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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-07-06

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

06/07/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 5 juillet 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 5 July 2000

  • [01] La Commission propose la création d'un brevet communautaire
  • [02] Urban waste water treatment : Commission moves against Italy, Austria, Germany and Belgium
  • [03] Packaging waste : Commission to send second warning letter to Germany in the "Töpfer"-case
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] Nicole Fontaine et Romano Prodi : "L'accord-cadre Parlement/Commission constitue un plus pour l'Europe"
  • [05] Commission clears joint venture between Svenska Cellulosa and Graninge
  • [06] Industrial producer prices rose by 0.8% in euro-zone ; up 0.7% in EU15
  • [07] Transport safety in the EU - Nearly 43 000 road deaths in 1998
  • [08] La Commission établit des lignes directrices visant à promouvoir le développement de transports durables
  • [09] Democratic Republic of Congo : Commission approves humanitarian aid worth euro 20 million
  • [10] Franz Fischler calls for measures to conserve deep water species
  • [11] Signature d'un accord de coopération entre l'OLAF et le comité douanier de l'Etat de Russie
  • [12] Commission and the UNHCR strengthen their partnership on asylum issues

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 5 juillet 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 5 July 2000

    (voir aussi see also ME of 5/7)

    [01] La Commission propose la création d'un brevet communautaire

    La Commission européenne a proposé la création d'un brevet communautaire pour donner aux inventeurs l'option d'obtenir un brevet unique légalement valable dans toute l'Union européenne. La proposition réduirait considérablement la charge des entreprises et encouragerait l'innovation en abaissant le coût d'obtention d'un brevet tout en offrant une structure juridiquement claire en cas de litige. Les Conseils européens de Lisbonne et de Feira ont évoqué la création d'un brevet communautaire comme une composante essentielle des efforts de l'Europe pour exploiter les résultats de la recherche pour de nouvelles avancées scientifiques et technologiques, et contribuer ainsi à une économie compétitive basée sur la connaissance en Europe. Les sommets ont recommandé que le brevet communautaire soit disponible à la fin de 2001.

    [02] Urban waste water treatment : Commission moves against Italy, Austria, Germany and Belgium

    The European Commission has decided to proceed to the European Court of Justice against Italy, Austria and Germany for their non-respect of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. The Commission will also send a Reasoned Opinion (second warning letter) to Belgium under the same Directive. Member States were required to implement this Directive in national law by 30 June 1993. The Italian case concerns the city of Milan, where urban waste waters are discharged without treatment. The Belgian case concerns, among other factors, the persistent failure by the city of Brussels to treat its waste water.

    [03] Packaging waste : Commission to send second warning letter to Germany in the "Töpfer"-case

    The European Commission has decided to send a Reasoned Opinion (second warning letter) to Germany because the German reuse scheme for natural mineral water bottles does not comply with the Packaging Waste Directive. The Commission believes that German legislation is undermining the functioning of the single market, as the appropriate balance between free movement of goods and environmental protection has not been struck. Environmental benefits of the present scheme are cancelled out by the scheme's transport implications.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] Nicole Fontaine et Romano Prodi : "L'accord-cadre Parlement/Commission constitue un plus pour l'Europe"

    C'est ainsi que la Présidente du Parlement européen et le Président de la Commission européenne ont qualifié l'accord-cadre passé entre les deux institutions. Adopté le même jour, le 5 juillet, par le Parlement et la Commission, "ce texte", ont dit les deux présidents, "ouvre la voie à de nouvelles relations fondées sur le travail en commun dans le respect des compétences respectives, la confiance mutuelle entre nos deux institutions et l'esprit de responsabilité qui doit les animer." Pour Nicole Fontaine et Romano Prodi, "l'accord-cadre permet au Parlement d'exercer pleinement son pouvoir de contrôle démocratique et conforte son rôle d'autorité législative. Il respecte le droit d'initiative de la Commission et le plein exercice de ses fonctions de gestion et d'exécution." Enfin, l'accord-cadre "améliore de manière déterminante la transparence des méthodes de travail et par là-même renforce le caractère démocratique de l'UE." Les deux présidents tiennent à insister "sur le caractère politique et novateur de ce texte qui, au moment où l'Union européenne fait face à des échéances capitales, démontre que le Parlement et la Commission entendent oeuvrer ensemble pour répondre aux défis immédiats et futurs de l'Union européenne."

    [05] Commission clears joint venture between Svenska Cellulosa and Graninge

    The European Commission has granted regulatory clearance to the creation of a joint venture in which Swedish forestry companies Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) and Graninge will combine most of their forestry and sawmill operations. The deal raises no competition problems given that the companies' combined market shares in these markets are relatively low.

    [06] Industrial producer prices rose by 0.8% in euro-zone ; up 0.7% in EU15

    (! embargo 12 am !) The euro-zone industrial producer price index was 0.8% higher in May 2000 compared with April, Eurostat estimates today. The May increase stems largely from the intermediate goods sector which advanced 1.2% in the euro-zone and 1.0% in EU15. Durable and non-durable consumer goods increased in both the euro-zone and in EU15 by 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. The index for capital goods showed no change. Compared to May 1999 producer prices increased by 6.5% in the euro-zone and 5.7% in the EU15.

    [07] Transport safety in the EU - Nearly 43 000 road deaths in 1998

    (! embargo 12 am !) According to Eurostat statistics, road accidents caused the death of 42 600 people in the EU in 1998. In spite of increasing traffic, the number of road deaths in the EU fell from 56,400 in 1990 to 43, 500 in 1996, a reduction of almost 25%. However, with the number of deaths remaining virtually unchanged from 1996 to 1998, progress in road safety seem to have been more limited in recent years. The road death rate, calculated as the number of deaths per million inhabitants, has fallen in most Member States since 1990, but large differences still remain.

    [08] La Commission établit des lignes directrices visant à promouvoir le développement de transports durables

    Dans une communication, la Commission européenne a adopté une nouvelle politique de transports dont les orientations visent à promouvoir des transports durables dans les pays en développement. Cette nouvelle approche, qui se veut sectorielle, permettra aux transports de contribuer à atteindre les objectifs de développement de l'Union européenne. Elle entend garantir des transports fiables et durables, aussi bien au plan économique et financier que du point de vue institutionnel, respectueux de l'environnement et prenant en compte les intérêts de la collectivité.

    [09] Democratic Republic of Congo : Commission approves humanitarian aid worth euro 20 million

    The European Commission has approved funding for humanitarian operations worth euro 20 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Channelled by ECHO, the Commission Humanitarian Aid Office, this aid will enable non- governmental organisations and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to deliver emergency assistance to vulnerable populations in DRC over the next eight months. Relief will be provided to vulnerable population groups suffering the consequences of conflict. Focus will be on support to health centres ; epidemiological surveillance ; nutritional programmes ; water and sanitation ; rehabilitation of basic infrastructure. This decision covers the activities of ECHO's partners for the rest of the year 2000. The 1999 global Commission decision for DRC was of euro 13.3 million.

    [10] Franz Fischler calls for measures to conserve deep water species

    Franz Fischler, European Commissioner responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, has called for measures to be taken both by the EU and international bodies to conserve deep-water species. According to scientific advice, immediate reductions in these fisheries should be made unless they can be shown to be sustainable. "We must act very soon to ensure the protection of these fragile deep-water species before irreversible damage is caused by unregulated fisheries. International cooperation is essential to the success of conservation measures for these species. For its part, the Commission is considering the setting up of total allowable catches for these stocks next year and has also requested a discussion at the next meeting of the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, in November on the management of these resources."

    [11] Signature d'un accord de coopération entre l'OLAF et le comité douanier de l'Etat de Russie

    Madame Michaele Schreyer, Commissaire européenne chargée du budget et de la lutte anti-fraude, s'est félicitée de la signature, le 5 juillet 2000, par M. Franz-Hermann Bruener, directeur de l'Office européen de lutte antifraude (OLAF), et M. Mikael Vanin, président du comité douanier de l'Etat de Russie, d'un accord portant sur un système d'information mutuelle dans le domaine douanier. Le but de cet accord, qui deviendra opérationnel à partir de cet automne, est d'améliorer la coopération entre l'Union européenne et la Russie dans le domaine douanier et agricole. Le système d'information mutuelle entre les deux parties devrait renforcer l'application correcte des procédures douanières en Russie, et contribuer à plus de certitude pour les paiements de restitutions au sein de l'UE.

    [12] Commission and the UNHCR strengthen their partnership on asylum issues

    On 6 July 2000, European Commissioner for Justice and Internal Affairs Antonio Vitorino and Mme Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, agreed to strengthen their partnership on asylum and refugee issues in the EU. They exchanged letters, forming an agreement to that end and reflecting Declaration n°17 of the Amsterdam Treaty. The Commission and the UNHCR expect this partnership to address the complex challenges of asylum in Europe today, with a view to elaborate sound, fair and efficient policies and draft legislation. The partnership will take the form of : (a) establishing regular channels for exchange of information and documentation on ongoing and planned activities of mutual concern ; (b) providing mutual assistance in the study and implementation of programmes on refugee and asylum questions ; (c) holding, in addition to existing contacts, senior level semestrial consultations, alternately in Brussels and Geneva, to coordinate cooperation, review progress in joint action and areas of mutual concern, and identify potential areas for further collaboration.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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