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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-03-28

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 28/03/2001

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

  • [01] La Commission adopte le Plan d'action eLearning pour construire des ponts entre éducation et nouvelles technologies de la communication Cinq jours après le Conseil européen de Stockholm, qui a réaffirmé la nécessité pour l'Europe d'utiliser le potentiel des nouvelles technologies pour construire un espace éducatif européen, la Commission a adopté aujourd'hui le Plan d'action eLearning. Ce plan, proposé par Mme Reding en accord avec M. Liikanen et Mme Diamantopoulou, a pour objectif de favoriser une coopération entre Union européenne, Etats membres, communautés éducatives et de formation et industriels afin de valoriser le lien entre l'éducation tout au long de la vie, la modernisation de nos systèmes d'éducation et d'apprentissage et l'utilisation des nouvelles technologies de l'information et de la communication. Le Plan d'action eLearning complète eEurope 2002 en même temps qu'il constitue un élément clef de la stratégie européenne pour l'emploi et de la stratégie récemment adoptée sur les nouveaux marchés de l'emploi.
  • [02] Commission allows Danish restructuring state aid to COMBUS The European Commission today decided to approve the Danish restructuring aid worth DKK 471800000 (63.7m) to the state-owned bus company Combus. The State Aid consisted of two injections of capital totalling DKK471.8m (63.7m) by the Danish government during 1999-2001 to Combus A/S.
  • [03] Commission approves tax exemptions from the UK Climate Change Levy The European Commission has decided not to raise objections under the EU State aid rules to the main elements of the UK's Climate Change Levy (CCL) due to come into force on 1 April 2001. The levy is being introduced in order to help meet the UK's international greenhouse gas abatement obligations and to progress towards the goal of reducing CO2 emissions. It covers the use of fuel for lighting, heating and motive power in industry, commerce, agriculture, public administration and other services.
  • [04] Commission clarifies the application of competition law principles to telecommunications The European Commission has adopted draft Guidelines on market analysis and the calculation of Significant Market Power (SMP) in advance of the final adoption of the proposed directive for a new regulatory framework for electronic communications services. The draft Guidelines should help the Council to approve the new definition of SMP proposed in the Framework Directive. They are based on existing case-law and the Commission's own practice in the field of electronic communications markets. The definitive version of the Guidelines will be adopted when the Framework directive is finally adopted.
  • [05] Aides d'Etat pour des produits agricoles en Vénétie (Italie) La Commission européenne a decidé d'ouvrir la procédure d'aide d'Etat à l'encontre d'une aide italienne pour la transformation et la commercialisation de produits agricoles en Vénétie. Les autorités italiennes veulent instituer des aides à l'investissement en faveur de 36 entreprises agro-industrielles. La décision d'ouvrir cette procédure n'implique pas l'adoption d'une décision finale négative mais exprime des doutes concernant l'aide en question. La Commission invite les interessés à présenter leurs observations et à fournir toute information utile pour l'évaluation de l'aide, afin de pouvoir prendre une décision finale.
  • [06] Assurance automobile : la Commission demande à la France de ne plus imposer un système obligatoire de bonus-malus La Commission européenne a décidé de demander formellement à la France de ne plus imposer un système obligatoire de bonus-malus pour l'assurance responsabilité civile automobile. Pour la Commission, un système selon lequel l'évolution de la prime en fonction des dommages causés par les conducteurs n'est pas libre, mais obéit à des critères détaillés et obligatoires définis dans une loi, doit être considéré comme contraire à la liberté de tarification prévue par la troisième directive sur l'assurance non-vie. La demande formelle à la France sera transmise sous forme d'un avis motivé, au titre de la procédure d'infraction prévue à l'article 226 du traité CE. Si la France ne se conformait pas à cette demande dans un délai de deux mois après réception de l'avis motivé, la Commission pourrait décider de saisir la Cour de justice.
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [07] Foot-and-mouth disease: Results of the Standing Veterinary Committee The Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) yesterday had a discussion on the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) situation in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. European Commission proposals on prolongation of the protective measures for these four Member States have received a favourable opinion.
  • [08] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Magneti Marelli Climatizzazione par la société japonaise Denso Corporation La Commission européenne a autorisé le projet d'acquisition de la société italienne Magneti Marelli Climatizzazione (MMCL), qui produit des systèmes thermiques pour automobiles, par la société japonaise Denso Corporation, qui était déjà actionnaire minoritaire de MMCL. L'opération permettra à Denso d'avoir le contrôle exclusif de MMCL en acquérant la participation détenue par Magneti Marelli, du groupe FIAT, dans la société italienne.
  • [09] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Norzinc par Outokumpu La Commission européenne a autorisé le projet d'acquisition de Norzinc (Norvège) par Outokumpu Oyj (Finlande), tous deux producteurs de zinc. Au terme d'un examen d'un mois, la Commission est arrivée à la conclusion que, malgré le degré de concentration élevé du marché européen du zinc qui résulterait de l'opération, une concurrence suffisante subsisterait.
  • [10] Commission launches in-depth investigation into acquisition of Pantochim and Eurodiol by BASF The European Commission has decided to initiate an in-depth second-stage investigation into the planned acquisition by Germany's BASF AG of Belgian companies Pantochim and Eurodiol. On the basis of information currently available, serious concerns have arisen particularly with regard to butanediol derivatives, which are used as solvents in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other industries. BASF produces and sells mainly speciality chemicals and other chemical products although it is also active in the health, food, oil and gas sectors. Pantochim produces a number of chemical products, mainly phthalic anhydride and plasticisers (standard phthalates used among other things to make soft PVC). Eurodiol basically produces butanediol (BDO) and BDO derivatives GBL, NMP and THF used in pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemistry and electronics. The two Belgian companies are part of the Italian SISAS group.
  • [11] La Commission autorise le rachat de Quaker par Pepsico La Commission européenne a autorisé ce jour le projet de rachat de Quaker Oats Company par Pepsico Incorporated, deux sociétés américaines, en application des règles de l'Union européenne sur le contrôle des concentrations. L'opération ne suscite de préoccupations sous l'angle de la concurrence sur aucun marché européen.
  • [12] Commission authorises participation of Shell in Siemens Solar The European Commission has cleared an operation by which Shell Erneuerbare Energien GmbH will acquire joint control in an existing joint venture between Siemens AG and E.ONEnergie AG in the field of solar energy. Shell will contribute its own solar energy activities in Germany to the joint venture called Siemens Solar GmbH. The acquisition does not create any competition problems as the parties will face strong competition in the relevant markets.
  • [13] Commission takes steps to halt loss of biodiversity The European Commission today adopted a series of action plans to integrate the protection of biodiversity into EU agricultural, fishery, environment and development and co-operation policies. Rich biodiversity is important as it provides the raw materials that our society needs. It is essential for the long-term sustainability of agriculture and fisheries and it is the basis for many industrial processes and the production of new medicines. The aim of the action plans is to stop losses in wildlife, ecosystems, varieties of crops, domestic animals and fish. The plans define concrete actions and measures and specify measurable targets to ensure a reversal of the current trend. The plans stem from the European Community Biodiversity Strategy adopted in 1998 where the Commission promised to spell out precisely how it would achieve the objectives of the strategy, and implement the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted in Rio in 1992.
  • [14] Commission issues consultation paper on Sustainable Development The European Commission has issued a consultation paper setting out the institution's initial views on the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development. The paper identifies six important trends that pose a threat to sustainable development in the EU - climate change; potential threats to public health; increasing pressure on some vital natural resources; poverty and social exclusion; ageing population; congestion and pollution from current patterns of mobility. The paper presents a policy toolkit for tackling these problems, but does not include specific objectives and measures. These will be contained in the Commission's proposal for a sustainable development strategy to the Göteborg European Council. The aim of the paper is to generate discussion and encourage input from other EU institutions and civil society. All stakeholders are therefore invited to express their views on these issues and to consider what more concrete measures should be included in the EU sustainable development strategy for Göteborg before 30 April. The document can be downloaded from the Internet at the following address: http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/eussd/index.htm
  • [15] European Commission and engineering Industry address damage caused by counterfeiting Problems arising from the counterfeiting of engineering goods were addressed at a workshop of European Commission officials and delegates from ORGALIME (an umbrella group for 30 trade federations in 20 European countries) in Brussels today. The Commission sponsored and took part in this workshop as part of its ongoing consultations with stakeholders on intellectual property rights and product safety. Counterfeiters illegally profit from the efforts of innovators, unfairly undermine the market position of manufacturers and authorised distributors, distort competition and trade, mislead consumers and pose safety problems by putting dangerous products on the market. The workshop was also attended by a Chinese delegation. The aim of the workshop was to exchange experiences on counterfeiting within the European internal market and internationally. Policy measures taken to combat counterfeiting were presented and the possibilities of improving the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights were discussed. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property rights (TRIPs) requires its parties to take action against counterfeiters. WTO members must fully apply the Agreement within the agreed deadlines. The European Commission is actively taking bilateral steps with countries where counterfeiting is widespread. Within the internal market, two Commission Communications on Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Single Market (IP/00/1385) and on a Strategy for the Customs Union (IP/01/219) have been issued. A proposal for a Council Regulation on a single EU-wide patent to improve the protection of innovation in the EU has also been put forward. See also: http://www.orgalime.org/counterfeiting/agenda.htm
  • [16] European Network Against Racism: the vital link between EU policy and local initiatives against racism The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) / Réseau européen contre le racisme, an umbrella organisation of NGOS, will give a press briefing tomorrow at 11.30 in the press room to mark its general assembly in Brussels this weekend. The ENAR, set up in 1998 to give a European dimension to the fight against racism on the ground and as the support of the European Commission, will discuss implementation of EU's new antidiscrimination package, family reunification for third country nationals, asylum and immigration, and the planned World Conference against Racism in Durban. Website: www.enar-en.org. Briefing Thursday 29 March, 11.30, Press room.
  • [17] La Commission approuve 83,15 millions d'euros pour un programme de lutte contre l'inégalité sur le marché du travail en Belgique Anna Diamantopoulou, Commissaire pour l'emploi et les affaires sociales, a signé aujourd'hui une décision approuvant le nouveau programme d'Initiative communautaire (IC) EQUAL en Belgique francophone et germanophone pour la période 2000-2006. Ce programme vise principalement à améliorer les capacités d'insertion professionnelle, à développer l'esprit d'entreprise, à promouvoir la formation tout au long de la vie et à améliorer l'égalité des chances entre hommes et femmes. Le budget total du présent programme s'élève à environ 83,15 millions d'EUR, desquels 41,58 millions d'EUR proviendront du secteur public (des six gouvernements concernés), et un montant identique du Fond Social européen.
  • [18] La Commission approuve un plan pour l'amélioration de l'égalité sur le marché du travail en Espagne Anna Diamantopoulou, membre de la Commission chargée de l'emploi et des affaires sociales, a signé une décision approuvant le programme d'initiative communautaire EQUAL en Espagne pour la période 2001-2006. Dans le cadre de ce programme, le Fonds social européen (FSE) accordera 515millions d'euros pour expérimenter de nouveaux moyens de lutte contre les discriminations et inégalités dans le domaine de l'emploi. Le budget total du programme espagnol s'élève à 789,34millions d'euros, dont 259, 46millionsseront pris en charge par le secteur public espagnol, 515, 4millions par l'Union et 14,48millions par des sources privées nationales.
  • [19] Senior trade officials complete one day of talks in Geneva amid signs that momentum for a new Trade Round is growing Speaking at the end of an informal meeting of twenty key countries* to assess prospects for a successful 4th Ministerial Conference at Doha and the question of a new Round, co-hosts EU Director-General of Trade Mogens Peter Carl and Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister Yoshiji Nogami, said "many participants favour new negotiations. Many are concerned about a global economic downturn and a return to bilateralism and see a relaunch of the multilateral process in the WTO as all the more necessary in this context . Several developing countries seek better market access and new or reviewed WTO rules that will directly serve their growth and development. There was a general sense that we should try to launch negotiations at Qatar later this year, and certainly we are all better prepared for this than at the same point before Seattle. Our discussions were practical and forward looking. The momentum is definitely picking up". Autre matériel diffusé
  • [20] Statistiques d'exportation de viande de l'UE
  • [21] Discours de M. Erkki Liikanen "Broadcasting and content in eEurope"
  • [22] Info clip sur "Le Plan d'action e-Learning (disponible au planning audio-visuel BREY 04/164 tél: 295 2123)

    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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