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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-05-03

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] Iraq reconstruction : Commission releases €160 million
  • [02] Commission to recover €119.46 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
  • [03] Mario Monti reçoit Nicolas Sarkozy, ministre français de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Industrie
  • [04] Commission opens proceedings into collective licensing of music copyrights for online use
  • [05] La Commission autorise le nouveau système de distribution et de service après-vente de Porsche
  • [06] Commission clears Ford acquisition of Polar Motor
  • [07] TEN-Rail Priority Project - Brenner Base Tunnel : Loyola de Palacio welcomes the agreement between Austria and Italy
  • [08] Santé en ligne : améliorer la santé et les soins de santé grâce aux technologies d'information et de communication
  • [09] Safety first : new guidelines to help keep dangerous products off the EU's internal market
  • [10] EU rules on animal by-products set to apply for imports
  • [11] Franz Fischler : "Continued deadlock in negotiations on blue whiting fishery is unacceptable and unjustified"
  • [12] EU-Chile : initial of a protocol adapting the EU-Chile Association Agreement to the enlargement
  • [13] Pascal Lamy meets Japanese Trade Minister Nakagawa
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 03/05/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 03/05/2004

  • [01] Iraq reconstruction : Commission releases €160 million

    The European Commission is releasing €160 million to the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq. The money will be used to restore and strengthen the delivery of key public services, to improve livelihoods and to reduce poverty and to strengthen governance, human rights and civil society. This allocation is part of the €200 million pledged by the Commission at the Madrid International Donors conference for Iraq 2003- 2004.

    [02] Commission to recover €119.46 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

    A total of € 119.46 million of EU farm money misspent by Member States is to be claimed back, following a decision adopted by the European Commission. The money is to be recovered because of inadequate control procedures or non-compliance with EU rules on agricultural expenditure. While Member States are responsible for paying out and checking virtually all expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.

    [03] Mario Monti reçoit Nicolas Sarkozy, ministre français de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Industrie

    Nicolas Sarkozy, ministre d'Etat français, ministre de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Industrie, a été reçu à Bruxelles par Mario Monti, Commissaire européen à la Concurrence. Il s'agissait du premier entretien avec M. Monti depuis que M. Sarkozy a été nommé dans ses nouvelles fonctions. Ce premier contact a été l'occasion d'évoquer de manière approfondie le dossier Alstom. Cette réunion a permis de faire un point complet de la situation et le Ministre d'Etat et le Commissaire sont convenus d'avancer ensemble rapidement sur ce dossier important sur le plan industriel et social, en vue de trouver une solution qui soit conforme au droit communautaire.

    [04] Commission opens proceedings into collective licensing of music copyrights for online use

    The European Commission has warned sixteen organisations that collect royalties on behalf of music authors that their so-called Santiago agreement is potentially in breach of European Union competition rules. This is because the cross-licensing arrangements that the collecting societies have between themselves lead to an effective lock up of national territories, transposing into the Internet the national monopolies the societies have traditionally held in the offline world. The Commission believes that there should be competition between collecting societies to the benefit of companies that offer music on the Internet and to consumers that listen to it. This position reflects only a preliminary position of the Commission at this stage and the collecting societies have the right to defend their views in writing and at an oral hearing.

    [05] La Commission autorise le nouveau système de distribution et de service après-vente de Porsche

    Porsche a modifié ses accords et ouvert son réseau officiel de service après-vente aux réparateurs indépendants qui remplissent les critères qualitatifs requis. Ces réparateurs peuvent maintenant demander à faire partie du réseau officiel de centres de service Porsche. Du fait de ces modifications, Porsche ne lie plus la fourniture de services après-vente à une obligation de vente de voitures neuves. Le commissaire chargé de la concurrence, M. Mario Monti, s'est félicité de ces changements et du fait que Porsche a l'intention de modifier ses accords de distribution de véhicules neufs de manière à les adapter aux exigences de la nouvelle exemption par catégorie applicable au secteur automobile.

    [06] Commission clears Ford acquisition of Polar Motor

    The European Commission has approved the acquisition of the UK car retailer Polar Motor Group Ltd by US carmaker Ford Motor Company. The analysis of the transaction has confirmed that the transaction does not lead to any significant changes in the competitive structure of the distribution of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the UK.

    [07] TEN-Rail Priority Project - Brenner Base Tunnel : Loyola de Palacio welcomes the agreement between Austria and Italy

    A bilateral treaty was signed on Friday 30 April between Italy and Austria that clears the way to enter the final phase of the rail Brenner Base Tunnel project. "This is an important date in the development of one of the key priority projects of the Trans-European Transport Network to cross the Alps", said Commission Vice-President Loyola de Palacio.

    [08] Santé en ligne : améliorer la santé et les soins de santé grâce aux technologies d'information et de communication

    La Commission européenne a adopté un plan d'action qui montre comment utiliser les technologies d'information et de communication pour fournir des soins de santé de meilleure qualité dans l'ensemble de l'Europe. Ce plan d'action "santé en ligne" englobe tous les aspects, de la prescription électronique et du dossier médical informatisé à l'utilisation de nouveaux systèmes et services qui réduiront les temps d'attente et les erreurs. Ses propositions contribueront à améliorer les soins, à un coût constant ou inférieur. Le plan d'action fixe comme objectif la création d'un "espace européen de la santé en ligne" et répertorie des mesures pratiques pour y parvenir en travaillant sur l'application de l'électronique aux dossiers médicaux, à l'identification du patient et aux cartes de santé, et en accélérant le déploiement de l'internet à haut débit pour les systèmes de santé, afin d'exploiter tout le potentiel des applications de la santé en ligne. Pour donner le dynamisme voulu à cette initiative, les Etats membres devraient élaborer des stratégies de santé en ligne nationales et régionales ; il faut aussi mettre au point des outils pour mesurer l'impact des technologies de la santé en ligne sur la qualité et l'efficacité des services, ainsi que sur la productivité globale. A la fin de la décennie, la santé en ligne sera entrée dans les habitudes des professionnels de la santé, des patients et des citoyens. Le plan d'action est le troisième volet des activités récentes de la Commission dans le domaine de la santé (voir IP/04/508). Les deux autres ont trait à la mobilité des patients et à l'évaluation comparative des réformes nationales des soins de santé, des soins de longue durée et de la protection sociale.

    [09] Safety first : new guidelines to help keep dangerous products off the EU's internal market

    The European Commission has adopted guidelines for improving the functioning of the EU's Rapid Information System on dangerous consumer products (RAPEX). The Commission now typically receives between four and six safety alerts each week via this system from national consumer protection authorities around the EU. 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). Since February, the Commission is also publishing weekly summaries of alerts received (see IP/04/183). The RAPEX guidelines clarify Member State authorities' obligations to notify dangerous products to the Commission and to take action when they receive a dangerous product alert via RAPEX. They also provide practical guidance on how to make a notification and set deadlines for the various stages in the notification and follow up procedures. For more information about RAPEX, including the full text of the guidelines and details of recent alerts see: http://europa.eu.int/comm/consumers/cons_safe/prod_safe/gpsd/rapex_en.htm#overviews

    [10] EU rules on animal by-products set to apply for imports

    The European Commission has adopted a series of transitional and permanent implementing measures to prepare for the application of the import provisions of the Animal By-Products Regulation on 1 May this year. The key objective of the Regulation was to revamp the veterinary legislation on animal by-products (i.e. parts of a slaughtered animal that are not consumed by humans), basically only allowing certain products to enter the feed chain. Third countries export considerable quantities of animal by- products to the EU, either in the form of feed for farmed animals or pets (e.g. fishmeal, canned petfood) or as raw materials (e.g. tallow, bones, hides and skins) intended for the manufacture of such feed or for technical/industrial uses (production of cosmetics, medicinal products, medical devices, leather, glue, paint, plastic materials, etc). Only material derived from animals declared fit for human consumption can be imported or used for the production of animal feed. Slightly less stringent conditions apply for other uses, such as biogas and oleo-chemical products.

    [11] Franz Fischler : "Continued deadlock in negotiations on blue whiting fishery is unacceptable and unjustified"

    The continued deadlock among coastal states engaged in the north-east Atlantic blue whiting fishery has been severely criticised by Franz Fischler, European Commissioner responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries. "For the past seven years, the Commission has been encouraging the other Parties to agree on a realistic and fair sharing out of the fishing possibilities for blue whiting as this is a precondition for effective management of this international stock. To achieve this and to protect the stock of blue whiting which was causing concern to scientists, the European Union unilaterally limited its catches for several years. Far from adopting the EU's responsible approach, the other Parties have exponentially increased their catches so as to claim a much higher share than they are rightly entitled to. The EU is running out of patience. In this context and in view of the current high level of the blue whiting stock, the EU has increased its autonomous total allowable catch by 350,000 tonnes bringing it more into line with its catch levels during the 1990s. I urge our partners to recognise that the continued deadlock is unacceptable and unjustified and invite them to come to the negotiating table in a realistic and constructive spirit so that we can reach an agreement that is fair to all parties and ensure the long-term future of this fishery. The time to do this is now, while the stock is in a healthy state."

    [12] EU-Chile : initial of a protocol adapting the EU-Chile Association Agreement to the enlargement

    On 30 April 2004, the European Commission and the Chilean mission to the European Communities have initialled a protocol adapting the EU-Chile Association Agreement to the enlargement of the European Union. The European Council approved a mandate on 22 December 2003 for the Commission to negotiate this protocol with Chile. These negotiations have been successfully concluded, and provided the EU-Chile Association Agreement with the technical adaptations needed to take into account the accession of the ten new Member States. The agreement on this protocol shows the maturity of the EU-Chile relationship and the strong resolve of both parties to overcome obstacles and keep building a forward-looking partnership.

    [13] Pascal Lamy meets Japanese Trade Minister Nakagawa

    European Trade Commissioner met on 2 May with Japanese Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Nakagawa. Discussions centred around the on-going WTO negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) as well as on bilateral issues. In particular, they discussed WTO agricultural issues, market access in non-agricultural products, development issues ans so- called Singapore issues. Both Ministers stressed the need to make substantial progress in the coming weeks so that Cancun-type modalities can be agreed by end June-July.

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours du Président Prodi : "La force et le droit" au Gorizia--Piazzale della Transalpina (30/04, Trieste)

    Speech by President Prodi : "A historic day for Nova Gorica and Gorizia" (30/04, Nova Gorica)


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


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