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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-12-19

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] Statement by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on Libyan Court verdict on the Benghazi case
  • [02] Direct taxation : Commission proposes an EU coordinated approach of national direct tax systems
  • [03] Fiscalité directe : la Commission propose une approche communautaire coordonnée sur la question de la compensation des pertes subies dans d'autres Etats membres (compensation transfrontalière des pertes)
  • [04] Direct taxation : Commission proposes an EU-coordinated approach on exit taxation
  • [05] Commission clears acquisition of BARt by HTA and CDPQ
  • [06] Commission clears acquisition of Mammoet by SHV
  • [07] Commission clears acquisition of Oakwood by MLCP and CIR
  • [08] Restructuring of Czech and Polish steel companies almost completed
  • [09] Commission welcomes Council action on REACH, climate change and marine protection
  • [10] La Commission salue la ratification de la convention de l'Unesco sur la diversité culturelle
  • [11] Commission welcomes adoption of mandates for visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Moldova
  • [12] EU welcomes signing of new Central European Free Trade Agreement
  • [13] L'UE prend la présidence du processus de Kimberley en 2007
  • [14] La Commission aide les pays ACP lutter contre leur dépendance vis- -vis des produits de base agricoles
  • [15] La Commission approuve un financement de €103 millions pour la sortie de crise en Côte d'Ivoire
  • [16] Darfur conflict : Commission provides a further €17 million in humanitarian aid
  • [17] Somalia : Louis Michel heads to the region on a peace mission
  • [18] "Blackout last November calls for increased cooperation between TSOs", says Andris Piebalgs
  • [19] EU and euro area enlargement on 1 January 2007 : the new EU of 27 and euro area of 13
  • [20] Qu'a fait l'Union européenne pour moi en 2006?
  • [21] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-12-19 Reference: MEX/06/1219 Date: 19/12/2006 EXME06 / 19.12

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    19/12/06


  • [01] Statement by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on Libyan Court verdict on the Benghazi case

    Today the Libyan Criminal Court has confirmed the death sentence on the Bulgarian and Palestinian medical personnel involved in the Benghazi case. European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, gave this reaction: "We simply can not accept this verdict and trust that the matter will now be referred to a higher authority. I firmly hope that clemency will be granted to the medical staff, in the same spirit of mutual respect and humanitarian compassion which characterised the intense discussions held between the European Union and other partners with the families of the Benghazi children."

    [02] Direct taxation : Commission proposes an EU coordinated approach of national direct tax systems

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication announcing a series of initiatives to promote better coordination of national direct tax systems in the EU. The aim is to ensure that national tax systems comply with Community law and interact coherently with each other. The initiatives seek to remove discrimination and double taxation for the benefit of individuals and business while preventing tax abuse and erosion of the tax base.

    [03] Fiscalité directe : la Commission propose une approche communautaire coordonnée sur la question de la compensation des pertes subies dans d'autres Etats membres (compensation transfrontalière des pertes)

    Dans le cadre d'une approche communautaire coordonnée de la fiscalité directe (IP/06/1827), la Commission européenne invite les Etats membres rechercher des moyens de permettre aux entreprises de compenser les pertes subies dans d'autres Etats membres. Dans la plupart des Etats membres, les pertes nationales peuvent être compensées par d'autres bénéfices réalisés dans le même Etat membre. En revanche, cette compensation n'est généralement pas prévue pour des pertes encourues dans d'autres Etats membres. Cette lacune dans les législations des Etats membres fait obstacle la pénétration d'autres marchés et retentit donc négativement sur la compétitivité internationale des entreprises européennes. La communication présente plusieurs solutions visant éliminer ces obstacles.

    [04] Direct taxation : Commission proposes an EU-coordinated approach on exit taxation

    In the framework of an EU-coordinated approach in direct taxation (IP/06/1827), the European Commission invites Member States to better coordinate their national exit tax rules. Exit taxes are levied by many Member States on accrued capital gains when taxpayers move their residence or transfer individual assets to another Member State. The Communication examines how Member States' exit tax rules on individuals and companies can be made compatible with the requirements of EC law. It also gives guidance on how to make such national rules compatible with each other with a view to removing double taxation or unintended non-taxation and preventing abuse and tax base erosion.

    [05] Commission clears acquisition of BARt by HTA and CDPQ

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Budapest Airport Budapest Ferihegy Nemzetközi Repülőtér Üzemeltető Rt (BARt) of Hungary by HOCHTIEF AirPort GmbH (HTA) of Germany), controlled by HOCHTIEF Aktiengesellschaft (HT) of Germany, and Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) of Canada. HTA provides airport management services. CDPQ is a financial institution that manages public and private pension and insurance funds. BARt manages Budapest Ferihegy International Airport in Hungary. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [06] Commission clears acquisition of Mammoet by SHV

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Mammoet Holding B.V. (Mammoet) of The Netherlands by SHV Holdings (SHV), also of The Netherlands. Mammoet is active in heavy lifting operations, heavy road and off road transport, rental of cranes, salvage and wreck removal and trade in new and used cranes and transport equipment. SHV has activities in trade in and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), food and non-food consumer articles, provision of private equity, production of raw materials and exploration and production of oil and gas. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [07] Commission clears acquisition of Oakwood by MLCP and CIR

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Oakwood Financial Fund L.P. (Oakwood) of the Cayman Islands by Merrill Lynch Credit Products, LLP (MLCP) of the US, part of the Merrill Lynch & Co, Inc. group of companies and CIR Compagnie Industriali Riunite S.p.A, (CIR) of Italy, controlled by Compagnia Finanziaria De Benedetti. MLCP is active in investment banking and other financial services. CIR is active in newspaper and magazine publishing, radio, digital television, advertising and internet sectors, automotive components, gas and electricity, private healthcare and non- performing loans. Oakwood is a fund active in the origination and sales/acquisition of residential mortgages, hire purchase contracts for motor vehicles, salary and pension secured loans and small ticket equipment leasing to local authorities and SMEs. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [08] Restructuring of Czech and Polish steel companies almost completed

    In its third report on the steel industry sector in Poland and the Czech Republic, the European Commission has expressed its satisfaction that the remaining public shares in both countries have now been passed on to the private sector. The Commission insists that the new investors should now concentrate all their efforts on implementing the remaining restructuring benchmarks, such as cost reduction, investment, and productivity increase. These measures need to be fully implemented so as to make the companies more resistant to a possible economic downturn.

    [09] Commission welcomes Council action on REACH, climate change and marine protection

    European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas welcomed the outcome of Environment Council which adopted the new Regulation on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restrictions of chemicals (REACH), reached political agreement on the framework directive for EU action on marine environment policy and adopted conclusions on climate change. REACH, a single EU regulatory system for chemical substances, will improve the protection of citizens' health and the environment. The marine framework directive aims to ensure that all EU marine waters are environmentally healthy by 2021 and it is the main component of the Thematic Strategy on the protection and conservation of the marine environment, which the Commission adopted in October 2005. On climate change, the Council stressed the need to significantly accelerate global negotiations on a post-2012 agreement, with a view to completing them by the end of 2009 at the latest. The EU's vision and leadership is required now more than ever.

    [10] La Commission salue la ratification de la convention de l'Unesco sur la diversité culturelle

    La Convention de l'Unesco sur la protection et la promotion de la diversité des expressions culturelles, ratifiée depuis hier par un nombre suffisant de pays, pourra entrer en vigueur dans trois mois. Le nombre requis de ratifications a été atteint le 18 décembre quand la Communauté ainsi que douze Etats membres (l'Autriche, le Danemark, l'Espagne, l'Estonie, la Finlande, la France, la Lituanie, le Luxembourg, Malte, la Slovaquie, la Slovénie et la Suède) ont déposé leur instrument de ratification au siège de l'Unesco Paris. La Bulgarie a également ratifié hier Paris la suite de cette ratification conjointe.

    [11] Commission welcomes adoption of mandates for visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Moldova

    In less than 20 days after the presentation of European Commission's proposals the Council adopted today the mandates authorising the Commission to negotiate agreements for short-stay visas facilitation and readmission between the EU and the Republic of Moldova. These agreements will improve existing relations with Moldova and respond to problems that Moldovan citizens currently encounter in obtaining visas to enter the Schengen area.

    [12] EU welcomes signing of new Central European Free Trade Agreement

    Prime Ministers of South Eastern European countries and territories have today signed a new Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). This marks the conclusion of ambitious negotiations launched on 6 April this year. The new CEFTA consolidates 32 bilateral free trade agreements in the Southern European Region into a single Regional Trade Agreement. Although the EU is not a party to this new Agreement, the European Commission has provided continuous political, technical and financial support, at every stage of the trade liberalisation process in South Eastern Europe. The EU warmly welcomes the conclusion of the agreement and European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn is in Bucharest to observe the signing.

    [13] L'UE prend la présidence du processus de Kimberley en 2007

    La Commission européenne s'apprête prendre, le 1er janvier, la présidence du système de certification du processus de Kimberley visant lutter contre les diamants de la guerre. Le processus de Kimberley est une initiative unique des autorités gouvernementales, de l'industrie internationale du diamant et de la société civile visant lutter contre les diamants dits «de la guerre» - des diamants bruts servant financer des opérations militaires -, après l'expérience de conflits dévastateurs dans certains pays africains producteurs de diamants. Avec l'appui des Etats membres, la Commission emploiera sa présidence en 2007 garantir la bonne mise en œuvre des contrôles par l'ensemble des participants et combler les lacunes qui subsistent. La Commission a l'intention, dans le cadre de sa présidence, d'encourager l'industrie s'auto-réglementer de manière active. Le système européen d'auto- réglementation des entreprises gagnerait fortement servir de modèle d'autres. La Commission travaillera aussi main dans la main avec les gouvernements, les entreprises et la société civile, qui ont tous contribué dans une large mesure la réussite du processus de Kimberley, et continuera de coopérer étroitement avec les Nations unies sur les cas du Liberia et de la Côte d'Ivoire, qui font tous deux l'objet d'un embargo sur les diamants.

    [14] La Commission aide les pays ACP lutter contre leur dépendance vis- -vis des produits de base agricoles

    La Commission européenne a approuvé un programme portant sur quatre ans et d'un montant de €45 millions pour aider les pays d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) fortement tributaires du coton, du cacao, du sucre, du café, des bananes et d'autres produits de base. Le programme aidera ces pays résister aux fluctuations des prix sur les marchés mondiaux et devenir plus compétitifs grâce une production plus performante et la diversification de leur économie.

    [15] La Commission approuve un financement de €103 millions pour la sortie de crise en Côte d'Ivoire

    La Commission européenne a approuvé, le 15 décembre, le financement du Quatrième Programme d'Urgence de Réhabilitation post-crise (PUR IV) pour la Côte d'Ivoire, pour un montant de €103 millions. Ce programme permettra de poursuivre la réhabilitation des infrastructures et la fourniture de services sociaux de base aux populations affectées par la crise, ainsi que le financement de la transition politique devant mener la sortie de crise.

    [16] Darfur conflict : Commission provides a further €17 million in humanitarian aid

    The European Commission has allocated a further €17 million for life- saving humanitarian assistance to the victims of the Darfur crisis in Sudan bringing its contribution for 2006 to a total amount of €97 million. Up to four million people are affected and around two million are displaced. More than 210,000 have sought refuge in Chad. At the same time, because of the spill-over of the conflict into Chad, thousands of Chadian have crossed the border in the other direction and are now refugees in Darfur. This new humanitarian aid builds on previous Commission decisions for the region, notably had an extra €40 million in humanitarian aid announced by President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Michel during their visit in Darfur last Ocotober (IP/06/1299). Since 2004, the Commission has been a leading donor for Darfur and has allocated relief aid worth more than €357 million in response to the Darfur crisis.

    [17] Somalia : Louis Michel heads to the region on a peace mission

    The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, is travelling today and tomorrow to the Horn of Africa to meet the key players in the Somali conflict, including the leaders of the Transitional Federal Institutions and the Supreme Council of the Islamic Courts. He intends to submit a Memorandum of Understanding to the parties that should prevent an escalation of violence and press them to resume talks in order to find a peaceful solution. The Commission remains deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation in Somalia and the risk of an imminent conflict between the Transitional Federal Government and the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts.

    [18] "Blackout last November calls for increased cooperation between TSOs", says Andris Piebalgs

    Inappropriate coordination among Transmission System Operators (TSOs). This is one of the root causes of the blackout that left millions of Europeans in the dark last month on 4 November, according to the interim report of the investigation that the Union for the Coordination of Transmission of Electricty (UCTE) released recently. "Although the final report can give further causes for the incident, it is now clear that the EU internal market needs stronger cooperation between transmission system operators if we want to ensure the highest levels of security in the system. Soon I will propose concrete measures to address this problem", said European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs commenting on the interim report of the UCTE.

    [19] EU and euro area enlargement on 1 January 2007 : the new EU of 27 and euro area of 13

    On 1 January 2007, Bulgaria and Romania will join the EU, which will become a union of 27 Member States. On this date the euro area will also be enlarged to include Slovenia. For this event, Eurostat publishes a compilation of economic and social indicators drawing a portrait of the enlarged European Union of 27 Members and euro area of 13 Member States.

    [20] Qu'a fait l'Union européenne pour moi en 2006?

    La Commission européenne lance un nouveau produit multimédia, l'annuaire de l'Union européenne, qui présente dix grandes actions stratégiques menées par l'UE cette année et est disponible dans vingt-deux langues. "L'Europe et vous – aperu des réalisations de l'Union européenne" vise permettre aux citoyens de mieux comprendre ce que l'Union fait et quelles incidences cela a sur leur vie quotidienne.

    [21] Autre matériel diffusé

    Communications on a comprehensive strategy to promote tax co-ordination in the EU – frequently asked questions

    FAQ : Convention UNESCO sur la diversité culturelle, un nouvel instrument de gouvernance internationale

    Kimberley Process – Fighting Blood Diamonds!

    A new regional agreement to develop trade in South Eastern Europe

    Discours de M. Vladimir pidla : "Promouvoir l'égalité de traitement dans la mise en œuvre de la législation européenne en matière d'égalité" la rencontre avec les représentants des organismes nationaux chargés de promouvoir l'égalité de traitement From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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