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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-10-29

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 29/10/1999b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission takes safeguard measure because of West Nile Fever (WNF)
  • [02] Commission clears acquisition of Case Corporation (US) by New Holland (the Netherlands) with substantial conditions
  • [03] Commission again takes action against Italy, Ireland and France for failure to respond to Commission queries on environmental complaints
  • [04] Directive sur les nitrates : la Commission poursuit son action juridique contre la France
  • [05] La Commission assigne la Grèce devant la Cour de justice pour manquement à l'obligation de protéger la tortue de Méditerranée
  • [06] Chris Patten first visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • [07] Chris Patten and the EU Troika visit Algeria

  • [01] Commission takes safeguard measure because of West Nile Fever (WNF)

    David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, today announced restrictions on the import of horses from the United States in order to avoid that West Nile Fever (WNF) from infected regions is imported into Community territory. WNF is a virus which is transmitted mainly by mosquitoes and birds. Humans and horses are dead-end hosts. After incubation period of 5 and 15 days symptoms from mild flu-like illness up to severer encephalitis can occur. Five deaths in humans have been reported in the US where the disease gave rise to major public concern earlier this summer before its identification. The way of introduction and the evolution of the disease are uncertain. Imports of horses are only permitted on certification that they have not been resident in New York City and the States of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey (where the virus was found) during the last 15 days or have not been in contact with horses which have been resident on infected holdings during the last 15 days. The decision shall apply until 31 January 2000 and will be referred to the Standing Veterinary Committee within the next days. Mr Byrne emphasises that the measure is purely precautionary and that the prospect of infection is extremely remote.

    [02] Commission clears acquisition of Case Corporation (US) by New Holland (the Netherlands) with substantial conditions

    The European Commission has approved the transaction whereby New Holland will acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of Case Corporation. This approval follows far-reaching commitments to divest ranges of agricultural machinery products and backhoe loaders and to open up access to the parties' dealer networks.

    [03] Commission again takes action against Italy, Ireland and France for failure to respond to Commission queries on environmental complaints

    The European Commission has decided to send a warning to Italy, Ireland and France for failing to respond to a series of Commission letters requesting environmental information. The complaints include Ireland's failure to clarify Dublin Bay as a special protection area, Italy's failure to assess adequately the impact of a landfill site in Trapani, and threats to wildlife at Mont Saint-Michel in France. Member States are required to co- operate with the Commission in dealing with such complaints. The decision reflects the Commission's concern that, in the cases concerned, it is not receiving the usual degree of cooperation it expects from Member States.

    [04] Directive sur les nitrates : la Commission poursuit son action juridique contre la France

    La Commission européenne a décidé de s'adresser à la Cour européenne de justice contre la France, pour non-respect de la Directive de l'Union européenne sur les nitrates. La Commission considère que la France n'a pas effectué le recensement des eaux qui sont polluées ou menacées par les nitrates et des eaux qui subissent une eutrophisation (utilisées comme base pour désigner les zones vulnérables), conformément aux critères fixés dans la Directive. La France a notamment négligé de tenir suffisamment compte des eaux dans lesquelles la quantité de rejets d'origine agricole, sans être prépondérante, est tout de même considérable. On constate par conséquent de graves lacunes en ce qui concerne la France métropolitaine (principalement dans le nord, le sud-ouest, la Normandie et l'île de France), tandis qu'aucune évaluation n'a été achevée en ce qui concerne les départements d'outre-mer.

    [05] La Commission assigne la Grèce devant la Cour de justice pour manquement à l'obligation de protéger la tortue de Méditerranée

    La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour européenne de justice d'un recours contre la Grèce, à laquelle elle reproche de ne pas protéger de façon satisfaisante la tortue marine Caretta caretta, espèce rare vivant en Méditerranée, conformément à la directive "Habitats". La Commission doute, en effet, de l'efficacité des mesures de protection prises dans l'île grecque de Zakynthos, dont certaines plages constituent des lieux de ponte importants pour cette espèce.

    [06] Chris Patten first visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina

    On Monday afternoon November 1st, Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations, will arrive in Sarajevo at the start of his first visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main purpose of his visit is to gain first- hand insights on the current political, security and economic situation. On his arrival Mr Patten will meet Foreign Minister Jadranko Prlic. That afternoon he will hold meetings with General Robert Adams, Commander SFOR, Ambassador Robert Barry, UNHCR and the EU High Representative Wolfgang Petritsch. During his stay the Commissioner also plans to meet with the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Council of Ministers. He will visit projects financed by the EU at Dobrinja and Vogosca. At 13h30 on Tuesday 2nd November a short press conference will be held at the Coalition Press and Information Centre, Marshal Tito Barracks.

    [07] Chris Patten and the EU Troika visit Algeria

    On Wednesday 3 November 1999, Chris Patten, European Commissioner responsible for External Relations, together with the other members of the EU-Troika, composed of the actual and the incoming presidencies (Finland and Portugal) and the High Representative for the CFSP of the EU, Javier Solana, will go on a one-day mission to Algeria. The main purpose of the visit is to gain first-hand insight about the political, security and economic situation in Algeria after the Referendum on the "concorde civile" held on 16 September 1999. They plan to meet Algerian president Bouteflika and Foreign minister Attaf. A particular interest for the EU Troika will be the resumption of the formal negotiations of an Association agreement with the EU, interrupted since May 1997. Other areas of interest and discussion cover the development of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), Western Sahara, the Barcelona process, financial cooperation with Algeria under the MEDA programme and the Middle East Peace process.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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