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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-05-19

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] La Commission entame la procédure de surveillance budgétaire à l'égard de la Grèce
  • [02] Commission recommends further steps under the excessive deficit procedure for the Netherlands
  • [03] La Commission autorise l'Allemagne à octroyer une aide de 3 milliards d'euros à son secteur charbonnier
  • [04] La Commission autorise l'importation de maïs doux transgénique en boîte sous de nouvelles conditions strictes d'étiquetage les consommateurs pourront choisir
  • [05] European Commission encourages workers and employers to open negotiations on working time
  • [06] Commission orders Danish public broadcaster TV2 to pay back excess compensation for public service tasks
  • [07] Commission launches state aid probe with respect to Polish steel company Huta Czestochowa
  • [08] La Commission refuse une aide italienne en faveur des entreprises du secteur avicole
  • [II] Other news Autres nouvelles

  • [09] Mars 2004 - Excédent de 10,2 milliards d'euros du commerce extérieur pour la zone euro - Déficit de 4,3 milliards d'euros pour l'UE25 en février 2004
  • [10] Commission clears acquisition of SIUTSA by JPMP and Bridgepoint
  • [11] Commission celebrates 50th anniversary of its External Service
  • [12] Rédiffusion de notes
  • [13] Commission welcomes agreement to crack down on rogue traders: EU-wide enforcement network to be created
  • [14] Commission applauds Council agreement on unfair commercial practices: EU to ban pressure selling
  • [15] Patents: Commission welcomes Council agreement on Directive on computer-implemented inventions
  • [16] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 19/05/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 19/05/2004[I] Résultat de la Commission de ce jour Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] La Commission entame la procédure de surveillance budgétaire à l'égard de la Grèce

    À la suite de la notification des données révisées relatives au déficit et à la dette enregistrés en 2003, Eurostat a constaté le 7 Mai 2004 (ESTAT/62/2004) que le déficit des administrations publiques grecques s'élevait à 3,2 % du PIB en 2003. Les données les plus récentes semblent donc établir l'existence d'un déficit excessif en Grèce. Sur cette base, la Commission a adopté ce jour un rapport sur la situation budgétaire de la Grèce, conformément à l'article 104, paragraphe 3, du traité. Ce rapport indique que le dépassement de la valeur de référence de 3 % n'est pas le résultat d'un événement exceptionnel indépendant de la volonté des autorités grecques, et n'est pas non plus le fait d'une forte récession économique. Au contraire, la Grèce a enregistré une forte croissance économique, supérieure à 4 % en moyenne au cours de la période 2000-2003. Selon les prévisions de la Commission, le déficit public grec devrait rester supérieur à 3 % du PIB en 2004. La dette publique élevée et la lenteur de sa réduction sont également préoccupantes. Le comité économique et financier adoptera un avis au sujet de ce rapport dans un délai de deux semaines. La Commission recommandera ensuite de poursuivre la procédure concernant les déficits excessifs en temps utile pour le Conseil Ecofin du 5 juillet.

    [02] Commission recommends further steps under the excessive deficit procedure for the Netherlands

    Following its report of 28 April (IP/04/552) and the opinion of the Economic and Financial Committee, the Commission concluded today that there is an excessive deficit in the Netherlands and adopted a Commission Opinion to the Council in the sense of Article 104(5) of the Treaty. The general government deficit reached 3.2% of GDP in 2003 and could remain at or above 3.0% of GDP in 2004 despite additional savings measures adopted by the government on 16 April 2004. Public debt reached 54.8% of GDP in 2003, below the 60% Treaty reference value. The Commission is therefore recommending to the Council to decide on the existence of an excessive deficit (Article 104(6)) and to make recommendations to the Dutch authorities with a view to bringing this situation to an end (Article 104(7)). The Commission's recommendations are expected to be considered by the ECOFIN Council of 2 June. The Dutch government should take action regarding corrective measures for 2005 within four months from the date of the Council decision.

    [03] La Commission autorise l'Allemagne à octroyer une aide de 3 milliards d'euros à son secteur charbonnier

    La Commission européenne a décidé aujourd'hui de n'élever aucune objection à l'encontre d'un paquet d'aides d'un montant de 3 milliards d'euros que l'Allemagne veut octroyer à son secteur charbonnier pour 2004. L'aide est compatible avec le bon fonctionnement du marché commun.

    [04] La Commission autorise l'importation de maïs doux transgénique en boîte sous de nouvelles conditions strictes d'étiquetage les consommateurs pourront choisir

    La Commission européenne a autorisé aujourd'hui la mise sur le marché de maïs doux issu de la lignée de maïs génétiquement modifiée Bt11. Cette décision, valable 10 ans, a pour destinataire la société Syngenta. Toutes les boîtes de ce maïs importées devront désormais porter un étiquetage indiquant clairement que ce légume provient d'une plante génétiquement modifiée. Les importations en Europe de grains de maïs génétiquement modifié Bt11 sont autorisées depuis 1998. Ces grains de maïs sont largement utilisés dans l'UE dans l'alimentation des animaux et dans les produits alimentaires dérivés, tels que l'huile de maïs, la farine de maïs, les sucres et les sirops, les en-cas, les produits cuits, les produits frits, les confiseries et les boissons non alcoolisées. L'autorisation accordée aujourd'hui couvre spécifiquement les importations de maïs doux en boîte ou frais. L'étiquetage devra indiquer clairement que ce maïs est un OGM conforme à la nouvelle législation communautaire. Une autorisation de cultiver le maïs Bt11 est en suspens et n'a pas encore été accordée.

    [05] European Commission encourages workers and employers to open negotiations on working time

    The European Commission is calling on workers' and employers' representatives ("social partners") at European level to play their role in bringing key aspects of the Working Time Directive up to date. Following a Europe-wide consultation earlier this year, the European Commission has identified specific areas where both sides of industry should negotiate. Firstly, following recent judgements of the European Court of Justice on time spent on-call by health professionals, it is necessary to clarify to what extent this should be counted as working time. Secondly, in order to tackle abuses in the application of the individual opt-out from the 48-hour week the document identifies various approaches for the consideration of social partners. Thirdly, the Commission suggests that the period over which the 48-hour weekly average is calculated should be extended from the current four months.

    [06] Commission orders Danish public broadcaster TV2 to pay back excess compensation for public service tasks

    Today the European Commission closed its State aid investigation into the State financed Danish public broadcaster TV2/DANMARK, ordering TV2 to reimburse approximately € 84.4 million plus interest of State aid. The formal investigation showed that this amount of aid that TV2/DANMARK received exceeded the cost of fulfilling its public service mission.

    [07] Commission launches state aid probe with respect to Polish steel company Huta Czestochowa

    The Commission today decided to launch an in-depth probe into restructuring of the Polish steel producer Huta Czestochowa S.A. The probe opened today aims to establish the precise facts of the case and invites interested parties to submit their views. Huta Czestochowa S.A is a well-known producer of steel plate in Poland, which has been in financial difficulties. Poland is currently planning financial measures as regards the company.

    [08] La Commission refuse une aide italienne en faveur des entreprises du secteur avicole

    La Commission a décidé aujourd'hui que l'aide de 10 329 138 € présentée par l'Italie, visant à compenser les entreprises du secteur avicole italien pour les pertes dues aux effets de la crise dioxine en 1999, était incompatible avec le marché commun. L'Italie dispose d'un délai de deux mois, à compter de la date de notification de la décision de la Commission, pour communiquer les mesures prises pour s'y conformer.

    [II] Other news Autres nouvelles

    [09] Mars 2004 - Excédent de 10,2 milliards d'euros du commerce extérieur pour la zone euro - Déficit de 4,3 milliards d'euros pour l'UE25 en février 2004

    D'après les premières estimations pour le mois de mars 2004, la zone euro a réalisé un excédent du commerce extérieur de 10,2 mrds d'euros avec le reste du monde, contre un excédent de 3,4 mrds en mars 2003. Le solde enregistré au mois de février 20042 était de +6,5 mrds, contre +5,1 mrds en février 2003. En mars 2004, les exportations, corrigées des variations saisonnières, sont restées quasiment stables par rapport à février 2004, alors que les importations ont diminué de 2,2%. Les premières estimations du solde des échanges extra-UE25 pour le mois de février 2004 indiquent un déficit de 4,3 mrds d'euros, contre -6,7 mrds en février 2003. Au mois de janvier 2004, le solde était de -12,1 mrds, contre -13,0 mrds en janvier 2003. Ces données sont publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat.

    [10] Commission clears acquisition of SIUTSA by JPMP and Bridgepoint

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of the Spanish undertaking Servicio Urgente de Transportes, S.A. (SIUTA), active in domestic express document and parcel delivery services, by the undertakings JP Morgan Partners Capital Corp.,U.S. (JPMP) and Bridgepoint Capital Ltd. (U.K.). (The operation, notified on 16 April 2004, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [11] Commission celebrates 50th anniversary of its External Service

    On 19 May, Chris Patten, Commissioner responsible for external relations, will chair the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the European Commission's External Service. The External Service is a unique tool for the implementation of the EU policy abroad, with a major network of 130 Delegations established in third countries, as well as accredited to international organisations.

    [12] Rédiffusion de notes

    [13] Commission welcomes agreement to crack down on rogue traders: EU-wide enforcement network to be created

    The European Commission has welcomed the Competitiveness Council's endorsement of a new EU law that will help prevent unscrupulous traders from evading consumer protection authorities by targeting consumers living in other EU countries. Council today endorsed legislation that will create an EU-wide network of national enforcement authorities capable of taking co- ordinated action against rogue traders who abuse the freedom of the EU's Internal Market in order to run cross border scams. The new law, which was initially proposed by the Commission in July 2003 (see IP/03/1067), will remove barriers to information exchange and cooperation and empowers enforcement authorities to seek and obtain action from their counterparts in other Member States. Council and Parliament were able to reach agreement on the legislation at the first reading stage, the European Parliament having accepted a Council compromise at its April plenary session. Political negotiations between the institutions having been completed, final adoption of the law will take place later this year once the legal texts have been finalised. The new EU-wide enforcement network will start work in 2006

    [14] Commission applauds Council agreement on unfair commercial practices: EU to ban pressure selling

    The European Commission has applauded the political agreement reached by the Competitiveness Council on the EU's Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Proposed by the Commission in June 2003 (see IP/03/857), this new EU law will clarify consumers' rights and facilitate cross-border trade by establishing common, EU-wide rules against aggressive or misleading business-to-consumer marketing. This will give consumers the same protection against sharp business practices and rogue traders whether they buy from the shop around the corner or from a website in another Member State. Independent economic studies predict the Directive will increase consumer choice, stimulate competition and enlarge the horizons of small and medium sized businesses in Europe. The Directive will go back to the European Parliament for a second reading this autumn.

    [15] Patents: Commission welcomes Council agreement on Directive on computer-implemented inventions

    The European Commission has welcomed the Competitiveness Council's political agreement on a 'common position' on the proposed Directive on computer-implemented inventions. The proposed Directive aims to boost innovation by ensuring that those who invest in developing genuinely new products that depend on computer implemented technology can, like those who develop other products, get a fair reward. It would achieve this without sealing off the software market to new initiatives and new inventions. The Commission supports the text adopted by Council, which it believes restores the overall balance between the interests of the rights holders and other parties (competitors and consumers) struck by the original Commission proposal presented in February 2002 (see IP/02/277, MEMO/02/32). However, there are still differences between the positions of the Council and European Parliament and, under the procedure known as 'co-decision', both institutions must agree before the measure can become EU law. Once the Council has formally adopted the 'common position' without discussion at a forthcoming meeting, the text will be transmitted to the Parliament to begin its second reading after it has reconvened in September following the June 2004elections.

    [16] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Mr. Janez Potocnik on "Ukraine-Eu Relations: Propsects for the Future Préparation du Conseil Agriculture/Pêche de mai 2004 Results of Competitiveness Council, Brussels 17-18 May 2004 Calendrier du 24 au 30 mai 2004

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


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