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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-12-20

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>


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Energy infrastructure : Commission proposes action to fight congestion and bottlenecks
  • [02] La Commission décide que trois régimes d'aides fiscales des provinces basques sont incompatibles avec le marché commun
  • [03] La Commission ouvre une enquête concernant une aide que l'Italie envisage d'accorder à Iveco pour son usine de Foggia
  • [04] Commission decides that asset sale of Gröditzer to Georgsmarienhütte does not involve State aid
  • [05] Commission slightly reduces planned aid to DaimlerChrysler for new engine plant in Kölleda (Germany)
  • [06] La Commission autorise l'octroi d'une aide d'Etat substantielle à Technologie Diesel Italia SpA
  • [07] ESB : la Commission autorise des mesures d'aide en Autriche, en France et en Allemagne
  • [08] Commission starts formal investigation on Dutch State aid for pig slaughterhouses
  • [09] Air transport : Commission authorises rescue aid for German air transport company LTU
  • [10] Compagnies aériennes privées d'assurance après les événements aux Etats-Unis : la Commission autorise les aides mises en place par l'Allemagne, l'Autriche, le Danemark, l'Espagne et la France
  • [11] Mise à la ferraille des pétroliers à simple coque : la Commission ouvre une enquête concernant un projet d'aide d'Etat en Italie
  • [12] Commission approves aid set to increase freight transport on short-sea shipping in UK
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [13] Commission clears Scandinavian digital satellite TV broadcasting agreement between Nordic Satellite AB and Modern Times Group
  • [14] Commission clears Internet travel agency joint venture between Otto Versand and Sabre
  • [15] Luxembourg : feu vert pour un programme de développement rural Leader+ d'un montant de 9,2 millions d'euros
  • [16] Commission approves communication campaigns on beef and veal
  • [17] Transports urbains propres : la Commission affecte 18,5 millions d'euros à l'introduction d'autobus urbains équipés de piles à combustible utilisant l'hydrogène
  • [18] Council takes final step to implement agreement on settlement of the banana trade dispute
  • [19] Negotiations on EU-Algeria Association Agreement concluded
  • [20] EU signs off on contribution to the Afghanistan Interim Authority Fund
  • [21] Albania : Commission adopts euro 37.5 million support programme for 2001
  • [22] Commission clears acquisition of Polynorm by Voest-Alpine
  • [23] Commission clears acquisition of Normandy by AngloGold
  • [24] Emploi : un nouveau rapport de haut niveau préconise une plus grande fluidité des marchés européens de l'emploi
  • [25] First edition of "Consumers in Europe - Facts and figures"
  • [26] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 20/12/2001 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 20/12/2001[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Energy infrastructure : Commission proposes action to fight congestion and bottlenecks

    The European Commission has proposed an energy infrastructure package aimed at optimising the use of existing gas and electricity infrastructure and encouraging the construction of new infrastructure of European interest. "An adequate and efficient network of energy infrastructure irrigating the European Union as a whole and linking the Union to its main suppliers is essential. Not only to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal market, but also to secure energy supplies to all European citizens", said Vice- President Loyola de Palacio, in charge of Energy and Transport. "Our electricity network is suffering from chronic congestion in several parts of the Union, bottlenecks are worsening and some parts of the European Union are still not well connected or even isolated. Our energy needs are growing, we are more and more dependent on external sources of energy, in particular for gas : it is time to give the Union energy infrastructure a true European dimension."

    [02] La Commission décide que trois régimes d'aides fiscales des provinces basques sont incompatibles avec le marché commun

    La Commission européenne a décidé de clore par une décision négative la procédure d'examen à l'encontre de trois régimes d'aides fiscales des provinces basques (Álava, Guipúzcoa, Viscaya). En l'occurrence, les trois régimes concernent des "vacances fiscales" en faveur des entreprises nouvellement créées jusqu'au 31.12.1994 en leur accordant une exemption de l'impôt sur les sociétés pendant une période de 10 exercices fiscaux. Ces régimes sont incompatibles avec le marché commun. Dès lors, les autorités espagnoles doivent les supprimer, suspendre le versement de l'éventuel solde des aides non encore versées et récupérer, par toutes les mesures nécessaires, celles déjà octroyées.

    [03] La Commission ouvre une enquête concernant une aide que l'Italie envisage d'accorder à Iveco pour son usine de Foggia

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'ouvrir une procédure d'examen approfondi concernant une aide d'un montant de 122 millions d'euros destinée à l'usine d'Iveco à Foggia. Au stade actuel, la Commission n'a pas pu établir que l'aide envisagée respectait les critères fixés par l'encadrement communautaire des aides d'Etat dans le secteur automobile et elle a invité l'Italie à lui présenter ses observations dans un délai d'un mois.

    [04] Commission decides that asset sale of Gröditzer to Georgsmarienhütte does not involve State aid

    Following a formal investigation procedure the European Commission has decided that the sale of assets of Gröditzer Stahlwerke (State of Saxony, Germany) and its subsidiaries to another German steelmaker, Georgsmarienhütte, does not involve State aid.

    [05] Commission slightly reduces planned aid to DaimlerChrysler for new engine plant in Kölleda (Germany)

    The European Commission has decided that Germany must reduce the planned regional investment aid in favour of DaimlerChrysler for the construction of a new engine plant in Kölleda (Thüringen). After conducting the formal investigation procedure the Commission found that aid amounting to around euro 57 million for a total eligible investment of around euro 185 is compatible with the EU rules for State aid and the framework for aid to the motor vehicle industry in particular. A further euro 6.6 million is considered incompatible with the common market and may not be granted.

    [06] La Commission autorise l'octroi d'une aide d'Etat substantielle à Technologie Diesel Italia SpA

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'autoriser l'octroi d'une aide d'Etat de 66,21 millions d'euros en faveur de la construction, dans le Sud de l'Italie, d'une usine de production d'une nouvelle génération de pompes d'injection pour moteurs diesels automobiles. L'aide qui sera consentie à Technologie Diesel Italia SpA (TDIT), filiale du groupe allemand Bosch, représente 28% de l'investissement total.

    [07] ESB : la Commission autorise des mesures d'aide en Autriche, en France et en Allemagne

    La Commission européenne a autorisé des mesures d'aide au revenu d'un montant respectif de 500.000 et de 740.000 euros en faveur des éleveurs de bovins touchés par les retombées de la crise de l'ESB dans deux régions d'Autriche (Burgenland et Vorarlberg). La Commission a également autorisé la France à participer dans une limite maximale de 45 euros par test aux coûts de dépistage de l'ESB pour un montant total d'environ 5,45 millions d'euros. Enfin, la Commission a autorisé l'Allemagne (Saxe) à verser une aide maximale d'environ 2 millions d'euros pour financer les tests de détection de l'ESB, l'incinération des farines de viande et d'os et la désinfection des abattoirs et des exploitations.

    [08] Commission starts formal investigation on Dutch State aid for pig slaughterhouses

    The European Commission has decided to investigate a Dutch State aid scheme which would pay about euro 56 million between 2001 and 2005 to pig slaughterhouses willing to reduce slaughtering capacity. The Commission at this stage doubts that the scheme complies with the conditions for such aid. Furthermore, the aid appears to be conditional upon a cartel agreement between slaughterhouses. This cartel does not seem to fulfil the conditions for an exemption from the general prohibition of cartels.

    [09] Air transport : Commission authorises rescue aid for German air transport company LTU

    The European Commission has authorised aid to rescue the German air transport company LTU (Lufttransport Unternehmen GmbH). This temporary aid should make it possible to rescue the company from bankruptcy and to win time to define the legal, economic and financial arrangements for any restructuring. Funding of euro 120 million guaranteed by North Rhine- Westphalia can now be released by three banks over the next six months. LTU was already in trouble, but its situation became acute when Swissair announced a request for a stay of bankruptcy at the beginning of October following the difficult situation that arose in the aviation industry in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

    [10] Compagnies aériennes privées d'assurance après les événements aux Etats-Unis : la Commission autorise les aides mises en place par l'Allemagne, l'Autriche, le Danemark, l'Espagne et la France

    La Commission européenne continue d'agir pour faire face aux conséquences des attentats aux Etats-Unis pour le secteur du transport aérien. Après les aides d'urgence du Royaume-Uni, du Luxembourg, du Portugal, de la Belgique et de la Suède déjà autorisées, elle autorise aujourd'hui les régimes d'aide mis en place par l'Allemagne, l'Autriche, le Danemark, l'Espagne et la France.

    [11] Mise à la ferraille des pétroliers à simple coque : la Commission ouvre une enquête concernant un projet d'aide d'Etat en Italie

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'ouvrir une procédure d'enquête officielle relative à un régime d'aide que l'Etat italien se propose de mettre en place et au titre duquel les armateurs qui retireraient du service les pétroliers à simple coque de plus de vingt ans d'âge recevraient une prime. La Commission note avec satisfaction que l'objectif de l'aide envisagée est de mettre en oeuvre la législation communautaire en matière de sécurité maritime et d'appliquer des normes de sécurité plus strictes dans le domaine de la navigation maritime. Cependant, elle estime que des précisions doivent être apportées concernant les garanties du régime notifié sur le plan de la protection de l'environnement et des conditions de réinvestissement.

    [12] Commission approves aid set to increase freight transport on short-sea shipping in UK

    The European Commission has decided not to raise any objections to the extension of the British Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) which will encourage freight forwarders to take heavy lorries off the roads by helping them to invest in coastal/short sea shipping freight facilities. Moreover, the Commission has authorised under the same decision a higher infrastructure aid for the benefit of the Port of Rosyth.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [13] Commission clears Scandinavian digital satellite TV broadcasting agreement between Nordic Satellite AB and Modern Times Group

    The European Commission has cleared an agreement between two Swedish companies, Nordic Satellite AB (NSAB) and Modern Times Group AB (MTG) for the upgrading of MTG's analogue satellite broadcasting operations to digital broadcasting. The agreement between the two Swedish companies is pro-competitive as it facilitates the deployment of new digital technology to the benefit of television viewers in the Nordic countries.

    [14] Commission clears Internet travel agency joint venture between Otto Versand and Sabre

    The European Commission has approved the creation of a joint venture between Sabre Holdings Corporation (USA), which operates a computerised reservation system (CRS ), and German marketing company Otto Versand GmbH & Co. The new company, called Travelocity Europe, will be a virtual travel agency offering services to European customers.

    [15] Luxembourg : feu vert pour un programme de développement rural Leader+ d'un montant de 9,2 millions d'euros

    La Commission européenne a approuvé le programme d'initiative communautaire Leader+ pour le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (2000-2006). Commentant cette décision, M. Franz Fischler, membre de la Commission chargé de l'agriculture, du développement rural et de la pêche, a déclaré : "Ce programme vise à mettre en œuvre des idées nouvelles afin de soutenir la mise en place, dans les régions rurales du Luxembourg, d'une société, d'une économie et d'un environnement plus durables. Nous souhaitons améliorer la qualité de vie de tous ceux qui vivent dans les zones rurales. Leader+ contribuera à valoriser les produits locaux et à tirer le meilleur parti possible des ressources naturelles et culturelles". Le coût total éligible du programme pour la période 2000-2006 s'élève à 9,2 millions d'euros dont une contribution de l'UE de 2,1 millions d'euros et une contribution du secteur privé de 847.630 euros.

    [16] Commission approves communication campaigns on beef and veal

    The European Commission has approved programmes for communication campaigns in the beef and veal sector. Member States and professional organisations have submitted 19 beef and veal communication programmes and 13 of them have now been accepted. The programmes should provide information to consumers on the way beef is produced, controlled, labelled and marketed. The Member States' programmes obtain EU part-financing (60% of their costs) for information measures that supplement and develop those run by the Commission and by the trade. The programmes will last for one year and involve an EU contribution of euro 8.3 million.

    [17] Transports urbains propres : la Commission affecte 18,5 millions d'euros à l'introduction d'autobus urbains équipés de piles à combustible utilisant l'hydrogène

    La Commission européenne a accordé 18,5 millions d'euros à 9 villes européennes désireuses d'utiliser l'hydrogène dans leur réseau de transports publics. Cette initiative fait partie d'un projet de démonstration baptisé CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) financé par le cinquième programme-cadre de recherche et développement. L'hydrogène est une source d'énergie d'avenir, efficace et écologique, que la Commission s'est engagée à promouvoir dans le cadre de son plan d'action visant à encourager l'utilisation de combustibles de substitution dans les transports. Dès 2003, Amsterdam, Barcelone, Hambourg, Londres, Luxembourg, Madrid, Porto, Stockholm et Stuttgart feront figure de pionnières dans le domaine des transports urbains publics non polluants.

    [18] Council takes final step to implement agreement on settlement of the banana trade dispute

    The Council has yesterday agreed to modify the EU import regime for bananas in order for the USA and Ecuador definitively to lift sanctions against the EU. The decision taken today will mean that phase II of the understandings reached with the USA and Ecuador earlier this year can now be implemented. The sanctions have been suspended since 1 July 2001. "Phase II" is the second step of the interim period which precedes the application of a tariff only system, due to start on 01/01/2006 at the latest. From 1 January 2002, 100,000 tonnes will be transferred from the C quota to the B quota (to all suppliers), and the remaining 750,000 tonnes of the C quota is reserved for bananas of ACP origin. Other technical modifications are included which relate to the financing of producer organisations, an update of the tariff and statistical nomenclature of the products and new rules on comitology and compensatory aid. Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development welcomed the agreement reached in the Council and said : "I am happy that we can now put this never ending story to rest. This allows us to settle a long running dispute with our trading partners and to see US sanctions on EU products definitively lifted. Without doubt, this will relieve the banana sector and is very positive for operators, who can, from now on, work in a clearer and more stable environment." "This WTO-compatible system the Council has decided upon today signals not only the end of the banana dispute but will result in the lifting of some $200 million worth of US sanctions which is the good news EU exporters have been waiting for", Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said underlining the importance of the adoption of the new banana regime by the Council for EU economy as a whole.

    [19] Negotiations on EU-Algeria Association Agreement concluded

    Yesterday's meeting between European Commission President Romano Prodi and President Bouteflika of Algeria marked the successful conclusion of the negotiations for the EU-Algeria Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement. The text of the proposed Agreement between Algeria and the EU was jointly initialled by the two negotiators in the presence of Presidents Prodi and Bouteflika and of Commissioners for External Relations Chris Patten and for Trade Pascal Lamy. This act formally concludes negotiations on a new framework for the deepening of bilateral relations between the EU and Algeria.

    [20] EU signs off on contribution to the Afghanistan Interim Authority Fund

    In the margins of the Afghanistan Reconstruction Conference being held in Brussels on 20-21 December, Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations, and Mark Malloch-Brown, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, today jointly signed off on a euro 2.5 million package of EU support to the UN's Afghanistan Interim Authority Fund. These funds were mobilised under the EU's Rapid Reaction Mechanism, following the agreement reached between the Afghan factions under the auspices of UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, Mr Brahimi, in Bonn earlier this month. Euro 2 million will be used for the Afghanistan Interim Authority (for expenses covering items such as office equipment, vehicles, expert advice, but no salaries). A further euro 0.5 million, originally planned as a contribution to UNSR Brahimi's Task Force, has been earmarked at the request of UNSR Brahimi to assist with the establishment of the independent Civil Service Commission, the Judicial Commission, the Commission on Human Rights, and support for the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga.

    [21] Albania : Commission adopts euro 37.5 million support programme for 2001

    The European Commission adopted this week an annual support programme worth some euro 37,5 million to support the participation of Albania in the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP). This assistance shall contribute to enhancing Albania's capacity in terms of security and public order, strengthening rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights, creating conditions conducive to regional cooperation, strengthening public finances, increasing customs and tax revenues, strengthening of standards and certification, strengthening of aid coordination, improving local community development and enhancing the quality of university education. The programme focuses on Justice and Home Affairs (euro 16.0 million), Institution building (euro 9.0 million) Economic Development (euro 10.0 million) and Education (euro 2.5 million).

    [22] Commission clears acquisition of Polynorm by Voest-Alpine

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Austrian steel company Voest-Alpine Stahl AG of sole control of Dutch automobile components company Polynorm N.V. (The deal was examined under the simplified procedure).

    [23] Commission clears acquisition of Normandy by AngloGold

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition by South African undertaking AngloGold Limited of sole control of Australian undertaking Normandy Mining Limited. (The deal was examined under the simplified procedure).

    [24] Emploi : un nouveau rapport de haut niveau préconise une plus grande fluidité des marchés européens de l'emploi

    Selon le rapport remis à la Commission européenne par la task force de haut niveau sur les compétences et la mobilité, trop d'obstacles à une réelle mobilité de la main-d'oeuvre subsistent encore dans l'UE. Le rapport, qui identifie les principaux problèmes et présente une série de recommandations, demande une meilleure formation linguistique de base, appelle à la constitution de compétences dans les technologies de l'information, à la simplification des systèmes de transfert de pensions et des droits de sécurité sociale et à une révision des systèmes de réglementation des professions et de reconnaissance des compétences et de l'expérience acquise dans un autre Etat membre. Le simple manque d'informations sur les possibilités d'emploi à l'étranger peut également constituer un problème. Ce rapport indépendant, qui a été commandé par Anna Diamantopoulou, conférera à la Commission une base solide pour faire progresser son plan d'action visant à la mise en place de marchés européens de l'emploi d'ici 2005. Ce plan d'action devrait être présenté au sommet de Barcelone au printemps 2002, en tant qu'élément du nouvel objectif européen de la Commission concernant la "gestion du changement".

    [25] First edition of "Consumers in Europe - Facts and figures"

    Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities in Luxembourg, and the Directorate General of the European Commission for Health and Consumer Protection launched the first edition of a new publication "Consumers in Europe- Facts and figures". It presents a comprehensive collection of the most important data available from different sources on consumer issues in the EU. It aims at being a tool for the evaluation and development of consumer policy. It provides also information on European policy initiatives. The publication focuses on consumers and on their consumption patterns : household expenditure is studied in depth, broken down according to food and beverages, clothing and footwear, housing, transport, communication, including the Internet, leisure and recreation. Readers will also find data and information on the profile of EU consumers, consumer attitudes and satisfaction, consumer representation and protection. In addition, the publication examines some factors influencing consumer attitudes and their consumption patterns : income, prices and taxation, habits, trading forms, advertising, etc. One chapter deals with savings and financial services. The data covers the EU and its Member States, but some are also provided for the Candidates Countries.

    [26] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de M. Prodi : "Le religioni monoteistiche e il futuro dei popoli" à l'occasion de la rencontre 'La pace di Dio nel mondo' (! embargo 15h00 !)

    Speech by Chris Patten : "Building a better future for Afghanistan" at the Afghanistan Reconstruction Steering Group meeting

    Opening remarks by Poul Nielson at the Afghanistan Reconstruction Steering Group meeting

    Intervention de M. Solbes à la réunion spéciale de la Commission sur l'introduction de l'euro Note sur les résultats du Conseil Agriculture


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


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