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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-01-17

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <>


News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Service Presse et Communicationb

Midday Express 17/01/2001

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Commission addresses the health and environmental situation in the Balkans The European Commission has discussed a Communication on the health and environmental situation in the Balkan Region. The Communication highlights the need for a twin-track approach to the situation by the Commission, balancing the need for short-term action on immediate problems with the longer-term need to ensure sustainable environmental protection of the Balkan region. On behalf of the Commission, Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström made a declaration to the European Parliament on the subject this morning.
  • [02] Commission launches debate on impact of enlargement on Kaliningrad Following EU enlargement the Kaliningrad region will become a Russian Federation enclave inside the EU. The European Commission has adopted a Communication on 'The EU and the region of Kaliningrad' which aims to offer ideas and options for an EU debate with Russia, Lithuania and Poland on the future of Kaliningrad. The discussion paper outlines areas in which close cooperation is required, to take advantage of future opportunities offered by enlargement and to reduce the impact of existing problems confronting Kaliningrad. Practical measures to improve border management and facilitate border-crossing procedures are suggested, as well as initiatives in the transport and energy sectors.
  • [03] Commission approves two State aid packages for the agricultural sector in Sardinia The European Commission has approved the major part of two State aid packages for the agricultural sector in the Italian region of Sardinia. The first package aims to compensate for the damage caused by drought during 2000 while the second package concerns compensation for damage caused by ovine catarrhal fever (known as Blue Tongue). However, the Commission has decided to launch a detailed investigation into part of the packages relating to euro 2.6 million in aid to processing companies to compensate for the damage caused by drought and Blue Tongue. At this stage, the Commission considers that a direct link between the damage suffered and the aid has not been identified.
  • [04] Fisheries : Commission opens investigation into proposed Belgian State aid scheme The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into a proposed Belgian State aid scheme to provide assistance to fisheries and aquaculture businesses experiencing financial problems due to increased fuel prices. Belgium notified the Commission of the scheme which would involve the financing of loans at preferential rates as well as guaranteeing part of these loans. The Commission, at this stage, has doubts about the compatibility of this aid scheme with EU rules governing State aid.
  • [05] Commission authorises aid to Nissan in Sunderland The European Commission has authorised regional investment aid of GBP 40 million for the production of the new Micra model at the Nissan plant in Sunderland (United Kingdom). "We have carefully considered the compatibility of the support proposed by the British Government with the EU rules on State aid", Competition Commissioner Mario Monti stressed. "Our initial doubts led us to open a formal investigation procedure in September 2000, as we have also done in cases of support measures to car manufacturers in other Member States. The Commission is now satisfied that the proposed aid to Nissan is in line with the EU rules for State aid and the specific rulebook for aid to the motor vehicle industry in particular."
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [06] ESB : le Comité Scientifique Directeur publie des réponses aux questions relatives à la sécurité Le Comité Scientifique Directeur (CSD), conseillant la Commission européenne sur des sujets multidisciplinaires, y compris sur des questions relatives à l'ESB, a publié aujourd'hui un avis qui répond aux questions soulevées par le Conseil des Ministres de l'Agriculture de l'Union européenne du 4 décembre. Les questions concernent la sécurité de certains tissus bovins et de sous-produits d'origine animale qui pourraient présenter un risque vis-à-vis de l'ESB. Les experts scientifiques concluent que de nouvelles restrictions sur l'utilisation de tissus bovins peuvent être nécessaires quand les mesures de gestion du risque en place ne garantissent pas que la présence d'ESB est hautement improbable. La Commission accueille favorablement cet avis scientifique et en tirera ses conclusions dans un futur proche sur les mesures concernées.
  • [07] Loyola de Palacio calls for further liberalisation of gas and electricity markets In a speech made during the 8th Handesblatt Annual Energy Conference in Berlin, Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Energy and Transport, made clear the Commission's intention to make new proposals on electricity and gas liberalisation. She welcomed the positive effects of the current liberalisation but underlined the need to complete it by new proposals in order to have a real liberalised European single market for every consumer by 2005. "Progressively all consumers in all Member States must be free to choose their supplier", she said. "Yet, opening of the total market alone will not be sufficient to achieve a real internal market and in the next weeks the Commission will thus present proposals to the European Council in Stockholm", she added.
  • [08] Financial services : Commission welcomes Basel Committee's latest proposal for a New Basel Capital Accord The European Commission has welcomed yesterday's proposal by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision for a New Capital Accord as a vital step in international efforts to ensure that the global banking system is based on safe and sound banking practices that ensure operational flexibility, free and fair competition, proper supervision and enhance consumer confidence. The Commission has been working for the last two years on a similar revision of existing European legislation that will establish a new capital framework applicable not only to internationally active banks, but to all credit institutions and investment firms incorporated in the European Union. That work has been in close collaboration with the Basel Committee and has both influenced the Basel process and been shaped by it, since eight EU Member States are full members of the Basel Committee and will therefore be bound by the New Capital Accord. But EU legislation must also reflect the specific nature of the European banking scene, which is characterised by the existence of many smaller local banks that play a crucial role in funding small and medium sized businesses. Following the publication of the Basel Committee's second consultative package, the Commission will itself launch its second consultation around the end of January. This timing allows interested parties to inform the Commission thinking in the preparation of its legislative proposals which will reflect, but necessarily differ in some detailed points, from the Basel approach.
  • [09] La Commission approuve une aide d'urgence de 14,6 millions d'euros en faveur des victimes de la crise humanitaire dans les territoires palestiniens La Commission européenne a approuvé deux décisions de financement pour un montant total de 14,6 millions d'euros afin de venir en aide aux victimes de la crise humanitaire dans les territoires gérés par l'Autorité palestinienne. L'aide sera canalisée par l'entremise de l'Office d'aide humanitaire (ECHO). Le principal objectif de cette action est de lutter contre le risque croissant d'insécurité alimentaire et de prévenir la malnutrition parmi les groupes les plus marginalisés touchés par le conflit.
  • [10] Commission launches new call for proposals under the 'European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights' The European Commission has launched a new call for proposals under chapter B7-70 of the EU budget, the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), for a sum of euro 38 million. To ensure greater impact and the best use of resources, the EU will focus on 10 priority areas in key regions - countries, including support for human rights education, measures to protect minorities, promoting freedom of expression, the rights of children, the abolition of the death penalty, strengthening the rule of law, promoting democracy and good governance, and conflict prevention.
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Préparation de la réunion Eurogroupe et du Conseil Ecofin


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at
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