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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-03-05

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

Midday Express 05/03/2001

  • [01] BSE : Commission presents special market measures for beef In Friday's management committee for beef and veal, the European Commission presented its proposal to introduce special market measures for cattle older than 30 months. Carcasses of animals which belong to categories not eligible for intervention purchases, which are more than 30 months of age and which have all been tested negatively for BSE shall be covered. The scheme can only apply in Member States which have demonstrated full testing capacity for cattle older than 30 months. In addition, the regime would only be applicable in those Member States which are faced with a weak market for cow meat. Therefore purchases shall only be made in Member States where the price for cows is below the trigger price during a period of two weeks. This trigger-price should be fixed for each Member State. The financial compensation (70% EU, 30% Member States) paid to the farmers would be maintained. Be it for storage, be it for destruction, no fixed quantities per Member States would apply. The new measure presented today would enter into force following a vote in the management committee and following the formal adoption by the Commission. The special measures under the new scheme shall apply until the end of 2001. For those Member States without full testing capacity, the provisions of the "purchase for destruction scheme" (see IP/00/1456) remains in force until 30 June 2000, when the compulsory testing comes into force. This is to avoid that non BSE- tested meat from cattle over 30 month enters into the food chain.
  • [02] Prêts au logement : la Commission approuve des lignes directrices relatives à l'information précontractuelle à fournir aux consommateurs La Commission européenne a adopté une recommandation définissant des lignes Directrices relatives à l'harmonisation de l'information à fournir aux consommateurs en matière de prêts au logement. Ces lignes directrices visent à faciliter aux consommateurs la comparaison des possibilités d'emprunt proposées par les différents prêteurs présents sur le marché, y compris les prêteurs d'un autre Etat membre, de manière à permettre aux consommateurs d'opérer un choix en connaissance de cause. Les lignes directrices intégrées à la recommandation ont été convenues entre le secteur du crédit hypothécaire et les associations de consommateurs et ont pris la forme d'un code de conduite volontaire signé ce matin à Bruxelles. La Commission est chargée de contrôler la mise en œuvre du code et publiera une liste des établissements de crédit hypothécaire s'engageant à respecter le code. Le succès de cette initiative jouera un rôle crucial dans l'amélioration de l'information et de la protection des consommateurs sur les marchés financiers de détail en Europe, telle que l'esquissent la communication de 1997 intitulée "Services financiers: renforcer la confiance des consommateurs" (voir IP/97/566) et le plan d'action pour les services financiers (voir IP/00/1269).
  • [03] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par Philips de la division soins de santé d'Agilent La Commission européenne a approuvé le projet d'acquisition de la division soins de santé d'Agilent Technologies Inc par Philips Electronics NV. Les gammes de produits des deux sociétés sont largement complémentaires et ne se chevauchent que dans le domaine de la fabrication de matériel à ultrasons. Philips disposera certes de parts de marché relativement importantes en ce qui concerne les appareils à ultrasons utilisés en cardiologie, mais plusieurs concurrents puissants empêcheront la société d'acquérir une position dominante.
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of Eircell by Vodafone Group The European Commission has cleared today the acquisition of the Irish mobile telephony operator Eircell plc by the Vodafone Group plc. The Commission found that the transaction would add to the Vodafone Group's European footprint, but did not raise any competition concerns in the mobile telephony services market, where the parties' activities do not overlap, or in any other related markets.
  • [05] La Commission soutient le nouveau centre d'information mondial sur la biodiversité (GBIF) Aujourd'hui, Philippe Busquin, Commissaire européen chargé de la Recherche, a donné son plein appui au centre d'information mondial sur la biodiversité (Global Biodiversity Information Facility ou GBIF) qui vient d'être mis en place. Ce centre est un projet international destiné à fournir un accès à de très nombreuses données sur la faune et la flore de notre planète. La Terre compte entre 5 et 100 millions d'espèces, près de 10 millions selon les estimations actuelles les plus fiables. Seules quelque 1,75 million d'espèces ont fait l'objet d'une description scientifique. Les musées d'histoire naturelle à travers le monde détiennent environ deux à trois milliards de spécimens biologiques. Toutefois, l'accès à cette masse de données, lorsqu'il est prévu, est mal organisé, notamment pour les scientifiques originaires des pays moins développés. L'objectif du GBIF est d'éliminer ces entraves. La collecte de données relatives à des espèces existantes est particulièrement importante eu égard au fait que ces données pourraient un jour constituer les seules informations disponibles au sujet d'espèces menacées d'extinction à l'heure actuelle - au moins 26.000 plantes et 5.400 animaux seraient concernés.
  • [06] Euro area business climate indicator marginally declines to 0.95 February 2001 (! embargo 12 am !) After a significant decline last month, the business climate indicator fell only slightly in February to 0.95 (after 0.98 in January), according to the euro area business climate indicator published today by the European Commission (Directorate General Economic & Financial Affairs). This virtual stabilisation at a relatively high level is consistent with growth in industrial production well above its average between 1986 and 2000. This indicates that industrial firms are more cautious than half a year ago but still display sound confidence. The document will be available on the internet at the following address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/indicators/climate_en.htm Please also see the following internet address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/indicators/index_en.htm
  • [07] Agriculture : Franz Fischler signs Multi-Annual and Annual Financing Agreement with Slovenia and Lithuania European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries Franz Fischler signed on 5 March the Multi-annual Financing Agreement and the Annual Financing Agreement with Slovenia and Lithuania. As budgetary procedures have now been completed in respect of the financial commitment for the year 2000, both agreements were signed on the same day with all three countries. This brings these countries another step closer to making the pre-accession agriculture programmes fully operational. After today's signature, the implementation of the Sapard Programme will require conclusion of the Agreements and the adoption of the Commission Decision on the accreditation of the Sapard Agency. Sapard aims to support the efforts made by the Central and Eastern European applicant countries in the pre- accession period as they prepare for their participation in the common agricultural policy and the single market. Mr Fischler expressed his satisfaction with the progress being made and stated : "We are edging closer to the completion of the necessary steps for the transfer of funds under Sapard. I urge our partners in Slovenia and Lithuania and in the eight other applicant countries, to continue to demonstrate their commitment to the enlargement process and to the successful implementation of the Sapard initiative." On the Annual Agreement, the deadline for spending EU-funds earmarked for Sapard in the 2000 budget is 31 December 2002. Commissioner Fischler said he intends to explore the possible justification and need for extending this deadline.
  • [08] La Commission alloue 35 millions d'euros d'aide humanitaire à la République Démocratique du Congo La Commission européenne a adopté un programme d'intervention de 35 millions d'euros, déployé en réponse aux besoins humanitaires croissants de la République Démocratique du Congo. Ces ressources seront acheminées par l'Office d'aide humanitaire (ECHO), par l'intermédiaire d'organisations partenaires présentes dans le pays. Cette décision permettra à ECHO de maintenir tout au long de l'année 2001 l'assistance fournie aux victimes des conflits en cours. Les priorités identifiées dans le programme sont la santé et la faim.
  • [09] Commission approves a further euro 1.4 million for victims of cyclones Eline and Gloria The European Commission has adopted two humanitarian aid decisions totalling euro 1.4 million to provide food and nutritional support to high- risk groups in Madagascar and Zimbabwe. The assistance is being channelled through its Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO). It is now a year since Cyclones Eline and Gloria brought devastation to Madagascar and the south-eastern part of Africa. The after-effects are still being felt, especially in areas where local agriculture was badly hit and the crops harvested later in the year were insufficient to cover local needs. Madagascar receives euro 900, 000 and Zimbabwe euro 500,000.
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Note sur la préparation du Conseil Emploi / Affaires sociales (06/03) Note sur les résultats du Conseil informel Recherche (01-03/03)

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © 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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