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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-01-28

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] Eurobaromètre sur la Constitution : un a priori positif, mais un manque d'information
  • [02] Commission proposes additional €200 million for Iraq on eve of elections
  • [03] Latest European regional statistics confirm Commission proposal on Structural Funds for 2007-2013
  • [04] New accounting system : better control over European taxpayer's money
  • [05] Commission clears acquisition of DAL by WestLB
  • [06] Commission clears joint venture between Airbus and Sita
  • [07] Taxation in the EU25 : tax burden in 2003 ranged from 29% of GDP in Lithuania and Latvia to 51% in Sweden - Overall tax burden of 41.5% in the EU25
  • [08] László Kovács meets the Executive Committee of the Board of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (27/01)
  • [09] László Kovács meets representatives from EUROCHAMBRES (27/01)
  • [10] Günter Verheugen to attend EU-Mercosur business forum
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-01-28 Reference: MEX/05/0128 Date: 28/01/2005 EXME05 / 28.1

    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

    28/01/05


  • [01] Eurobaromètre sur la Constitution : un a priori positif, mais un manque d'information

    Plus de la moitié des citoyens de l'Union européenne disent savoir très peu de choses sur le projet de Constitution et un tiers supplémentaire déclare ne pas en avoir entendu parler. L'étude indique également que l'opinion publique est plutôt favorable la Constitution, mais que le niveau d'indécision reste élevé dans la plupart des pays. C'est ce que révèle un sondage Eurobaromètre spécial réalisé entre le 27 octobre et le 29 novembre 2004 auprès d’un échantillon de près de 25.000 personnes.

    [02] Commission proposes additional €200 million for Iraq on eve of elections

    The European Commission has proposed an additional package of €200 million to assist with the reconstruction of Iraq, just a few days before the Iraqis have the chance to exercise their democratic right to vote for the first time. This new contribution is a further indication of the Commission's determination to support the political and economic transition in Iraq. The proposal comprises three key elements and a reserve fund : €130 million to boost essential services and jobs; €15 million for technical assistance to help build Iraq’s capacity in the important areas of energy and trade; and €10 million to support the political process, perhaps including help in drafting the new Constitution. €45 million will be held in reserve to allow a flexible response to changing circumstances on the ground and to respond to the needs identified by the new Iraqi government formed after the elections on 30 January.

    [03] Latest European regional statistics confirm Commission proposal on Structural Funds for 2007-2013

    Danuta Hübner, the European Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy, noted that the latest data on gross domestic product (GDP) per head in the regions of Europe show that the Commission's proposals for regional policy and social cohesion for 2007-2013 are soundly based. Regional disparities continue to need careful attention. In its proposals, the Commission calls for a regional policy based on convergence, regional competitiveness and territorial cooperation.

    [04] New accounting system : better control over European taxpayer's money

    The transition to a new accounting system in the European Commission has been successful. With the modernised system European taxpayers can be assured that their money is managed with the highest standard of control. The new system will give the Commission greater day-to-day control over its assets and liabilities, and provide better financial information. This will strengthen the Commission's drive to minimise any risk of error and irregularity.

    [05] Commission clears acquisition of DAL by WestLB

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Deutsche Anlagen-Leasing GmbH (DAL Germany) by WestLB AG of Germany. WestLB is the state bank of North-Rhein Westphalia and has its headquarters in Düsseldorf. It operates in a wide range of financial services but is not active in property leasing. DAL is a German leasing company whose primary focus is in the area of commercial real estate. It is also active in aircraft leasing. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [06] Commission clears joint venture between Airbus and Sita

    The European Commission has granted approval under the EU Merger Regulation to Airbus Group (France) and SITA (Netherlands) to form a joint venture, named OnAir, which will develop and provide the nascent onboard communication services for commercial aircraft (such as in-flight telephony, SMS, e-mail, Internet and GSM onboard). The Commission concluded that the joint venture will not significantly impede effective competition in those markets.

    [07] Taxation in the EU25 : tax burden in 2003 ranged from 29% of GDP in Lithuania and Latvia to 51% in Sweden - Overall tax burden of 41.5% in the EU25

    In 2003, the overall tax burden (i.e. the total amount of taxes and social security contributions) in the EU25 stood at 41.5% of GDP, compared with 41.3% in 2002. After an increase from 42.4% in 1998 to 42.9% in 1999, the tax-to-GDP ratio declined steadily from 1999 to 2002. In all ten new Member States, the tax-to-GDP ratio was lower in 2003 than the EU15 average (41.8%). Among the Member States there were substantial differences in the total tax burden. In 2003 Sweden (51.4%) recorded the highest tax-to-GDP ratio, followed by Denmark (49.8%), Belgium (48.1%), France (45.7%) and Finland (45.1%). The lowest ratios were observed in Lithuania (28.7%), Latvia (29.1%), Slovakia (30.9%), Ireland (31.2%) and Estonia (33.4%). In 2003 as compared with 2002, the tax burden rose in seventeen Member States, fell in seven and remained stable in Germany. The highest increases in the tax-to-GDP ratio were recorded in Cyprus (from 32.5% to 34.3%), Ireland (from 29.8% to 31.2%) and Estonia (from 32.4% to 33.4%). The largest reductions were observed in Slovakia (from 32.5% to 30.9%), Greece (from 39.8% to 38.6%), and Finland (from 46.1% to 45.1%). These figures come from a publication issued today by Eurostat. This report gives additional information on the evolution of the tax burden in the EU and the Member States between 1995 and 2003, and on the breakdown of tax revenue across Member States by main tax category.

    [08] László Kovács meets the Executive Committee of the Board of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (27/01)

    The European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union László Kovács met and discussed with representatives of the Swedish industry the Commission's ideas on simplifying and modernise the Community Customs Code. The Swedish industry is supportive of the commission's initiative for the reform of the community customs code. However, it is asking that the implementing provisions of the new code should take into account the situation of countries like Sweden that already have simplified procedures. The Swedish representatives also indicated their full support to the Commission's approach in the corporate tax area towards a common consolidated tax base in the EU as well as the simplification of VAT obligations by the creation of a "one stop shop".

    [09] László Kovács meets representatives from EUROCHAMBRES (27/01)

    The European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union Lászlo Kovács had an exchange of views with representatives of Eurochambers on tax competition, the common consolidated tax base, home state taxation and simplification of VAT obligations. Lászlo Kovács explained to the European industry representatives the Commission's position and underlined his willingness to use taxation as an instrument in achieving Lisbon goals in particular facilitating business and increasing competition. In return the representatives from Eurochambres expressed their support for these tax initiatives which they saw as largely business friendly.

    [10] Günter Verheugen to attend EU-Mercosur business forum

    On Monday, 31 January 2005, European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen will attend the Mercosur-European Business Forum in Luxembourg. Panels of senior political and business leaders also include the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Brazilian Minister of Development, Trade and Industry, Mr Luiz Fernando Furlan. The conference will be held 9.00 am to 06.00 pm at the Arcelor Corporate headquarters, 19, avenue de la Liberté, L-2930 Luxembourg. A press conference is scheduled at 12h30. Please confirm your attendance at the conference and/or the press briefing by return email : press@arcelor.com, phone : 352 4792 2360, fax : 352 4792 2658 , www.mebf.org.

    [11] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Günter Verheugen at Maritime Industries Forum (Bremen)

    Speech by Andris Pebalgs : "Erwartungen an eine neue Strategie Europas" at Deutsch-Französische Industrie- und Handelskammer (Aachen)

    Speech by Louis Michel : "A New Transatlantic Agenda for Development" (Washington, ! embargo 18h00 !)

    Calendrier du 31 janvier au 4 février 2005 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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