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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-03-03

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 tackle gender inequality with new roadmap and €50 million gender institute
  • [02] Lutte contre la criminalité organisée: la Commission propose de mieux contrôler les armes feu
  • [03] EU Member States agree to one-year cut in sugar production
  • [04] Danuta Hübner en France: “Les acteurs régionaux doivent dépasser leurs divergences pour assurer le succès de l’innovation”
  • [05] Joe Borg welcomes report on illegal fishing
  • [06] GMOs: new maize type authorised for marketing as food
  • [07] BSE confirmed in a cow in Sweden
  • [08] Commission for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner on event in Belarus
  • [09] Commissioner Kyprianou pledges EU support for Nigeria’s fight against avian influenza
  • [10] Quarterly euro-area GDP growth projections in the range of 0.4% to 0.9% for the first, second and third quarter of 2006.
  • [11] Premières estimations pour le quatrième trimestre 2005 - Le PIB de la zone euro et celui de l’UE25 en hausse de 0,3% - +1,7% et +1,8% respectivement par rapport au quatrième trimestre 2004
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-03-03 Reference: MEX/06/0303 Date: 03/03/2006 EXME06 / 03.3

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Presse etb

    Communication

    03/03/06


  • [01] Commission to tackle gender inequality with new roadmap and €50 million gender institute

    Gender inequality in the EU will be tackled by 21 specific activities over the next five years, which are outlined in a new gender equality roadmap published by the European Commission. Proposed Commission activities in the 'Roadmap for equality between men and women 2006-10' include helping set up a new €50 million European institute for gender equality, reviewing all existing EU gender equality law, increasing awareness of gender inequality, ensuring gender equality is considered in all policies and pressing for better statistics. The roadmap aims to, inter alia, tackle the pay gap between men and women, support better work/life balance, eliminate violence and trafficking, support gender budgeting and promote gender equality both within and outside the EU.

    [02] Lutte contre la criminalité organisée: la Commission propose de mieux contrôler les armes feu

    Suite une proposition de la Commission européenne, la législation UE qui a pour objectif d’empêcher la fabrication et le trafic illicites des armes feu sera renforcée. La Commission propose, en particulier, de renforcer l’obligation du marquage la fabrication. Aujourd’hui, cette obligation n’apparaît que de façon indirecte dans la directive 91/477 relative au contrôle de l’acquisition et de la détention d’armes. En outre, la Commission souhaite allonger la durée de conservation des registres et préciser les sanctions dans la directive 91/477/CEE. La proposition de la Commission vise aligner la directive sur le «protocole sur les armes feu» des Nations unies contre la criminalité transnationale organisée. La proposition d’aujourd’hui facilitera le traçage des armes civiles et renforcera la sécurité des ventes de ce type d'armes.

    [03] EU Member States agree to one-year cut in sugar production

    European Union governments today agreed on a Commission proposal for a one- year cut of 2.5 million tonnes (13.6 percent) in sugar, isoglucose and inulin syrup production. This one-off reduction is necessary to ensure that the newly-reformed sugar regime gets underway without heavy surpluses undermining market balance. The production cut is divided up between the individual Member States according to a balanced weighting of the reduction coefficients traditionally used in the sugar sector and the linear cut laid down in the new Common Market Organisation (CMO) Regulation. The coefficients reduce production more for those countries which previously had higher “B” quotas: in other words those which produced more sugar for export. Under the sugar reform, this distinction between “A” and “B” quotas will disappear. In calculating the cut in production for 2006/07, special account will also be taken of those countries which undertake large reductions in quota in the first year of the reform through the newly-introduced Restructuring Fund.

    [04] Danuta Hübner en France: “Les acteurs régionaux doivent dépasser leurs divergences pour assurer le succès de l’innovation”

    « Il est fondamental que l’ensemble des acteurs régionaux, publics et privés, entreprises, centres de recherche et organismes de formation unissent leurs efforts dans la définition et la mise en œuvre d’une stratégie régionale d’innovation», a rappelé la commissaire la politique régionale Danuta Hübner en clôture du séminaire « Compétitivité régionale et emploi 2007-2013 : Quelles orientations ? » Angers (Pays de la Loire – 1-3mars 2006). Le séminaire s’est penché sur la contribution de la politique régionale aux impératifs de la croissance, de l’emploi et du développement durable. Celui-ci est organisé par la Commission européenne et la Délégation interministérielle l’aménagement et la compétitivité des territoires (DIACT), en collaboration avec les ministères français de l'emploi, de la cohésion sociale et du logement, de l'agriculture et de la pêche, la préfecture de région et le Conseil régional des Pays de la Loire.

    [05] Joe Borg welcomes report on illegal fishing

    European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Joe Borg is in Paris today to attend the launch of the Report prepared by the High Seas Task Force (HSTF) on Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. He will also have bilateral meetings with a number of the EU’s international partners, including Fisheries Ministers from Australia and Canada and the United States fisheries chief, to discuss possible approaches to the follow up on the work of the Task Force, as well as matters of bilateral interest.

    [06] GMOs: new maize type authorised for marketing as food

    The European Commission today authorised the placing on the market of genetically modified maize line 1507 for use as food and food ingredients. The authorisation means that this maize type will now be allowed to be marketed in the EU as food, food ingredients or derived products, such as oil and starch. In line with EU labelling and traceability rules, any product containing it will have to clearly indicate its genetically modified nature. The Commission’s decision follows the inability of Council on 20 December 2005 to either approve or reject the application for the authorisation of this GMO on the basis of the favourable opinion delivered by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 3 March 2005. <a href="http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/gmo/gm_ff_applications/more_info/503_en.html">http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/gmo/gm_ff_applications/more_info/503_en.html Genetically modified maize (Zea mays L.) line 1507 has been designed to resist to the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis, a beetle which can cause severe damage to maize crops) and certain other pests (“lepidopteran” pests), and with tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium, thus improving weedmanagement and crop production. This is the first authorisation given under Regulation 1829/2003 on GM Food and Feed. This new legislation introduces key new elements such as improved labelling rules, a method of detection and unique identifier codes for the authorised GMOs. Further info: <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/food/biotechnology/index_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/food/biotechnology/index_en.htm and the Questions and Answers on the regulation of GMOs in the EU <a href="http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/04/102&format=HTML&aged=1&language=FR&guiLanguage=fr">MEMO/04/102

    [07] BSE confirmed in a cow in Sweden

    The first ever case of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) in Sweden has been confirmed today, following tests carried out by the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) in Weybridge (UK) on samples from a Swedish cow. The infected animal was a 12-year old cow, which was culled for destruction due to a history of milking fever. In line with EU legislation requiring all fallen stock (i.e. animals that died or were culled due to disease) to be checked for BSE, the cow was tested in the rendering plant. When this first test showed up positive for BSE, the Swedish authorities referred the case to the CRL for further examination, which confirmed the finding today. As a result of this BSE case, the Commission will now reconsider the grounds for the special derogation for Sweden from the requirement to test all bovine animals intended for human consumption, laid down in the TSE Regulation, which applies in all other Member States. As the only Member State with Geographical BSE-Risk level 2 (i.e. considered to be at low risk of BSE), Sweden had special dispensation from the EU rule requiring every bovine animal slaughtered for the food chain to be tested. Instead, around 10 000 healthy slaughtered bovine animals have been randomly tested every year in Sweden up to this point. For fallen stock and suspicious deaths, there was no derogation and Sweden has always applied the same testing rules as other Member States (i.e. 100% testing). Investigation into the possible source of contamination of the infected cow is ongoing. All the offspring and cohort of the infected cow are being traced and culled, and no meat or products from animals linked to the cow will enter the food or feed chain. Sweden applies all of the mandatory EU animal health measures against BSE, including the removal of specified risk material from all animals entering the food chain, which are designed to ensure maximum protection of public health. For more information on BSE, see: <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/food/biosafety/bse/index_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/food/biosafety/bse/index_en.htm

    [08] Commission for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner on event in Belarus

    "The Commission is deeply worried by press reports of serious violations of the campaigning rights of the election candidates in Belarus in the run up to the 19 March presidential election. In particular we are concerned by reports of the detention today of Aleksander Kozulin, one of the four registered candidates in the presidential race, less than three weeks before the election date. If confirmed, this would be a serious development. I expect that the situation be rapidly clarified and appeal to the government to release him immediately. The Commission has consistently encouraged the Belarusian authorities to abide by international standards and by their commitments in the OSCE and the UN frameworks to ensure equal campaigning rights to all candidates. The interim report of the OSCE / ODIHR monitoring mission of 1st of March points to a number of serious short comings such as “detention of campaign activists, searches of campaign offices, confiscation of campaign materials and interruption of campaign meetings”. We will continue to watch the elections extremely closely. As stated in the Council Conclusions of January 2006, the EU is ready to take further appropriate restrictive measures against the responsible individuals if the elections are not conducted in a democratic manner."

    [09] Commissioner Kyprianou pledges EU support for Nigeria’s fight against avian influenza

    EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou has pledged the European Union’s full support for Nigeria’s fight against avian influenza. Speaking at the conclusion of his visit to the country, Commissioner Kyprianou said: “On behalf of the European Commission I conveyed to President Obasanjo our full support for Nigeria’s efforts to tackle avian influenza. I am encouraged by the President’s determination and the interministerial approach which Nigeria is taking to tackling this threat, in particular the emphasis on getting key health messages across to the population. I explained that the European Union is preparing for the possibility that migratory birds may carry the H5N1 virus from Africa to Europe this Spring by confining poultry indoors in risk areas. The Nigerian authorities have emphasised that strengthening their laboratory capacity is a priority, and this will be clearly set out in the national plan they are finalising. I urged the Nigerian authorities to set out their plans to combat avian flu at the Regional Seminar with the EC taking place in Ougadougou next week, at which my colleague Commissioner Louis Michel will discuss with the authorities of the West African countries the programming of the 10th European Development Fund for 2008-13. The Commission hopes that the € 30 million we pledged for the ACP countries at the Beijing Conference to combat avian influenza will be agreed by the ACP countries in April.”

    [10] Quarterly euro-area GDP growth projections in the range of 0.4% to 0.9% for the first, second and third quarter of 2006.

    The dynamic factor model for quarterly GDP growth in the euro area, developed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, projects a range of 0.4% to 0.9% for GDP growth in the first quarter of 2006, slightly revised upwards compared to the previous release (13 January). The projected range for GDP growth in the second and third quarter of 2006 is also 0.4% to 0.9%. The projection for the second quarter is unchanged compared to the previous release.

    [11] Premières estimations pour le quatrième trimestre 2005 - Le PIB de la zone euro et celui de l’UE25 en hausse de 0,3% - +1,7% et +1,8% respectivement par rapport au quatrième trimestre 2004

    Au cours du quatrième trimestre 2005, le PIB de la zone euro et celui de l’UE25 ont augmenté de 0,3% par rapport au trimestre précédent, selon les premières estimations publiées par Eurostat . Au cours du troisième trimestre 2005, les taux avaient été de +0,7% dans les deux zones. En comparaison avec le quatrième trimestre 2004, le PIB de la zone euro a enregistré une croissance de 1,7% et celui de l’UE25 de 1,8%, contre respectivement +1,6% et +1,8% au trimestre précédent.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Compétitivité régionale et Emploi 2007-2013: quelles orientations?

    Environnment Council of 9 March 2006

    Calendrier de la semaine du 6 au 12 mars

    Top News from the European Commission 6th February – 26 March 2006 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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