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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-05-05

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 Service Presse et Communicationb

05/05/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission pledges a further euro 67.5 million for Mozambique at the International Reconstruction Conference in Rome
  • [02] Commission statement on the "Love Bug" virus attack
  • [03] March 2000 - Industrial producer prices rose by 0.6% in euro-zone and by 0.5% in EU15 compared to February 2000
  • [04] Launch of European network for out-of-Court settlement of consumer disputes
  • [05] Franz Fischler : "Successful rural development means sustainable rural development"
  • [06] Standing up to globalisation : Anna Diamantopoulou calls for a new social policy for the new economy

  • [01] Commission pledges a further euro 67.5 million for Mozambique at the International Reconstruction Conference in Rome

    Underlining its continued support to the Government and people of Mozambique, the European Commission has announced a pledge for euro 67.5 million, bringing its total response for reconstruction and rehabilitation for the flood struck country to euro 73.5 million. This pledge, made at the International Reconstruction Conference held in Rome on 3-4 May, represents over 15% of the appeal for reconstruction issued by the government of Mozambique. The Commissioner for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Poul Nielson, stated : "This is the most tangible and meaningful manner by which the Commission can help the people of Mozambique rebuild their lives and economy. By doing this, we are respecting our promise made immediately after the floods to stand by Mozambique not just in the short term, but also in the medium and long term".

    [02] Commission statement on the "Love Bug" virus attack

    The virus that was launched all over the world yesterday was extremely serious. It has once again helped raise awareness of the importance of information security. It has not had a substantial effect on the European Commission since it immediately recognised this as an attack and warned all staff, so they were able to take the necessary precautions. Information security is crucial in order to ensure and promote confidence of consumers and investors in e-commerce. This was identified as a priority by the Lisbon European Council, and forms one of the central themes of the Commission's eEurope Initiative. Mr Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and Information Society stated : "The Love Bug is a warning to us all that security must be given top priority if consumer and user confidence is to be maintained as we move into the information age. The Commission is determined to give security the urgency it deserves, both in its own computer systems and in the policies it promotes." A number of relevant initiatives have been taken by the Commission or are in the pipeline. First and foremost is the forthcoming Communication on Cyber- crime. This will propose improving cooperation amongst national law enforcement authorities and other stake-holders and raise raising awareness of the need for effective security measures by service providers and access to the latest relevant technologies. Secondly, the Commission will participate in the G8 High-Tech Crime Convention in Paris on May 15-17. Industry and law enforcement authorities will be represented (see web-site: http://www.g8parishightech.org). The Commission will outline the broad thrust of its forthcoming recommendations. Further damage was averted by international cooperation and the exchange or information between professionals and users. This type of mutual cooperation should be encouraged. Users are urged, however, to keep their guard up. Modified versions of the virus are now being distributed - changing its name etc. - and the risks from this specific incident will continue for a while.

    [03] March 2000 - Industrial producer prices rose by 0.6% in euro-zone and by 0.5% in EU15 compared to February 2000

    (! embargo 12 am !) The euro-zone industrial producer price index rose by 0.6% in March 2000 compared with the previous month, Eurostat - Statistical Office of the European Communities in Luxembourg - estimates today. Prices in EU15 went up by 0.5%. For both the euro-zone and the EU15, the index in March showed the same increase as in February. As in previous months, the March increases were led by the index for intermediate goods, which rose by 0.9% in the euro-zone and 0.8% in the EU15. Prices of all other sectors edged up by 0.1% in March, except capital goods in the EU15 which fell 0.1% in March. Producer prices were up by 6.2% in the euro-zone and 5.6% in the EU15 compared to March 1999. The increase stems again mainly from the intermediate goods sector, the index rising by 9.8% in the euro-zone and 9.2% in the EU15. The prices rose much less in the other sectors, although the annual rate of most of them has edged slightly up in the latest six months.

    [04] Launch of European network for out-of-Court settlement of consumer disputes

    David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, and the Portuguese Secretary of State for Consumer Protection, Mr. Acacio Barreiros, have today in Lisbon launched the European Extra-Judicial Network for settling consumer disputes out of court. At a conference hosted by the Portuguese presidency, Mr Byrne said : "The EEJ-net marks an important milestone to give consumers access to simple, low cost and effective means of resolving cross border conflicts. The continued growth of e-commerce, the increase in travel and the introduction of the euro will invariably lead to an increase in cross border consumer transactions. I expect the EEJ-net to be a flexible and evolving structure that will accommodate new and diverse schemes as they develop, make use of new technologies and provide the most efficient and effective access to justice for consumers". The conference will be closed by Antonio Vitorino, Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs on Saturday.

    [05] Franz Fischler : "Successful rural development means sustainable rural development"

    In a speech at the Plenary Session of the Agribusiness Forum in Sofia, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Franz Fischler, emphasised the historical importance of enlargement and referred to the expectations, of economic opportunities for investment, growth and wealth, and of course the chance for more peace in a Europe of common values. Referring to the challenges arising from enlargement, the Commissioner said : "The process of uniting Europe could give rise to many risks and difficulties. We all know that. But the EU has always underlined that in the negotiation process quality is as important as speed." "Besides the economic and social dimension, the environmental dimension is of highest importance," stated Mr Fischler. He also referred to the instruments and financial resources, provided by the EU, especially for the agricultural sector. "This is the first time, that candidate countries receive such support before joining the Union. From this year on, Bulgaria will benefit from euro 52 million per year from the SAPARD-Programme, the instrument to facilitate the adaptation of agriculture in the candidate countries", Mr Fischler underlined.

    [06] Standing up to globalisation : Anna Diamantopoulou calls for a new social policy for the new economy

    European Commissioner for Social Affairs, Anna Diamantopoulou, today announced that she will bring forward a New Agenda for Social Policy in June. She was speaking at a major international conference in Lisbon - on the subject of globalisation and the future of social policy.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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