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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-10-13

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

13/10/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission raises concerns regarding partnership between Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa / SAS
  • [02] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée
  • [03] Franz Fischler calls for dialogue in farm trade talks
  • [04] Structural Funds : Commission launches 7-year education, training and employment package for Germany
  • [05] Structural Funds : Commission approves Employment and Human Resources Development Programme for Ireland
  • [06] La Commission annonce son soutien aux normes internationales lors de la Journée mondiale de la normalisation
  • [07] Poul Nielson forced to cancel visit to Middle East
  • [08] Rencontre Viviane Reding - Gianni Mattioli : création du Centre italien d'information et documentation sur l'Europe
  • [09] Fourth online chat with Pascal Lamy : what next for trade policy ?
  • [10] 'World March of Women' : Anna Diamantopoulou to participate in grand finale in Brussels, Saturday 14 October, 13h00
  • [11] La Commission organise une conférence sur la science et la gouvernance
  • [12] Commission publishes 3rd quarter note on euro-denominated bond markets
  • [13] Growing consolidation in a profitable sector - EU banking assets 2.5 times GDP in 1998

  • [01] Commission raises concerns regarding partnership between Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa / SAS

    The European Commission has informed Austrian Airlines (AuA) and STAR alliance partners Lufthansa and SAS that it has serious concerns about their recently concluded cooperation agreements. As they currently stand, the agreements would eliminate competition on a large number of routes between Austria and Germany and raise similar concerns on the Austrian- Nordic aviation market.

    [02] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée

    NRC Corporation (USA) / 4Front Technologies, Inc (USA)

    [03] Franz Fischler calls for dialogue in farm trade talks

    Summing up his trip to Canada, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Franz Fischler said : "I am satisfied. The opportunity to explain our WTO position in the light of the special role of European agriculture was definitely worth being Daniel in the lion's den." Participating as the first EU Agriculture Commissioner in a Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting, Mr Fischler called on his colleagues from 18 agriculture exporting countries to have a constructive dialogue in the WTO farm trade talks. "It is simple. Without consensus there will be no deal", he said. Mr Fischler also made clear that the EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) underwent substantial reforms in the last decade. "I think that this fact deserves to be applauded by our friends in the Cairns group and not ignored. Especially because others like the US prefer to talk while doing exactly the opposite."

    [04] Structural Funds : Commission launches 7-year education, training and employment package for Germany

    The European Commission has approved a euro 4756 million programme of education, training & employment in Germany, covering a 7-year period. This "Single Programming Document (SPD)" for Germany sets out the Social Fund "Objective 3" programme.

    [05] Structural Funds : Commission approves Employment and Human Resources Development Programme for Ireland

    The European Commission has adopted a decision approving the 'Operational Programme' (OP) for Employment and Human Resources Development for Ireland for the period 2000-2006. For the first time, Ireland has been split into two regions for Structural Funds allocations : an Objective 1 region, comprising the Border, Midlands and West counties and an Objective 1 in transition for the South and East of the country. The Employment and Human Resource OP is one of seven programmes which will implement the Community Support Framework (CSF) for Ireland, approved by the Commission in June.

    [06] La Commission annonce son soutien aux normes internationales lors de la Journée mondiale de la normalisation

    Chaque année, le 14 octobre, les membres de l'ISO, de la CEI et de l'UIT célèbrent la Journée mondiale de la normalisation, qui permet de rendre hommage aux travaux effectués en collaboration par les milliers d'experts du monde entier qui élaborent les accords techniques publiés sous forme de normes internationales.

    [07] Poul Nielson forced to cancel visit to Middle East

    With restrictions on movement and access and in view of the security situation in the region, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Poul Nielson, will no longer be travelling to Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from 13-15 October. Combining both his development and humanitarian aid portfolios, Mr Nielson had been due to visit projects and Palestinian refugee camps receiving EU funding and to meet with Lebanese, Palestinian and Israeli authorities. The cancellation of the trip means that Mr Nielson will not officially open the mainly EU funded Gaza hospital as planned on 15 October. The hospital has been open to out-patients since 15 July this year and has recently started admitting in-patients. Mr Nielson declared : "I look forward to visiting the region as soon as circumstances permit to see for myself the benefits for local populations and refugees of EU humanitarian aid and development funds. I am particularly satisfied that the Gaza hospital is now operational. With a capacity of 240 beds, it will make a much needed supplement to the existing facilities which were grossly inadequate." Total EC contributions and European Investment Bank assistance between 1995 and 1999 for the Gaza Strip and West Bank amount to euro 666 million, and euro 384 million for the Lebanon. Last week, the Humanitarian Aid Office of the Commission, ECHO made euro 90,000 available as a first response to the current troubles in West Bank and Gaza. These funds will allow the despatch of specialised surgery assistance to help the Palestinian medical team. To further respond to emergency appeals, it is expected that the Commission will mobilise an additional package of euro 600,000 to cover the provision of ambulances and the financing of essential medical supplies and emergency kits.

    [08] Rencontre Viviane Reding - Gianni Mattioli : création du Centre italien d'information et documentation sur l'Europe

    Le "Centre italien d'information et documentation sur l'Europe est désormais une réalité. Avant la fin de l'année le Gouvernement italien et la Commission européenne signeront les actes permettant sa mise en place". C'est ce qu'ont annoncé le Commissaire pour l'Education et la Culture, Mme Viviane Reding, et le Ministre pour les Politiques communautaires italien, M. Gianni Mattioli, à la fin de leur rencontre à Rome.

    [09] Fourth online chat with Pascal Lamy : what next for trade policy ?

    On Monday 16th October at 1800 Central European Time, the fourth online chat with Pascal Lamy, European Commissioner responsible for Trade, will take place. The chat provides an opportunity to take part in a debate with the leader of the European Union's negotiating team on multilateral trade issues.

    [10] 'World March of Women' : Anna Diamantopoulou to participate in grand finale in Brussels, Saturday 14 October, 13h00

    Women from over 145 countries are organising world march events in support of gender equality and an end to poverty. The world march will culminate in a gathering on 17 October 2000 in front of the United Nations in New York where women will present their demands to Kofi Annan. In the run-up to the New York event, marches will also take place in Europe. Here in Belgium, women will depart from six border points and march towards Brussels. People will be encouraged to join the march en route and participate in the activities organised around the march. On 14 October a major gathering will be held in the Parc Cinquantenaire, Brussels, with music, theatre, information and workshops. The demands of the marchers will be presented to European Commission President Romano Prodi.

    [11] La Commission organise une conférence sur la science et la gouvernance

    Le Centre Commun de Recherche et la Direction Générale Recherche de la Commission européenne organisent les 16 et 17 octobre une conférence portant sur les relations entre les scientifiques et le citoyen. La conférence abordera ces questions dans une perspective tant européenne qu'internationale. Quatre sessions parallèles permettront d'approfondir des angles particuliers : "science, citoyens et processus de décision" ; "anticiper les risques : prospectives et recherche de précaution" ; "faire face à l'urgence des crises : alerte précoce et réponse rapide" ; "vers un système européen de référence scientifique et technique dans un contexte global". La séance de clôture le 17 octobre à partir de 10h45 comprendra notamment le discours du Commissaire à la Recherche Philippe Busquin sur l'Espace Européen de la Recherche et la gouvernance.

    [12] Commission publishes 3rd quarter note on euro-denominated bond markets

    Issuance in euro-denominated bonds in the third quarter of 2000 declined relative to issuance in the previous quarters and in the third quarter last year. EU sovereign issuers continued their retreat from the market in the third quarter, as their borrowing requirements were adjusted down. There was also a reduction in issues from the pfandbriefe sector. In contrast, there was a further expansion in corporate issuance, together with a shift away from telecom issuers. A prominent new borrower on the euro bond market - Freddie Mac of the US - is the featured topic in this report, underlining the appeal of the euro bond market also for non-euro area issuers. Copies of the report can be found in the internet: http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/document/financialmrkt/financialmrkt_en.htm

    [13] Growing consolidation in a profitable sector - EU banking assets 2.5 times GDP in 1998

    (! embargo 12 am !) Eurostat published today - in electronic version only - a study on the European banking sector, which is the latest of a new series of publications entitled 'Special feature'. The trend to concentration has continued in the EU in 1998 with the number of credit institutions decreasing by 4%. Although banks only accounted for about 2% of total employment, they controlled a major share of assets in the EU economies. Their aggregated balance sheets represented about 2.6 times the GDP of the EU in 1998. Traditional banking was still the major source of revenues for the credit institutions, but diversification to products and services generating fee and commission income was gaining ground in most Member States. The study can be found in the internet: http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/Public/datashop/print- catalogue/EN?catalogue=Eurostat&theme=4-Industry%20and%20Commerce

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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