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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-09-29

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 and other ECN members cooperate in use of leniency to fight cross border cartels
  • [02] La Commission invite les parties intéressées commenter les effets, sur la concurrence, des échanges d'informations sur les marchés du transport maritime régulier
  • [03] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Cogas electricity and gas retail supply business by Electrabel Nederland
  • [04] Meilleure réglementation : les réglementations inutiles concernant les nœuds dans le bois sont annulées
  • [05] Pharmaceutical Forum : delivering better information, better access and better prices
  • [06] Fisheries : Commission evaluates Common Organisation of the Markets in fisheries and aquaculture products
  • [07] Politique portuaire : le dialogue continue
  • [08] Intervention criteria for maize tightened
  • [09] Enquête paneuropéenne : plus de deux tiers des écoles de l'UE profitent de l'internet haut débit
  • [10] Commission provides additional €4 million in humanitarian aid for displaced people in Northern Uganda
  • [11] September 2006 : Business Climate Indicator for the euro area rebounds in September
  • [12] September 2006 : economic sentiment improves again in both the EU and the euro area
  • [13] Flash estimate - September 2006 : Euro area inflation estimated at 1.8%
  • [14] Journée internationale des personnes âgées : la population de l'UE25 âgée de 65 ans et plus devrait doubler entre 1995 et 2050
  • [15] Benita Ferrero-Waldner to visit South Caucasus (02-03/10)
  • [16] Major conference on simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy
  • [17] Commission calls for effective international action against destructive deep sea fishing practices
  • [18] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-09-29 Reference: MEX/06/0929 Date: 29/09/2006 EXME06 / 29.9

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communicationb

    29/09/06


  • [01] Commission and other ECN members cooperate in use of leniency to fight cross border cartels

    The European Commission has adopted draft amendments to its Notice on Immunity from Fines and Reduction of Fines in Cartel Cases (the 2002 Leniency Notice). The proposed amendments take stock of issues that have arisen during the four years of application of the 2002 notice and are in line with the European Competition Network's (ECN) Model Leniency Programme that was also launched today. The heads of Member States' competition authorities will use their best efforts to align their leniency programmes on the Model Programme, and today's changes to the notice show the Commission's determination to do so quickly. These developments move towards a one stop leniency shop by harmonising the procedure and requirements for leniency applications, to make it easier for companies to apply for leniency when it is not clear which authority will take the case forward. The changes to the Commission's Notice also introduce a marker system and clarify the information an applicant needs to provide to benefit from immunity as well as the conditions for immunity and reduction of fines. They also include a corporate statements procedure that takes into account comments made during public consultation on an initial proposal launched in February 2006. Interested third parties are invited to comment on the Commission proposal by 27 October 2006, before it is finally adopted by the Commission.

    [02] La Commission invite les parties intéressées commenter les effets, sur la concurrence, des échanges d'informations sur les marchés du transport maritime régulier

    La Commission européenne a publié un document de travail sur les conséquences potentielles des échanges d'informations entre transporteurs de ligne sur le marché du transport maritime régulier. La Commission craint en effet que ces échanges entraînent dans la pratique une coordination des prix et d'autres conditions commerciales entre ces transporteurs. Les parties prenantes ont jusqu'au 31 octobre pour transmettre leurs observations. Ce document constitue une étape intermédiaire dans la préparation de lignes directrices sur l'application des règles de concurrence du traité CE au transport maritime, attendues pour 2008. La présente consultation fait suite l'abrogation de l'exemption par catégorie en faveur des conférences maritimes, décidée par le Conseil Compétitivité le 25 septembre 2006 (voir IP/06/1249 et MEMO/06/344).

    [03] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Cogas electricity and gas retail supply business by Electrabel Nederland

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the electricity and gas retail arm of the Dutch company Cogas by Electrabel Nederland. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

    [04] Meilleure réglementation : les réglementations inutiles concernant les nœuds dans le bois sont annulées

    La qualité et la taille des bois bruts sont réglementées de manière détaillée au niveau de l'UE par la directive 68/89/CEE. La Commission européenne a proposé aujourd'hui d'abroger cette directive et de laisser aux organismes de normalisation le soin de définir les critères relatifs aux bois. Il s'agit l d'une nouvelle étape dans la réalisation du programme de travail de la Commission qui vise simplifier, la législation dans le cadre de son initiative "meilleure réglementation". La Commission a déj retiré 68 projets en attente, introduit des évaluations d'impact pour tous les projets nouveaux et importants, présenté des propositions en vue de simplifier la législation UE et elle a travaillé l'élaboration d'un modèle destiné réduire les coûts administratifs dus la législation UE. Le projet de retirer la directive 68/89/CEE doit maintenant être adopté par le Parlement européen et le Conseil.

    [05] Pharmaceutical Forum : delivering better information, better access and better prices

    The newly established Pharmaceutical Forum is today expected to adopt its first progress report setting out how to improve information on medicines to patients, enhance value for money and access to medicines and ensure quicker access to effective medicines through relative effectiveness policies. The European Commission has set up the Pharmaceutical Forum, co- chaired by Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen and Commissioner Markos Kyprianou to find practical solutions to some of the key structural and public health issues affecting the pharmaceuticals industry. The Pharmaceutical Forum brings together Member States, the pharmaceutical industry, public health and patient groups in a voluntary process, brokered by the Commission, to achieve the benefits of Europe-wide cooperation in areas which are partially governed by national law.

    [06] Fisheries : Commission evaluates Common Organisation of the Markets in fisheries and aquaculture products

    Today the European Commission presented a report to the Council and the European Parliament on the implementation of the Common Organisation of the Markets (COM) in fisheries and aquaculture products. The report is the first part of the evaluation of the common organisation of the markets for these products. It is based on experience on the running of the COM as well as on extensive consultation with Member States and stakeholders. The report examines the practical application of the measures regarding marketing standards, consumer information, producers' organisations, inter- branch organisations, prices and intervention and trade with third countries. The second part of the evaluation, which will be conducted through a number of external studies, will scrutinise in more detail the COM mechanisms and other related topics to assess their effectiveness and relevance.

    [07] Politique portuaire : le dialogue continue

    Jaques Barrot, Vice-président de la Commission européenne, en charge des transports a participé aujourd'hui l'assemblée annuelle de l'Association pour le Développement des Ports Français Rouen. C'était une excellente occasion pour présenter plus en détail la politique portuaire européenne et rappeler les défis relever pour le secteur : croissance, consolidation et logistique intégrée. Pour faire face ces défis, une politique portuaire l'échelle européenne doit viser promouvoir des investissements, une croissance durable, de même que l'emploi de qualité dans le secteur.

    [08] Intervention criteria for maize tightened

    The Cereals Management Committee yesterday voted on a European Commission proposal to change the rules for the eligibility of maize for intervention. Since EU enlargement, the maize market has become unbalanced and intervention stocks are piling up (5.1 million tonnes at the moment). Maize grains tend to degrade more rapidly when stored than other grains. To make sure that maize offered to intervention is suitable for long-term public storage, an adjustment of the current quality criteria for maize buying-in is required. Therefore the Commission proposed to upgrade some of the quality standards for intervention: the maximum moisture content as well as the maximum percentage of broken grains and grains overheated during drying will be reduced and a specific maximum weight will be introduced. The proposal still has to be formally adopted by the Commission. The revised criteria will apply from the opening of intervention in November.

    [09] Enquête paneuropéenne : plus de deux tiers des écoles de l'UE profitent de l'internet haut débit

    Surfer sur le Web et utiliser des méthodes de communication et de formation virtuelles font de plus en plus partie de la vie quotidienne des écoles en Europe. Une enquête de la Commission européenne publiée aujourd'hui montre que la plupart des écoles en Europe disposent maintenant des connexions internet large bande dont elles ont besoin pour accéder rapidement des contenus de haute qualité. Il subsiste cependant des différences importantes entre les Etats membres.

    [10] Commission provides additional €4 million in humanitarian aid for displaced people in Northern Uganda

    The European Commission has allocated €4 million to improve the humanitarian situation for more than one million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in camps in Northern Uganda. They have been displaced as a result of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army insurgence. A recent cessation of hostilities means that a number of camp-based IDPs wish to go back home. The Commission's humanitarian aid focuses on those who can safely return. At the same time, it aims to improve living conditions in the camps for those with few opportunities for return in the near future. In January, the Commission provided €15 million in humanitarian aid for vulnerable people in northern and central parts of the country (see IP/05/1711).

    [11] September 2006 : Business Climate Indicator for the euro area rebounds in September

    After two consecutive months of decline, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area increased in September. The sustained high level of the BCI suggests that industrial production growth has picked up during the third quarter of 2006, despite an initial decline in July. The pickup in the BCI is due to marked increases in industry managers' production expectations for the months ahead and in their assessment of the production trend observed in recent months. Improvements in the other three components of the BCI, namely total order books, export order books and stocks of finished products, also contributed to the increase in the BCI.

    [12] September 2006 : economic sentiment improves again in both the EU and the euro area

    After a small drop in August, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rebounded in September. The indicator rose by 1.6 points in the EU and by 1.0 point in the euro area, up to 111.0 and 109.3, respectively. Overall, economic sentiment in the EU and the euro area has remained on an upward trend since mid-2005.

    [13] Flash estimate - September 2006 : Euro area inflation estimated at 1.8%

    Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.8% in September 2006 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 2.3% in August. Euro area 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 area. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (14 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate, 9 times differing by 0.1 and once differing by 0.2, in January 2005, over the last two years).

    [14] Journée internationale des personnes âgées : la population de l'UE25 âgée de 65 ans et plus devrait doubler entre 1995 et 2050

    La Journée internationale des personnes âgées, organisée par les Nations Unies, aura lieu comme chaque année le 1er octobre. A l’occasion de cet événement, Eurostat publie des statistiques sur la population âgée de plus de 65 ans, mettant en évidence quelques unes de leurs caractéristiques démographiques, économiques et sociales, en comparaison avec celles de l'ensemble de la population. En 2005, la proportion de personnes âgées de 65 ans et plus dans l'UE25 atteignait 17% de la population totale contre 15% en 1995. Parmi les Etats membres, les pourcentages les plus élevés étaient relevés en 2005 en Allemagne et en Italie (19% chacun) ainsi qu'en Grèce (18%), et les plus faibles en Irlande (11%), Chypre et en Slovaquie (12% chacun). Les projections pour 2050 indiquent que dans l'UE25, le nombre de personnes âgées de 65 ans et plus pourrait passer de 75 millions en 2005 près de 135 millions en 2050 (1995: 66 millions).

    [15] Benita Ferrero-Waldner to visit South Caucasus (02-03/10)

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will participate in the Ministerial EU Troika visit to the South Caucasus 2-3 October. Together with Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Commissioner will be holding meetings at the highest level. The Commissioner will discuss the ENP Action Plans, the "frozen conflicts" in the region, energy security and international issues.

    [16] Major conference on simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy

    Experts from around Europe will gather in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday, 3 and 4 October, for a conference on simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy. The keynote speakers will be Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel and Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen. The results of the conference will feed into the Commission's ongoing efforts to reduce the bureaucratic burden on farmers and national administrations. Cutting "red tape" is a major priority for the European Commission, especially in view of the focus on growth and jobs in the Lisbon Strategy. As the source of the greatest chunk of EU rules, agriculture must and will play its part. The conference : A Simple CAP for Europe: a challenge for all, 3/4 October, Royal Crown Hotel, Rue Royale 250, B-1210 Brussels. Commissioner Fischer Boel will give a press conference at the end of the conference at 12.45 on 4 October.

    [17] Commission calls for effective international action against destructive deep sea fishing practices

    On 4 and 5 October, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York will discuss what action might be taken to prohibit destructive fishing practices on the high seas. The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, will propose a coherent package of international measures which can deliver real protection for sensitive deep sea ecosystems and related vulnerable fish stocks. The actions sought include an immediate freeze on the expansion of deep sea fishing in regulated areas with bottom gears, further efforts to complete the process of identifying and protecting all sensitive ecosystems in areas currently covered by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) and the immediate prohibition by flag states of destructive fishing methods by their vessels on the sites of sensitive marine habitats in unregulated areas, until they can be guaranteed a high level of protection through the creation of new RFMOs, or through appropriate interim arrangements. The EU's position is set out in a Commission working document on destructive fishing practices in the high seas which is published today.

    [18] Autre matériel diffusé

    Competition: the European Competition Network launches a Model Leniency Programme – frequently asked questions

    Competition: Commission proposes changes to the Leniency Notice - frequently asked questions

    Speech by Günter Verheugen : "Delivering better information, better access and better prices" at Pharmaceutical Forum

    Speech by Markos Kyprianou : "Delivering better information, better access and better prices"at Pharmaceutical Forum

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner : "Observaciones en el Fórum Europa" (Madrid)

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "Corporate governance and accounting - Where we stand in the EU" at Business Leader Forum Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Ireland (Dublin)

    Speech by Janez Potočnik : "Why invest in science in South Eastern Europe?" at International Conference and Ministerial Round table (Ljubljana, ! embargo 16h00 !)

    Speech by Mariann Fischer Boel : "Opportunities in Euro-Mediterranean agricultural policy" at Conference by Euromed (28/09, Strasbourg)

    &lt;!-- PRV_REF ID="MEMO|06/355|0|FR" --&gt;Calendrier du 2 au 6 octobre From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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