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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-03-22

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

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] European sky protected against unsafe airlines
  • [02] Launch of "European Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility"
  • [03] Commission makes commitments from FA Premier League legally binding
  • [04] La Commission approuve l'ensemble des mécanismes de soutien au cinéma et l'audiovisuel en France
  • [05] Commission closes inquiry into financing of Portuguese public broadcaster following commitments
  • [06] Commission requests phasing out of Spain's tax incentives for investment abroad
  • [07] Commission approves regional aid in Italy to promote combined transport
  • [08] Social insurance refund for hiring EU seafarers on Lithuanian ships
  • [09] Commission raises doubts about Cyprus Airways restructuring plan
  • [10] Personnel : la Commission nomme le Directeur Général adjoint de la Direction Générale Communication
  • [11] Presentation of the annual report on Commission's relations with national Parliaments
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [12] José Manuel Barroso calls on Europe's leaders to deliver progressive reforms not protectionism
  • [13] 2007 : "Renforcer la confiance par l'action"
  • [14] Commission to pay nearly €82 million to support Sweden in dealing with storm disaster in 2005
  • [15] Marchés financiers : le groupe interinstitutionnel de surveillance publie son premier rapport sur le "processus Lamfalussy"
  • [16] EU approves new alternatives to animal testing of drugs and chemicals
  • [17] January 2006 : Euro-zone external trade deficit €10.8 billion ; €24.6 billion deficit for EU25
  • [18] Janvier 2006 par rapport décembre 2005 : les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie en baisse de 5,9% dans la zone euro ; baisse de 3,8% dans l'UE25
  • [19] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-03-22 Reference: MEX/06/0322 Date: 22/03/2006 EXME06 / 22.3

    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

    22/03/06


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] European sky protected against unsafe airlines

    The European Commission has adopted the first EU list of airlines which are banned in the European Union. This black list of unsafe airlines will now be published on the Commission's website. The black list has been compiled on the basis of national contributions and after an in-depth analysis with Member State experts. The list consists of 93 companies which face a complete ban and 3 companies which face operational restrictions. From now on the principle will apply that companies banned in one Member State are banned in the whole EU.

    [02] Launch of "European Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility"

    How can we inspire more European enterprises to go beyond their minimum legal obligations in favour of society and sustainable development? In other words, how can we best encourage a greater business commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (or CSR)? To mobilise the resources and capacities of European enterprises and to make Europe a pole of excellence on CSR, the European Commission has today announced its backing of the launch of a "European Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility". The new Alliance has an open nature and European enterprises of all sizes are invited to voluntarily express their support. The Alliance is not a legal instrument to be signed by enterprises. It is a political umbrella for new or existing CSR initiatives by large companies, SMEs and their stakeholders. It should lead to new partnerships and new opportunities for all stakeholders in their efforts to promote CSR. Today's initiative is the follow-up of a broad consultation with all stakeholders in the European Multi-stakeholder Forum on CSR, which presented its final report in 2004. The Commission proposes to re-convene meetings of this Forum in 2006 to review progress on CSR with all stakeholders.

    [03] Commission makes commitments from FA Premier League legally binding

    The European Commission has adopted a decision under EC Treaty competition rules that renders commitments from the FA Premier League concerning the sale of media rights to the Premier League football competition legally binding. The case concerned the agreement between the clubs participating in the English Premier League competition to sell media rights to that competition jointly through the FA Premier League. These commitments, which will remain in force until 30 June 2013, will increase the availability of media rights, and improve the prospects of competition in providing services to consumers.

    [04] La Commission approuve l'ensemble des mécanismes de soutien au cinéma et l'audiovisuel en France

    La Commission européenne a approuvé l'ensemble des mécanismes français de soutien au cinéma et l'audiovisuel sur la base des règles du traité CE relatives aux aides d'Etat. La Commission a considéré que la quasi- totalité des nombreux régimes notifiés impliquent des aides d'Etat. La Commission a cependant conclu qu'elle peut les autoriser, considérant notamment que la plupart d'entre eux encouragent le développement culturel sans affecter les échanges entre Etats Membres dans une mesure contraire l'intérêt commun.

    [05] Commission closes inquiry into financing of Portuguese public broadcaster following commitments

    Following commitments to change the funding system of the Portuguese public service broadcaster RTP, the European Commission has closed the existing procedure under EC Treaty state aid rules (Article 88(1)). Portugal has agreed to implement measures to increase transparency and proportionality in its funding system, which will prevent cross-subsidies for commercial activities.

    [06] Commission requests phasing out of Spain's tax incentives for investment abroad

    The European Commission has formally requested Spain under EC-Treaty state aid rules to abolish tax incentives in favour of Spanish companies investing abroad. The Commission requests that the incentives are gradually eliminated by the end of 2010, as they are distorting competition and trade within the Single Market. Spain has one month to accept this request, failing which the Commission may open a formal state aid investigation.

    [07] Commission approves regional aid in Italy to promote combined transport

    The European Commission approved a regional aid scheme in the Italian region Friulia-Venezia Giulia today. The scheme is aimed at promoting combined transport operations by rail and by short-sea shipping services. Beneficiaries of the scheme, which will apply for a three year period with an overall budget of €2.7 million, are private or public logistic companies that organise combined intermodal transport involving rail and at least one other mode of transport, as well as ship-owners, shipping companies and shipping operators, which set up new scheduled short-sea- shipping connections for combined transport operations.

    [08] Social insurance refund for hiring EU seafarers on Lithuanian ships

    The European Commission has approved the introduction of a mechanism in Lithuania to refund employers' social insurance contributions in respect of EU seafarers working on vessels carrying the Lithuanian flag. The mechanism allows for the partial or full refund of employers contributions. The authorised scheme will run from January 2006 to end 2011 and is expected to cost up to €4.63 million per annum.

    [09] Commission raises doubts about Cyprus Airways restructuring plan

    The European Commission has decided to open a formal investigation procedure into a restructuring plan proposed in November 2005 by the Republic of Cyprus to restore the viability of the ailing State-owned flag- carrier. The Commission has doubts that the current plan is in accordance with the Community framework for rescue and restructuring of firms in difficulty.

    [10] Personnel : la Commission nomme le Directeur Général adjoint de la Direction Générale Communication

    M. Panayotis Carvounis a été nommé Directeur Général adjoint la Direction Générale de la Communication. M. Carvounis aura pour mission d'assurer la mise en pratique du "Plan d'action pour améliorer la communication de la Commission" par les représentations de la Commission dans les Etats membres, et de superviser le fonctionnement de ces représentations. Il sera également en charge de la coordination du travail des Directions "Représentations et réseaux" et "Ressources" afin de créer des synergies et de développer une "approche intégrée" vis- - vis des Représentations. Il aura enfin la responsabilité de coordonner les relations interinstitutionnelles dans le champ de la communication.

    [11] Presentation of the annual report on Commission's relations with national Parliaments

    The College adopted today its first annual report on the relations of the Commission with the National Parliaments of the Member States, as proposed by Vice-President Margot Wallström in February 2005. Relations with National Parliaments provide a platform to discuss Commission proposals and policies with key political actors in Member States. During 2005, Commissioners had over 100 visits/meetings with National Parliaments. Several suggestions for further enhancing the relationship are made in the report, such as being open to input from National Parliaments on initiatives at a pre-legislative stage, or having the Commission's Representations as local interlocutors for National Parliaments.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [12] José Manuel Barroso calls on Europe's leaders to deliver progressive reforms not protectionism

    EU leaders must at this week's Spring European Council in Brussels seize the opportunity to put Europe firmly on track towards growth and jobs and turn away from protectionism. That is the clear message that European Commission President José Manuel Barroso delivered two days ahead of the summit. The European Council will have on the table the Commission's Annual Progress Report on the Lisbon Strategy, the partnership between the EU and Member States for growth and more and better jobs. The report (see IP/06/71 and MEMO/06/23) calls for clear decisions and unequivocal commitments in four priority action areas : investment in education, research and innovation ; freeing up SMEs ; employment policies to get people into work; and guaranteeing a secure and sustainable energy supply.

    [13] 2007 : "Renforcer la confiance par l'action"

    Le Président de la Commission européenne, José Manuel Barroso, présentera aujourd'hui aux membres du Parlement européen la stratégie politique annuelle (SPA) pour 2007. La SPA décrit les objectifs de ce qui sera une nouvelle année décisive pour l'Union européenne. L'objectif est de préparer le terrain pour les décisions et les actions futures, de se tourner vers l'avenir et de réunir un consensus sur les actions prioritaires pour 2007.

    [14] Commission to pay nearly €82 million to support Sweden in dealing with storm disaster in 2005

    The European Commissioner for Regional Policy and the Solidarity Fund, Danuta Hübner, signed an agreement to pay €81 724 975 to Sweden to reimburse emergency costs incurred after the severe storm of January 2005. The grant is being made available through the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF). It will reimburse public funds spent on the immediate emergency response, in particular on rescue services, cleaning-up operations in affected areas and the restoration of basic infrastructure to working conditions.

    [15] Marchés financiers : le groupe interinstitutionnel de surveillance publie son premier rapport sur le "processus Lamfalussy"

    Le groupe interinstitutionnel de surveillance (GIS) a publié son premier rapport intermédiaire sur le "processus Lamfalussy", qui vise renforcer, au sein des institutions européennes, l'efficacité du travail d'élaboration, d'adoption et de mise en œuvre de la législation relative l'intégration des marchés financiers. Ce rapport, fondé sur les informations communiquées par les acteurs du marché et les parties prenantes étroitement associées au processus Lamfalussy, fait état d'un soutien fort et généralisé celui-ci. Au-del des progrès accomplis, il pointe toutefois un certain nombre de problèmes non résolus et d'incertitudes entourant ce qui reste un processus d' "apprentissage par la pratique". Le rapport constitue la première action accomplie par le GIS au titre du mandat que lui ont donné le Parlement européen, le Conseil et la Commission européenne au printemps 2005 (voir IP/05/1200), savoir évaluer les avancées réalisées dans la mise en œuvre du processus Lamfalussy et identifier les éventuels goulets d'étranglement. Le GIS est composé de six experts indépendants, chaque institution ayant eu le choix de deux nominations.

    [16] EU approves new alternatives to animal testing of drugs and chemicals

    The Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) has approved six new alternative testing methods that will reduce the need for certain drugs and chemicals to be tested on animals. The new tests use cell cultures rather than animals to establish the toxicity of cancer drugs and identify contaminated drugs. The tests approved today will not only reduce the number of animals needed for testing, but will also increase the accuracy of the tests, thereby making the products concerned safer. The role of ECVAM, which is based at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, is to replace, refine and reduce methods of animal testing for cosmetics, drugs and chemicals. Tests validated by ECVAM must be approved by its Scientific Advisory Committee, composed of representatives of the 25 Member States, academia, industry and animal welfare organizations before they can be used in labs across Europe.

    [17] January 2006 : Euro-zone external trade deficit €10.8 billion ; €24.6 billion deficit for EU25

    The first estimate for the euro-zone trade balance with the rest of the world in January 2006 gave a €10.8 billion deficit compared with -1.6 billion in January 2005. The December 2005 balance was -0.7 billion, compared with +5.5 billion in December 2004. In January 2006 compared with December 2005, exports, seasonally adjusted, increased by 0.4% and imports by 0.3%. The first estimate for January 2006 extra-EU25 trade was a €24.6 billion deficit, compared with -13.9 billion in January 2005. In December 2005, the balance was -8.9 billion, compared with -0.7 billion in December 2004. In January 2006 compared with December 2005, exports, seasonally adjusted, decreased by 1.2% and imports by 1.5%. During 2005, euro-zone trade recorded a surplus of €23.3 billion, compared with +71.5 billion in 2004. The EU25 recorded a deficit of 105.5 billion in 2005, compared with - 62.9 billion in 2004. These data are released by Eurostat.

    [18] Janvier 2006 par rapport décembre 2005 : les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie en baisse de 5,9% dans la zone euro ; baisse de 3,8% dans l'UE25

    Dans la zone euro, l'indice des entrées de commandes dans l'industrie a baissé de 5,9% en janvier 2006 par rapport décembre 2005 après des hausses de 5,3% en décembre et de 4,9% en novembre. Dans l'UE25, les entrées de commandes ont reculé de 3,8% en janvier 2006 après des hausses de 5,8% en décembre et de 3,5% en novembre. Dans les deux zones, ces variations ont été fortement influencées par les commandes irrégulières de matériel de transport autre que les véhicules automobiles. En excluant la construction navale ainsi que l'équipement ferroviaire et aérospatial, les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie ont progressé en janvier 2006 de 0,2% dans la zone euro et de 2,3% dans l'UE25. En janvier 2006 par rapport janvier 2005, les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie ont augmenté de 9,7% dans la zone euro et de 11, 1% dans l'UE25. En excluant la construction navale ainsi que l'équipement ferroviaire et aérospatial, les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie ont augmenté de 10,7% dans la zone euro et de 12,9% dans l'UE25. Ces estimations sont publiées par Eurostat.

    [19] Autre matériel diffusé

    Spring Summit 2006 : cutting red-tape and over-regulation

    Spring Summit 2006 : boosting SMEs

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "Services: state of play" to European Parliament Internal Market Committee (21/03) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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