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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-03-23

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] EU decides to better protect dolphins
  • [02] On-line services : EU ratifies Council of Europe Convention on notifying new national rules
  • [03] La Commission lance une initiative de coopération entre les anciens et nouveaux Etats membres aux futurs postes d'inspection frontaliers vétérinaires
  • [04] Suspension of poultry imports from the USA after an avian influenza outbreak prolonged
  • [05] La Commission présente une nouvelle étude consacrée aux zones de montagne d'Europe
  • [06] Commission presents new agricultural market and income forecasts
  • [07] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 23/03/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 23/03/2004

  • [01] EU decides to better protect dolphins

    On 22 March, the Council of Ministers took a decision to better protect dolphins and harbour porpoises in EU waters. The measures, originally proposed by the European Commission in July 2003 (see IP/03/1111), relate to a step by step reduction of the use of driftnets from 1 January 2005 until complete prohibition by 1 January 2008, the compulsory use of acoustic deterrent devices ("pingers") on fishing nets and the monitoring of by-catches through an observer scheme. "This decision will better protect dolphins and porpoises against being accidentally trapped in fishing gear. Dolphins are not the only ones to benefit. Biodiversity will be strengthened and reduced by-catches of dolphins and porpoises will be positive for the image of the fishing sector, as fishermen never want to catch them in the first place", commented Franz Fischler, Commissioner responsible for Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Fisheries.

    [02] On-line services : EU ratifies Council of Europe Convention on notifying new national rules

    The European Commission has welcomed the signature and the conclusion on 22nd March by the Irish Presidency, on behalf of the EU, of Council of Europe Convention 180, establishing an international mechanism for the prior notification of national rules on online services, so that regulations adopted in one country do not affect services in others without consultation. This mechanism is based on the EU system of legislative transparency introduced by the 'Notifications' Directive 98/34/EC (see IP/03/227). The Convention's aim is to enhance the transparency and coherence of national rules on information society services as far as possible, since these services are by definition often provided across borders. The Commission proposed in July 2003 that the EU should sign the Convention (see IP/03/955).

    [03] La Commission lance une initiative de coopération entre les anciens et nouveaux Etats membres aux futurs postes d'inspection frontaliers vétérinaires

    David Byrne, commissaire européen chargé de la santé et de la protection des consommateurs, et Günter Verheugen, son collègue responsable de l'élargissement, ont annoncé une initiative dans le cadre de laquelle des experts vétérinaires des Etats membres actuels seront présents aux futurs postes d'inspection frontaliers vétérinaires, peu avant l'adhésion et pendant quelques semaines après celle-ci, afin de prêter leur concours.

    [04] Suspension of poultry imports from the USA after an avian influenza outbreak prolonged

    On 22 March, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health approved a European Commission proposal to prolong until 23 April the suspension of imports of live poultry, poultry meat and products, eggs and pet birds from the USA. These import restrictions were imposed after the confirmation of a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in this country. The current disease situation and available information do for the moment not allow a reduction of the protective measures to a confined area. The situation will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Committee, scheduled for 30 March. At this meeting the avian influenza situation in Canada will also be reviewed.

    [05] La Commission présente une nouvelle étude consacrée aux zones de montagne d'Europe

    La Commission européenne a présenté les résultats d'une étude consacrée aux zones de montagne d'Europe. Il s'agit d'une analyse approfondie des zones de montagne de 29 pays d'Europe : les 15 Etats membres de l'Union européenne, les 10 nouveaux Etats membres, les deux pays candidats, Bulgarie et Roumanie, ainsi que la Norvège et la Suisse. Cette étude fournit, pour les zones de montagne, un ensemble détaillé de données, afin d'analyser leur situation économique et sociale. Il a été ainsi mis en lumière les très grandes différences existant entre ces zones, quoiqu'elles aient à faire face à nombre de défis communs, tels que la faible densité démographique, l'inaccessibilité et le coût relativement élevé de la mise en place d'infrastructures. En s'efforçant de relever ces défis par des politiques bien ciblées, l'Union peut contribuer à une plus grande cohésion territoriale.

    [06] Commission presents new agricultural market and income forecasts

    Today the European Commission published a report on "Medium-term prospects for agricultural markets and income in the European Union 2003-2010". According to the report, the medium-term perspectives for the EU cereals, meat and dairy markets appear relatively favourable. In the cereal markets, the growth in domestic uses and exports would absorb the moderate expansion in cereal availability, whereas the overall market balance in the rice sector would display a swift improvement. The current situation in the beef market - where consumption is higher than domestic production - is expected to persist over the 2004-2010 period. The other meat markets are projected to recover over the medium term from the current difficulties. The EU dairy sector is also foreseen to display a gradual improvement after the current short-term imbalance, with increasing cheese production and consumption and, at the same time, lower availability of butter and skimmed milk powder. In spite of all the positive achievements in the preparation for EU membership, a considerable task of restructuring of the agricultural and food industries, most notably in animal production, remains to be pursued in the new Member States in order to increase competitiveness on the Single Market. The medium-term outlook suggests that the production potential will be gradually exploited and only fully used in the longer term. The medium- term perspectives for the agricultural sector in the new Member States appear very positive with higher efficiency and a 35% rise in income against 2002. The implementation of the CAP reform will help improving the market balance of most commodity markets (most notably cereals, rice, meat and dairy products) whereas the overall income of the agricultural sector would be little affected. The full report is available on the Internet at : http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/publi/caprep/prospects2003b/index_en.htm

    [07] Autre matériel diffusé

    Information from Commissioner Byrne on the outcome of his visit to the US (18-19/03) at the Agriculture Council (22/03)

    Statement by Pascal Lamy at Panel on "What role for fair trade in EU Policies?" at Conference on Fair trade a contribution to sustainable development (European Parliament)


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


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