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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-11-26

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <>

Midday Express 26/11/2001

  • [01] La Commission approuve des accords visant à rendre les lave-vaisselle et des chauffe-eau moins consommateurs d'énergie Les Services de la Concurrence de la Commission européenne ont clôturé l'examen de deux accords notifiés par le Conseil Européen de la Construction d'Appareils Domestiques (CECED). Les accords, auxquels sont parties la quasi-totalité des fabricants européens de lave-vaisselle et de chauffe-eau électriques à usage domestique, visent à améliorer le rendement énergétique des appareils commercialisés dans l'UE. A cette fin, les fabricants s'engagent notamment à cesser de fabriquer les appareils gros consommateurs d'énergie. L'examen des accords conclut à leurs effets bénéfiques en matière d'économies d'énergie et en matière d'environnement, qui contrebalancent les effets restrictifs de concurrence. La Direction Générale de la Concurrence de la Commission a donc clôturé l'examen des dossiers.
  • [02] Commission authorises acquisition of Powergen by German energy company E.ON The European Commission has authorised the take over of British company Powergen Plc by E.ON AG, both present in the European energy industry. The Commission has concluded that no competition concerns arise from the transaction.
  • [03] Commission clears purchase of two Deutsche Telekom cable units by Blackstone and CDPQ The European Commission has cleared plans by two private investment groups, Blackstone Group of the United States and Caisse de Depot et placement de Quebec of Canada, to buy joint control of the Deutsche Telekom units DeTeKS NRW and DeTeKS BW, two providers of cable infrastructure, respectively in North Rhine-Westphalia and in the Baden-Wurtemberg region.
  • [04] Programme Urban II : l'UE contribue pour 9,7 millions d'euros au développement de l'agglomération grenobloise A l'occasion de sa visite à Grenoble aujourd'hui, M. Michel Barnier, Commissaire européen en charge de la Politique régionale, a annoncé l'approbation par la Commission d'un programme de régénération urbaine en faveur de l'agglomération grenobloise. Ce programme, qui relève de l'initiative communautaire Urban, prévoit un cofinancement de 9,7 millions d'euros par l'UE pour la période 2000-2006. Celui-ci a attiré un investissement de 14 millions d'euros supplémentaires du secteur public et un investissement de 2,7 millions d'euros du secteur privé, ce qui donne un montant total de 26,4 millions d'euros. Parmi les priorités figurent la formation, des améliorations de l'environnement physique et différentes mesures de promotion de l'insertion de groupes défavorisés, notamment dans le marché de l'emploi.
  • [05] September first estimates, August revised results - Euro-zone external trade surplus euro 3.8 billion in September 2001 ; euro 4.2 billion deficit for EU15 (! embargo 12am !) According to first estimate by Eurostat, euro-zone trade with the rest of the world in September 2001 was a euro 3.8 billion surplus, compared with a 0.5 billion deficit in September 2000. The revised August 2001 surplus was 5.1 billion, against a 0.5 billion deficit in August 2000. Euro-zone trade recorded a surplus of 23.3 billion for the first nine months of 2001, compared with +6.2 billion in 2000. The first estimate for September 2001 extra-EU15 trade was a euro 4.2 billion deficit, compared with -9.1 billion in September 2000. In August 2001, there was a revised deficit of 3.4 billion, against -8.1 billion in August 2000. There was a deficit estimated at 51.4 billion in the first nine months of 2001 compared with -68.1 billion in 2000.
  • [06] EU/Norway fisheries negotiations : urgent need for agreement on protection for blue whiting The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, and Norway have suspended their annual meeting to set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for shared fish stocks for next year without a formal agreement. The two parties will meet again on 13 December after a meeting of the coastal states involved in the North Atlantic blue whiting fishery in a bid to set TACs for this stock. The Parties concerned have so far failed to agree on management measures for this stock which, according to scientific advice, is threatened with collapse if urgent action is not taken. The Commission is anxious to see all the parties concerned adopt a responsible attitude in the search for a compromise at their next meeting in Brussels on 11-12 December. Agreement on management measures would ensure much needed protection to blue whiting. It would also enable the EU and Norway to conclude an agreement on both the TACs for the stocks that they co-manage and on an exchange of fishing possibilities in each other's waters.
  • [07] Financial Services Policy Group discusses progress in implementing the Action Plan for Financial Services and the impact of the events in US on financial services policy The 13th meeting of the Financial Services Policy Group, comprising personal representatives of EU Finance Ministers, took place on 22 November in Brussels under the chairmanship of European Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein and Director General John Mogg. The Group concentrated on the Giovannini Report on clearing and settlement, a final report by the Belgian Council Presidency and an oral report by the forthcoming Spanish Presidency, the Fifth Progress Report on the Financial Services Action Plan, and the impact of 11 September on financial services policy.
  • [08] Etiquetage plus strict pour les saucisses et conserves de viande La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui une directive qui précise la définition du terme "viande" en vue de l'étiquetage des produits emballés à base de viande, tels que les produits de charcuterie, les plats cuisinés ou les conserves de viande. Actuellement, la seule définition communautaire existante de la viande ne fait aucune distinction entre les muscles, la matière grasse ou les abats, alors que la perception de la viande par les consommateurs correspond essentiellement aux muscles. Elle ne permettait donc pas un étiquetage satisfaisant et plusieurs Etats membres avaient déjà adopté une définition de la viande pour l'étiquetage.
  • [09] Commission and Belgian Government join United Nations in launching humanitarian appeals for 2002 (! embargo 27/11 10.30 am !) Joint press statement from The United Nations, the European Commission and the Belgian Government : The United Nations, the European Commission and the Belgian Government have joined forces to launch the UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeals for 2002. At a presentation in Brussels on Tuesday, appeals for the Great Lakes Region, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South-Eastern Europe were presented by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers, Commissioner for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Poul Nielson, and the Belgian State Secretary for Development Cooperation Eddy Boutmans.
  • [10] Commission welcomes continued work on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control The European Commission last Friday expressed its wholehearted support for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This crucial initiative is aimed at identifying internationally agreed responses to the tobacco control issue. The Commission attaches a high priority to making this process a success. The third negotiating session for the WHO Framework Convention has started in Geneva and runs till 28 November. A major concern of the Convention is to make sure that in the future, conditions are placed on manufacture, trade and sale of tobacco that reflect the devastating consequences for public health.
  • [11] Commission issues notice to traders importing goods from Israeli settlements The European Commission has issued in the Official Journal of the European Communities a formal notice addressed to traders importing goods originating in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights that have been placed under Israeli administration since 1967. The notice indicates that the EU does not recognise these goods as being entitled to benefit from lower rates of customs duties under the EU/Israel Association Agreements.
  • [12] Philippe Busquin launches Advisory Council for Rail Research At the opening of the World Congress on Railway Research in Cologne today, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will launch the new European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC). ERRAC is a joint initiative by all stakeholders from the European rail sector. It comprises high-level decision makers of Member States, the Commission, the manufacturing industry, operators, and infrastructure managers ; but also research establishments and academia, environmental and urban planning organisations, and transport users groups. The aim is to develop a common strategy for European rail research in order to speed up the emergence of a single European railway system. The partners of ERRAC have made a long-term commitment to make railways an attractive, affordable, clean, safe, competitive and reliable mode of transport on a European scale. Mr Busquin welcomed this commitment saying : "The European Commission is pushing for a rebalancing of transport in favour of rail. Technological innovation is a key component of Europe's policy to revitalise rail. The development of the high-speed train shows that Europe has the engineering potential and a competitive industry. We now need to get better organised and maximise our resources and strengths from the public and private sectors. The set-up of ERRAC is a concrete example of what the European Research Area is all about."
  • [13] Conference 'Preparedness planning for influenza and other health threats' Three influenza pandemics with millions of deaths have hit Europe during the last century. Experts agree that the next pandemic will be inevitable. How prepared are the EU and the Member States for the potential threat of pandemics and especially the sudden emergence of new influenza subtypes ? The European conference on "Pandemic planning in the Community Influenza and other Health Threats" in the Charlemagne in Brussels on 27 November provides a platform to consider the question of pandemic threats in Europe. More than 100 experts from EU, EFTA, EEA and candidate countries will assess the need for better Europe-wide coordination to meet those challenges. Measures to be taken in response to a natural pandemic do in principle not differ from those to be adopted following the intentional release of e.g. influenza viruses, which show many characteristics of biological agents suitable for bioterrorism. Journalists are invited to attend the conference which will start at 9 am with a speech by Commissioner David Byrne. The programme is available in office 6/94. A technical briefing will be held in the Breydel press room on 27/11 at 11.30 am with Prof. Albert Osterhaus and Hartmut Buchow.
  • [14] Commission organises Forum on cybercrime On 27 November 2001, the first Plenary Session of the EU Forum on Cybercrime organised by the European Commission takes place at the Charlemagne building of the Commission in Brussels. At the Forum on Cybercrime, various interested parties from communications access and service providers and other industrial players, law enforcement, privacy protection authorities, and civil liberties organisations will have the opportunity to comment on various aspects of the problem of Cybercrime and Cybersecurity and the development of EU policy in this area. The Commission attaches great importance to the security of networked systems and the fight against Cybercrime. This is underscored by the adoption of a comprehensive eEurope Action Plan last year at the Feira European Council, which highlights the importance of network security and the fight against cybercrime.
  • [15] Commission sponsors second award of Descartes Prize for outstanding scientists Tomorrow, 27 November 2001, the Grand Jury under the chairmanship of Yves Michot, former President of Aerospatiale Matra, will have the difficult task to choose this year's winners of the Descartes Prize. European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will give the Prize, which is sponsored by the Commission, to the winners during a ceremony in the Bibliothèque Solvay at 13h00 tomorrow. Prize money of up to euro 1 million will be given to seven finalists selected from more than 50 proposals. The finalists are teams of researchers coming from all Member States but also from other states such as Armenia, the Czech Republic, Russia, and Switzerland. The Descartes Prize is part of the effort to bring science closer to the citizen and to value scientific achievement, which Commissioner Busquin believes to be vital in order to give science its proper place on the political agenda. The Prize is open to all scientific fields, including the social and economic sciences, and is not limited to EU-funded projects. The award represents an opportunity for scientific research teams to gain recognition not just for the quality of their work, but also for their teamwork.
  • [16] Fusions approuvées selon la procédure simplifiée - Skanska Sverige AB (S) / Sita Sverige AB (S) - Siemens Informatica S.p.A (I) / AEM S.p.A (I) / E-Utile (I)
  • [17] Autre matériel diffusé Note sur la préparation du Conseil Pêche Discours de Mme Reding : "Le rêve de Hebe, un avenir pour les jeunes européens" au Colloque pour le lancement du Livre blanc de la Commission (Gand, ! embargo 16h !) Speech by Franz Fischler : "Perspectives of enlargement for the Romanian agriculture" at a roundtable discussion (Bucharest) Speech by Mario Monti : "Does EC competition policy help or hinder the European audiovisual industry ?" at the British Screen Advisory Council (London, ! embargo 6 pm !)

    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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