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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-03-30

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] "L'Union européenne et les droits de l'enfant" : la Commission lance un concours destiné tous les jeunes de l'UE
  • [02] Pandemic influenza : Commission publishes evaluators' report on simulation exercise
  • [03] New standard signalling for trains in Europe
  • [04] Marchés des valeurs mobilières : la Commission fait appel aux candidatures pour un nouveau groupe d'experts
  • [05] Commission approves joint venture between Virgin and CPW
  • [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition du contrôle en commun de COSEC par Euler Hermes et BPI
  • [07] Markos Kyprianou addresses first EU conference on animal welfare
  • [08] Le Havre : modernisation portuaire avec aide européenne
  • [09] Can Europe afford to grow old?
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-03-30 Reference: MEX/06/0330 Date: 30/03/2006 EXME06 / 30.3

    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

    30/03/06


  • [01] "L'Union européenne et les droits de l'enfant" : la Commission lance un concours destiné tous les jeunes de l'UE

    "L'Union européenne et les droits de l'enfant", tel est le titre d'un concours lancé par M. Franco Frattini, vice-président de la Commission européenne chargé de la justice, de la liberté et de la sécurité, invitant les enfants et les adolescents européens, âgés de 10 18 ans, créer une affiche sur les droits de l'enfant au sein de l'Union. Le concours vise sensibiliser ces jeunes citoyens européens aux actions de l'UE dans ce domaine. Après une première sélection au niveau national et une cérémonie de remise des prix organisée dans chaque pays de l'UE au début de mai 2006, les équipes lauréates des premiers prix nationaux seront invitées Bruxelles pour une cérémonie européenne de remise des prix. Les meilleurs travaux seront utilisés dans les futures campagnes européennes de promotion des droits de l'enfant. La Commission mettra en place une stratégie de promotion et de protection des droits dans l'enfant dans toutes ses politiques internes et externes dès le mois de juin 2006.

    [02] Pandemic influenza : Commission publishes evaluators' report on simulation exercise

    The European Commission today published the final evaluation report on the Common Ground exercise on an influenza pandemic. The two-day "tabletop" simulation was carried out on 23-24 November 2005 and aimed to test how national preparedness plans would work together in the event of an influenza pandemic, as well as testing coordination and communication between the Commission, Member States, EU agencies, international organisations and the pharmaceutical industry. The evaluation report was prepared for the Commission by the UK-based Health Protection Agency which conducted the exercise. The report concluded that the exercise was "a successful event” which showed considerable improvements from an earlier exercise, and identified many issues for further improvement. The report sets out twelve recommendations to follow-up lessons learned from the exercise, notably to review and develop communications systems. The European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said: "To my knowledge, an exercise on this scale on human influenza pandemic preparedness is unprecedented. The main reason to carry out such an exercise is to learn from experience what works and what doesn't when plans on paper are applied in practice. This report sets out important recommendations for the future and identifies areas of weakness in our pandemic preparedness plans where we need improvements. Work has already begun on addressing these weaknesses, and we will continue to refine, improve and upgrade our preparedness with Member States, the ECDC and our other partners."

    [03] New standard signalling for trains in Europe

    The European Commission has adopted technical specifications for interoperability for control/command and signalling on the conventional trans-European railway network. At the moment, more than twenty different signalling and speed control systems are used in Europe, which means that most international passenger and goods trains still have to stop at the border station to change locomotive. The adopted decision will allow these incompatible systems to be gradually replaced by a single system known by its abbreviation ERTMS.

    [04] Marchés des valeurs mobilières : la Commission fait appel aux candidatures pour un nouveau groupe d'experts

    La Commission européenne s'apprête créer un groupe européen d'experts des marchés des valeurs mobilières (ESME), qui sera chargé de suivre de près la façon dont les directives européennes sur les valeurs mobilières sont concrètement mises en œuvre, d'apprécier si ces directives produisent les résultats attendus et, le cas échéant, de proposer des modifications. La création du ESME fait suite au livre blanc sur la politique des services financiers 2005-2010 (voir IP/05/1529) et s'inscrit dans le cadre du programme d'amélioration de la législation. Le groupe sera composé de professionnels et autres acteurs du marché directement concernés par la législation européenne et les questions d'actualité touchant les marchés européens des valeurs mobilières, comme les agences de notation du crédit, car ce sont les mieux placés pour détecter tout problème potentiel. Les personnes intéressées sont invitées envoyer leur candidature la Commission avant le 30 avril 2006.

    [05] Commission approves joint venture between Virgin and CPW

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the joint control of a newly created company constituting a joint venture, Omer Telecom Limited (JV Co), by Bluebottle UK Limited, belonging to the Virgin Group (Virgin) of the UK and The Carphone Warehouse Limited (CPW), also of the UK. Virgin's business interests include mobile telephony services as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the UK and several countries outside Europe. CPW sells mobile telecommunications services and products in Europe and provides fixed line telecommunication services in France. JV Co will provide mobile telephony services to consumers in France. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition du contrôle en commun de COSEC par Euler Hermes et BPI

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement sur les concentrations de l'Union européenne, le projet d'acquisition du contrôle en commun de Companhia de Seguro de Créditos (COSEC) par Euler Hermes SFAC (Euler Hermes) et Banco BPI S.A. (BPI). Après avoir examiné en détail l'opération en cause, la Commission a conclu qu'elle n'entraverait pas significativement une concurrence effective dans l'Espace Economique Européen ou une partie substantielle de ce dernier.

    [07] Markos Kyprianou addresses first EU conference on animal welfare

    Markos Kyprianou, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, today addressed the first EU-level conference on animal welfare, which is being hosted by the Austrian Presidency in Brussels. The conference is an opportunity for the Commission to present its recently published Animal Welfare Action Plan (see IP/06/64) to Member State representatives, international partners and a broad array of stakeholders from across the food chain. The Action Plan sets out concrete measures to be taken over the next five years to improve animal welfare in the EU and to further promote it internationally. The conference offers the opportunity to gather input from interested parties on future EU animal welfare actions, and to look at where the responsibilities of different sectors lie in terms of promoting and protecting animal welfare. Among other issues which to be discussed during the day are consumer expectations, the role of animal welfare organisations, retailers' and producers' view-points, the international dimension of animal welfare protection, and socio-economic considerations. Mr Kyprianou said: "Some people ask whether this is the right time to talk about animal welfare as a priority issue in the food chain, citing international competition and the difficulties certain sectors such as poultry are currently facing. My answer to this is a clear 'yes'. Surveys have shown that consumers are strongly committed to animal welfare improvements and are willing to pay for them. So animal welfare offers industry an opportunity to restore consumer confidence in the food chain and capitalise on the marketing advantages it offers. Our animal welfare standards need to be promoted as an asset and a golden opportunity, not an economic burden." For further information, see:

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/animal/welfare/index_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/animal/welfare/index_en.htm

    [08] Le Havre : modernisation portuaire avec aide européenne

    Jacques Barrot, vice-Président de la Commission européenne en charge de la politique des transports, et Danuta Hübner, Commissaire responsable de la Politique régionale, assistent aujourd'hui l'inauguration de Port 2000, le nouveau port au Havre en France. Le plus grand chantier maritime d'Europe achève sa première tranche de travaux qui ont été cofinancés par l'Union européenne concurrence de €50 millions. Bâti dans l'estuaire de la Seine et composé d'un seul quai de 4 km protégé par une digue, ce projet marque la renaissance du port et prépare Le Havre l'augmentation du trafic maritime.

    [09] Can Europe afford to grow old?

    A panel of international experts and government members will discuss on Friday 31 March whether the reforms carried out and/or planned under the revised Strategy for Growth and Jobs are enough to meet the significant challenges that an ageing population will put on public finances in the European Union. As a report published by the Commission and the Economic Policy Committee shows, in the decades up to 2050, the EU population will remain roughly the same at 450 million but it will become significantly older. With the retirement of the baby-boom generation as of 2010, low birth rates and continuous increases in life expectancy, the working-age population will fall by 48 million (or 16%) whereas the population aged 65+ will rise sharply, by 58 million (or 77%). This means that by 2050 there will be two people of working age for every elderly citizen as opposed to four currently. Unless policy changes, the EU potential growth rate of 2.4% will be cut by half and public spending on pensions, health care and long- term will increase by about 4 percentage points of GDP. Some countries have already started dealing with the problem, but have they done enough? What about the others? French Finance Minister Thierry Breton will attend and Commissioner Almunia will give the closing address.

    Journalists wishing to attend are kindly requested to register themselves on line: <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/events/2006/events_conference_0306_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/events/2006/events_conference_0306_en.htm

    Full report on the impact of ageing on public expenditure (2004-2050) available on <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/publications/european_economy/2006/eespecialreport0106_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/publications/european_economy/2006/eespecialreport0106_en.htm

    [10] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de M. Jacques Barrot : "Améliorer le marché ferroviaire européen" la conférence annuelle EIM (29/03)

    Speech by Markos Kyprianou : "Animal Welfare – A Part of EU Food Chain Policy" at International Conference organised by the Austrian Presidency 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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