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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-02-02

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] Climate change : new report from the world's leading scientists underlines the need for urgent global action
  • [02] La Commission lance la première étape pour améliorer la protection des infrastructures critiques
  • [03] Statement by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn on UNOSEK's proposal of the Kosovo status settlement to be submitted to the parties on 2 February 2007
  • [04] Du labo aux feux de la rampe : l'UE annonce les candidats sélectionnés en vue de l'attribution du prix Descartes pour la communication scientifique
  • [05] Major discoveries earn leading EU Scientists nominations for Descartes Prize for Research
  • [06] Commission clears acquisition of Serene by BG Group
  • [07] Commission approves proposed acquisition of aluminium assets of Glencore and Sual by EN+
  • [08] Commission hosts major conference on food quality certification schemes
  • [09] Mariann Fischer Boel looks ahead to the future of the Common Agricultural Policy
  • [10] Initial Commission reaction on US Farm Bill (01/02)
  • [11] Benita Ferrero-Waldner to participate in EU-Russia Foreign Ministers Troika meeting on 5 February in Moscow
  • [12] Andris Piebalgs and Minister Enoksen discuss EC-Norway cooperation on carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • [13] Andris Piebalgs welcomes Greek-Italian agreement to build key gas infrastructure (01/02)
  • [14] December 2006 compared to November 2006 : industrial producer prices stable in euro area ; down by 0.1% in EU25
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-02-02 Reference: MEX/07/0202 Date: 02/02/2007 EXME07 / 2.2

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    02/02/07


  • [01] Climate change : new report from the world's leading scientists underlines the need for urgent global action

    European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas called for an urgent start to international negotiations on a comprehensive new global climate change agreement following today's publication of alarming scientific evidence by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The consensus report from IPCC Working Group I (WG1) projects that, without more action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the global average temperature is likely to rise by a further 1.8-4.0°C this century, after increasing by over 0.7°C in the past 100 years. Even the low end of this range would take the temperature rise since pre-industrial times to above 2°C, the level at which there could be irreversible and possibly catastrophic consequences. The pace of global warming and sea-level rise has increased. The recent observations and measurements reflected in the report dispel any doubts that the global climate is changing and that human activities have caused most of the changes observed in the past 50 years.

    [02] La Commission lance la première étape pour améliorer la protection des infrastructures critiques

    Comment peut-on mieux protéger les infrastructures critiques européennes dans les secteurs de l'énergie et des transports si on ne sait pas comment les identifier? Afin de répondre cette question primordiale, la Commission européenne a aujourd'hui adopté une Communication sur la protection des infrastructures critiques d'énergie et de transport qui décrit des critères pouvant être utilisés pour identifier ces infrastructures européennes.

    [03] Statement by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn on UNOSEK's proposal of the Kosovo status settlement to be submitted to the parties on 2 February 2007

    "I welcome President Ahtisaari's draft comprehensive proposal for a status settlement for Kosovo. I fully support his intention to engage the parties in serious and intensive work on this basis to achieve a sustainable settlement. I urge both Belgrade and Pristina to engage fully and constructively. I also expect both parties to demonstrate responsibility and flexibility, and to understand the need for a realistic compromise. The European Union is committed to the European perspective of the entire region of the Western Balkans."

    [04] Du labo aux feux de la rampe : l'UE annonce les candidats sélectionnés en vue de l'attribution du prix Descartes pour la communication scientifique

    Quelle est la meilleure manière d'expliquer les merveilles de la planète Terre, l'histoire du génome humain ou les mystères des plantes médicinales? Comment les scientifiques peuvent-ils expliquer de manière compréhensible les origines de la marche bipède, les problèmes éthiques liés aux transplantations de tissus animaux sur l'homme ou la mort cellulaire programmée? Quel est l'intérêt de la naissance des écosystèmes démersaux en Méditerranée, ou de l'art et de la science des cristaux de glace? L'excellence des réponses apportées de telles questions a conduit la sélection de 33 projets européens en vue de l'attribution cette année du prix Descartes pour la communication scientifique. Parmi ces 33 projets sélectionnés, 5 finalistes et 5 lauréats seront choisis ; ils se partageront un prix qui s'élève cette année €275.000. Les lauréats seront annoncés lors d'une cérémonie qui aura lieu le 7 mars 2007 Bruxelles, en même temps que les lauréats du prix Descartes pour l'excellence scientifique, l'occasion de la manifestation "Today is the Future", organisée pour célébrer le lancement du 7e programme-cadre de recherche et 50 ans de recherche européenne.

    [05] Major discoveries earn leading EU Scientists nominations for Descartes Prize for Research

    How can we use the energy from the sun to produce hydrogen? Will better understanding of cell death herald new treatments for cancer and AIDS? What is the true impact of globalisation on European society? These and many other questions of great relevance for our health, industrial competitiveness and understanding of the world around us are answered by the 13 pioneering research projects, representing 20 countries nominated for this year's EU Descartes Prize for Research. Up to five finalists will share the €1 million prize, announced at a ceremony in Brussels on 7 March attended by the European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik and the German Science and Education Minister, Annette Schavan.

    [06] Commission clears acquisition of Serene by BG Group

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Serene SpA (Serene) of Italy by BG Italia SpA of Italy, owned by the BG Group plc of the UK. BG Group currently has joint control of Serene along with Italian company Edison SpA. BG Group is a global gas exploration and production company. BG Italia is active in LNG, gas exploration and production and power generation. Serene is a power production company operating a number of gas- fired cogeneration units producing electricity and steam. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [07] Commission approves proposed acquisition of aluminium assets of Glencore and Sual by EN+

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Glencore's and Sual's aluminium assets by EN+. The Commission concluded that the operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

    [08] Commission hosts major conference on food quality certification schemes

    Consumers, retailers and farmers rely increasingly on logos and certification schemes to help them identify and distinguish food produce. A wide range of quality certification schemes currently operate in Europe and their number continues to increase. Over the last decade, European agriculture has made an important shift, emphasising quality and specialisation. Globalisation will only increase this tendency. Farmers and producers know and care about production and processing techniques, ingredients, and origin of raw materials. In the EU, they also have to follow high animal welfare and environmental standards that cannot be imposed in respect of imported foods. Certification schemes provide a means by which producers can inform their ultimate customers about their products—and give guarantees that the information is well founded. In order to better understand the potential for certification in the EU, the Commission's Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development is organising a Conference on food quality certification schemes on 5 and 6 February 2007 in the Hotel Bedford in Brussels. The conference will examine how food quality schemes work, the economics of schemes, their operation in the internal market, and implications for global trade. Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel will hold a press conference at the hotel on 6 February at 13h00. More information and details on the programme of the conference available can be found at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/events/qualityconference/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/events/qualityconference/index_en.htm

    [09] Mariann Fischer Boel looks ahead to the future of the Common Agricultural Policy

    Speaking in Wageningen, the Netherlands, on Thursday, European Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel set out her latest thinking on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. She explained why the European Union will need a strong and effective CAP in the future, and set out her concept of "One Vision, Two Steps". This begins with the so-called CAP "Health Check" in 2008, which will not be a fundamental reform, but rather an effort to make the policy work better. In 2009, as part of the mid-term review of the Financial Perspectives, the Commission will consider what the CAP should look like after 2013. Ms Fischer Boel also gave her first reaction to the US Administration's proposals for the next Farm Bill.

    [10] Initial Commission reaction on US Farm Bill (01/02)

    This is a 183-page document, which will need careful study before we reach definitive conclusions. And this is not the final word, but the Administration's first steer to Congress. So far as Doha is concerned, it is not possible for us to form a clear view from this proposal of what the Administration's negotiating approach will be. We note a modest shift towards more "green" direct payments. We are examining the proposals on Counter-Cyclical payments to see if they offer any genuine improvement. Cuts in Loan Deficiency Payments – the basic safety net of the 2002 Farm Bill – are extremely modest. Key trade distorting programmes for dairy and sugar remain virtually untouched. The proposals assume that commodity prices will remain at their current high levels. If so, US farm support will be lower. But if price trends change, trade distorting farm support would rise again under these proposals. If we are to have a successful outcome to the Doha Round, the US will need to propose more ambitious cuts and disciplines in trade-distorting domestic farm subsidies. We had hoped the Administration's proposal for the new Farm Bill would signal this more clearly. But this is not the end of the story: further steps are not precluded by these initial proposals. We in the EU are already going through a painful process of reform, which allows us to offer to cut our trade-distorting domestic farm subsidies by 70 percent. There is a clear obligation on all of us in the developed world to move decisively in this direction.

    [11] Benita Ferrero-Waldner to participate in EU-Russia Foreign Ministers Troika meeting on 5 February in Moscow

    European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will participate in an EU-Russia Foreign Ministerial Troika in Moscow. The meeting is expected to focus on EU-Russia relations including energy, international issues including the Middle East, Iran, and Kosovo, as well as issues related to the EU-Russia common neighbourhood such as the South Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus.

    [12] Andris Piebalgs and Minister Enoksen discuss EC-Norway cooperation on carbon capture and storage (CCS)

    European Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, and the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Odd Roger Enoksen, met today to discuss ways to enhance the development of carbon capture and storage technologies, in the framework of the EC-Norway energy cooperation. "If we want to achieve the ambitious environmental goals of the European Energy Policy, the EU will have to develop carbon capture and storage technologies. The extensive experience of Norway in this area could have a very positive impact", stated Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister Enoksen.

    [13] Andris Piebalgs welcomes Greek-Italian agreement to build key gas infrastructure (01/02)

    European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomed the agreement signed by the Greek Minister for Development, Mr Dimitris Sioufas and his Italian counterpart, Mr Pierluigi Bersani to build a gas interconnector between Greece and Italy which will bring gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe through Turkey. He said : "This infrastructure will contribute to the European efforts to diversify both the geographical origin of our energy and the supply routes". The construction work, which includes an underwater pipeline of 220 km between the west coast of Greece and southern Italy, will begin in 2008 and is set to be operational by 2011. The interconnector will be linked to an existing pipeline that connects Turkey and Greece, which will start functioning later this year.

    [14] December 2006 compared to November 2006 : industrial producer prices stable in euro area ; down by 0.1% in EU25

    The euro area industrial producer price index remained unchanged in December 2006 compared to November 2006, while EU25 prices fell by 0.1%. In November prices remained unchanged in the euro area and gained 0.4% in the EU25. In December 2006 compared to December 2005, industrial producer prices rose by 4.1% in the euro area and by 3.3% in the EU25. These figures come from Eurostat. The average industrial producer price index for 2006, compared to 2005, increased by 5.1% for the euro area and by 5.8% for the EU25.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours du Président José Manuel Barroso la Conférence de Paris pour une gouvernance écologique mondiale

    Speech by Peter Mandelson : "Europe and Globalisation" at London Metropolitan University (! embargo 14h00 !)

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "EU Cohesion policy – state of play" at EP Committee on Regional Development (01/02)

    Nominees for the Descartes Prize for Research

    Nominees for Descartes Prize for Science Communication

    Calendrier du 8 au 12 février 2007 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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