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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-11-29

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

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

Midday Express 29/11/2001

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 28 novembre 2001 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 28 November

(voir aussi see also ME of 28.11)

  • [01] 2001 review of the EU economy : investing in the future With the EU economy experiencing a period of slow economic growth, the "2001 review" reviews "prospects and policy challenges in the EU" and analyses five topical issues that require the timely attention of European policy makers : (1) macro-economic developments in the euro area ; (2) determinants of investment growth in the euro area ; (3) financial market integration in the EU ; (4) options for pension reforms ; and (5) the microeconomic impact of ICT in Europe. "The 2001 review aims to focus policy making on actions needed to achieve a long-lasting, sustained, domestic-driven recovery. It is essential that Europe invests in the future", stated Pedro Solbes, European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs. "The review provides the necessary analytical background to various key policy recommendations to be raised in the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines."
  • [02] La Commission propose une nouvelle législation pour lutter contre le bruit des avions La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition de directive sur la lutte contre le bruit des avions. La directive est une nouvelle approche pour contrôler le bruit des avions : elle intègre pleinement le nouveau cadre international, fondé sur la définition d'une nouvelle norme internationale et les résolutions de la dernière Assemblée générale de l'Organisation de l'aviation civile internationale (OACI). Grâce à cette directive, peuvent être introduites dans les aéroports les plus touchés de nouvelles restrictions aux opérations d'avions bruyants, y compris l'interdiction complète. Evidemment, selon les règles internationales, toute nouvelle restriction aux opérations exigera une analyse exhaustive de la situation et des solutions possibles. La directive abrogera également le règlement "Hushkits", ce qui permettra de résoudre le conflit de longue date avec les Etats-Unis sur ce dossier.
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [03] Romano Prodi sera reçu en audience par le Pape Le Président de la Commission européenne, Romano Prodi, accompagné par le Commissaire Michel Barnier, sera reçu en audience par Sa Sainteté le Pape Jean-Paul II au Vatican le vendredi 30 novembre. Ils rencontreront ensuite Son Eminence le Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secrétaire d'Etat du Saint-Siège, afin de discuter des derniers développements de l'Union européenne, en particulier des réformes institutionnelles, de l'élargissement et des questions sociales.
  • [04] Commission Seminar (30/11-01/12) The European Commission will hold a seminar on Friday evening 30 November and Saturday 1 December in Knokke-Heist, Belgium. The purpose of the seminar, which follows the practice of this and previous Commissions, is to enable the Commission President, Vice-Presidents and Members to exchange views about the European and world situations away from the normal pressures of office. While there is no rigid agenda, discussions are expected to cover the work of the Commission, its achievements so far and its future priorities, and the forthcoming European Council in Laken. President Romano Prodi said : "Europeans expect their institutions to respond to the challenges facing them in their daily lives. This is an important moment for Europe. A political body like the Commission needs to take the opportunity from time to time to reflect on the challenges facing our continent."
  • [05] La Commission autorise une entreprise commune de télécommunications entre PPC et Wind La Commission européenne a donné le feu vert à la création d'une entreprise commune entre la compagnie grecque d'électricité Public Power Corporation SA (PPC) et l'opérateur italien Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA (Wind). L'entreprise fournira des services de télécommunications par l'intermédiaire d'Evergy SA, une société titulaire d'une licence l'autorisant à proposer des services de télécommunications et qui, actuellement, est contrôlée par PPC. La Commission a conclu que cette opération ne soulèverait pas de problèmes de concurrence.
  • [06] Commission authorises takeover of DMV by Mannesmannröhren-Werke The European Commission has authorised the acquisition by Mannesmannröhren- Werke AG (MRW) of the whole of Dutch firm DMV Stainless B.V., a company which produces stainless-steel seamless pipes and is currently controlled by MRW and Italian company Dalmine SpA. The transaction has no adverse impact on the competitive structure of the market since there are no additions of market shares.
  • [07] La Commission autorise la création d'une entreprise commune dans le secteur de la sidérurgie entre Usinor, Duferco et Sogepa La Commission européenne a donné le feu vert au projet de création de Carsid SA, entreprise commune entre Duferco Investment SA, Usinor SA et la Société wallonne de gestion et de participations (Sogepa). Carsid sera spécialisée dans la production de brames d'acier au carbone et d'acier allié, secteur où elle n'aura qu'un rôle de second plan.
  • [08] First estimates for the third quarter of 2001 : Euro-zone GDP up by 0.1%, EU15 up by 0.2% ; +1.3% and +1.4% respectively compared to the third quarter of 2000 (! embargo 12 am !) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.1 % in the euro- zone and by 0.2% in the EU15 during the third quarter of 2001, compared to the previous quarter, according to the first estimates out today from Eurostat. These results follow a rise of 0.1% in both zones in the second quarter of 2001. Compared to the third quarter of 2000, GDP grew by 1.3% in the euro-zone and by 1.4% in the EU15, after an increase of 1.7% in both areas in the previous quarter.
  • [09] Lutte contre l'alcool au volant : la Commission co-finance la campagne "Euro BOB" La Commission européenne apporte un soutien de plus de 700.000 euros à la campagne de lutte contre l'alcool au volant "EuroBOB". Le concept du "BOB" selon lequel la personne qui conduit est celle qui ne boit pas est en effet une réussite incontestable de sensibilisation des conducteurs et de mobilisation des professions concernées. "La Commission observe avec satisfaction qu'un nombre croissant d'Etats adhèrent à ce concept qui a fait ses preuves, notamment en Belgique. Il est important que cet exemple soit suivi dans les autres pays de l'Union", a dit Loyola De Palacio, Vice- Présidente responsable de l'Energie et du Transport.
  • [10] Social : "Chute libre sociale en Europe ? Non, merci !" A l'occasion du Conseil des ministres de l'Emploi et des Affaires sociales du lundi 3 décembre, la Commissaire européenne Anna Diamantopoulou félicitera les gouvernements des Quinze pour le travail presté jusqu'ici en matière de réforme du marché de travail, mais elle lancera un avertissement clair qu'il faudra maintenir le cap de la stratégie européenne de l'emploi indépendamment du sombrissement du climat économique. Elle constatera avec satisfaction le fait que, depuis le lancement de la stratégie en 1997, plus de huit millions nouveaux emplois ont été créés dans l'UE plus de trois millions dans la seule année 2000 mais qu'il ne faut pas se leurrer. Mme Diamantopoulou ajoutera : "On attend un taux de croissance dans la zone euro de seulement 1.6% en 2001, après un taux de 3.4% en 2000. Ceci, jumelé avec les bloquages toujours importants dans la libéralisation des marchés des biens et services, s'annonce difficile pour les emplois et pour le processus de Lisbonne tout entier. Raison de plus pour persister avec la stratégie européenne de l'emploi qui est une stratégie d'investissement à moyen et long terme et non pas une politique 'quick-fix' spéculative à court terme qui est abandonnée quand les nuages conjoncturels s'amoncèlent." Une note différente, sous forme de MEMO, pour chaque pays reprend les informations en matière de réforme du marché de travail : Finlande (MEMO/01/393), Belgique (394), Luxembourg (395), Italie (396), France (397), Espagne (398), Danemark (399), Portugal (400), Pays-Bas (401), Irlande (402), Royaume-Uni (403), Grèce (404), Suède (405), Autriche (406) et Allemagne (407).
  • [11] Influenza pandemic - Europe has to be prepared The conclusions of a major conference on "Preparedness planning in the EU : Influenza and other health threats" strongly emphasised the need to develop a European action plan to combat pandemic influenza outbreaks by the end of 2002. This plan should identify the most urgent actions and agreed approaches to be undertaken by Member States and the EU in the case of an outbreak of a serious flu virus. The actions to be foreseen would need to address vaccination policy, round-the-clock surveillance, improved diagnostic capacity, availability of anti-virals and training of front line public health professionals. The result of the conference ties in closely with the Commission's efforts to streamline response mechanisms to any biological threat to health be it from terrorists or natural causes. The Commission has taken the lead addressing preparedness and co-ordination not only on EU level, but also world-wide. It has today responded to the request of the Ghent Summit to provide a comprehensive programme of actions to ensure civil protection and public health (see IP/1685/01).
  • [12] Commission plays key role in global tobacco control talks The European Commission has welcomed progress made during the third round of negotiations for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which finished in Geneva today. This unique global negotiation, which is due to conclude in 2003, aims to establish binding international measures on some of the most difficult issues in tobacco control policy such as advertising, product regulation and development policy. In the course of this round, the EU has been taking a proactive role thanks to progress on a range of key issues from product regulation to advertising. In the light of the Commission's commitment to table proposals on the phasing out of tobacco subsidies, future discussions on this difficult issue will take place in a constructive context. Given its pioneering legislation in product regulation on issues such as misleading descriptors (the use of terms like "mild" and "light") and traceability, the EU has been proactive in encouraging a more progressive agenda in global tobacco control.
  • [13] Danube River again open for navigation at Novi Sad Two years after the NATO bombing of three bridges at Novi Sad in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), the Danube Commission has announced in Budapest today that regular navigation on the Danube is once again possible. The European Commission's financial support of some euro 22 million has been instrumental in achieving this. A safe channel for navigation, a "provisional fairway", has been established and marked through the Novi Sad stretch of the Danube.
  • [14] Euro 700,000 in humanitarian aid for displaced and resettled people in the Jaffna peninsula, Sri Lanka The European Commission has allocated euro 700,000 to help 900,000 displaced and resettled people in the Jaffna peninsula of Sri Lanka who are victims of the long-running civil war. The money is channelled through the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson. The funding will be used to charter a ship providing medical and other essential supplies to a population of 900,000 which is effectively cut off from the rest of the country. The vessel is the only means of communication between Jaffna and the outside world and will also be used to transport 2,500 seriously ill people to other parts of Sri Lanka where they will be able to receive appropriate medical care. The project is being implemented by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which is the only organisation having the security guarantees necessary to undertake voyages in what is an extremely dangerous area. After many years of conflict, the infrastructure in the Wanni and Jaffna regions has all but collapsed. Since 1993, ECHO has contributed almost euro 12.5 million to support victims of the civil conflict in Sri Lanka.
  • [15] Chris Patten speech on Sustainable Development : "From Sound-bite to Sound Policy" In a speech today in London at the Forum for the Future Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations, argues that fundamental questions of sustainability and equity demand a degree of international cooperation different from anything the world has witnessed since the years immediately following the Second World War. "The investment we make in sustainable development is as much a part of our global security as the investment we make in our armed forces". The aftermath of 11 September and the run-up to Johannesburg provide an opportunity to make that investment.
  • [16] "No more waste of time", Franz Fischler tells Slovakia Speaking at a press conference in Nitra today, Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, stressed that Slovakia has made "tremendous progress", having caught up in many respects with the "accession frontrunners". "This is mainly due to the efforts of the Slovak people, who have opened up politically and economically to the European Union. Unfortunately, progress in the agricultural sector has been very limited. The question of land ownership is still not solved. The restructuring of the farms has to continue. Slovakia cannot afford to waste any more time. The Commission will do all that is in its powers to successfully close the negotiation process", he said. Mr Fischler also underlined that an immediate introduction of the full amount of direct farm payments was not envisaged. "This would not only cause market and land price distortions; it would also freeze the current farm structure, thus blocking the necessary restructuring. However, in the medium term, there cannot be a two-tier Common Agricultural Policy", he declared.
  • [17] Merger approved under the simplified procedure Siemens AG (D) / Wiener Stadtwerke Beteiligungsmanagement GmbH (D) / master- talk Austria Telekom Service GmbH
  • [18] Autre matériel diffusé The Afghan crisis : humanitarian response of the EU Discours de M. Busquin : "La génétique humaine et son cadre éthique" à la session plénière du PE (Rapport Fiori) Discours de M. Bolkestein : "The Community Patent : objectives of the Commission and present situation" (Liège) Speech by Frits Bolkestein : "The European Union and its ambitions" at the Adam Smith Club (Zurich, ! embargo 5 pm !) Discours de M. Solbes : "Régions et passage à l'euro" au Colloque organisé par le Bureau Aquitaine Europe, Vertretung des Landes Hessen et Regione Emilia-Romagna (! embargo 12h30 !)

    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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