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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-07-30

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 30/07/2001

  • [01] Commission reports to Parliament on administrative preparations for enlargement The European Commission's services have recently sent a report to the European Parliament detailing the administrative issues which the European Institutions in general, and the Commission in particular, will need to tackle in order to be ready when the Candidate Countries join the European Union. The definition of the number of staff which will be needed and the measures to be taken to prepare for their recruitment and integration is a central issue, as well as the linguistic aspects of enlargement, with the necessary translation of the "acquis communautaire" and the increased number of translation and interpretation requirements of the Institutions. The preparations now underway require cooperation between the Institutions, with the administrations of the Candidate Countries and with the local authorities in Brussels and Luxembourg.
  • [02] Commission clears proposed acquisition by Interseroh AG of Hansa Recycling GmbH The European Commission has cleared the acquisition by Interseroh AG of Hansa Recycling GmbH under the ECSC Treaty. Both companies are based in Germany and trade in ferrous scrap.
  • [03] La Commission autorise, sous certaines conditions, le rachat de Ralston Purina, un producteur d'aliments pour animaux domestiques, par Nestlé La Commission européenne a donné son feu vert à l'acquisition, par l'entreprise suisse Nestlé, de Ralston Purina, un producteur américain d'aliments pour animaux domestiques, sous réserve du respect de certaines conditions pour ce qui est de l'Espagne, de l'Italie et de la Grèce. En Espagne, Nestlé accordera une licence exclusive couvrant une période importante pour ses aliments pour animaux domestiques de la marque Friskies ; elle cédera également le site de production de Castellbisbal, près de Barcelone, ou la participation de 50 % que Ralston Purina détient dans l'entreprise commune espagnole Gallina Blanca Purina. En Italie et en Grèce, la nouvelle entité octroiera des licences exclusives pour les aliments pour animaux domestiques de Purina, essentiellement les produits de la gamme "Chow". Seront également cédés, dans chaque pays, des actifs correspondants, tels que le fonds de commerce et les actifs liés aux activités en matière de commercialisation. Les détenteurs des licences auront la possibilité de se procurer les aliments pour animaux domestiques couverts par leur licence auprès de la nouvelle entité, et ce pendant toute la période concernée. L'autorisation de la Commission est subordonnée au respect des engagements précités.
  • [04] Commission clears Finnish Sampo Oyj's take-over of Norwegian Storebrand ASA The European Commission has given the go-ahead for the Finnish financial group Sampo Oyj (Sampo) to acquire control of the Norwegian banking and insurance group Storebrand ASA (Storebrand). As a result of the merger, Sampo also replaces Storebrand in the Swedish insurance company If Skadeförsäkring Holding AB (publ) (If P&C). The Commission has concluded that the proposed transaction will not lead to competition concerns in any of the markets where the parties are active.
  • [05] Ford authorized to take over wholesale distribution of Mazda in the UK The European Commision has cleared Ford's acquisition of control of the wholesale distribution of its Mazda brands of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the UK from the MCL Group. The acquisition of the business will be carried out by the Ford-controlled Japanese company, Mazda Motor Corporation, and will essentially mean Ford's vertical integration of the wholesale distribution of the Mazda brands of vehicles and related spare parts and accessories in the UK. As such, the operation is in line with Ford's practice of having the wholesale distribution of its vehicles carried out by companies it either owns or control, and is also in line with the growing tendency of manufacturers to integrate the wholesale distribution of their vehicles into their companies.
  • [06] Programme Leader + pour le Portugal La Commission européenne a approuvé le programme devant être mis en œuvre au titre de l'initiative communautaire Leader+ au Portugal, y compris dans les deux régions autonomes de Madère et des Açores. Selon les termes de Franz Fischler, membre de la Commission chargé de l'agriculture, du développement rural et de la pêche, "ces programmes visent à promouvoir de nouvelles idées sur la manière d'améliorer la qualité de la vie dans les zones rurales du Portugal." Pour la période 2001-2006, le coût total de ce programme s'élève à 269,9 millions d'euros, soit 53 512,6 millions d'escudos, dont 60,5% seront financés par les Fonds structurels de l'Union européenne et 39,5% par des ressources nationales.
  • [07] Commission adopts euro 10 million humanitarian aid plan for Tajikistan The European Commission has adopted a euro 10 million global plan to help meet humanitarian needs in Tajikistan. This decision will enable ECHO, through partner organisations working in the field, to provide assistance to the most vulnerable population groups throughout 2001. The funds will be channelled by the Humanitarian Aid Office ECHO which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson.
  • [08] Commission agrees to send euro 1.5 million in humanitarian aid to refugees from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) The European Commission has approved euro 1.5 million for emergency humanitarian assistance to refugees fleeing to Kosovo from the current crisis in FYROM. Over 60,000 refugees accommodated in host families in Kosovo will benefit from this decision. The aid will be channelled through the humanitarian aid office ECHO which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson.
  • [09] Reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles : procédures d'infraction contre l'Autriche, la Grèce, la France, l'Espagne et l'Italie La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour de justice, sur base de l'article 226 du traité CE, contre la Grèce parce que, dans la pratique, elle n'applique toujours pas la Directive 92/51/CEE concernant la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles. La Commission a aussi décidé d'envoyer des demandes formelles à l'Autriche, la France, l'Espagne et l'Italie d'appliquer correctement des Directives sur la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles. Les demandes formelles seront transmises sous forme d'avis motivés, la deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction prévue à l'article 226 du traité CE. Si les Etats membres en question ne se conformaient pas à ces demandes dans un délai de deux mois après réception de l'avis motivé, la Commission pourrait décider de saisir la Cour de justice.
  • [10] Services postaux : la Commission poursuit la procédure d'infraction à l'encontre de la Belgique La Commission européenne a décidé de demander officiellement à la Belgique de modifier la manière dont la directive 97/67/CE sur les services postaux a été mise en œuvre. La Commission estime notamment que la Belgique doit veiller à la totale indépendance de l'organe national de réglementation du secteur postal par rapport aux opérateurs postaux publics. La mise en demeure se présente sous la forme d'un "avis motivé", soit la deuxième phase de la procédure d'infraction officielle visée à l'article 226 du traité CE. Si les autorités belges ne se conforment pas à la demande de la Commission dans les deux mois qui suivent la réception de l'avis motivé, celle-ci peut alors décider de saisir la Cour de justice. Selon la Commission, l'indépendance de l'organe de réglementation constitue un instrument fondamental garantissant le fonctionnement adéquat du service postal universel et une concurrence non faussée dans le secteur libéralisé. La Commission étudie également de près l'indépendance des organes de réglementation postale en France, en Grèce, en Italie et en Espagne.
  • [11] Packaging Waste Directive : Commission decides to pursue infringement case against Denmark The European Commission has decided to send Denmark a formal request for failing to transpose certain sections of the Packaging Waste Directive into national law. The formal request takes the form of so-called "reasoned opinion", the second stage of formal infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. In the absence of a satisfactory response to the "reasoned opinion" within two months of receipt, the Commission may decide to refer Denmark to the Court.
  • [12] Commission to request United Kingdom and Austria to implement Hazardous Waste Directive correctly The European Commission has decided to send formal request to the United Kingdom and Austria to correctly transpose into their national laws all the provisions of the Hazardous Waste Directive. These formal requests take the form of so-called "reasoned opinion", the second stage of infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months of receipt, the Commission may decide to refer Austria and the United Kingdom to the Court of Justice.
  • [13] Waste oils : Commission takes legal action against Germany and Ireland The European Commission has decided to send Germany a request to comply with a judgement of the Court of Justice relating to the Waste Oils Directive. The September 1999 Court judgement required Germany to ensure that waste oils are regenerated (recycled) rather than disposed of. The formal request takes the form of a so-called "reasoned opinion", the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 228 of the EC Treaty when Member States fail to implement a Court of Justice ruling. If Germany does not comply with the request within two months of receipt, the Commission may refer Germany back to the Court with a request for daily fines. The Waste Oils Directive emphasises that Member States must give priority to the regeneration of waste oils over their disposal. The Commission also decided to send a formal request Ireland for failing to give priority to the regeneration of waste oils over their disposal in accordance with the Waste Oils Directive. The request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion", the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If Ireland does not comply with the request within two months of receipt, the Commission may refer Ireland to the Court.
  • [14] La Commission prend des mesures à l'encontre de la France, la Belgique, l'Allemagne, l'Italie, le Royaume-Uni, la Grèce, l'Espagne et le Portugal concernant les informations sur la consommation de carburant et les émissions de CO² La Commission européenne a décidé d'envoyer des avis motivés (deuxièmes lettres d'avertissement) à la France, la Belgique, l'Allemagne, l'Italie, au Royaume-Uni, la Grèce, l'Espagne et au Portugal pour manquement à leurs obligations d'adopter et de communiquer les textes qui sont nécessaires pour mettre en œuvre la directive de 1999 concernant l'accès des consommateurs à des informations sur la consommation de carburant et les émissions de CO². Ces informations se rapportent aux voitures particulières neuves. La directive vise à permettre aux consommateurs de tenir compte de la consommation de carburant et des émissions de CO² lors de l'achat de voitures neuves. L'échéance pour adopter et communiquer les textes était le 18 janvier 2001. Margot Wallström, commissaire responsable de l'environnement, a déclaré : "Il est important que les consommateurs prennent en considération les conséquences potentielles sur l'environnement de l'achat d'une voiture neuve. J'invite chacun de ces Etats membres à adopter les dispositions juridiques nécessaires dès que possible. C'est ce à quoi ils se sont engagés quand ils ont signé cette directive."
  • [15] Waste management : Commission closes infringement procedure against Greece on Cretan waste tip The European Commission has decided to close its long-running infringement procedure with regard to the illegal Kouroupitos waste tip near Chania in Greece. In a landmark ruling of 4 July 2000, the European Court of Justice had imposed a daily fine of euro 20,000 on Greece for non-compliance with a previous Court judgement for breach of EU waste legislation there. It was the first time that the Court had used the power under Article 228 of the EC Treaty to fine a Member State. The Commission's decision follows steps taken by Greece to remedy the infringement. More specifically, Greece adopted a waste management plan for the region of Chania. It also closed and made the Kouroupitos waste site secure, diverting waste to a temporary waste reception facility pending the completion of a permanent new installation for the area.
  • [16] Commission decides to pursue infringement cases against Austria for non-respect of waste rules The European Commission has decided to refer Austria to the European Court of Justice for its failure to correctly apply EU standards outlined in the Hazardous Waste Incineration Directive. The Commission has also decided to send Austria a formal request to ensure full transposition of the Municipal Waste Incineration Directives. This formal request take the form of a so- called "reasoned opinion", the second stage of infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months of receipt, the Commission may decide to refer Austria to the Court of Justice.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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