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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-11-11

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] European Growth Initiative : Commission tables final proposal to EU leaders
  • [02] Création d'une agence européenne de gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures
  • [03] EU space policy ready for lift-off : Commission adopts Space Action Plan
  • [04] Education et formation : l'urgence des réformes pour réussir Lisbonne
  • [05] La Commission approuve sans conditions la concentration SEB/Moulinex en Espagne, Finlande, Irlande, Italie et Royaume-uni
  • [06] Drought : Commission proposes lower set-aside to stabilise EU grain market
  • [07] Commission probes measures for professional sports clubs in Italy ('Salva calcio')
  • [08] Commission approves aid to the Greek Post
  • [09] La Commission autorise des "mesures de défense temporaires" en faveur de la construction navale espagnole
  • [10] Commission approves UK Waste and Resource Action Programme
  • [11] Commission invites interested parties to submit comments on Rotterdam- Ruhr propylene pipeline project
  • [12] Commission authorises aid for large-scale investment project in the milk sector in Germany
  • [13] Commission authorises drought aid for agriculture and fish farms in Germany
  • [14] Adoption d'un régime des contrats de filière en Italie
  • [15] Italie : la Commission approuve une aide régionale à la restructuration du transport routier de marchandises et au développement du transport combiné
  • [16] Discriminatory charges on vessels : Commission presses ahead with proceedings against Finland
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [17] La Commission approuve l'acquisition de Sema par Atos
  • [18] Commission clears acquisition of MBL by ThyssenKrupp
  • [19] US-Steel : the inconsistency of the US steel safeguards with WTO rules is confirmed in appeal (Joint Press statement by the EU, Japan, Korea, China, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand and Brazil 10 November 2003)
  • [20] Romano Prodi to visit West Africa (12-15 November)
  • [21] EU support for a Small Projects Facility in Malaysia
  • [22] Improving governance in the Philippines
  • [23] Annuaire statistique des régions 2003 : un coup de projecteur sur les disparités régionales ; des données sur 266 régions de l'UE et des pays candidats
  • [24] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 11/11/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 11/11/2003[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] European Growth Initiative : Commission tables final proposal to EU leaders

    A comprehensive action plan spelling out what needs to be done to kick- start investment in networks and knowledge across the European Union has been set out today by the European Commission. The European Growth Initiative final report has been prepared in close cooperation with the European Investment Bank and is addressed to the December meeting of the European Council. It confirms the Commission's initial proposals aiming to speed up investment in the 29 priority Trans-European transport networks with their 140 subsections proposed by the Commission last October (IP/03/1322). It equally aims to put the EU at the cutting edge of innovation and technology through the launch of pan-European projects in these areas as spelled out in the Commission's interim report (IP/03/1321). In this way, it reinforces the Union's wider structural reform agenda launched at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000. The Commission proposal includes a Quick-start programme of 56 projects, which are ready to start immediately, have a strong cross-border impact and will yield positive results in terms of growth, jobs and protection of the environment. The Quick-start programme indicates the projects that satisfy the criteria and on which work should be underway within the next three years at the latest. The overall level of investment cost from now up to 2010 amounts to some €38 billion in key cross-border sections of the TENs- transport network, €10 billion in key TEN-energy projects and around €14 billion for projects linked to highspeed communications networks and to research, development and innovation. This indicates a very down-to-earth annual investment of around €10 billion per annum to be covered by public and private sources.

    [02] Création d'une agence européenne de gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition de règlement portant création d'une agence européenne de gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures (frontières terrestres, maritimes et aéroports internationaux) de l'UE. L'Agence assistera les Etats membres dans la mise en œuvre de la législation communautaire en matière de contrôle et de surveillance des frontières extérieures et de retour de ressortissants de pays tiers. Elle ne jouera aucun rôle dans l'élaboration des politiques, ne fera pas de propositions législatives et n'exercera pas de compétences d'exécution.

    [03] EU space policy ready for lift-off : Commission adopts Space Action Plan

    A policy paper on "Space: A New European Frontier for an Expanding Union" has been presented by the European Commission in Brussels today. Space technologies are set to play a key role in helping the Union achieve its main objectives : faster economic growth, job creation and industrial competitiveness, enlargement and cohesion, sustainable development and security and defence. The policy paper was developed in close cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and calls for substantial additional spending on space. It also recommends action to ensure Europe's independent access to space, to enhance space technology, promote space exploration, attract more young people into careers in science and strengthen European excellence in space science. European Space Policy will be implemented through a new multi-annual European Space Programme. It will identify priorities, on a five-year basis, for research, infrastructure development, services and technology. Applications might include satellite broadband telecommunications to tackle the "digital divide", and earth observation, communication and positioning systems.

    [04] Education et formation : l'urgence des réformes pour réussir Lisbonne

    Avec la stratégie de Lisbonne (mars 2000), l'Union européenne s'est fixé l'objectif de faire de ses systèmes d'éducation et de formation une "référence de qualité au niveau mondial d'ici à 2010" et de l'Europe "la destination préférée des étudiants et chercheurs du reste du monde". Dans cette perspective, le Conseil européen a entériné en 2001 trois buts stratégiques à atteindre à l'horizon 2010 : les systèmes d'éducation et de formation devront allier qualité, accès et ouverture sur le monde. Les ministres de l'Education et la Commission européenne ont aussi adopté en 2002 un programme de travail complété par des critères de références européens (cf IP/02/1710) pour mettre en œuvre ces buts ambitieux mais réalistes, dans le plein respect de la subsidiarité qui caractérise l'action communautaire par rapport à l'action des Etats membres dans les domaines en question. Il s'agit donc d'un processus essentiellement politique qui vise - loin de toute harmonisation à rallier les systèmes nationaux d'éducation et de formation autour d'objectifs de modernisation fixés d'un commun accord. Où est-on de leur réalisation ? L'Union sera-t- elle en mesure de les atteindre d'ici à 2010 et de rattraper son retard par rapport à ses principaux concurrents ? La Commission a adopté aujourd'hui une communication dans laquelle les retards encore subsistants sont soulignés et qui propose les mesures urgentes qu'il est dorénavant indispensable de prendre. Cette communication servira de base au rapport conjoint sur la mise en œuvre de "Education & Formation 2010" que le Conseil (Education) et la Commission transmettront au Conseil européen de printemps de mars 2004.

    [05] La Commission approuve sans conditions la concentration SEB/Moulinex en Espagne, Finlande, Irlande, Italie et Royaume-uni

    La Commission européenne a confirmé que le rachat de Moulinex par SEB, deux fabricants de petits électroménagers, ne présente pas de problèmes de concurrence en Espagne, Finlande, Irlande, Italie et Royaume-Uni. Ce réexamen fait suite à la décision du Tribunal de Première Instance en avril de cette année qui avait confirmé la décision de la Commission pour ce qui concerne le renvoi en France des aspects français et les conditions imposées dans un certain nombre de pays européens, mais avait annulé le feu vert inconditionnel dans les cinq autres Etats Membres. La nouvelle analyse approfondie a confirmé que les consommateurs britanniques, italiens, finlandais, espagnols et irlandais bénéficiaient de suffisamment de concurrence même après la fusion.

    [06] Drought : Commission proposes lower set-aside to stabilise EU grain market

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal to reduce the compulsory set- aside rate for the cereals harvest 2004 (marketing year 2004/05) from 10% to 5%. Consequently, farmers can make use of this reduced rate from 15 January to 31 August 2004. This measure is justified by a very low cereals production this year due to the severe drought in main EU production regions during the summer. To help the affected farmers, the Commission has already made use of other market management tools, including the sale of stocks from public storage to ensure that the EU market obtains supplies (see IP/03/1164). As a consequence of the severe drought this year, a normal harvest in 2004 (with a 10% set-aside rate) would not lead to a significant revival of stocks in EU-25 unless exports or internal consumption were significantly lower than normal. On the other hand, a poor harvest in 2004 would expose the internal market to potentially serious risks. According to Commission estimates, the reduction of the set-aside rate to 5% could be expected to boost EU grain production by around seven million tonnes. Today's proposal has to be adopted by the Council of Ministers, following an opinion of the European Parliament.

    [07] Commission probes measures for professional sports clubs in Italy ('Salva calcio')

    The European Commission has decided to ask Italy for information on two aspects of a recent national law on financial reporting by professional sports clubs - including Serie A football clubs - in Italy. Firstly, the Commission is concerned that the legislation may breach European Union laws on accounting. Secondly, it may involve the granting of state aid. Both investigations are the first step in the relevant formal procedures and are without prejudice to a final decision on whether the measures under review do indeed breach EU law. If certain sports clubs are in effect being granted financial advantages over others in Europe, this distorts competition both in business terms - the area covered by EU Internal Market and competition law - and, by extension, on the field of play. The Italian authorities have two months to respond to the Commission's request : unless a satisfactory response is received within that time, the Commission may continue its infringement procedure, and ultimately refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [08] Commission approves aid to the Greek Post

    The European Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules grants and capital injections to the Greek post office amounting to a total sum of €415 million. These different financing measures were destined to foster the modernisation of the Greek post office. In particular, the aid has allowed the post office to purchase automation equipment, upgrade its fleet of delivery vehicles and equip its offices with information technology. These improvements were necessary as the quality of the universal postal service in Greek was below EU standards. As the aid is limited to meeting costs of modernisation and does not lead to an undue distortion of competition, the Commission decided to approve the aid.

    [09] La Commission autorise des "mesures de défense temporaires" en faveur de la construction navale espagnole

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'Espagne, en application des règles communautaires applicables aux aides d'Etat, à accorder des aides à la construction navale afin de compenser les effets de la concurrence déloyale exercée par la République de Corée. Les aides espagnoles autoriseront des subventions pouvant aller jusqu'à 6% de la valeur contractuelle du navire pour la construction de navires porte-conteneurs, de transporteurs de produits pétroliers et de produits chimiques et de transporteurs de gaz naturel liquéfié (GNL) en cas de concurrence déloyale en provenance des chantiers coréens.

    [10] Commission approves UK Waste and Resource Action Programme

    The European Commission has decided to approve under EU state aid rules the UK waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which aims at developing waste recycling and a market for recycled goods. The Commission considers that the programme is in line with the EU's environmental objectives. In particular, State support according to the WRAP scheme is proportionate to the environmental objectives pursued and causes no undue distortion of competition.

    [11] Commission invites interested parties to submit comments on Rotterdam- Ruhr propylene pipeline project

    As part of an inquiry under EU State aid rules, the European Commission has decided to invite the Member States concerned and interested third parties to submit their comments on a propylene pipeline project from Rotterdam, via Antwerp to Cologne and the German Ruhr Area. The full text of this invitation will be published in the EU's Official Journal shortly. The German, Dutch and Belgian authorities plan to subsidise the project with public resources amounting to a total of €27 million. The beneficiary of the planned subsidies would be the European Pipeline Company ("EPC"), a consortium of chemicals producers. The Commission's inquiry aims to establish whether the amount of the subsidy is limited to the minimum necessary (for the project to be realised) and whether the subsidy generates undue distortions of competition, particularly to the detriment of the chemicals industry in other EU regions.

    [12] Commission authorises aid for large-scale investment project in the milk sector in Germany

    The European Commission has authorised Germany under EU State aid rules to pay national aid worth a total of €40 million to the dairy group Alois Müller GmbH&Co KG. The aid will finance investment in processing and marketing of milk and milk products in Leppersdorf (Saxony). The main objectives of this large-scale investment project are the support of innovative processing methods and technologies, the promotion and development of new and improved products and the reduction of environmental pollution. The project will be implemented until December 2004.

    [13] Commission authorises drought aid for agriculture and fish farms in Germany

    The European Commission has authorised Germany under EU State aid rules to pay national aid of €90 million to agricultural holdings and fish farms in several German Länder. The aid will compensate the farmers for losses incurred as a result of the extremely dry weather in 2003. The aid will be financed through funds from the Federal Government and the Länder of Baden- Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, and will be carried out in the years 2003 and 2004.

    [14] Adoption d'un régime des contrats de filière en Italie

    La Commission européenne a approuvé un régime d'aides que l'Italie envisage d'appliquer pour favoriser la constitution de filières dans le secteur agricole. Ce régime, qui sera financé par une enveloppe de 300 millions d'€ au cours de ses trois premières années d'application, couvre des mesures intéressant la production primaire, la transformation et la commercialisation de produits agricoles, la constitution ou l'extension d'activités de groupements de producteurs, l'assistance technique aux agriculteurs, la promotion des produits agricoles et la recherche. M. Fischler, membre de la Commission chargé de l'griculture, du développement rural et de la pêche, a accueilli avec satisfaction cette initiative de l'Italie, estimant que la structuration des activités en filières est un gage de qualité pour la production et pour le consommateur.

    [15] Italie : la Commission approuve une aide régionale à la restructuration du transport routier de marchandises et au développement du transport combiné

    La Commission européenne a approuvé une partie du paquet de mesures d'aide en faveur de la restructuration du transport routier de marchandises et du développement du transport combiné, notifié par la région italienne de Frioul-Vénétie Julienne. L'objectif de ce régime d'aide est de fournir et de moderniser l'infrastructure et les services régionaux, d'améliorer l'efficacité des activités de transport de marchandises et de développer le transport combiné. Il s'agit également de réduire la pollution de l'environnement et d'accroître la sécurité routière. Le programme a une durée de trois ans et dispose d'un budget de 1,5 million d'€ environ. La Commission a toutefois décidé de procéder à une enquête en ce qui concerne l'aide au démarrage notifiée pour le développement de nouveaux services ferroviaires et maritimes à destination ou en provenance de la région de Frioul-Vénétie Julienne.

    [16] Discriminatory charges on vessels : Commission presses ahead with proceedings against Finland

    The European Commission has decided to issue a reasoned opinion to Finland on the grounds that its legislation on fairway dues fails to comply with the European rules on the freedom to provide maritime transport services.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [17] La Commission approuve l'acquisition de Sema par Atos

    La Commission européenne a donné son feu vert à un projet de concentration par lequel l'entreprise française Atos Origin S.A. acquiert le contrôle de l'ensemble de Sema Group, appartenant à Schlumberger Group (US). Les deux compagnies sont des prestataires de services de technologies de l'information. (L'opération, qui avait été notifiée le 7 octobre 2003, a été examinée sous une procédure simplifiée)

    [18] Commission clears acquisition of MBL by ThyssenKrupp

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of full control of Mercedes-Benz Lenkungen (MBL), which produces steering gear products for the car sector, by ThyssenKrupp AG through its affiliate ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG. (The operation, notified on 09 October 2003, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [19] US-Steel : the inconsistency of the US steel safeguards with WTO rules is confirmed in appeal (Joint Press statement by the EU, Japan, Korea, China, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand and Brazil 10 November 2003)

    The EU, Japan, Korea, China, Switzerland, Norway, New-Zealand and Brazil welcome the confirmation by the Appellate Body that each of the US safeguard measures imposed on 10 steel product groupings was in violation of WTO rules. The Co-complainants welcome the Appellate Body Report released on 10 November which upheld the Panel's findings and leaves the United States with no other choice but to terminate its WTO incompatible safeguard measures without delay. It should be noted that Members affected by the US measures will be entitled to apply re-balancing measures and take any other appropriate action in accordance with WTO rules, following the adoption of the Appellate Body report by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, unless the safeguard measures are withdrawn.

    [20] Romano Prodi to visit West Africa (12-15 November)

    European Commission President Romano Prodi will visit three West African countries, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, between 12 and 15 November. The visit confirms the importance the Commission attaches to its partnership with Africa.

    [21] EU support for a Small Projects Facility in Malaysia

    The European Commission has approved €3.5 million for a Small Projects Facility (SPF) in Malaysia to foster the bilateral trade and investment between the EU and Malaysia, as well as supporting structural and economic reforms in Malaysia through a stronger involvement of civil society. The SPF aims, in particular at, supporting projects in the following areas (i) issues related to the WTO multilateral trade negotiations, (ii) assisting the Malaysian private sector in complying with the trade and investment related legislation within the EU, (iii) bringing together EU and Malaysian business men for active promotion of trade and investment and (iv) strengthening higher education and research and development links through the relevant institutions/organisations with a view to increasing the transfer of know how and technologies. The beneficiaries will be non-profit making organisations such as governmental, non-governmental organisations, local authorities business associations, universities, etc.

    [22] Improving governance in the Philippines

    The European Commission has approved €5.5 million for a Governance Programme for the Philippines, which focuses on access to justice for the poor and the prevention of corruption, areas crucial to the development of the Philippines. The main objectives of this programme are covered by two separate but complementary projects. The first, for which the Supreme Court will be responsible, is to enable the poor, especially poor women and children, improved access to justice through increased knowledge about their basic rights and the judicial system. The second project concerns the prevention of corruption in the Philippines by reinforcing the management capacity and technical expertise of the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as strengthening cooperation between the Office of the Ombudsman, other government agencies, civil society organisations and the wider public.

    [23] Annuaire statistique des régions 2003 : un coup de projecteur sur les disparités régionales ; des données sur 266 régions de l'UE et des pays candidats

    Eurostat publie aujourd'hui l'édition 2003 de l'annuaire statistique des régions de l'UE. Cette publication illustre à la fois la diversité régionale de l'UE et les liens qui se sont tissés au cours des dernières années entre les régions, y compris par-delà les frontières nationales. Elle fournit un certain nombre de données socio-économiques générales (population, PIB, forces de travail et chômage) et étudie plus en détail certains secteurs économiques (l'agriculture et les transports) et certains thèmes économiques transversaux (le développement scientifique et technologique et la structure des entreprises). La publication couvre également les indicateurs disponibles pour 55 régions dans 12 des pays candidats.

    [24] Autre matériel diffusé

    White Paper on European Space Policy - examples of how space can help the EU meet its objectives

    Présentation par M. Busquin du Livre Blanc sur la Politique Spatiale européenne

    Questions and answers on US Steel Safeguard Measures

    Speech by Franz Fischler : "Reform of cotton sector" at Seminar on Cotton

    Note sur les résultats du Conseil Compétitivité


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


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