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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 98-02-06

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

06/02/98


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] En 1997, le taux d'inflation moyen tombe à 1,7%
  • [02] Kodak - Fuji case : Commission urges Japan to undertake fundamental reform of distribution
  • [03] EU-Australia standards agreement to boost two-way trade
  • [04] EU to deepen relations with Malta

  • [01] En 1997, le taux d'inflation moyen tombe à 1,7%

    En 1997, l'inflation annuelle moyenne de l'Union européenne (UE) est tombée à 1,7%, selon les chiffres publiés aujourd'hui par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. Elle a baissé ainsi de 0,7 points de pourcentage par rapport aux 2,4% enregistrés en 1996. En décembre 1997, l'inflation annuelle de l'UE a diminué et atteint 1,6% (par rapport à décembre 1996), en comparaison avec le chiffre révisé de novembre de 1,7%. Ces deux taux représentent les nouveaux Indices européens des prix à la consommation (IPCE), calculés comme une moyenne des Indices des prix à la consommation harmonisés (IPCH) des Etats membres.

    [02] Kodak - Fuji case : Commission urges Japan to undertake fundamental reform of distribution

    With the publication of the final ruling in the World Trade Organisation's Kodak-Fuji case expected in the coming weeks, the European Commission today again urged Japan to undertake fundamental reforms in its distribution system. The Commission also stressed that it hopes the case will lead to an intensified discussion on trade and competition issues and to the development of a framework of competition rules in the WTO. In the Kodak- Fuji case, the US Government took the Japanese to the WTO Disputes Settlement Body about restrictions in access for foreign companies to the Japanese photographic film and paper market. The Commission joined the panel as third party due to its economic interest in this market.

    [03] EU-Australia standards agreement to boost two-way trade

    Sir Leon Brittan, European Commissioner for Trade, and the Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism, John Moore, announced yesterday that Australia and the European Union have finalised negotiations on a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on Conformity Assessment. The Agreement covers the following regulated sectors : simple pressure equipment, machinery, low voltage electrical equipment and medical devices, telecommunications terminal equipment, electromagnetic compatibility, automotive produts and Good Manufacturing Practice for pharmaceuticals. It also allows for other sectors to be added later. Sir Leon pointed out that this was an important step in enhancing bilateral trade relations in follow up to the Joint Declaration on Relations between the European Union (EU) and Australia signed in June last year. He said it would deliver significant benefits to European industry, affecting some ECU 4.5 billion (US$ 4.8 billion) of trade between the EU and Australia.

    [04] EU to deepen relations with Malta

    The European Commission adopted a Communication on the deepening of relations with Malta. Following the country's decision to freeze its application for European Union (EU) membership, the Commission has put forward proposals designed to establish the future relationship and to strengthen the political and economic links between the EU and Malta. The Commission considers that trade liberalisation will enhance overall relations and trusts that Malta will honour its long-standing commitment to move towards a free trade area with the EU. It is of particular importance that Malta eliminates customs duties or taxes having equivalent effect on imports of industrial goods from the EU. Moreover, the Communication sets out the proposals on cooperation in the fields of energy, environmental protection, industrial cooperation and investment, transport, regional and cross-border cooperation, consumer policy and health protection, social affairs, participation in EU programmes, science, research and development, telecommunications and information society as well as cooperation in the fields of political and security issues, justice and home affairs.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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