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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-06-18

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

18/06/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

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

  • [01] Commission endorses action on BSE
  • [02] La Commission propose une directive concernant la stabilité et les dispositifs de sécurité des autobus et des autocars
  • [03] Commission adopts a Communication aiming at ending public support for short-term export credit insurance
  • [04] Projet de directive du Conseil sur l'harmonisation de l'assurance- crédit à l'exportation
  • [05] Communication on the World Radiocommunications Conference 1997 (WRC- 97)
  • [06] Commission approves training program at Philips Semiconductor B.V. (The Netherlands)
  • [07] La Commission approuve une aide en faveur de BMW Motoren AG à Steyr (Autriche)
  • [08] Commission authorises a production loans scheme offered by the Irish Film Board (Ireland)
  • [09] La Commission approuve un régime d'aides en faveur des jeunes entrepreneurs au Portugal
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [10] "Ecoles de la deuxième chance": ouverture cet automne
  • [11] EU heads to Denver with world's best record on aid to poor countries
  • [12] Christos Papoutsis: "It is of critical importance to join efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions"

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

    [01] Commission endorses action on BSE

    The European Commission today endorsed a number of draft proposals on BSE. These proposals are designed to increase the protection of human and animal health against any potential risk from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathies (BSE). The proposals include: (1) the removal of high risk materials from the human food and animals feed chains. These include the head, including the brain and eyes (but excluding the tongue) and spinal cord of cattle, sheep and goats over 12 months of age and the spleen of all sheep and goats; (2) to put in legal form that which is already the practice in relation to gelatine produced from UK bovines i.e. to withdraw the possibility of export of this gelatine for the purpose of use in food, feed, cosmetics and medicinal products. The export of technical gelatine continues to be allowed; (3) the decision of March 1996 introducing the ban on UK beef exports will be amended to clarify the rules for the re-export from the UK of beef from non UK cattle; (4) an EU system of traceability and labelling will be introduced for all non-UK bovine derived products which are exempted from the export ban.

    [02] La Commission propose une directive concernant la stabilité et les dispositifs de sécurité des autobus et des autocars

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition de directive relative aux prescriptions techniques applicables aux autobus et aux autocars. Ces prescriptions concernent notamment la stabilité du véhicule, la taille minimale des sièges et l'écart minimal entre ceux-ci, le nombre et l'emplacement des portes et des issues de secours et d'autres aspects en rapport avec la stabilité du véhicule et l'amélioration des dispositifs de sécurité. Les prescriptions techniques applicables aux autobus et aux autocars sont actuellement fixées dans le cadre des législations nationales. Les constructeurs se trouvent de ce fait dans l'impossibilité de faire agréer leurs véhicules pour l'ensemble de l'Europe. Cette nouvelle directive doit leur permettre de demander et d'obtenir dans n'importe quel État membre une homologation valable dans l'ensemble de l'Union.

    [03] Commission adopts a Communication aiming at ending public support for short-term export credit insurance

    The European Commission adopted a Communication to the Member States about short-term export credit insurance with the aim to remove distortions of competition due to state aid to the export credit insurance business in which there is competition between public or publicly supported export credit insurers and private export credit insurers. The Communication requests Member States to end, within one year of the publication of the Communication, the granting of state aid to public or publicly supported export credit insurers in respect of export credit insurance for which there is a commercial market. However, in certain countries insurance cover for such export credit risks may be temporarily unavailable on the commercial market.

    [04] Projet de directive du Conseil sur l'harmonisation de l'assurance- crédit à l'exportation

    La Commission européenne vient d'adopter un projet de directive du Conseil des Ministres portant sur l'harmonisation de l'assurance-crédit à l'exportation à moyen et long terme. Chaque Etat membre possède son propre système d'assurance-crédit à l'exportation dont les modalités de la garantie, les primes facturées et les politiques de couverture présentent des différences sensibles. Ces différences font que les exportateurs de l'Union se concurrencent pour obtenir des marchés dans des conditions inégales. Les enjeux financiers en ce domaine sont importants, les agences d'assurance-crédit à l'exportation des Etats membres garantissant environ, chaque année, pour 25-30 milliards d'Ecus de nouveaux contrats d'une durée de crédit supérieure à un an. La nouvelle proposition établit des principes communs touchant les modalités des garanties et instaure le cadre dans lequel la fixation des primes et de la politique de couverture s'effectueront. Ce projet a été élaboré en consultation avec les Etats membres et les milieux industriels et bancaires.

    [05] Communication on the World Radiocommunications Conference 1997 (WRC- 97)

    In order to ensure efficient representation of European Union (EU) interests in the forthcoming World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-97), which will be held in Geneva from 27 October to 21 November 1997, there is a strong need to establish a common position in areas where the views of the Member States may initially diverge. Moreover, EU should be more closely involved in the WRC process, and industry at European level should be more vocal in its support for the positions to be worked out and should participate at WRCs where there is a need for on-the-spot consultation. These are the main conclusions of a communication adopted today by the European Commission. Important items to be covered by WRC-97 include: the mobile satellite and fixed satellite service, the simplification of ITU Radio Regulations; the rules applicable to broadcasting services; and the discussion of allocation of spectrum above 30 Ghz for high-density applications. Considering that the availability of radio frequencies is a sine qua non for the further development of the EU's radiocommunications sector, the Communication is to inform Council and Parliament about the issues at stake at WRCs, to identify how WRC decisions relate to EU policy on radiocommunications, and to propose necessary improvements.

    [06] Commission approves training program at Philips Semiconductor B.V. (The Netherlands)

    The European Commission has approved a training program, supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the province of Gelderland, aiming at retraining unemployed and employees threatened with unemployment. The overall costs of the program are estimated at HFL 22 million (ECU 10.2 million). The approved aid consist of HFL 6.6 million (ECU 3 million) granted by the ESF and HFL 2 million (ECU 0.9 million) granted by the province of Gelderland.

    [07] La Commission approuve une aide en faveur de BMW Motoren AG à Steyr (Autriche)

    La Commission européenne a décidé de ne pas soulever d'objection à l'égard des aides des autorités autrichiennes à BMW Steyr pour un projet à multiples facettes intégrant des actions de recherche et dévéloppement et de formation du personnel, des investissements régionaux et de protection de l'environnement et enfin des investissements à des fins d'innovation industrielle. Ce paquet d'aides est financé à la fois au niveau national, régional et local pour un montant total de 345 millions d'ATS.

    [08] Commission authorises a production loans scheme offered by the Irish Film Board (Ireland)

    The European Commission decided to raise no objections to aid granted in the form of interest-free loans by the Irish Film Board for the production of television documentaries and feature length fiction films. Higher loans may be considered for documentaries of particular Irish interest and significance, for an annual series of first-time short films by film-makers and for a minority of low-budget feature films of particular cultural significance. Production loans on average amount to IR£149,887 of the production budget of a film. These loans are repayable and repaid to the extent that the film generates sufficient resources and the Board also acquires an equity return where a film is particularly successful.

    [09] La Commission approuve un régime d'aides en faveur des jeunes entrepreneurs au Portugal

    La Commission européenne a approuvé un régime d'aides en faveur des jeunes entrepreneurs (Sistema de apoio aos jovens empresários - SAJE) au Portugal. Ce régime vise à promouvoir l'esprit d'entreprise et, partant, à favoriser la création d'entreprises et d'emplois, par le biais de l'octroi d'aides à des projets d'investissement visant la création, l'expansion et la modernisation de petites et moyennes entreprises détenues majoritairement par des jeunes entrepreneurs (âgés de 18 à 35 ans). Sont éligibles les projets d'investissement d'un montant maximum d'investissement en capital fixe de 100 millions PTE (+/- 510.000 Ecus). La Commission observe toutefois que les mesures en cause ont été tardivement notifiées et rappelle au Gouvernement portugais que tout projet visant à instituer, proroger ou modifier des aides doit être dûment notifié.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [10] "Ecoles de la deuxième chance": ouverture cet automne

    Proposées en 1995 par la Commission européenne dans son Livre blanc "enseigner et apprendre: vers la société cognitive" comme projets pilotes destinés à lutter contre l'exclusion sociale, les "écoles de la deuxième chance" vont entrer dès l'automne dans leur phase concrète. Cinq d'entre elles - à Marseille (France), Bilbao (Espagne), Hämeenlinna (Finlande), Catania (Italie) et Halle (Allemagne) - vont en effet ouvrir leurs portes en septembre-octobre, quatre autres - Nikea (Grèce), Ribe (Danemark), Seixal (Portugal) et Heerlen (Pays-Bas) - devraient faire de même à la fin de l'année. C'est ce que va annoncer aujourd'hui Edith Cresson, commissaire européen à la recherche, l'éducation, la formation et la jeunesse, au cours d'une réunion de travail à Bruxelles avec les représentants de chacune de ces villes.

    [11] EU heads to Denver with world's best record on aid to poor countries

    Two days ahead of the Denver Summit, the European Union (EU) fully backs the G8's drive to improve economic prosperity in the world's poorest countries, especially Africa. The figures speak for themselves: Europe is already by far the world's most generous donor and trading partner for developing nations. The EU's major G8 partners lag way behind the EU and its member states in aid, trade and humanitarian assistance, whether calculated by value, volume, percentage of GDP or on a per capita basis. For example, Europe paid out 7 times more aid to sub-Saharan Africa in 1995 than did the US, and imported 14 more farm produce. It is now proposing bolder plans than any of its partners on opening markets further to goods from the third world. On the environment, the EU will challenge the G8 to meet its own bold targets for cutting pollution. It will call for a global convention to protect the world's forests and will promote three initiatives on fresh water, energy and eco-efficiency.

    [12] Christos Papoutsis: "It is of critical importance to join efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions"

    "In order to face the climate change challenges, we need to have the cooperation of the electricity industry", stressed Energy Commissioner Christos Papoutsis in his opening address at the Seminar on "Viable Policies for Sustainable Development: Which role for Electricity?", held today in Brussels and organised by the European Commission and Eurelectric. The Commissioner said that the challenge of climate change and the types of measures that will be needed "require cooperation between all the economic actors" and stressed that "our joint efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are of critical importance". Mr Papoutsis urged the electricity industry to work towards "the achievement of a substantial penetration of renewables in the electricity production mix", as well as to "promote energy efficiency and energy saving".

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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