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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-03-07

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

07/03/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Renault: statement by Padraig Flynn, European Commissioner with responsibility for Employment and Social Affairs
  • [02] L'inflation annuelle de l'UE s'établit à 2,2% en janvier
  • [03] EU threatens WTO action on US textile rules
  • [04] Mario Monti: "Making the Single Market Work - the Next Steps"

  • [01] Renault: statement by Padraig Flynn, European Commissioner with responsibility for Employment and Social Affairs

    "The announcement by Renault of its decision to close its plant in Vilvorde has caused shock and consternation. The loss of 3000 jobs is a disaster for the workers concerned and their families, and for Vilvoorde itself. The decision by Renault has not only understandably provoked outrage because of its abruptness but also because Renault management has not complied with its obligations as regards information and consultation of the workers prior to its decision." The Commissioner went on to say, "I have been heartened to hear calls for more social Europe the past week and sincerely hope that this translates into real support for Commission proposals in the social field - because at the end of the day - what is agreed at European level depends in the main on a consensus among the Member States. And let me be blunt here - this consensus has been very difficult to achieve over the past years. Indeed, it has been fashionable to call for deregulation in the social policy field for some time now. A case like Renault brings sharply into focus the relevance of appropriate and well-judged legislation at European level and in the social area. I hope this message is not forgotten when the dust settles."

    [02] L'inflation annuelle de l'UE s'établit à 2,2% en janvier

    L'inflation annuelle de l'UE s'est établie à 2,2% en janvier. Le taux est mesuré au moyen du nouvel indice des prix à la consommation harmonisé (IPCH), publié aujourd'hui pour la première fois par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. Un an plus tôt, le taux correspondant pour l'UE s'était élevé à 2,7%. Toutefois, en janvier 1997, il était supérieur au taux de janvier 1996 dans huit Etats membres. Les hausses annuelles les plus importantes ont été enregistrées au Danemark (de 1,2% à 2,6%) et en Belgique (de 1,3% à 2,2%). Dans cinq Etats membres, le taux d'inflation de janvier, calculé selon le nouveau système, a été inférieur à celui de l'année précédente. Une baisse importante a été constatée en Italie, de 5,7% (estimation) à 2,6%. En janvier 1997, les taux les plus bas ont été relevés en Finlande (0,9%), au Luxembourg (1,3%) et en Suède (1,3%), les taux les plus élevés en Grèce (6,6%), au Portugal (2,8%) et en Espagne (2,8%). Le taux d'inflation annuel de l'Espace économique européen s'est élevé également à 2,2% en janvier, après avoir atteint également 2,7% en janvier de l'année dernière. En Islande, le taux s'est établi à 2,0%, par rapport à1,6% en janvier 1996. En Norvège, il est monté à 3,2%, après 0,5% une année plus tôt.

    [03] EU threatens WTO action on US textile rules

    The European Union (EU) is threatening to challenge US rules classifying Italian scarves, German furnishings or British cotton goods as "Made in China" or "Made in India" even when they are prepared and designed in Europe. America's "origin rules" say that even if a piece of grey cloth imported from China, India, Pakistan or elsewhere is cut, bleached, shrunk, dyed, printed and labelled in Europe, it does not benefit from EU origin. These rules could harm top European designers and clothing manufacturers either by resulting in quotas or by undermining quality European labels as a selling point among American customers. Using a new procedure - the so- called Trade Barriers Regulation - the European Commission has investigated the case and concluded that without a satisfactory offer from the United States soon, it will complain formally to the World Trade Organisation. This case marks a further attempt by the Commission to enforce its Market Access Strategy by removing specific obstacles to European exports.

    [04] Mario Monti: "Making the Single Market Work - the Next Steps"

    The Single Market Action Plan currently being drafted by the European Commission for the Amsterdam European Council "will only be effective if all Member States are ready to renew their commitment to the Single Market, and this may require difficult political decisions". This was the key message from Single Market Commissioner Mario Monti to a conference of 350 representatives of business and consumers, trade unions and other interested parties in Brussels on 7 March. "I must insist", he continued, "that Member States should show the same degree of commitment vis-à-vis market integration as they do in trying to meet the single currency convergence criteria. Equally, for the Action Plan to be successful economic operators and citizens must take full advantage of the opportunities the Single Market presents. After all, it is your Single Market. The Action Plan must clearly define the specific measures required to achieve the objective of a fully integrated and dynamic Single Market, and a detailed timetable for implementing each of these measures. Much of the emphasis will be on practical, non-legislative action to make sure that the rules that have been agreed are really respected in reality, that they are as simple and as clear as possible, and that businesses and people are well informed about how to make the most of Single Market opportunities."

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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