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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-01-08

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] Commission to tackle tax discrimination against foreign dividends
  • [02] La Commission demande aux Etats membres d'accélérer la modernisation des systèmes de protection sociale afin de rendre le travail rémunérateur
  • [03] €29 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products
  • [04] More advance payments for the eradication of avian influenza in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany in 2003
  • [05] Libre circulation des services : la Commission demande à l'Italie de modifier sa législation en ce qui concerne les concessions hydroélectriques
  • [06] November 2003 : industrial producer prices up by 0.1% in euro-zone ; up by 0.2% in EU15
  • [07] Novembre 2003 : le chômage dans la zone euro stable à 8,8% ; l'UE15 inchangée à 8,0%
  • [08] Commission proposes to re-open consultations with Togo
  • [09] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 08/01/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 08/01/2004

  • [01] Commission to tackle tax discrimination against foreign dividends

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication aimed at providing guidance for EU Member States and Accession States on how to render their systems for taxing dividends received by private individuals compatible with the EC Treaty. An analysis of the case law of the European Court of Justice makes it clear that EU Member States' tax systems should not hinder individuals from investing in foreign shares. Member States cannot levy higher taxes on dividends from companies in other Member States than on domestic dividends and, similarly, they cannot levy higher taxes on outbound dividends than on domestic dividends. The Commission calls on the Member States to cooperate in order to deal quickly with the issues examined in the Communication but this would not involve harmonisation of their systems. If Member States cannot agree on solutions, the Commission will be obliged to initiate legal action against those Member States whose dividend tax rules do not comply with the Treaty. The Communication is an element of the strategy for the EU's future tax policy that the Commission announced in May 2001 (see IP/01/737).

    [02] La Commission demande aux Etats membres d'accélérer la modernisation des systèmes de protection sociale afin de rendre le travail rémunérateur

    Selon un nouveau rapport de la Commission européenne, il est essentiel de poursuivre les réformes des systèmes de protection sociale, de manière telle qu'ils favorisent davantage l'emploi, pour que l'Union puisse atteindre l'ambitieux objectif de porter son taux d'emploi à 70% d'ici 2010. Toutefois, aucun instrument politique ne suffira à lui seul à rendre le travail attrayant. Si les incitations financières (salaires, fiscalité et prestations sociales) se trouvent au cœur des politiques visant à rendre le travail rémunérateur, d'autres incitations non financières, comme les services d'accueil des enfants, des handicapés et des personnes âgées, l'aide à la recherche d'un emploi, la formation ou les soins de santé, jouent également un rôle très important. Dans sa communication intitulée "Moderniser la protection sociale pour des emplois plus nombreux et de meilleure qualité - une approche globale pour rendre le travail rémunérateur", la Commission aborde le défi essentiel qui consiste à promouvoir des incitations au travail plus efficaces dans les systèmes de protection sociale, tout en permettant à ceux ci de poursuivre leur objectif essentiel qu'est la fourniture d'un niveau élevé de protection sociale pour tous, accompagnée d'une bonne maîtrise budgétaire.

    [03] €29 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products

    The European Commission has approved 29 programmes in 10 Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom) to provide information on and to promote agricultural products in the European Union. The total budget of the programmes is €58.5 million, of which the EU will contribute half.

    [04] More advance payments for the eradication of avian influenza in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany in 2003

    The European Commission increased the advance of €10 million to the Netherlands, already decided in September 2003 (see Midday Express of 24.09.2003), to €40 million and the advance of €1.25 million to Belgium, decided in October 2003 (see Midday Express of 10.10.2003), to €3 million. The additional advance will better cover the EU contribution to the compensation of the owners of the culled animals and the destroyed eggs due to avian influenza outbreaks in the first half of 2003 as it is now possible to estimate with a greater degree of certainty how much compensation will be payable. This was not the case when the first advance was decided. The Commission also decided to pay an advance of €135,000 to Germany to reimburse compensation paid to farmers for slaughtering animals and destroying eggs after the single outbreak of avian influenza in May 2003. The final and total amount of the EU contribution (50% of the total) to the three Member States will only be fixed after they have introduced their official and final claims and after the Commission has carried out financial and veterinary inspections.

    [05] Libre circulation des services : la Commission demande à l'Italie de modifier sa législation en ce qui concerne les concessions hydroélectriques

    La Commission européenne demande formellement à l'Italie de modifier ses procédures d'octroi de concessions de production hydroélectrique, qui accordent une préférence aux concessionnaires sortants et, dans la Région Trentino-Alto Adige, aux entités publiques locales. La Commission considère que ces procédures sont incompatibles avec la liberté d'établissement. La demande se présente sous la forme d'avis motivé, la deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction prévue à l'article 226 du Traité. En l'absence d'une réponse satisfaisante dans un délai de deux mois, la Commission pourrait décider de traduire l'Italie devant la Cour de Justice.

    [06] November 2003 : industrial producer prices up by 0.1% in euro-zone ; up by 0.2% in EU15

    The euro-zone industrial producer price index increased by 0.1% in November 2003 compared with the previous month, Eurostat estimates today. EU15 prices increased by 0.2%. In October 2003 prices rose by 0.1% in the euro- zone and 0.3% in the EU15. In November 2003 compared to November 2002, industrial producer prices increased by 1.4% in both the euro-zone and the EU15.

    [07] Novembre 2003 : le chômage dans la zone euro stable à 8,8% ; l'UE15 inchangée à 8,0%

    Le taux de chômage de la zone euro, corrigé des variations saisonnières, s'est élevé à 8,8% en novembre 2003, inchangé par rapport au mois d'octobre, selon les données publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat. Il était de 8,6% en novembre 2002. Le taux de chômage de l'UE15 était de 8,0% en novembre 2003, inchangé par rapport à octobre. Il était de 7,8% en novembre 2002. En novembre 2003, les taux les plus bas ont été enregistrés au Luxembourg (3, 9%), aux Pays-Bas (4,0% en octobre), en Autriche (4,5%) et en Irlande (4, 6%). Le taux de chômage de l'Espagne (11,3%) est resté le plus élevé de l'UE.

    [08] Commission proposes to re-open consultations with Togo

    The European Commission today adopted a communication proposing that the EU re-open consultations with Togo on the political situation in the country. The consultations should provide the EU with an opportunity to seek clear commitments from Togo on its willingness to : (i) engage in a genuine dialogue with the opposition and representatives of civil society ; (ii) return to a situation of respect of human rights ; and (iii) return to a situation of respect of fundamental freedoms including freedom of the media. Regular cooperation with Togo has been suspended since 1992 because of the countries continued violations of fundamental democratic principles and human rights. Following consultations with Togo in 1998 the EU decided not to resume cooperation. In other to limit negative effects on the population it was nevertheless decided to implement certain decentralised projects directly targeting civil society and promoting rule of law and respect for human rights. The proposed consultations should ultimately help the EU decide whether or not to resume full scale cooperation with Togo or to take other appropriate measures. The Commission believes that Togo should clearly demonstrate its engagement in a real democratisation process, including return to rule of law and respect of human rights before aid can be fully resumed. Consultations would be held under art. 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, which is the legal framework of EU-ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) cooperation. Art. 96 sets out procedures for the organisation of consultations between the EU and an ACP country in case of non-respect of the fundamental principals of the Cotonou Agreement including respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.

    [09] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Frits Bolkestein : "Reviving European Growth - the need for courageous reforms" at ELDR Seminar on 'Reviving European Growth' at European Parliament (! embargo 3 pm !) Speech by Pascal Lamy : "Curbing Corruption in a Globalised World: A tribute to Peter Eigen and Transparency International" at Reader's Digest Event (Berlin)

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


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