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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-06-19

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

19/06/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 18 juin 1997 - Outcome of Commission's meeting of 18 June 1997

  • [01] La Commission propose cinq axes pour développer l'apprentissage dans l'Union européenne
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [02] Commission approves the labelling of Genetically Modified Organisms
  • [03] Premier trimestre 1997: la production industrielle de l'UE a augmenté de 0,5%
  • [04] Commission proposes an action programme for pollution-related diseases
  • [05] Commission approves the creation of Targor, a joint venture between Hoechst and BASF for polypropylene
  • [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition d'APV par Siebe
  • [07] Animal trapping standards
  • [08] Padraig Flynn says that there is much to welcome in the new Treaty with regard to Social Europe
  • [09] Edith Cresson: "Mieux associer le programme-cadre européen de recherche et Eureka"

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 18 juin 1997 - Outcome of Commission's meeting of 18 June 1997

    [01] La Commission propose cinq axes pour développer l'apprentissage dans l'Union européenne

    Un apprentissage de qualité augmente sensiblement les chances des jeunes de trouver un emploi dans l'Union européenne (UE). Forte de cette conviction, que viennent étayer plusieurs recherches et rapports récents, la Commission européenne, à la demande du Conseil européen de Florence, a adopté une communication qui formule cinq recommandations pour promouvoir ce type de formation dans l'UE: étendre et développer l'apprentissage; améliorer la qualité de la formation; encourager la mobilité des apprentis; associer les partenaires sociaux à l'apprentissage; définir et mettre en oeuvre de véritables stratégies européennes d'apprentissage.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [02] Commission approves the labelling of Genetically Modified Organisms

    The European Commission adopted a Commission Directive which will make labelling compulsory for all new products containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) notified for placing on the market under Directive 90/220/EEC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms. Under the new Directive notifiers of new products must indicate on the label or in an accompanying document that the product may contain or may consist of genetically modified organisms. For products placed on the market in mixtures with non-genetically modified organisms, the label would indicate the possibility that genetically modified organisms may be present. The Directive should be transposed into law in Member States by 31 July 1997. This does not prejudge any further considerations by the Commission concerning the need for comprehensive labelling of GMOs in horizontal legislation and in product legislation.

    [03] Premier trimestre 1997: la production industrielle de l'UE a augmenté de 0,5%

    La tendance cycle de la production industrielle de l'Union européenne (UE) a augmenté de 0,5% au cours du premier trimestre 1997 par rapport au dernier trimestre de 1996, selon les estimations publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. La même augmentation a été constatée de décembre à fin février. La production a augmenté de 1,5% aux Etats-Unis et de 1,9% au Japon. Parmi les Etats membres, les variations trimestrielles se sont étalées de 2,3% en Suède ou 1,8% en Finlande à -0,2% au Royaume-Uni, seul pays à enregistrer une baisse. La Grèce, l'Italie et les Pays-Bas se sont situés dans la moyenne de l'UE et les autres Etats membres s'en sont approchés.

    [04] Commission proposes an action programme for pollution-related diseases

    The European Commission has adopted a communication and proposal for a five year action programme on the prevention of diseases which are caused, provoked or aggravated by environmental pollution. It is estimated that one in three Europeans suffer from an allergy, with a recent study indicating that the situation is worsening at an alarming rate - one in two people are predicted to be affected soon. The proposed programme will be subject to the codecision procedure of the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, and it will run from 1999-2003. The Commission identifies a three pronged strategy to prevent pollution-related diseases: first, the reduction of pollutants by taking action at their source; second, action to limit people's exposure to pollutants (for instance by issuing warnings) and, third, mitigation of adverse health effects on individuals exposed to pollutants.

    [05] Commission approves the creation of Targor, a joint venture between Hoechst and BASF for polypropylene

    The European Commission approved the planned concentration between BASF and Hoechst by which the two companies intend to contribute all their West European activities in the area of polypropylen into a newly created joint venture named Targor. Despite a participation of 50% each in the capital of the joint venture, the Commission considers, because of various dispositions contained in the founding agreement, that BASF will be able to exercice sole control over Targor.

    [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition d'APV par Siebe

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'acquisition par Siebe de la totalité d'APV plc par voie d'offre publique d'achat. Elle a estimé que les chevauchements entre les activités des deux entreprises, qui se limitent au domaine des systèmes de commande automatique de processus industriels, n'étaient pas de nature à susciter des préoccupations sous l'angle de la concurrence. Siebe est une société d'ingénierie implantée au Royaume-Uni; ses activités concernent la conception et la fabrication, d'une part, de systèmes de régulation thermique et de commande d'appareils, d'automatisation de processus et de gestion de bâtiments et, d'autre part, de commandes électroniques de puissance et d'équipements industriels non- standard. APV, implantée au Royaume-Uni, est un fournisseur d'équipements et de services à l'industrie alimentaire et aux secteurs connexes.

    [07] Animal trapping standards

    An international agreement to ban the worst "leg-hold" traps and enforce humane standards on the rest will do much more for animal welfare than a mere ban on fur imports, says Sir Leon Brittan, EU Trade Commissioner, as EU Ministers prepare for a decision today. The first-ever international trapping standard, negotiated with Canada and Russia, would dramatically cut cruelty to wild animals by forcing Canada and Russia - and the EU itself - to abolish the worst forms of trapping, on pain of sanctions if they fail to do so. Trappers in the remotest corners of Siberia and the Yukon are unlikely to change their age-old ways unless obliged to do so by their own governments, and helped in the process. A mere import ban may have instant appeal, but it will could prove unenforceable, and will send the fur business in search of lucrative markets elsewhere. It may also put Europe on a collision course with its trading partners.

    [08] Padraig Flynn says that there is much to welcome in the new Treaty with regard to Social Europe

    Speaking today in The Hague, Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner, Padraig Flynn, said the results of the IGC have been particularly positive regarding employment and the integration of the Social Protocol into the new Treaty. He said the introduction of a special, new chapter on employment is a concrete acknowledgement that this is "a matter of shared common concern. It is a clear signal that the primary purpose of the Union is to improve the living and working conditions of all its citizens." On the question of fundamental rights of the citizens of the EU, Mr. Flynn said that the new Treaty is progress, as it gives the European Court of Justice the jurisdiction to ensure fundamental rights are respected. He said however that the text of the new Article 6A which allows the Council to prohibit discrimination based on "sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion and belief, disability, age or sexual orientation," is timid, in that it has no direct effect and requires unanimity. The Commissioner said he would have liked to have seen greater progress regarding incentive measures, equal opportunities and civil dialogue. On the latter point, he said, "despite the best efforts of the Commission, the new Treaty does not include specific provision for consultation and dialogue with NGOs."

    [09] Edith Cresson: "Mieux associer le programme-cadre européen de recherche et Eureka"

    Le programme-cadre européen de recherche et développement technologique et le programme Eureka "peuvent assurément continuer leur chemin en s'ignorant mais, j'en suis convaincue, ce qu'ils peuvent entreprendre de plus efficace, ils le feront en conjuguant leurs efforts" a déclaré aujourd'hui Edith Cresson, commissaire européen à la recherche, l'éducation, la formation et la jeunesse, devant la conférence ministérielle Eureka à Londres. "Des thèmes comme, par exemple, les biotechnologies, l'aéronautique ou le commerce électronique et la micro-électronique ma paraissent parfaitement se prêter à cette approche", a-t-elle ajouté, en expliquant que le projet de 5e programme-cadre prévoit le lancement d'"actions-clé" de recherche sur un nombre limité de thèmes répondant à des préoccupations économiques et sociales majeures de l'Union européenne, comme par exemple: "santé et alimentation", "gestion et qualité de l'eau" ou encore "le contenu multimédia". "Chaque action-clé pourrait ainsi servir de cadre à deux ou trois grands projets combinant (...) des activités des programmes de l'Union et d'Eurekä", selon Mme Cresson.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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