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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-05-25

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

25/05/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 24 mai 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 24 May 2000

  • [01] Commission recommends negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Croatia
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [02] Commission clears Ford's acquisition of full control of Autonova
  • [03] Traveller's allowances : Commission proposes to increase limits for alcohol and tobacco imported into Sweden from other Member States
  • [04] March 2000 industrial production up 0.6% in euro-zone and up 0.5% in EU15
  • [05] Les pièces en euro - de leur création jusqu'à aujourd'hui
  • [06] Commission successfully completes Energy for Democracy project in Serbia
  • [07] Commission launches consultation with stakeholders on sulphur in petrol and diesel fuels
  • [08] Inauguration d'"Europe Direct", le service rapide et facile d'informations sur l'Europe offert aux citoyens

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 24 mai 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 24 May 2000

    (voir aussi see also ME of 24.5)

    [01] Commission recommends negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Croatia

    Further enhancement of bilateral relations between the EU and Croatia is expected following the positive assessment of the Commission feasibility report on Croatia adopted yesterday. The positive conclusions of the report are the first step towards the possible establishment of contractual relations between the EU and the Republic of Croatia in the form of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [02] Commission clears Ford's acquisition of full control of Autonova

    The European Commission has authorised the acquisition by Ford Motor Company of the full control of Swedish company Autonova, a car assembler currently jointly owned by Ford's subsidiary Volvo Car Corp and British car manufacturer TWR.

    [03] Traveller's allowances : Commission proposes to increase limits for alcohol and tobacco imported into Sweden from other Member States

    The European Commission has put forward a proposal to authorise Sweden to substantially increase in several steps the quantities of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products that can be brought into Sweden by private persons coming from other Member States without having to pay excise duties in Sweden. Under the proposal, Sweden also has to abolish the restrictions by 1 January 2004.

    [04] March 2000 industrial production up 0.6% in euro-zone and up 0.5% in EU15

    (! embargo 12 am !) Seasonally adjusted industrial production advanced by 0.6% in the euro-zone in March, when compared to February, Eurostat estimates today. This follows a gain of 0.1% in January and 0.8% in February. Production in the EU15 increased 0.5%, after a slight fall of 0.3% in January and an increase of 1.1% in February. The overall gain in the production index was led by capital goods. Compared with March 1999 industrial production increased by 5.0% in the euro-zone and 4.5% in the EU15. Durable consumer goods and capital goods led the increase with 9.8% and 8.0% respectively in the euro-zone and with 9.4% and 7.2% respectively in the EU15.

    [05] Les pièces en euro - de leur création jusqu'à aujourd'hui

    Deux ans après le démarrage de la production des pièces en euro, la Commission européenne publie la première étude générale sur les pièces en euro. Le document lève le voile sur les négociations ayant conduit au choix des dénominations et des spécifications techniques actuelles, expose l'ensemble des règles applicables aux pièces euro et les principes permettant de déterminer les quantités à produire. Du choix du nom à la protection des pièces contre la contrefaçon, il réunit les informations à connaître quant aux arrangements de l'introduction des pièces en euro.

    [06] Commission successfully completes Energy for Democracy project in Serbia

    The European Commission completed one of its most difficult projects, the Energy for Democracy scheme in favour of Serb opposition controlled municipalities. The Council of Ministers agreed in October 1999, in response to a proposal made by Serb opposition forces, to supply heating fuel to Serbian towns, which are run by democratic forces in order to alleviate harsh winter conditions. The Commission launched extremely rapidly the pilot project "Energy for Democracy", with oil trucks arriving at the Serbian border some five weeks after the decision of the Commission of 26 October 1999. In the following five months a total quantity of 17,513 tons was delivered by trucks and trains from FYROM and Bosnia. All quantities requested by the Municipalities were delivered.

    [07] Commission launches consultation with stakeholders on sulphur in petrol and diesel fuels

    The European Commission has today launched a consultation exercise with all relevant stakeholders regarding the appropriate level of sulphur in petrol and diesel marketed in the EU. Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said : "The future level of sulphur in petrol and diesel is an extremely important issue, which requires a thorough and objective analysis. I urge all stakeholders, therefore, to participate fully in this consultation exercise." Sulphur in petrol and diesel influences the levels of tailpipe emissions from road vehicles. These emissions contribute significantly to air pollution in towns and cities and to problems such as acid rain and summertime smog. Lower levels of sulphur in fuel can contribute to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars and reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. Automotive engines and emissions control equipment have undergone and continue to experience rapid technological development. This has raised the question of what the appropriate sulphur level should be. If sulphur levels are to be reduced further, cost implications for producers of petrol and diesel also need to be considered. In keeping with the highly participatory approach of the two Auto-Oil Programmes the Commission is inviting all potential stakeholders to express their views and to present any relevant findings on this very important issue before 31st July this year. The technical details about this consultation can be found on the Commission's internet site (http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/whatsnew.htm) Responses should be sent to ENV-SULPHUR-REVIEW@cec.eu.int by no later than 31st July 2000.

    [08] Inauguration d'"Europe Direct", le service rapide et facile d'informations sur l'Europe offert aux citoyens

    Viviane Reding, Commissaire européenne en charge de la Citoyenneté, a inauguré le service "Europe Direct", qui offre dans chaque Etat membre une ligne téléphonique gratuite de réponse à toute demande d'information et de conseil, aux niveaux national, régional et local. Une campagne d'information d'"Europe Direct" débutera ce 29 mai.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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