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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-11-30

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

30/11/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 29 novembre 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 29 November

  • [01] La Commission lance un débat global sur la stratégie énergétique de l'avenir avec un Livre vert sur la sécurité d'approvisionnement en énergie de l'Union
  • [02] Setting the highest standards : Commission proposes an Advisory Group on Standards in Public Life, an improved disciplinary system and a Whistleblowers' Charter
  • [03] La Commission propose des mesures pour promouvoir le développement durable des régions ultra-périphériques
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] Contrefaçon et piraterie : la Commission présente un plan d'action ambitieux
  • [05] La Commission autorise une entreprise commune fournissant des services de plate-forme mobile pour entreprises entre Cap Gemini et Vodafone
  • [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par EdF de la centrale électrique de Cottam
  • [07] Mario Monti and Directors-Generals of national competition authorities discuss competition policy in the motor fuel sector
  • [08] Commission approves euro 750 million package of support for UK regions
  • [09] Pascal Lamy and Franz Fischler go extra mile in attempt to reach amicable solution to swordfish dispute with Chile
  • [10] Commission adopts a euro 150 million adjustment facility to support economic reforms in Turkey
  • [11] Commission approves humanitarian aid decisions totalling euro 4 million for Tajikistan, Armenia and Georgia
  • [12] EU supports Master Plan of the Basin of the Pilcomayo River
  • [13] Création du Centre national d'information et de documentation européenne à Rome
  • [14] President of African Development Bank, Mr Omar Kabbaj, visits the Commission
  • [15] Margot Wallström underlines the important role business has to play in protecting the environment
  • [16] Anna Diamantopoulou : "La nouvelle économie européenne, et le nouveau marché de travail européen sont des phénomènes locaux et régionaux, impulsés par la technologie et le marché et non pas par des gouvernements. C'est pourquoi ils nécessitent des réponses au niveau local et régional."

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 29 novembre 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 29 November

    (voir aussi see also ME of 29/11)

    [01] La Commission lance un débat global sur la stratégie énergétique de l'avenir avec un Livre vert sur la sécurité d'approvisionnement en énergie de l'Union

    La Commission européenne a adopté un Livre vert sur la sécurité d'approvisionnement afin de lancer le débat sur les enjeux géopolitiques, économiques et environnementaux posés par l'approvisionnement en énergie de l'UE. "Confrontée à une dépendance externe croissante et à l'urgence de la lutte contre les changements climatiques, l'Union européenne ne peut rester indifférente", a déclaré Loyola de Palacio, vice-présidente en charge de l'énergie et des transports. Elle a ajouté : "Nous devons prendre la mesure de l'effort à fournir et explorer les voies d'une véritable stratégie européenne, plus cohérente et responsable : cela passe par une offre énergétique beaucoup plus ouverte et une politique de rationalisation de la consommation énergétique, notamment dans les secteurs du bâtiment et du transport".

    [02] Setting the highest standards : Commission proposes an Advisory Group on Standards in Public Life, an improved disciplinary system and a Whistleblowers' Charter

    The European Commission has proposed a set of three measures aimed at maintaining the highest standards of integrity and public service in the Commission and the other European Institutions. First, the establishment of an Advisory Group on Standards in Public Life will provide independent guidance for the EU institutions on appropriate standards of behaviour at all levels of the organisations. Second, new proposals for "Whistleblowing" will clarify the duty of all members of staff to responsibly report concerns about wrongdoing, will provide a choice of channels inside and outside the Commission through which they can discharge that duty with the assurance of thorough attention, and will ensure career security when those channels are used. Third, a modernised disciplinary system in the Commission will ensure greater professionalism, promptness, consistency and effectiveness whilst sustaining standards of fairness to officials and to the Institution.

    [03] La Commission propose des mesures pour promouvoir le développement durable des régions ultra-périphériques

    La Commission européenne a proposé des mesures visant à améliorer le soutien apporté par l'Union européenne aux sept régions ultrapériphériques (RUP). Ces propositions visent à favoriser le développement économique durable des RUP sur la base des trois priorités identifiées par la Commission dans son rapport du 14 mars 2000 : la relance de l'économie, l'aide aux productions traditionnelles (agriculture et pêche) et la coopération régionale.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] Contrefaçon et piraterie : la Commission présente un plan d'action ambitieux

    La Commission européenne vient d'adopter une Communication annonçant une série de mesures concrètes destinées à améliorer et à renforcer la lutte contre la contrefaçon et la piraterie dans le marché intérieur. Parmi ces mesures, la Commission proposera une Directive visant à harmoniser les législations des Etats membres relatives aux moyens de faire respecter les droits de propriété intellectuelle, le développement des actions de formation des autorités de contrôle et des actions d'information et de sensibilisation du public. Dans une seconde étape, la Commission étudiera l'opportunité d'établir des mécanismes de coopération administrative entre les Etats membres pour lutter contre ce phénomène ainsi que la nécessité de présenter des propositions pour l'harmonisation des seuils minimaux des sanctions pénales et pour l'extension des compétences d'Europol. Cette Communication rend compte des résultats des consultations sur base d'un Livre vert d'octobre 1998 sur la lutte contre la contrefaçon (voir IP/98/922).

    [05] La Commission autorise une entreprise commune fournissant des services de plate-forme mobile pour entreprises entre Cap Gemini et Vodafone

    La Commission européenne a autorisé la création d'une entreprise commune dans le secteur informatique entre la société française Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Group et la société britannique Vodafone. Cette nouvelle entreprise commune a l'intention d'établir et d'entretenir des marchés numériques mobiles pour les entreprises pour le compte de clients indépendants. La Commission a donné le feu vert à cette opération, car elle ne soulève pas de préoccupations sous l'angle de la concurrence sur les marchés des services informatiques où, des deux sociétés fondatrices, seule Cap Gemini est actuellement présente.

    [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par EdF de la centrale électrique de Cottam

    La Commission européenne a approuvé une opération par laquelle EdF, entreprise d'électricité détenue par l'Etat français, acquiert le contrôle exclusif de la centrale électrique de Cottam, au Royaume-Uni. L'opération accroît la concurrence dans le secteur, crucial pour les prix, de la production d'électricité au Royaume-Uni.

    [07] Mario Monti and Directors-Generals of national competition authorities discuss competition policy in the motor fuel sector

    The European Commission and the Directors-General of the national competition authorities agreed at a meeting on Wednesday in Brussels to remain vigilant and to pursue a close cooperation on the application of competition rules in the motor fuel sector. The discussion was a follow-up to a meeting on 29 September where the Commission and the national authorities exchanged experiences in this sector. "Although competition authorities can of course not directly determine motor fuel prices, they have a responsibility to enforce antitrust rules as efficiently as possible to make the sector more competitive. To achieve this, the Commission and the national authorities must continue to co-operate as a network", said Competition Commissioner Mario Monti.

    [08] Commission approves euro 750 million package of support for UK regions

    The European Commission today approved seven-year regional development draft plans for Scotland and Gibraltar, representing euro 332.05 million in financial support from the EU. The programmes concern three areas designated for support under "Objective 2" of the Structural Funds (support for regions undergoing economic restructuring): the South of Scotland, the East of Scotland and Gibraltar. These plans are expected to attract a further euro 416.52 million in investment, 78% from national public sources and 22% from the private sector, making a total of euro 748.57 million. These resources are expected to create around 20,000 new jobs and to safeguard some 16,000 more.

    eEurope initiative : explosive growth of Internet use in Europe

    Since its launch in December 1999, the European Commission's eEurope initiative has had a broad impact both in the Member States at a European level and beyond. This is the main conclusion of a Communication to the Council of ministers and the European Parliament on progress towards the eEurope 2002 goal adopted today by the Commission, ahead of the European Council in Nice on December 7-8. In parallel the Commission has released encouraging results of its latest survey of Internet use, showing a 55% growth in Internet penetration in the last six months. These indicate that Internet penetration in EU households has risen from 18% in March to 28% in October.

    [09] Pascal Lamy and Franz Fischler go extra mile in attempt to reach amicable solution to swordfish dispute with Chile

    The European Union today announced a last-ditch attempt to avoid taking a trade dispute with Chile over swordfish to the WTO. In a joint letter to the Chilean Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Heraldo Muñoz, European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and his colleague responsible for Fisheries, Franz Fischler, submitted a proposal which envisages a solution based on three main elements : strong bilateral technical and scientific cooperation on conservation of fish stocks, the creation of a genuinely multilateral organisation to manage swordfish stocks in the Pacific and the granting of limited access to Chilean ports for EU vessels. Considering this proposal constitutes a solid basis to reach a satisfactory compromise for both sides, Commissioner Lamy said : "We believe the package proposed reflects the priority the EU attaches to environmental concerns linked to trade and to ensuring our fisherrmen are allowed to operate according to the rules of world trade. We hope it will avert the need to go to a WTO panel". Commissioner Fischler added : "We hope that our initiative can satisfy our shared concerns regarding the need to work together to conserve fishstocks".

    [10] Commission adopts a euro 150 million adjustment facility to support economic reforms in Turkey

    The European Commission gave its approval to a euro 150 million grant facility under the MEDA Programme for Turkey. It will accompany the ambitious Turkish economic and social policies aiming at breaking the pace of the price inflation, at putting the economy on a sustained growth path and on a more equitable pattern of income distribution and at embodying the EU 'acquis' in the Turkish legislation. The objectives of the programme are to foster structural and sectoral reforms undertaken within the framework of the Stand-By Agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund, and reinforce the Economic Reform Loan negotiated with the World Bank, by means of specific measures to be implemented. These measures, based on EU rules and practices, have been tailor-made towards speeding up Turkey's pre- accession strategy.

    [11] Commission approves humanitarian aid decisions totalling euro 4 million for Tajikistan, Armenia and Georgia

    The European Commission has cleared humanitarian aid for Tajikistan, Armenia, and Georgia totalling euro 4 million. Following the drought affecting Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus this year, euro 3 million has been allocated to Tajikistan and euro 600,000 to Armenia, while a further euro 400,000 has been made available for Georgia. These amounts bring total aid for this year to these three countries to euro 18.1 million.

    [12] EU supports Master Plan of the Basin of the Pilcomayo River

    Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations, has signed the Financial Conventions relating to the projects : "Integrated Management and Master Plan of the Basin of the Pilcomayo River" and "Support for the Executive Management of the Tri-national Commission for the Development of the Basin of the Pilcomayo River". These projects, whose budgets rise to 20, 600,000 euro for the first, and to 1,370,000 euro for the second, will receive a financial contribution from the Commission of 12,600,000 euro and 600,000 euro, respectively. The Tri-national Commission of the Pilcomayo River is the result of an ambitious joint initiative of the three countries that share the basin : Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia. Its fundamental aim is the integrated development of the same. The EU has supported from the start these integration efforts, providing technical assistance and financial cooperation for the reinforcement of the activity of the Tri- national Commission. Within this line, the first project will establish a Master Plan that directs and defines priorities in the actions and investments to be made in the basin at short, medium-sized and long term. The financial contribution to the Executive Direction, facilitates the institutional consolidation of the Tri-national Commission, a fundamental question to guarantee the continuity in the implementation of the first project.

    [13] Création du Centre national d'information et de documentation européenne à Rome

    Lors de leur rencontre hier, le Président de la Commission européenne Romano Prodi et le Président du Conseil des ministres de la République italienne, M. Giuliano Amato, se sont dits satisfaits de l'accord conclu entre le gouvernement italien et la Commission, qui permet d'achever les procédures nécessaires à la création à Rome, d'ici peu, du Centre national d'information et de documentation européenne. Ce résultat a été atteint grâce à l'engagement commun du gouvernement et du parlement italiens, avec l'appui du Parlement européen.

    [14] President of African Development Bank, Mr Omar Kabbaj, visits the Commission

    Mr Omar Kabbaj, President of the African Development Bank (ADB), is meeting today with Mr Poul Nielson, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, to discuss issues of common interest. High on the agenda will be the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, where the Commission's support (euro 1 billion) has proved decisive in allowing the launch of this important initiative. Most of this money (euro 670 million) will be allocated to a Trust Fund managed by the World Bank, and will benefit "in fine" to the ADB. Out of the first transfer to the Trust Fund, which was made this summer, euro 240 million is already available for the ADB. MM. Kabbaj and Nielson will also discuss how the ADB and the Commission can in the future enhance their collaboration, in particular in the area of social and private sector development and economic co- operation. The ADB, which is is a major donor in Africa, is supported by 77 shareholders, of which 54 are African countries.

    [15] Margot Wallström underlines the important role business has to play in protecting the environment

    Speaking at a conference organised by the European Parliament, European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström made it clear that there was no room for antagonism between companies and the environment. On the contrary, she stressed that the objectives of business and environmental protection can be entirely compatible. Mrs Wallström explained : "Traditional legislation in isolation will not solve all our environmental problems. It simply does not make sense to treat private business activity and the environment or environmental policy for that matter as two separate worlds". Mrs Wallström added : "The public sector itself can learn from the operation of the market and can bring in market-based mechanisms to achieve environmental objectives. Economic instruments such as taxes, subsidies and tradable permits that are carefully implemented can make sure that markets send the right price signals to businesses and reward them for protecting the environment. The Sixth Environment Action Programme, which I intend to present early in the new year, will provide us with an opportunity to broaden the range of instruments we use to implement our policy aims and the tasks given to us under the Treaty."

    [16] Anna Diamantopoulou : "La nouvelle économie européenne, et le nouveau marché de travail européen sont des phénomènes locaux et régionaux, impulsés par la technologie et le marché et non pas par des gouvernements. C'est pourquoi ils nécessitent des réponses au niveau local et régional."

    C'est avec ces mots que Anna Diamantopoulou, Commissaire européen à l'Emploi et aux Affaires sociales, ouvrira aujourd'hui un colloque au Parlement européen de Strasbourg, organisé par la Présidence française de l'UE, sur les stratégies territoriales en faveur de l'emploi. Ce colloque permettre de recueillir les enseignements de la consultation lancée par la Commission en avril dernier et de définir des orientations de politiques de nature à promouvoir des démarches stratégiques territoriales en faveur de l'emploi. Il s'attachera à clarifier, à la lumière de l'ensemble des pratiques européennes, les conditions qui facilitent le passage d'initiatives locales isolées à la conduite de stratégies territoriales adaptées aux nouveaux enjeux des territoires en Europe et favorables à la création d'emplois de qualité.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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