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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-11-26

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] EU-WTO : Commission proposes to put Doha Round of trade talks back on track
  • [02] Bilan 2003 de l'économie de l'Union : au seuil de nouveaux modes de croissance économique ?
  • [03] Commission discusses amendments to EU Constitution
  • [04] La Commission garantira le financement des Info Points Europe et des centres d'information ruraux en 2004
  • [05] Commission adopts more favourable rules on support for innovation in shipbuilding
  • [06] La Commission invite les parties intéressées à présenter leurs observations sur l'aide accordée aux papeteries de Stora Enso à Langerbrugge, en Belgique
  • [07] Tax aid : Commission takes stock
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [08] Employment Task Force presents its report
  • [09] Commission, Poland and Ukraine boost "Odessa-Brody-Pllock Oil Transportation Project"
  • [10] Global Land Cover : une image exceptionnelle de la végétation mondiale grâce aux satellites
  • [11] Fighting organised crime in the Balkans
  • [12] Spanish bathing water : Commission welcomes European Court penalty decision
  • [13] September 2003 compared to August 2003 : industrial new orders up by 1.9% in euro-zone ; EU15 up by 2.0%
  • [14] Entreprises européennes 2003 : un portrait statistique des activités industrielles et de services dans l'UE
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 26/11/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 26/11/2003[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] EU-WTO : Commission proposes to put Doha Round of trade talks back on track

    Following the failure of the WTO Ministerial meeting in Cancun and after two months of intense consultations with EU Member States, the European Parliament and all European stakeholders (business, trade unions and civil society), the European Commission has adopted a strategy paper aimed at contributing to the re-launch of the Doha talks. The input received leads the Commission to conclude that the fundamental objectives of the EU in this negotiation remain valid: a clear preference for a multilateral trade system, a strong rules-making component alongside market access and the need to ensure that the negotiations do deliver a development round. But to take into account what has happened in Cancun and since, the paper recommends a revised strategy to achieve EU objectives, in the form of a refreshed and updated negotiating position in several areas. This paper will now be discussed with EU member states and the European Parliament.

    [02] Bilan 2003 de l'économie de l'Union : au seuil de nouveaux modes de croissance économique ?

    Confirmant les indices de reprise économique des dernières prévisions publiées par la Commission européenne, le bilan 2003 de l'économie de l'UE, publié aujourd'hui, constate que les forces qui soutiennent la vigoureuse croissance américaine sont également à l'oeuvre dans l'UE. En termes de productivité du travail, plusieurs Etats membres font mieux que les Etats- Unis depuis le milieu des années 90. Si le niveau de productivité du travail est globalement plus faible dans l'UE, cela tient en particulier aux mauvaises performances de quelques Etats membres, parmi les plus importants. Le bilan 2003 propose une analyse approfondie couvrant cinq domaines : (1) évolution macroéconomique dans la zone euro, (2) facteurs de croissance de la productivité, (3) éducation, formation et croissance, (4) flexibilité des salaires et interdépendances au niveau des salaires, et (5) flux internationaux de capitaux.

    [03] Commission discusses amendments to EU Constitution

    This European Commission has discussed the amendments to the draft Constitution, which the Italian Presidency presented yesterday evening. It welcomes many parts of the proposals, and will support all Presidency efforts to maintain the balanced result of the Convention. However, some amendments change compromises reached after laborious work at the Convention. The Commission also regrets the poor progress at the IGC so far in improving the draft Constitution on some specific points.

    [04] La Commission garantira le financement des Info Points Europe et des centres d'information ruraux en 2004

    La Commission européenne a adopté une décision garantissant le financement l'an prochain de deux de ses relais d'information, les Info Points Europe (IPE) et les Carrefours d'information et d'animation rurale. Ces 266 relais fournissent au public dans l'ensemble de l'UE des informations et des conseils sur tous les aspects de la législation, des programmes et du financement de l'Union. Jusqu'à présent, les structures qui les hébergent recevaient une subvention de fonctionnement annuelle, s'élevant dans la plupart des cas à €20.000, majorée d'une contribution (habituellement supérieure) émanant de sources nationales. La décision prise aujourd'hui prolonge ce financement pour un an dans l'attente de l'établissement d'une base définitive pour la coopération avec les relais et les réseaux de la Commission de la "deuxième génération" en 2005 et au-delà. Elle est accompagnée de systèmes de surveillance et de contrôle spécifiques.

    [05] Commission adopts more favourable rules on support for innovation in shipbuilding

    The important work carried out by the LeaderSHIP 2015 initiative has revealed the crucial importance of increasing the competitiveness of the EU shipbuilding industry. Therefore, the new Commission Framework on support measures for shipbuilding, adopted today, improves and strengthens support for innovation. Compared to the 1998 Shipbuilding Regulation, the new framework contains a definition of the concept of "innovation" tailored to the special needs of the shipbuilding industry. The percentage of State support for expenditure on investments needed to fund the innovative aspects of the project is doubled from 10% to 20%. The important work carried out by the LeaderSHIP 2015 initiative was a key driver behind the new provisions on support for innovation (see IP/03/1464).

    [06] La Commission invite les parties intéressées à présenter leurs observations sur l'aide accordée aux papeteries de Stora Enso à Langerbrugge, en Belgique

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'inviter la Belgique et les tiers intéressés à présenter leurs observations sur l'aide en faveur des papeteries de Stora Enso à Langerbrugge, en Belgique. Le texte de cette invitation sera bientôt publié intégralement au Journal officiel de l'UE. Les projets bénéficiant des aides produiront du papier journal à partir de fibres 100% recyclées et du papier pour magazines à partir de 80% de fibres recyclées. Si la Commission reconnaît l'utilité environnementale du recyclage des vieux papiers, l'utilisation de fibres recyclées pour produire du papier journal semble être une pratique de plus en plus courante dans le secteur du papier. Ainsi, à ce stade, il n'apparaît pas clairement que l'aide a un effet incitatif et pousse son bénéficiaire à aller au-delà de "l'état de la technique". La Commission nourrit donc des doutes sur le fait que l'aide puisse être autorisée pour ces projets.

    [07] Tax aid : Commission takes stock

    The European Commission has adopted a report on the action taken by it in the field of tax aid. The report deals first with the supporting role played by the 1998 notice on tax aid in the Commission's monitoring of state aid and concludes that the notice proved to be a suitable tool. It also looks at the relationship between the monitoring of state aid and the measures taken to tackle harmful tax competition. Lastly, it considers the question of indirect taxation, which, in principle, is not covered by the 1998 notice.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [08] Employment Task Force presents its report

    Wim Kok, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and chairman of the Employment Task Force created by the European Council in March 2003, today presented the Task Force's report to the European Commission. The report highlights the main employment challenges faced by Europe and identifies reforms that need to be carried out if the EU is to reach the objectives it set for itself In the Lisbon strategy. On receiving the report, Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou said : "This report will play a role in facilitating reforms in the employment field. It will give a clear signal to Member States about what still needs to be done if we are to reach the objectives we have set for ourselves."

    [09] Commission, Poland and Ukraine boost "Odessa-Brody-Pllock Oil Transportation Project"

    Today, the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Energy and Transport Loyola de Palacio, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Mr Marek Pol, and the Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mr Vitalii Gaiduk, gave strong support for the realisation of the "Odessa-Brody-Plock Oil Transportation Project", and signed a Joint declaration which recognises the important step forwards made in the last months. This declaration confirms the importance of the project, highlights the recent progress in its development and call on any interested private companies to join the Joint Venture established between PERN and Ukrtansnafta with a view to facilitating the rapid start of construction of the pipeline segment between Brody and Plock. The very same day was signed an intergovernmental agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of Republic of Poland relating to the use of facilities of the Odessa-Brody Hydrocarbon Transportation System and its integration with the Polish facilities. Until the pipeline extension to Poland is constructed, an agreement has also been reached to ship the Caspian oil to Poland by use of interoperable rail transport, allowing for the integration of Ukrainian railway infrastructure with the EU network.

    [10] Global Land Cover : une image exceptionnelle de la végétation mondiale grâce aux satellites

    Une base de données inédite sur la couverture végétale mondiale en 2000 (Global Land Cover 2000 - GLC2000) est enfin prête à l'utilisation. Cette carte vient combler un déficit de connaissances important en ce qui concerne la répartition de la végétation et la couverture végétale de notre planète. Elle est le fruit d'un partenariat international entre plus de 30 organismes de recherche coordonnés par le Centre commun de recherche (CCR) de la Commission européenne. Les résultats de GLC2000 seront présentés lors de la réunion GMES (Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security- Surveillance mondiale pour l'environnement et la sécurité) qui se tiendra du 26 au 29 novembre, et de la conférence GEOS (Système mondial d'observation de la Terre) qui suivra, les 28 et 29 novembre à Baveno, en Italie. GLC2000 permettra une meilleure surveillance de l'environnement, qui aidera à anticiper et à éviter les catastrophes naturelles ou d'origine anthropique et contribuera à l'étude des écosystèmes, de la diversité biologique et du changement climatique, ainsi qu'aux prévisions météorologiques.

    [11] Fighting organised crime in the Balkans

    On Friday 28th November, Justice and Home Affairs Ministers from the EU Member States, Accession countries and the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro) will meet in Brussels to address the fight against organised crime and illegal cross-border activities, which remain major obstacles to political, social and economic development in the Western Balkans. Some progress has been made since the London Conference on organised crime in November 2002 but it is now time for the countries in the region to improve their record on implementing measures to fight these phenomena, fulfilling the commitments made at the Thessaloniki Summit in June 2003. Ministers from the Western Balkan countries will present priority measures to implement in the short and medium term, illustrating their increasing commitment to strengthening the rule of law and fighting organised crime in the region. The European Commission will monitor progress and will assist with the implementation process through its Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation programme (CARDS), of which one in every six euros spent is focused on the broad area of justice and home affairs.

    [12] Spanish bathing water : Commission welcomes European Court penalty decision

    The European Commission welcomed the decision of the European Court of Justice (25/11) to impose fines on Spain for not meeting EU water quality standards in certain Spanish inland bathing waters, ie rivers and lakes. The Court has ordered that Spain pay €624,150 per year for every 1% of inshore Spanish bathing waters that continue to fail to meet the quality stardards set in the Bathing Water Directive. To date, there has been only one other judgment of the Court in which a Member State was fined. That also related to EU environmental legislation. The Commission will now study this ruling in detail.

    [13] September 2003 compared to August 2003 : industrial new orders up by 1.9% in euro-zone ; EU15 up by 2.0%

    The euro-zone industrial new orders index rose by 1.9% in September 2003 compared with the previous month, Eurostat estimates today. The index fell by 2.0% in August 2003 after a rise of 1.4% in July. EU15 new orders also increased, by 2.0% in September 2003, after a fall of 2.3% in August and a rise of 1.6% in July. In September 2003 compared to September 2002, industrial new orders gained 2.6% in the euro-zone and 2.5% in the EU15. Eurostat publishes data on the industrial new orders index for the first time this month. This new euro-indicator is an indicator of the evolution of demand for industrial products and gives an indication of future production.

    [14] Entreprises européennes 2003 : un portrait statistique des activités industrielles et de services dans l'UE

    La nouvelle édition de Entreprises européennes, faits et chiffres, publiée aujourd'hui par Eurostat met un accent croissant sur les sources d'information officielles, en particulier concernant les services, grâce à l'amélioration de la disponibilité des données, qui permet notamment - et pour la première fois - le calcul d'agrégats pour l'UE. Une autre nouveauté importante de cette édition est l'intégration des données des pays candidats.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Note sur les résultats du Conseil Ecofin (aspects fiscalité et services financiers)

    Note sur la préparation du Conseil Compétitivité (aspects marché intérieur, concurrence et entreprises)

    Opening speech by Franz Fischler : "Cooperating for a sustainable fishing future for the Mediterranean" at the Ministerial Conference on the Sustainable Development of Fisheries in the Mediterranean (25/11, Venice)


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


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