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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-07-14

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] Sécurité routière : la Commission veut renforcer la sécurité des véhicules automobiles dès 2006
  • [02] La Commission se félicite de la nomination du Directeur exécutif de l'Agence Européenne de la Sécurité Aérienne
  • [03] Excise duties : Commission calls on Germany to tax "hand made" cigarettes properly
  • [04] Internal Market : Commission moves against 13 Member States for failure to implement EU legislation
  • [05] Don't take tobacco lightly : infringement proceedings against Austria, Italy and Luxembourg
  • [06] Commission takes four Member States to Court over protection of laying hens
  • [07] Directive sur les garanties : la Commission intente une action en justice à l'encontre de la Belgique, de l'Espagne, de la France et du Luxembourg
  • [08] Commission approves merger between Konica and Minolta subject to commitments
  • [09] Labour Force Survey Spring 2002 : Employment rate in the EU up from 63.9% in 2001 to 64.2% in 2002 ; one man in two aged 55-64 in employment
  • [10] Monthly note on the Euro-denominated Bond Markets (June 2003)
  • [11] EU-Mercosur : Commission tables offer on government procurement
  • [12] Erkki Liikanen and Mario Monti ready to take up new tasks in telecommunications policy
  • [13] Chris Patten to meet US Secretary of State Colin Powell and to address academic community
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 14/07/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 14/07/2003

  • [01] Sécurité routière : la Commission veut renforcer la sécurité des véhicules automobiles dès 2006

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui une proposition de directive qui établit de nouvelles dispositions techniques pour le secteur automobile en vue d'accroître la sécurité routière. Ces mesures concernent principalement les véhicules utilitaires (camionnettes, camions, remorques…) et les autocars. Parmi les dispositifs rendus obligatoires qui auront le plus d'impact sur la sécurité routière, figurent l'ABS (anti- blocage des roues au moment du freinage), de nouveaux rétroviseurs plus performants, la signalisation lumineuse renforcée, les dispositifs de protection latérale, etc. Autre facette de cette proposition, les autobus et les autocars devront obligatoirement être conçus pour offrir un accès aisé aux personnes à mobilité réduite. Jusqu'à présent, seules les voitures devaient se conformer à des normes de construction harmonisées au sein de l'Union européenne ; à partir de 2006, toutes les catégories de véhicules seront concernées. Ces normes s'appliqueront aux nouveaux véhicules. Au total, chaque année, plus de 2 millions de véhicules utilitaires devront se conformer à ces nouvelles dispositions. Elles viendront renforcer le fonctionnement du marché intérieur et simplifieront grandement les procédures d'homologation et d'immatriculation des véhicules.

    [02] La Commission se félicite de la nomination du Directeur exécutif de l'Agence Européenne de la Sécurité Aérienne

    Lors de sa réunion tenue à Bruxelles le 11 juillet 2003, le Conseil d'administration de l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne a nommé, sur proposition de la Commission européenne, M. Patrick Goudou, Directeur exécutif de l'Agence. Loyola de Palacio, Vice-Présidente de la Commission en charge de l'Energie et des Transports a déclaré : "Cette nomination contribuera grandement à rendre l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne un acteur crédible et efficace dans ce domaine. Le Directeur exécutif fera notamment en sorte, dans les prochains mois, que l'Agence puisse prendre la place qui lui revient dans la communauté aérienne internationale."

    [03] Excise duties : Commission calls on Germany to tax "hand made" cigarettes properly

    The European Commission has called on Germany to stop applying a lower rate of duty to rolls of tobacco from which consumers can make their own cigarettes. The Commission believes this practice to breach the Excise Directives applicable which require these products to be taxed like cigarettes. The official request takes the form of a reasoned opinion, which is the second stage in the infringement procedure laid down by Article 226 of the Treaty. If a satisfactory response is not forthcoming within two months of receipt of the reasoned opinion, the Commission may decide to take the matter to the Court of Justice.

    [04] Internal Market : Commission moves against 13 Member States for failure to implement EU legislation

    The European Commission has decided to pursue infringement procedures against thirteen Member States for failure to implement or for implementing incorrectly in national law various Internal Market Directives and EC Treaty obligations. The Commission will formally ask Belgium, Germany, Spain, Greece, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Sweden and the UK to implement quickly the necessary legislation in a total of 16 cases covering Directives on copyright and exchange of securities markets information, along with the Second Postal Services Directive. The Commission has also decided to request Greece to amend its legislation in order to implement correctly the First Postal Services Directive. These requests will take the form of "reasoned opinions", the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. Should a Member State which has received a reasoned opinion fail to give a satisfactory reply within the deadline (usually two months), the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice. In addition, the Commission has decided, under Article 228 of the EC Treaty, to send further reasoned opinions requesting France and Ireland to comply immediately with judgements of the European Court of Justice, requiring France to implement EU law on product liability and Ireland to ratify the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works (Paris Act, 1971). If the countries concerned do not comply, the Commission can ask the Court to impose daily fines.

    [05] Don't take tobacco lightly : infringement proceedings against Austria, Italy and Luxembourg

    The European Commission has sent 'Reasoned Opinions' to the governments of Austria, Italy and Luxembourg over their failure to implement the Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC). They should have done so by 30 September 2002 at the latest. The Directive on the sale, marketing and manufacturing of tobacco products is one of the most effective pieces of European legislation in the fight against tobacco consumption. It sets out rules based on scientific advice on key issues such as additives, addictive substances, health warnings and misleading claims. It also reduces the maximum levels of tar, carbon monoxide and nicotine in cigarettes (see also IP/01/702 and IP/02/1383). The sending of a 'Reasoned Opinion' is the second step in infringement proceedings under Article 226 of the EU Treaty. If the Member States still do not implement the Directive the next step for the Commission will be to lodge cases against them with the European Court of Justice.

    [06] Commission takes four Member States to Court over protection of laying hens

    The European Commission decided to refer Austria, Belgium, Greece and Italy to the European Court of Justice over their apparent failure to implement the 1999 Directive setting out the minimum standards for the protection of laying hens (1999/74/EC). All Member States were obliged to implement the Directive in national law by 1 January 2002 and notify the Commission of the measures taken. The Member States concerned received a "reasoned opinion" in January 2003 but have still failed to implement the Directive, which is why the Commission has now decided to take them to the European Court of Justice.

    [07] Directive sur les garanties : la Commission intente une action en justice à l'encontre de la Belgique, de l'Espagne, de la France et du Luxembourg

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'intenter une action à l'encontre de la Belgique, de l'Espagne, de la France et du Luxembourg devant la Cour européenne de Justice pour non-transposition partielle de la directive sur les garanties des biens de consommation (1999/44/CE). Cette directive, adoptée en mai 1999 (voir IP/99/332), accorde un ensemble minimum de droits légaux aux consommateurs achetant des biens sur le territoire de l'Union européenne, dont celui de renvoyer les biens présentant des défauts ou de demander leur réparation ou leur remplacement dans les deux ans qui suivent la livraison. Les Etats membres étaient tenus de transposer la directive avant le 1er janvier 2002. En janvier 2003, la Commission a adressé un avis motivé aux huit Etats membres qui n'avaient pas encore informé la Commission des mesures adoptées en droit national pour mettre en œuvre la directive (voir IP/03/3). Quatre de ces huit Etats membres ont désormais transposé la directive dans sa totalité, mais, d'une part, les mesures notifiées par l'Espagne à la Commission ne transposent la directive que partiellement et, d'autre part, la Belgique, la France et le Luxembourg n'ont encore pris aucune disposition pour transposer la directive. Un arrêt de la Cour contre les Etats membres les contraindra à prendre les mesures nécessaires ou à s'exposer à des sanctions financières.

    [08] Commission approves merger between Konica and Minolta subject to commitments

    The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Minolta by Konica, two Japanese manufacturers of cameras, photocopiers and other imaging products. The Commission had concerns that the deal might create a dominant position in the market for photometers, which are devices used by professional photographers to measure light exposure. But Konica offered to divest its approximately 40% stake in Sekonic, a Japanese manufacturer of photometers, which removes the competition concerns.

    [09] Labour Force Survey Spring 2002 : Employment rate in the EU up from 63.9% in 2001 to 64.2% in 2002 ; one man in two aged 55-64 in employment

    According to Eurostat, in Spring 2002, 163.0 million people had a job in the EU, 1.7 million more than in Spring 2001. The corresponding employment rate rose from 63.9% in 2001 to 64.2% in 2002. The employment rate of women increased from 54.8% to 55.5%. In the Acceding Countries, 28.9 million people had a job in spring 2002, corresponding to an employment rate of 56.1%. The employment rate for women was 50.3%. In spring 2002, the highest employment rates were observed in Denmark (76.4%), the Netherlands (74.5%), Sweden (74.0%) and the United Kingdom (71.5%), and the lowest in Italy (55.4%), Greece (56.9%), Spain (58.4%) and Belgium (59.7%).

    [10] Monthly note on the Euro-denominated Bond Markets (June 2003)

    Expectations of further monetary easing remained in the market even after the ECB's 50 basis points rate cut on 5 June. Following a month-long rally, euro-area benchmark bonds reached their lowest level so far in mid June (with the 10-year yield just below 3.5%), before growing concern about a bond market bubble on both sides of the Atlantic induced some selling-off in the second half of the month. Total issuance of euro-denominated bonds in June amounted to €165 billion compared to €178 billion in May. The composition of issuance compared to the 12 previous months was characterised by a below-average share of central government bonds, while the share of corporate bonds increased. Other notable characteristics of issuance in June were an increased share of single-A rated bonds versus a reduced share of triple-A bonds and a shift from sort to long maturities. Full document and statistical annex available on : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/publications/bondmarkets_en.htm

    [11] EU-Mercosur : Commission tables offer on government procurement

    In the on-going talks between the EU and Mercosur for the conclusion of an Association Agreement, the European Commission has tabled its offer on public procurement. This move intends to inject dynamism in the negotiations, further to the last round of negotiations held in Asunción (Paraguay) between 23 and 27 June 2003. Government procurement was not discussed in Asuncion, contrary to the agreed work programme, given the absence of a Mercosur offer. European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said : "We have made ambitious proposals to open our market for trade in goods and in services and to create rules on investments, to which we now add government procurement. This is a clear a sign of our commitment to move full steam ahead. I hope Mercosur tables its proposal soon, so that we inject new dynamism in the negotiations."

    [12] Erkki Liikanen and Mario Monti ready to take up new tasks in telecommunications policy

    With ten more days to go before the 25 July date for the transposition of the new Framework Directive for electronic communications networks and services, European Commissioners Erkki Liikanen (Enterprise and the Information Society) and Mario Monti (Competition) will host a workshop on 15 July in Brussels. This workshop will focus on the Commission's oversight role under Article 7 of the Framework Directive. It will present the Commission's preparations regarding the procedures envisaged for notifications of intended measures by Member States' regulators under Article 7. Tomorrow's workshop will be open to anyone with an interest in how this consultation will work in practice, in particular service providers and public authorities. In the afternoon, a special meeting is scheduled with the relevant authorities, in particular the national regulatory authorities, the national competition authorities and ministries.

    [13] Chris Patten to meet US Secretary of State Colin Powell and to address academic community

    European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will travel to the US from 14 to 20 July. His first stop will be Washington to meet on 15 July with Secretary of State Colin Powell and other senior US Administration officials. At these meetings Commissioner Patten will discuss security and economic issues of mutual interest and concern as well as the reconstruction of Iraq, progress in the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) and Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. On 16 July Commissioner Patten will travel to San Francisco to participate in the Board Meeting and give a speech at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and to participate at Bohemian Groves.

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Romano Prodi : "The European and African Unions" at the African Union Summit (11/07, Maputo)

    Speech by Chris Patten : "Current and future trends of the human rights' agenda" at special Seminar with NGOs

    Note sur la préparation du Conseil Ecofin


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


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