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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-02-27

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] Latest Commission report on car prices in the European Union
  • [02] La Commission adopte un nouveau règlement exemptant certaines catégories d'accords dans le secteur de l'assurance
  • [03] Blood safety Directive entered into force
  • [04] Commission supports visionary research
  • [05] The North and South Poles, indicators of global climate change: Commission presents the latest polar research
  • [06] Commission presents the state of play of ITER project
  • [07] Foreign Sales Corporations : Commission submits to Member States draft list of products that could be subject to countermeasures
  • [08] Lac Victoria : la Commission alloue 30 millions d'€ pour soutenir la gestion durable des pêches
  • [09] Sri Lanka : Commission funding plans 2003-2005
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 27/02/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 27/02/2003

  • [01] Latest Commission report on car prices in the European Union

    The latest report on car prices released by the European Commission shows that price differentials for new cars are still substantial, although some convergence is taking place, particularly within the euro zone. The situation as of 1 November 2002 shows that many European consumers can still make significant savings by buying their cars in other Member States and that competition and cross-border trade have not yet brought about significant price convergence. Car prices before taxes are the lowest in Denmark, Greece and the Netherlands. Prices in Germany, the biggest market, and Austria, remain among the highest within the euro zone. The UK remains the most expensive market in the European Union.

    [02] La Commission adopte un nouveau règlement exemptant certaines catégories d'accords dans le secteur de l'assurance

    La Commission européenne a adopté un règlement d'application des règles de concurrence qui autorise, à certaines conditions, des catégories spécifiques d'accords de coopération entre les entreprises d'assurance. Les accords couverts incluent l'établissement de conditions-types d'assurance non contraignantes, l'échange d'informations statistiques aux fins du calcul des risques et la création de pools d'assurance. Le nouveau règlement d'exemption a été avalisé au terme d'une consultation approfondie des Etats membres et des parties intéressées. Il améliore un règlement actuellement en vigueur, qui expirera à la fin du mois de mars.

    [03] Blood safety Directive entered into force

    The Directive which sets EU-wide quality and safety standards for the collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution of human blood and blood components entered into force with its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union on 8 February. The measures put in place comprehensive and legally binding standards for blood and blood products from donor to patient and for related medical applications (see IP/02/1919). They aim to prevent blood contamination scandals similar to those that have occurred in some EU countries in the past. This is the first time that the new EU competence in public health policy making, introduced in the Amsterdam Treaty, has been used to bring forward legislation. Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne said : "This directive is an excellent example of how the EU can play a positive role in protecting and improving public health for European citizens." The deadline for the transposition of the directive into national law by EU Member States is 8 February 2005.

    [04] Commission supports visionary research

    Today the European Commission published the first call for proposals for research on "new and emerging science and technology" (NEST), under the 6th EU Research Framework Programme (2003-2006). The €215 million NEST action opens the possibility for the Commission to finance research at the frontiers of knowledge in areas suggested by researchers themselves, with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary research. The present call for proposals concerns Adventure projects, which aim at developing promising new avenues for science, and Insight projects, addressing scientific discoveries that might entail risks or problems for society.

    [05] The North and South Poles, indicators of global climate change: Commission presents the latest polar research

    On 28 February, the European Commission will present the latest climate change research on board the "Polarstern" research vessel in Bremerhaven (Germany). The "European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica" (EPICA), the "Arctic Ice Cover Simulation Experiment" (AICSEX) and "Pole - Ocean Pole" (POP) project analyse polar ice, ocean sediments and the Arctic ice cover to study climate change. "Ice cores" deep underground or underwater store key substances, which can help explain how and why climate has changed in the last decades, and contribute to making more accurate predictions of future changes. The oldest ice ever found was recently extracted from over 3,000 metres underground in Antarctica. It can provide key information about past and future climate conditions.

    [06] Commission presents the state of play of ITER project

    On 26 February in Brussels European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin presented the status of the international negotiations relating to the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) research project on nuclear fusion energy. A significant step has been achieved with the entry into negotiations of the People's Republic of China and the comeback of the United States of America. Participants to the negotiations will have to identify the ITER site from among the four current candidate sites. Further details on the most important questions relating to the ITER Negotiations will be published in a Communication that the Commission will present to the Council at its meeting on 12 May 2003.

    [07] Foreign Sales Corporations : Commission submits to Member States draft list of products that could be subject to countermeasures

    On 26 February, the European Commission has communicated to EU Member States a revised draft list of products that could be subject to countermeasures in the FSC case. The list has been prepared on the basis of comments received from economic operators following the public consultation launched in September and it covers products in the amount of US$ 4 billion, as awarded by the WTO last August. Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said : "The EU's objective remains to ensure the repeal of this WTO-incompatible legislation. We are encouraged by President Bush's proposal for such a repeal in his budget for fiscal year 2004. In the meantime the EU is following the necessary procedural steps to launch countermeasures if the compliance process does not deliver swift results."

    [08] Lac Victoria : la Commission alloue 30 millions d'€ pour soutenir la gestion durable des pêches

    La Commission européenne a approuvé un programme, doté de 29,9 millions d'€, conçu pour aider le Kenya, la Tanzanie et l'Ouganda à mettre en oeuvre des mesures de gestion des pêches sur le Lac Victoria. Appelé à être exécuté sur une période de cinq ans (2003-2007), ce programme est l'expression concrète du soutien accordé à un plan de gestion des pêches (PGP) qui vise à maintenir et à préserver les ressources halieutiques du Lac. Le programme est conçu plus particulièrement pour aider les trois pays en cause à surveiller les captures et à appliquer des mesures destinées à contrer la pêche illégale. Commentant cette décision, M. Poul Nielson, commissaire chargé du développement et de l'aide humanitaire a indiqué : "Je salue tout particulièrement ce programme, qui montre comment conjuguer développement, environnement et politique commerciale, à un niveau régional, au service d'une croissance économique durable. Cette croissance économique est indispensable pour contribuer à réduire la pauvreté en Afrique. Le programme en question constituera un apport important dans l'effort visant à éviter la surexploitation, à protéger l'environnement et à améliorer la qualité et les normes sanitaires du poisson".

    [09] Sri Lanka : Commission funding plans 2003-2005

    The European Commission adopted its Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for 2003- 2006 and its National Indicative Programme (NIP) for 2003-2005. Over the next three years an indicative sum of €16.8 million has been earmarked for Sri Lanka to finance the EU cooperation strategy. The NIP outlines activities to be supported, on the basis of priorities set out in the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2003-2006, namely Rural Development, support for post-conflict activities and trade development, promotion of business and institutional links and assistance to the redevelopment of the Sri Lankan domestic airline system.

    [10] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de M. Prodi à l'occasion du lancement de la campagne d'adhésion en Hongrie (Budapest)

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


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