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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-04-29

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] Commission to recover €277.25 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
  • [02] La Commission autorise la création de deux entreprises communes entre Alcatel Space et Alenia Spazio, sous réserve du respect de certaines conditions
  • [03] Les Européens veulent que les responsables politiques accordent autant d'importance l'environnement qu'aux facteurs économiques et sociaux
  • [04] April 2005 : Business Climate Indicator in the euro area continues to worsen
  • [05] April 2005 : Economic sentiment continues to decline in both the EU and the euro area
  • [06] Flash estimate - April 2005 : Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.1%
  • [07] Ouverture de la distillation de crise en France et Espagne
  • [08] One year of cohesion policy in the enlarged EU : successes so far and challenges ahead
  • [09] Peter Mandelson announces feasibility study for EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement ; welcomes Asian economic "renaissance"
  • [10] Commission decides to launch investigation into nine categories of Chinese textile imports
  • [11] Commission regrets attack on EU sugar regime, but will abide by WTO Appellate Body ruling
  • [12] Commission announces support for Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • [13] EU-Japan Summit (02/05)
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-04-29 Reference: MEX/05/0429 Date: 29/04/2005 EXME05 / 29.4

    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

    29/04/05


  • [01] Commission to recover €277.25 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

    A total of €277.25 million of EU farm money misspent by Member States is to be claimed back, following a decision adopted today by the European Commission. The money will be recovered because of inadequate control procedures or non-compliance with EU rules on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking virtually all expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.

    [02] La Commission autorise la création de deux entreprises communes entre Alcatel Space et Alenia Spazio, sous réserve du respect de certaines conditions

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement CE sur les concentrations, la création de deux entreprises communes par laquelle la société française d'électronique Alcatel fusionnera ses activités spatiales avec celles d'Alenia Spazio et de Telespazio, qui font partie de la société italienne du secteur de la défense et de l'ingénierie Finmeccanica. L'examen de la Commission a mis en évidence des problèmes graves pour certains sous-systèmes satellites (installations de télémesure, de poursuite et de télécommande ou "TTC" et radars altimètres), mais Alcatel et Alenia ont été en mesure de résoudre ces problèmes en proposant une licence pour les deux sous systèmes et en acceptant de contrôler les prix des TTC.

    [03] Les Européens veulent que les responsables politiques accordent autant d'importance l'environnement qu'aux facteurs économiques et sociaux

    Selon les résultats d'un sondage Eurobaromètre, les Européens considèrent qu'un environnement sain est aussi important pour leur qualité de vie que la situation économique ou les facteurs sociaux. La pollution de l'eau, les catastrophes d'origine humaine, le changement climatique, la pollution de l'air et les produits chimiques sont les sujets environnementaux qui préoccupent le plus les citoyens européens. Ce sondage est également le premier examiner les attitudes l'égard de l'environnement au sein d'une Union européenne qui compte désormais 25 Etats membres.

    [04] April 2005 : Business Climate Indicator in the euro area continues to worsen

    The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area fell in April by 0.19 points to a level of -0.28, following the declines in previous months. While the slide of the indicator had already started in summer 2004, it has become more pronounced since the start of the year. The April decline of the BCI was reflected in all underlying components. However, the deterioration in industry managers' opinions was particularly marked for export order books and total order books while the production trend observed in the recent past, the stocks of finished products and the production expectations decreased more moderately.

    [05] April 2005 : Economic sentiment continues to decline in both the EU and the euro area

    The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) for the EU weakened by 1.7 points in April, following its decline by 2.4 points in March. In the euro area, the indicator eased by 1 point in April, after a decrease of 1.3 points in March. Since peaking in October 2004, the indicator has fallen by 6.6 points in the EU and by 5 points in the euro area, indicating a considerable slowing of output growth in the first half of 2005.

    [06] Flash estimate - April 2005 : Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.1%

    Euro-zone annual inflation is expected to be 2.1% in April 2005 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 2.1% in March. Euro-zone inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro-zone. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (13 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate, 10 times differing by 0.1 and once differing by 0.2, in January 2005, over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.

    [07] Ouverture de la distillation de crise en France et Espagne

    Le Comité de gestion des Vins s'est prononcé hier en faveur de deux propositions de règlements de la Commission européenne ouvrant la distillation de crise en France et en Espagne. Suite une production abondante, des excédents importants ont été constatés sur le marché du vin dans ces deux pays qui se reflètent par une baisse de prix et une augmentation inquiétante des stocks. Pour la France, une distillation de crise de 1,5 millions d'hl de vins de qualité est ouverte et le prix d'achat du vin est de 3,35 € par % vol et par hl. De son côté, la France s'est engagée prendre des mesures structurelles dans le secteur des vins de qualité. Pour l’Espagne, la distillation couvre 4 millions d'hl de vins de table au prix de 1,914 € par % vol et par hl. L'alcool issu de cette distillation ne pourra pas être utilisé pour produire de l'alcool de bouche mais devra plutôt être utilisé pour des besoins industriels ou comme biocarburant. Les règlements doivent encore être approuvés par la Commission et seront applicables partir du 23 mai 2005.

    [08] One year of cohesion policy in the enlarged EU : successes so far and challenges ahead

    With the accession of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia to the European Union on 1 May 2004, regional disparities within the Union doubled overnight. The EU's cohesion policy responded: these countries are together receiving €24 billion from the Structural and Cohesion Funds between 2004 and 2006, and still more from 2007 onwards. The necessary administrative structures have been set up and project selection is well underway. The new Member States are making excellent progress so far towards successfully absorbing the unprecedented level of support for economic convergence and regional development that the EU will provide.

    [09] Peter Mandelson announces feasibility study for EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement ; welcomes Asian economic "renaissance"

    In a keynote speech to the WEF Asia Forum in Singapore this morning European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson announced that the EU and ASEAN have agreed to set up a "vision group" to assess the feasibility of an EU- ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. He called for Europe to renew and consolidate the scope of its relations with Asia to reflect the region's dramatic changes. He argues that Europe should see "the renaissance of Asia" not as a threat but an opportunity and a stimulus for European competitiveness.

    [10] Commission decides to launch investigation into nine categories of Chinese textile imports

    The European Commission has decided on 28 April to launch an investigation into Chinese textile imports to the EU in nine product categories, as proposed by Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson. As indicated on April 24, the nine product categories to be covered by the investigation are : T- shirts, pullovers, blouses, stockings and socks, men's trousers, women's overcoats, brassieres, flax or ramie yarn and woven fabrics flax. The Commission decision will be published in the Official Journal on Friday April 29. The investigation will be launched today, 29 April, and will last for a maximum of sixty days.

    [11] Commission regrets attack on EU sugar regime, but will abide by WTO Appellate Body ruling

    Reacting to ruling of the WTO's Appellate Body on 28 April, Mariann Fischer Boel, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said : "We presented our case forcefully and I had hoped that the Appellate Body would take greater account of our arguments : both on 'C' sugar and our exports of sugar equivalent to imports from the ACP and India. Naturally, I will take account of this verdict when I finalise the reform proposals we are due to publish on 22 June. We will continue to defend the valid interests of sugar producers and consumers in both the EU and the ACP countries. I am determined now to modernise our sugar regime to ensure it has a viable future. With such a reform, the EU will stand strongly in the WTO DDA negotiations in Hong Kong. We expect a balanced outcome with contributions from everyone." Peter Mandelson, Commissioner for Trade, added : "We will abide by our international obligations on the sugar regime and will work closely with Member States on the necessary reforms ahead of the WTO Ministerial in December." The Commission will now examine the final verdict in detail and look at the reasoning behind it.

    [12] Commission announces support for Khmer Rouge Tribunal

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, has announced that the European Commission intends to make a €1 million contribution to the Khmer Rouge Special Tribunals. The establishement of "Extraordinary Chambers for the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea" follows an agreement between the government of Cambodia and the United Nations in 2003, and ratified in 2004. The Commission contribution will be committed to the UN Trust Fund established in Phnom Penh to support the chambers. The European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights also supports the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone.

    [13] EU-Japan Summit (02/05)

    EU leaders will welcome Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the 14th Summit between the European Union (EU) and Japan in Luxembourg on 2 May 2005. Alongside European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso and European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU will be represented by Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn and High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana. Discussions will cover political and economic aspects of the EU-Japan relationship, as well as global issues including the environment, disaster preparedness and the forthcoming WTO Hong Kong ministerial meeting, as well as a range of key international issues including relations with China, the Korean Peninsula, Russia, Iran and Iraq.

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Déclaration du Président Barroso l'occasion du premier anniversaire de l'élargissement, 1 mai 2005

    Enlargement one year on : state of play

    Speech by Peter Mandelson : "Tilting the global balance: Asia's new trade growth" at WEF Asia Forum (Singapore)

    Speech by Joe Borg : "Seaports in the context of a European Maritime Policy" at ESPO 2005 – European Sea Ports' Conference (28/04, Valletta)

    Speech by Janez Potočnik : "Accelerating opportunities for Stronger Transatlantic Collaboration" at 'Promoting innovation and competitiveness – a transatlantic dialogue' Conference (28/04, The Hague)

    Calendrier du 1er au 8 mai 2005 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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