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

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

11/11/98


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] La Commission adopte une proposition de Directive sur l'information et la consultation des travailleurs
  • [02] Commission proposes UK Date Based Export Scheme
  • [03] Commission approves Skanska's acquisition of Scancem following commitments
  • [04] La Commission clarifie ses règles sur les aides d'Etat à l'égard de la fiscalité des entreprises
  • [05] Commission authorises aid to Rackwitz Aluminium GmbH
  • [06] Décision négative sur l'aide italienne à INMA
  • [07] Commission refuses aid to ESF Elbestahlwerk Feralpi
  • [08] Commission approves aid to LDV Ltd (UK) for joint venture with Daewoo (South Korea)
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [09] Jacques Santer launches an appeal to President Clinton on the banana issue
  • [10] Vademecum de l'ESB
  • [11] First Assembly of Consumer Associations in Europe, 12 and 13 November

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] La Commission adopte une proposition de Directive sur l'information et la consultation des travailleurs

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition de Directive du Conseil établissant un cadre général pour l'information et la consultation des travailleurs dans l'Union européenne (UE). Cette initiative est un pas essentiel pour renforcer la dimension sociale de l'UE et pour réaliser la création d'une force de travail adaptable, motivée et de très haut niveau. En effet, le rôle de l'information et de la consultation contribue à développer l'adaptabilité et à augmenter la productivité. Cette proposition s'applique aux entreprises qui ont au moins 50 travailleurs et demande à celles-ci d'informer et de consulter leurs travailleurs en temps utile sur les sujets qui concernent directement l'organisation du travail et leur contrat de travail. Elle a pour but de compléter et de soutenir les dispositions existantes aux niveaux national et européen et de combler les lacunes et mesures inadéquates qui ont été identifiées dans le long processus de consultation mené avant l'adoption de cette proposition.

    [02] Commission proposes UK Date Based Export Scheme

    The European Commission has approved a proposal to the Council of Ministers for a Date Based Export Scheme, which, when approved and its application and control has been verified, would allow a date to be established for the resumption of exports of beef and beef products but only from a certain defined category of the United Kingdom (UK) beef herd. This scheme would apply only to deboned meat and meat products obtained from animals born after the 1 August 1996 (the date on which it is considered that the meat and bone meal ban in the UK was fully effective) and which are over six months and under thirty months of age. The scheme also includes the slaughter and destruction of offspring from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) infected animals and verification that the dam of the animal concerned has lived for at least six months after birth and not developed BSE. Strict rules on identification of animals and traceability of animals and meat are also included.

    [03] Commission approves Skanska's acquisition of Scancem following commitments

    Further to doubts raised by the European Commission in the course of its investigation, Skanska has proposed to resolve all competition concerns relating to the creation of Scancem and its ownership structure. Skanska will achieve this by selling its entire shareholding in Scancem to another independent purchaser and also by procuring that Scancem's cement operations in Finland are sold to an independent purchaser. The Commission has therefore decided to approve the concentration by which the Swedish construction company Skanska AB acquired control of the Swedish concrete and cement producer Scancem AB.

    [04] La Commission clarifie ses règles sur les aides d'Etat à l'égard de la fiscalité des entreprises

    La Commission européenne a adopté une Communication qui expose comment elle appliquera les règles relatives aux aides d'Etat dans le domaine de la fiscalité directe des entreprises. Sur la base de cette Communication, la Commission évaluera ou réévaluera les aspects d'aides d'Etat de tous les régimes fiscaux spéciaux dans les Etats membres.

    [05] Commission authorises aid to Rackwitz Aluminium GmbH

    The European Commission has decided to approve the aid of DM 10.8 million (ECU 5.5 million) to Rackwitz, an aluminium plant situated in the Land of Saxony (Germany) by the Bundesanstalt für vereinigungsbedingte Sonderaufgaben (BvS) and the Land of Saxony. In view of the fact that the aid measures are limited to the absolute minimum necessary requirements to restore viability of an undertaking in difficulty in an area eligible for regional aid under Art. 92(3) (a) and (c) of the EU Treaty and the EU guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring of firms in difficulty, the Commission has decided to raise no objections to the relevant aid.

    [06] Décision négative sur l'aide italienne à INMA

    La Commission européenne a pris une décision négative à l'égard d'une demande des autorités italiennes de doubler l'intensité de l'aide à hauteur de 9% pour deux contrats de transformation de navires au chantier naval INMA. Le gouvernement italien n'a pas démontré que les autres chantiers communautaires qui étaient en compétition avec le chantier INMA n'auraient pas été en mesure d'obtenir les contrats avec une aide d'une intensité inférieure à 9%. Il ne peut être exclu que INMA a obtenu les contrats pour la seule raison qu'une aide de 9% était prévue, la plaçant de facto dans une position plus favorable vis-à-vis de ses concurrents communautaires. Aucun élément n'a été apporté sur, d'une part, la nécessité de monter le niveau de l'aide à 9% et, d'autre part, le fait que ces commandes n'auraient pas pu échoir à des chantiers de l'Union européenne qui avaient également été approchés avec un niveau d'aides inférieur à 9%.

    [07] Commission refuses aid to ESF Elbestahlwerk Feralpi

    The European Commission has decided to close the procedure against ESF Elbestahlwerk Feralpi (Germany), initiated on 18 November 1997, by a final negative decision.

    [08] Commission approves aid to LDV Ltd (UK) for joint venture with Daewoo (South Korea)

    The European Commission has approved regional investment aid of £25 million (ECU 38 million) to LDV Ltd for a project to manufacture a new range of medium/ heavy vans in a joint venture with Daewoo. The investment will be carried out in LDV's plant in Birmingham (UK). The Commission has decided that the aid is compatible with Art. 92(3)(c) of the Treaty as it complies with the EU framework of state aid to the vehicle industry.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [09] Jacques Santer launches an appeal to President Clinton on the banana issue

    In a letter addressed yesterday evening to Bill Clinton, Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, appealed to the US President to give his urgent personal attention to the implications of unilateral action of the US concerning the European Union (EU) banana import regime. Unilateral action of this sort would be a clear breach of the United States' World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments. No WTO member has the right unilaterally to determine whether another member is in compliance with WTO rules. The Commission President's letter sets out that the consequence of the US pursuing its unilateral action against the EU would be serious damage to the entire multilateral WTO system as well as to the agenda for positive EU/US cooperation. Jacques Santer stressed that pursuing unilateral action against the EU would be a political misjudgment at a time when the EU and the US should be working together in shared leadership to alleviate the world's economic difficulties, and to share the burden this imposes. President Santer made clear that if the US persists with this course of action, the EU would take early action to start dispute settlement proceedings in the WTO.

    [10] Vademecum de l'ESB

    La Commission européenne vient de publier la 3ème édition du Vademecum de l'Encephalopathie Spongiforme Bovine (ESB) qui informe de la situation, de l'état des connaissances scientifiques et des mesures prises ou prévues dans le cadre de l'Union européenne (UE) pour renforcer la sécurité des consommateurs. A l'occasion de cette publication, Emma Bonino, Commissaire responsable pour la Politique des Consommateurs, a déclaré : "Si, comme je le dis souvent, le risque zéro n'existe pas en matière alimentaire, il est certain qu'une information sérieuse et aussi complète que possible tend à le réduire et à regénérer la confiance du consommateur." Le Vademecum a été préparé par le Groupe de travail interservices que la Commission a décidé de créer le 27 mars 1996 pour évaluer les conséquences de la crise pour les consommateurs et améliorer leur information. Il reprend, actualise et complète les deux premières versions respectivement datées du 28 mai 1996 et du 29 novembre 1996. Le document, qui sera traduit dans toutes les langues de l'UE, est disponible sur internet à l'adresse suivante : http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg24/health/bse/index_en.html

    [11] First Assembly of Consumer Associations in Europe, 12 and 13 November

    The European Commission is launching the first Assembly of non-governmental consumer associations in Europe. On 12 and 13 November, around 180 representatives from some 110 consumer organisations will meet in Brussels to discuss consumer policy related questions. The aim is to have a general consultation once a year with a large number of non governmental organisations (NGOs) consumer associations in order to stimulate the consumer movement in Europe and to raise awareness about consumer questions. After the opening, where among others Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Franz Fischler will address the plenary, the Assembly will split into three working sessions : the role of NGOs in the new European consumer policy, the Commission's 3-year priority programme for consumer policy 1999-2001 and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. Each group will report its results to the plenary where, on Friday afternoon, Consumer Policy Commissioner Emma Bonino will present the conclusions. A final report will be submitted to the Commission. The Assembly will take place in the Charlemagne Building. Journalists are invited to participate Thursday morning and Friday afternoon. A detailed programme is available on the internet (http://europa.eu.int/comm/ dg24/events/event06_en.html). On Wednesday afternoon, consumer associations from the 12 applicant countries also meet with the Commission.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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