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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-05-28

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

28/05/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] EU citizenship: Commission report outlines progress and way ahead
  • [02] Citizens First - Making the Single Market more effective for people
  • [03] Actions de promotion et de publicité dans le secteur du lait et des produits laitiers
  • [04] Conférence sur l'environnement et l'emploi, 26-27 mai 1997
  • [05] Hans van den Broek to visit Slovakia
  • [06] Franz Fischler: "Globalisation is a chance for Europe"

  • [01] EU citizenship: Commission report outlines progress and way ahead

    The need for continuous action to improve citizens' awareness of their rights and to ensure Member States fulfil their obligations in enforcing them has been stressed by a report on European Union (EU) citizenship just adopted by the European Commission. The report includes an appraisal of current application in practice of EU citizenship, together with an assessment of how best to ensure rights derived from EU citizenship become a reality for as many EU nationals as possible. EU citizenship, which is additional to citizenship of an individual Member State, was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty. It specifically gives nationals of EU Member States the right to free movement and residence, to vote and to stand for election in European Parliament and municipal elections. It also provides for protection by diplomatic and consular authorities of any Member State in a third country and for access to non-judicial means of redress through the Ombudsman and through petitions to the European Parliament. The report notes that citizenship of the Union is a reality, and that as a result of the EU, citizens now enjoy a range of rights affecting their daily lives.

    [02] Citizens First - Making the Single Market more effective for people

    Six months after the launch of "Citizens First" around 21% of the European Union (EU) population have heard of the initiative, according to opinion surveys conducted for the European Commission. Citizens First aims at providing people throughout the EU with easy access to information tailored to individual interests about their rights and opportunities within the EU and its Single Market. More than 630,000 people have already contacted Citizens First directly (over 230,000 by telephone and some 400,000 via Internet). The Citizens First Internet site has now been made more user- friendly and incorporates an on-line version of the "Signpost Service". This service, until now available only via the telephone, offers guidance on relevant advice available from existing national and local bodies to people with specific inquiries or problems. The problems most often raised with the Signpost Service so far concern social security and welfare benefits, discrimination on grounds of nationality, right of residence, taxation, free movement of services and recognition of qualifications. (Citizens First Internet web-site: http://citizens.eu.int)

    [03] Actions de promotion et de publicité dans le secteur du lait et des produits laitiers

    La Commission européenne a approuvé 16 programmes d'action relatives à la promotion de la consommation de lait dans l'Union européenne et à l'élargissement des marchés du lait et des produits laitiers au titre de la campagne 1996/1997. Le coût total de ces mesures de promotion est de 8,75 millions d'Ecus et elles sont financées à 100% par la Commission. Les programmes qui sont retenus sont ciblés principalement sur les jeunes jusqu'à 25 ans et les thèmes principaux à développer sont "la nutrition" et "la modernité".

    [04] Conférence sur l'environnement et l'emploi, 26-27 mai 1997

    Lors d'une conférence sur l'environnement et l'emploi organisée à Bruxelles par la Commission européenne et le Parlement Européen, le Commissaire à l'Environnement, Mme Ritt Bjerregaard, a souligné dans son discours d'ouverture le fait que l'environnement crée des emplois. A la conférence, les participants venus d'un éventail de secteurs très large, comme par exemple l'industrie, les syndicats, les pouvoirs publics, les ONG, etc., ont examiné un certain nombre d'initiatives politiques qui pourraient aider à combiner avec succès la protection de l'environnement et la création d'emplois. La mise en oeuvre améliorée de la législation environnementale, une variation de la taxation de la main-d'oeuvre vers une taxation sur la pollution et des incitations pour le développement et l'utilisation des technologies environnementales ne sont que quelques unes des options qui pourraient payer "le dividende double". Au cours de la deuxième moitié de l'année en cours, Mme Bjerregaard soumettra au Conseil des Ministres et au Parlement une communication sur le sujet de l'environnement et l'emploi.

    [05] Hans van den Broek to visit Slovakia

    Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek is visiting Slovakia on 29 May, 1997. It is the last of the applicant countries that the Commissioner will be visiting before the publication of the European Commission's opinions on membership on July 16, 1997. With this visit he concludes what has been informally dubbed "the no-surprises tour" of all the applicant countries, which will ensure that all governments are informed of the preparations made by the Commission in view of the publication of opinions in July. The Commissioner will discuss Slovakia's preparations for European Union (EU) membership and the replies the government has prepared to the Commission's questionnaires. "Slovakia is welcome in the EU, just like the other applicants, as soon as the country can take on membership obligations," commented Mr van den Broek. "Since stability of democratic institutions is one of the criteria for membership, recent developments, including the failed referendum will be on the agenda."

    [06] Franz Fischler: "Globalisation is a chance for Europe"

    In his speech on "Europe's role with regard to globalisation" at the Management Forum in St Gallen in Switzerland today, Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler stressed that "the European Commission sees globalisation as an opportunity to maintain economic growth for the third millenium in the European Union (EU)". The EU faces the challenge of globalisation - "internally by improving competitiveness of the European economy and externally achieving a better multilateral cooperation worldwide", Mr Fischler stated. With the realisation of the internal market, several framework-programmes in research, the EU-actions against structural unemployment, the Transeuropean Networks and mainly with the introduction of a single currency the EU assures its competitiveness. While expressing reasonable satisfaction with the development of the World Trade Organisation to date, Mr Fischler added that in future more account must be taken of environmental and development policies and objectives. Commissioner Fischler stated that, out of its experience with integration, the EU continues to support multilateral cooperation. The challenge of globalisation cannot only be mastered with the euro, but "Europe has to pull together - not only economically but also with regard to its external relations policy".

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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