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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-01-24

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] Conseil européen de Barcelone : la Commission lance une proposition pour une politique globale en matière de biotechnologie
  • [02] Making the polluter pay : Commission adopts liability scheme to prevent and repair environmental damage
  • [03] Commission announces next steps in implementing new senior staff policy
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] Romano Prodi met today Lehendakari Juan José Ibarretxe
  • [05] Barcelone : la Commission appelle à un renforcement des actions en vue d'atteindre les objectifs communautaires en matière d'emploi d'ici 2010
  • [06] Urban II programme : EU contributes €9.55 million to urban regeneration in Perama, Greece
  • [07] Urban II programme : EU contributes €7.95 million to urban regeneration in Iraklion, island of Crete, Greece
  • [08] Urban II programme : EU contributes €8 million to urban regeneration in Komotini, Greece
  • [09] Insurance and pension funds in Europe : a growing and still restructuring insurance market - development of supplementary pension funds
  • [10] Contrôles alimentaires : les inspecteurs européens constatent que les contrôles nationaux de E. coli varient d'un pays à l'autre de l'UE
  • [11] SSC publishes new opinions on BSE related issues
  • [12] Libre circulation des capitaux : procédure d'infraction contre la France
  • [13] Commission clears acquisition of Fruit of the Loom by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
  • [14] EU voices concern at US decision to impose protective duties in uranium
  • [15] La Commission adopte un programme d'aide humanitaire de €32 millions en faveur de la République Démocratique du Congo
  • [16] Poul Nielson to visit India (28/01-02/02)
  • [17] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 24/01/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 24/01/2002[I] Résultats de la Commission du 23 janvier 2002 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 23 January (voir aussi see also ME of 23/01)

  • [01] Conseil européen de Barcelone : la Commission lance une proposition pour une politique globale en matière de biotechnologie

    La Commission européenne a adopté une initiative politique majeure pour le développement des sciences de la vie et de la biotechnologie en Europe. C'est l'un des principaux éléments de la contribution de la Commission au Conseil européen de Barcelone en mars 2002. Ce document stratégique comporte un plan d'action assorti de recommandations aux Etats membres, aux autorités locales, à l'industrie et à d'autres parties prenantes. Il s'agit d'aider l'Europe à maîtriser les technologies de pointe qui pourraient contribuer de façon majeure à l'objectif, fixé en mars 2000 lors du Conseil européen de Lisbonne, de faire en dix ans du continent l'économie de la connaissance la plus compétitive et la plus durable du monde. Cette stratégie reposant sur une démarche de coopération et de cohérence aspirant à un développement durable est destinée à aborder les questions complexes d'éthique et de société et à favoriser un large débat public. Conformément aux principes de gouvernance, l'initiative repose sur une vaste consultation publique qui a notamment donné lieu à une conférence réunissant un vaste éventail de parties prenantes.

    [02] Making the polluter pay : Commission adopts liability scheme to prevent and repair environmental damage

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on environmental liability which aims both to prevent and restore environmental damage. The pollution of water, damage to biodiversity and land contamination which causes serious harm to human health would all be covered by this Directive. Operators of certain risky or potentially risky activities who cause environmental damage would be held responsible for restoring the damage caused, or made to pay for the restoration. All operators causing damage to biodiversity, by fault or negligence, would equally have an obligation to restore the damage. Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said : "The idea that the polluter must pay is a cornerstone of EU policy. With this proposal, the Commission is sending a clear message: the time has come for the EU to put the polluter pays principle into practice. Member States need to be able to tackle environmental damage and play by common rules on who is responsible, which damage is covered, and who should bear the cost. The rules proposed by the Commission will be a strong incentive to prevent such damage from happening at all." She added : "We are all stakeholders when it comes to protecting the environment and preventing damage. Citizens, industry and NGOs have therefore been waiting for this important proposal for a long time, with a lot of - different - expectations. The Commission has taken the first concrete step towards establishing a comprehensive European environmental liability regime."

    [03] Commission announces next steps in implementing new senior staff policy

    The European Commission set out the way in which its reform policies relating to appointments of senior staff will be implemented over the coming months. In particular, these decisions will implement the Commission's 1999 commitment that A1 and A2 officials will be subject to mobility after five years and not stay longer than seven years in the same post. The implementation of this mobility rule for all staff starting at the top is part of the wider reform agenda designed to promote merit and fresh thinking, and to allow staff to build their careers upon broad experience. Since the beginning of the Prodi Commission's mandate in 1999, the majority of the most senior officials have already made job moves as part of this policy. The steps announced will affect the remaining 15 Directors General and Deputy Directors General and who are now eligible for mobility. The staff changes which will take place in the coming months will be based on the principles for appointments that were set out in 1999 : namely that merit is the primary factor, and that every effort should be made to respect the need for a balance of nationalities and for a better balance of qualified women and men in the most senior posts in the Commission. The Commission has also decided to appoint Catherine Day to the post of Director General for Environment, which was published in July 2001.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] Romano Prodi met today Lehendakari Juan José Ibarretxe

    The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, and the President of the Basque Government, Lehendakari Juna José Ibarrextxe, had a cordial and open exchange of views on the situation in the Basque Country, the Convention (to be launched under the Spanish Presidency) and the role of all levels of government on the future of Europe.

    [05] Barcelone : la Commission appelle à un renforcement des actions en vue d'atteindre les objectifs communautaires en matière d'emploi d'ici 2010

    La Commission européenne s'est prononcée sur un rapport et des propositions visant à améliorer la participation aux marchés de l'emploi dans l'Union européenne. Selon le rapport, l'UE doit créer 20 millions d'emplois, dont 11 à 12 millions destinés aux femmes et 5 millions aux travailleurs âgés, pour atteindre les objectifs fixés à Lisbonne et à Stockholm en matière d'emploi pour 2010. Il met également en évidence les mesures stratégiques nécessaires à cet effet : l'augmentation des fonds publics consacrés à la formation des travailleurs, la révision ciblée des systèmes d'imposition et de prestation, l'intensification de la lutte contre les écarts salariaux entre les femmes et les hommes et un réexamen de la question de la réduction des taux d'abandon scolaire. L'étape suivante sera la présentation de ce rapport, conçu comme une initiative conjointe du Conseil et de la Commission, au sommet de Barcelone.

    [06] Urban II programme : EU contributes €9.55 million to urban regeneration in Perama, Greece

    Michel Barnier, European Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Perama area, Greece. This Urban II Community Initiative Programme will provide about €9.55 million from the EU over the period 2000- 2006. The European funding has attracted about €3.18 million from the public sector while approximately €0.65 million is expected to be spent by the private sector, creating a total investment of about €13.38 million. Programme priorities will include improving the quality of urban infrastructure and spatial planning, supporting the local economy, preventing social exclusion and capacity building for the local workforce.

    [07] Urban II programme : EU contributes €7.95 million to urban regeneration in Iraklion, island of Crete, Greece

    Michel Barnier, European Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Iraklion area on the island of Crete, Greece. This Uurban II Community Initiative Programme will provide about €7.95 million from the EU over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted about €2.65 million from the public sector while approximately €1.0 million are expected from the private sector, creating a total investment of about €11.6 million. Programme priorities will include improving the quality of urban infrastructure and spatial planning, supporting the local economy, preventing social exclusion and supporting local inhabitants' networks.

    [08] Urban II programme : EU contributes €8 million to urban regeneration in Komotini, Greece

    Michel Barnier, European Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Komotini area in Greece. This Urban II Community Initiative Programme will provide about €8 million from the EU over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted about € 2.67 million from the public sector while approximately €1.73 million are expected from the private sector, creating a total investment of about €12.39 million. Programme priorities will include improving the quality of urban infrastructure and spatial planning, supporting the local economy, preventing social exclusion, and supporting local inhabitants' networks.

    [09] Insurance and pension funds in Europe : a growing and still restructuring insurance market - development of supplementary pension funds

    In 1999, the EU insurance sector included 3903 enterprises with a total turnover (measured by gross premiums written) of €760 billion, Eurostat reports today. Compared to 1996, the number of insurance companies decreased by 8.4%, while the total turnover rose by one third (33.7%), illustrating a strong increase in the EU average production per enterprise. The trend towards consolidation shows differences between insurance business sectors : while the number of non-life insurance enterprises decreased by 15.3%, the number of life insurance enterprises remained stable (+0.6%) thanks to a growing life insurance market.

    [10] Contrôles alimentaires : les inspecteurs européens constatent que les contrôles nationaux de E. coli varient d'un pays à l'autre de l'UE

    Le commissaire européen à la Santé et la Protection des Consommateurs, David Byrne, s'est félicité aujourd'hui des résultats d'un rapport de l'Office alimentaire et vétérinaire examinant les mesures nationales prises pour réduire le risque de contamination alimentaire par la bactérie E. coli. Selon lui, le rapport présente des exemples intéressants de bonnes pratiques qui peuvent s'avérer utiles pour lutter contre l'E. coli. Le rapport de l'OAV, publié aujourd'hui, donne un aperçu des résultats d'inspections menées l'année dernière dans six pays de l'UE concernant les contrôles des Escherichia coli vérocytotoxiques (ECVT). Le rapport constate que, dans tous les pays, les exploitants publics et privés sont vigilants à l'égard des risques de contamination par les ECVT. Les inspecteurs ont observé une grande variété d'initiatives et de mesures de contrôle, publiques et privées, pour détecter et prévenir ces contaminations. Les visites d'inspection se sont concentrées sur les établissements de traitement de la viande rouge, des produits carnés, du lait et des produits laitiers.

    [11] SSC publishes new opinions on BSE related issues

    The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) which advises the European Commission on Transmissible/Bovine Spongiform Encephalophaties (TSE/BSE) and other multidisciplinary issues today a series of opinions on BSE related matters. They concern culling (destruction of animals related to a TSE case), the risk related to penetrative stunning at slaughter and an update on the safety of animal materials from the heads of cattle, sheep and goats. The Committee also updated its method for assessing the Geographical BSE Risk in view of recent developments and classifies Finland, Austria and Slovenia as category III.

    [12] Libre circulation des capitaux : procédure d'infraction contre la France

    La Commission européenne a décidé de traduire la France devant la Cour de Justice européenne. Elle estime que les sanctions douanières appliquées en cas d'infraction à l'obligation administrative, établie par la législation française, de déclaration de tout transfert de somme, titres ou valeurs en provenance ou à destination de l'étranger lorsque le montant est égal ou excède €7.622,45 ou sa contre-valeur, sont incompatibles avec le droit communautaire en matière de libre circulation des capitaux. Il faut souligner d'emblée que la Commission ne met aucunement en cause le principe de l'obligation administrative de déclaration préalable en tant que telle. Cependant, pour la Commission, la sanction prévue au Code des Douanes en cas d'infraction à ladite obligation administrative, qui prévoit d'une part la confiscation des sommes, titres ou valeurs transportées au profit de l'administration des douanes et d'autre part l'imposition d'une amende pouvant atteindre 100% du montant de ces capitaux, est contraire à la libre circulation des capitaux telle qu'instaurée par l'article 56 du traité CE.

    [13] Commission clears acquisition of Fruit of the Loom by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of control of Fruit of the Loom, a US company which makes and sells clothes, by Berkshire Hathaway Inc, another US company active in the property, insurance and investment markets. (The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [14] EU voices concern at US decision to impose protective duties in uranium

    European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy yesterday expressed his disappointment and serious concern over the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) decision on 21 January to impose definitive duties on EU exports of enriched uranium. The ITC argued that EU imports were causing injury to the US petitioner, United States Enrichment Company (USEC). It ignored evidence and arguments that the EU and the European industry put forward during the investigation. EU exports worth $500 million would be heavily hit by duties once this measure is implemented. "The EU is disappointed and very concerned at these findings. It will now carefully examine these decisions and reserves its right to take the matter up in the World Trade Organisation", Mr Lamy said, adding that the EU remains open to further bilateral talks.

    [15] La Commission adopte un programme d'aide humanitaire de €32 millions en faveur de la République Démocratique du Congo

    La Commission européenne a adopté, pour 2002, un plan global prévoyant €32 millions d'aide humanitaire en faveur de la population de la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC). M. Poul Nielson, membre de la Commission chargé du Développement et de l'Aide humanitaire, a décrit la décision de financement nouvelle, gérée par l'Office d'aide humanitaire (ECHO), comme étant "un exemple concret de notre engagement durable en faveur de la population congolaise." En outre, il a affirmé que la crise de longue durée qui frappe la RDC a infligé à la population des souffrances d'une ampleur inimaginable et que c'est la raison pour laquelle la Commission a opté pour un programme d'aide humanitaire aussi important. "Nous sommes résolus à améliorer les conditions de vie de la population et à assurer aux couches les plus nécessiteuses des éléments de secours vitaux", a-t-il encore ajouté.

    [16] Poul Nielson to visit India (28/01-02/02)

    The European Commissioner in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Poul Nielson, will carry out an official visit to India from 28 January to 2 February. Mr Nielson's first trip as Commissioner to India comes on the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Gujarat in January 2001. One overriding objective of his mission will be to take stock of humanitarian assistance to the earthquake victims and to look at longer term EU rehabilitation activities in the earthquake affected areas. Mr Nielson's trip will also focus on ongoing and future EU-India development cooperation. On the eve of his departure, Mr Nielson stated : "EU development cooperation with India should be viewed as the reflection of a strong and special partnership built on close concertation with the Government of India in support of fighting poverty. We are now in the process of finalising our cooperation strategy taking us up to 2007, with the main priorities focussing on education and health through closer cooperation with India's poorest but reform-minded states. I look forward to seeing for myself the progress made and to discussing perspectives for the future."

    [17] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de Mme de Palacio : "L'Europe à l'avant-garde de la sécurité maritime" aux rencontres parlementaires sur la sécurité dans les transports maritimes (CES)

    Discours de M. Barnier : "La gouvernance internationale : une contribution européenne" au EU-UNU Global Forum 'Governance across borders' (Tokyo)


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


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