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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-11-08

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

08/11/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Food law from farm to table - Creating a European Food Authority
  • [02] Financial services : Commission calls for quantum leap towards rapid implementation of Action Plan
  • [03] La Commission adopte une Communication dans le domaine de la pêche et la réduction de la pauvreté
  • [04] Karl-Johan Lönnroth est nommé Directeur Général adjoint à la DG Emploi et Affaires Sociales
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [05] La Commission donne son accord au rachat de 70 stations service sur autoroutes de TotalFina Elf
  • [06] Commission approves participation of Dana Corp in Getrag Getriebe- und Zahnradfabrik
  • [07] Commission approves joint venture between Babcock Borsig, mg technologies and SAP
  • [08] Commission clears acquisition of Postsparkasse by Bawag
  • [09] Commission authorises special payment to Palestinian Authority
  • [10] Commission approves three human rights projects in the Mediterranean Region for euro 1.5 million
  • [11] Rencontre de Viviane Reding avec les délégués de la Conférence européenne des jeunes
  • [12] Steel industry forum seeks ways to facilitate restructuring in EU accession candidate countries of central and eastern Europe

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] Food law from farm to table - Creating a European Food Authority

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation of the Parliament and Council, to be adopted by co-decision, laying down fundamental principles and requirements of food law and establishing a European Food Authority (EFA). The proposal presented by Health and Consumer Commissioner David Byrne together with the Enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen is the centrepiece of the Commission's strategy for a proactive food policy covering the entire food chain, from the farm to the fork. Its primary objective is to provide the basis for the assurance of a high level of protection of human life whilst ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market. The package will not only contribute to a high level of consumer health protection in the area of food safety, but also to the restoration and maintenance of consumer confidence in food. The Commission decided that the necessary staffing and resources would have to be devoted to the EFA to ensure its success. Within three years it is expected to have about 250 staff and a budget of some euro 40 million. A review of ultimate staffing and budgetary requirements will be made at this time so as to ensure that the Authority has the resources necessary for its full operation. Preliminary figures would indicate a staff size of around 330. The Commission will subsequently come forward with its proposal for the location of the EFA.

    [02] Financial services : Commission calls for quantum leap towards rapid implementation of Action Plan

    The European Commission has called for a quantum leap towards rapid implementation of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) so as to ensure that the 2005 deadline set by Heads of State and Government at the Lisbon European Council will be reached and that financial markets therefore contribute fully to economic growth and job creation. In its latest FSAP Progress Report, the Commission has suggested a set of critical priorities for the coming six months for the Commission, the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. The Report also suggests possible benchmarks for indicating trends and developments in market integration. The FSAP lists a series of measures necessary to create a single wholesale market for financial services, open and secure retail markets, state-of-the-art prudential rules and wider conditions for an optimal single financial market across the EU (see IP 99/327, IP/00/556).

    [03] La Commission adopte une Communication dans le domaine de la pêche et la réduction de la pauvreté

    La Commission européenne a approuvé une Communication concernant la politique européenne de coopération au développement dans le secteur de la pêche et de l'aquaculture. Cette Communication souligne l'importance de ce secteur pour de nombreux pays en développement et décrit comment l'action de l'Union dans ce domaine peut contribuer à la gestion durable et la valorisation des ressources aquatiques au profit des populations les plus déshéritées des pays en développement afin de contribuer à la réduction de leur pauvreté. La réduction de la pauvreté constitue l'objectif central des activités communautaires dans le domaine du développement. L'adoption de cette Communication s'inscrit également dans l'engagement de la Commission d'améliorer la cohérence entre la politique du développement et les autres politiques communautaires, telles que la pêche et le commerce. Le Commissaire chargé de la Coopération au développement et de l'Aide humanitaire, Poul Nielson, a déclaré : "Au moment où l'UE revoit l'ensemble de sa politique d'aide au développement, la Commission souhaite lancer une réflexion importante sur ce secteur où les enjeux économiques et sociaux sont cruciaux, tant en Europe tant dans les pays en développement. Cette Communication porte une contribution à cette réflexion en proposant l'adoption d'un certain nombre de lignes directrices qui adresse les questions de développement, de commerce, de société et d'environnement dans le domaine de la pêche".

    [04] Karl-Johan Lönnroth est nommé Directeur Général adjoint à la DG Emploi et Affaires Sociales

    Sur proposition du Vice-Président de la Commission européenne Neil Kinnock, en accord avec le Président Romano Prodi et la Commissaire à l'Emploi et aux Affaires sociales Anna Diamantopoulou, la Commission a décidé de nommer Karl-Johan Lönnroth (finlandais, 55 ans) en qualité de Directeur Général adjoint.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [05] La Commission donne son accord au rachat de 70 stations service sur autoroutes de TotalFina Elf

    La Commission européenne a donné son aval au rachat par Carrefour, AGIP, Avia et d'autres sociétés de 70 stations service d'autoroutes appartenant à TotalFina Elf. La vente remplit une des conditions principales imposées par la Commission en début d'année pour approuver le rachat de Elf Aquitaine par TotalFina. En effet, sans ces ventes, TotalFina Elf aurait été en position dominante sur les autoroutes françaises. Avec notamment l'arrivée de Carrefour sur les autoroutes françaises, les usagers devraient bénéficier d'une concurrence effective sur le prix du carburant.

    [06] Commission approves participation of Dana Corp in Getrag Getriebe- und Zahnradfabrik

    The European Commission has approved an operation by which US industrial components firm Dana Corporation acquires joint control of Getrag, a German car components company, by contract and acquisition of shares together with Tobias Hagenmeyer Industriebeteiligungsgesellschaft mbh.

    [07] Commission approves joint venture between Babcock Borsig, mg technologies and SAP

    The European Commission has given the go-ahead for an operation whereby Babcock Borsig AG, mg technologies ag and SAMarkets GmbH from the SAP Group will set up the joint venture ec4ec to create and manage an electronic marketplace for plant and machinery construction.

    [08] Commission clears acquisition of Postsparkasse by Bawag

    The European Commission has authorised the merger between the Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft Aktiengesellschaft (Bawag) and the Österreichischen Postsparkasse Aktiengesellschaft (PSK). Both companies are active in all areas of banking in Austria but specialise in personal banking. The venture raises no serious competition concerns in the Austrian banking sector. Bawag is currently the fifth largest Austrian bank, while PSK is the fourth. After the merger, Bawag/PSK will be the third largest competitor on the Austrian banking market but will still face competition from other major players, most notably from the market leader, Bank Austria, the Raiffeisenbank Group, the Austrian Savings Banks Association, which includes as part of the Österreichischen Sparkassen AG the Erste Bank, and the Volksbank Group (ÖVAG).

    [09] Commission authorises special payment to Palestinian Authority

    The European Commission has authorised payment of up to euro 27 million to the Palestinian Authority to help it meet urgent current expenses such as salaries for public sector employees. The payment will be made under a special fund set up in 1998 to provide funding in the form of refundable advances to the Palestinian Authority in cases where the Israeli authorities did not transfer tax receipts on time to the Palestinian Authority. Under the 1994 Israeli-Palestinian Paris Protocol on Economic Relations Israel collects the proceeds from certain indirect taxes and customs duties and transfers them on a monthly basis to the Palestinian Authority.

    [10] Commission approves three human rights projects in the Mediterranean Region for euro 1.5 million

    The European Commission has approved funding for three human rights projects worth euro 1.5 million in the Mediterranean region. The projects fall within the scope of the Barcelona Process and the Euro-Mediterranean agreements of association, to contribute to the spread of knowledge of their potential outcomes. The projects have also been approved in the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. They aim at strengthening democracy, the rule of law and civil society, as well as supporting NGOs involved in the promotion of human rights, in six different Mediterranean countries.

    [11] Rencontre de Viviane Reding avec les délégués de la Conférence européenne des jeunes

    Viviane Reding rencontrera aujourd'hui à 18h00 (direction générale Education et Culture - Van Maerlant 2-4 / 1er étage) une délégation de 18 jeunes Européens (1 par Etat membre et 3 représentants des pays candidats) désignés lors de la Rencontre européenne des jeunes qui s'est tenue à Paris le mois dernier. Les jeunes délégués et la Commissaire feront le bilan des consultations nationales et européennes de jeunes organisées cette année par la Commission européenne et les Etats membres et verront ensemble les actions qui seront entreprises dans les prochains mois pour répondre aux demandes des jeunes. Les thèmes discutés seront notamment : la participation des jeunes aux décisions les concernant (droit de vote, école et citoyenneté, contacts avec les institutions européennes, service volontaire), la transition entre école et emploi et les droits sociaux, l'éducation (charte européenne des droits des élèves, rapprochement des cursus universitaires, enseignement des langues, etc.) et les questions de société (santé, environnement, lutte contre les discriminations). Cette délégation verra demain les ministres de la Jeunesse à 14h30 au Conseil. Ce sera la première fois qu'une délégation de jeunes Européens sera reçue par les ministres dans l'enceinte du Conseil. La rencontre d'aujourd'hui à la Commission et celle de demain au Conseil sont ouvertes à la presse écrite et audiovisuelle.

    [12] Steel industry forum seeks ways to facilitate restructuring in EU accession candidate countries of central and eastern Europe

    Promoting dialogue between the EU and central and eastern European accession candidate countries is vital to overcome the difficulties of restructuring and privatising their steel industries in time to join the Union. To this end, the European Steel Forum II (Brussels, 9-10 November), on "Preparing for Accession to the European Union : Progress Review and Challenges Ahead", will help step up the flow of information between governments, steel industries and the European Commission. Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen will open the event, at which some 140 delegates representing Member State and candidate countries, steel industry associations and steel companies and Commission departments will examine ways to enhance steel company competitiveness, country report findings and selected government policies on restructuring. This forum is designed to help candidate countries' restructuring efforts to keep pace with their pre-accession strategies, by disseminating expertise, and raising awareness of national and corporate restructuring strategies. The Commission maintains an active interest in steel industry restructuring in central and eastern Europe, in the context of enlargement and of competition (aids) issues.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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