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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-12-09

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 de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] European Neighbourhood Policy : the first Action Plans
  • [02] Commission imposes €66.34 million fines on animal feed vitamin cartel
  • [03] La Commission interdit l'acquisition de GDP par EDP et ENI
  • [04] Commission appoints new Director General of Eurostat
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [05] L'UE aide les parents rendre plus sûre l'utilisation de l'internet
  • [06] Commission clears acquisition of Schils by Van Drie
  • [07] La Commission autorise le rachat de RMC par Cemex
  • [08] EU-US Ministerial (10/12, The Hague)
  • [09] Peter Mandelson on the EU's relationship with China
  • [10] Ján Figel' welcomes the works of UNESCO on sport
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2004-12-09 Reference: MEX/04/1209 Date: 09/12/2004 EXME04 / 9.12

    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

    09/12/04


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] European Neighbourhood Policy : the first Action Plans

    Moldova, Ukraine, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority are the first of the EU's neighbours to agree Action Plans, that will make concrete the EU's new offer under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). These first plans - approved today by the European Commission - are the product of negotiations with each country, and in each case the plan is specifically designed to reflect the specific interests of the country concerned. The Action Plans will help strengthen democracy, good governance, the rule of law and human rights as well as helping with economic modernisation. The concrete benefits they contain, include the chance to participate in some EU programmes and a stake in Single Market. In addition the EU is offering more targeted help to tackle cross border issues, such as migration and trafficking, as well as improved interconnections and physical links with the EU in areas like energy and transport.

    [02] Commission imposes €66.34 million fines on animal feed vitamin cartel

    The European Commission has decided to impose fines totalling €66.34 million on Akzo Nobel, BASF and UCB for operating a cartel in the market for choline chloride, Choline chloride, also known as vitamin B4, is used mainly as a feed additive for poultry and pigs, to increase growth, reduce mortality and improve meat quality. Clients are animal feed producers, which in turn supply to European farmers. The level of the fines confirms the Commission's determination to crack down hard on companies engaged in cartel practices such as price fixing and market sharing.

    [03] La Commission interdit l'acquisition de GDP par EDP et ENI

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'interdire le projet d'acquisition d'un contrôle conjoint de Gás de Portugal (GDP), l'opérateur historique du gaz au Portugal, par Energias de Portugal (EDP), l'opérateur historique de l'électricité dans ce pays, et ENI, une société italienne du secteur de l'énergie, parce que l'opération aurait entravé le jeu d'une concurrence effective. Après une enquête approfondie, la Commission est parvenue la conclusion que l'opération renforcerait la position dominante d'EDP sur les marchés de gros et de détail de l'électricité au Portugal, ainsi que la position dominante de GDP sur les marchés portugais du gaz. L'opération aurait donc pour effet de réduire ou d'empêcher la libéralisation effective des marchés de l'électricité et du gaz, et d'accroître les prix pour les particuliers et les clients industriels. Les mesures correctives proposées par EDP et ENI ont été jugées insuffisantes pour écarter les préoccupations en matière de concurrence.

    [04] Commission appoints new Director General of Eurostat

    The European Commission has appointed Mr Günther Hanreich to the post of Director-General for Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office. Mr Hanreich, who is Austrian, was previously Director for Trans-European Networks at the Commission's Directorate General for Energy and Transport. He replaces Mr Michel Vanden Abeele, who was appointed on a temporary basis in May 2003.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [05] L'UE aide les parents rendre plus sûre l'utilisation de l'internet

    Le Conseil Télécommunications de l'UE a adopté aujourd'hui le programme Safer Internet Plus, qui vise mettre la disposition des parents et des enseignants des outils permettant de rendre l'internet plus sûr. Ce programme dont la durée prévue est de quatre ans (2005-2008), a été proposé par la Commission européenne en mars. Il est doté d'un budget de 45 millions d'€ pour lutter contre les contenus illicites et préjudiciables sur l'internet. Il couvre également d'autres médias, tels que les supports vidéo, et est explicitement conçu pour combattre le racisme ainsi que les communications électroniques commerciales non sollicitées ("spam"). Il sera particulièrement axé sur les besoins des utilisateurs finaux: parents, éducateurs et enfants.

    [06] Commission clears acquisition of Schils by Van Drie

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition by Van Drie, a Dutch company specialised in calf and veal production of Schils, another Dutch group mainly active in dry dairy products. Van Drie has relatively strong positions in certain market segments, such as slaughtering of calves and the veal wholesale market, whilst Schils is an important player in calf feed production. The Commission investigated the vertical and horizontal aspects of the merger and concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

    [07] La Commission autorise le rachat de RMC par Cemex

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'autoriser, en application du règlement sur les concentrations de l'UE, le rachat de RMC par Cemex. Cette opération réunira deux entreprises de matériaux de construction exerçant leurs activités au niveau mondial. La Commission a conclu que cette opération n'aurait pas pour conséquence d'entraver de manière significative une concurrence effective dans l'EEE ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci et l'a donc autorisée. L'entité issue de l'opération comptera parmi les plus grandes entreprises de matériaux de construction du monde.

    [08] EU-US Ministerial (10/12, The Hague)

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, together with the High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, and the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bernard Bot, representing the current EU Presidency, will meet for a Ministerial Troika with US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, on 10 December 2004 in The Hague, Netherlands. The agenda concentrates on multilateral political issues such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the Middle East, China, Russia, Ukraine and the Balkans. The ministerial plenary session will be preceded by a working luncheon dedicated to a general discussion on the future of the transatlantic relationship. Media advisory: the Ministerial Troika meeting will be followed by a press conference at around 16h45 ; EbS will be covering key moments.

    [09] Peter Mandelson on the EU's relationship with China

    Speaking to an EU-China Business summit in The Hague today European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson stressed the importance of dramatic economic change in China for the global economy, saying that China is the "great change of our time" and that Europe must lift its relations with China "to a new and higher level". He argued that China has made strides towards fulfilling the commitments it made for WTO membership, and must now play an active part in a successful Doha Round. Referring to the removal of textile quotas on January 1 2005 as a "major prize" for China, Commissioner Mandelson urged the Chinese to act to ensure that a sudden surge in Chinese textiles exports did not damage small and vulnerable textile producing countries.

    [10] Ján Figel' welcomes the works of UNESCO on sport

    UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations) held its 4th International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials responsible for Physical Education and Sports (MINEPS IV) in Vouliagmenis (Greece) on 6-8 December. The EU's Member States and the Dutch Presidency participated actively in this meeting. Three major issues were addressed by the delegates : UNESCO's draft anti-doping convention, a draft strategy on physical education and the issue of women in sport. Commissioner Ján Figel', whose portfolio includes sport, welcomed the works of delegates : "According to a recent Eurobarometer, the fight against doping is a priority for a huge majority of Europeans and UNESCO's draft convention is good news for everyone involved in that cause. The draft will be presented at the UNESCO's general conference in September 2005 and ratifications will start after that date”. Commissioner Figel' also greeted the choice by the United Nations to make 2005 its "International Year of Sport and Physical education". "This concept is very similar to that of the European Year of Education through Sport which the EU has been celebrating throughout this year", said the Commissioner. "We would be happy to share our experiences from EYES with actors at the international level."

    [11] Autre matériel diffusé

    Introductory remarks by Neelie Kroes at press conference on Choline Chloride cartel and EDP/ENI/GDP merger decisions

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "Regional policy in the enlarged EU: how much reform do we need?" at Centre for European Reform

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner : " The Future of the UN: Results of the Kofi Annan High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change" at Conference organized by the European Policy Centre and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (08/12) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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