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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-11-09

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 09/11/1999b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission and Government of the Czech Republic sign Joint Economic Assessment
  • [02] Michaele Schreyer calls on agreement on funding for Kosovo
  • [03] EU economic and development cooperation : responding to the new challenges of climate change
  • [04] Forests and development : the EU approach

  • [01] Commission and Government of the Czech Republic sign Joint Economic Assessment

    Mr Pavel Mertlík, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic, and Mr Pedro Solbes Mira, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, signed today a "Joint Assessment of economic policy priorities of the Czech Republic" for the period up to 2005 as part of the Accession Partnership process.

    [02] Michaele Schreyer calls on agreement on funding for Kosovo

    European Commission for Budget, Michaele Schreyer, has called on the Council of ministers and the European Parliament to find a rapid agreement on the financing of the euro 500 million for the reconstruction in Kosovo. "The euro 500 million which the Commission proposed for the reconstruction in Kosovo next year are necessary in order to fulfil the most urgent demands. The need is especially high in the year 2000", Mrs Schreyer said. She pointed out that the Commission's proposal is backed by the recent report 'Towards stability and prosperity a program for reconstruction and recovery in Kosovo', jointly prepared by European Commission and World Bank staff. The report estimates external financing requirements until December 2000 at USD 1,1 billion with housing, energy and private sector development as being priority areas. The Council wants to finance the funding for the reconstruction in Kosovo next year by an across-the-board cut in external policy programs. The Parliament has rejected this approach in its first reading of the 2000 budget. The Commission then proposed to finance the euro 500 million by redeployment, use of the flexibility reserve and a revision of the financial perspective in 2000. The report estimates the requirements for all donor financial assistance for the year 2000 at USD 1, 1 billion and in total until 2003 at 2,3 billion.

    [03] EU economic and development cooperation : responding to the new challenges of climate change

    The European Commission has adopted the policy document "EC economic and development cooperation : responding to the new challenges of climate change" which reflects the importance the Commission attaches to the issue of climate change and which serves as an initial response to an important ongoing public debate. It addresses challenges and options concerning climate change and the European Union's (EU) economic and development cooperation. Many developing countries contribute little to climate change, but are nevertheless vulnerable to its effects and have little resources for adaptation. The greenhouse gas emissions of developing countries, in particular the emerging economies, are forecasted to increase rapidly and eventually to surpass developed countries' emissions. It is therefore crucial to involve developing countries in the global efforts to slow down climate change. However, developing countries differ significantly in terms of their development status, contribution to climate change and also in terms of their vulnerability to its effects. The document stresses that mainstreaming of climate change considerations into EU cooperation policies has to be done with a view to ensuring that it does not divert the focus from sustainable development priorities of the developing country partners.

    [04] Forests and development : the EU approach

    Responding to a call from the European Parliament for "an integrated international strategy seeking to ensure the qualitative and quantitative conservation and sustainable management of forests", the European Commission has adopted a Communication to the Council of Ministers and the Parliament entitled "Forests and Development the EU approach". The Communication gives an overview of the forest sector in developing countries and defines the objectives of the European Union in forest development cooperation, identifies areas for dialogue and assistance and sets out actions to achieve these objectives taking into account experience gained in recent years. The commitment of the EU and Member States to sustain economic and social development, while fostering environmental protection, is reaffirmed. Hence, interventions are proposed to achieve the following forestry specific objectives : (i) reduced uncontrolled deforestation and forest degradation ; (ii) increased extent of areas under sustainable forest management ; (iii) increased equitable revenues from forest products ; (iv) maintained genetic resources and bio-diversity ; (v) improved capacity of institutional frameworks to meet conflicting demands on forests ; (vi) expanded forest related knowledge base. The Communication also pursues the goal of combating poverty in developing countries while improving the quality of human life within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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