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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-01-25

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] Towards a sustainable energy future : Commission launches first Sustainable Energy Week
  • [02] Une étude pour la Commission prévoit une croissance de 400% pour le contenu créatif en ligne : une chance pour l'Europe
  • [03] Commission opens investigation into Danish scheme to improve SME access to risk capital
  • [04] Commission orders Germany to recover €5.2 million illegal aid granted to Biria group
  • [05] La Commission ouvre une enquête sur les tarifs réglementés de l'électricité en Espagne
  • [06] Commission refers The Netherlands to Court for failure to recover illegal aid to manure companies
  • [07] Avian Influenza : highly pathogenic H5 virus confirmed in Hungary
  • [08] Liban : la Commission présente une aide de €500 millions la Conférence de Paris
  • [09] EU cohesion policy can help address the challenges of demographic change
  • [10] EU supports Indian Ocean countries' fight against illegal fishing in the region
  • [11] New study looks at agriculture and rural areas until 2020
  • [12] Troisième trimestre 2006 : l'UE25 a enregistré un déficit des échanges courants de €21,7 milliards ; excédent de €16,6 milliards pour la balance des services
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-01-25 Reference: MEX/07/0125 Date: 25/01/2007 EXME07 / 25.1

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    25/01/07


  • [01] Towards a sustainable energy future : Commission launches first Sustainable Energy Week

    Following the launch, on 10 January, of the proposal for a new Energy Policy for Europe, the European Commission will launch on Monday the first EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), a series of events that will bring together 44 stakeholders. The participants in this first EUSEW cover most sectors of activity in renewable sources of energy and in energy efficiency, at all levels of responsibility: public and private, European, international, national, regional and local. Its major aim is to set the basis for the accomplishment of the measures necessary to implement two key pillars of the proposed new Energy Policy: accelerating the shift to low carbon energy and boosting energy efficiency. "Energy Policy is not only about legislation, but also about communicating, hearing, and bringing together all stakeholders. With the EU Sustainable Energy Week, the Commission leads the most willing stakeholders to undertake together a real European energy revolution", said Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs.

    [02] Une étude pour la Commission prévoit une croissance de 400% pour le contenu créatif en ligne : une chance pour l'Europe

    Selon une nouvelle étude commandée par la Commission européenne, le contenu en ligne représentera un chiffre d'affaires de €8,3 milliards en Europe en 2010, soit une croissance de plus de 400% en cinq ans. Pour les secteurs les plus avancés, le contenu en ligne représentera une part importante du chiffre d'affaires total. Ainsi, pour la musique, il représentera environ 20%, et 33% pour les jeux vidéo. L'étude indique que grâce la diffusion du haut débit, au déploiement de réseaux mobiles avancés et la généralisation de l'utilisation des appareils numériques, la distribution de contenus en ligne est en train de devenir un marché de masse, ce qui crée des possibilités inédites pour l'Europe.

    [03] Commission opens investigation into Danish scheme to improve SME access to risk capital

    The European Commission has opened an investigation, under Article 88 (2) of the EC Treaty's rules on state aid, into a planned Danish scheme aimed at facilitating the access of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to risk capital. The planned aid is to be granted to certain investors who purchase shares traded on alternative markets. The Commission believes that the measure might give rise to disproportionate distortions of trade and competition within the EU's Single Market and doubts whether the scheme addresses a true market failure. The measure could also potentially crowd out other investors and might therefore not be the most appropriate and proportionate instrument to reach the planned objective. The opening of a formal investigation procedure gives interested parties the possibility to comment on the proposed measures. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

    [04] Commission orders Germany to recover €5.2 million illegal aid granted to Biria group

    The European Commission has decided that a so-called 'silent participation' and two guarantees, granted by a public investment company and the German Land of Saxony to companies of the Biria group, a producer of bicycles, are illegal under EC Treaty state aid rules (Article 87) because they distort competition within the EU Single Market. A 'silent participation' is comparable to a loan. The investor does not obtain any shares in the company but receives a remuneration. The aid, worth €5.2 million, must now be recovered by the German Government from the beneficiaries. The Commission has decided not to extend the recovery to the Lone Star group that took over the majority of assets from the Biria group in November 2005. The money must therefore be recovered from the Biria group.

    [05] La Commission ouvre une enquête sur les tarifs réglementés de l'électricité en Espagne

    La Commission européenne a ouvert une procédure formelle d'examen, en vertu des règles sur les aides d'Etat du traité CE, au sujet d'aides présumées en faveur de grandes et moyennes entreprises, ainsi que des fournisseurs traditionnels d'électricité en Espagne, sous forme de tarifs industriels d'électricité réglementés un niveau artificiellement bas. Les tarifs réglementés ont entraîné un déficit de €3,8 milliards dans le secteur de l'électricité espagnol en 2005. Ce déficit sera financé par une nouvelle redevance, qui s'ajoutera la facture d'électricité de l'ensemble des consommateurs espagnols pendant les 14 prochaines années. La Commission examinera si les tarifs de 2005 comportaient l'octroi d'une aide d'Etat aux grandes et moyennes entreprises grosses consommatrices d'énergie, ainsi qu'aux fournisseurs traditionnels d'électricité et, dans l'affirmative, si cette aide pourrait entraîner des distorsions disproportionnées des échanges et de la concurrence dans le marché unique de l'UE. L'enquête ouverte par la Commission sur les aides d'Etat ne porte pas sur les tarifs réglementés applicables aux petites entreprises et aux consommateurs résidentiels. La décision d'ouvrir une enquête donne aux parties intéressées l'occasion de présenter leurs observations sur la mesure proposée. Elle ne préjuge pas l'issue de l'enquête.

    [06] Commission refers The Netherlands to Court for failure to recover illegal aid to manure companies

    The European Commission has decided to refer The Netherlands to the European Court of Justice following the failure of the Netherlands to comply with a Commission decision of 13 December 2000. This decision required The Netherlands to recover the unlawful and incompatible aid it had awarded to manure companies (see IP/00/1450). More than six years after the decision, one of the beneficiaries, Fleuren Compost, still has not reimbursed the aid.

    [07] Avian Influenza : highly pathogenic H5 virus confirmed in Hungary

    The European Commission has been informed by the Hungarian authorities on 24 January of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Csongr d County, south-east Hungary. The virus was suspected when an abnormally high mortality rate was reported in a flock of over 3,000 geese. Diagnostic tests carried out by Hungary's national laboratory confirmed the virus to be the highly pathogenic H5 strain, and samples will now be sent to the Community Reference Laboratory for avian influenza in Weybridge to determine if it is the H5N1 virus.

    [08] Liban : la Commission présente une aide de €500 millions la Conférence de Paris

    Le président de la Commission européenne, José Manuel Barroso, et la commissaire chargée des relations extérieures et de la politique européenne de voisinage, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, participeront, le jeudi 25 janvier, Paris, la conférence internationale des donateurs sur le Liban. La Commission offrira cette occasion une nouvelle aide qui portera sa contribution totale quelque €500 millions depuis le début du conflit. Cette enveloppe qui couvrira la période s'étendant jusqu'en 2010, traduit la détermination de la Commission apporter une aide au Liban non seulement en permettant des travaux de reconstruction immédiats mais aussi en jetant les bases d'un redressement plus long terme grâce un soutien des réformes politiques et économiques essentielles. La coopération déj ancienne de la Commission avec le Liban vient d'être enrichie par le plan d'action européen de voisinage, qui a été approuvé par le Liban le 12 janvier. Ce plan d'action UE-Liban est un dispositif qui aidera orienter l'aide de l'Union vers la mise en œuvre des réformes que le gouvernement libanais a approuvées récemment.

    [09] EU cohesion policy can help address the challenges of demographic change

    Regional policy Commissioner, Danuta Hübner, today opened the conference 'Regions for Economic Change: Regional policy responses to demographic challenges' in Brussels. In her opening speech Commissioner Hübner noted that the new cohesion policy of the European Union has a central role to play in supporting the efforts of European regions to adapt to demographic change. Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Commissioner Vladimír `pidla, who will speak on the second day of the conference, backed these comments, underlining the importance of the European Social Fund in helping to overcome the effects of a shrinking workforce. The Commissioners will be joined by Saxony-Anhalt Minister Karl-Heinz Daehre and President of the Committee of the Regions, Michel Delebarre, in welcoming conference participants from around 30 countries. European Economic and Social Committee President, Dimitris Dimitriadis, and Lambert van Nistelrooij, member of the REGI Committee of the European Parliament, will also address the two-day conference.

    [10] EU supports Indian Ocean countries' fight against illegal fishing in the region

    The European Commission, on behalf of the Union, has entered into a partnership with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) to fight Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fisheries in the region. At a meeting, held in the Seychelles on 23-24 January, the two Parties signed a framework partnership agreement that launches a regional plan for fisheries surveillance in the southwest Indian Ocean. Furthermore, the EU will fund an initial project under this plan to the tune of €7 million covering the first three years (2007-2010).

    [11] New study looks at agriculture and rural areas until 2020

    The study "Scenar 2020 - Scenario study on agriculture and the rural world" is about understanding change for the period until 2020. The study was carried out by the European Centre for Nature Conservation, Landbouw- Economisch Instituut, the Leibnitz-Zentrum für Agrarlandforschung, Leibnitz Institut für Länderkunde, the Central European University and the European Landowners Organisation. It identifies the impact of the main driving forces on agriculture and rural regions such as population, economic change, agricultural markets and environmental conditions as well as the CAP. It draws far reaching and differentiated conclusions on the challenges for European agriculture and rural areas. Scenar 2020 provides a thorough basis for discussions on the future of agriculture and rural regions in the EU for the coming years. The study identifies the impact of the CAP on agriculture and rural regions in three scenarios and demonstrates the differentiated impact of these changes, for example on the marginalisation of rural regions, changes in land use and agricultural production, the structural adjustment of agriculture within the regional context as well as the corresponding environmental implications. Moreover, the study identifies major opportunities and challenges for agriculture and rural areas. These consist of the impact of new products such as renewable energy, new opportunities on world markets as well as structural change and changing environmental conditions in parts of the EU. The evolving situation in the labour and land markets will play a major role in agricultural change and its regional dimension. The study can be found at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/reports/scenar2020/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/reports/scenar2020/index_en.htm

    [12] Troisième trimestre 2006 : l'UE25 a enregistré un déficit des échanges courants de €21,7 milliards ; excédent de €16,6 milliards pour la balance des services

    Selon les dernières révisions, le compte des opérations courantes de l'UE25 avec les pays tiers a enregistré un déficit de €21,7 milliards au troisième trimestre 2006, contre un déficit de € 7,9 milliards au troisième trimestre 2005 et un déficit de €18,2 milliards au deuxième trimestre 2006. Au troisième trimestre 2006, en comparaison avec le troisième trimestre 2005, un déficit plus élevé a été enregistré pour le compte des biens (€-40,4 milliards contre €-23,4 milliards), tandis que les excédents du compte des services (€+16,6 milliards contre €+11,4 milliards) et du compte des revenus (€+14,7 milliards contre €+5,8 milliards) ont augmenté. Le déficit du compte des transferts courants a légèrement augmenté (€-12,6 milliards contre €-11,7 milliards). Ces données provisoires, publiées par Eurostat sont sujettes révision.

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign 2005 – 2008

    Commission welcomes ECJ steel tubes cartel ruling

    Opening address by Danuta Hübner at Conference 'Regional responses to demographic challenges'

    Speech by Markos Kyprianou : "New Challenges for Europe's New Animal Strategy" at Green Week (Berlin) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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