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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-11-16

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

16/11/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Results of the Standing Veterinary Committee, 15 November 2000
  • [02] Marchés des valeurs mobilières : la Commission étudie l'application de règles de protection des investisseurs
  • [03] Securities markets : Commission urges update of current rules to spur closer market integration and improve investor protection
  • [04] La Commission ouvre une enquête approfondie sur deux entreprises communes constituées entre des opérateurs postaux du Royaume-Uni, des Pays- Bas et de Singapour
  • [05] Philippe Busquin reinforces genomics research
  • [06] Structural Funds : Commission approves euro 379 million employment and training package for Denmark
  • [07] Philippe Busquin signed research cooperation agreement with Russia
  • [08] EU funds electricity imports to begin within a week
  • [09] Commission awards Europe's most innovative regions in Lyon at European Forum for Innovative Enterprises

  • [01] Results of the Standing Veterinary Committee, 15 November 2000

    The Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) discussed the proposal from the European Commission to enlarge testing for BSE-cases to all cattle above a certain age in the EU. In general, there was broad support from the Member States to extend the testing programme. The SVC expressed itself in favour - without taking a final decision - that already from 1st January 2001 all animals falling into a risk group (emergency slaughters, animals showing neurological signs, animals being sick) should be tested. The extension would enlarge the already agreed testing programme due to start on 1st January 2001 from a percentage of fallen stock to all bovine animals posing an increased risk of BSE. This will be a major step forward to further increase the safety of food and to enhance transparency, since all risk animals will be tested. Certain animals within this group are currently still entering the food and feed chain - in future they could only do so if the BSE-test results would be negative. The measure will even further reduce any risk of BSE to the consumer. It would be an additional guarantee to the major measures in place to reduce any risk to a minimum level, like the ban of mammalian meat and bone meal to be fed to ruminants, the high rendering standards and the removal of specific risk materials (brain, spinal cord). Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne and Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler repeated their determination that testing should be extended to all animals above a certain age entering the food and feed chain. In that way consumer confidence can be assured. The subject will now be further discussed at the Agricultural Council on Monday/Tuesday next week.

    [02] Marchés des valeurs mobilières : la Commission étudie l'application de règles de protection des investisseurs

    La Commission européenne a publié une communication concernant le respect de "règles de conduite professionnelle" par les entreprises d'investissement, tant en ce qui concerne leurs relations avec les "investisseurs professionnels" (connaissant les risques) qu'avec les autres investisseurs, qui ont plus besoin de protection. Ces règles sont indispensables pour assurer un niveau adéquat de protection à tous les investisseurs qui la nécessitent. La façon dont ces règles sont mises en oeuvre peut cependant fortement influer sur la capacité des entreprises d'investissement à faire usage du "passeport unique" que leur octroie la directive sur les services d'investissement (DSI - 93/22/CEE), passeport qui les autorise à fournir des services dans l'ensemble de l'Union sur la base de la reconnaissance mutuelle de la surveillance par l'Etat membre d'origine. La communication analyse donc l'expérience accumulée en matière de règles de conduite professionnelle depuis l'entrée en vigueur de la DSI, en 1995, et propose des pistes pour mieux concilier recours au "passeport unique" par les entreprises et protection appropriée des investisseurs. La communication fait partie des dix principales priorités que la Commission s'est fixées pour les six prochains mois dans le cadre du plan d'action sur les services financiers (PASF - cf. IP/00/1269). L'objectif du PASF, approuvé par le Conseil européen de Lisbonne, est de parvenir à créer un marché unique des services financiers pleinement intégré d'ici à 2005. Cette communication s'inspire et complète la communication relative à la modernisation de la directive sur les services d'investissement (cf. IP/00/1315).

    [03] Securities markets : Commission urges update of current rules to spur closer market integration and improve investor protection

    The European Commission has published a Communication on Upgrading the Investment Services Directive. It is designed to launch an extensive review of how this legislation, now in force for five years, could best be updated to reflect the profound changes in investment services and the securities trading infrastructure in the European Union. The Communication has been identified by the Commission as one if its ten priorities in the next six months under the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP - see IP/00/1269). The FSAP aims to create a fully integrated single market in financial services by 2005 and is an essential element in developing a coherent EU response to the fundamental changes sweeping through European financial markets. The need to update EU rules to take account of the accelerating pace of change in European financial markets was emphasised in the initial report presented on 9 November by the Committee of Wise Men on the Regulation of European Securities Markets chaired by Alexandre Lamfalussy.

    [04] La Commission ouvre une enquête approfondie sur deux entreprises communes constituées entre des opérateurs postaux du Royaume-Uni, des Pays- Bas et de Singapour

    La Commission européenne a ouvert une enquête approfondie concernant le projet de The Post Office (TPO), Royaume-Uni, de TNT Post Group N.V. (TPG), Pays-Bas, et de Singapore Post Private Limited (SPPL) de créer entre elles deux entreprises communes mondiales dans le domaine du courrier international. La Commission considère qu'une des entreprises communes, dénommée Delta, soulève des doutes sérieux quant à sa compatibilité avec le marché commun, car elle pourrait entraîner un renforcement significatif des positions des opérateurs publics postaux historiques sur les marchés néerlandais et britannique du courrier transfrontière sortant.

    [05] Philippe Busquin reinforces genomics research

    European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin is launching today an initiative to reinforce European activities in genome research related to human health. Genome research is strategically important for Europe as it is expected to unlock considerable economic, medical and social benefits. This has recently been highlighted by the availability of the draft of the human genome sequence. To realise these important goals, major efforts in the rapidly developing field of post-sequence genome research are needed. On 8 November, the Commission services and Member States' experts agreed to create a "Forum of Genome Research Managers" to develop synergies between the EU programme and national activities, and to help network national programmes. It is expected that over euro 100 million in total will be available in 2001 for this initiative.

    [06] Structural Funds : Commission approves euro 379 million employment and training package for Denmark

    The euro 379 million ''Single Programming Document" to support education, training and employment in Denmark for the next seven years, was approved by the European Commission. This Objective 3 Programme is financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), one of the four European Structural Funds. The decision is one of several currently being adopted by the Commission for all Member States to launch the new Structural Funds programming period.

    [07] Philippe Busquin signed research cooperation agreement with Russia

    Today Roger-Gerard Schwartzenberg, Research Minister of France, Philippe Busquin, European Commissioner responsible for Research, and Alexander Dondukov, Minister of Science, Industry and Technology of the Russian Federation, signed the EU-Russia Cooperation Agreement on Science and Technology. Mr Busquin commented the event saying : "I believe that this agreement is a major step forward in extending the European research area to countries outside the EU. Russia is an important partner for the EU and I look forward to a fruitful cooperation." The purpose of the Agreement is to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in this field by establishing a framework for specific joint research activities and exchanges of scientists. The Agreement covers a wide range of research activities, technological development and demonstration, as well as basic research in areas reaching from environment and climate research, health, agriculture, industrial and production techniques, information society technologies to the mobility of researchers. Additional areas of cooperation can be decided jointly by an EU-Russia committee set up by this Agreement. The Agreement is initially valid until 31 December 2002 but can be renewed by common agreement.

    [08] EU funds electricity imports to begin within a week

    The European Commission has signed a contract with EPS (Elektro Privreda Srbije), the State power company of Serbia, to the value of euro 30 million (roughly DM 60 million) for the importation of electricity to Serbia during the coming winter. The first imports under this programme are likely to come from Bulgaria. Further funds may be available if there is need before the end of the heating season.

    [09] Commission awards Europe's most innovative regions in Lyon at European Forum for Innovative Enterprises

    The first-ever "Award of Excellence for Innovative Regions" will be awarded by the European Commission in a prize-giving ceremony during the Second European Forum for Innovative Enterprises in Lyon, on 20 November 2000. VIP speakers and participants include Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society, Erkki Liikanen, Former French Prime Minister and Mayor of Lyon, Raymond Barre, the Mayor of Grenoble, Michel Destot, the Vice- President of Ericsson, Ragnar Back, and the Director of Leti/CEA, Jean Therme. High-level representatives of the 15 Regions of Excellence, directors of innovative start-ups, leading innovation specialists of the academic and financial world and regional administrations will be coming together to discuss the potential of European innovation policy. The Forum aspires to strengthen the links between the views of private companies and policy makers on the future of European policy on innovative enterprises. The Forum is organised by the Commission with the support of local and regional authorities and in close cooperation with the French Presidency, which will hold the Symposium "Towards a European Innovation Area" on the following day at the same location. The Forum not only hosts the Award Ceremony but also aims at bringing together key players involved in creating and developing innovative start-ups to kick-off a process of transferring know-how among European regions and cities. The Forum will highlight the performance of the 15 Regions of Excellence and provide examples of good practice for the creation and development of innovative enterprises that can be transferred to more European regions in the near future. The European Union, especially during the French Presidency, has put innovation firmly at the top of the political agenda. Both the Forum and the Colloquium of the French Presidency provide a tremendous opportunity to ensure that the concerted expertise, ideas and vision of all involved in the creation of innovative enterprises can be taken on board so as to make the greatest possible contribution to the EU's innovation activities. See also http://www.cordis.lu/paxis/forum.htm

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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