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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-02-23

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] Eurobarometer 60 and Candidate Countries Eurobarometer 2003.4: EU seen as force for good in times of pessimism
  • [02] Combatting AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis: Commissioner Busquin in Dakar for clinical trials partnership launch
  • [03] Byrne calls for worldwide animal welfare standards Commission granted official observer status at OIE
  • [04] Gouvernement d'entreprise: la Commission engage des consultations sur la rémunération des dirigeants
  • [05] Commission releases €28 million of risk capital facility for Mediterranean countries
  • [06] Commission and EEA make public extensive information about industrial pollution in your neighbourhood
  • [07] The European Commission and UNESCO sign agreement to facilitate closer co-operation in developing countries
  • [08] Commission clears joint acquisition of UK property developer Canary Wharf
  • [09] Commission clears Vestar acquisition of French funeral services firm
  • [10] Commission clears acquisition of parts of ABB's oil and gas industry services businesses
  • [11] New dissemination time for news release
  • [12] Rédiffusion de notes
  • [13] Le commissaire européen chargé de l'agriculture déclare: «L'Europe persévérera dans ses réformes agricoles»
  • [14] Environmental liability: Commission welcomes agreement on new Directive
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 23/02/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 23/02/2004

  • [01] Eurobarometer 60 and Candidate Countries Eurobarometer 2003.4: EU seen as force for good in times of pessimism

    The latest Eurobarometer opinion polls in the current 15 member states and in the 10 future member states, the full results of which are published today, reveal that while most EU citizens are satisfied with their lives, concern is growing about the economic and employment outlook. However, despite a general decline in optimism, a large majority of people believe the EU plays a positive role in areas of major concern to citizens, such as the fight against terrorism. Asking the question for the first time, the survey found that more than a third of people in the EU-15 feel their national media do not give enough prominence to EU issues. And the citizens in the acceding countries do not feel well informed about enlargement either. With less than four months to go before the European Parliamentary elections, the surveys include a section on the Parliament. In the current member states, less than a third of respondents say they will definitely turn out to vote. In the future member states, citizens who will have the opportunity to vote for the first time, are also less interested in the elections than might be expected.

    [02] Combatting AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis: Commissioner Busquin in Dakar for clinical trials partnership launch

    European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will visit Senegal from 22 to 24 February to launch the operational phase of the €600 million "European and-Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership" programme. The visit also aims at encouraging West African countries to mobilise around this important initiative. The European Union is funding clinical trials, and fostering clinical research in Developing Countries, with €200 million. The programme focuses on the three major poverty-related killer diseases of sub-Saharan Africa: AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. A further €200 million will come from EU Member States, and another €200 million will be funded by other international donors and industry. On top of this, the EU is also devoting €200 million to basic (pre-clinical) research in this field. The Dakar EDCTP launch event will be attended by high-ranking African officials including Health Ministers and EDCTP High Representative Dr Pascoal Mocumbi, former Prime Minister of Mozambique.

    [03] Byrne calls for worldwide animal welfare standards Commission granted official observer status at OIE

    (Embargo: 16h00) The European Commission obtained today official observer status within the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) at the first ever global conference on animal welfare bringing together the 166 member countries of the OIE and various OIE-affiliated international organisations. While the EU has always been involved in the work of the OIE, the observer status will now enable the Commission to advance the EU´s view on all international animal health and welfare issues. At the opening of the conference Commissioner David Byrne promised to continue to actively support the OIE in its activities and welcomed the initiative to organise for the first time a global conference on animal welfare. "Getting animal welfare recognised at an international level is important for European citizens. The EU supports every step to achieve higher animal welfare standards not just within the EU but worldwide."

    [04] Gouvernement d'entreprise: la Commission engage des consultations sur la rémunération des dirigeants

    La Commission européenne a lancé une consultation sur la rémunération des dirigeants. Les réponses seront prises en compte dans la prochaine recommandation aux États membres que la Commission entend publier sur ce thème en septembre 2004. La consultation porte notamment sur les obligations d'information concernant la politique de rémunération et le montant des rémunérations individuelles et sur l'approbation par les actionnaires des formules d'options sur actions réservées aux dirigeants. Les réponses devront être parvenues le 12 avril 2004 au plus tard.

    [05] Commission releases €28 million of risk capital facility for Mediterranean countries

    The European Commission has released under the MEDA programme €28 million of risk capital for the following Mediterranean neighbours: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank and Gaza Strip. The facility will focus on up-grading the financial sector of these countries and territories, on raising the competitiveness of their enterprise sector and will put emphasis on privatisation. Support will also be available to financial intermediaries active in the region. The Risk Capital Facility is administered by FEMIP, a European Investment Bank (EIB) facility created in 2002.

    [06] Commission and EEA make public extensive information about industrial pollution in your neighbourhood

    Today the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) launched the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER), the first Europe- wide register of industrial emissions into air and water. For the first time, detailed information on pollution from around 10,000 large industrial facilities in the EU and Norway is publicly accessible on the internet (www.eper.cec.eu.int). EPER enables European citizens to exercise their 'right to know', allowing them, for example, to see how much pollution large industries in their neighbourhoods generate and to compare this with the situation in other parts of Europe. Companies can measure themselves against their competitors, and for their part, scientists, insurance companies, local authorities and policy makers now have a solid database to help them choose the most effective solutions for reducing industrial pollution.

    [07] The European Commission and UNESCO sign agreement to facilitate closer co-operation in developing countries

    European Commissioner for Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid, Poul Nielson and Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Marcio Barbosa today signed an agreement designed to pave the way for a closer partnership between the two institutions in the field of education, science and culture. The agreement signed today will facilitate the implementation of programmes being financed by the European Commission, where UNESCO is the main implementing partner. The cooperation between the two organisations has constantly increased in recent years. In 2002 EC allocated € 4.66 million to development activities implemented by UNESCO. The majority of the co- financed actions concern education support to the developing countries. The EC last year signed similar agreements with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

    [08] Commission clears joint acquisition of UK property developer Canary Wharf

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Canary Wharf Group plc. by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds IV, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Special Situations Fund II and Princes Gate Investors, all belonging to the US financial services firm Morgan Stanley Group, and certain Glick family trusts (US). Canary Wharf is an integrated property development and investment company providing office space and retail facilities mainly in the London area. (The operation, notified on 23 January 2004, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [09] Commission clears Vestar acquisition of French funeral services firm

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of the French undertaking "Omnium de Gestion et de Financement" (OGF), active in the French funeral services sector, by US private equity firm "Vestar Capital Partners". (The operation, notified on 22 January 2004, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [10] Commission clears acquisition of parts of ABB's oil and gas industry services businesses

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of parts of a business division of ABB Group Ltd (Switzerland) by equity funds Candover Partners Limited (UK), JPMP Capital Corp. (US) and 3i Group PLC (UK). The activities to be acquired relate to products and services for the oil, gas and petroleum industry. These activities include the design and production of offshore and onshore production facilities and their maintenance (The operation, notified on 20 January, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [11] New dissemination time for news release

    As from 1 March 2004, all Eurostat News Releases and Economic indicators from the Directorate General of Economic and Financial affairs will be issued at 11.00 CET, instead of 12.00 CET.

    [12] Rédiffusion de notes

    [13] Le commissaire européen chargé de l'agriculture déclare: «L'Europe persévérera dans ses réformes agricoles»

    S'exprimant aujourd'hui devant la presse à Washington, M. Franz Fischler, membre de la Commission chargé de l'agriculture, du développement rural et de la pêche, a parlé de l'interruption des négociations avec l'OMC, des réformes agricoles à entreprendre dans les pays riches et des biotechnologies. Il a annoncé qu'il présenterait des propositions concrètes concernant la réforme du système communautaire de soutien du secteur du sucre. «La politique agricole de l'Union européenne a changé de visage, notamment grâce à la réforme mise en oeuvre en juin 2003. La part des dépenses liées à la politique agricole commune dans les dépenses publiques totales de l'UE, qui s'élève actuellement à 1 %, n'a cessé de s'amenuiser ces dernières années. Nous entendons poursuivre nos réformes. Avant l'été prochain, je présenterai des propositions visant à centrer sur le marché le régime communautaire applicable au sucre et à le rendre plus respectueux des échanges commerciaux. L'Union européenne devrait prendre une orientation semblable au mois de mars en ce qui concerne le soutien communautaire aux secteurs du coton, du tabac et de l'huile d'olive. En outre, le document-cadre sur l'OMC et l'agriculture adopté conjointement par l'Union européenne et les États-Unis l'été dernier me donne de bonnes raisons de penser que les États-Unis suivront l'exemple européen et réformeront leur loi sur l'agriculture de manière qu'elle perturbe moins les échanges et qu'elle soit plus centrée sur le marché», a déclaré M. Franz Fischler.

    [14] Environmental liability: Commission welcomes agreement on new Directive

    The European Commission has welcomed the agreement on the groundbreaking Environmental Liability Directive that has been reached in conciliation by the European Parliament and the Council. It will enable the proposed Directive now to be swiftly adopted. Agreement on an EU measure on Environmental Liability has been sought since the late 1980's. The new Directive is the first EU law specifically based on the "polluter pays principle". It will ensure that future environmental damage in the EU is prevented or remedied and that those who cause it are held responsible. Environmental damage includes damage to animals, plants, natural habitats and water resources as well as contamination of land which causes significant harm to human health.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Mr. Byrne at "Breaking the Barriers" Parntership to fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia "Health Hope and Progress" Embargo 16h00: Speech by Mr. Byrne at the OIE Global Conference on Animal Welfare "Animal Welfare pushed up the International Agenda" Préparation du Conseil Agriculture/Pêche de février 2004 Rediff : Discours de M. Fischler Agriculture and the WTO : Lessons from Europe

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


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