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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-11-18

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

18/11/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Jacques Santer: "Un immense travail a été fait sur l'ESB"
  • [02] La Commission condamne l'acte de terrorisme en Egypte
  • [03] La volonté de la Commission d'assurer une gestion financière saine et efficace est renforcée par le rapport de la Cour des comptes de 1996
  • [04] Commission clears Nomura's acquisition of the Blueslate business
  • [05] Commission to launch ECU 15 million research programme to make de- mining safer and faster
  • [06] "Employment through innovation": Third European Conference of Crafts and Small Businesses (Milan, 20-21 November 1997)
  • [07] Commission takes US to WTO over export subsidies
  • [08] Edith Cresson: "Towards a knowledge-based Europe"
  • [09] Documentation and follow-up of the Animal Meal Conference

  • [01] Jacques Santer: "Un immense travail a été fait sur l'ESB"

    En réponse au rapport de la commission de suivi ESB du Parlement européen, Jacques Santer, le Président de la Commission européenne, a déclaré aujourd'hui à Strasbourg que l'intense coopération qui a eu lieu entre la commission de suivi et les services de la Commission a eu un résultat extrêmement fructueux. "Nous avons agi sans tarder en vue de rectifier les faiblesses constatées", a dit Jacques Santer. "La Commission a décidé dès février 97 une restructuration sans précédent de ses services chargés de la protection de la santé et de la sûreté alimentaire qui ont été placées au coeur du programme de travail de la Commission pour 1998". La Commission a également décidé de se rallier au soutien concret que le Parlement a décidé d'apporter aux familles des victimes de la nouvelle variante de la maladie de Creutzfeld-Jakob. Des mesures législatives de lutte contre l'ESB et la nouvelle variante de la maladie de Creutzfeld-Jakob ont été adoptées, les contrôles ont été renforcés, des programmes de recherche ont été lancés. Mais "le véritable travail commence à présent", a dit le Président. Il s'agira d'améliorer encore la gestion administrative de la Commission et, dans le cadre de l'Agenda 2000, de réformer la politique agricole commune dans le sens d'une agriculture plus respectueuse de la santé humaine et de l'environnement.

    [02] La Commission condamne l'acte de terrorisme en Egypte

    A l'annonce de l'acte terroriste qui a frappé la ville de Louxor, le Président de la Commission européenne, Jacques Santer, a adressé hier le télégramme suivant au Président de la République Arabe d'Egypte, M. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak: "J'apprends avec une vive émotion la nouvelle de l'attentat meurtrier qui a été perpétré à Louxor et je vous adresse, en mon nom personnel et celui de la Commission européenne, mes plus sincères condoléances. Je vous prie d'être auprès des personnes touchées par cet acte odieux l'interprète de notre profonde sympathie."

    [03] La volonté de la Commission d'assurer une gestion financière saine et efficace est renforcée par le rapport de la Cour des comptes de 1996

    La Commission européenne s'est félicitée du soutien sans réserve que le rapport annuel de la Cour des comptes pour 1996 a apporté à sa volonté de rigueur budgétaire et de gestion financière saine et efficace: "Plusieurs observations de la Cour sont utiles à la Commission pour la réforme des politiques de l'Union européenne (UE) qui est proposée dans le cadre d'Agenda 2000, particulièrement en ce qui concerne les actions relatives à l'agriculture, aux politiques structurelles et aux programmes Phare et Tacis," a déclaré le Commissaire Erkki Liikanen, en ajoutant: "Le rapport conforte l'idée de la Commission selon laquelle trop de petits programmes et projets bénéficient de l'aide de l'UE. Nous devons nous concentrer davantage sur les initiatives de masse critique au niveau européen." La Commission a déjà donné suite sans tarder à de nombreuses observations de la Cour en adoptant un ensemble de mesures dans le cadre de l'initiative SEM 2000 pour une gestion saine et efficace. Le rapport de la Cour constate que la Commission a déjà réagi à bon nombre de ses constatations, en reconnaissant à titre général la nécessité d'une action dans certains secteurs et en proposant déjà dans de nombreux cas des mesures spécifiques pour répondre aux préoccupations exprimées par la Cour.

    [04] Commission clears Nomura's acquisition of the Blueslate business

    The European Commission has decided to approve an operation by which Nomura International plc acquires control of four companies (William Hill Organisation Limited; Laystall Limited; Camec Limited; and William Hill Trustee limited) which are currently wholly-owned operating subsidiaries of Blueslate plc, and which together comprise Blueslate's betting (or "bookmaking") business, operating mainly in the United Kingdom. The Commission found there was no competitive overlap between the business of Blueslate and the business of Nomura International or the UK sectors in which it has invested. In the absence of competitive overlaps the precise product and geographic market definitions were left open.

    [05] Commission to launch ECU 15 million research programme to make de- mining safer and faster

    The European Commission will shortly launch an ECU 15 million research programme aimed at using new technologies to seek, identify and deactivate land-mines. De-mining is a painstaking and hazardous activity, and detection costs, a heavy burden in de-mining operations (almost 150 times higher than that of producing anti-personnel mines). An estimated 125 million uncleared anti-personnel (APM) and anti-tank (ATM) mines are laid in former theatres of war around the world, killing more than 26,000 people each year, most of them children. There is a urgent need for safer and more cost-effective methods to detect them.

    [06] "Employment through innovation": Third European Conference of Crafts and Small Businesses (Milan, 20-21 November 1997)

    The European Commission is organising, together with the Italian Ministry of Industry and the Region Lombardia, the Third European Conference of Crafts and Small Businesses, which will take place on the 20 and 21 November 1997 in Milan. The theme of the Third Conference is "Employment through Innovation". The aim of the Conference is to ensure that greater account is taken of the sector's specific features and potential, to improve the flow of information to representative bodies and businesses themselves, and to highlight the vital role crafts and small enterprises play in terms of growth and job creation in Europe. The Conference has four main objectives: to create an environment conducive to the development of crafts and small businesses; to create an administrative and legal framework which meets the needs of the sector; to step up the commitment of the European Union and its Member States to assist small and craft businesses; to step up the dialogue with European-level social and professional organisations, national organisations and businesses. The conclusions from Milan will be presented by the Commission to the Employment Summit, in order to be taken into account when it will draw up its own conclusions.

    [07] Commission takes US to WTO over export subsidies

    Sir Leon Brittan, Vice-President of the European Commission, today announced action to tackle a US subsidy scheme which disadvantages EU firms. The Commission is requesting formal consultations under the World Trade Organisation in order to put an end to the US policy of subsidising exports via so-called "Foreign Sales Corporations" (FSCs). The US government grants tax exemptions for exports carried out by FSCs.

    [08] Edith Cresson: "Towards a knowledge-based Europe"

    Invited the 17th of November by the London School of Economics and Political Science, Edith Cresson, European Commissioner, gave a survey of European Union's action and prospects regarding research, innovation, education and training. Pointing out that we were facing globalization and at the same time entering a knowledge-based society, she said: 'To a degree never seen before and in a way which calls for new forms of public action, knowledge is right at the heart of society. To make it possible for its production and use to have maximum impact on European society and on the lives of every European citizen, it is largely at the European level that we must tackle questions of research, education and formation.' Mrs Cresson underlined that 'Sharing experiences and mutual learning have demonstrated their usefulness. The cultural diversity of Europe makes a wide range of approaches, traditions and procedures available to searchers, teachers and trainers which have been developed independently and which can be complementary, and feed off and enrich each other.'

    [09] Documentation and follow-up of the Animal Meal Conference

    The final report of the International Scientific Conference of the European Commission and the European Parliament on Meat and Bone Meal which took place on 1 and 2 July 1997 is now available in English, French and German. It summarises the information given at the Conference to the 350 participants to assess the importance of animal meal in animal nutrition and the implications its ban would entail. Existing and potential dangers as well as the opinions of consumers and livestock breeders are presented and discussed in depth. The verbatim, a documentation of the full speeches of all intervenants, forms the essential part of the documentation. The 138 proposals and recommendations of the speakers and participants of the conference are included. The Commission is now examining them in order to decide on what should eventually be changed in Community legislation dealing with the production of meat and bone meal. The documentation is available on Internet from 19 November 1997 starting at the following address: http://europa.eu.int/en/comm/dg24/sub2.html.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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