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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-08-02

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 02/08/2001

  • [01] Commission insists on effective access to European pipelines for Norwegian gas The European Commission has called upon national regulators and national competition authorities to ensure that there is effective access of Norwegian gas to the European continent and into the UK. In a joint letter, the Directorate General for Competition and the Directorate General for Transport and Energy informed the responsible authorities in the EU Member States that the Norwegian Government recently announced the temporary discontinuation of the Norwegian joint market regime for gas - so called GFU - as from 1 June 2001. If the Norwegian gas companies start marketing their gas individually, as it is hoped, European customers can choose between approximately 30 suppliers instead of one. The Commission wrote in its letter to the national authorities : "It now needs to be assured that gas sold by Norwegian gas producers individually can be transported into Europe and thus reach the European gas consumers. We will therefore pursue any violations of the internal market rules and the competition rules regarding access of Norwegian gas to European pipelines with vigour. We would appreciate if the national authorities could do the same."
  • [02] Leader+ programmes for The Netherlands The European Commission has approved four programmes for the EU initiative Leader+ in the Netherlands. Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said : "These programmes aim to pilot new ideas to improve the quality of life in rural areas of the Netherlands. Leader+ will help to encourage the use of new know-how and of new technologies to make the products and services of rural areas more competitive and help tp make the best use of natural and cultural resources." The Netherlands submitted four programmes for the regions East, North, South and Randstad which are approved under four separate Commission decisions. During the period 2000-2006, the total financial cost of these four programmes amounts to euro 204.52 million, including a Community participation of EAGGF Orientation of euro 82.9 million.
  • [03] July 2001 : Gloomy economic confidence indicators (! embargo 12 am !) The economic sentiment indicator went down in July by 0.5 points in the EU, while in the euro area there was a 0.6 point decrease. Capacity utilisation in July decreased 0.8 percentage points in the EU and 0.7 points in the euro area. The industrial confidence indicator also reached a level below its long term average, after decreasing in July by 2 points in both the EU and in the euro area. The construction confidence indicator decreased by 1 point in the euro area and in the EU as a whole. Consumer confidence increased by 4 points in Denmark and by 1 point in the United Kingdom, whilst remaining steady in Belgium and decreasing in the other twelve Member countries conducting this survey. The information results from the July business and consumer surveys carried out by the Commission's Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs.
  • [04] Commission allocates a further euro 2 million for humanitarian aid operations in the Northern Caucasus The European Commission will be providing additional financial support worth euro 2 million for humanitarian aid to the victims of the Chechnya conflict. This money will fund the continued distribution of food aid as well as the protection of peoples' rights in the Northern Caucasus (Daghestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia). Channelled through the humanitarian aid office ECHO, which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson, this decision brings the amount allocated by the Commission since the start of the conflict to euro 44 million.
  • [05] Waste batteries : Commission takes further legal action against Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom The European Commission has decided to send Reasoned Opinions (second warning letters) to Italy for its failing to correctly implement a Directive amending the Batteries Directive and to Germany for failing to communicate implementing legislation, as required under the Directive. The amending Directive requires a reduction in the mercury content of batteries that can be marketed in the EU. The Commission also decided that it would take Italy and the United Kingdom to Court for failing to communicate the above-mentioned implementing legislation. Commenting on the decision, Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said : "Phasing out products such as batteries containing mercury is a key part of the Community's strategy to reduce hazardous waste in our environment. Our efforts could be in vain, however, if all Member States do not stick to the same timetable."
  • [06] Expérimentations animales : la Commission décide de saisir la Cour de justice à l'encontre de la Belgique La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour de justice européenne à l'encontre de la Belgique pour non-respect de la directive communautaire relative aux animaux utilisés à des fins expérimentales. La décision fait suite à l'examen d'une plainte selon laquelle les autorités belges accordent des dispenses trop larges pour l'utilisation à des fins expérimentales de chats et de chiens qui n'ont pas été élevés dans ce but. De telles dispenses sont possibles en vertu de la directive (qui, en règle générale, impose l'utilisation d'animaux d'élevage) mais les raisons doivent être impérieuses. Les statistiques indiquent que sur trois ans, les laboratoires belges n'ont utilisé en moyenne qu'environ 50% des chats et des chiens pour lesquels des dispenses avaient été accordées, attestant la trop grande permissivité des autorités belges.
  • [07] Teneur en soufre des combustibles : la Commission prend des mesures contre l'Italie et l'Allemagne La Commission européenne a décidé d'envoyer un avis motivé (deuxième lettre d'avertissement) à l'Allemagne et de saisir la Cour de justice d'un recours contre l'Italie pour manquement à l'obligation d'adopter et de communiquer le texte de leur législation nationale concernant la teneur en soufre des combustibles liquides. Il s'agit d'assurer la transposition d'une directive communautaire de 1999 concernant la teneur en soufre des combustibles, qui vise à réduire les émissions de dioxyde de soufre, un important polluant atmosphérique. Les Etats membres avaient jusqu'au 1er juillet 2000 pour adopter et communiquer les dispositions nationales, et ces décisions s'inscrivent dans un effort concerté de la Commission pour veiller à ce que l'ensemble de la Communauté se conforme à la directive. Margot Wallström, Commissaire à l'Environnement, a déclaré : "La mise en œuvre de cette directive contribuera à la réduction de la pollution par le dioxyde de soufre. Je demande instamment à l'Allemagne et à l'Italie de combler cette lacune législative dès que possible."
  • [08] Measurement of quality of petrol and diesel fuels The European Commission has decided to send Reasoned Opinions (second warning letters) to Austria, Greece, Italy and UK for failing to adopt and communicate the texts of the national legislation necessary to implement a Community directive from 2000 revising the measuring methods relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels. It will also send a Reasoned Opinion to Germany because its transposing legislation has not been notified to the Commission.
  • [09] Risques d'accidents majeurs : la Commission prend des mesures à l'encontre de la France pour défaut d'adoption de toutes les dispositions requises aux fins de l'application de la directive Seveso II La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour européenne de justice d'un recours contre la France pour défaut d'adoption et de communication d'une législation complète aux fins de la mise en €?uvre de la directive communautaire Seveso II. Cette décision concerne notamment le stockage souterrain de gaz et de substances dérivées du pétrole. La Commissaire chargée de l'Environnement, Mme Margot Wallström, a ainsi commenté la décision : "L'expérience nous enseigne qu'il faut agir de manière anticipative dans la prévention des accidents industriels majeurs. Je trouve donc extrêmement regrettable que la France n'ait pas encore complètement adapté sa législation aux dispositions de cette directive essentielle, dont le principal objectif est la sécurité publique."
  • [10] Merger approved under the simplified procedure Stadtwerke Bremen (D) / Stadtwerke Bielefeld (D) / JV

    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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