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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-05-29

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 Service Presse et Communicationb

29/05/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] EU research fosters development of fuel-less car
  • [02] Commission and Lithuania sign joint assessment of medium-term economic policy priorities
  • [03] Commission gives green light to a US joint venture between BellSouth and SBC Communications
  • [04] La Commission autorise la création d'une entreprise commune en Grèce entre Carrefour et Marinopoulos
  • [05] Commission opens full probe into Boeing's acquisition of the satellite business of Hughes Electronics
  • [06] La Commission signe un prêt de 212,5 millions d'euros pour moderniser des centrales nucléaires en Bulgarie
  • [07] Frits Bolkestein underlines crucial role of industrial and intellectual property protection for EU competitiveness

  • [01] EU research fosters development of fuel-less car

    No noise, no pollution, no motor, high efficiency - this could be the car that people will be driving in five years if a new promising technology to fuel private cars and busses makes its way to the market. In fact, the so- called fuel cell car already exists as a prototype produced by several big motor vehicle manufacturers. Today, this technology will be presented by European Commissioner for Research, Philippe Busquin, who is confident that "we are making real progress on the way to a means of transport that combines the comfort of a normal car (or bus) with zero pollution". The Commissioner is equally impressed by the good cooperation between academia and industry in Europe and hopes that putting such a vehicle on the road will convince policy-makers and industry that they are looking at a viable and sustainable new way of transport.

    [02] Commission and Lithuania sign joint assessment of medium-term economic policy priorities

    (! embargo 1 pm !) Mr Valentinas Milaknis, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania, and Mr Giovanni Ravasio, Commission Director General for Economic and Financial Affairs, signed today the "Joint Assessment of medium-term economic policy priorities of the Republic of Lithuania" for the period up to 2005 as part of the pre-accession process.

    [03] Commission gives green light to a US joint venture between BellSouth and SBC Communications

    The European Commission has authorised the creation of a joint venture in the mobile telecommunications sector between BellSouth Corp and SBC Communications Inc, both of the United States. The proposed joint venture will combine Bellsouth's US-wide mobile data business and its mobile voice interests in the South Eastern US with SBC's mobile voice interests in California and the central and Eastern US.

    [04] La Commission autorise la création d'une entreprise commune en Grèce entre Carrefour et Marinopoulos

    La Commission européenne a autorisé un projet par lequel les groupes de distribution Carrefour, France, et Marinopoulos Brother SA, Grèce, créent une entreprise commune à parts égales qui regroupera notamment les chaînes d'hypermarchés Carrefour Hellas et Continent Hellas ainsi que les enseignes Hypermarinopoulos et Niki. L'opération ne change pas la situation concurrentielle sur le marché grec car le groupe Carrefour détenait déjà des participations dans les deux sociétés de Marinopoulos.

    [05] Commission opens full probe into Boeing's acquisition of the satellite business of Hughes Electronics

    The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition by the Boeing Company of the satellite business of Hughes Electronics Corporation. The initial investigation has shown that the operation could strengthen Hughes' already leading position in commercial communication geostationary satellites (GEO satellites) ; there are also indications that, after the transaction, Hughes could induce its satellite customers to procure launch services from Boeing. In view of Hughes' current market position in GEO satellites, and of the recent development of Boeing's activities in launch services, the Commission has therefore identified risks that the acquisition may lead to the creation or strengthening of a dominant position on these markets. Concerns have also been raised with regard to access for third parties to certain satellite equipment manufactured by Hughes.

    [06] La Commission signe un prêt de 212,5 millions d'euros pour moderniser des centrales nucléaires en Bulgarie

    (! embargo 15h00 !) La Commission européenne a signé aujourd'hui, au nom d'Euratom, un prêt consenti à la centrale nucléaire de Kozloduy (KNPP). Le gouvernement bulgare et la Compagnie nationale bulgare d'électricité (NEK) garantissent ce prêt. Le projet porte sur la modernisation et l'amélioration, jusqu'à des niveaux de sûreté acceptables sur le plan international, de deux réacteurs nucléaires VVER 1000 russes de la troisième génération. Il fait partie intégrante de l'accord concernant la fermeture des unités plus anciennes et techniquement moins avancées. Le projet est déjà entré dans sa phase préparatoire. Un consortium européen participe à ce projet.

    [07] Frits Bolkestein underlines crucial role of industrial and intellectual property protection for EU competitiveness

    The EU Trade Mark system has proved highly successful in helping to create a business environment which nurtured dynamism and creativity, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Frits Bolkestein, told a conference at the EU Trade Mark Office in Alicante, but more now needs to be done. Speaking on the protection of industrial property in Europe and its place in the world, he said that : "The ambition is now to develop a system of EU- wide protection for industrial designs compatible with that provided for trademarks". The Commissioner outlined what the Commission has already achieved at EU and international levels in the field of industrial and intellectual property protection and said there would be important legislative improvements this year, including a proposal to set up an EU Patent. "The need for protection of industrial property rights for innovation and employment and its impact on competition is crucial. I am convinced that the importance of intellectual property rights will continue to grow", he said, noting that the extension of the EU Trade Mark system to cover new Member States in an enlarged EU would be a difficult challenge. This year the Trade Mark office in Alicante expects to receive some 60,000 applications for trademarks.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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