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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-10-23

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 23/10/2001

  • [01] Commission clears sale of Henkel's Cognis to Schroder Ventures and Goldman Sachs The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of Dutch-based specialty chemicals company Cognis by UK venture capital group Schroder Ventures and global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. Cognis is currently owned by German chemicals company Henkel.
  • [02] Commission clears acquisition of Tempus by WPP The European Commission has granted clearance under the European Union's merger control law to the proposed acquisition of Tempus PLC by WPP Group plc (both UK companies). The proposed takeover will not give rise to competition concerns in the markets for marketing communication services or media buying.
  • [03] Go ahead given for euro 25 million Leader+ programme for rural development in the Spanish region of Asturias The European Commission approved the EU Initiative Leader+ programme in the Spanish region of Asturias. Welcoming the decision, Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said : "This programme aims to pilot new ideas to help build a more sustainable society, economy and environment for rural Spain. It aims to improve the quality of life for all those who live in rural areas. Leader+ will help to increase the added value of local products and to make the best use of natural and cultural resources". The total public expenditure under this programme is euro 25 million, over a period ending in 2006. This includes an EU contribution of euro 17 million.
  • [04] August first estimates, July revised results - Euro-zone external trade surplus euro 5.4 billion in August 2001 ; euro 3.2 billion deficit for EU15 (! embargo 12 am !) According to first estimates by Eurostat, euro-zone had a euro 5.4 billion trade surplus with the rest of the world in August 2001 compared with a billion 0.5 deficit in August 2000. The revised July 2001 surplus was billion 9.2, against billion +5.6 in July 2000. Euro-zone trade recorded a surplus of billion 20.8 for the first eight months of 2001, compared with billion +1.4 in 2000. The first estimate for August 2001 extra-EU15 trade was a euro 3.2 billion deficit, compared with billion -8.1 in August 2000. In July 2001, there was a revised deficit of billion 0.8, against billion -4.9 in July 2000. There was a deficit estimated at billion 47.3 in the first eight months of 2001 compared with billion -63.9 in 2000.
  • [05] Commission contributes over euro 100 million to the Peruvian social emergency programme "A Trabajar" At an International Donors' conference held yesterday in Madrid, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Poul Nielson, demonstrated the Commission's concrete political and financial support for the Peruvian Government's efforts to improve the living conditions and social welfare of its people. Mr Nielson announced a contribution of euro 103 million in support of the Social Productive Emergency Programme known as "A Trabajar" ("Let's work"). Speaking at the Conference, the Commissioner stated : "Peru's progress towards national reconciliation, democratisation and restoration of respect for Human Rights and fundamental freedoms is important to the EU. The Commission has put together a comprehensive package of assistance measures aimed at strengthening the social foundations of this process. We are committed to the fight against poverty in Peru and to help create the conditions for sustainable economic recovery."
  • [06] Euro 197 million to promote regional cooperation in the Western Balkans The European Commission yesterday adopted a strategy for programming euro 197 million in assistance over the coming three years, focused on tackling regional problems in the Western Balkans and on raising levels of regional cooperation between the countries of the region. Addressing these issues is a key goal within the Stabilisation and Association Process, the cornerstone of the EU's policy towards the western Balkan region. The main priorities to be focused upon with these funds are management of international borders, regional infrastructure development and helping the countries build stronger national institutions.
  • [07] EU and the Republic of Guinea extend Fisheries Agreement by a year The EU and the Republic of Guinea have agreed to extend the current Protocol to their Fisheries Agreement for another year, from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2002. The conditions will remain exactly as they are now and the financial compensation will also remain the same. EU vessels fishing under this Agreement come from France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. They target shrimp, fish/cephalopods and tuna. Fishing possibilities include 1,500 GRT (Gross Registered Tonnes) for shrimp and 2,500 GRT for fish/cephalopods. Tuna fishing possibilities are provided for 68 vessels (38 tuna seiners, 14 pole and line vessels and 16 surface longliners). The EU financial compensation amounts to euro 2,960,000 per year. Almost half (euro 1,360,000) is allocated to targeted measures aiming to promote scientific research, monitoring and control, support for small-scale fisheries, training facilities and support for participation by Guinea in Regional Fisheries Organisations. In addition, the EU grants Guinea a euro 370,000 per year premium to encourage its endeavour to reduce fishing effort in its waters, through measures including stopping allocation of fishing licences to vessels which do not operate under the same constraints as those fishing within the framework of the Agreement.
  • [08] Commission and Belgian Presidency will address small businesses' access to finance Improving access to finance for small businesses will be the key theme of a conference on "Financing SMEs - the European approach" in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) on 24 and 25 October 2001. This conference, organised by the EU's Belgian Presidency in cooperation with the European Commission, will gather stakeholders' views ahead of the 5 December 2001 Council of EU industry ministers. Speakers and participants will include Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, Walloon Economy, SME, Research and Technology Minister Serge Kubla, and Commissioners Philippe Busquin (Research), Erkki Liikanen (Enterprise and Information Society) and Mario Monti (Competition).
  • [09] Des prêts aux fonds propres : un nouveau rapport révèle un changement d'orientation dans le financement des entreprises Les petites et moyennes entreprises (PME) européennes délaissent progressivement le financement par prêts pour se tourner vers d'autres instruments, tels que les prises de participation, les combinaisons créances-fonds propres, le crédit-bail et les prêts et actions garantis, voilà ce qu'indique un rapport européen intitulé "Enterprises' access to finance" (L'accès des entreprises au financement) publié aujourd'hui. Cette évolution s'explique, entre autres, par l'abandon, de la part de certaines banques, des prêts à faible marge consentis aux PME et par le développement de marchés financiers permettant l'expansion d'instruments alternatifs.
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Background note the "Open Skies" Court cases Note sur la situation du marché de la viande bovine (situation en octobre 2001) Speech by David Byrne : "Latest developments on BSE" at the Agriculture Council (Luxembourg) Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "Pohjoista e-ulottuvuutta koskevan toimintasuunnitelman tilanne" at the Northern Dimension Forum (22/10, Lappeenranta) Discours de Mme de Palacio : "Les défis énergétiques dans un monde en mutation" au Congrès Mondial de l'Energie (22/10, Buenos Aires)


    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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