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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-06-29

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 29/06/2001

  • [01] Handover of Mr Milosevic to ICTY - reaction of the European Commission The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, stated : "I welcome the extradition of Mr Milosevic to the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) in The Hague. I congratulate the Yugoslav authorities on the way they have handled this. I have always been confident in Serbian democracy, and my confidence has been confirmed by recent events." External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten said : "This is a historic day for the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, for all the peoples of the Balkans, and all who believe in the rule of international law. I warmly congratulate the authorities in Belgrade on their decision to comply with their international obligations and to transfer Mr Milosevic to The Hague. Now, at last, Mr Milosevic must answer the charges he faces before an international court of law. Now, at last, the many victims of Balkan wars have the chance of justice. Now, at last, the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - and its neighbours - can start to put the misery he created behind them. A year ago, Mr Milosevic ruled supreme in Serbia. Many thought it inconceivable that a year later, he would be on his way to trial before the ICTY. To those who seek to evade international justice, let this serve as a warning. To those who despair of progress in the Balkans, even as we wrestle with the legacy of Milosevic, let this give hope. Tomorrow, the European Commission looks forward to hosting, with the World Bank in Brussels, a vital International Donors' Conference for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The EU is firmly committed to working with the people of that country, and all the peoples of the region, to building a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future. With the extradition of Mr Milosevic, let us set about that task with new vigour and determination."
  • [02] Commission pledges substantial financial support to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at Brussels Donors' Conference The European Commission today pledged a total of euro 530 million in a financial support package of grants and loans for the FRY at a international donors' conference which it is hosting, jointly with the World Bank, in Brussels. This pledge is in addition to the pledges by individual EU Member States that will be made separately at the conference, and underlines the scale of the overall EU contribution to the reform and reconstruction effort in the FRY. The European Commission's financial package is part of the continuing effort to return the FRY to stability and economic growth that began within weeks of the fall of Slobodan Milosevic last October. The funds pledged today will assist the FRY authorities with institution building and economic reform, and will help them in their efforts to transform their country into a modern, market oriented member of the family of European democracies.
  • [03] Economic impact of enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe a positive-sum game for all The Southern enlargement of the EU in the 1980s provides a benchmark for the assessment of the enlargement to the central and eastern European countries (CEECs). CEECs have generally made great progress in becoming well functioning market economies. Their commitment to continue and deepen their reforms will be crucial to the success of enlargement. The economic gains from enlargement could increase the GDP growth of EU accession countries by up to 2% on yearly average in the 10 years surrounding the date of accession, depending on whether additional reforms are undertaken. The effect for the EU-15 would be a small but positive 0.7 percent cumulative increase on growth over 2000-9 period, with Germany and Austria being the greatest beneficiaries. Net-migration flows are expected to be limited and to affect mainly these two countries. Finally, the impact of enlargement on the European agricultural sector is foreseen to be moderate in the first years after accession.
  • [04] Commission recommends exempting Romanian citizens from visa requirements as from 2002 In a report adopted today, the European Commission recommends that Romanian citizens should be exempted from the visa obligation from 1 January 2002. This implies the fulfilment by the Romanian authorities of a number of commitments relating to the issues mentioned in the report. A Regulation of the EU Council of Ministers (539/2001 of 15 March 2001) includes Romania among the countries whose nationals are exempted from the visa obligation when entering EU member states. However, the Regulation also stipulates that this exemption will not enter into force as regards Romania until the Council of Ministers has decided so at a later stage on the basis of a report from the Commission. The Commission has now adopted this report, which gives a positive account of the achievements Romania has reached so far and of the commitments it has taken on illegal immigration and illegal residence.
  • [05] European Union gears up to enter next stage of negotiations with Mercosur and with Chile In the next fortnight, a large EU team for the Association Negotiations with Mercosur and with Chile will be travelling to Montevideo (2-7 July) and Santiago (9-12 July) for fifth round negotiations. These negotiations are a priority on the European Union's agenda, in the run-up to the Second EU-Latin America Summit which will take place in May 2002 in Madrid. In this regard, the EU welcomes the determination of Chile and the recent Mercosur Summit decision to accelerate negotiations. This fifth round launches tariff and services negotiations and includes discussions on the institutional structure of the agreement as well as topics to be included in the field of political dialogue and economic co-operation. The EU will present additional proposals covering trade in goods, services, government procurement and business facilitation (customs related matters and electronic commerce).
  • [06] Meat-and-bone meal ban prolongation and other TSE rules adopted The European Commission today formally adopted a regulation laying down transitional measures to permit the change-over to the new Regulation on the prevention, control and eradication of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) which is to become applicable as of July 1st. The regulation forsees a prolongation of the current suspension on the use of meat-and-bone meal (MBM) in animal feed, the introduction of compulsory offspring and cohort slaughter (with whole herd slaughter on a voluntary basis) in the event of the discovery of BSE cases, the extension of the range of products of animal origin imported into the EU governed by protective measures with effect from 1 October 2001 and the introduction of a requirement for import from certain third countries of an effective MBM ban to ruminants and full tracing to the herd and dam of origin from 1 October 2001.
  • [07] Margot Wallström on the outcome of the informal consultations on Climate Change in The Hague European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström issued the following statement : "I believe these talks have maintained the momentum we need to secure results in Bonn. Mr Pronk's paper, which have formed the basis of the informal consultations in the Hague, remains the best basis for the forthcoming negotiations. There is no doubt that the talks will be difficult. However, the EU will continue to do its utmost to achieve an agreement in Bonn on a comprehensive package, which will pave the way for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The EU is determined to move forward to ratify by 2002. In the Hague we have shown our willingness to negotiate, and we have established a good dialogue with developing countries. All parties must now show flexibility and be realistic. A big responsibility lies on the shoulders of countries like Japan to make Bonn a success. We cannot afford to let the climate wait for action any longer."
  • [08] Pedro Solbes meets with Anthony Leung, Hong Kong Financial Secretary European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affaires Pedro Solbes and Hong Kong Financial Secretary Anthony Leung exchanged views on the world economic situation, the European and Hong Kong economies and the forthcoming euro changeover. Commissioner Solbes commented that "despite the US slowdown the EU economy is set to grow at rates close to its output potential, estimated to around 2.5%, in 2001 and recover to higher growth rates in 2002". He expressed concern at the continued weakness of the Japanese economy that adds to the uncertainty in Asia's economic performance. On the state of the HK economy Mr Leung informed the Commissioner on the state of the Hong-Kong economy. The Hong Kong competitiveness has suffered recently from the strong dollar as the HK dollar is pegged to the US$ by means of a currency board. This has also affected exports to the Union, which declined by 1.2% in real terms in the first quarter of 2001, while imports increased by 10% in the Jan-April period. Mr Solbes raised the issue of euro denominated reserves by HK, the world's third largest holder of foreign currency reserves after Japan and mainland China. Mr Leung confirmed the interest for increasing utilisation of the euro over the medium term.
  • [09] Autre matériel diffusé Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "eGovernment providing better public service and wider participation for citizens" at the IDEA Democracy Forum 2001 (Stockholm) Note sur les résultats du Conseil Transports Calendrier du 2 au 7 juillet


    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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