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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-12-05

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

05/12/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Romano Prodi leads Commission's delegation to Nice
  • [02] BSE : Commission evaluating five new tests
  • [03] Commission clears merger of Outokumpu Steel and Avesta Sheffield
  • [04] Commission clears purchase by Stinnes of Holland Chemical International
  • [05] Le chômage dans la zone euro en octobre 2000 en baisse à 8,9% ; l'UE15 en baisse à 8,2%
  • [06] Business and Consumer Surveys first results November 2000
  • [07] La Commission prend des mesures visant à répondre à ses craintes au sujet des coûts et des délais dans la rénovation du Berlaymont
  • [08] Pascal Lamy opens door to reformulating EU position on new WTO round
  • [09] La Commission décerne le prix Lorenzo Natali du journalisme dans les domaines du développement, des droits de l'homme et de l'environnement
  • [10] La Commission remet les "European Awards for the Environment" 2000
  • [11] Commission approves emergency aid worth euro 600,000 for young children in North Korea
  • [12] Commission grants euro 2 million in humanitarian assistance for Congolese and Angolan refugees in Zambia
  • [13] Anna Diamantopoulou represents Commission in Troïka meeting chaired by President Jacques Chirac in Paris
  • [14] Frits Bolkestein underlines role of fundamental micro-economic reform
  • [15] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée
  • [16] Autre matériel diffusé

  • [01] Romano Prodi leads Commission's delegation to Nice

    The Heads of State and Government of the European Union will meet in the European Council in Nice, France - starting from Thursday 7th December. The delegation of the European Commission will be lead by the President of the Commission, Romano Prodi. Members of the Commission Michel Barnier, Chris Patten and Gunter Verheugen will accompany him. A special web site has been created to assist media in its work. Please note that this service is meant for journalists only and it operates in English and in French. The site will be updated daily both before and during the meeting. It can be found at http://europa.eu.int/comm/nice_council/index_en.htm and/or http://europa.eu.int/comm/nice_council/index_fr.htm Journalists following the meeting can also send questions and other requests for information to the Commission to press.commission@cec.eu.int All messages will be answered as soon as possible.

    [02] BSE : Commission evaluating five new tests

    In a continuation of its work on tests for BSE and other transmissable spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), the European Commission is evaluating five new tests. The tests were identified following a world-wide call for expressions of interest which closed on 30 September. Commissioner David Byrne, responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, said : "The introduction of testing for BSE in the EU has already had rapid beneficial results for the consumer. We now have improved knowledge of the incidence of BSE and as a result additional measures have been taken. Consumers and industry must be informed of the real situation throughout the EU and the widespread implementation of the testing programme is the best way to achieve this." Commissioner Philippe Busquin, responsible for Research, added : "I am glad to announce that more tests are being evaluated in the Commission's Research Centre since only reliable testing will lay the scientific foundation on which we can base serious and efficient political measures."

    [03] Commission clears merger of Outokumpu Steel and Avesta Sheffield

    The European Commission has cleared the merger of stainless steel producers Outokumpu Steel Oyj of Finland and Anglo-Swedish firm Avesta Sheffield after a careful analysis which showed that there would remain sufficient competition in the sector despite the high degree of concentration.

    [04] Commission clears purchase by Stinnes of Holland Chemical International

    The European Commission has cleared the acquisition by German chemical distribution company Stinnes AG, a subsidiary of E.ON AG, of Dutch company Holland Chemical International (HCI). Both companies are active in the distribution of chemicals but their activities do not significantly overlap in the different Member States so the operation poses no competition problems.

    [05] Le chômage dans la zone euro en octobre 2000 en baisse à 8,9% ; l'UE15 en baisse à 8,2%

    (! embargo 12h00 !) Selon Eurostat, le taux de chômage de la zone euro, corrigé des variations saisonnières, était de 8,9% en octobre 2000, en baisse par rapport à septembre (9,0%). Ce taux est tombé en-dessous de 9% pour la première fois depuis mai 1992. En octobre 1999, le taux était de 9, 7%. Le taux de chômage de l'UE15 était de 8,2% en octobre 2000, en baisse par rapport à septembre (8,3%). Il s'élevait à 9,0% en octobre 1999.

    [06] Business and Consumer Surveys first results November 2000

    (! embargo 12 am !) The economic sentiment indicator decreased slightly by 0.1 in the euro area and by 0.2 in the EU according to the business and consumer survey results in November 2000 published today by the European Commission (Directorate General Economic & Financial Affairs). Among the components, the industrial confidence indicator decreased by 1 point in the euro area and by 2 points in the EU. In the construction confidence indicator, there was a 3 point decline in the euro area and a 2 point decrease in the EU. Consumer confidence, on the other hand, remained steady in both the euro area and the EU.

    [07] La Commission prend des mesures visant à répondre à ses craintes au sujet des coûts et des délais dans la rénovation du Berlaymont

    Des informations actualisées de consultants externes engagés par la Commission européenne ont récemment confirmé les craintes de celle-ci concernant des délais et des dépassements substantiels de coûts dans la mise en œuvre du projet de rénovation du Berlaymont. En conséquence, la Commission a porté ces différents sujets à la connaissance des autorités belges, afin que celles-ci soient parfaitement informées et capables d'entreprendre les analyses qui s'imposent. Par ailleurs, les interrogations liées à une demande de paiement d'un contractant dans le cadre de la rénovation du Berlaymont ont amené le Vice-Président Neil Kinnock à transmettre à l'OLAF les résultats de l'étude du consultant. Il a aussi engagé les démarches nécessaires à une analyse approfondie des engagements de la Commission dans ce projet de rénovation, tant en termes techniques que de procédures.

    [08] Pascal Lamy opens door to reformulating EU position on new WTO round

    European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy yesterday said he thought the time had come for the European Union to consider reformulating its position if a new round of multilateral trade negotiations is to be launched. "I believe the time has come to think about a new formulation for our position", he told a press conference in Brussels. "We must get ready to go further towards a position acceptable to less developed countries, as it is clear that these countries are not yet convinced [about the benefits of a new round]."

    [09] La Commission décerne le prix Lorenzo Natali du journalisme dans les domaines du développement, des droits de l'homme et de l'environnement

    La Commission européenne a décerné le prix du journalisme Lorenzo Natali 2000 ex aequo à quatre journalistes de pays européens et de pays en développement pour des articles relatifs au développement et aux droits de l'homme qui mettent l'accent sur la pauvreté, le statut des femmes et l'environnement. Dans la catégorie des journalistes de pays en développement, les lauréats sont Atiya Achak Ulwisut, du journal thaïlandais The Nation, et Fariah Razak Haroon, journaliste indépendante pour le magazine pakistanais Dawn. Le premier prix attribué dans la catégorie des journalistes de l'Union européenne est décerné à Marco Bello et Paolo Moiola, pour le Mondo e Missione italien, et Astrid Prange, journaliste indépendante auprès du Deutsches Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt. Le Commissaire chargé de la coopération au développement et de l'aide humanitaire, Poul Nielson, a confirmé le choix du jury et félicité les lauréats. "Les articles distingués montrent clairement que le respect des droits de l'homme et l'amélioration des conditions sociales fondamentales doivent constituer le fondement du développement dans le monde", a-t-il déclaré.

    [10] La Commission remet les "European Awards for the Environment" 2000

    La Commissaire à l'Environnement, Mme Margot Wallström, a remis aujourd'hui les "European Awards for the Environment" à quatre entreprises particulièrement innovantes dans le domaine du développement durable. Chacune dans leur catégorie (gestion, produit, technologie, partenariat international), ces entreprises se sont distinguées par leur capacité à intégrer la dimension environnementale et sociale dans leurs activités. Margot Wallström a déclaré : "En instaurant des mesures d'économies de ressources, tant lors des processus de fabrication que dans l'utilisation des produits, ces entreprises ont démontré que développement durable et accroissement de la compétitivité allaient de pair. La mise en œuvre d'outils visant à économiser les ressources naturelles, dont l'énergie, l'eau et les matières premières, se traduit en effet forcément par des gains en terme de compétitivité."

    [11] Commission approves emergency aid worth euro 600,000 for young children in North Korea

    The European Commission has approved euro 600,000 in emergency humanitarian aid for North Korea. The aid, which is being channelled though the EU's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), will finance winter clothing to 36,000 children of kindergarten age (4-7 years) in the mountainous North Pyongan province. 9,000 blankets are also being supplied for distribution to flood victims. This aid is being delivered by two of its partners operating in North Korea : German Agro Action (children's winter clothes) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (blankets). This is the third humanitarian aid decision taken by the Commission in respect of North Korea this year, bringing the total to euro 7.3 million. Since 1995, euro 37.6 million in humanitarian assistance to the country has been mobilised by ECHO.

    [12] Commission grants euro 2 million in humanitarian assistance for Congolese and Angolan refugees in Zambia

    The European Commission has approved emergency humanitarian aid worth euro 2 million to help refugees from Congo and Angola who have fled to Zambia to escape conflict in their home countries. The assistance, directed through its Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), is supporting the relief efforts of four partners (The World Food Programme, MSF Netherlands, the International Red Cross Federation and Dan Church Aid). The focus of support for Congolese refugees is the new Kala camp. This has been established to deal with a continuing influx of people. The funds are being used for various measures relating to the setting up and management of the camp, and to help provide health facilities there. More than 8,500 recently-arrived refugees from Angola are receiving help with temporary shelters, water and hygiene facilities, domestic equipment and transport. Support is also being provided to boost health provision for some 10,000 Angolans living in the Nangweshi refugee camp. Food aid, organised through the World Food Programme, is also being supplied for both Angolan and Congolese refugees.

    [13] Anna Diamantopoulou represents Commission in Troïka meeting chaired by President Jacques Chirac in Paris

    European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Anna Diamantopoulou, will today represent the Commission at a Troïka meeting chaired by French President Jacques Chirac on the social dialogue at the Elysée Palace in Paris. The Troïka, which is a meeting of past, present and future presidencies of the Council together with the Commission, will meet the social partners at the highest level and are expected to discuss the new European social agenda and social aspects of the upcoming IGC, including the European charter of fundamental rights. Mrs Diamantopoulou said : "Thanks to the agreement reached last week in Council on the European social agenda, we expect a strong endorsement from Nice that good social policy means full involvement of the social partners in formulating and implementing social policy."

    [14] Frits Bolkestein underlines role of fundamental micro-economic reform

    (! embargo 6.30 pm !) "The Lisbon Agenda marks an important change in the way Europe approaches the goals of sustainable economic growth with high levels of employment and a strong sense of social cohesion", said European Commissioner for Internal Market Frits Bolkestein in his speech on 'The future of the Social Market Economy'. "It leaves behind the era of macro- economic policies, which generated high levels of state expenditure. Instead it puts the economy on the track of fundamental micro-economic reform. The Summit called for an accelerated liberalisation of key economic sectors such as transport, gas, electricity and postal services. The Commission has put forward proposals in all these fields and looks for majorities in both the European Parliament and the Council. We must stick closely to the timetable produced in Lisbon if we want to achieve the goals set out in this ambitious agenda. It would be devastating for the legitimacy of European cooperation and the strength of our common currency if the European Union were to be strong on declarations of ambitious goals but weak on achieving them. As the American saying goes : if you talk the talk, you must walk the walk. Failure to do so would create the impression that Europe is not capable of concerted reform."

    [15] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée

    International Sports Programming LLC (News Corporation) / ESPN International Inc (Walt Disney Company) / Globosat Programadora Ltda (Brazil)

    [16] Autre matériel diffusé

    Note sur les résultats du Conseil Agriculture extraordinaire

    Discours de M. Liikanen : "Going digital : meeting the e-business challenge for Europe in the new economy" à la European Days of Commerce Conference (04/12)

    Discours de M. Vitorino devant la commission des Libertés publiques du PE

    Discours de M. Patten : "East Timor: preparing the future" à la Conférence des Donateurs pour le Timor oriental (! embargo 2.30 pm !)

    Intervention de M. Fischler à une conférence de presse au 'Centre d'Accueil de la Presse Etrangère' (Paris)

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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