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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-10-21

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

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 20 octobre 2004 -

  • [01] Commission proposes a package of new measures for the fight against terrorism to enhance prevention, preparedness and response to terrorist attacks
  • [02] Nouvelles mesures contre le terrorisme : Communication sur le financement du terrorisme
  • [03] New measures against terrorism : protection of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks
  • [04] Nouvelles mesures contre le terrorisme : développer la prévention et la gestion des conséquences en matière d'attentats terroristes
  • [05] Echange de quotas d'émission : la Commission approuve huit nouveaux plans et les échanges pourront commencer la date prévue
  • [06] Commission fines companies in Spanish raw tobacco market
  • [07] Aides d'Etat : la Commission arrête des décisions concernant des chantiers navals allemands, espagnols et grecs
  • [08] Free movement of goods : Germany will be referred to Court over its rules on deposits for one-way packaging, unless the system is amended within three months
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [09] Telephone bills : data privacy need not preclude individual billing of calls, says European Court of Justice
  • [10] La Commission se félicite que la France a mis fin la discrimination des fournisseurs de services de téléphonie sur réseaux câblés
  • [11] Excise duties : Commission decides to take Sweden to Court over tax discrimination against wine
  • [12] What Europeans think of the EU's farm policy
  • [13] Août 2004 : excédent de 3 milliards d'€ du commerce extérieur pour la zone euro ; déficit de 7,8 milliards d'€ pour l'UE25
  • [14] First European Seminar for Leader+
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2004-10-21 Reference: MEX/04/1021 Date: 21/10/2004 EXME04 / 21.10

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Général Presse etb

    Communication

    21/10/04


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 20 octobre 2004 -

    Outcome of Commission meeting of 20 October

    (voir aussi - see also ME of 20/10)

    [01] Commission proposes a package of new measures for the fight against terrorism to enhance prevention, preparedness and response to terrorist attacks

    The European Commission has adopted four Communications in which new measures for fighting terrorism are presented. The four Communications respond to requests made by the European Council in March and June and aim to contribute to the preparation, together with the Council, of the European Council meeting of 17 December 2004. The different documents put forward clear suggestions on what would enhance European prevention, preparedness and response to terrorist attacks, respectively on terrorist financing, on prevention and consequence management and finally on critical infrastructure protection.

    [02] Nouvelles mesures contre le terrorisme : Communication sur le financement du terrorisme

    La Commission européenne a adopté une Communication intitulée "Prévenir et combattre le financement du terrorisme", qui met l'accent sur la nécessité de renforcer l'échange d'informations entre les instances compétentes au niveau national, communautaire et international. La Communication souligne également qu'il importe de faciliter la mise en place de structures de coopération et d'échange englobant les autorités fiscales, les organismes de surveillance financière, le ministère de la justice, les services de renseignement, les forces de l'ordre et les autorités responsables du gel administratif.

    [03] New measures against terrorism : protection of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication on critical infrastructure protection in the fight against terrorism. The document gives an overview of the actions that the Commission is currently taking on protection of critical infrastructure and proposes additional measures to strengthen existing instruments mainly by the establishment of a European programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) to provide enhanced security for critical infrastructure as an ongoing, dynamic annual system of reporting where the Commission would put forward its views on how to assure the continued functioning of Europe's critical infrastructure

    [04] Nouvelles mesures contre le terrorisme : développer la prévention et la gestion des conséquences en matière d'attentats terroristes

    La Commission européenne a adopté une Communication relative l'état de préparation et la gestion des conséquences dans la lutte contre le terrorisme. Ce document donne une vue d'ensemble des mesures prises actuellement par la Commission et en propose d'autres pour renforcer les instruments existants en matière de protection civile et de gestion des conséquences. La Commission doit veiller ce que les informations pertinentes soient partagées instantanément avec tous ses services et toutes les autorités nationales qui sont concernés.

    [05] Echange de quotas d'émission : la Commission approuve huit nouveaux plans et les échanges pourront commencer la date prévue

    La Commission européenne a approuvé une deuxième série de huit plans nationaux d'allocation de quotas d'émission de CO². Six plans – soumis par la Belgique, l'Estonie, la Lettonie, le Luxembourg, la Slovaquie et le Portugal – ont été acceptés sans réserve et deux autres – ceux de la Finlande et de la France – ont été approuvés sous réserve de modifications techniques. Ces modifications assureront leur acceptation automatique, sans autre évaluation par la Commission. Les plans nationaux indiquent le nombre de quotas d'émission de CO² que les Etats membres entendent allouer aux installations industrielles grosses consommatrices d'énergie afin qu'elles puissent participer au système d'échange partir de janvier 2005. Cette décision autorise les quotas alloués plus de 2.100 installations, savoir 15% d'un total estimé 12.000 dans l'UE25. En juillet, la Commission avait approuvé huit plans qui portaient sur plus de 5.000 installations représentant quelque 40% des quotas prévus. Le système d'échange de quotas d'émission de l'UE permettra de réduire, moindre coût pour l'économie, les émissions de gaz effet de serre dans les secteurs énergétique et industriel, ainsi qu' l'UE et ses Etats membres d'atteindre leurs objectifs conformément au protocole de Kyoto de 1997.

    [06] Commission fines companies in Spanish raw tobacco market

    The European Commission has fined five companies active in the Spanish raw tobacco processing market a total of €20 million for colluding on the prices paid to, and the quantities bought from, the tobacco growers in Spain. The concerned processors of raw tobacco are Compañia Española de Tabaco en Rama (Cetarsa), Agroexpansión, World Wide Tobacco España (WWTE), Tabacos Españoles (Taes) and Deltafina, the Italian tobacco processor which is also the main buyer of tobacco in Spain. The Commission also imposed small fines on the tobacco growers for engaging in collective price negotiations.

    [07] Aides d'Etat : la Commission arrête des décisions concernant des chantiers navals allemands, espagnols et grecs

    La Commission européenne a arrêté des décisions finales concernant des chantiers navals allemands, grecs et espagnols. Dans les trois cas, des subventions illégales doivent être remboursées et dans le cas de la Grèce certaines dispositions incompatibles avec le Traité doivent être abrogées.

    [08] Free movement of goods : Germany will be referred to Court over its rules on deposits for one-way packaging, unless the system is amended within three months

    The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the European Court of Justice over the national deposit and return rules that apply to one-way packaging as of 1 January 2003, because it believes that the way in which the deposit and return systems function in Germany constitutes a disproportionate barrier to the free movement of packaged beverages from other Member States, in breach of the Treaty's rules on free movement of goods (Article 28) and of Article 7 of Directive 94/62/EC (the "Packaging Directive"). However, given the recent active attempts of the German authorities to meet the Commission’s concerns, the referral to the Court will be suspended for three months. Under the current rules, retailers are only obliged to take back used one-way packaging of the same type, shape and size as packaging that they carry in their product range. This allows retailers to refuse taking back any packaging that is not exactly of the same type, shape and size as the packaging of the products they market themselves. As a consequence, consumers cannot return used one-way beverage packages to any point of sale of their choice. While the Commission strongly supports environmental protection, it believes that this goal requires effective return systems that allow consumers to return used one- way packaging at any point of sale in order to recover the deposit. The current measures particularly affect imported drinks, given that, for reasons mainly related to long distance deliveries, some 95% of imported drinks are in 'one way' packaging.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [09] Telephone bills : data privacy need not preclude individual billing of calls, says European Court of Justice

    European Court of Justice strengthens Consumers' rights in two rulings. EU data privacy rules need not prevent telephone operators from providing telephone bills that list individual calls, and there need not be any extra charge for this service, said the European Court of Justice in a judgment given on 14 September. The Court upheld the European Commission's case that Austria had failed to ensure that bills for using the fixed public telephone network were itemized in sufficient detail to allow users to check individual calls. Standard itemized bills could provide a higher level of detail, at no extra cost to subscribers, it noted. The Court rejected Austria's argument that because the itemized billing provisions of Directive 98/10/EC are subject to data privacy protection, no additional levels of detail could be offered to subscribers at reasonable tariffs. Finally, the Court found that Austria had failed to provide detailed arguments supporting its assertion that bills more detailed than those currently required in Austria would infringe data protection legislation.

    [10] La Commission se félicite que la France a mis fin la discrimination des fournisseurs de services de téléphonie sur réseaux câblés

    Le 15 juin 2004, la Commission européenne annonçait la saisine de la Cour européenne de Justice contre la France pour manquement aux directives "câble" et "pleine concurrence". En violation de ces règles énoncées, la France maintenait un régime d'autorisation spécifique pour la fourniture de services de téléphonie par câble, ce qui pénalisait les câblo-opérateurs. La France a depuis amendé sa législation, notamment l'occasion du vote de la loi sur les communications électroniques. La Commission a pris acte avec satisfaction des nouvelles dispositions mises en place par la France et a décidé de mettre fin au recours engagé devant la Cour.

    [11] Excise duties : Commission decides to take Sweden to Court over tax discrimination against wine

    The European Commission has decided to refer Sweden to the European Court of Justice over its tax discrimination against wine in comparison to beer. The Commission considers that the Swedish tax system affords undue protection to beer, mainly produced domestically, in comparison to wine, which comes from other Member States. In the Commission's view, this discriminatory tax regime violates EC Treaty rules (Article 90) that forbid Member States to impose higher taxes on products from other Member States than on competing domestic products. The Court of Justice has ruled in several cases that beer and table wine are competing products.

    [12] What Europeans think of the EU's farm policy

    A special Eurobarometer survey entitled "European Union citizens and agriculture from 1995 to 2003" gives an general idea of the evolution of people's perceptions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), its objectives, benefits and how they evaluate the changes that have occurred. Overall, the survey shows that EU citizens have a positive perception of the role of the CAP in meeting the EU citizen's demands. But it also highlights that more has to be done to the general public to explain the way it works.

    [13] Août 2004 : excédent de 3 milliards d'€ du commerce extérieur pour la zone euro ; déficit de 7,8 milliards d'€ pour l'UE25

    D'après les premières estimations publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat, pour le mois d'août 2004, la zone euro a réalisé un excédent du commerce extérieur de 3,0 milliars d'€ avec le reste du monde, contre +7,2 milliards en août 2003. Le solde enregistré au mois de juillet 2004 était de +12,8 milliards, contre +12,4 milliards en juillet 2003. En août 2004, les exportations, corrigées des variations saisonnières, sont restées pratiquement stables par rapport juillet 2004 (+0,5%), alors que les importations ont progressé de 3,4%. Les premières estimations du solde des échanges extra-UE25 pour le mois d'août 2004 indiquent un déficit de 7,8 millirds d'€, contre -2,6 milliards en août 2003. Au mois de juillet 2004, le solde était de +1,2 milliard, contre +1,7 milliard en juillet 2003. En août 2004, les exportations, corrigées des variations saisonnières, sont restées pratiquement stables par rapport juillet 2004 (+0,4%), alors que les importations ont augmenté de 3,7%.

    [14] First European Seminar for Leader+

    The first European Leader+ seminar entitled "Quality of life in rural areas: experiences and cooperation" will take place on 25 October in Brussels in the presence of European Commissioner Franz Fischler. The seminar is designed to assist rural actors to reflect on the potential of the quality of life in their local regions and is organised by the Leader+ Observatory. New ways of improving living conditions for individuals and families in rural areas are at stake. The theme "Quality of life" was selected by 250 out of the 892 different LAGs (Local Action Groups). The seminar will present innovative projects and good practice on related topics such as transport, culture, social inclusion, community life as well as local basic services, living environment. Leader+ is one of four initiatives financed by EU structural funds and encourages the implementation of integrated, high-quality and original strategies for sustainable development. There is a strong focus on partnership and networks of exchange of experience. Follow-up seminars on other Community strategic themes for Leader+ (e.g. new know-how and new technologies) are expected to take place in local regions across various Member States. For more information on Leader+ see :

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/rur/leaderplus/index_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/rur/leaderplus/index_en.htm

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Olli Rehn : "Turkey and the EU: a common future?" at a group meeting of the Greens/EFA of the European Parliament (20/10, Istanbul)

    Discours de M. Prodi l'inauguration du Berlaymont

    Speech by David Byrne : "EU Consumer Policy : Making it work!" at Dutch Presidency Conference on EU Consumer Policy (Amsterdam)

    Speech by Siim Kallas : "Modernising Europe - the state of Europe in the world" at 12th annual Congress of Eurochambres From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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