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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-10-17

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

17/10/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission decides legal action against several Member States for failing obligations under the Habitats Directive
  • [02] Netd@ys Europe : premières journées pour le multimédia à l'école
  • [03] Health and safety at work: second European week, 20-25 October 1997
  • [04] La Commission décide de poursuivre treize États membres pour non respect de la législation relative aux plans de gestion des déchets
  • [05] Padraig Flynn calls upon business to be socially responsible
  • [06] Yves-Thibault de Silguy: "Les collectivités locales doivent se préparer à l'euro"
  • [07] Hans van den Broek: "There are no 'ins and outs" but "ins and pre- ins'"

  • [01] Commission decides legal action against several Member States for failing obligations under the Habitats Directive

    The European Commission has decided to notify Reasoned Opinions to France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy for non-respect of the European Union's (EU) Habitats Directive. These Commission decisions relate to the establishment of Natura 2000, a EU network of sites for the protection of endangered European animal and plant species and habitats. More than two years after the date required by the Directive the above Member States have not notified their complete list of sites which they propose to include in the network. Natura 2000 represents one of the most ambitious environmental initiatives yet undertaken by the EU. Once fully established, it should ensure that the best examples of the EU's endangered natural habitats (such as lagoons, sand dune systems and native woodlands) as well as the habitats of some of the EU's endangered plant and animal species (such as certain orchids, otters and wolves) are properly conserved and protected. As such, it is the EU's flagship contribution to safeguarding global biodiversity.

    [02] Netd@ys Europe : premières journées pour le multimédia à l'école

    Du 18 au 25 octobre, les Netd@ys Europe permettront aux écoles de dialoguer via internet à travers toute l'Europe: un forum est mis à leur disposition par la Commission européenne à l'adresse http://netdays.eun.org. Les 300 projets éducatifs Netd@ys seront présentés sur le même site et plus de 300 événements, impliquant 10.000 écoles, se dérouleront dans les 15 pays de l'Union européenne pendant cette semaine. Aider les écoles à découvrir et maîtriser les nouvelles technologies, donner à chaque enfant l'accès aux ressources pédagogiques et culturelles sur Internet, tel est l'objectif de la Commission qui lance pour la première fois à l'échelle européenne l'opération Netd@ys. Trois idées clés fédèrent cette initiative: mettre en réseau, échanger et coopérer.

    [03] Health and safety at work: second European week, 20-25 October 1997

    The second European Week of Health and Safety at Work will take place from 20 to 25 October 1997. The focus of this European Week will be on the assessment of workplace risks with particular emphasis on small and medium- sized enterprises. The European Union (EU) has been active in this field, adopting directives laying down minimum standards for each activity or area in which risks exist. Every employer and every employee must make a contribution towards implementing this legislation, starting with a risk assessment. The principal objective of this campaign is to reinforce the efforts to reduce risks and improve the quality of life at work by: making employees and employers more aware of hazards at the workplace; encouraging effective safety and health management in companies; promoting measures designed to solve specific problems and reduce risks; and promoting all EU measures in this field.

    [04] La Commission décide de poursuivre treize États membres pour non respect de la législation relative aux plans de gestion des déchets

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'engager officiellement une procédure d'infraction concernant treize Etats membres qui n'ont pas adopté ou pas communiqué à la Commission de plans relatifs à la gestion des déchets en général, mais aussi des déchets dangereux et des déchets d'emballage. Les treize Etats membres en question sont la Grèce, les Pays-Bas, le Royaume- Uni, la Suède, la Finlande, l'Italie, l'Irlande, l'Espagne, le Luxembourg, la France, l'Allemagne, la Belgique et le Danemark. Par cette décision, la Commission montre l'importance qu'elle attache à l'établissement, dans toute l'Union européenne, de plans de gestion des déchets, qui sont une des principales exigences de la législation communautaire en la matière et qui devront constituer le cadre dans lequel s'inscrira une stratégie rationnelle et appropriée de gestion des déchets. De plus, cette décision illustre l'approche de la Commission en matière d'infractions à la législation environnementale, qui consiste à aborder les problèmes majeurs de mise en oeuvre au niveau européen.

    [05] Padraig Flynn calls upon business to be socially responsible

    Speaking today at a Conference in Copenhagen, Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Padraig Flynn said: "More and more businesses see that competitiveness and social responsibility can - and indeed, should - go together. They see that getting a balance between successful, profitable, business practices and giving a company's employees a sense of value and self-respect is something that matters." The Commissioner outlined the results of a European Union-wide research on how local partnerships can combat the problems of social exclusion. This research suggests that employers could adopt a more representative stance on behalf of the business community. "It also suggests that employers could better promote local development and address the problem of unemployment, for instance through financial and technical support and through recruitment and employment policies which give greater priority to those disadvantaged in the labour market."

    [06] Yves-Thibault de Silguy: "Les collectivités locales doivent se préparer à l'euro"

    S'exprimant devant l'Association des Maires de Grandes villes de France à Lyon, Yves-Thibault de Silguy, Commissaire chargé des affaires économiques, monétaires et financières, a lancé un appel aux administrations locales à se préparer à l'euro. Il a notamment déclaré: "il peut être utile de créer des cellules "euro" dans vos municipalités, afin d'élaborer le plan de basculement de la commune. Outre les services municipaux concernés, ces cellules peuvent comprendre les représentants des commerçants, des usagers, des industriels, des banques locales, des personnalités du monde éducatif, etc. L'ensemble des acteurs de la ville doivent être impliqués dans la préparation du passage à l'euro". "Le basculement vers la monnaie européenne est indéniablement une tâche importante. Mais elle est à la hauteur de l'enjeu. L'euro renforcera la croissance et contribuera à la stabilité de notre continent. Il matérialisera l'Europe dans le portefeuille de chacun de nos concitoyens et il permettra à l'Union de faire, enfin, entendre sa voix sur la scène internationale".

    [07] Hans van den Broek: "There are no 'ins and outs" but "ins and pre- ins'"

    (!!! embargo 2.10 pm !!!) At a speech today in Bucharest, Hans van den Broek, European Commissioner responsible for External Relations with Central and Eastern Europe, said: "One thing that is true for all applicants, regardless of the progress they have made to date, is the Commission's resolve to support wholeheartedly their preparations for membership until the day they join the European Union (EU). When we speak about the accession process, we do not differentiate between "ins and outs" but rather between "ins and pre-ins". All the applicants will be brought progressively into the EU's activities. All will become members of the EU. Nothing could be farther from the Commission's intentions than to draw new dividing lines across Europe. Differentiation in no way implies discrimination. Enlargement is in the interest both of the applicants and of the EU itself. The benefits to the EU will be enormous, not only in terms of stability and security, crucial though this is, but also in terms of prosperity. The applicant countries are important partners, in terms of trade and investment. A hundred million consumers with rising incomes are already giving a major boost to economic growth and development throughout Europe." (! embargo 2.10 pm!)

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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