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

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] Accises : la Commission propose de simplifier et libéraliser les règles pour l'alcool
  • [02] Mise en oeuvre de la réforme de la PAC
  • [03] Commission clears acquisition of laboratory supplies firm VWR by US fund
  • [04] Commission clears Cargill's acquisition of sole control of BCA
  • [05] Février 2004 par rapport à janvier 2004 : les prix à la production industrielle en hausse de 0,1% dans la zone euro et dans l'UE15
  • [06] Commission pursues legal action against Finland for breach of environment legislation
  • [07] Commission urges Sweden to improve its waste-water treatment
  • [08] Kosovo : €51.5 million for 2004 annual programme
  • [09] Bosnia and Herzegovina : €65 million for 2004 CARDS annual programme
  • [10] Commission adopts a new plan to deliver €8 million in humanitarian aid to victims of internal conflict in Colombia
  • [11] Commission allocates €22.5 million for humanitarian aid operations
  • [12] L'Europe a besoin de scientifiques : un plan d'action communautaire
  • [13] Financial services : new group will give consumers and SMEs a stronger voice in EU policy making
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 02/04/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 02/04/2004

  • [01] Accises : la Commission propose de simplifier et libéraliser les règles pour l'alcool

    La Commission européenne a présenté une proposition visant à simplifier et à libéraliser les règles applicables aux mouvements intracommunautaires de produits (surtout l'alcool) sur lesquels l'accise a déjà été acquittée dans un Etat membre. Pour les mouvements effectués par des particuliers, la proposition vise à clarifier les dispositions existantes et à les rendre plus conformes au principe régissant le marché intérieur selon lequel les produits acquis par des particuliers pour leurs besoins propres doivent être taxés dans l'Etat membre de destination. Pour les mouvements de nature commerciale, la Commission propose, tout en maintenant le principe de base selon lequel l'accise est due dans l'Etat membre de destination, d'harmoniser et de simplifier les procédures à respecter dans cet Etat membre. La Commission a constaté qu'aujourd'hui les opérateurs économiques ainsi que les citoyens européens peuvent se trouver confrontés à des difficultés pour se conformer à la législation en matière d'accises dans l'Etat membre de destination. Cette situation n'étant pas acceptable dans le cadre d'un marché intérieur, la Commission veut changer les règles du jeu.

    [02] Mise en oeuvre de la réforme de la PAC

    Le comité de gestion des paiements directs a achevé le 31 mars ses travaux consacrés à deux règlements relatifs à la mise en œuvre de la réforme de la politique agricole commune dans le délai fixé par la Commission européenne aux Etats membres. Il s'agit d'une étape supplémentaire dans le processus de formalisation des importantes décisions ayant trait à la réforme de la PAC adoptées en juin dernier à Luxembourg. Le vote devra être confirmé lors du comité de gestion du 14 avril lorsque toutes les versions linguistiques seront disponibles. La publication devrait suivre peu après. Principale tâche encore en suspens, il restera à la Commission à traiter "la seconde moitié" du troisième règlement concernant les aides couplées en faveur des céréales, les primes à la viande bovine et ovine et les cultures énergétiques.

    [03] Commission clears acquisition of laboratory supplies firm VWR by US fund

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of full control of the US-based distributor of scientific and laboratory supplies VWR International Corporation, currently controlled by Merck KGaA, by the US-based private equity investment company Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. (The operation, notified on 03 March 2004, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [04] Commission clears Cargill's acquisition of sole control of BCA

    The European Commission has approved, under the Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of the British undertaking BCA, active in agricultural merchanting in the UK, by Cargill Plc, part of the US-based Cargill Inc. The transaction involved a change from joint to sole control of BCA, currently a 50/50 joint venture between Cargill and SCB Holdings (Sandy) Ltd (Banks).

    [05] Février 2004 par rapport à janvier 2004 : les prix à la production industrielle en hausse de 0,1% dans la zone euro et dans l'UE15

    Au mois de février 2004, les prix à la production industrielle dans la zone euro ont augmenté de 0,1% par rapport au mois précédent, selon les estimations publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat. En février 2004, les prix dans l'UE15 ont également augmenté de 0,1%. En janvier 2004, les prix avaient enregistré une hausse de 0,3% dans les deux zones. En février 2004 et par rapport à février 2003, les prix à la production industrielle sont restés stables dans la zone euro et ont augmenté de 0,1% dans l'UE15.

    [06] Commission pursues legal action against Finland for breach of environment legislation

    The European Commission has decided to pursue infringement proceedings against Finland in two separate cases under EU environment law. Firstly, the Commission will refer Finland to the European Court of Justice over shortcomings in its efforts to halt a decline in the flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) population. This species is strictly protected under the EU's Habitats Directive and Finland is the only place in the EU where it is found. In another case, the Commission has sent Finland a final written warning for failing to clean urban wastewater as it should do under EU water protection law. By failing to take all the necessary measures to reduce the excessive presence of nutrients in urban wastewater, Finland contributes to the over-enrichment of its seas. In particular, the Archipelago Sea and Gulf of Finland, which form parts of the Bothnian Sea, as well as the Baltic Sea itself, are adversely affected by excessive discharges of nitrogen. This nutrient promotes the undesirable proliferation of phytoplankton and harms the local marine ecology. The EU's Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive requires that nitrogen be removed from urban wastewater discharges from towns and cities with populations of more that 10,000. The Commission considers that Finnish towns which discharge urban wastewater into the Baltic Sea do not adequately extract nitrates from urban wastewater. Similar action is being taken against Sweden.

    [07] Commission urges Sweden to improve its waste-water treatment

    The European Commission has sent Sweden a final written warning for failing to clean urban waste water as it should under EU water protection law. By failing to take all the necessary measures to reduce the excessive presence of nutrients in wastewater, Sweden is contributing to the over-enrichment of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is adversely affected by excessive discharges of nitrogen. This nutrient promotes the undesirable proliferation of phytoplankton and harms the local marine ecology. The EU's Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive requires that nitrogen be removed from urban wastewater discharges from towns and cities with populations of more than 10,000. The Commission considers that Sweden is not respecting this obligation for towns located to the North of Norrtälje and in the southern- central part of the country, and is not doing enough to protect water quality in the Baltic. Similar action is being taken against Finland.

    [08] Kosovo : €51.5 million for 2004 annual programme

    The European Commission has adopted its Annual Programme for Kosovo. In 2004, within the Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) Programme, a total of €51.5 million will be spent in assisting Kosovo in its reform and modernisation efforts. The 2004 programme's main focus is on institution building, promoting good governance and economic development in order to further prepare UN administered Kosovo for transition to a market economy and for closer integration in both the regional and European contexts - in line with the Stabilisation and Association process (SAp). Since 1991, the European Union has been the largest donor of assistance to the Western Balkans.

    [09] Bosnia and Herzegovina : €65 million for 2004 CARDS annual programme

    The European Commission has adopted its 2004 annual programme for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). In 2004, within the Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) Programme, a total of €65 million will be spent assisting Bosnia and Herzegovina in its reform and modernisation efforts. The priorities of the 2004 programme are: building the capacity of BiH's State institutions to serve their country effectively and act as reliable counterparts for the international community; supporting economic reform and development, and strengthening the rule of law. Since 1991, the European Union has been the largest donor of assistance to the Western Balkans.

    [10] Commission adopts a new plan to deliver €8 million in humanitarian aid to victims of internal conflict in Colombia

    The European Commission has adopted a new €8 million humanitarian aid plan for Colombia. Its objectives are firstly to provide protection, assistance and relief to the many victims of the internal conflict in Colombia and secondly to alleviate the negative consequences of the massive population movements that the conflict has provoked, primarily within Colombia, but also in neighbouring countries like Ecuador.

    [11] Commission allocates €22.5 million for humanitarian aid operations

    The European Commission has adopted four decisions totalling €22.5 million for humanitarian programmes in Tajikistan (€8 million), Central Africa and the Horn of Africa (ECHO Flight: €9 million) and Sri Lanka (€5.5 million). These funds are managed by the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson. They will help pay for better access to healthcare and nutrition programmes, improvements to food and water supplies and sanitation systems, humanitarian transport services and support for refugees and displaced people. Programmes will be implemented through international organisations and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in the target regions.

    [12] L'Europe a besoin de scientifiques : un plan d'action communautaire

    Un groupe d'experts à haut niveau a présenté aujourd'hui des recommandations concernant l'accroissement des ressources humaines de l'Europe pour la science et la technologie à M. Philippe Busquin, membre de la Commission responsable de la recherche européenne lors d'une conférence internationale à Bruxelles. Le groupe a identifié les obstacles qui empêchent d'accroître le nombre de scientifiques en Europe. Il exhorte les gouvernements européens à élaborer une politique plus efficace en matière de ressources humaines dans les sciences. Eu égard au changement de nature des secteurs de haute technologie, les gouvernements doivent jouer un rôle plus actif dans l'amélioration des ressources et des aptitudes. Le secteur public souffre d'un manque de financement, et les universités, notamment, devraient préparer leurs diplômés scientifiques à une gamme de carrières élargie. Le système d'enseignement des sciences en Europe ne parvient pas à suivre le rythme du monde scientifique "réel" et se concentre trop sur des notions dépassées telles que l'étude des principes fondamentaux et des faits. La Commission évalue la possibilité de lancer une campagne de sensibilisation en 2005 pour traiter les lacunes décrites dans le rapport du groupe d'experts.

    [13] Financial services : new group will give consumers and SMEs a stronger voice in EU policy making

    The first meeting of a new expert forum called FIN-USE is taking place on Friday 2 April. The new forum will provide policy input to the European Commission on European financial services issues from the point of view of users of those services (in other words consumers and SMEs).

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Circulation de produits soumis à accises: questions les plus fréquentes

    Speech by President Prodi : "Europe and Peace" at University of Ulster (01/04, Derry)

    Calendrier du 5 au 10 avril 2004


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


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