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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-09-10

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

10/09/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 10 septembre -

  • [01] Commission proposes to repeal national bans on GMO maize in Austria, Italy and Luxembourg
  • [02] Commission urges Member States to indicate specific trans-European transport infrastructure projects whose construction could be accelerated by the creation of public/private financing partnerships
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [03] Coopération transfrontalière: participation des GEIE aux marchés publics et à des programmes financés par des fonds publics
  • [04] Edith Cresson et Karel Van Miert ce félicitent de l'ouverture du capital de France Telecom

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 10 septembre -

    Outcome of Commission's meeting of 10 September

    [01] Commission proposes to repeal national bans on GMO maize in Austria, Italy and Luxembourg

    The European Commission has decided on draft measures which will oblige Austria, Italy and Luxembourg to repeal their national provisions which restrict or prohibit the use and/or the sale of genetically modified maize on their territory. Following the Opinion of three Scientific Committees (Scientific Committee for Food, Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition, and Scientific Committee on Pesticides), the Commission today decided to submit to the Regulatory Committee under Directive 90/220/EEC draft Commission Decisions requiring the three Member States to repeal their ban on GMO maize. The Commission also decided to submit to the Regulatory Committee additional information submitted by Austria. In taking today's decisions, the Commission carefully considered the question of monitoring of insect resistance to Bt which is a gene contained in the maize. The gene has the effect of a low dose of antibiotics. The plant is therefore less vulnerable to insects. However, the risk is that continued but low doses of this antibiotic develops a resistance in these insects that could cause problems afterwards. The Commission decided to confirm its decision of December 1996 giving priority to the implementation of a plan to monitor insect resistance to Bt. The Company, which has produced the maize in question (Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis) did already in December 1996 agree with the Commission's request to monitor the Bt-maize and has last week reconfirmed its committment. It should be recalled that the Commission on 18 June adopted an amendment to Directive 90/220/EEC. The Decision amended Annex III of the Directive to make labelling compulsory for all new products containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms notified for placing on the market under Directive 90/220/EEC (see IP/97/528). This policy was further underlined in the Commission's orientation of 25 July 1997 on labelling of GMO products (see IP/97/700). The Commission intends shortly to propose a revison of Directive 90/220. The revison will among other issues deal with labelling, scientific evaluation, comitology and monitoring.

    [02] Commission urges Member States to indicate specific trans-European transport infrastructure projects whose construction could be accelerated by the creation of public/private financing partnerships

    The European Commission today urged Member States to speed the construction of the TransEuropean transport network by setting up public/private partnerships to implement key projects and identified a number of projects it considered appropriate for this approach. "Our transport network is a crucial part of the environment within which European firms must operate," said Neil Kinnock, the EU Commissioner responsible for transport policy and trans-European networks, adding: "It is easy to see that Trans-European Networks are an essential component alongside the Single Market for assuring long-term competitiveness and growth and with it, employment. Public private partnerships, we know, can not only provide an impetus to stalled projects, but combining the skills of the public and the private sectors makes for better projects. The priority now is to set up PPPs in a greater number of projects and the purpose of this Communication is to encourage this". In a document published today the European Commission endorsed the recommendations of the High Level Group whose task it was to look at the role of public-private partnerships (PPPs), and announced streamlined procedures to make PPPs easier to establish.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [03] Coopération transfrontalière: participation des GEIE aux marchés publics et à des programmes financés par des fonds publics

    Une Communication qui met en valeur les avantages potentiels du Groupement européen d'intérêt économique (GEIE) dans le domaine des marchés publics et des programmes financés par des fonds publics vient d'être adoptée par la Commission européenne. La Communication, adoptée à l'initiative du Commissaire pour le marché unique Mario Monti, et du Commissaire pour les petites et moyennes entreprises Christos Papoutsis, fait partie de mesures prévues dans le programme intégré en faveur des petites et moyennes entreprises pour les encourager à participer pleinement au marché unique. Le GEIE est un instrument juridique de droit communautaire qui permet la coopération transnationale entre entreprises situées dans plusieurs Etats membres.

    [04] Edith Cresson et Karel Van Miert ce félicitent de l'ouverture du capital de France Telecom

    À l'occasion de l'ouverture du capital de France Telecom, Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsable de recherche et développement, et Karel Van Miert, Commissioner responsable de la concurrence, ont fait la declaration commune suivante: "Nous nous félicitons de l'annonce faite sur l'ouverture du capital de France Télécom, qui s'inscrit dans le droit fil du mouvement de libéralisation des télécommunications voulu par les pays de l'Union européenne, qui prendra son plein effet au 1er janvier prochain. L'Europe a besoin d'opérateurs dynamiques et inventifs, compétitifs sur le plan international, capables de fournir les meilleurs services au meilleur coût pour les citoyens de l'Union. France Télécom a été parmi les premiers opérateurs a se doter d'un réseau entièrement numérisé. L'ouverture de son capital est une marque de réalisme économique face à la dynamique concurrentielle d'un marché sur lequel se nouent des alliances globales. Elle est essentielle pour assurer le développement de la compétitivité de l'entreprise. Nous notons également avec intérêt l'attention apportée à la définition des obligations de service public par les autorités françaises, en particulier pour assurer la connexion à des tarifs privilégiés des établissements d'enseignement à Internet. Cette démarche inspirera sans nul doute l'évolution des réflexions à venir sur la définition de service universel au niveau européen."

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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