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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-05-07

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 invites interested parties to submit comments on proposed UK Enterprise Capital Funds
  • [02] Commission approves modified aggregates levy for Northern Ireland
  • [03] Commission approves aid in favour of olive-pomace enterprises in Spain
  • [04] Huile d'olive : la Commission autorise l'octroi d'aides en faveur d'organisations de producteurs d'Estrémadure (Espagne)
  • [05] Negative decision on aid planned by Italy for damage caused to the agriculture sector by a transport strike in Sicily
  • [06] La Commission autorise un régime d'aide flamand destiné à promouvoir le transport des déchets ménagers par les voies navigables intérieures
  • [07] Internal Electricity Market : Commission sends reasoned opinion to Greece
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [08] La Commission se félicite de la transparence accrue des commissions transfrontalières appliquées par VISA et MasterCard
  • [09] Monthly note on the euro-denominated bond markets, March 2004
  • [10] Innovation dans l'UE : un peu moins de la moitié des entreprises de l'UE15 ont des activités innovantes ; la part des grandes entreprises ayant des activités innovantes est deux fois supérieure à celle des petites
  • [11] Révision de la première notification des données relatives au déficit et à la dette en 2003 : déficit public de la Grèce à 3,2% du PIB et dette publique à 103,0% du PIB
  • [12] Eurobarometer : latest polls show likely low turnout in European Parliament elections
  • [13] Sierra Leone : Commission grants €2 million for local elections
  • [14] Chris Patten visits Belgrade and Pristina (10-11/05)
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 07/05/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 07/05/2004[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Commission invites interested parties to submit comments on proposed UK Enterprise Capital Funds

    The United Kingdom proposes to establish a funding mechanism to improve capital funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout the UK the Enterprise Capital Funds scheme. SMEs seeking to raise initial equity funding of between £250,000 (€357,000) and £2 million (€2.9 million) will approach licensed Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) to be set up under the scheme. Before assessing the scheme under the applicable State aid rules, the Commission wishes to collect information from other interested parties, notably from potential providers of risk capital to SMEs in the United Kingdom. It is only with the help of such observations that the Commission can decide whether such aid is necessary and does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest.

    [02] Commission approves modified aggregates levy for Northern Ireland

    The European Commission has decided not to raise objections to a modification in the UK aggregates levy (AGL) - a tax levied on commercially exploited virgin aggregates (mostly sand, rock or gravel) applicable. According to the envisaged modifications, companies in Northern Ireland can obtain exemptions from the AGL in the period from 1 April 2004 through 31 March 2011.

    [03] Commission approves aid in favour of olive-pomace enterprises in Spain

    The European Commission today authorised an aid to olive-pomace oil extracting, refining and bottling enterprises in Spain. This aid, in the form of loans totalling a maximum of €30 million, was granted to mitigate the consequences of the suspension of the market following a health alert ordered by the Spanish administration in July 2001.

    [04] Huile d'olive : la Commission autorise l'octroi d'aides en faveur d'organisations de producteurs d'Estrémadure (Espagne)

    La Commission européenne a constaté qu'une aide en faveur d'organisations de producteurs d'huile d'olive d'Estrémadure (Espagne) était "de minimis" et donc exemptée du contrôle appliqué aux aides d'Etat. Le budget total alloué à ce régime d'aide est de 120.200 € par an. Le nombre de producteurs qui en bénéficient étant évalué à 11.500, le montant moyen de l'aide n'est que de 10,4 € par bénéficiaire et par an. Il s'agit du premier cas où une aide d'Etat "de minimis" dans le secteur agricole est approuvée par la Commission.

    [05] Negative decision on aid planned by Italy for damage caused to the agriculture sector by a transport strike in Sicily

    The European Commission has decided to close the formal investigation procedure by adopting a negative decision on the aids planned by Italy to compensate the agriculture sector for the damages suffered due to a road hauliers' strike and blockades which took place in the year 2000 in Sicily. The decision does not request recovery of the aid, amounting to €671,394, because it has not yet been paid.

    [06] La Commission autorise un régime d'aide flamand destiné à promouvoir le transport des déchets ménagers par les voies navigables intérieures

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'autoriser un régime d'aide de la Région flamande en Belgique destiné à promouvoir le transport des déchets ménagers par les voies navigables intérieures. Le projet compensera la différence de coût résultant de l'utilisation des voies navigables intérieures au lieu de la route pour transporter les déchets ménagers.

    [07] Internal Electricity Market : Commission sends reasoned opinion to Greece

    The European Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to Greece for failure to respect European legislation concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity, specifically the provisions on the unbundling of accounts of electricity undertakings. According to the Commission, the Greek electricity company's practice of including the lignite extraction cost into the electricity generation cost may indeed have the effect of distorting competition on the Greek electricity market.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [08] La Commission se félicite de la transparence accrue des commissions transfrontalières appliquées par VISA et MasterCard

    La Commission européenne se félicite de l'annonce faite respectivement par Visa et MasterCard de leur intention de publier les frais inhérents à l'utilisation d'une carte de crédit à l'étranger. Ces frais ne sont pas payés directement par le titulaire de la carte, mais par les magasins, restaurants et autres commerces qui acceptent les cartes Visa et MasterCard en paiement des biens ou des services qu'ils vendent. Cette mesure est destinée à renforcer la capacité des détaillants à négocier les frais avec les banques qui font partie des systèmes de carte Visa et MasterCard.

    [09] Monthly note on the euro-denominated bond markets, March 2004

    Amid continuing market uncertainty about US monetary policy and expectations of lower ECB policy rates, the euro yield curve shifted marginally downward in March. Total issuance of euro-denominated bonds rose to €179 billion from €173 billion in February. The composition of issuance was in line with the average of the previous 12-months for central government, local government and corporate bonds, which represented 45%, 2% and 7% of total issuance respectively. Among the other main characteristics of issuance in March was an increased share of bonds from outside of the euro area, mainly due to ABS issued in the UK. Full text available on : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/publications/bondmarkets_en.htm

    [10] Innovation dans l'UE : un peu moins de la moitié des entreprises de l'UE15 ont des activités innovantes ; la part des grandes entreprises ayant des activités innovantes est deux fois supérieure à celle des petites

    Entre 1998 et 2000, 44% des entreprises de l'UE15 menaient, sous une forme ou une autre, des activités innovantes et la grande majorité d'entre elles (93%) avaient réalisé avec succès une innovation au cours de la période considérée. Parmi les Etats membres de l'UE15, la plus forte proportion d'entreprises ayant eu des activités innovantes entre 1998 et 2000 était enregistrée en Irlande (65% des entreprises), suivie de l'Allemagne (61%), de la Belgique (50%) et de l'Autriche (49%). Les proportions les plus faibles étaient observées en Grèce (28%), en Espagne (33%), en Italie et au Royaume-Uni (36% chacun).

    [11] Révision de la première notification des données relatives au déficit et à la dette en 2003 : déficit public de la Grèce à 3,2% du PIB et dette publique à 103,0% du PIB

    La Grèce a transmis à la Commission européenne, début mai 2004, une notification révisée de ses données relatives au déficit public et à la dette publique pour l'année 2003. Ces données révisées ont été vérifiées par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes.

    [12] Eurobarometer : latest polls show likely low turnout in European Parliament elections

    The latest Eurobarometer opinion polls show that fewer than half of voters in the 25 European Union Member States are likely to vote in next month's European Parliament elections. The first results from the polls, conducted in February and March in both the old and new Member States, show a large degree of pessimism about economic developments in the coming year. However, support for the main EU policies has generally held up since the autumn 2003 poll. Results from the new Member States show a decline in the number of people who believe EU membership will bring them and their country benefits. However, those who believe EU membership is a "good thing" still significantly outnumber those who do not. The Eurobarometer 61 Spring Survey was carried out in the 15 old Member States between 20 February and 28 March, questioning 16,216 people about their attitudes to their own situation and a number of EU issues. The EB 2004.1 poll in the 10 new Member States and three candidate countries questioned 12,124 people between 20 February and 17 March. The highlights of both polls are published today, with full results to follow in July.

    [13] Sierra Leone : Commission grants €2 million for local elections

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal to grant €2 million in support of local government elections in Sierra Leone to be held on 22 May 2004. Funding will cover procurement and shipment of ballot materials, information material for election commissioners and fees for temporary workers employed at polling stations on election day.

    [14] Chris Patten visits Belgrade and Pristina (10-11/05)

    The European Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten, will visit Serbia and Montenegro and Kosovo on 10-11 May. The purpose of the visit to Belgrade is to discuss the state of reforms after the recent changes in the administrations of Serbia and Montenegro, and the urgent need for the country to overcome political, constitutional and commercial obstacles that stand in the way of its deeper integration with Europe within the Stabilisation and Association process. As he promised during his visit immediately after the violent events of last March, the Commissioner will also return to Kosovo to underline the European Union's continuing commitment to the province and to review the measures undertaken to tackle the causes and consequences of the March events.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Statement of President Prodi on the Libya - HIV case (06/05)

    Calendrier du 10 au 15 mai 2004


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


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