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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-02-12

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 12/02/2001

  • [01] La Commission autorise l'opération de concentration entre VNU et ACNielsen La Commission européenne a autorisé l'opération de concentration entre VNU N.V. (Pays-Bas) et ACNielsen Corp (Etats-Unis) après être parvenue à la conclusion que les activités des parties dans le domaine des études de marché ne se chevauchaient pas en Europe.
  • [02] Commission clears acquisition of Thomas Cook Holdings by C&N Touristic The European Commission has cleared the acquisition by the vertically integrated German tour operator C&N Touristic of the UK travel company Thomas Cook Holdings. The only EU Member States in which Thomas Cook is active in leisure travel are the UK and Ireland. C&N is not active in either of these countries. In view of this absence of overlap, the Commission has decided to clear the operation.
  • [03] Structural funds - Commission approves almost euro 200 million support for urban areas in The Netherlands The European Commission has approved a development programme for "urban areas in The Netherlands" over the period 2000-2006. This programme amounts to euro 199.67 million in financial support from the European Union. It concerns urban areas in difficulties, and as such eligible for "Objective 2" of the Structural Funds. The European funding will attract a further euro 348 million in investment from the Netherlands public sector and euro 41 million from the private sector, making total spending of euro 588 million. The aim of this programme is to create around 6,500 new jobs, to revitalise business sites and to support 500 small and medium sized enterprise.
  • [04] Endangered species : Commission acts against UK over damage to breeding and resting places The European Commission has decided to issue a Reasoned Opinion against the United Kingdom for failure properly to apply the European Union's Habitats Directive which aims to safeguard the breeding and resting places of endangered species. The Directive requires Member States to prohibit the deterioration or destruction of the breeding sites and resting places of a number of endangered animal species including the otter, the great crested newt and all bat species. Today's decision reflects the Commission's concern that the application of the licensing system used to grant exceptions to the Directive in the UK does not respect its strict conditions. In particular, licences seem to be issued as a formality after development consent for a construction or infrastructure project has already been given, and do not appear to involve a careful weighing of the arguments for and against allowing damage to occur.
  • [05] Commission takes further legal action against Germany over threat to endangered hamster habitats The European Commission has decided to send a Reasoned Opinion (second warning letter) to Germany for failure to properly ensure the protection of the habitats of an endangered hamster, the Cricetus cricetus. The habitats are situated at Horbacher Börde, near the town of Aachen, close to the Dutch border, and is one of the three most important sites for the species in the north-west of Germany. The habitats are being threathened by intensive agriculture and the construction of a cross-border industrial site. The provisions of the Habitats Directive on prohibiting the deterioration or destruction of breeding sites or resting places are being infringed.
  • [06] Commission and Germany start focused discussions on guarantees to public banks A delegation led by Mr Caio Koch-Weser, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Finance, and Mr Peer Steinbrück, Minister of Finance of the Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, met on Friday 9 February with European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti to discuss the issue of State aid in the form of guarantees to public banks in Germany. The meeting took place in the context of the process started by the letter of 26 January 2001 (see IP/01/119) by which the Commission informed the German authorities that it considers these guarantees in as far as they affect the competitive position of the banks and trade between Member States to be State aid which is incompatible with EU law. "I welcome the fact that the discussion with Germany on the guarantees has started again after quite some precious time has been lost since we entered into talks last February", Mr Monti said. "This is a constructive development and I hope that it will provide an impetus for making rapid progress in the context of the procedure launched to bring the guarantee schemes concerned into line with EU rules."
  • [07] La Commission approuve 17.8 millions d'euros d'aide humanitaire en faveur de la République Fédérale de Yougoslavie, du Kosovo, de l'Albanie et de l'Ancienne République Yougoslave de Macédoine (ARYM) La Commission européenne a octroyé un financement additionnel de 17.8 millions d'euros afin de permettre la poursuite ininterrompue de l'assistance humanitaire durant l'hiver. Imputée au budget 2001, cette décision complète un financement de 31.6 millions d'euros prise en décembre 2000. Cette aide est gérée par l'Office d'Aide Humanitaire (ECHO) et est destinée à couvrir les besoins humanitaires de base des réfugiés, personnes déplacées et autres groupes vulnérables pendant l'hiver. Ces besoins concernent notamment les secteurs de la santé, de l'hébergement, de la nourriture et de l'aide au rapatriement.
  • [08] Renewal of the Fisheries Protocol between the EU and Equatorial Guinea The European Union and Equatorial Guinea have initialled a Protocol to the Fisheries Agreement between the two parties for a period of three years from 1st July 2001. This Agreement solely concerns tuna fisheries and will provide fishing possibilities for 62 vessels. The annual financial compensation has been increased from euro 320,000 to euro 412,500 to reflect the increase in the annual level of captures available to Community vessels from 4,000 to 5,500 tonnes.
  • [09] Fusion approuvée selon la procédure simplifiée Océ-Technologies B.V. (NL) / Real Software Group N.V. (B) / Océ-Real Business Solutions B.V. (NL)
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Discours de Mme Reding : "Le multilinguisme : une chance pour l'Europe" à la Conférence d'ouverture de l'Année Européenne des Langues (10/02, Thionville) Discours de M. Byrne : "Trust through transparency" au Biovision World Life Sciences Forum (10/02, Lyon)


    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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