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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-02-18

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] President Barroso welcomes US President Bush at European Commission headquarters
  • [02] Une nouvelle année réussie pour Erasmus : la mobilité des étudiants et des enseignants a augmenté de près de 10% en 2003/2004
  • [03] Commission welcomes phasing out of tax benefits for Offshore Exempt Companies in Gibraltar
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of Masonite by KKR
  • [05] European researchers based in the US want more contact with Europe
  • [06] December 2004 compared to November 2004 : industrial production up by 0.5% in euro-zone - EU25 up by 0.2%
  • [07] EU business and citizens to benefit from new eGovernment servicesA SME wishing to set up a subsidiary in another Member State is currently faced with many bureaucratic obstacles. This often creates prohibitive costs including the need to travel to the new location to register the company and to sort out social security issues for staff being relocated. More than 250 participants from all EU Member States debated the priorities for eGovernment in Europe during a conference entitled "Cross-border eGovernment services for administrations, businesses and citizens" that ended in Brussels today. New EU eGovernment services will open up access and cut red tape for the free movement of people, goods and services across Europe. Though some hurdles must still be overcome to reach this ambitious goal, a blueprint for the future technical infrastructure of eGovernment in Europe was presented at the conference. The European Commission also presented its new IDABC programme, which aims to improve the efficiency of European public administrations.
  • [08] Fiscalité des entreprises : la Commission se félicite de l'accord sur les améliorations apportées la directive relative aux fusions
  • [09] Lászlo Kovács meets Finnish Finance Minister Antti Kalliomäki, and Estonian Finance Minister Taavi Veskimägi (17/02)
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-02-18 Reference: MEX/05/0218 Date: 18/02/2005 EXME05 / 18.2

    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

    18/02/05


  • [01] President Barroso welcomes US President Bush at European Commission headquarters

    In the evening of 22 February 2005, US President, George W. Bush, and European Commission President, José M. Barroso, will meet at the Berlaymont building, the headquarters of the Commission in Brussels. Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, will also participate. President Bush will be accompanied by US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor, Steve Hadley, and White House Chief of Staff, Andrew Card. In the run up to the meeting, President Barroso declared today : "I am very much looking forward to welcoming President Bush to the European Commission and to exchange views on key bilateral and multilateral issues impacting transatlantic relations. America needs Europe and Europe needs America and by working together we can make the world a better one. We must combine our ideas, experiences and resources to promote democracy, freedom and prosperity and to build a safer world with opportunities for citizens around the globe."

    [02] Une nouvelle année réussie pour Erasmus : la mobilité des étudiants et des enseignants a augmenté de près de 10% en 2003/2004

    Le nombre d'étudiants Erasmus a connu une augmentation significative de 9, 4% au cours de l'année universitaire 2003/2004 et le nombre d'enseignants a augmenté dans des proportions pratiquement identiques. Ces chiffres sont tirés des rapports soumis par les agences nationales Socrates-Erasmus la Commission européenne. La majorité des 30 pays participants ont connu une augmentation de la mobilité sortante. L'Espagne est restée la destination préférée des étudiants et l'Allemagne la destination préférée des enseignants.

    [03] Commission welcomes phasing out of tax benefits for Offshore Exempt Companies in Gibraltar

    The European Commission has welcomed the notification by the UK Government that it has formally accepted the Commission recommendation of 19 January 2005 (see IP/05/80) to abolish the Exempt Company tax regime in Gibraltar by the end of 2010. The UK's acceptance renders the abolition of the regime legally binding on the United Kingdom and will put an end to the last offshore scheme in Gibraltar. The Commission found that the scheme violated the EC Treaty's ban on state aid liable to distort competition.

    [04] Commission clears acquisition of Masonite by KKR

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Masonite International Corporation of Canada by Stile Acquisition Corp of Canada (Stile) controlled by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) of the US. Masonite manufactures doors (for both indoor and outdoor use), door components and door entry systems. Its door products are sold throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It also manufactures bathroom cubicles in the UK and pressboard products in South Africa. Stile is the vehicle through which KKR will acquire Masonite. KKR makes private equity investments in management buyouts for itself and its investors. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [05] European researchers based in the US want more contact with Europe

    (! embargo 14h00 !) EU researchers based in the US have given an outstanding "yes" to the creation of a network for them and about them. Following a survey of researchers from EU countries working in the US, carried out by the European Commission, over 90% of the 2000 respondents said that they wanted closer research links with Europe. The European Commission has therefore agreed to develop a networking and information tool called ERA-Link, which will be operational by the end of the year. ERA- Link will give European researchers working in the US access to information about career and research funding opportunities in Europe, as well as possibilities for collaborative work with EU laboratories, student exchanges and visiting professorships. It will also give them the means to contact other European researchers working in the US, and organise regular meetings amongst themselves.

    [06] December 2004 compared to November 2004 : industrial production up by 0.5% in euro-zone - EU25 up by 0.2%

    Seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 0.5% in the euro-zone in December 2004 compared to November 2004, Eurostat estimates today. Production fell by 0.4% in November and by 0.6% in October. Output in the EU25 increased by 0.2% in December 2004, after falls of 0.2% in November and 0.4% in October. In December 2004 compared to December 2003, industrial production rose by 1.0% in the euro-zone and by 0.8% in the EU25. The average production index for the year 2004 compared to that for 2003 increased by 1.9% in the euro-zone and by 2.1% in the EU25.

    [07] EU business and citizens to benefit from new eGovernment servicesA SME wishing to set up a subsidiary in another Member State is currently faced with many bureaucratic obstacles. This often creates prohibitive costs including the need to travel to the new location to register the company and to sort out social security issues for staff being relocated. More than 250 participants from all EU Member States debated the priorities for eGovernment in Europe during a conference entitled "Cross-border eGovernment services for administrations, businesses and citizens" that ended in Brussels today. New EU eGovernment services will open up access and cut red tape for the free movement of people, goods and services across Europe. Though some hurdles must still be overcome to reach this ambitious goal, a blueprint for the future technical infrastructure of eGovernment in Europe was presented at the conference. The European Commission also presented its new IDABC programme, which aims to improve the efficiency of European public administrations.

    [08] Fiscalité des entreprises : la Commission se félicite de l'accord sur les améliorations apportées la directive relative aux fusions

    La Commission européenne s'est félicitée de l'adoption par le Conseil des ministres des Finances de l'UE d'une proposition visant modifier la directive qui prévoit le report de l'imposition dans le cas des fusions, scissions, apports d'actifs et échanges d'actions intéressant des sociétés d'Etats membres différents (99/434/CEE). Cette modification, basée sur une proposition de la Commission d'octobre 2003 (voir IP/03/1418), élargira le champ d'application de la directive existante un plus grand éventail de sociétés, dont la société européenne (voir IP/01/1376) et la société coopérative européenne (voir IP/03/1071). Elle prévoit un nouveau régime fiscal neutre pour le transfert du siège social d'une société européenne ou d'une société coopérative européenne d'un Etat membre un autre. Elle précise aussi que la directive s'applique dans le cas de la transformation de succursales en filiales. Enfin, elle couvre un nouveau type d'opération, connue sous le nom de 'scission partielle' ou 'scission avec échanges d'actions'.

    [09] Lászlo Kovács meets Finnish Finance Minister Antti Kalliomäki, and Estonian Finance Minister Taavi Veskimägi (17/02)

    European Commissioner for Taxation and the Customs Union Lászlo Kovács met Finnish Finance Minister, Antti Kalliomäki, for an exchange of views on EU tax issues. Commissioner Kovács and Minister Kalliomaki discussed Finland's possible work programme in the tax and customs fields during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2006. Alcohol taxation was also discussed, in particular in the light of the Commission's report of May 2004 (see IP/04/669). Mr Kovács stressed the importance that the Commission attaches to a resolution of the issue of alcohol taxation and the need for a proper debate on this subject among all stakeholders in order to help shape future EU policy in this area. Commissioner Kovács also had a meeting with Estonian Finance Minister, Taavi Veskimägi, during which they discussed the Commission's proposals on reduced VAT rates of July 2003 (IP/03/1024) and to modernise the rules on the place of taxation of services for VAT purposes (IP/03/1808) and company taxation issues.

    [10] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de M. Jacques Barrot : "Galileo: l'Europe montre la voie" la Conférence internationale sur la coopération dans l'espace (17/02)

    Speech by Siim Kallas : "Audit in Europe" at the Estonian Auditing Board Conference (17/02, Tallinn)

    Calendrier du 21 au 25 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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