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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-02-01

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 01/02/2001

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 31 janvier 2001 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 31 January

(voir aussi see also ME of 31/1)

  • [01] Economic and social agenda, enlargement, governance and quality of life on top of Commission's priorities for 2001 The new economic and social agenda, the enlargement process, the White Paper on Governance and quality of life will be the priorities for the European Commission in 2001, as outlined in its annual working programme adopted today. These priorities follow the "Strategic Objectives 2000-2005", which were adopted by the Commission last year to identify a number of key elements for action for its term of office.
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [02] Financial services : Commission launches out-of-court Complaints Network to improve consumer confidence The European Commission has just launched an out-of-court complaints network for financial services to help businesses and consumers resolve disputes in the Internal Market fast and efficiently by avoiding, where possible, lengthy and expensive legal action. This network, called FIN-NET, has been designed particularly to facilitate the out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes when the service provider is established in an EU Member State other than that where the consumer lives. The network brings together more than 35 different national schemes that either cover financial services in particular (e.g. banking and insurance ombudsmen schemes) or handle consumer disputes in general (e.g. consumer complaint boards). Both on- and off-line services are covered. The difficulty of obtaining out-of- court redress is a barrier to the development of cross-border services, particularly in the financial sector where it risks undermining the growth of electronic commerce. The Commission in its Financial Services Action Plan (see IP/00/1269) and its recent Communication on a new strategy for the services sector (see IP/01/31) has stressed that improved consumer confidence in non-costly, simple, effective, alternatives to legal action is crucial to the creation of an integrated internal market in financial services - a key Lisbon Summit objective.
  • [03] Commission announces a further euro 10 million in humanitarian assistance for victims of India earthquake The European Commission has announced a further euro 10 million in humanitarian assistance for the victims of the earthquake in Gujarat. This comes on top of a euro 3 million decision announced at the weekend, thus bringing the total to euro 13 million so far. The aid, managed by the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), will provide more support for the ongoing relief effort. As most of the current relief operations are focused on the major urban centres, ECHO aims to reach badly affected smaller towns and remote areas where less aid has been getting through. The Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Poul Nielson, announced the decision yesterday in Brussels : "We are fulfilling the promise I made at the weekend to increase the initial funding amount of euro 3 million once the scale of needs became apparent. An initial assessment has already taken place and we are now involved in a major effort to identify the priorities outside the main centres. We will continue to assist in any way to help bring relief to those in need."
  • [04] TVA : la Commission décide de saisir la Cour à l'encontre de six Etats membres en raison de la non-taxation de l'aide pour les fourrages séchés La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour de Justice européenne à l'encontre de l'Allemagne, l'Espagne, la Finlande, l'Italie, le Portugal et la Suède parce qu'ils n'ont pas perçu la taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA) sur une subvention versée par l'Union européenne aux entreprises de transformation produisant du fourrage séché. La Commission est d'avis que ces Etats membres n'ont pas respecté l'obligation selon la 6ème directive TVA (77/388/CE) de soumettre à la TVA les subventions directement liées au prix.
  • [05] Margot Wallström calls for sustainable energy use (! embargo 3 pm !) In a speech delivered today to the Energiforum 2001 in Berlin, European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström lays out her ideas for the future use of energy to secure sustainable development and takle climate change. She highlights that this goal cannot be achieved with a "business as usual" energy future. "It will require higher energy prices, and it will require that we break the deadlock of unanimity voting on fiscal matters in the EU by applying enhanced cooperation on energy taxation, so that some Member States can move forward in a coordinated way without unduly penalising the competitiveness of their industries. An emission trading system is a second main pillar in tackling climate change, and I trust that the cost-effectiveness of this instrument will in the end convince even those who are still doubtful." The Commissioner stresses that new technological potentials to replace fossil fuels exist which must be exploited and be brought to the market. "We are talking economic opportunities here, for innovation, growth and new jobs."
  • [06] DG Agriculture publishes report on risk management DG Agriculture today published a report entitled "Risk Management Tools for EU Agriculture with a special focus on insurance". The report starts out by providing an overview of the different types of risk that agriculture faces (including price risks and production risks) and evidence of risk exposure in European agriculture. After looking at the tools available to manage agricultural risk (such as futures markets, insurance and mutual funds), it examines the reasons and objectives of government intervention and discusses the policy instruments Member States and other countries use to help their farmers deal with risk exposure. The lessons that can be learned from existing public involvement in agricultural risk management form the basis for first reflections on the potential of applying risk management policies at the EU-level. The report is available at the following address :
  • [07] Autre matériel diffusé Discours de M. Byrne : "Latest developments in relation to BSE" au débat du PE sur l'ESB Discours de M. Liikanen : "eEurope : an information society for all" à la Conférence 'From business to e-business' (Copenhague)


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996

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