenne a accordé 9,84 millions d'Ecus provenant des Fonds structurels communautaires pour la reconversion industrielle de la région d'Esch-sur-Alzette et Capellen, au Grand-Duché du Luxembourg. Le programme pour lequel la Commission vient de donner son accord permettra la création de 700 à 900 emplois directs. Les priorités du programme sont l'innovation dans les entreprises, la stimulation du développement et la diversification des structures et des activités économiques, la protection et l'amélioration de l'environnement et le soutien à la stabilité et à la croissance de l'emploi régional.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [07] Franz Fischler to lead on EU trade delegation to Japan

    The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Franz Fischler will lead a trade delegation made up of 19 senior executives of European Union (EU) food companies to Japan (6-11 March) with a view to increasing the EU's food exports there. This is the first time an EU Commissioner of Agriculture has engaged in this type of activity and Mr Fischler has taken the initiative to highlight the need for food companies to become more active in the promotion and development of export markets in particular for high quality value added products. During the visit Mr Fischler and the delegation will hold discussions with Government Ministers, officials and a wide range of organisations such as trading houses and will culminate in the opening of en EU stand at the Foodex '97 exhibition on March 11th in Tokyo. Japan already represents an important food and drinks export market for the EU, accounting for over ECU 3 billion of exports each year. Five key sectors have been selected for this mission including dairy products, meat and meat products, wines and spirits, certain horticultural products and olive oil.

    [08] EU aid to support Romania's reform package

    Commissioner Hans van den Broek will make a two-day visit to Romania Thursday 6 and Friday 7 March 1997 to endorse the government's bold reform package which has been worked out with the IMF and World Bank. Meetings are foreseen with President Constantinescu, Prime Minister Ciorbea, Minister for Foreign Affairs Severin, Minister for European Integration Herlea, other Ministers and representatives of the Parliament.

    [09] Commission supports expedition to MN Derbyshire wreck in order to determine the cause of the accident

    The second phase of the expedition to re-examine the wreck of the Derbyshire, the British bulk carrier lost in the Pacific in 1980, with its whole British crew, will begin on 6th March, when the cruise of RV Thompson departs the port of Guam for a 47 days survey. A team of European experts using the most advanced technology made available and operated by experts of the National Research Foundation of the USA, will undertake sonar and photographic survey of the 1.5 km by 1 km wreckage field identified by the first expedition jointly organised by the International Transport Federation and the Association of the Families of the victims (DFA). The information collected will form the data base from the European Assessors, acting on behalf of both the UK Department of Transport and the European Commission, will seek to determine the cause of the loss of the vessel.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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