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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-10-29

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 29/10/2001

  • [01] Transit routier en Europe : Loyola de Palacio appelle à la mise en oeuvre rapide des propositions de la Commission L'incendie du tunnel du Gothard pose de redoutables problèmes au système de transport européen. Loyola de Palacio, vice-présidente de la Commission européenne en charge des Transports et de l'Energie, a appelé vendredi dernier l'ensemble des acteurs à faire preuve de responsabilité et à se mobiliser pour désengorger l'Europe. Elle a souligné l'importance d'une réponse concertée. "Ce tragique accident concerne tous les Européens : l'UE doit, en coopération avec la Suisse, rechercher des solutions rapides à l'engorgement du trafic européen." Elle a également indiqué que "pour sa part, la Commission a déjà mis sur la table de nombreuses propositions, directement ou indirectement liées aux circonstances et à l'impact de cet accident. Il faut les mettre en vigueur le plus rapidement possible". "La Commission poursuivra tous ses efforts pour apporter des réponses concrètes immédiates et à plus long terme", a-t-elle ajouté.
  • [02] Fonds structurels : la Commission apporte une aide de 1,8 milliard d'euros pour le développement des transports dans les régions italiennes du Mezzogiorno La Commission européenne a approuvé un programme en matière de transports destiné aux régions italiennes en retard de développement pour la période 2000-2006. D'un montant total de 4,28 milliards d'euros, le programme est financé par une contribution communautaire de 1,801 milliard d'euros et par un apport des autorités nationales de 2,479 milliards d'euros. Il doit permettre aux régions italiennes du Mezzogiorno de développer leur système de transports dans le contexte des objectifs du Cadre Communautaire d'Appui.
  • [03] Non-road mobile machinery : Commission welcomes adoption of new emissions limits that will curb formation of ground level ozone The European Commission welcomes the EU Council of Environment Ministers political agreement on measures to limit the emissions of air pollutants from small machinery equipped with petrol engines. The types of engines covered are those used in, for instance, lawn movers, chain saws, bush cutters, trimmers and snow removal equipment. In Europe, 25 million engines are produced every year and they contribute 10-15% of the overall emissions load of volatile organic compounds. Consequently, they contribute to the formation of ground level ozone. Ground level ozone affects the respiratory system and is particularly problematic for people with asthma and it has been detected as one of the key remaining air quality problems facing the EU in the so called "Auto-Oil 2 programme".
  • [04] Commission welcomes adoption of strategy that promotes sustainable development in coastal zones The European Commission today welcomed the Environment Council's political agreement on a Recommendation concerning Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The Recommendation calls on EU Member States to develop national strategies that promote sustainable development in coastal zones through integrated management of these areas. Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said : "The Recommendation sends a clear message to the Member States about the need for national governments to take a strategic approach to coastal zone management, consistent with the principles of good governance".
  • [05] Environmental risk reduction : Commission imposes further restrictions on purifying agent hexachloroethane The European Commission has adopted a further restriction on use of the chemical product hexachloroethane (HCE). From 30 June 2003 the use of HCE in the manufacturing or processing of any non-ferrous metals will be prohibited, because it poses an unacceptable environmental risk, in particular to aquatic organisms. The substance has no known adverse impact on human health.
  • [06] Second quarter of 2001 - EU15 current account deficit euro 11.5 billion ; euro 4.1 billion surplus on trade in services (! embargo 12 am !) According to the latest revisions by Eurostat, the EU15 external current account recorded a deficit of euro 11.5 billion in the second quarter of 2001, as compared with a deficit of euro 15.2 billion in the second quarter of 2000 and a deficit of euro 24.7 billion in the first quarter of 2001. In the second quarter of 2001 the EU15 external balance of trade in services recorded a surplus of euro 4.1 billion as compared with a surplus of euro 2.6 billion in the second quarter of 2000 and a deficit of euro 4.3 billion in the first quarter of 2001.
  • [07] Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Croatia signed today (! embargo 1 pm !) European Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten, together with the Foreign Ministers of the 15 EU Member States, signed today with Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Communities and Croatia. At the same time, Commissioner Patten, the EU Presidency and Croatian Foreign Minister Picula also signed an Interim Agreement. These signatures took place during a special ceremony organised in the margins of the General Affairs Council.
  • [08] Anna Diamantopoulou to review 'social acquis' with Czech Deputy Prime Minister Spidla Anna Diamantopoulou, European Commissioner responsible for employment and social affairs, will receive Czech Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla from 16.30 today in Brussels in order to review Czech preparations for accession and in particular progress in assimilating the 'social acquis' (free movement of persons, social policy and employment). Likely subjects will include health and safety at work, equal treatment for men and women and a strategy to combat social exclusion. The Commission is scheduled to adopt on 13 November a 'Regular Report' on preparation for accession and an 'Accession Partnership 2001'.
  • [09] Round table on food and agriculture in London : needed shift in attitudes of consumers and producers At a high level round table with leading farming representatives, food producers, retailers, consumer experts and scientists, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, David Byrne, today in London debated a strategic re-thinking of food production and food policy in terms of quality, safety and cost. The Commissioner emphasised the need for shifts in attitudes of both consumers and producers if society's expectations of food and agricultural policy are to be met. Industry, consumer and agricultural sector representatives welcomed the initiative as timely and of strategic importance. With respect to food safety, the round table emphasised the importance of the early establishment of an independent European Food Authority. David Byrne underlined the need for high quality food safety research : "Food safety research is absolutely crucial if we are to develop the technological means to address known and unknown safety concerns. It must be carried out to the highest and most rigorous standards, including ethical standards. Similarly, it must be validated in appropriate reference laboratories and peer reviewed."
  • [10] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Beck par Interbrew La Commission européenne a autorisé vendredi dernier le projet d'acquisition de la brasserie allemande Brauerei Beck's GmbH par l'entreprise belge Interbrew S.A. Bien que les activités de ces deux sociétés se chevauchent sur le marché de la bière en Europe, plus particulièrement dans le segment de la lager premium (bière blonde), l'opération ne soulève aucun problème de concurrence.
  • [11] "Territorial" nature of agriculture essential to detecting environmental problems With "public concern about the landscape is the increase", a publication entitled "Towards agri-environmental indicators : Integrating statistical and administrative data with land cover information" has been released today. An exploratory work that looks to develop agri-environmental indicators through the analysis of land cover data, it comprises eight papers that argue that the territorial dimension of agriculture is a key element in understanding its development. Given that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) "no longer treats EU agriculture as merely an economic system but more as an integrated territorial complex", it now has a range of policy instruments available to it that encourage more sustainable farming practices. These must now be defined at regional and local levels in order to develop a well-founded and consistent system of agri-environmental indicators that will contribute to the detection of environmental problems. The major question raised in the publication is related to the integration process of different data sources. It aims to demonstrate that taking good account of localised data is a valuable tool for developing agri-environmental policies. Analysing the territorial information in statistical data (Farm Structure Surveys) or administrative data (Integrated Administration and Control System) by remapping them to relate to territorial units relevant to policy issues, such as landscape units or river basins, is an important example. For the full text please see :
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Questions / réponses sur la réglementation en matière d'OGM dans l'UE (mise à jour) Note sur la préparation du Conseil Recherche (30/10) Note sur la préparation du Conseil Environnement (29/10) Speech by Margot Wallström : "Combating climate change : the EU strategy" at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (26/10) Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "Smart houses the European challenge to ageing" at the Conference Vitality in Age in the Information Society (26/10, Tilburg)


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at
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    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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