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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-09-22

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] La Commission propose des mesures en vue de protéger les eaux souterraines contre la pollution
  • [02] Indoor air pollution : new EU research reveals higher risks than previously thought
  • [03] Passage à la radiodiffusion numérique
  • [04] Enregistrement de trois dénominations de produits agricoles
  • [05] Commission clears Trelleborg acquisition of Smiths's polymer sealing solutions business
  • [06] Commission clears Amex acquisition of asset manager Threadneedle
  • [07] Commission clears Vestar acquisition of Italy's Selenia
  • [08] Electronic Communications : The New Radio Spectrum Policy Group elects a chair and a vice-chair and agrees on a work programme to meet challenges ahead
  • [09] "Welcome home, Latvia!" (21/09)
  • [10] EU Cohesion Policy in Malta : negotiations of the Single Programming Document start today in Valetta
  • [11] EU seeks retaliatory and protective measures in US 1916 Anti-Dumping Act dispute
  • [12] Further €50 million for Afghanistan : EU pledge at Afghanistan Donors Conference in Dubai
  • [13] Chris Patten at the General Assembly of the UN
  • [14] Les réseaux de l'UE contribuent à la sûreté des centrales nucléaires européennes
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 22/09/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 22/09/2003

  • [01] La Commission propose des mesures en vue de protéger les eaux souterraines contre la pollution

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui une proposition de directive visant à protéger les eaux souterraines contre la pollution. La directive proposée améliorera radicalement la qualité des eaux souterraines d'Europe. Elle prévoit l'instauration d'exigences de surveillance et d'objectifs de qualité imposant aux Etats membres de surveiller et d'évaluer la qualité des eaux souterraines et d'inverser les tendances à la pollution de ces eaux.

    [02] Indoor air pollution : new EU research reveals higher risks than previously thought

    Do you really know what you are breathing when sitting at home ? Europeans spend 90% of their time indoors. But closed environments are not always the healthiest. The latest studies on human exposure to indoor pollution, released today by the European Commission at its Joint Research Centre (JRC) facilities in Ispra (Italy), reveal that indoor environments pose their own threats to health and, in some cases, can be at least twice as polluting as outdoor environments. Hundreds of volatile components have been detected and some of them are toxic, mutagenic or carcinogenic. The number of potential sources is enormous. For instance, up to 20% of Europeans suffer from asthma due to substances inhaled indoor. Tobacco smoke, asbestos, radon and benzene released inside buildings are prime suspects in the increase in cancer cases amongst the European population. The Commission is therefore developing sophisticated analytical methods to provide for a fingerprint of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Measurements are carried out, inter alia, at the EU INDOORTRON "environmental chamber", and through a network of labs across Europe.

    [03] Passage à la radiodiffusion numérique

    Sur l'initiative d'Erkki Liikanen, commissaire européen chargé des entreprises et de la société de l'information, la Commission a adopté une Communication sur la transition vers la radiodiffusion numérique. Cette Communication aborde une question essentielle pour les Etats membres dans leur évolution vers la société de l'information : quelle approche adopter pour la migration vers la radiodiffusion numérique ? La Communication soulève également une question d'ordre stratégique pour l'UE : la réutilisation future du spectre radioélectrique actuellement utilisé pour la télévision analogique.

    [04] Enregistrement de trois dénominations de produits agricoles

    La Commission européenne a ajouté trois dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires à la liste des indications géographiques protégées (IGP), appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et spécialités traditionnelles garanties (STG). Les dénominations sont : Clementine del Golfo di Taranto (fruit - Italie - IGP), Mela Val di Non (fruit - Italie - AOP) et Clementinas de las Tierras del Ebro (fruit - Espagne - IGP). Les trois dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste des produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur internet, voir: http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_fr.htm

    [05] Commission clears Trelleborg acquisition of Smiths's polymer sealing solutions business

    The European Commission has approved the acquisition by the Swedish industrial group Trelleborg of the polymer sealing solutions business of the UK-based company Smiths. The overlap identified in the market of pipe seals does not raise competition concerns.

    [06] Commission clears Amex acquisition of asset manager Threadneedle

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquistion of full control of the UK-based holding company Threadneedle Asset Management Holdings Limited by American Express Financial Corporation (AEFC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Express Company. (The operation, notified on 18 August 2003, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure).

    [07] Commission clears Vestar acquisition of Italy's Selenia

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquistion of FL Selenia S.p.A., an Italian maker of automotive and industrial lubricants, among other things, by US private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners, Inc. (The operation, notified on 19 August 2003, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure).

    [08] Electronic Communications : The New Radio Spectrum Policy Group elects a chair and a vice-chair and agrees on a work programme to meet challenges ahead

    Following the inaugural meeting of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group on 17 January 2003, a second meeting of the RSPG took place on 19 September 2003. Mr J.A. Andersen, Director-General of the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency as elected as its chairperson and Mr M. Goddard, Director of Spectrum and International Policy in the UK's Radiocommunications Agency, as vice-chairperson. The Group also agreed to issue in 2004 Opinions on the secondary trading of rights to use radio spectrum, on the spectrum implications of the switchover to digital broadcasting and on the EU issues at stake at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2007.

    [09] "Welcome home, Latvia!" (21/09)

    With a clear majority in favour of joining the European Union in 2004, the citizens of Latvia successfully sealed the cycle of referenda on accession which took place in the future new Member States. "The citizens of nine countries have spoken and voiced a strong YES for the European integration, which should encourage all of us to work even harder in uniting the continent", underlined the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi. With a reference to the positive outcome of the referendum in Latvia on 20 September, he added : "We are happy and proud that Latvian citizens decided to join the European Union as well. They will bring their own experiences, talents and good will into our European family." The outcome of the referendum in Latvia, after intense and hard years of transformation, to become a modern and inclusive democracy and a functioning market economy shows the strong determination on the part of Latvian citizens to safeguard the independence and prosperity of their country within the family of democratic European nations. "Today is a great day for all Europeans", Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen emphasized. "We welcome a country that naturally belongs to us and we trust, that Latvia as the others future Member States, will enrich and strenghten the European Union. Welcome home, Latvia!"

    [10] EU Cohesion Policy in Malta : negotiations of the Single Programming Document start today in Valetta

    The European Commission today announced the launching of the first round of negotiations with Malta on future Structural Funds assistance. Negotiations start today in Valetta. They will aim at reaching an agreement on the Single Programming Document (SPD), the document containing the strategy and priorities for action under Objective 1 of the Structural Funds for the years 2004 to 2006. In a letter addressed to Mr Joseph R. Grima, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister, responsible for the Regional Policy Directorate, Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, set out the main lines of the Commission position on the draft Single Programming Document submitted by Malta.

    [11] EU seeks retaliatory and protective measures in US 1916 Anti-Dumping Act dispute

    Three years after the US Anti-Dumping Act of 1916 was found incompatible with WTO rules, the European Union is still waiting for concrete signs that the US will repeal its condemned legislation. Confronted with persisting inaction, the EU has decided to reactivate the arbitration process that will decide on retaliatory measures. The European Commission has also proposed to the Council the adoption of appropriate measures to protect the EU companies affected by the application of the 1916 Anti-Dumping Act. Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy commented : "The EU considers retaliatory measures as last resort and has given the US more than enough time to comply with the WTO decision in this dispute. Time has come for the US to show diligence and commitment to its WTO obligations. The sign that international trade law will simply be ignored is very disturbing and cannot go unchallenged. I hope that our move will give the impetus for immediate action by Congress to repeal the 1916 Anti-Dumping Act and terminate all pending cases."

    [12] Further €50 million for Afghanistan : EU pledge at Afghanistan Donors Conference in Dubai

    At the Afghanistan donors meeting in Dubai 21st September, the European Commission announced its intention to make a further €50 million available to the country, in particular, to promote security in Afghanistan. The donors meeting was held in the margins of the IMF/ WB annual meetings, and was chaired by the Afghan Transitional Authority. Security is the single biggest challenge facing Afghanistan today, and the current difficulties impact on both physical and political reconstruction. The Commission will propose a package of €50 million to support the Afghan police. This would enhance the sizeable contribution already made by EU Member States to security through providing troops to ISAF ; through Provincial Reconstruction Teams ; and through their contribution to training the Afghan National Army. The €50 million package is proposed in addition to the €400 million already committed to reconstruction in 2003-04.

    [13] Chris Patten at the General Assembly of the UN

    European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will be in New York this week for a series of political dialogue meetings in the margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). As part of the EU Troika, Mr Patten will meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and a number of partner countries and regional organisations, including Japan, China and, Sri Lanka, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and political groupings representing South and Central American countries. In addition, he will meet respectively with Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov together with the Foreign Ministers of all present and acceding EU Member States. Mr Patten will also participate at a dinner for Foreign Ministers of the G8, at a meeting of the "Quartet" on the Middle East, and at a meeting of the "Friends of Afghanistan" and a Troika meeting with the President of the Governing Council of Iraq, Mr. Ahmed Chalabi. On a bilateral basis, Commissioner Patten will meet with the Foreign Ministers of a number of countries, including Abdullah Gul of Turkey and Carolina Barco of Colombia. In parallel, Mr Patten will be discussing with senior UN officials bilateral EU-UN cooperation along the lines suggested in the recently approved Commission Communication on EU-EN relations. The Communication reaffirms the EU commitment to multilateralism as a central principle of the EU's foreign policy. It also contains proposals to strengthen the UN system and puts forward a series of concrete ways of improving the way the EU engages with the different bodies and agencies of the UN system.

    [14] Les réseaux de l'UE contribuent à la sûreté des centrales nucléaires européennes

    A mesure que les 150 réacteurs électronucléaires d'Europe vieillissent, le maintien d'un haut niveau de sûreté est une question essentielle pour l'industrie et les décideurs politiques. Le Centre commun de recherche (CCR) de la Commission européenne a dirigé pendant dix ans un réseau de collaboration entre les principaux acteurs européens dans la recherche et développement (R&D) concernant la sûreté des centrales électronucléaires vieillissantes. Le séminaire sur la "mise en réseau pour une recherche et développement efficace", qui se tiendra à l'Institut de l'énergie du CCR à Petten (Pays-Bas) les 22 et 23 septembre 2003 sera consacré aux activités futures de mise en réseau aux fins de la gestion du cycle de vie des centrales nucléaires. La Commission assure la coordination de grands réseaux de travaux sur le vieillissement des matériaux mis en œuvre dans les centrales électronucléaires (AMES), dans le domaine des inspections et de la qualification (ENIQ), de l'évaluation de l'intégrité structurelle des composants (NESC), de l'application des techniques de diffraction neutronique (NET) et de la sûreté des centrales nucléaires de type est- européen (SENUF). Tous ces réseaux font partie du projet SAFELIFE du CCR sur la sûreté des centrales électronucléaires vieillissantes. Ces initiatives abordent des questions telles que l'amélioration de la sûreté des réacteurs nucléaires en Europe orientale, la vérification de la capacité des installations nucléaires vieillissantes à supporter les accidents, et la prévention des fissures et des fuites.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Franz Fischler : "Landwirtschaft und die Entwicklungsländer" at the informal Agriculture Council (Taormina)

    Speech by David Byrne : "Food safety and third countries" at the informal Agriculture Council (Taormina)


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


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