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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-12-08

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

08/12/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission opens in-depth inquiry into Aker Maritime's take-over of Kvaerner
  • [02] Commission clears acquisition of Interpharm by Alliance UniChem
  • [03] Commission clears acquisition by Deutsche Bank and DBG of battery maker Varta
  • [04] La Commission autorise Enron à acquérir les négociants allemands en métal Bergmann et Hutzler
  • [05] First estimates for the third quarter of 2000 - EU15 current account deficit euro 14.3 billion
  • [06] Commission proposes measures to curb alcohol consumption amongst young Europeans
  • [07] Result of technical talks on climate change in Ottawa
  • [08] La Commission fait le point sur les résultats de la Conférence mondiale des radiocommunications 2000
  • [09] Pascal Lamy welcomes WTO Accession of Lithuania
  • [10] Commission and World Bank announce Donor Coordination meeting for FRY on December 12, 2000
  • [11] Poul Nielson to visit the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (11-15/12)
  • [12] La Commission reprend son soutien financier au Burundi
  • [13] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé

  • [01] Commission opens in-depth inquiry into Aker Maritime's take-over of Kvaerner

    The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into Aker Maritime's acquisition of shares in Kvaerner. Aker Maritime and Kvaerner both have significant activities in the oil and gas sector as well as in shipbuilding. The Commission's initial investigation has shown that the transaction may create or strengthen a dominant position on the markets for contracts for construction of oil & gas platforms as well as the modification and maintenance of such platforms.

    [02] Commission clears acquisition of Interpharm by Alliance UniChem

    The European Commission has authorised an operation whereby Alliance UniChem Plc will buy Interpharm of the Netherlands, both active in pharmaceutical wholesales. The operation raises no competition problems since Alliance UniChem's activities in the Netherlands are currently very limited.

    [03] Commission clears acquisition by Deutsche Bank and DBG of battery maker Varta

    The European Commission has decided to clear the acquisition of joint control by Deutsche Bank and DBG Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH of the whole of Varta AG. The deal will not create a dominant position as the companies concerned are currently active in different businesses.

    [04] La Commission autorise Enron à acquérir les négociants allemands en métal Bergmann et Hutzler

    La Commission européenne a autorisé la société de droit américain Enron Corp à acquérir le contrôle de Bergmann et de Hutzler par l'intermédiaire de sa filiale allemande MG Metall Recycling. La concentration, qui concerne le commerce des métaux non ferreux et des déchets métalliques non ferreux, ne pose pas de problème de concurrence.

    [05] First estimates for the third quarter of 2000 - EU15 current account deficit euro 14.3 billion

    (! embargo 12 am !) According to Eurostat, the EU15 external current account recorded a deficit of euro 14.3 billion in the third quarter of 2000, as compared with a surplus of euro 1.2 billion in the third quarter of 1999 and a deficit of euro 10.5 billion in the second quarter of 2000. In the third quarter of 2000 the EU15 external balance of trade in services recorded a surplus of euro 3.7 billion as compared with a surplus of euro 4.6 billion in the third quarter of 1999 and a surplus of euro 2.6 billion in the second quarter of 2000.

    [06] Commission proposes measures to curb alcohol consumption amongst young Europeans

    The European Commission has recently adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation which invites Member States to take action to address the problem of under-age drinking through education, information and strengthened enforcement of national rules on alcohol sales. The proposed Recommendation also calls on alcohol producers and retailers to communicate responsibly and to enforce self-regulatory rules on advertising. National governments are invited to elaborate with the industry codes of conduct to ensure that manufacturers do not target alcoholic products at children and adolescents and that alcoholic beverages are not designed or promoted to appeal particularly to them. While stressing that it does not intend to ban alcohol advertising, the Commission nonetheless considers there is a need for scrutiny of commercial communication and of national self-regulatory codes of good practice with respect to advertising targeted at young people. The proposal can be found under : http://europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph/key_doc/index_en.html

    [07] Result of technical talks on climate change in Ottawa

    At the invitation of the Government of Canada, negotiators met on 6 and 7 December in Ottawa to follow up on recent discussions at the Sixth Conference of the Parties (CoP 6) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Among the issues discussed were the role of domestic action, forests and farmlands, and the compliance regime under the Kyoto Protocol. Though much remains to be done, progress was made in clarifying issues and resolving technical differences among Parties. Negotiators will now report to the political level in capitals so that next steps can be decided. This informal meeting in Ottawa took place in response to the request made by CoP 6 President Jan Pronk of the Netherlands at the end of the Conference in The Hague last month. Mr Pronk urged Parties to continue to meet in order to promote a global consensus when CoP 6 reconvenes, probably in the late spring of 2001. The following Parties participated in this session : Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America and the European Union.

    [08] La Commission fait le point sur les résultats de la Conférence mondiale des radiocommunications 2000

    La Commission européenne a adopté une Communication qui passe en revue les principaux résultats de la Conférence mondiale des radiocommunications 2000 (WRC-2000), forum organisé sous l'égide des Nations Unies et au cours duquel se décide l'attribution des fréquences du spectre au niveau mondial. La Commission est satisfaite des résultats obtenus par l'Europe et elle veillera à ce que l'issue de la conférence mondiale de 2003 soit aussi favorable.

    [09] Pascal Lamy welcomes WTO Accession of Lithuania

    European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy today welcomed the accession of Lithuania to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Speaking following the decision by the WTO General Council to approve the accession package, Commissioner Lamy said : "The European Union welcomes the successful completion of the negotiations for Lithuania's accession to the WTO. Accession to the WTO marks an important step in the process of Lithuania's integration into the global economy. Moreover, with Lithuania's accession, all three Baltic states will now be Members of the WTO. The EU also signals its appreciation for the close working cooperation with Lithuania during the course of the negotiations. These contacts have ensured that Lithuania's future WTO commitments will not conflict with the EU's own WTO commitments at the time of Lithuania's accession to the EU."

    [10] Commission and World Bank announce Donor Coordination meeting for FRY on December 12, 2000

    In the context of their overall donor coordination responsibilities for South Eastern Europe, the European Commission and the World Bank are organising a Donor Coordination Meeting in Brussels on December 12, 2000, with the participation of representatives of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), to help donors to programme and implement their immediate plans for assistance. It is expected that the discussion will focus mainly on Serbia, since it is likely that most urgent needs currently arise there. This meeting will review assessments of urgent requirements, prepared by the UN agencies in collaboration with the authorities, and will take stock of existing and planned short term assistance for the winter months. The FRY authorities will also indicate the latest state of the government's thinking on economic policy and urgent needs. The meeting is designed as a co-ordination session and will not be a pledging meeting. A special pledging conference will take place when the needs of the FRY have been fully assessed, when the new government has adopted its economic programme and when sufficient progress on FRY's eligibility in funding from the international financial institutions has been achieved.

    [11] Poul Nielson to visit the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (11-15/12)

    Poul Nielson, European Commissioner for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid will visit the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) from 11 to 15 December 2000. The visit will start in Belgrade before continuing to Montenegro and Kosovo. High-level meetings will be held with President Kostunica and representatives of and international aid agencies, such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, as well as Non- Governmental Organisations. In Montenegro, Mr Nielson will meet with President Djukanovic before going on to Kosovo, where he is expected to have discussions with Bernard Kouchner, Head of the UN Interim Administration (UNMIK) and Ibrahim Rugova, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo. In the course of his visit, Poul Nielson will stress the European Commission's ongoing solidarity with the population of the FRY, following the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Speaking before his departure for Belgrade, Poul Nielson said : "Relations between the EU and the FRY have improved dramatically in recent months since the fall of the Milosevic regime. It is important to consolidate this process and one of the key aims of my visit will be to pave the way for even closer cooperation. The EU has undertaken to provide large scale of assistance of which some, I'm satisfied to see, is already arriving."

    [12] La Commission reprend son soutien financier au Burundi

    Le Commissaire européen chargé du Développement et de l'Aide humanitaire, M. Poul Nielson, annoncera la reprise de la coopération financière entre l'UE et le Burundi lors de la conférence sur le Burundi qui se tiendra à Paris le 11 décembre prochain. Cette conférence, convoquée par le Président Chirac et voulue par le médiateur Nelson Mandela, réunira les principaux bailleurs de fonds dans le but d'apporter un soutien important au processus de consolidation de paix au Burundi. A cette occasion, le Commissaire annoncera un paquet d'aide de 150 millions d'euros pour 2001. Un accord de 43 millions d'euros visant à compenser les pertes de revenu des exportations du pays (Stabex), destinée aux mesures de soutien et de relance de l'activité agricole, sera signé par le Commissaire Nielson et les autorités burundaises lors de la conférence. M. Nielson a déclaré : "Cet acte est un signe tangible de la solidarité de l'UE vis-à-vis du peuple burundais qui a tant souffert ces dernières années. Le Burundi a fait d'importants progrès vers la paix dans les mois récents. Nous l'encourageons à poursuivre ces efforts." Les autres fonds seront alloués à la lutte contre la pauvreté, l'aide humanitaire et au secteur de la santé. Un autre montant de 25 millions d'euros déjà annoncé par Poul Nielson au Haut Commissariat pour les Réfugiés à Genève en octobre dernier, est actuellement en voie de décision par la Commission et sera vraisemblablement disponible avant la fin de l'année. Il est destiné à financer les mesures nécessaires pour le retour des réfugiés. En septembre 2000, la Commission a accueilli une réunion des experts qui a contribué à la préparation de la conférence de Paris. La Commission décidera les mesures additionnelles (aide humanitaire et développement) au début de 2001.

    [13] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée

    Ratos AB (SV) / Quality-Laboratories Sweden AB

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de M. Fischler : "Meeting our challenges - WTO, Enlargement and Midterm Review" à la réunion du Conseil Agriculture danois (07/12, Kollekolle, Denmark)

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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