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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-10-28

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

28/10/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission reacts to UK position on EMU
  • [02] Le Portugal fait bon usage des Fonds structurels communautaires
  • [03] Christos Papoutsis: "BEST can play a key role in improving the business environment"

  • [01] Commission reacts to UK position on EMU

    Immediately after yesterday's statement by Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, on his government's position towards EMU, European Commission President Jacques Santer and Commissioner Yves-Thibault de Silguy gave the following reaction: "The European Commission has always supported the widest possible participation in the euro from 1 January 1999 of those countries which meet the necessary conditions. This is in the interest of the European Union and all its Member States. The Commission takes note of the UK government's decision not to participate from the 1 January 1999. At the same time, the Commission welcomes the overall positive UK attitude towards the euro, and its determination to prepare intensively for the introduction of the single currency. While stressing that the decision on exercising the opt-out is for the UK, the Commission is of the opinion that the sooner the UK joins, the better. The Commission also welcomes the commitment by the UK government to do everything possible during their Presidency of the Council of Ministers during the first half of 1998 to ensure a successful launch of the euro. Decisions on which countries meet the necessary conditions to participate in the EMU are taken by the European Council on the basis of reports and recommendations from the European Commission and the European Monetary Institute. The Commission will ensure that the Treaty conditions are strictly applied in the same way to all Member States."

    [02] Le Portugal fait bon usage des Fonds structurels communautaires

    L'utilisation des Fonds structurels de l'Union européenne (UE) au Portugal est un succès. C'est ce qui ressort de l'évaluation à mi-parcours de la mise en oeuvre des fonds alloués au Portugal pour la période de programmation 1994-1999. A la fin de 1996, quelque 6 milliards d'Ecus, soit 40% de l'aide communautaire accordée pour l'ensemble de la période (14, 3 milliards d'Ecus à prix 97) avaient déjà été dépensés. En outre, les indicateurs-clés montrent que les résultats obtenus dépassent souvent les prévisions initiales. Par exemple, 35.000 emplois en moyenne ont été créés annuellement grâce au soutien des Fonds structurels (soit 2,5% de l'emploi total au Portugal) alors que les prévisions ne dépassaient pas les 17.000 emplois. La construction d'autoroutes et de routes principales représente déjà 74% de l'objectif prévu pour 1999. Dans le secteur des télécommunications, le taux d'équipement téléphonique moyen de l'UE (42 postes pour 100 habitants) est d'ores et déjà atteint alors que l'on n'espérait pas y parvenir avant 1999.

    [03] Christos Papoutsis: "BEST can play a key role in improving the business environment"

    "Your challenge is to make changes and I hope you will be bold and innovative in your proposals, perhaps even provocative, in order to contribute to improving the business environment and competitiveness, and enhance employment in Europe" emphasized today Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, responsible for Enterprise Policy, inaugurating the work of the Business Environment Simplification Task Force (BEST) which had its first meeting under the chairmanship of Professor Chris Evans, in the European Commission in Brussels. The Commissioner underlined that "the challenges European enterprises are facing are related to the business environment and require closer examination", and said that BEST "will have the opportunity to look at the wider aspects of the business environment, and at the different national approaches in the Member States". Mr Papoutsis underlined that it can play a key role in identifying what problems and barriers business comes up against and asked its members to produce an interim report with some preliminary ideas to the Employment Summit, and their Final Report for the Cardiff European Council in June 1998.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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