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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-10-24

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

24/10/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission initiates formal procedure against certain practices of Intercontinental Marketing Services
  • [02] La Commission autorise Ahold à acquérir Superdiplo
  • [03] Free movement of goods : Commission requests Belgium, Finland and Greece to end trade barriers
  • [04] Financial services : Commission decides to request Austria to end tax discrimination on securities
  • [05] Franz Fischler wants to cut red tape in farm policy
  • [06] Industrial production up 0.2% in euro-zone ; plus 0.4% in EU15
  • [07] Une exploitation durable de la forêt de l'UE - un rôle partiel mais significatif dans la limitation des gaz à effets de serre (CO²)
  • [08] La Commission propose la participation de Chypre à la nouvelle génération des programmes Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci et Jeunesse à partir de 2001

  • [01] Commission initiates formal procedure against certain practices of Intercontinental Marketing Services

    The European Commission has sent Intercontinental Marketing Services Health (IMS), the world leader in collecting data on prescriptions and sales of pharmaceutical products, a statement of objections informing it that some of its commercial practices could constitute an abuse of a dominant position. Following two complaints, the Commission investigated IMS's sales practices, especially the loyalty discounts, and reached the preliminary conclusion that such practices make it very difficult for new competitors to enter or stay on the market in question.

    [02] La Commission autorise Ahold à acquérir Superdiplo

    La Commission européenne a autorisé une opération à l'issue de laquelle le détaillant néerlandais Koninklijke Ahold N.V. va acquérir le contrôle de la chaîne espagnole de commerce alimentaire de détail Superdiplo S.A. Les marchés concernés sont ceux du commerce de détail et de gros, ainsi que de l'achat de produits de consommation courante. Les activités des entreprises se chevauchent à Madrid et en Andalousie, mais leur part de marché cumulée n'entraînera ni la création ni le renforcement d'une position dominante.

    [03] Free movement of goods : Commission requests Belgium, Finland and Greece to end trade barriers

    The European Commission has decided to request Belgium, Finland and Greece to remove a series of trade barriers within the Internal Market. The Commission has asked Belgium to remove a barrier to imports of wheelchairs, requested Finland tackle obstacles to imports of vitamin supplements and called upon Greece to lift restrictions affecting imports of a series of goods including clothing, shoes and cosmetics that either feature a cannabis logo or contain hemp. These formal requests will be made in the form of reasoned opinions, the second stage of formal infringement procedures under the EC Treaty (Article 226). If there is no reply to the reasoned opinion within two months or if the reply is unsatisfactory, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the European Court of Justice. The Commission has also decided to refer Greece to the European Court of Justice because of restrictions imposed on the importation of medicinal products. In all four cases, the Commission considers that the Member States are violating EC Treaty rules on the free movement of goods (Article 28).

    [04] Financial services : Commission decides to request Austria to end tax discrimination on securities

    The European Commission has decided to request Austria to put an end to discrimination against investment funds from other Member States as regards tax exemptions and advantages. The Commission considers that the way in which current tax rules are applied violates EU Treaty rules on the freedom to provide services and the free movement of capital because tax breaks are available only for Austrian investment funds. The Commission request will be made in the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of formal infringement procedures under the Treaty (Article 226). If there is no reply to the reasoned opinion within two months or the reply is unsatisfactory, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

    [05] Franz Fischler wants to cut red tape in farm policy

    At a discussion in Council, Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, announced new initiatives to simplify the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The measures will reduce the workload imposed by the CAP not only on farmers but also on national and EU authorities and limit paperwork. The simplification measures will also make agricultural legislation clearer, more transparent and more accessible. "Since the CAP involves considerable amounts of taxpayers' money, there must be a tight control of spending. Nevertheless, it is possible to reduce red tape and cumbersome form-filling for farmers. Very shortly I will present a proposal for a "Simplified Small Farmer's Scheme". The idea is to pay out yearly flat-rate amounts of direct payments to those farmers who receive relatively small payments. The scheme will substantially reduce the administrative burden on small farmers", he said.

    [06] Industrial production up 0.2% in euro-zone ; plus 0.4% in EU15

    (! embargo 12 am !) Seasonally adjusted industrial production increased by 0.2% in the euro-zone in August compared to July, Eurostat estimates today. This follows a gain of 0.4% in July3 and a decrease of 0.5% in June. Production in the EU15 rose by 0.4% in August, after an increase of 0.5% in July and a fall of 1.1% in June. Production was up in all reporting Member States in August except in Belgium (-0.7%), the Netherlands (-1.2%), and France where it was unchanged. Output gained 2.5% in both Spain and Portugal, and advanced by more than 1% in Denmark (1.9%), Finland (1.3%), Luxembourg (1.3%, forecast) and Italy (1.2%). Compared to August 1999, output increased by 6.3% in the euro-zone and by 5.5% in the EU15 in August 2000. Durable consumer goods and capital goods registered the highest growth rates with 11.1% and 10.4% respectively in the euro-zone and 9.5% for both sectors in the EU15. Intermediate goods production was 6.2% higher in the euro-zone and 5.6% in the EU15. Non-durable consumer goods increased by 1.0% in both the euro-zone and the EU15.

    [07] Une exploitation durable de la forêt de l'UE - un rôle partiel mais significatif dans la limitation des gaz à effets de serre (CO²)

    (! embargo 12h00 !) Les superficies boisées (forêts plus autres superficies boisées) occupent dans l'UE une place importante en termes d'occupation des sols, puisqu'elles couvrent plus de 40% du territoire communautaire, soit autant que les zones agricoles. Le rapport publié aujourd'hui par Eurostat fournit des éléments d'information appréciables sur la gestion du patrimoine forestier dans les différents Etats Membres, ainsi que sur le rôle des superficies boisées dans la préservation de l'environnement. L'état des forêts est également abordé, à travers l'évolution de la défoliation, l'impact des incendies et les conséquences des tempêtes de la fin de l'année 1999.

    [08] La Commission propose la participation de Chypre à la nouvelle génération des programmes Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci et Jeunesse à partir de 2001

    La Commission européenne a adopté un projet d'accord avec Chypre en vue de sa participation dans la deuxième phase des programmes Socrates et Leonardo da Vinci, ainsi que dans le nouveau programme Jeunesse, pour les années 2001-2006. L'ouverture des programmes communautaires aux pays candidats à l'adhésion est un des éléments essentiels de la stratégie de pré-adhésion. La Commission s'attend à ce qu'au début de 2001, les trois programmes regroupent ainsi trente Etats participants. De 1997 à 1999, Chypre a déjà participé, dans le cadre de sa préparation à l'adhésion, à la première génération de programmes, ce qui a permis aux institutions et établissements chypriotes de s'intégrer dans les réseaux communautaires, d'encourager la mobilité des jeunes, enseignants, formateurs et étudiants, et de favoriser les échanges d'expériences et de bonnes pratiques. Le projet d'accord négocié avec Chypre et proposé au Conseil permettra à cette coopération de se poursuivre. Chypre versera une contribution annuelle au budget des programmes, en utilisant partiellement les financements communautaires de pré-adhésion.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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