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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-10-23

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

23/10/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Jacques Santer: "The prospects for EMU have never been brighter"
  • [02] La production industrielle de l'UE a augmenté de 1.5%
  • [03] Ritt Bjerregaard reacts to US position on Climate Change

  • [01] Jacques Santer: "The prospects for EMU have never been brighter"

    President of the European Commission, Jacques Santer took advantage of a speech to the Community of European Management Schools to reply to some of the most common economic questions about EMU. In particular, he stressed that the problems associated with regional economic stabilisation in the absence of exchange rate flexibility should not be overstated. "The loss of the exchange rate instrument in the euro zone is difficult to see as a major cost. (...) Structural reform has now moved to the top of the European Union policy agenda. EMU will reinforce this process of structural change." The President also concludes that "greater economic policy co-ordination between euro participants may be required. (...) To this end it seems sensible to develop a forum for informal contacts and discussions. Any decisions would however continue to be taken by the Council of Ministers alone". Finally, President Santer stressed that there is "absolutely no risk of speculation" during the period 1999 to 2002 when the euro and national currencies will co-exist. During this period "the national currencies will no longer have an independent existence but will be merely denominations of the euro. Thus speculation between national currencies would be as pointless as speculating between marks and pfennigs."

    [02] La production industrielle de l'UE a augmenté de 1.5%

    La tendance de la production industrielle de l'Union européenne (UE) a progressé de 1.5% de mai à juillet par rapport aux trois mois précédents, annonce aujourd'hui Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. Les données confirment une expansion soutenue. Entre le premier et le second trimestre, la croissance s'est élevée à 1.5%. Pendant l'hiver dernier, le taux de croissance sur trois mois avait atteint en moyenne 0.8%, durant l'été 1996: 0.1%. Tous les Etats membres pour lesquels des données sont disponibles enregistrent une hausse. Le taux le plus élevé a été observé en Finlande, avec 3.2%. La Suède (2.1%) et l'Espagne (1.7%) dépassent également la moyenne communautaire, l'Allemagne se situant à cette moyenne et l'Italie (1.4%) à un niveau légèrement inférieur. Le taux de croissance de l'UE dépasse maintenant celui des Etats-Unis et du Japon qui, de mai à juillet, ont atteint des taux de 0.8% et 1.1% respectivement. Au sein de l'UE, le redressement est imputable surtout aux biens d'investissement (+2.5%), contre 2.1% pour les biens intermédiaires, 1.7% pour les biens de consommation durables et 0% pour les biens de consommation non-durables.

    [03] Ritt Bjerregaard reacts to US position on Climate Change

    "I am disappointed with the very weak level of ambition of the US. This is not an adequate response to the global problems of Climate Change", said Ritt Bjerregaard, European Commissioner for the Environment, as a first reaction to the US position on Climate Change. In a speech yesterday US President Bill Clinton outlined the challenges for the US and the world before the Conference on Climate Change in Kyoto in December. Whilst clearly recognizing the need for action, the US contributions to the further discussions fall well short of expectations. Mrs Bjerregaard underlines that "the Convention on Climate Change as adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 already urges emission stabilisation by 2000 at 1990 levels for industrialised countries. The US position to reach this goal by sometime around 2010 is therefore a significant step in the wrong direction. Kyoto is all about legally binding emission objectives and should clearly improve the Convention. Instead the US seeks to weaken it considerably - even though they are responsible for close to 25% of the global emissions of greenhouse gases".

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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