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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 98-11-06

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

06/11/98


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] The tied pub leases of the small and regional UK brewers fall outside the reach of European competition rules
  • [02] Commission adopts its Annual Report of the Structural Funds 1997
  • [03] Business and consumer surveys for September 1998 : Consumer confidence remains high but business sentiment deteriorates

  • [01] The tied pub leases of the small and regional UK brewers fall outside the reach of European competition rules

    The European Commission has decided to reject a complaint of tenants of a regional UK brewer concerning their beer tie in their lease. The Commission considers that this particular brewer's tied network does not fall within the scope of Article 85(1). This sets a clear precedent for all the small and regional UK brewers, as well as the non-brewing pub companies.

    [02] Commission adopts its Annual Report of the Structural Funds 1997

    The European Commission has adopted its Annual Report of the Structural Funds for the year 1997. The Report concentrates on how the countries have put the aid that has been made available to them to use. It draws attention to the sharp increase in the budget execution of programmes undertaken at national initiative: by the end of 1997, 52% of EU contributions had been committed and 46% paid. The Report points out that the Member States where rates of implementation were highest were generally the least prosperous, and also the main beneficiaries, principally under Objective 1: Spain, Portugal and Ireland. While the two previous annual reports concentrated on the environmental aspect of assistance (1995) and support for the technological development of the regions (1996), this Report continues the tradition by focusing on ways in which assistance from the Structural Funds helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). During the current programming period 1994 - 99, between 15% and 20% of the total resources of the Funds will be specifically earmarked for measures to stimulate small firms and improve their productive facilities and economic environment. The total amount involved is between ECU 23 and 30 billion. In Austria, Sweden and Finland, the effort devoted to small firms is even greater (30% to 40% of EU assistance). The Report illustrates the wide variety of measures aimed directly at SMEs (as for instance aid for capital investment through direct grants or financial engineering measures venture capital or aid for training, including management training) in each of the Member States.

    [03] Business and consumer surveys for September 1998 : Consumer confidence remains high but business sentiment deteriorates

    The latest results from the business and consumer surveys conducted by the European Commission's Directorate General for economic and financial affairs are published today. Consumer confidence in the EU improved in October. This was mostly due to a more optimistic view ono the expected genral economic situation. The rise in confidence was more pronounced in the euro-zone than for the Community as a whole, with Germany, Italy and Spain showing improvements. On the other hand, business sentiment deteriorated in October. The industrial confidence indicator fell in all EU countries. The decline in confidence was larger in EU-15 than the euro- zone. Capacity utilization fell slightly in October to 82.9% (preliminary) in both the EU and the euro-zone. The leading indicator for the EU, the economic sentiment indicator, fell back again in October. This can to a large extent be attributed to the drop in industrial confidence and a further weakening of stock markets in October.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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