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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-01-13

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] EU car industry : Commission announces initiatives to boost competitiveness
  • [02] Trois ans après l'adoption de la monnaie unique, les citoyens européens sont désormais largement l'aise avec l'euro
  • [03] Netherlands : Commission takes Netherlands to Court over violations of EU environment laws
  • [04] Environment : Commission takes legal action over breaches of environmental law in Finland, Sweden and Denmark
  • [05] Belgique et Luxembourg : la Commission engage des actions en justice pour améliorer l'application du droit environnemental
  • [06] Ireland : Commission pursues legal action for breaches of environmental law in eight cases
  • [07] La Commission saisit la Cour de justice d'un recours contre le Portugal au sujet de règles discriminatoires en matière d'exonération fiscale des plus-values réalisées sur les ventes d'habitations
  • [08] Taxes on company capital : Commission considers Greek legislation incompatible with Capital Duty Directive
  • [09] Statement by Margot Wallström on the European Constitution (12/01)
  • [10] Customs : Lászlό Kovács meets Tom Ridge
  • [11] Joe Borg in Spain : partnership and cooperation are key to future of fisheries
  • [12] Commissioner Ján Figel' to launch eTwinning
  • [13] Regions : statistical yearbook - from A for Abruzzo to Z for Zuid- Holland - data on 254 regions of the EU25
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-01-13 Reference: MEX/05/0113 Date: 13/01/2005 EXME05 / 13.1

    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

    13/01/05


  • [01] EU car industry : Commission announces initiatives to boost competitiveness

    In a joint press conference Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Bernd Pischetsrieder, President of ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) and CEO of Volkswagen, launched a new initiative to boost the competitiveness of the European car industry. A high level group called "CARS 21" will be set up. The group's objective is to generate recommendations to improve the worldwide competitiveness of the European automotive industry. Commissioner Verheugen also announced his intention to make life easier for the industry by the simplification of the car type approval in the EU through the increasing application of United Nations rules.

    [02] Trois ans après l'adoption de la monnaie unique, les citoyens européens sont désormais largement l'aise avec l'euro

    Trois ans après l'introduction des pièces et des billets en euros, les citoyens de la zone euro sont désormais habitués la monnaie européenne : ils ne comptent plus mentalement en ancienne monnaie nationale pour les achats courants, connaissent la valeur approximative de l'euro face au dollar et s'attendent ce que les nouveaux Etats membres de l'UE adoptent eux aussi la monnaie unique, ce qui, selon eux, profitera l'ensemble des consommateurs. Mais un sondage réalisé par la Commission montre aussi que les citoyens méconnaissent le fait qu'ils peuvent retirer des espèces et effectuer des achats avec leurs cartes bancaires dans d'autres pays de la zone euro sans frais supplémentaires. Cette enquête révèle également que plus de la moitié des citoyens de la zone euro ont au moins entendu parler du pacte de stabilité et de croissance, qu'ils considèrent comme une garantie d'un euro fort et stable.

    [03] Netherlands : Commission takes Netherlands to Court over violations of EU environment laws

    The European Commission is taking the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice over three cases where the Netherlands has not implemented EU environmental laws on time or has done so inadequately. The laws cover industrial emissions, packaging waste and water protection. Final warnings of a possible referral to the Court in all cases were sent to the Netherlands last July but the violations have not been remedied. By failing to properly implement these laws the Netherlands is not giving citizens the high level of protection from man-made environmental risks that all Member States have agreed to.

    [04] Environment : Commission takes legal action over breaches of environmental law in Finland, Sweden and Denmark

    The European Commission has decided to pursue legal action against Finland, Sweden and Denmark for violations of EU environmental laws on nature protection and industrial pollution. The Commission is referring Finland to the European Court of Justice over hunting of wolves and sending Sweden a final written warning over the hunting and destruction of cormorants and rooks. Denmark is to receive a final written warning over its approach to controlling pollution from large pig and poultry farms.

    [05] Belgique et Luxembourg : la Commission engage des actions en justice pour améliorer l'application du droit environnemental

    La Commission européenne engage des actions en justice contre la Belgique, dans quatre dossiers comportant des infractions la législation environnementale de l'UE, et contre le Luxembourg pour un dossier. Ces actions visent obtenir que les Etats membres fassent cesser leurs infractions dès que possible et améliorent ainsi leur niveau de protection environnementale. La Commission a décidé d'assigner la Belgique et le Luxembourg devant la Cour de justice européenne pour n'avoir pas pleinement transposé en droit national la directive cadre dans le domaine de l'eau. Le délai pour ce faire a expiré voici près d'un an. La Commission poursuit également la Belgique dans les dossiers de l'échange des droits d'émission, de la qualité de l'essence et du carburant diesel ainsi que des substances qui appauvrissent la couche d'ozone.

    [06] Ireland : Commission pursues legal action for breaches of environmental law in eight cases

    The European Commission has decided to pursue infringement proceedings against Ireland in eight cases involving breaches of EU environment law. The Commission's action in these cases is aimed at reducing agricultural and sewage-related water pollution, protecting citizens from noxious sewage odours, ensuring safe waste disposal, ensuring that significant projects are properly environmentally assessed, restoring an important nature site and getting Ireland to participate more fully in wider efforts to curb air pollution and protect the Earth's ozone layer. The Commission has a duty to ensure that each Member State lives up to its commitments to safeguard the environment and human health.

    [07] La Commission saisit la Cour de justice d'un recours contre le Portugal au sujet de règles discriminatoires en matière d'exonération fiscale des plus-values réalisées sur les ventes d'habitations

    La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour de justice européenne d'un recours contre le Portugal au motif que ce pays n'a pas modifié la législation en vertu de laquelle les plus-values réalisées sur les ventes d'habitations ne sont exonérées que si le produit de ces ventes est réinvesti dans une habitation portugaise. La Commission estime que le refus d'accorder cette exonération lorsque le produit de la vente est utilisé pour acquérir une habitation dans un autre Etat membre est contraire aux règles du traité CE, notamment celles concernant la libre circulation des personnes. Le Portugal n'a pas répondu de façon satisfaisante la demande formelle que lui a adressée la Commission en juillet 2004 pour l'inviter modifier la législation en cause (voir IP/04/938).

    [08] Taxes on company capital : Commission considers Greek legislation incompatible with Capital Duty Directive

    The European Commission has decided to send a formal request to Greece to amend its tax legislation applicable to the raising of capital. Greece applies capital duty when a company transfers its registered office or place of effective management to Greece and applies a general exemption from capital duty to agricultural and maritime companies. The Commission considers that these rules are contrary to the Directive concerning indirect taxes on the raising of capital (69/335/EEC) which allows Member States to subject only the formation of companies, not their transfer, to capital duty and does not allow Greece to exempt specific economic sectors from the tax. The request is in the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the Treaty. If Greece does not amend its legislation within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice.

    [09] Statement by Margot Wallström on the European Constitution (12/01)

    European Commission Vice-President, responsible for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, Margot Wallström, said : "The European Parliament gave today very firm support to the Constitution. 74% of those voting and over 2/3 of the total number of MEPs said 'Yes' to the Constitution. This is a very clear signal which I strongly welcome. The ratification process is now entering its decisive phase. Governments, national parliaments and EU institutions should do their utmost to ensure an informed debate on the Constitution. The ratification of the Constitution is an opportunity to debate about what kind of Europe we want. All of us have a duty to make available clear and reliable information on what the Constitution does and the benefits that it can bring. The Constitution will give Europe more rights, more democracy and more openness."

    [10] Customs : Lászlό Kovács meets Tom Ridge

    European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Lászlό Kovács met today with outgoing US Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge. Commissioner Kovács and Secretary Ridge discussed the very fruitful customs cooperation between the US and the EU in improving the security of transatlantic maritime container transport and the promotion of EU/US standards worldwide. "I would like to thank Secretary Ridge for his significant contribution to the successful cooperation between US Customs and Border Protection, the European Commission and EU Member States' Customs Administrations", said Mr Kovács. "I look forward to the continuation of this close cooperation with his successor". Commissioner Kovács and Secretary Ridge noted that the EU and the US are heading towards practical solutions that facilitate legitimate transatlantic trade while ensuring the security of containers from all locations that are imported into, transhipped or transit the EU and the US. They both agreed that the EU and US partnership in the development of security standards for the supply chain should aim at setting global standards and international coordinated solutions to security.

    For further background information on the Container Security Initiative see:

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/customs/policy_issues/customs_security/index_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/customs/policy_issues/customs_security/index_en.htm

    [11] Joe Borg in Spain : partnership and cooperation are key to future of fisheries

    On a visit to Spain, European Commissioner Joe Borg, responsible for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said that the future of fishing activities depended on the capacity of all the interested parties to work together. He welcomed the active involvement of Spanish stakeholders in creating Regional Advisory Councils which will allow fishermen and other interested parties to participate in the Common Fisheries Policy process. Commissioner Borg underlined the importance of dialogue in a number of areas such as the development of long-term strategies to rebuild and conserve fish stocks, technical measures for the Mediterranean and the future European Fisheries Fund. He also stressed the need for international co-operation in the fight against illegal fishing practices on the high seas and in helping developing countries acquire the means to enforce fisheries rules. During his visit, Mr Borg has been meeting with representatives from the Spanish fishing sector in Madrid, Andalusia and Galicia. He will also speak about the launching of the exercise towards developing an EU-wide Maritime Policy in his address to a meeting of the Conference of Maritime Regions of Europe in Santiago de Compostela on Friday. Commissioner Borg has also been outlining the action taken by the Commission in finding the best ways to help rebuild the devastated fisheries and aquaculture sector in the countries affected by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

    [12] Commissioner Ján Figel' to launch eTwinning

    Tomorrow, European Commissioner Ján Figel' will launch the eTwinning action at a conference to be held in Brussels between 14 and 16 January. eTwinning is the main element of the e-Learning Programme and is a new European initiative aimed at promoting the twinning of schools across Europe, through the use of the internet. ICT have a significant impact on the ways schools operate in the EU, as 93% of schools are now connected to the Internet and the ratio of pupils per online PC has reduced to below 15. Over the week-end, some 300 innovative teachers from 25 European countries, along with representatives from the national and European services for e- Twinning, will gather to discuss this new instrument which was requested in the conclusions of the Barcelona European Council (March 2002). For more information on the conference, see <a href="http://www.etwinning.net">www.etwinning.net

    [13] Regions : statistical yearbook - from A for Abruzzo to Z for Zuid- Holland - data on 254 regions of the EU25

    Eurostat today publishes a new edition of the Statistical Yearbook of the EU Regions, which covers the 25 Member States, Bulgaria and Romania. This publication illustrates both the EU's regional diversity and the links which have developed over recent years between regions, including across national borders. For the 254 regions of the EU25 as defined by level 2 of the Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS), and for 14 regions in Bulgaria and Romania, the Yearbook sets out general socio- economic data : population, GDP, household wealth, labour force and unemployment. It investigates agriculture and covers transverse economic themes: scientific and technological developments and the structure of business. The daily life of Europeans in their own region is depicted through statistics on health, tourism and urbanisation. Finally, some statistics based on NUTS level 1 are presented.

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Key Indicators on the competitiveness of the EU's automotive Industry From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/

    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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