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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-06-19

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] Après trois ans et demi, les avantages de la monnaie unique ressortent clairement
  • [02] Commission fines Deutsche BP for supplying incorrect information in notification of Erdölchemie purchase
  • [03] Deutsche Post must repay €572 million used to subsidise price undercutting in commercial parcel services
  • [04] Normes de qualité et de sécurité pour les tissus et cellules humains
  • [05] La Commission autorise des aides en faveur de deux projets énergétiques basques
  • [06] Commission proposes measures to reform the German grain brandy (Kornbranntwein) monopoly
  • [07] Commission approves investment aid to new Zellstoff Stendal pulp mill
  • [08] Commission approves loan guarantee for German aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Dornier
  • [09] The Netherlands shall recover aid to port and inland waterway towage
  • [10] Transport aérien : feu vert de la Commission aux mesures de restructuration d'Alitalia, comportant notamment un investissement significatif du secteur privé
  • [11] Commission authorises twelve Italian aid schemes to fisheries sector
  • [12] Jaana Husu-Kallio appointed Deputy Director General of the Directorate General of Health and Consumer Protection
  • [13] Bernhard Zepter devient chef de la délégation de la Commission à Tokyo
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [14] Adoption of a modified proposal on asylum procedures
  • [15] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de l'agence de publicité américaine Bcom3 par la société française Publicis
  • [16] Commission clears acquisition of DSM Petrochemicals by Saudi firm SABIC
  • [17] Fifty years at the service of peace and prosperity : the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) treaty expires
  • [18] Frits Bolkestein welcomes banks' announcement of committee to implement cheaper cross-border payments
  • [19] L'UE se dote d'une agence pour la sécurité aérienne
  • [20] April 2002 - Industrial production down by 0.5% in euro-zone; down by 0.2% in EU15
  • [21] La Commission présente les nouvelles prévisions sur les marchés agricoles
  • [22] Afghanistan : Commission announces €22 million to help refugees go home
  • [23] Commission and Candidate Countries make further progress towards a European "Competition Community" at Vilnius Conference
  • [24] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 19/06/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 19/06/2002[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Après trois ans et demi, les avantages de la monnaie unique ressortent clairement

    La Commission européenne a adopté une communication sur la zone euro dans l'économie mondiale. Dans ce document, elle note que l'introduction des billets et pièces en euros au début de cette année a marqué une étape décisive dans l'histoire de l'intégration européenne. Les avantages de l'Union économique et monétaire (UEM) se font sentir depuis quelque temps déjà. L'UEM repose sur l'engagement qui a été pris de mener des politiques macroéconomiques saines, qui ont contribué à l'avènement d'une nouvelle culture de stabilité économique en Europe. C'est cette stabilité qui a permis à l'Union de surmonter le récent ralentissement de l'économie mondiale. En outre, il a été possible, grâce à l'euro, d'éviter le type de tensions dommageables sur les taux de change intraeuropéens qui a souvent caractérisé les ajustements précédents aux chocs extérieurs. La monnaie unique étant maintenant bien en place, les citoyens des pays de la zone euro peuvent s'attendre à toucher les dividendes d'une plus grande transparence des prix, d'une concurrence plus vive et d'une intégration financière plus poussée en Europe.

    [02] Commission fines Deutsche BP for supplying incorrect information in notification of Erdölchemie purchase

    The European Commission has decided to impose a fine of €35,000 on Deutsche BP AG for negligently providing incorrect and misleading information in relation to the acquisition of German chemicals producer Erdölchemie GmbH. In the notification, the company failed to indicate several relevant elements as regards the market for acrylonitrile (ACN), a chemical used for the production of acrylic fibres, plastics and nitrile rubber. The Commission attaches a paramount importance to receiving all the information needed to be able to assess a concentration's impact on the marketplace within the tight and legally-binding timetable set in the Merger Regulation.

    [03] Deutsche Post must repay €572 million used to subsidise price undercutting in commercial parcel services

    After a careful analysis, the European Commission has concluded that Deutsche Post AG (DPAG) has used €572 million, funds it received from the State to finance its public service mission, to finance an aggressive pricing policy intended to undercut private rivals in the parcel sector between 1994 and 1998. This behaviour breaches the key principle according to which companies that receive State funding for services of general interest cannot use these resources to subsidise activities open to competition. The German government has two months to inform the Commission of how it intends to recover the money unlawfully used by Deutsche Post in the commercial sector.

    [04] Normes de qualité et de sécurité pour les tissus et cellules humains

    La Commission européenne a proposé de nouvelles normes de qualité et de sécurité pour les tissus et cellules humains utilisés à des fins thérapeutiques dans l'ensemble de l'UE. Cette mesure vise à établir des prescriptions détaillées contraignantes pour ces substances humaines, du donneur au patient. Cette proposition de directive aura pour effet de créer, pour la première fois, un registre des entités exerçant des activités en la matière dans l'UE, de déterminer les systèmes minimaux de qualité et de sécurité applicables, les qualifications professionnelles et la formation requises, d'organiser les inspections et les sanctions dans les Etats membres, ainsi que d'établir des normes minimales et des procédures obligatoires pour l'ensemble de la chaîne : don, contrôle, obtention, transformation, stockage, distribution et préservation des tissus et des cellules. La directive établit des normes claires de qualité et de sécurité en ce qui concerne le don, le contrôle et l'obtention des tissus et cellules humains, indépendamment de leur utilisation finale, y compris la transplantation et d'autres applications médicales.

    [05] La Commission autorise des aides en faveur de deux projets énergétiques basques

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'autoriser un projet d'aides du Gouvernement Basque pour la construction d'une centrale de cycle combiné et d'une usine de regazéification à Bilbao. Le montant total des aides pour les deux projets s'élève à 53,2 millions d'€. La Commission clôture ainsi la procédure formelle d'examen qu'elle avait ouverte à l'égard de ce projet d'aides.

    [06] Commission proposes measures to reform the German grain brandy (Kornbranntwein) monopoly

    The European Commission has adopted a recommendation calling on Germany to adopter appropriate measures to reform the spirits monopoly act in respect of grain brandy "Kornbranntwein". As they stand, the arrangements constitute aid to German producers which is not available to producers from the other Member States and can no longer be justified since 1989, when a Community regulation stipulated that grain brandy was to be considered an industrial product.

    [07] Commission approves investment aid to new Zellstoff Stendal pulp mill

    The European Commission has decided not to raise objections to a proposed German state subsidy of over € 250 million to help Zellstoff Stendal GmbH build a new pulp mill in the region of Saxony-Anhalt, eastern Germany. The Commission could grant clearance because the sector is not suffering from over-capacity and in view of the level of direct and indirect job creation.

    [08] Commission approves loan guarantee for German aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Dornier

    The European Commission has approved a state guarantee granted by Germany to a bank loan of around €94 million given to insolvent aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Dornier GmbH (Dornier). The guarantee, which covers 50% of the loan, is designed to help Dornier stay alive while looking for a financial partner.

    [09] The Netherlands shall recover aid to port and inland waterway towage

    The European Commission has decided that the Netherlands shall recover maritime transport aid granted to Dutch port and inland waterway towage operations carried out in the Union. The aid was initially intended for maritime transport operations at sea but was also granted to towage operations in ports and inland waterways. The Commission considers that operating aid cannot be granted to such activities and found the aid to be incompatible with competition rules.

    [10] Transport aérien : feu vert de la Commission aux mesures de restructuration d'Alitalia, comportant notamment un investissement significatif du secteur privé

    La Commission européenne a décidé de ne pas s'opposer à la restructuration de la compagnie aérienne Alitalia. Ces mesures concernent d'une part, le versement de la troisième tranche de 129 millions d'€ de l'aide à la restructuration déjà approuvée en 1997, et d'autre part une future augmentation de capital de 1432 millions d'€, qui ne pourra être effectuée qu'après l'engagement formel et sans réserves des trois banques privées à garantir le bon résultat de l'opération.

    [11] Commission authorises twelve Italian aid schemes to fisheries sector

    The European Commission has decided that aid schemes to twelve Italian regions for various projects in their fisheries sectors are compatible with the rules governing State aids. These aids, which amount to a total of €55.24 million, for the period 2000 to 2006, represent the financial contribution by Italy which, under the co-financing principle, is required for the allocation of aid from the EU Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). The FIFG will finance eligible projects to the tune of €39.88 million. Projects benefiting from this financial support include measures to protect fish stocks, aquaculture, upgrading of port facilities, processing and marketing of fisheries products, measures in favour of the small-scale fleet and various operations undertaken by the industry to improve the situation of the sector.

    [12] Jaana Husu-Kallio appointed Deputy Director General of the Directorate General of Health and Consumer Protection

    The European Commission today appointed Ms. Jaana HUSU-KALLIO, Commission official of Finnish nationality, Deputy Director General of the recently reorganised DG Health and Consumer protection Directorate General. Her future tasks will be to assist the Director General in the DG's activities in general and in particular on food safety, animal health and welfare, and plant health issues (Directorates D, E and F).

    [13] Bernhard Zepter devient chef de la délégation de la Commission à Tokyo

    La Commission européenne a décidé aujourd'hui de muter M. Bernhard Zepter, fonctionnaire de la Commission de nationalité allemande, du Secrétariat général au poste de chef de la délégation de Tokyo, au Japon, qui relève de la direction générale des relations extérieures. M. Zepter travaillera en coopération étroite avec les services compétents du siège de la Commission à Bruxelles en vue d'approfondir les relations politiques, économiques, sociales et commerciales avec le pays hôte.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [14] Adoption of a modified proposal on asylum procedures

    The European Commission has adopted a modified proposal for a Council Directive on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status. The aim of this measure is to introduce a minimum level playing field in the European Union in the short term. For this purpose, it introduces both guarantees for a fair procedure and mechanisms and tools for an efficient procedure. It is a first step towards the objective set by the European Council at Tampere, namely a common procedure. The proposal consists of minimum standards and does not require Member States to apply uniform procedures. Member States retain their national systems, provided they accept certain standards and requirements with respect to the competent authorities and the relevant procedures.

    [15] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de l'agence de publicité américaine Bcom3 par la société française Publicis

    La Commission européenne donne le feu vert, en vertu du règlement sur les concentrations, au projet d'acquisition de l'entreprise américaine de publicité et de marketing Bcom3, par la société française Publicis Groupe SA.

    [16] Commission clears acquisition of DSM Petrochemicals by Saudi firm SABIC

    The European Commission has cleared the acquisition by the Saudi Arabian group SABIC of the petrochemical activities, DSM Petrochemicals, of Dutch group DSM N.V. The acquisition does not give rise to any competition problems given the limited overlaps and the existence of strong competitors.

    [17] Fifty years at the service of peace and prosperity : the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) treaty expires

    The European Coal and Steel Community treaty, the starting point of the European Union as we know it today, will expire on July 23, 2002, fifty years after coming into force. To mark this occasion, the European Commission will launch a series of events to celebrate 50 years of peaceful integration of Europe. In the 1950's Europe was just recovering from World War Two. European countries were trying to emerge from the rubble and to set aside hatred and rivalries. To overcome these divisions, six European countries decided to pool their resources in the coal and steel sector, traditional drivers of the war machine, and to create an international organisation to manage peaceful use of these resources. In Paris on 18 April 1951 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty. Events to mark the expiry of the Treaty will include a special Commission meeting in Luxembourg on June 19, exhibits, concerts and conferences between 23 and 27 June in Luxembourg (where the ECSC had its headquarters), and closing ceremonies in Brussels on July 23. Commissioners attending the events include Mrs Loyola De Palacio (Vice- President, Transport and Energy, Relations with the European Parliament), Mr Philippe Busquin (Research), Mrs Anna Diamantopoulou (Employment and Social Affairs), Mr Erkki Liikanen (Enterprise and Information Society), Mrs Viviane Reding (Education and Culture) and Mrs Michaele Schreyer (Budget).

    [18] Frits Bolkestein welcomes banks' announcement of committee to implement cheaper cross-border payments

    Responding to the announcement by Europe's banks of a European Payments Committee (EPC) to oversee the implementation of the single euro payment area (SEPA), European Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said : "I very much welcome that the banks have responded to the EU Cross-Border Payments Regulation by looking at how they can serve customers better. As a result of the Regulation, customers will enjoy better value cross-border banking services and a better chance to take full advantage of the euro. This is good news for everyone as the holiday season begins." From 1 July, when the relevant provisions in the Cross Border Payments Regulation (see IP/01/1827) enter into force, customers will pay no more to withdraw euros from cash machines or make card payments in other EU countries than they would pay for the same services in their own country. That will mean significant savings for people travelling on holiday and on business.

    [19] L'UE se dote d'une agence pour la sécurité aérienne

    Le Conseil Transports/Télécommunications a adopté formellement, le 18 juin 2002, le règlement créant une agence européenne de sécurité aérienne. Au nom de la Commission européenne, Loyola de Palacio, Vice-Présidente en charge des transports et de l'énergie, s'est félicitée de cet accord : "La sécurité aérienne est une priorité pour l'Europe : la création de l'agence en est une nouvelle preuve". "C'est une étape décisive car nous venons de nous doter de l'instrument indispensable à une véritable politique européenne de sécurité aérienne, qui garantit le plus haut niveau de protection à nos citoyens, tout en permettant à notre industrie de lutter à armes égales dans le monde", a-t-elle expliqué.

    [20] April 2002 - Industrial production down by 0.5% in euro-zone; down by 0.2% in EU15

    Seasonally adjusted industrial production decreased by 0.5% in the euro- zone in April 2002 compared to March 2002, Eurostat estimates today. This follows a rise of 0.5% in March. Output in the EU15 decreased by 0.2% in April 2002, after a gain of 0.3% in March. In April 2002 compared to April 2001, industrial production fell by 1.2% in the euro-zone and by 1.4% in the EU15.

    [21] La Commission présente les nouvelles prévisions sur les marchés agricoles

    Aujourd'hui, la Commission européenne a publié un rapport sur les "Perspectives des marchés agricoles: 2002-2009". D'après les prévisions, les marchés mondiaux devraient sortir d'une phase descendante prolongée. Les perspectives à moyen terme concernant l'Union européenne sont positives, dans l'ensemble, pour la plupart des produits agricoles. En particulier, il est prévu une augmentation continue de la consommation et une "reprise soutenue des exportations de céréales de l'Union", et la production de viande bovine devrait revenir à des niveaux "plus normaux". Inversement, des accords commerciaux préférentiels conclus notamment dans le cadre de l'initiative "Tout sauf les armes" avec les pays les moins avancés devraient avoir un effet dramatique sur le marché du riz européen. De la même manière, les perspectives concernant le seigle ne sont pas bonnes. Le marché du seigle "présenterait un déséquilibre structurel continu", dû en grande partie à ses prix relativement élevés et à l'absence de débouchés.

    [22] Afghanistan : Commission announces €22 million to help refugees go home

    The European Commission has today decided to contribute €22 million to help refugees and internally displaced persons return home in Afghanistan. The programme has two main aims : first to make return to areas outside the major cities possible, by rehabilitating and reconstructing the infrastructure in returnees' places of origin ; second, to support communities during the reintegration process, helping them tackle the consequences of the long-standing conflict, unprecedented drought, and loss of productive assets. The Commission's contribution makes it the primary donor to the "Programme for Reintegration and Community Support in Afghanistan", which will cost €30.7 million in total. The programme will be implemented by a consortium of five European NGOs : Danish Committee for Afghan Refugees - DACAAR, Afghanaid (UK), German Agro Action, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and Healthnet International (NL).

    [23] Commission and Candidate Countries make further progress towards a European "Competition Community" at Vilnius Conference

    Representatives of the Competition and State aid authorities from the 13 candidate countries and from the European Commission, led by Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, have met in Vilnius, Lithuania, from 16 to 18 June, for their Eighth Annual Competition Conference. With the accession negotiations with several countries reaching their final phase, the conference was held at a key moment in the enlargment process. A credible competition policy and enforcement record are of crucial importance for getting the economies of the future Member States in shape and prepare their companies for the EU's internal market, as was pointed out by Mr Monti in his opening address. The main focus of the conference was on the progress achieved by the candidate countries in the field of anti-trust, merger regulation and State aid control in particular, and on how to best organise the future cooperation between the national competition authorities and the European Commission.

    [24] Autre matériel diffusé

    President Prodi's speaking points at press conference on the Seville European Council (18/06)

    Note sur les résultats du Conseil Transports

    Note sur la préparation du Conseil Ecofin (20/06, Séville)

    Expiry of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty: an overview


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


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