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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-11-15

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 15/11/2001

  • [01] Declaration by European Commission President Romano Prodi on the launch of a new world trade round (14/11) "I am extremely pleased at launch of a new "Doha Development Agenda" round (the DDA). This is the best possible news for efforts to build better global governance. I am also delighted at the crucial and constructive role played by the EU, and by the unity and solidarity shown right trough this process by the Member States, with the Commission as negotiator. The DDA round is well focused on a balance between trade liberalisation and regulation. More importantly, it is balanced between EU interests, developing countries interests and the systemic benefit. This deal has achieved a genuinely global balance. We now need to negotiate a crisp three- year outcome to bring real advancement in sustainable development."
  • [02] Franz Fischler : "New WTO round slap in the face for isolationism" Marking the launch of the new WTO Trade Round in Doha/Qatar yesterday, European Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler declared : "When we came to Doha, I made clear that Europe would take a constructive position on agriculture, that we were in for a deal. Today, we made it happen. We have the new round Europe has been pushing for so hard. This is good news. It is good news not only for Europe, but for all the members of the WTO. A new trade round is a slap in the face for isolationism. The European Union has delivered. We have shown the necessary flexibility. Today we have kicked off a party where everyone gets a prize. Agriculture was one, but not the only key point in the end game. I do not know whether we have written trade history today. But I do know that history will remember these days in Doha, when the free world backed multilateralism by opposing isolationism, when developing and developed countries opted for trade instead of terrorism."
  • [03] Commission clears "bancassurance" cooperation JV between Generali and Commerzbank in Germany The European Commission has given the go-ahead to a joint venture between German bank Commerzbank and AMB, a German insurer controlled by Generali of Italy, which will distribute the parent companies' respective insurance and retail banking products in Germany. The venture will increase the number of distribution outlets for the products concerned to the benefit of German consumers.
  • [04] Euro et PME : forte progression du niveau de préparation - l'utilisation de l'euro en forte augmentation D'après la dernière enquête Flash Eurobaromètre sur les PME et l'euro publiée aujourd'hui par la Commission européenne et réalisée du 27 octobre au 6 novembre, les PME européennes sont désormais 43% à s'estimer prêtes pour le passage final à l'euro. Il s'agit d'un bon résultat, puisqu'elles n'étaient que 23% dans cette situation lors de la précédente enquête effectuée en juillet/août. La plupart des PME misent à présent sur un basculement de leurs activités à l'euro au 1er janvier 2002. Si la quasi- totalité (91% d'entre elles) prévoient de facturer en euro d'ici au 1er janvier, celles qui pensent qu'elles seront en mesure d'effectuer toutes leurs opérations en euros à cette date ne représentent toutefois que 78% des PME. En même temps, les résultats de l'enquête du troisième trimestre 2001 de la Commission sur l'utilisation de l'euro publiés également aujourd'hui, montrent que celle-ci est globalement en très forte augmentation dans la plupart des Etats participants. C'est le cas pour les comptes bancaires, pour les paiements nationaux des entreprises et des particuliers, pour les déclarations de TVA et droits de douane. En moyenne, un peu plus de 80% des terminaux de paiement électronique gérés par les banques sont déjà prêts pour des opérations en euro.
  • [05] Urban II programme : EU contributes euro 7 million to urban development in Antwerp Michel Barnier, member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy, announced today in Antwerp that the Commission has approved a programme for urban regeneration. This Urban Community Initiative Programme will provide euro 7.1 million from the European Union over the period 2001- 2006. The European funding has attracted euro 15.7 million in further investment from the public sector, creating total resources of euro 22.8 million. Priorities will include training, improvements of the physical environment and various measures to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, particularly into the labour market.
  • [06] Breast implants : Commission proposes better monitoring and information The European Commission is to propose tighter controls on the safety of breast implants, and reinforced mechanisms to check that these rules are observed. It will also ask for an upgrade of the European standards for breast implants. These proposals are part of a joint drive by the Commission and Member States to improve implant quality, information provision, and post-surgical follow-up. This follows requests from citizens and petitions to the European Parliament. The proposals' rationale is set out in a Commission Communication published today, which has one annex on the essential safety requirements, and another listing issues on which information should be made available to patients.
  • [07] End of classical swine fever restrictions in Spain Today the last remaining restrictions because of classical swine fever (CSF) in Spain expire. These restrictions were the ban on the export of live pigs and porcine semen, ova and embryos from the comarcas of Pla d'Urgell, Urgell and Noguera in the province of Lerida. The measures were applicable until 15 November. No new restricitions have been introduced and Spain can thus be considered completely free from the disease. The first outbreak of CSF was confirmed on 14 june 2001 and the 29th and last outbreak on 19 September 2001. In total about 122,000 pigs have been slaughtered to eradicate the disease.
  • [08] 30 pays, 1.800 universités et 120.000 étudiants participeront au programme Erasmus cette année En ce début d'année universitaire, la Commission européenne a annoncé les chiffres prévus pour les activités qui se dérouleront en Europe en 2001/2002 dans le cadre du programme Erasmus. Ainsi, selon les estimations, 120.000 étudiants effectueront une période d'études reconnue dans un autre pays européen et plus de 10.000 professeurs d'université enseigneront pendant une courte période dans un autre établissement. Erasmus est le volet consacré à l'enseignement supérieur de Socrates, le programme européen en matière d'éducation, qui est ouvert aux pays associés depuis 1997.
  • [09] Anna Diamantopoulou welcomes Hungary's agreement to shadow Community employment strategy in run-up to accession Visiting Budapest tomorrow, European Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou and Hungarian Minister Iván Stumpf of the Prime Minister's office will sign a joint assessment by the Commission and Hungary of the country's progress in preparing its jobs market for EU membership. The assessment already carried out for five other candidate countries recognises Hungary's success in moving towards a market economy, increasing its productivity and cutting joblessness to 6.4% of the workforce. However, it also points to low overall employment rate of 56.4% (EU-15: 64.3%) and points to the need for more work incentives in the tax and benefit systems and a better match between labour demand and supply. Welcoming the agreement, Mrs Diamantopoulou will say that Hungary is making clear its commitment to the EU's fundamental goals of competitiveness, employment and social cohesion.
  • [10] VIe programme-cadre recherche : Philippe Busquin se félicite du vote du Parlement européen Le Parlement européen a voté hier le rapport concernant le programme-cadre de la recherche (2002-2006). Il s'agit d'un programme de 17.5 milliards d'euros, le troisième plus important de l'Union européenne. A cette occasion, le Commissaire européen à la Recherche, Philippe Busquin, a estimé que ce vote est une étape majeure vers la construction de l'Espace Européen de la Recherche et a souligné que la Commission peut suivre largement l'avis de la commission parlementaire (ITRE) chargée du programme- cadre. Sur un total de 334 amendements, la Commission peut en accepter en principe 248, soit les trois quarts.
  • [11] David Byrne calls for a "Constitution for Europe" David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, yesterday addressed the Irish Senate, the Upper Chamber of the Irish Parliament, in Dublin. He is the first Irish Commissioner to be accorded this honour. He welcomed the establishment of the National Forum on Europe in Ireland, chaired by Senator Maurice Hayes, which was set up to discuss the outcome of the Irish Nice Referendum and to focus on the future of Europe debate. For his part, Mr Byrne shared with Senators, and through them the wider Irish public, some of his own ideas on the shape of a new Europe, or as he put it "a new track for Europe".
  • [12] Commission allocates a further euro 2 million for humanitarian aid operations in Peru The European Commission is providing additional financial support worth euro 2 million to ensure the continuity of humanitarian operations in Southern Peru following the earthquake on 23 June. Channelled through the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson, this decision comes on top of the euro 1.15 million in funding taken in June to meet the immediate needs of the victims. Operations will be carried out during the next ten months and will target about 1400 farming families living in the rural departments of Arequipa, Ayacucho, Moquegua and Tacna. The funds will be mainly used for the construction of housing modules with earthquake resistant designs in rural areas, and to support the rehabilitation of the water and sanitation system. The beneficiaries themselves, with the technical assistance of the NGOs, will construct the houses. The rehabilitation aid will also concentrate on the serious damage caused by the earthquake to the agricultural infrastructure of the affected areas. Operations will include the repairing of irrigation aqueducts, reservoirs, distribution canals, and wells. On 23 June 2001, a strong earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale struck southern Peru, affecting almost 220,000 people. In its primary emergency decision taken on 25 June, ECHO allocated euro 1.15 million to finance five emergency humanitarian operations. These were implemented between 25 June and 30 September and included the provision of food aid, medicines, blankets, tents, and shelters to the victims of the earthquake. ECHO's partners for these humanitarian operations are Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI, Italy), Cooperação e Desenvolvimento (OIKOS, Portugal), Movimiento por la Paz, el Disarme y la Libertad (MPDL, Spain) and OXFAM (UK).
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Overall assessment over the results for the EU at the WTO 4th Ministerial (14/11, Doha) Closing press conference by Pascal Lamy at the WTO 4th Ministerial (14/11, Doha) Speech by Mario Monti : "Antitrust in the US and Europe : a history of convergence" at the General Counsel Roundtable American Bar Association (14/11, Washington DC) Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "Values @ work" at the European Conference on Prospects for the Social Economy within the Framework of Sustainable Development (14/11, Ghent) Speech by David Byrne : "The EU strategy on antimicrobial resistance in humans" at the European Conference on Antibiotic Use in Europe


    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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