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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-07-23

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-Parole 23/07/1999b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] La Commission approuve l'acquisition de Gucci (Italie) par PPR (France)
  • [02] La Commission autorise les accords conclus entre la SNCF et Cégétel
  • [03] Action plan for closer dialogue with the fishing industry and other groups affected by the common fisheries policy
  • [04] La production industrielle de la zone euro en légère baisse de - 0,1%
  • [05] Lancement du programme de l'UE pour la reconstruction du Kosovo
  • [06] Tacis funding for scientific projects in Russia and Ukraine
  • [07] Phare Cross Border Cooperation (CBC) programme funding
  • [08] Funds granted for the telecommunications network for Caucasian railways

  • [01] La Commission approuve l'acquisition de Gucci (Italie) par PPR (France)

    La Commission européenne a donné le feu vert à l'acquisition par Pinault- Printemps-Redoute S.A. (PPR) du contrôle exclusif de Gucci. C'est la première opération de concentration dans le secteur des produits de luxe à être examinée au regard des règles communautaires. L'opération ne soulève aucun problème sous l'angle de la concurrence car, à l'exception des sacs à main de luxe en Italie et au Royaume-Uni, les parts des entreprises sur le marché des articles de luxe et de leur distribution sont inférieures à 25 %.

    [02] La Commission autorise les accords conclus entre la SNCF et Cégétel

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'autoriser les accords de coopération conclus entre Cégétel, un nouvel opérateur de télécommunications en France, et la Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF) en vue de fonder une filiale commune, Télécom Développement (TD). TD mettra en place et exploitera un réseau national de télécommunications longue distance sur la base du réseau national de chemins de fer français. L'opération notifiée est liée à la création de Cégétel, que la Commission a autorisée cette année.

    [03] Action plan for closer dialogue with the fishing industry and other groups affected by the common fisheries policy

    The European Commission has adopted an action plan aimed at creating the conditions needed for effective consultation and communication between all involved directly and indirectly in the common fisheries policy. The Commission believes that improving the dialogue with the fishing and aquaculture industry is essential in order to tighten the links with a sector directly affected by any new measure of the European Union (EU). This dialogue must not, however, be confined to the industrial sector directly concerned. It must embrace the other groups in society that are affected by the development, management and future of fishing, particularly associations involved in the environment, consumer protection or cooperation with non-EU countries. The action plan adopted by the Commission is in three parts : renewal of the Advisory Committee on Fisheries, reinforcement of trade organisations and better communication with the groups concerned. The first part is the subject of a Commission decision ; to implement the other two, the Commission is proposing a Regulation, to be adopted by the Council of Ministers after consultation of the European Parliament.

    [04] La production industrielle de la zone euro en légère baisse de - 0,1%

    (! embargo 12h !) La tendance de la production industrielle de la zone euro a diminué de -0,1% pour la période de mars à mai 1999 par rapport aux trois mois précédents, selon les estimations publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. Il s'agit de la plus petite baisse depuis cinq mois. La production au sein de l'Union européenne (UE15) est restée inchangée avec 0,0%. Le volume de la production industrielle, corrigé des jours ouvrables, a baissé en mai de respectivement -0,8% pour la zone euro et de -0,4% pour l'UE15 par rapport au mois de mai 1998. La croissance au mois d'avril a été révisée à -0,6% pour la zone euro et à -0,7%, chiffre non révisé pour l'UE15. Etant donné que cette série fluctue beaucoup, il est conseillé d'interpréter avec prudence cette évolution.

    [05] Lancement du programme de l'UE pour la reconstruction du Kosovo

    L'Union européenne va dégager, en 1999, un financement de l'ordre de 150 millions d'euros sous forme de dons pour le lancement du programme pour la reconstruction du Kosovo. L'année prochaine, ce programme sera renforcé à hauteur de quelque 500 millions d'euros. Ce dernier sera mis en oeuvre par l'Agence européenne de reconstruction.

    [06] Tacis funding for scientific projects in Russia and Ukraine

    The European Commission has decided to grant 17 million euro to the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) in Moscow. The ISTC, which is supported by the European Union (EU), the United States (US), Japan and Russia, aims to redirect the talents of the New Independent States' (NIS) and Mongolia's weapons scientists for peaceful purposes. The funding will be used to further promote the integration of the NIS scientists into the international community. This will be done through the organisation of scientific seminars and symposia in selected institutes in the NIS with the participation of western scientists and experts. Another example of how the money will be allocated is through travel grants for NIS scientists to put them in contact with colleagues in the western countries for developing joint project proposals. The selection of ISTC projects, which are regarded as eligible for funding by the EU at the ISTC Governing Board meetings, is undertaken by the Commission in close cooperation with the EU Member states. As part of Tacis 1999 the Commission has also decided to approve funding worth 3 million euro for the Science and Technology Centre, Ukraine (STCU). The STCU is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1994 by Canada, US, Sweden and Ukraine and the EU completed its procedures for accession in November 1998. The STCU aims to promote the further integration of Ukranian, Uzbek and Georgian scientists into the international scientific community. It is intended to use this budget to finance, through the Centre, project activities, inter alia, in the field of environmental protection, energy production, nuclear safety, public health, material research and information technologies.

    [07] Phare Cross Border Cooperation (CBC) programme funding

    The European Commission has decided to grant financial aid worth 25 million euro to set up the 1999 Cross Border Cooperation programme (Phare CBC programme) between Greece and Bulgaria. The money will be invested in major infrastructure projects of importance to both countries and will focus specifically on the transport, telecommunications and environment sectors. The aim of these projects will be to contribute to the accession preparations for Bulgaria and will include, the electrification of the Dupnitza Kulata Railway line, the installation of Optic Cable Haskovo and a 12 million euro project to close the uranium mines in Eleshnitsa and Dospat. As part of the Phare CBC programme the Commission has also adopted the decision to grant financial aid worth a total of 14 million euro for cross-border cooperation between Italy, Greece and Albania. The Phare CBC programme with Italy, worth 7 million euro, will concentrate on the districts of Albania which share a common maritime border with Italy. A major part of the funding will, therefore, support the further development of the North South Corridor, the development of the Durres Ferry Terminal and the Durres industrial Park among other projects. Similarly the Phare contribution to the programme of cross-border cooperation between Albania and Greece will be 7 million euro and will be devoted to improving the infrastructure in two main areas : the roads infrastructure in the Greece/Albania border region and the rehabilitation of the water supply system in Gjirokaster.

    [08] Funds granted for the telecommunications network for Caucasian railways

    The European Commission has decided to grant financial aid worth 15 million euro to fund the installation of a telecommunications network for the Caucasian railways. The Presidents of Georgia, the Azerbaijan Republic and the Republic of Armenia requested European Union (EU) funding of an optical cable for communication between 133 stations and signalling of railway tracks within the framework of the Tacis programme "TRACECA". The project is a west-east link between the Georgian seaport of Poti (Black Sea) and the Azeri seaport of Baku (Caspian Sea), branching off to the south in Tbilisi (Georgia) towards Yerevan (Republic of Armenia). At first the cable will be used exclusively for railway operations. Later, as the line becomes fully operational, up to 80% of its capacity could be used for general telecommunications purposes (civil telephone lines, television distribution, electronic data interchange etc.), thereby gradually breaking the present monopolies in the Caucasus' telecommunications sector. At present the Ministries of Post and Communications hold a monopoly on both regional and international telecommunications in the Transcaucaus. The Railways, as future owners of the optical cable, have agreed to collaborate with the Ministries of Post and Communications, and guarantee they will allow public and private telecom operators to lease the spare capacity of the transmission network. The project will be a concrete implementation of bilateral agreements between Georgia and the Azerbaijan Republic and between Georgia and the Republic of Armenia, in the broader context of a Multilateral Agreement on International Transport between the TRACECA countries, and would thus foster regional cooperation.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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