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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-01-12

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] La Commission entame un programme de simplification dans le domaine des cosmétiques
  • [02] Slovenia's euro changeover successfully completed
  • [03] Euro coin counterfeiting in 2006
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of ACE by ASF and GCE
  • [05] Company taxation : Commission extends the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum for two more years
  • [06] Commission unveils new 'Help' campaign TV adverts targeting dangers of passive smoking for children
  • [07] New rules for captive bird imports to protect animal health in the EU and improve the welfare of imported birds
  • [08] Commission launches new information source on research systems and policies in the EU
  • [09] Ouverture d'un bureau régional JASPERS Varsovie
  • [10] Commission backs launch of agriculture trade talks with Egypt
  • [11] The EU agrees on a joint action to tackle disruptions in oil supplies from Russia
  • [12] Energy Commissioner Piebalgs and German Minister of Economics and Technology Glos address a letter to Russian and Belarusian authorities
  • [13] EU/US Open Sky talks
  • [14] Research & Development in the EU - preliminary results : in relation to GDP, EU27 R&D expenditure stable at 1.84% in 2005 ; in real terms, EU27 R&D expenditure grew by 1.5% per year between 2001 and 2005
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-01-12 Reference: MEX/07/0112 Date: 12/01/2007 EXME07 / 12.1

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    12/01/07


  • [01] La Commission entame un programme de simplification dans le domaine des cosmétiques

    La Commission européenne a lancé aujourd'hui une consultation des parties prenantes dans le domaine des cosmétiques afin de parvenir un cadre réglementaire simplifié et moderne, qui évite les coûts inutiles. Ce nouveau cadre devrait remplacer l'actuelle directive communautaire Cosmétiques de 1976, qui est devenue un "patchwork" de presque 50 modifications sans terminologie cohérente. De plus, de nombreuses dispositions apparaissent dans le mauvais contexte et la réglementation des substances individuelles utilisées dans les cosmétiques s'est révélée très complexe, grande consommatrice de ressources et difficile gérer. L'industrie, qui est le leader mondial dans ce domaine, doit ainsi faire face des coûts plus importants que nécessaires pour se conformer aux règles établies. La consultation se terminera en mars de cette année et doit déboucher sur un nouveau cadre au plus tard en 2010. Les dispositions en vigueur relatives l'interdiction et l'abandon des essais sur les animaux des produits cosmétiques d'ici 2009/2013 ne feront pas partie de cet exercice.

    [02] Slovenia's euro changeover successfully completed

    As the second business week in January draws to a close, virtually all cash payments in Slovenia are now being made in euros. Consumers and shops have coped well with payments in euros despite the increased activity since the beginning of the winter sales on 8 January, and everything is back to normal. The tolar becomes history this weekend as the dual circulation period ends on 14 January and the euro becomes the sole legal tender in Slovenia.

    [03] Euro coin counterfeiting in 2006

    In 2006 the number of counterfeit euro coins removed from circulation was around 164,000. The number increased considerably from 2005 but is insignificant compared to the total number of 69 billion genuine euro coins in circulation. The competent authorities intensified and better coordinated their efforts in fighting counterfeiting while, at the same time, law enforcement continued successful action.

    [04] Commission clears acquisition of ACE by ASF and GCE

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of A.C.E. (ACE) of France by Accor Services France (ASF) and Groupe Caisse d'épargne (GCE), both of France. ASF is active in the design and provision of services to undertakings and communities in France, in particular through the emission of tickets for services. GCE provides banking and financial services. ACE is a newly created joint venture which will be active in the emission and marketing of Cheques for Universal Employment Services (CESU). The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [05] Company taxation : Commission extends the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum for two more years

    The European Commission has decided to extend the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum's (JTPF) mandate for a further two years starting on 1st March 2007. The Forum, which is of a consultative nature, aims at reducing the high compliance costs and eliminating the double taxation that often arises in the case of cross-border intra-group transactions within the EU. The Commission calls for applications for 15 experts coming from the business sector to participate in the Forum and for one independent Chairman. Applications have to be submitted to the Commission by 31 January 2007. The Forum will meet at least twice a year. For more information see our website:

    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/company_tax/transfer_pricing/forum/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/company_tax/transfer_pricing/forum/index_en.htm

    [06] Commission unveils new 'Help' campaign TV adverts targeting dangers of passive smoking for children

    As part of its campaign 'Help – for a life without tobacco', the European Commission today presented a new anti-smoking advert which will air from 15 January on 80 television channels in 22 languages across all 27 EU Member States. The new advertising campaign focuses on the negative health effects of passive smoking. The clip depicts a young adolescent experiencing breathing difficulties in her daily activities, and shows her watching her parents smoking in the living room. European Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said: "Every year, passive smoking kills 19, 000 Europeans who don't smoke. This latest advertising campaign aims to remind smokers that their habit harms their children's health as well as their own." The television campaign ties in with an e-mail and web based campaign where smokers can get help and advice to stick to their new year's resolution to quit smoking. The Commission's €72 million Help campaign has now been running for nearly two years. In that time, market research shows that over 150 million Europeans have seen the adverts, including 55% of young people, and the approval rating among the target group of under 25s is 83%. The Commission intends to publish a Green Paper on Smoke-Free Environments in early 2007 to launch a broad consultation process on the best way forward to tackle passive smoking in Europe.

    The advert can be viewed on the web site

    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_determinants/life_style/Tobacco/help_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_determinants/life_style/Tobacco/help_en.htm

    [07] New rules for captive bird imports to protect animal health in the EU and improve the welfare of imported birds

    A draft Regulation laying down strict conditions for the import of live captive birds, such as parrots and macaws, was backed unanimously by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health on 11 January. The new rules are necessary to protect animal health in the EU, and follow the recommendations laid down in the Opinion on the import of such birds, issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in October last year. The Regulation will also improve the animal welfare of imported birds. Under this Regulation, only specific countries or regions which have already been approved to export live commercial poultry will be allowed to export captive birds to the EU. These approved countries have demonstrated high standards of animal health and the ability to cope with international animal health concerns. Stringent conditions will have to be met both before and after the birds are imported into the EU, and Member States will be required to provide more detailed information on such imports. Birds caught in the wild will not be allowed to be imported into the EU. The new rules will not apply to certain types of birds, including commercial poultry and pet birds accompanying their owners, as these are already covered by separate EU legislation.

    [08] Commission launches new information source on research systems and policies in the EU

    The European Commission is today launching ERAWATCH, a new online information platform on research systems and policies within the European Union. ERAWATCH supports the ongoing construction of the European Research Area (ERA) by providing policy makers and policy analysts working in the field of science and research with condensed and updated information and analysis on the development of research systems and policies in all Member States of the European Union plus selected other countries. It contains information on recent policy documents, research programmes, funding agencies, research performance as well as major indicators such as expenditure, publications and patents.

    [09] Ouverture d'un bureau régional JASPERS Varsovie

    La commissaire européenne la politique régionale, Mme Danuta Hübner, le président de la Banque européenne d’investissement, M. Philippe Maystadt, et le secrétaire général de la Banque européenne pour la reconstruction et le développement, M. Horst Reichenbach, ont inauguré aujourd'hui le bureau régional JASPERS de Varsovie. JASPERS (Assistance commune dans le soutien aux projets en faveur des régions d'Europe) est un nouveau partenariat qui réunit la Commission, la BEI et la BERD et qui a pour objet d'aider les Etats membres d'Europe centrale et orientale mettre au point des projets de haute qualité susceptibles de bénéficier du soutien des Fonds structurels et du Fonds de cohésion.

    [10] Commission backs launch of agriculture trade talks with Egypt

    Mariann Fischer Boel, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, has written to Mohamed Rachid, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, to propose the start of talks on liberalisation of agricultural trade between Egypt and the European Union. The negotiations would form part of the process set out in the Rabat Roadmap, which aims at wide- ranging liberalisation of trade in agriculture, processed agricultural and fishery products between the EU and the countries of the southern Mediterranean which are covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy. Commissioner Fischer Boel offered to send a team of experts to Cairo on 8 February for a first round of negotiations. In 2005, the Rabat Roadmap was established to achieve greater liberalisation of agricultural trade. The ambition is a Free Trade Area by 2010.

    [11] The EU agrees on a joint action to tackle disruptions in oil supplies from Russia

    The European Commission and EU Presidency are taking joint action to press Russia and Belarus to resolve completely the disputes concerning the Druzhba pipeline. At the same time, the EU convenes its Oil Supply Group to coordinate the response of its Members States to the disruption of oil supplies. "We welcome the information that oil flows have resumed as signs of progress but continue calling on both sides to reach an immediate and complete resolution of all outstanding issues and guarantee reliability of future deliveries through the pipeline", declared Commissioner Piebalgs, the German Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Joachim Wuermeling and the IEA's Executive Director, Claude Mandil at a common press conference following the meeting on 11 January.

    [12] Energy Commissioner Piebalgs and German Minister of Economics and Technology Glos address a letter to Russian and Belarusian authorities

    The European Commission and the EU Presidency are calling on Russian and Byelorussian authorities to create conditions that oil supply disruption would not repeat and contracts are served in due manner. A letter has been sent to German Gref, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation, and to Andrei Kobyakov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, on 11 January.

    [13] EU/US Open Sky talks

    Representatives of the United States and representatives of the European Union and its Member States met in Brussels on 10-11 January 2007 to discuss steps forward on the negotiated text of the first stage comprehensive EU-U.S. Air Transport Agreement that would replace the existing bilateral agreements and govern aviation relations between the U.S. and the EU. The talks were held in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. The U.S. delegation explained the December 2006 withdrawal of the Department of Transportation's rulemaking proposal concerning actual control of U.S. air carriers. The EU delegation expressed its deep regret and disappointment that the DOT's rulemaking process had not reached a successful conclusion. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the goal of concluding an EU-U.S. agreement that would open access to markets and maximise benefits for consumers, airlines, labour, and communities on both sides of the Atlantic. To that effect, and on the basis of the text negotiated in Washington in November 2005, the two delegations agreed to identify areas where improvements might be made. It was agreed that a further round of consultations would take place in Washington in the week of 5 February 2007 in order to examine and discuss proposals.

    [14] Research & Development in the EU - preliminary results : in relation to GDP, EU27 R&D expenditure stable at 1.84% in 2005 ; in real terms, EU27 R&D expenditure grew by 1.5% per year between 2001 and 2005

    In 2005 the EU27 spent just over €200 billion on Research & Development (R&D). R&D intensity (i.e. expenditure as a percentage of GDP) in the EU27 stood at 1.84%, the same as in 2004. R&D intensity remained significantly lower in the EU27 than in other major economies. In 2004, R&D expenditure was 2.68% of GDP in the United States, 3.18% in Japan, while it has reached 1.34% in China in 2005. R&D expenditure in the EU27 rose by 1.5% in real terms on average per year between 2001 and 2005, compared to 1.7% in the United States and 2.0% in Japan between 2001 and 2004. In 2004 the business sector financed 55% of total EU27 R&D expenditure, while the corresponding share was 64% in the United States, 75% in Japan and 66% in China. This information comes from Eurostat.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner : "The Middle East in the EU's External Relations" at the 'Madrid: Fifteen Years Later' Conference (11/01, Madrid)

    Speech by Stavros Dimas : "Climate change: why a global response needs European leadership" at launch event of Commission/All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change cooperation for 2007 (11/01, London)

    Calendrier du 15 au 19 janvier 2007 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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