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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-01-31

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] Le traité de Nice entre en vigueur : un fondement essentiel pour élargir l'Union européenne
  • [02] Commission opens a detailed probe into a planned joint venture between Celanese and Degussa
  • [03] Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Finnish company Movere in transport logistics
  • [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Lesieur par Saipol
  • [05] Commission clears purchase of Travelodge and Little Chef by Schroder Ventures
  • [06] Commission clears joint control of Foodlasa by Compass and Aldeasa
  • [07] January 2003 : the Business Climate Indicator for the euro area records a slight decrease
  • [08] January 2003 : economic sentiment decreased in both the euro area and the EU
  • [09] Troisième trimestre 2002 : l'UE15 a enregistré un excédent des échanges courants de 21,9 milliards d'€ ; excédent de 7,5 milliards d'€ pour la balance des services
  • [10] Commission proposes new rules for financing EU consumer policy
  • [11] Mission accomplished : Commission winds up humanitarian operations in FYROM
  • [12] Franz Fischler visits Washington
  • [13] Chris Patten to visit Iran, Turkey and Lebanon (02-07/02)
  • [14] Anna Diamantopoulou to contribute to the work of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 31/01/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 31/01/2003

  • [01] Le traité de Nice entre en vigueur : un fondement essentiel pour élargir l'Union européenne

    Le 1er février 2003, le traité de Nice entre en vigueur. Il apporte aux institutions européennes des ajustements qui sont nécessaires aux fins de l'élargissement. Le traité facilitera également la prise de décision au Conseil des ministres. En effet, il établit le passage à la majorité qualifiée pour un certain nombre de domaines d'action dans lesquels l'unanimité était requise. Il prévoit une importante réforme du système juridictionnel de l'Union, afin de faire face à la surcharge de travail de la Cour de justice. Enfin, il améliore la procédure permettant de détecter une violation grave des droits fondamentaux par un Etat membre et de prendre des mesures à son encontre.

    [02] Commission opens a detailed probe into a planned joint venture between Celanese and Degussa

    The European Commission has decided to open a detailed investigation into a proposed joint venture between German companies Celanese AG and Degussa AG into which they will transfer their activities in the area of propylene- based oxo chemicals. Oxo chemicals are primarily used as chemical intermediates, solvents and plasticizers. A preliminary examination has identified competition concerns in a number of markets where the combined entity would have very high market shares.

    [03] Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Finnish company Movere in transport logistics

    The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of joint control of the Finnish company Movere Oy by Hankkija-Maatalous Oy together with Suomen Rehu Oy and Kemira Agro Oy, which currently control Movere. Movere is a logistics services provider with a special focus on the agricultural sector.

    [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Lesieur par Saipol

    La Commission européenne vient d'autoriser l'acquisition de Lesieur par Saipol, deux sociétés françaises actives dans le secteur des huiles alimentaires. L'opération ne soulève pas de problèmes de concurrence étant donné que Céréol, qui détient 100% du capital de Lesieur, a déjà une participation de contrôle dans Saipol.

    [05] Commission clears purchase of Travelodge and Little Chef by Schroder Ventures

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of control of certain businesses of Compass Group Plc., namely the Travelodge hotel chain and Little Chef roadside caterer, both in the UK, by Permira Europe II Managers LP controlled by Schroder Ventures Ltd. (The operation, notified on 18 December 2002, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [06] Commission clears joint control of Foodlasa by Compass and Aldeasa

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition by the Spanish subsidiary of Compass Group PLC of a stake in Foodlasa S.L., a Spanish company active in the concession foodservice sector. Foodlasa is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aldeasa S.A. As a result of the operation, Compass Group Holdings Spain S.L. and Aldeasa will have joint control of Foodlasa. (The operation, notified on 19 December 2002, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [07] January 2003 : the Business Climate Indicator for the euro area records a slight decrease

    The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area decreased by 0.05 percentage points between December and January, reaching a value of -0.29. This follows the slight increase in the indicator over the previous four months, reflecting the current hesitating economic recovery. This decrease was driven by the negative assessment of production expectations. The other components of the indicator, such as production trends in the recent past, stocks of finished products, total order books and export order books remained unchanged.

    [08] January 2003 : economic sentiment decreased in both the euro area and the EU

    The European Commission's Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) in the euro area recorded a slight decrease by 0.2 percentage points in January, reaching a value of 98.4. In the EU, the indicator continued its trend decline, falling by 0.3 percentage points to a value of 98.6. The deterioration affected almost all components of the ESI. In particular, the balance of the industrial confidence indicator declined by 1 point for both the euro area and the EU, after recording a moderate improvement in previous months. Moreover, the consumer and retail trade confidence indicator continued their downward movement of previous months. Only the construction confidence indicator moved in the opposite direction, but its improvement by 1 point could not offset the worsening in the other components.

    [09] Troisième trimestre 2002 : l'UE15 a enregistré un excédent des échanges courants de 21,9 milliards d'€ ; excédent de 7,5 milliards d'€ pour la balance des services

    Selon les dernières révisions publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat, la balance des opérations courantes de l'UE15 avec les pays tiers a enregistré un excédent de 21,9 milliards d'€ durant le troisième trimestre 2002, comparé à un déficit de 0,5 milliard d'€ au troisième trimestre 2001 et à un excédent de 10,1 milliards d'€ au second trimestre 2002. Au cours du troisième trimestre 2002, la balance des services extra-UE15 a enregistré un excédent de 7,5 milliards d'€, comparé à un excédent de 0,9 milliard d'€ durant le troisième trimestre 2001 et à un excédent de 6,9 milliards d'€ durant le deuxième trimestre 2002.

    [10] Commission proposes new rules for financing EU consumer policy

    The European Commission today adopted a legislative proposal to update the EU's rules on the financing of its consumer policy activities. The current framework for financing consumer policy actions European Parliament and Council Decision 283/1999/EC needs to be modified to bring it into line with the priorities of the Consumer Policy Strategy for 2002-2006 (see IP/02/657) and the financial reforms being brought in by the Commission (see IP/02/929). The Commission is proposing to spend €18 million a year on consumer policy actions. These will include actions for policy development and monitoring of implementation, such as the RAPEX rapid alert system on product safety, actions to be jointly financed by the Commission and Member States, such as the European Consumer Centres Network and the consumer dispute settlement network EEJ-Net, operational grants for activities of European consumer organisations and project grants. For more information on all these activities see: http://europa.eu.int/comm/consumers/index_en.html. A report adopted by the Commission at the same time as its proposal for a new Decision gives an overview and an evaluation of the Commission's consumer policy actions in the period 1999-2001.

    [11] Mission accomplished : Commission winds up humanitarian operations in FYROM

    The Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission (ECHO) is ending its activities in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) after almost ten years of activity. Between 1993 and 2003, ECHO allocated more than €110 million in humanitarian aid spent in sectors such as health, water and sanitation and rehabilitation. "ECHO has assisted the victims of various conflicts affecting FYROM over the past decade, always responding flexibly to developments in the humanitarian situation", declared Poul Nielson, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid. "Thankfully, the emergency is now over and the people can look ahead to a brighter future." The Commission is continuing to provide longer-term assistance to FYROM through other available instruments and services.

    [12] Franz Fischler visits Washington

    From 3 to 5 February, European Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler will pay an official visit to the United States. "With the WTO agriculture negotiations entering a crucial stage, the EU and the US have to work closely together. Let there be no mistake. Agriculture is a key issue in these negotiations. This is why the EU and the US have to intensify their cooperation in order to move the Doha process forward. We are in the same boat. We both subsidise our farm sector. We are both strongly committed to make the Doha Development Agenda a success. This won't happen without having the developing countries on board. We shouldn't waste our energy criticising each other. We should rather join forces for a fair burden sharing in liberalising farm trade, while giving the developing countries a radically better deal. My visit to Washington will also be a good opportunity to present the Commission proposals to overhaul the EU farm subsidy system to give our farmers, consumers and taxpayers better value for money. Our reform blueprint will also make our farm policy much less trade distorting. I am also keen to hear from my American friends how they intend to reconcile their trade distorting Farm Bill with their WTO agriculture proposal", Mr Fischler said ahead of his visit.

    [13] Chris Patten to visit Iran, Turkey and Lebanon (02-07/02)

    European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will travel to Iran, Turkey and Lebanon in the first week of February. The objective of the trip is to discuss international and regional developments, as well as the EU's bilateral relationship with each of the countries concerned. In Iran, the Commissioner will meet President Mohammad Khatami, and Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi as well as other senior members of the government, for discussions on bilateral relations between Iran and the EU as well as the situation in Iran's neighbours, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the continuing crisis in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On Wednesday the 5th February he will launch the second round of the EU-Iran negotiations for a Trade and Co-operation Agreement. In Turkey Mr Patten will meet Prime Minister Abdullah Gül and Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, among other leading figures. Discussions will focus on Turkey's efforts to lead dialogue among Islamic partners on the situation in Iraq, and Turkey's aspiration to membership of the EU. In Lebanon, the Commissioner will meet Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, President Emile Lahoud and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahmoud Hammoud among others to discuss Lebanon's relationship with the EU through its newly ratified Association Agreement as well as developments in the Middle East. On the eve of his visit Commissioner Patten said : "It is very important that at this testing moment for the international community, we do not allow a 'clash of civilisations' to develop. Europe's history is intertwined with the Islamic world. Commitment to peace, the fight against terrorism and the quest for stability should be values shared between the great cultures of Europe and the Middle East. I hope during this trip to underline our common ground."

    [14] Anna Diamantopoulou to contribute to the work of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation

    The World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation (World Commission) was established by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in February 2002. The European Commission strongly supported this development and, as a measure of its ongoing support, has organised an interactive seminar on the social dimension of globalisation, taking place in Brussels on February 3 and 4, 2003. This event will allow the views of the main stakeholders to be presented on how the European model is addressing social and economic change, as well as the challenges and consequences of globalisation.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Poul Nielson : "Towards sustainable agriculture for developing countries: options from life sciences and biotechnologies"

    Speech by Pascal Lamy : "The Doha Round: Assessment and Prospects in the European Perspective" à la Getulio Vargas Foundation, Center for Studies on International Economy (30/01, Rio de Janeiro)

    Calendrier du 2 au 8 février


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


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