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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-11-09

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

09/11/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 8 novembre 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 8 November

  • [01] Une nouvelle dynamique en vue de l'élargissement
  • [02] Serbia : Commission approves emergency aid package
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [03] Romano Prodi visits Ukraine
  • [04] Commission authorises RAG's acquisition of North Goonyella Property Ltd
  • [05] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée
  • [06] Commission benchmarking initiative boosts drive to enhance competitiveness across Europe
  • [07] Franz Fischler urges fishermen to support plan to rebuild depleting fish stocks
  • [08] Fritz Bolkestein thanks Committee of Wise Men chaired by Alexandre Lamfalussy for initial report on Securities Markets Regulation
  • [09] EU and Croatia to liberalise trade in textiles and clothing as of January 2001
  • [10] Philippe Busquin awards euro 660,000 Descartes science prize
  • [11] Evaluation report on sheep and goatmeat sector published
  • [12] Publication du rapport d'évaluation de la composante agricole du POSEIMA
  • [13] EU/US cooperation programme in higher education and vocational training - project selection 2000
  • [14] Commission publishes study on economic developments in the candidate countries in the first half of 2000

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 8 novembre 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 8 November

    (see also voir aussi ME du 8/11)

    [01] Une nouvelle dynamique en vue de l'élargissement

    La Commission européenne a proposé des mesures concrètes pour s'assurer que l'Union sera en position d'accueillir de nouveaux membres à partir de la fin de l'année 2002, en fonction de l'aptitude des pays candidats à assumer les obligations découlant de l'adhésion et à mener à bien les négociations. Plus de deux ans et demi après l'ouverture des négociations d'adhésion, le processus d'élargissement est sur le point d'entrer dans une nouvelle phase au cours de laquelle des questions de fond et des sujets difficiles devront être abordés. A l'initiative du Commissaire chargé de l'Elargissement, Günter Verheugen, la Commission a donc adopté un "rapport stratégique sur l'élargissement", à présenter au Conseil européen, qui propose, d'une part, une méthode pour traiter les mesures transitoires sollicitées par les pays candidats et, d'autre part, une "feuille de route" détaillée reprenant les points qu'il reste à négocier avec les pays les plus avancés, étape par étape, en 2001 et 2002. Si ces propositions, qui se basent sur la stratégie adoptée par le Conseil européen d'Helsinki, sont effectivement suivies, la Commission estime que les négociations pourront se conclure dans le courant de l'année 2002 avec les pays qui satisfont à tous les critères d'adhésion. La Commission a proposé pour la première fois un "partenariat pour l'adhésion" concernant la Turquie, comme la demande en avait été formulée par les Conseils européens d'Helsinki et de Santa Maria de Feira. Le partenariat pour l'adhésion indique les principales priorités auxquelles la Turquie doit s'attaquer pour satisfaire aux critères de Copenhague, et en particulier aux critères politiques. Tant la stratégie d'élargissement que le partenariat pour l'adhésion concernant la Turquie s'inspirent des "rapports réguliers" qui ont été adoptés pour chacun des 13 pays candidats. Ces rapports évaluent les progrès réalisés par ces pays dans leur préparation à l'adhésion. Dans l'ensemble, les pays candidats ont accompli des progrès notables à la fois sur le plan économique et sur celui de l'adoption de l'acquis. En revanche, les avancées relatives à la mise en place et au renforcement des institutions nécessaires à l'application de l'acquis ont été inégales.

    [02] Serbia : Commission approves emergency aid package

    The European Commission has approved a detailed emergency assistance package for Serbia. This emergency package of euro 180 million forms part of the euro 200 million announced at the European Council in Biarritz. The remaining euro 20 million will primarily cover humanitarian aid for refugees, displaced people and vulnerable persons in Serbia.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [03] Romano Prodi visits Ukraine

    President of the European Commission Romano Prodi will visit Ukraine from 9- 10 November 2000. He will meet with President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, Prime Minister Victor Yushchenko, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Anatoly Zlenko. He will also meet leading figures of the Ukrainian parliament. This visit is the third high level meeting with Ukraine this year. President Prodi met Ukrainian Prime Minister Yushchenko in Brussels on 23 May this year, immediately after the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council (which was chaired on the EU side by Foreign Minister Gama and Commissioner Patten). Then on 15 September President Prodi and French President Mr Chirac met Ukrainian President Mr Kuchma at the EU Ukraine summit in Paris.

    [04] Commission authorises RAG's acquisition of North Goonyella Property Ltd

    The European Commission has authorised the acquisition by RAG Aktiengesellschaft of sole control of North Goonyella Properties Pty Ltd (NGP), an Australian company which distributes the coking coal produced by the North Goonyella mining operation which is currently owned by Sumitomo Corp.

    [05] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée

    Asea Brown Boveri / Avireal AG / JV

    [06] Commission benchmarking initiative boosts drive to enhance competitiveness across Europe

    The European Commission today released the first crop of findings from a set of scoreboard and benchmarking exercises across Europe. These findings give EU Member States an unprecedented opportunity to learn from each other, develop the policy mix that is right for them, and improve their competitive performance across the board. Harvesting Member States' best competitiveness policy ideas, and sharing, refining, and applying them across the European Union, will improve framework conditions for entrepreneurs to succeed. This in turn will help realise the Enterprise Europe ambition, backed by Member States at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000, to create the world's most competitive and dynamic knowledge- driven economy by 2005.

    [07] Franz Fischler urges fishermen to support plan to rebuild depleting fish stocks

    On a two-day visit to the north-east of Scotland, European Commissioner Franz Fischler, responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, called on fishermen to be ready to adopt a rebuilding plan for white fish stocks in the North Sea and the West of Scotland. These stocks concern cod, haddock and whiting which are the mainstay of the Scottish fleet targeting demersal (bottom) species. Scientific advice indicates that these stocks, particularly cod, are in a very poor state. Mr Fischler warned that Total Allowable Catches (TACs) would have to be lower over the next few years. In addition, the Commission would propose measures to rebuild these stocks at the beginning of next year, after consultation with stakeholders. "There are tough times ahead", Mr Fischler warned. "I hope that I can rely on your support to get us all through these difficulties for the ultimate benefit of the fishing industry".

    [08] Fritz Bolkestein thanks Committee of Wise Men chaired by Alexandre Lamfalussy for initial report on Securities Markets Regulation

    Frits Bolkestein, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, today thanked the Committee of Wise Men chaired by Alexandre Lamfalussy on the Regulation of Securities Markets for their initial report. Mr Bolkestein said : "The Committee has produced a dynamic first response to their mandate - with some very interesting ideas - in particular how to reshape and accelerate the process of European legislation on financial services. I very much share their view that if the European Union can integrate its financial markets, the major missing part of the internal market, we will be able to secure considerable long-term benefits for the European economy. The Commission's Financial Services Action Plan contains the key measures that have to be adopted and I am pleased to see that all the Committee's priorities are covered in the Action Plan. The Committee is right that we have to accelerate the European regulatory process, whilst maintaining the institutional balances laid out in the Treaty. The Commission shall be examining their ideas carefully. What is so important for the European Union and all our citizens is that the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament succeed in this enterprise. This means working hard to build the consensus for the changes that are needed, and in particular making sure that we secure political endorsement for those changes at the highest level, as soon as possible." The report is available on the Europa Website: http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/whatsnew.htm

    [09] EU and Croatia to liberalise trade in textiles and clothing as of January 2001

    Yesterday the European Commission and the Republic of Croatia initialled an agreement on trade in textile products in Brussels, providing for the elimination of the quantitative restrictions applied by the EU on Croatian textile and clothing exports from 1st January 2001.

    [10] Philippe Busquin awards euro 660,000 Descartes science prize

    European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin yesterday awarded the euro 660,000 René Descartes Prize to a group of international researchers in recognition of their scientific excellence and international teamwork. The winners are a team led by Prof Tim Smith (UK, chemistry), Dr Dago de Leeuw (NL, electronics) and Prof Alan Lehmann (UK, genetics). Eight groups of researchers from a range of disciplines had been shortlisted by a high- level jury from some 100 trans-european teams.

    [11] Evaluation report on sheep and goatmeat sector published

    An evaluation report on the common organisation of the markets in the sheep and goatmeat sector has been made available today on the Europa server. The principal questions addressed by this report are on the impact of the premia and their fixation on producers' income, the market organisation for sheep and goatmeat on production and the CMO for sheep and goatmeat on rural areas and on the environment. The report suggests three options for the future, namely : maintain the status quo, improve the accuracy of the current system and simplify the current system, which may be considered by the European Commission in its review of the sheep and goatmeat CMO over the coming months. The report can be found at the following address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg06/eval/reports/sheep/index_en.htm

    [12] Publication du rapport d'évaluation de la composante agricole du POSEIMA

    Le rapport qui est publié aujourd'hui est une évaluation de la composante agricole du POSEIMA (Programme d'Options Spécifiques pour faire face à l'Eloignement et à l'Insularité de Madère et des Açores). L'objectif de cette évaluation est d'analyser l'impact des mesures développées dans le cadre du POSEIMA sur l'économie de ces Iles. L'évaluation porte sur les deux principales mesures de la composante agricole du POSEIMA (Règlement 1600/92) : le Régime Spécifique d'Approvisionnement (RSA) pour les produits agricoles considérés essentiels à la consommation courante et à la transformation dans ces Archipels et les mesures spécifiques en faveur des productions locales. L'analyse porte sur la compatibilité entre le RSA et les Mesures Spécifiques en faveur de la production locale, dans les secteurs sur lesquels toutes deux influent, ainsi que sur le système de gestion et administration du programme aux niveaux communautaire, national et régional, par une valorisation de leur coût-efficacité. Cette analyse pourrait servir de base à l'UE dans son élaboration d'un nouveau règlement et l'amélioration de la gestion et de l'application du programme. Ce rapport est publié en portugais, avec un résumé compréhensif en français est disponible à l'adresse suivante : http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg06/eval/reports/poseima/index_fr.htm

    [13] EU/US cooperation programme in higher education and vocational training - project selection 2000

    The European Commission has just approved 13 proposals to be funded following the fifth call for projects under the EU/US cooperation programme. The list of approved proposals is the result of a highly selective process (56 eligible projects) co-administered by the Commission and the US Department of Education - Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. Proposals were of a very high quality overall. The 13 consortia involve 46 higher education and vocational training institutions from 12 different Member States and an equivalent number of US partner institutions. France (8), Germany (9) and Italy (8) are the Member States with the most numerous representation ; institutions from these countries lead 7 of the approved consortia. In the next three years - the normal life of EU/US consortia - over 800 EU and US students will take part in transatlantic mobility schemes established within consortia. Architecture, Textile engineering, e-Commerce are some of the themes covered by the projects. This year's selection is the last of the current programme, which comes to an end on 31 December 2000. In total the programme has supported 56 consortia involving more than 400 EU and US higher education and vocational training institutions and over 4000 students will have been involved in transatlantic mobility schemes by the end of 2003, the last operational year of the consortia approved this year. For further information on this programme, please visit the following Internet addresses: http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/ec-usa/usa.html and/or http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/FIPSE/

    [14] Commission publishes study on economic developments in the candidate countries in the first half of 2000

    Substantial economic growth in the candidate countries in the first half of 2000 confirms the return to higher growth observed at the end of 1999. On an annualised basis it ranges from around 2% in Lithuania, Slovakia and Romania, to over 6% in Hungary and Estonia. Real GDP growth in Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland and Turkey is between 5 and 6%. Both unemployment and inflation are higher than last year in most candidate countries, with the notable exception of unemployment in Hungary and Slovenia. The current account deficits are increasingly financed by foreign direct investment inflows. An analysis of the economic developments in the candidate countries in the first half of 2000 is in the Quarterly "Economic Reform Monitor" published today by the Directorate General of Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN). Economic forecasts for the candidate countries will be published in the next issue of the "Economic Reform Monitor". Copies of the report are available in the DG ECFIN's website: http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/document/eesuppc/2000_3/c2000_3_en.pdf

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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