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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-02-09

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 Reform progress report : profound extensive modernisation is operational and will be sustained
  • [02] Biodiversity : Commission sounds alarm on need to reduce global biodiversity loss
  • [03] La Commission demande la suppression des restrictions de concurrence non justifiées dans le secteur des professions libérales
  • [04] Dangerous products in the spotlight : Commission to publish weekly reports on safety alerts
  • [05] Posted workers : Commission takes action against the Netherlands
  • [06] Blanchiment de capitaux : la Commission somme six Etats membres d'appliquer la législation européenne qu'ils ont adoptée
  • [07] Qualifications professionnelles : la Commission demande au Portugal et à l'Italie d'appliquer la loi européenne
  • [08] Interreg programme : Commission approves €35 million support for cross- border cooperation between Greece and Turkey for 2004-2006
  • [09] Commission adopts two new plans to deliver € 30 million in humanitarian aid to vulnerable displaced populations in Burundi and Tanzania
  • [10] EU-Colombia : President visits Commission; new programme for internally displaced people launched
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 09/02/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 09/02/2004

  • [01] Commission Reform progress report : profound extensive modernisation is operational and will be sustained

    The European Commission today adopted the latest in its series of Reform Progress Reports. The report - which covers 2003 - shows that the Commission has successfully installed 95 out of the 98 modernisation commitments listed in the March 2000 Reform Strategy White Paper Action Plan, that the remaining actions are in the course of application, and that profound updating of the Staff Regulations will come into effect, on schedule, on May 1st. The report includes numerous practical examples of the way in which comprehensive Commission Reform is meeting the strategic objectives of promoting higher quality service to the public, employing new means of effective planning of tasks and resources, modernising personnel policy, implementing the highest modern standards of internal control and financial management, and generating cost savings. The report also details - inter alia - the further reinforcing measures being taken in response to irregular practises detected in Eurostat ; it incorporates new proposals relating to the work of the EU's anti-fraud office, OLAF ; and it sets out guidelines to improve the use of existing rules to facilitate 'Whistleblowing'.

    [02] Biodiversity : Commission sounds alarm on need to reduce global biodiversity loss

    The European Commission will be seeking agreement on concrete measures to put a break on the decline in global biodiversity at an international conference taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 9-20 February. During this 7th Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the Biodiversity Convention, the 188 parties, including the European Commission, will promote actions to reduce global biodiversity loss. The Commission hopes to reach agreement on the establishment of a global network of protected areas, indicators to measure biodiversity and strengthening access to genetic resources and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use. Success will depend on all parties giving greater priority to the links between biodiversity protection and poverty eradication.

    [03] La Commission demande la suppression des restrictions de concurrence non justifiées dans le secteur des professions libérales

    La Commission européenne demande aux Etats membres, professions libérales et leurs organes de régulation de revoir ou supprimer les honoraires fixes et autres restrictions qui entravent la concurrence, notamment parmi les avocats et architectes, à moins qu'elles soient clairement justifiés par des considérations liées à l'intérêt général. "Le secteur des services est le principal moteur de la croissance dans l'Union européenne, et les professions libérales apportent une contribution importante en ce sens. Un allègement de la régulation de ces professions permettrait d'offrir des services plus compétitifs aux entreprises et aux consommateurs, et contribuerait à améliorer la compétitivité de l'Europe conformément aux objectifs fixés dans l'agenda de Lisbonne", a déclaré le Commissaire Mario Monti. Dans un rapport adopté ce jour sur la concurrence dans le secteur des professions libérales, la Commission conclut que la plupart des restrictions présentent essentiellement une dimension nationale, et qu'il est donc préférable de les traiter à l'échelon national. Cette conclusion va dans le même sens que la mise en oeuvre décentralisée des règles de concurrence de l'UE à partir du 1er mai prochain. La Commission suivra les efforts entrepris par les autorités nationales antitrust dans le cadre du Réseau européen de la concurrence, et continuera de se pencher sur les cas d'infraction qui ne peuvent être réglés au niveau national.

    [04] Dangerous products in the spotlight : Commission to publish weekly reports on safety alerts

    The European Commission is to start publishing weekly summaries of the alerts it receives from Member States about dangerous non-food consumer products. The first of these is available on the Commission's Consumer Affairs website at http://europa.eu.int/comm/consumers/cons_safe/prod_safe/gpsd/rapex_en.htm#overviews. The Commission typically receives between 2 and 4 safety alerts each week via an EU-wide rapid alert system known as RAPEX. The dangers presented often include risks of choking and suffocation, electric shocks and fires. The type of products most often notified in these alerts are toys, followed by electrical appliances. The RAPEX system was recently strengthened by the coming into force on 15 January of the new revised General Product Safety Directive which introduced new obligations for businesses to alert the authorities to dangerous products (see IP/04/53). The EU has a separate rapid alert system on food and feed safety (RASFF), which also makes available weekly summaries of alerts (see IP/03/750).

    [05] Posted workers : Commission takes action against the Netherlands

    The European Commission has decided to formally open infringement proceedings against the Netherlands following a judgment delivered by the country's Supreme Court ("Hoge Raad der Nederlanden"), the effect of which is to exclude from the Netherlands social security system a worker posted to Germany and in possession of a certificate of posting. The Commission feels that the Supreme Court's reasoning is inconsistent with the EU's principles and rules on freedom of movement for workers. It has therefore sent a letter of formal notice to the Netherlands authorities, asking them to submit their comments within two months.

    [06] Blanchiment de capitaux : la Commission somme six Etats membres d'appliquer la législation européenne qu'ils ont adoptée

    La Commission européenne a décidé de demander officiellement à l'Italie, au Portugal, à la Grèce, à la Suède, au Luxembourg et à la France d'appliquer la deuxième directive antiblanchiment (2001/97/CE, voir IP/01/1608). De fait, aucun de ces Etats membres ne lui a encore notifié de mesures visant à transposer cette directive en droit national. Les demandes de la Commission prendront la forme d'avis motivés, qui représentent la deuxième étape des procédures d'infraction, prévue à l'article 226 du traité. En l'absence de réaction satisfaisante à ces avis motivés, la Commission pourrait décider de traduire les Etats membres concernés devant la Cour de justice européenne.

    [07] Qualifications professionnelles : la Commission demande au Portugal et à l'Italie d'appliquer la loi européenne

    La Commission européenne a décidé de demander formellement au Portugal de supprimer certaines conditions qu'il pose pour la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles de moniteurs d'auto-école d'autres Etats membres. Ces conditions ne sont pas conformes à la directive qui complète le système général de reconnaissance des formations professionnelles (92/51/CEE). Elle a également décidé d'envoyer une demande formelle à l'Italie de rectifier la non-conformité au droit européen d'un accord bilatéral entre des organisations professionnelles italienne et française en ce qui concerne la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles des ingénieurs. Les demandes de la Commission revêtent la forme d'avis motivés, la deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction prévue par l'Article 226 du Traité CE. En l'absence d'une réponse satisfaisante de la part des autorités nationales dans les deux mois suivant la réception de l'avis motivé, la Commission peut saisir la Cour de justice européenne.

    [08] Interreg programme : Commission approves €35 million support for cross- border cooperation between Greece and Turkey for 2004-2006

    The European Commission adopted a cross-border cooperation programme between Greece and Turkey, which will be financed by the EU Initiative Interreg III. The programme covers the whole of the eligible neighbouring regions of the two countries for the period 2004-2006. The programme's main objectives are to promote sustainable development of the cross-border region and economic cooperation. As far as the Greek side is concerned, the EU contribution amounts to €35 million and the Greek national/regional public co-financing to €11.6 million. For actions on the Turkish side, the EU will make available €15 million under the pre-accession instrument for Turkey which will add to €4.4 million provided by Turkish national co- financing.

    [09] Commission adopts two new plans to deliver € 30 million in humanitarian aid to vulnerable displaced populations in Burundi and Tanzania

    The European Commission has adopted two humanitarian aid packages totalling €30 million to meet the needs of vulnerable people in Burundi (€15 million) and Tanzania (€15 million) during 2004. The funds are managed by the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson. Projects will be implemented by humanitarian agencies operating in the target regions.

    [10] EU-Colombia : President visits Commission; new programme for internally displaced people launched

    The President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, will attend a working breakfast with President Romano Prodi and Commissioners Chris Patten and Pascal Lamy, on Tuesday 10 February at 8:00 in Brussels. President Uribe will also meet with Commissioner Franz Fischler in Strasbourg later that day. The Commission will reiterate the solidarity of the EU with the Colombian people who have suffered decades of internal conflict, as well as the EU's support to the government in its efforts to establish the rule of law throughout the country. The visit coincides with the launching of a new programme to support the integration process and improvement of living conditions of internally displaced people in Colombia, with a total budget of €9.2 million.

    [11] Autre matériel diffusé

    Note sur la préparation du Conseil Ecofin

    Speech by Franz Fischler : "EU Enlargement and Globalisation - A dual Challenge for Europe" at the Ökosoziales Forum (Vienna)

    Introduction by Neil Kinnock : "Progress review of reform" to his press conference

    Perte de la diversité biologique: faits et chiffres

    The Convention on Biological Diversity: background and glossary


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


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