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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-03-28

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] International Mobile Roaming : Viviane Reding outlines proposal for an EU regulation to bring down prices and presents new figures
  • [02] Un grand nombre de faillites et de cas d'insolvabilité d'entreprises pourraient être évités
  • [03] Meeting offers last chance to review restrictions on free movement of workers in EU
  • [04] Les Européens s'expatrient par amour et pour une meilleure qualité de la vie
  • [05] Ministers agree common declaration on Rail Baltica
  • [06] Energy savings : further development of international cooperation on energy efficiency of office equipment
  • [07] Commission welcomes international agreement to boost trade in new generation of semiconductors
  • [08] José Manuel Barroso and Günter Verheugen to meet the national "Mr/Ms Lisbon" in Brussels this afternoon
  • [09] José Manuel Barroso and Louis Michel sign a Memorandum of Understanding with President and Prime Minister of Somalia
  • [10] La Commission fournit une assistance humanitaire d'un montant de €12 millions aux victimes des conflits en Colombie
  • [11] Commission gets increasing role in the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
  • [12] La Commission autorise l'acquisition des Chantiers de l'Atlantique par Aker Yards
  • [13] 2005 report on the protection of euro coins against counterfeiting notes
  • [14] Le rapport trimestriel montre que l'économie de la zone euro demeure sur la bonne voie
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-03-28 Reference: MEX/06/0328 Date: 28/03/2006 EXME06/ 28.3

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

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

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction GénéralePresse etb

    Communication

    28/03/06


  • [01] International Mobile Roaming : Viviane Reding outlines proposal for an EU regulation to bring down prices and presents new figures

    Excessive charges for using your mobile phone abroad could soon belong to the past. The European Commission's updated website of international roaming charges, unveiled today, adds further weight to its proposal to bring down these charges by means of an EU regulation. The updated website clearly shows that the price for a standard four-minute call has generally remained at the same high level across Europe since September 2005 (see IP/05/1217), and in some cases has even increased, despite warnings from the Commission to the industry that EU-wide regulation would be necessary if prices were not brought down (see IP/04/1458, IP/05/901and MEMO/05/247).

    [02] Un grand nombre de faillites et de cas d'insolvabilité d'entreprises pourraient être évités

    En 2005, on a enregistré, dans l'UE15, quelque 140.000 cas d'insolvabilité d'entreprises, qui ont menacé l'emploi d'un million et demi de salariés. Parmi ces cas figurent même des entreprises hautement compétitives – souvent des PME – qui se voient confrontées des difficultés financières, parce que, par exemple, le développement d'un nouveau produit dure plus longtemps que prévu. Par ailleurs, les conséquences juridiques excessivement sévères de la faillite peuvent dissuader les entrepreneurs de prendre un nouveau départ. Des questions relatives la prévention de la faillite, la réduction du discrédit associé la défaillance d'entreprise et l'encouragement d'un nouveau départ seront débattues aujourd'hui Bruxelles, lors d'une conférence de la Commission européenne consacrée l'insolvabilité et la prise d'un nouveau départ. Sont inscrites l'ordre du jour les activités de la Commission liées l'insolvabilité, telles que l'élaboration de lignes directrices internationales pour améliorer le droit de l'insolvabilité, la mise disposition de services de soutien aux entrepreneurs connaissant des difficultés financières et la focalisation de la législation existante en matière d'insolvabilité sur la continuité des entreprises et la prise d'un nouveau départ après une banqueroute non frauduleuse. Cet échange de vues a été inspiré par la Charte européenne des petites entreprises, selon laquelle un certain degré d'échec doit être considéré avant tout comme une occasion d'apprendre.

    [03] Meeting offers last chance to review restrictions on free movement of workers in EU

    With EU countries just four weeks away from having to decide whether to maintain restrictions on the free movement of workers for a further three years, some of the main players will meet today in Brussels to discuss the issue. European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimír pidla, will join representatives of 25 EU governments and national and European trade union and employer representatives (social partners) to discuss the projected decisions, as well as to look forward to how this second phase of restrictions will work.

    [04] Les Européens s'expatrient par amour et pour une meilleure qualité de la vie

    Accompagner son partenaire, rester en famille et améliorer la qualité de sa vie: voil les principaux facteurs de motivation des Européens qui quittent leur pays, selon une étude récente. Si 2% des citoyens européens vivent dans un pays qui n'est pas le leur, l'emploi est la cause du déménagement d'un quart d'entre eux seulement. La moitié avait déj vécu l'étranger, bénéficiant souvent du soutien de programmes européens tels qu'Erasmus. L'étude a relevé que les facteurs de motivation et les profils de ces expatriés n'étaient pas identiques. L'Espagne est ainsi une destination privilégiée pour les personnes plus âgées en quête d'une meilleure qualité de la vie. Le Royaume-Uni, en revanche, attire les jeunes en recherche d’emplois non manuels. Les personnes qui migrent d'un pays de l'Union européenne vers un autre sont généralement originaires de la classe moyenne, qualifiées et bien formées. Elles ont généralement décroché un emploi non manuel dans le pays de destination et adoptent une attitude positive l'égard de l'UE. Le projet PIONEUR, financé hauteur de près d'un million € par le programme cadre de recherche de l'UE, a étudié le profil et les attitudes de cinq mille ressortissants de l'UE résidant en France, en Allemagne, en Italie, en Espagne et au Royaume-Uni.

    [05] Ministers agree common declaration on Rail Baltica

    The Transport Ministers of the five partner countries in the Rail Baltica TEN-T Priority Project (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland) yesterday signed a common Declaration of Intent as a first step in their future cooperation. The Rail Baltica project will improve the north-south railway connection between Tallinn/Helsinki with Warsaw, passing through Riga, Kaunus and Bialystok. Meeting in Brussels in the margin of the Transport Council, the ministers agreed to "consider inclusion of all sections of Rail Baltica as priority projects in the preparation of national transport strategies of countries along the corridor". They underlined the importance of defining the border-crossing points and cross- border sections of the railway connection. At present a feasibility study is being carried out for the Commission by independent consultants in order to establish the viability and economic interest of the railway line. This study should be completed by November 2006. European Coordinator for Rail Baltica Pavel Telicka said: "This was the first time the partners in this project have met multilaterally. The declaration they signed is an important step forward, even though we have to wait for the conclusions of the feasibility study."

    [06] Energy savings : further development of international cooperation on energy efficiency of office equipment

    The European Commission has launched the procedure to negotiate a new agreement on the EU-US Energy Star programme for office equipment with the United States. The programme was first introduced in 2001 for an initial period of five years and aims at fostering the energy efficiency of computers, monitors, copiers, printers and fax machines, which are responsible for approx. 5% of the EU's electricity consumption. Energy Star is part of the Commission's strategy to improve the efficiency of energy use and to implement a sustainable energy policy in the EU.

    [07] Commission welcomes international agreement to boost trade in new generation of semiconductors

    The European Commission has today welcomed the signing of an international agreement which will make it easier to trade in semi-conductors, a key component in many popular goods such as mobile phones, MP3-players, electronic devices in cars and personal organisers. The MCP Agreement will eliminate customs duties and other charges on multi-chip integrated circuits among the main semiconductor trading nations and territories. Over the last year, the Commission had assumed a leading role in the negotiations towards the conclusion of this Agreement.

    [08] José Manuel Barroso and Günter Verheugen to meet the national "Mr/Ms Lisbon" in Brussels this afternoon

    European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Vice-President Günter Verheugen will this afternoon host a meeting of the national coordinators ("Mr/Ms Lisbon") responsible for the implementation in Member States of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. The meeting will discuss how the Commission and Member States can work together to achieve the priority objectives proposed by the Commission and agreed last week by the European Council. These include reaching ambitious national targets for R&D investment, creating one-stop shops for fast and inexpensive business start- ups and providing jobs or training for all young people within six months of leaving education. It will also discuss how to make sure commitments in national reform programmes are delivered and how to widen ownership of the Growth and Jobs Strategy through improved consultation and communication. President Barroso said: "The European Council has given us a platform to move the Growth and Jobs agenda up a gear. The role of the national coordinators is crucial to secure results on the ground, and that is why I wanted to strike while the iron is hot by getting together with them straight after the summit."

    [09] José Manuel Barroso and Louis Michel sign a Memorandum of Understanding with President and Prime Minister of Somalia

    José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, will sign today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Somalia's President Abdullahi Yusuf and Prime Minister Ali Ghedi. The signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission and the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) marks a new page in EU-Somalia relations and an important milestone of the return of Somalia to the "community of nations". The signing of the MoU is an important step towards possible accession to the ACP-EU Partnership agreement, known as the Cotonou agreement. This Memorandum sets out the key principles which will govern EC-TFG Cooperation. The Commission has played the lead role both financially and politically for the establishment of the transitional institutions, following the Somali peace process initiated in October 2002. The Commission has mobilised a €200 million for the Strategy for the Implementation of Special Aid to Somalia (SISAS) and has allocated approximately €10 million per year in humanitarian aid.

    [10] La Commission fournit une assistance humanitaire d'un montant de €12 millions aux victimes des conflits en Colombie

    La Commission européenne a adopté un plan global d'un montant de €12 millions d'assistance humanitaire destiné venir en aide aux personnes déplacées, dans l'impossibilité de quitter leur région ou s'étant réfugiées dans les pays voisins en raison du conflit interne qui sévit en Colombie depuis de nombreuses années. Cette aide concernera 169.000 personnes en tout et permettra notamment de couvrir les besoins essentiels de 63.700 personnes récemment déplacées et de fournir une protection adaptée 3.000 enfants vulnérables. Quelque 35.000 personnes touchées par les conflits se verront également offrir de meilleures conditions de vie, tandis que 68.000 réfugiés en Equateur, au Venezuela et au Panama bénéficieront d'une aide d'urgence et d'une assistance juridique.

    [11] Commission gets increasing role in the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

    The European Commission will further increase its pivotal role and visibility in the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by assuming the Vice Chairmanship of the Board. Dr Lieve Fransen, Head of the Human and Social Development Unit in DG Development, has been elected to this post. The European Commission is one of the main donors of the Fund contributing overall €522 million over the period 2002-2006.

    [12] La Commission autorise l'acquisition des Chantiers de l'Atlantique par Aker Yards

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en application du règlement de l'UE sur les concentrations, le projet d'acquisition du constructeur naval français les Chantiers de l'Atlantique (CAT) par Aker Yards ASA. La Commission a estimé que le projet d'opération n'entraverait pas de façon significative une concurrence effective dans l'Espace Economique Européen ou dans une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [13] 2005 report on the protection of euro coins against counterfeiting notes

    The European Commission is presenting its annual report on the protection of euro coins against fraud and counterfeiting. The report presents the activities undertaken by the Commission for the protection of the euro and the police authorities' continued successes in repression. In 2005 an increasing, yet low, number of counterfeit euro coins was removed from circulation, while an increase in the diversity and sophistication of counterfeit euro coins was recorded.

    [14] Le rapport trimestriel montre que l'économie de la zone euro demeure sur la bonne voie

    La reprise de l'activité dans la zone euro s'est confirmée au premier trimestre après une fin d'année 2005 maussade, largement imputable, semble-t-il, des facteurs techniques. L'évolution des exportations reste positive et, fait plus important, la demande intérieure devrait se renforcer, laissant présager un redémarrage de l'investissement privé et de la consommation privée, si l'on en croit le rapport trimestriel sur la zone euro publié aujourd'hui. Ce rapport met essentiellement l'accent sur la vulnérabilité grandissante des ménages, sous l'effet d'un endettement croissant, face aux variations des prix de l'immobilier et aux chocs économiques. Tandis que les risques qui pèsent sur la zone euro paraissent relativement faibles, certains Etats membres pourraient se trouver davantage exposés.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    International roaming charges : frequently asked questions

    Good practice examples for businesses in financial difficulties

    Avian influenza H5 suspected in a dead wild swan in Czech Republic : Czech authorities applying precautionary measures (27/03)

    Discours de M. Vladimir pidla : "Promouvoir la cohésion sociale : les expériences de l'Union, de l'Amérique Latine et des Caraïbes" la Conférence sur la promotion de la cohésion sociale

    Discours de M. Louis Michel : "L'Europe, un acteur majeur de la coopération au développement" la World Trade Center Association

    Discours de M. Louis Michel : "Mobilisation des politiques publiques pour promouvoir la cohésion sociale" la Conférence sur la promotion de la cohésion sociale

    Discours de M. Andris Piebalgs : "Présentation du Livre Vert" la EU Energy Policy and Law Conference

    Discours de M. Vladimir pidla la réunion du Groupe Haut niveau sur la libre circulation

    Speech by Viviane Reding : "Broadband access: The new highways to prosperity" at 'Bridging the broadband gap through EU spectrum policy' conference (27/03)

    Speech by Peter Mandelson : "Chile and the EU, together in international trade" (27/03, Santiago de Chile) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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