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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-12-11

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] Aides d'Etat : le dernier tableau de bord révèle une augmentation de la part des aides destinée des objectifs horizontaux
  • [02] Cars that dial 112 : an action plan for getting emergency calls back on track
  • [03] Promotion des produits agricoles communautaires l'extérieur de l'UE
  • [04] 2006 : a boost for workers' mobility, but challenges lie ahead
  • [05] Winners of the 2006 European Worker's Mobility Award announced
  • [06] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Danka by Ricoh
  • [07] La Commission ouvre une enquête approfondie sur l'acquisition par Universal des activités d'édition musicale de BMG
  • [08] Transitional food safety and veterinary measures agreed for Bulgaria and Romania
  • [09] Proper and effective use of EU Funds in Member States - Siim Kallas, speaking to Presidents of EU national Supreme Audit Institutions
  • [10] Statement on Belarus Helsinki Committee and politically motivated detentions in Belarus
  • [11] Commission launches new scholarship scheme outside the EU
  • [12] Donors meeting on supporting the implementation of reforms in the Republic of Moldova
  • [13] Russia and the EU agree to join efforts to promote energy efficiency
  • [14] Andris Piebalgs welcomes Energy Regulators report on the Development of the EU Energy Markets in 2006
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-12-11 Reference: MEX/06/1211 Date: 11/12/2006 EXME06 / 11.12

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    11/12/06


  • [01] Aides d'Etat : le dernier tableau de bord révèle une augmentation de la part des aides destinée des objectifs horizontaux

    D'après le dernier tableau de bord des aides d'Etat établi par la Commission européenne, le montant total des aides d'Etat accordées en 2005 par les 25 Etats membres de l'UE est estimé €64 milliards (0,59% du PIB de l'UE), contre quelque €65 milliards en 2004 (0,61% du PIB). A l'échelle de l'UE, la réponse l'appel du Conseil européen demandant une réduction des aides a donc été modérée. Néanmoins, les Etats membres ont réagi positivement au deuxième objectif du Conseil, lequel souhaitait des "aides mieux ciblées" : plus de la moitié d'entre eux consacrent désormais plus de 90% de leurs aides d'Etat des objectifs horizontaux d'intérêt commun tels que l'environnement et la R&D. L'analyse approfondie des aides au sauvetage et la restructuration montre que ces aides, qui sont les plus susceptibles de fausser la concurrence, ont représenté €15,5 milliards dans les Etats membres de l'UE-15 sur la période 2000-2005. Si certains Etats membres ont eu fréquemment recours ce type d'aides sur la période considérée, ce n'est clairement pas le cas pour la majorité d'entre eux. Plus de 95% du montant total de ces aides ont été accordés par les cinq plus grands Etats membres (Allemagne, France, Italie, Royaume-Uni et Espagne).

    [02] Cars that dial 112 : an action plan for getting emergency calls back on track

    An urgent set of actions to restart moves to roll-out emergency call (eCall) technology for cars in Europe has been proposed by the European Commission. The Commission-industry action plan agreed in 2005 to add eCall to all new cars in Europe by 2009 has stalled, warns the Commission status report of 23 November. While there has been significant progress at European level, some Member States have been slow to invest in infrastructure, and industry now refuses further action.

    [03] Promotion des produits agricoles communautaires l'extérieur de l'UE

    La Commission européenne a approuvé des mesures d'information et de promotion en faveur des produits agricoles dans les pays tiers. Les Etats membres lui ont soumis 28 programmes pour examen. Les dix programmes qui ont été acceptés sont ceux de Chypre, de l'Allemagne, de la Grèce, de l'Italie, des Pays-Bas, de la Pologne et du Portugal. Ils s'adressent aux Etats-Unis, au Canada, l'Inde, au Japon et la Chine et portent sur le vin, les fruits, la viande, les produits laitiers, l'huile d'olive et les produits biologiques. La contribution de l'UE s'élève €9,1 millions, soit 50% du budget total des programmes.

    [04] 2006 : a boost for workers' mobility, but challenges lie ahead

    The European Year of Workers' Mobility concludes today with a major event to sum up the achievements of the past twelve months and chart the challenges that still lie ahead. With 2,000 events across Europe, the campaign has raised peoples' awareness of their rights to work in another EU country and how to exercise them, reinforced tools to help them find a job abroad, and highlighted the remaining obstacles to a genuine European job market. The winners of the 2006 European Mobility Awards – which recognise individuals, businesses or institutions that have contributed to geographic or job-to-job mobility during the European Year – will also be announced. As well as presenting the main findings of the Year, the event will examine how to follow them up in 2007.

    [05] Winners of the 2006 European Worker's Mobility Award announced

    (! embargo 20h00 !) Today, under the banner of the European Year of Workers' Mobility (EYWM), the winners of the 2006 Mobility Awards have been announced at a prize ceremony as part of the official closing event for the Year, in Roubaix, France. In addition to the three main categories: "Individuals", "Companies" and "Institutions", a "Special prize of the Jury" for the 'most promising' mobility project has also been announced. The purpose of these awards is to reward individuals, companies, and associations who have significantly contributed to improving workers' mobility in 2006, showing the real benefits and challenges of working abroad or changing job.

    [06] Commission approves proposed acquisition of Danka by Ricoh

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the European businesses of Danka of the UK, a wholesale distributor of office automation equipment, by Ricoh of the Netherlands. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

    [07] La Commission ouvre une enquête approfondie sur l'acquisition par Universal des activités d'édition musicale de BMG

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'ouvrir une enquête approfondie, en vertu du règlement sur les concentrations, concernant le projet d'acquisition des activités d'édition musicale du groupe allemand Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) par Universal, une filiale américaine de l'entreprise française Vivendi. Il ressort de l'enquête initiale de la Commission que le projet de concentration soulèverait des doutes sérieux quant aux effets négatifs sur la concurrence dans un marché de l'édition musicale déj concentré. La décision d'ouvrir une enquête approfondie ne préjuge pas du résultat final de l'enquête. La Commission dispose présent d'un délai de 90 jours ouvrables (jusqu'au 27 avril 2007) pour prendre une décision finale sur la question de savoir si l'opération envisagée entraverait ou non de manière significative une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [08] Transitional food safety and veterinary measures agreed for Bulgaria and Romania

    European Commission proposals for further post-Enlargement food safety and animal health measures for Romania and Bulgaria have been backed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. Member State veterinary experts voted in favour of transitional arrangements for Bulgarian meat and milk establishments, and an additional measure for third country products imported into Romania and Bulgaria before 1 January 2007.

    [09] Proper and effective use of EU Funds in Member States - Siim Kallas, speaking to Presidents of EU national Supreme Audit Institutions

    European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for administrative affairs, audit and anti-fraud, today addressed the annual meeting of heads of the EU's supreme audit institutions, taking place in Warsaw. Mr Kallas said: "My main message is about the necessity to involve all levels in Europe in controlling the funds financed by the taxpayers across Europe. All of us here today, the Commission, Supreme Audit Institutions, and the European Court of Auditors, have a common ultimate aim of providing assurance to European taxpayers, within the frameworks of our individual mandates. Given the important role of the Member States in the management of Community funds, the role of independent Supreme Audit Institutions ... is extremely important in underpinning a culture of strong financial management in each Member State." Since more than 80% of the EU budget is managed in and by the Member States, the EU must have effective assurances that the money is being spent properly. This is why the Commission published earlier this year its action plan to set up an "integrated internal control framework" for EU funds (COM (2006)9), which should open the way to a positive audit declaration from the European Court of Auditors.

    [10] Statement on Belarus Helsinki Committee and politically motivated detentions in Belarus

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner states: "I am very concerned by the confiscation of property of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) by the Belarusian authorities on charges of alleged tax evasion. Such a measure appears to be politically motivated and affects an EC TACIS beneficiary, who is exempt from taxation and customs duties as laid down in the framework agreement signed between the EC and Belarus in 1994. On several occasions we have reminded the Belarusian authorities about their obligation to exempt the BHC and other TACIS beneficiaries from taxation. I again urge the Belarusian authorities to stop their campaign of harassment against the BHC which is the only remaining human rights NGO registered in Belarus, and to withdraw without delay the charges levelled against the BHC in order to comply with Belarus' international commitments. I am also very concerned about the recent detention of several human rights activists who were staging a peaceful meeting calling for the release of political prisoner Aleksandr Kozulin, who is an extremely worrying health condition due to his hunger strike. I call upon the Belarusian authorities to immediately release the persons still detained after Friday's meeting, and to drop all charges against the people involved in this meeting. I repeat my vigorous condemnation of the sentence passed on Mr. Kozulin and ask for his immediate release as well as of all those who are detained on political grounds."

    [11] Commission launches new scholarship scheme outside the EU

    The European Commission is launching a new "Erasmus Mundus External Co- operation Window" open to the EU's neighbours, Russia, Central Asia and Iran, Iraq and Yemen. The first call for proposals will take place before the end of 2006 and will allow for a total of 1300 scholarships, of which 110 will be dedicated to Iran, Iraq and Yemen. These scholarships will facilitate the mobility of undergraduate, master, doctorate and post- doctoral students between these countries and the EU, as well as exchanges of academic staff for the purposes of teaching, training and research.

    [12] Donors meeting on supporting the implementation of reforms in the Republic of Moldova

    The European Commission, together with the World Bank and the Moldovan Government, will host a Donors' Consultative Group meeting in Brussels on 12 December to discuss donor responses to support Moldova in its reform agenda. The meeting will gather senior-level officials of all key donor organizations as well as high-level representatives of the Moldovan government, including Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev. Discussions will focus on progress in the implementation of Moldova's reform agenda and future donors' programmes to support the reform process. Interested journalists are welcome to attend the opening session of the meeting starting at 9:00 in meeting room S1 of the Charlemagne Conference Centre. There will also be a press briefing after the meeting at 17:45 in the same room. Interested journalists are requested to register with Susanne Grikschat at Susanne.Grikschat@ec.europa.eu by Monday, 11 January at 16:00.

    [13] Russia and the EU agree to join efforts to promote energy efficiency

    At the second meeting of the Permanent Partnership Council (PPC) on Energy in Moscow on 8 December 2006, the EU and Russia agreed to work together to enhance energy efficiency, recognising the huge mutual challenge and potential for energy savings that they quantify annually at around 400 million tonnes of oil equivalent each by the year 2020.

    [14] Andris Piebalgs welcomes Energy Regulators report on the Development of the EU Energy Markets in 2006

    European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomed the European Regulators assessment on the Development of the European Energy Markets, 2006, that was released on 8 December. The European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG), which was established by the European Commission in 2003, considers insufficient unbundling as the main obstacle to competition in electricity and gas, and calls for a minimum set of powers for regulators and increased independence from political interference. "ERGEG's report highlights some of the most serious problems of the internal energy market. This contribution will be valuable for the report on the internal market that I will present early next year", Commissioner Piebalgs said.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Note on the Telecom Council 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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