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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-11-16

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 16/11/2001

  • [01] Romano Prodi to join live Internet chat (06/12) European Commission President Romano Prodi will join a live Internet chat on Thursday 6 December 2001 (from 18.00 to 20.00 CET), ahead of the introduction of the euro notes and coins. This will be the first ever Internet chat with a President of the European Commission. The event will focus on the transition to the euro, and the current debate on the future of the Union (due to be formally launched at the European Council in Laeken 14 December). Citizens will have the opportunity to converse with President Prodi in any of the Union's 11 languages. For further practical information, please see the EUROPA Internet site at the following address:
  • [02] Immigration clandestine : la Commission propose une approche équilibrée La Commission européenne a approuvé hier une Communication sur une politique commune en matière d'immigration clandestine. Elle démontre ainsi qu'elle est prête à jouer son rôle de catalyseur pour que le débat au sein de l'Europe sur cette composante aux aspects humains souvent dramatiques du plus ample phénomène migratoire puisse amener à l'identification d'instruments concrets et cohérents dans les délais prévus par le traité d'Amsterdam.
  • [03] October 2001 - Euro-zone annual inflation down to 2.4% ; EU15 down to 2.2% (! embargo 12 am !) Euro-zone annual inflation fell from 2.5% in September to 2.4% in October, Eurostat reports today. A year earlier the rate was 2.7%. EU15 annual inflation fell from 2.4% in September to 2.2% in October. A year earlier the rate was 2.4%. Highest annual rates were in the Netherlands (5.0%), Portugal (4.2%) and Ireland (3.8%) ; lowest rates were in the United Kingdom (1.2%), Luxembourg (1.7%) and France (1.8%). Compared with September 2001, annual inflation rose in two Member States, fell in ten and was unchanged in three.
  • [04] Commission welcomes Parliament's support for proposal on cross-border payments in euros The European Commission has welcomed the European Parliament's endorsement of the proposed Regulation according to which charges for transactions in euros in the Internal Market should be the same across borders as within a single Member State. The Parliament voted in favour of the proposal at its 15th November plenary session in Strasbourg. The amendments voted by the Parliament were supported by the Commission.
  • [05] Successful Health Council on 15 November Ministers at the Health Council meeting on 15 November reached political agreement with unanimity on a proposed Directive on the safety and quality of human blood. The Health Council also adopted unanimously a Recommendation on the prudent use of anitbiotics and other antimicrobial agents in human medicine. Council Conclusions on combating stress and depression related problems were adopted unanimously as well as no delegation opposed the Presidency Conclusions on the issue of bioterrorism and emergency preparedness. The Conclusions give full backing to initiatives already taken and they encourage Commission and Member States to develop a global cooperation programme comprising inter alia emergency management mechanism, information mechanism on laboratory capacities and stocks, expert network for risk evaluation, management and communication, promotion of the development of vaccines etc. Commissioner David Byrne congratulated the Belgian Presidency and Minister Magda Aelvoet for staging a very successful Council.
  • [06] Safety of human blood : David Byrne welcomes political agreement in Health Council European Commissioner David Byrne, responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, yesterday welcomed the political agreement reached by EU Health Ministers on a proposed Directive setting high quality and safety standards for human blood and blood products throughout the European Uniony. The measures as agreed would put in place comprehensive and legally binding standards for blood and blood products from donor to patient and for related medical applications. They aim to prevent blood contamination scandals similar to those that have occurred in some EU countries in the recent past. The measures include requirements for testing, labelling and traceability of blood and blood products, for quality management systems in laboratories and other establishments handling blood and an EU-wide surveillance system. A qualified majority of ministers agreed a compromise text put forward by the Belgian Council Presidency, including a new provision which requires Member States to encourage voluntary and unpaid blood donations as the preferred source for blood and blood components. The proposed legislation is the first ever using the new Community competence in public health policy making which was introduced in Article 152 of the Amsterdam Treaty.
  • [07] Antimicrobial resistance : David Byrne welcomes adoption by Health Council of Recommendation on prudent use of antibiotics in human medicine The Health Council yesterday adopted a Recommendation on the prudent use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents in human medicine. The Recommendation asks national governments to take measures to contain the spread of antimicrobial resistance by encouraging a more prudent use of antibiotics. Member States are asked, inter alia, to raise awareness and provide information to the general public, to use a precautionary "by prescription only" approach and to improve monitoring of consumption of these drugs. The proposed Recommendation represents the first attempt at Community level to take action relative to human medicine and completes the various actions under way with respect to veterinary and phytosanitary uses of anti-microbial drugs. The Recommendation is one of the actions the Commission proposed in June this year when it adopted a Community Strategy to combat the threat to human, animal and plant health posed by antimicrobial resistance. The strategy gives a comprehensive overview of the ongoing actions on surveillance, prevention, research and product development as well as international cooperation.
  • [08] Commission provides a further euro 15 million for victims of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan The EU Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) has released details of a further humanitarian aid decision worth euro 15 million for victims of the crisis in Afghanistan. This new funding decision will support the work of various NGO and UN agency partners in catering for the basic needs of the affected population. Resident populations and internally displaced people (IDPs) in drought affected areas will be the main beneficiaries of this latest EU aid decision. Poul Nielson, the European Commissioner responsible for development and humanitarian aid, reiterated the EU's "solidarity with the victims of this unfolding tragedy". He also highlighted the importance of delivering relief inside Afghanistan. "This decision is a good illustration of the effective partnership we have with tried and tested aid agencies operating in the humanitarian front line. Working together, we are doing our utmost to ensure that the relief gets through to those who need it most."
  • [09] La Commission relance la coopération au développement avec le Burundi avec 65 millions d'euros d'aide Le Commissaire Poul Nielson, membre de la Commission européenne en charge du Développement et de l'Aide humanitaire, a signé cette semaine le Programme Indicatif National (PIN) en faveur du Burundi pour un montant de 65 millions d'euros. Ce programme établit le cadre de la coopération au développement entre l'UE et le Burundi pour les trois ans à venir. Suspendue depuis 1997, l'aide sera ciblée sur la réhabilitation physique et politique du Burundi afin de contribuer à la mise en œuvre de l'Accord d'Arusha pour la Paix et la Réconciliation au Burundi, signé en août 2000 grâce aux efforts de médiation de l'ancien Président sud-africain Nelson Mandela. M. Nielson a déclaré : "La décision de signer témoigne des progrès accomplis au Burundi dans la mise en application de l'Accord de Paix. Je suis encouragé notamment par le démarrage de la transition vers la démocratie. Je lance un appel à toutes les parties de poursuivre cette voie. Toutefois, je reste très préoccupé face à la situation de violence qui règne au Burundi. La Commission européenne reste prête à contribuer aux initiatives visant la résolution pacifique du conflit par les parties concernées qui s'engagent dans un processus de paix durable." Ce programme a été contresigné aujourd'hui par l'Ambassadeur du Burundi en Belgique.
  • [10] EU troika to visit Middle East (16-19/11) A European Union troika, led by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium and the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, will visit several countries in the Middle East from 16th to 19th November. They will be accompanied by the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Foreign Minister Louis Michel of Belgium and EU Special Envoy Miguel Moratinos.
  • [11] Poul Nielson se rendra en visite en Bolivie du 19 au 23 novembre Le Commissaire européen chargé du développement et de l'aide humanitaire, M. Poul Nielson, effectuera une visite officielle en Bolivie du 19 au 23 novembre. Sur ces 4 jours, il en consacrera trois à se rendre sur les sites de divers projets de l'UE dans tout le pays et achèvera son voyage à La Paz, où il assistera à des réunions avec des membres du gouvernement et des bailleurs de fonds internationaux. Le principal objectif de cette visite est d'examiner la mise en œuvre de programmes communautaires sur le terrain, en compagnie des ministres boliviens concernés. M. Nielson rencontrera aussi des représentants des Etats membres de l'UE, d'autres donateurs internationaux et d'organisations non gouvernementales (ONG). A la veille de son départ, le Commissaire a déclaré : "La lutte contre la pauvreté est au cœur de la coopération au développement de l'UE avec la Bolivie. Cette coopération suit désormais une feuille de route précise, qui nous mènera jusqu'en 2006, dans des secteurs comme les infrastructures, le développement alternatif, l'approvisionnement en eau et les équipements sanitaires. Je suis impatient de voir par moi-même les progrès réalisés et de débattre des perspectives d'avenir."
  • [12] Poul Nielson meets humanitarian partners at ECHO Conference With humanitarian issues taking centre stage as the crisis in Afghanistan unfolds, more than 230 participants, representing more than 150 humanitarian organisations, are attending the sixth ECHOPartners' Annual Conference being held in Brussels on 15-16 November 2001. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), reflecting the broad range of European civil society, are ECHO's main partners in the delivery of humanitarian aid. They currently channel 65%, or over €300 million, of ECHO funds per year. In his address to the Conference, Poul Nielson, the European Commissioner responsible for Development and Humanitarian Aid, as well as thanking partners for their work in the field, reaffirms the importance he attaches to the quality of the ECHO-NGO relationship. Commissioner Nielson also underlines ECHO's specificity, based on the need to maintain impartiality and neutrality in humanitarian aid. Costanza Adinolfi, Director of ECHO, also addressed the conference and reiterated the Humanitarian Aid Office's commitment to a constructive dialogue with its partners. The two-day meeting is an important opportunity for ECHO's partners to meet and exchange views with one another and ECHO officials. The conference is debating a number of key issues including quality in humanitarian aid, partnership and the links between relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD).
  • [13] Concours de création dans le domaine de l'environnement pour les jeunes Européens Créativité, don d'observation et vision du futur seront les maîtres mots des jeunes Européens qui participeront aux quatre concours organisés par la DG Environnement de la Commission européenne. Le concours commence officiellement aujourd'hui, 16 novembre, et sera clos le 15 janvier 2002. Les quatre catégories de concours sont ouvertes à différentes classes d'âge : peinture pour les 6-10 ans, poésie pour les 11-14 ans, photographie pour les 15-18 ans, rédaction de discours pour les 19-22 ans. La Commissaire à l'Environnement, Margot Wallström, a déclaré : "La plupart des jeunes Européens sont très sensibles aux défis en matière d'environnement ainsi qu'à la nécessité d'une action concertée pour protéger celui-ci des dangers de la pollution. Ces concours sont destinés à mettre en lumière l'opinion des jeunes, futurs décideurs en matière d'environnement, sur l'état de l'environnement et sur ce qu'il convient de faire pour sauvegarder l'avenir de notre planète".
  • [14] Commission organises stakeholder conference on new GMOs rules On 19-20 November the European Commission will organise a stakeholder conference in the context of the new regulatory framework on GMOs (Directive 2001/18/EC). The conference brings together 150 people representing three main groups of stakeholders : regulators, producers and suppliers, and environmental and consumer groups. The topics of the workshop are implementation of the Directive, risks and benefits of GMOs and challenges for the future and the aim is to provide a platform for an open discussion and to stimulate debate on the implementation of the new Directive. The conference will be opened by Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström. It takes place at the Renaissance Brussels Hotel and starts at 10.30. The conference is open to journalists, please register in the reception.
  • [15] Philippe Busquin favours integration of Hungarian science into the European Research Area On the occasion of a conference on "Science and European Integration : the Belgian and Hungarian experience" taking place on Monday, 19th November, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will present his vision on how best to integrate scientists from candidate countries into the new research framework programme due to start at the beginning of 2003. In his speech, Mr Busquin will underline his belief that the best answer to globalisation in research is to combine forces of all EU Member States and of all candidate countries to create the critical mass in funding and expertise necessary to become a global player. The Commissioner is convinced that this integration should be reinforced even before formal accession of the candidate countries by enabling scientists from those states to fully participate in all actions of the new framework programme. He will also point out that the very high level of Hungarian research and science should make this integration beneficial to the EU and Hungary alike. Date and place : 19/11/01 from 9h30 onwards, Museum of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, Brussels.
  • [16] Autre matériel diffusé Speech by Pedro Solbes : "€-45 : working with the media for a successful euro changeover" at the News World Annual Conference (Barcelona) Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "Markets and public policy in the information society" at the John Schram Lecture in International Business at the University of Missouri-Columbia (! embargo 5 pm !) EU Response to 11th September - European Commission action Calendrier du 19 au 24 novembre


    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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