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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-02-16

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] Economic growth in the European Union continues at a brisk pace
  • [02] Commission launches consultation on carbon dioxide capture and geological storage
  • [03] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Lafarge Roofing par PAI
  • [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Skandia Vida par CNP
  • [05] Commission approves planned acquisition of Scottish Power by Iberdrola
  • [06] Benita Ferrero-Waldner proposes €470 million package for India
  • [07] Danuta Hübner en visite dans la région d'Opole en Pologne
  • [08] First estimate for 2006 : Euro area external trade deficit €8.2 billion ; €172.6 billion deficit for EU25
  • [09] Protection des intérêts financiers - programme communautaire Hercule II (2007- 2013) adopté par le Parlement européen
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-02-16 Reference: MEX/07/0216 Date: 16/02/2007 EXME07 / 16.2

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    16/02/07


  • [01] Economic growth in the European Union continues at a brisk pace

    Economic growth in the European Union is set to stay at a brisk pace in 2007 with growth seen at 2.7% in the EU and 2.4% in the euro area in the European Commission's interim forecast. This is +0.3 percentage point above the autumn forecast for both areas. 2006 was a remarkable year, with growth driven by domestic demand thanks to an improved labour market situation (3 million jobs created of which 2 million in the euro area). This allowed the EU economy to weather energy prices that reached record levels in the summer, tighter monetary conditions and a slowdown in the United States. Such developments bode well for 2007. On the inflation front, while higher energy costs pushed up consumer prices to 2.2% last year in both the EU and the euro area, inflation is expected to decline to 1.8% in 2007 in the euro area (2.0% in the EU) on the back of lower oil prices and a relatively limited impact of the German VAT hike.

    [02] Commission launches consultation on carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

    As part of its measures to fight climate change, the European Commission today launched an on-line public consultation on carbon dioxide capture and geological storage (CCS). CCS is a technology that has the potential to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. It involves capturing emissions at source and putting them in underground geological formations like oil and gas fields to prevent CO² from migrating to the surface and being released into the atmosphere. If successful, geological storage could remove 80-90% of the CO² emissions from power plants, according to UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates. CCS technology could be part of the global efforts to reduce the costs of stabilising CO² concentrations in the earth's atmosphere by 30% or more. Carbon capture and storage is one of the measures addressed by the Commission in its energy and climate package of 10 January 2007 to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and combat climate change. The consultation is part of the Commission's preparations of a legislative proposal to regulate carbon capture and storage in a sustainable way. The Commission will examine the risks associated with each aspect - capture, transport and storage - with a particular emphasis on possible negative effects on the environment. The Commission will then propose how best to proceed. The consultation runs until 16 April 2007 on the following website: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/ccs/consult_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/ccs/consult_en.htm

    [03] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Lafarge Roofing par PAI

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement Concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de l’entreprise française Lafarge Roofing par l'entreprise PAI Partners S.A.S. (PAI), également française. PAI est un fonds de placement privé. Lafarge Roofing fabrique des matériaux de couverture. Il ressort de l'enquête menée par la Commission que l'opération envisagée n'entravera pas de manière significative la concurrence dans le marché commun. Cette affaire a été traitée selon la procédure simplifiée.

    [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Skandia Vida par CNP

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement Concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de l'entreprise Skandia Vida S.A. de Seguros y Reaseguros (Skandia Vida) en Espagne par l'entreprise française CNP Assurances S.A. (CNP). Les activités de CNP sont l'assurance vie, l'assurance non-vie et la réassurance. Skandia Vida est active dans l'assurance vie et la réassurance. Il ressort de l'enquête menée par la Commission que l'opération envisagée n'entravera pas de manière significative la concurrence dans le marché commun. Cette affaire a été traitée selon la procédure simplifiée.

    [05] Commission approves planned acquisition of Scottish Power by Iberdrola

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Scottish Power plc, a UK energy company, by Iberdrola, S.A., a Spanish energy company. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

    [06] Benita Ferrero-Waldner proposes €470 million package for India

    During her visit to India, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero Waldner, announced that the European Commission is proposing substantial financial assistance to India over the next seven years. An amount of €470 million should be available 2007-2013 to support the implementation of the Joint Action Plan, notably economic cooperation and sectoral dialogues, as well as help India achieve its Millennium Development Goals in the Health and Education sectors. This represents a substantial increase compared to funding provided in the past.

    [07] Danuta Hübner en visite dans la région d'Opole en Pologne

    Mme Danuta Hübner, commissaire chargée de la politique régionale, a effectué une visite dans la région d'Opole (Pologne) les 15 et 16 février 2007. A cette occasion, elle a participé une conférence consacrée l'expérience acquise dans cette région pendant la période de programmation 2004-2006 et aux enseignements tirer pour la période 2007-2013. La commissaire a aussi rencontré des responsables publics régionaux et a visité divers projets financés par la politique régionale, dont l'un intitulé "@szkoła" (@école), qui a pour but d'aider les enseignants initier les élèves et les parents aux formes électroniques de communication. Un autre projet concerne le traitement intégré des eaux usées dans la ville de Nysa et les villages environnants, qui vise remédier aux principales carences des réseaux d'égout. L'objectif est d'améliorer la qualité des eaux de surface et des eaux souterraines pour les 53.000 habitants de la commune de Nysa. Enfin, la commissaire s'est rendue sur le site touristique de la forteresse de Nysa, qui appartient au patrimoine culturel de la région. Cette ancienne place forte est rénovée avec l'aide de l'UE dans le cadre du programme opérationnel régional intégré (PORI), le but étant d'attirer plus de visiteurs dans la ville.

    [08] First estimate for 2006 : Euro area external trade deficit €8.2 billion ; €172.6 billion deficit for EU25

    The first estimate for the euro area (EA12) trade balance with the rest of the world in December 2006 gave a €2.5 billion surplus compared with €- 1.1 billion in December 2005. The November 2006 balance was €+5.1 billion, compared with €-2.1 billion in November 2005. In December 2006 compared with November 2006, exports, seasonally adjusted, rose by 3.3% and imports by 6.7%. The first estimate for December 2006 extra-EU25 trade was a deficit of €7.3 billion, compared with €-9.6 billion in December 2005. In November 2006, the balance was €-10.5 billion, compared with €-14.8 billion in November 2005. In December 2006 compared with November 2006, exports, seasonally adjusted, rose by 2.3% and imports by 2.7%. During 2006, euro area trade recorded a deficit of €8.2 billion, compared to a surplus of €16.2 billion in 2005. The EU25 recorded a deficit of €172.6 billion in 2006, compared with €-111.8 billion in 2005. These data are released by Eurostat.

    [09] Protection des intérêts financiers - programme communautaire Hercule II (2007- 2013) adopté par le Parlement européen

    Lors de la session plénière des 12-15 février 2007, le Parlement européen a voté le rapport Bösch approuvant le programme communautaire Hercule II pour la lutte anti-fraude. Hercule II a pour objectif de contribuer la protection des intérêts financiers de la Communauté, y compris la lutte contre la contrebande et la contrefaçon de cigarettes. Un montant de €98,5 millions y sera consacré sur sept ans. Trois types d'actions sont prévus : l'assistance technique aux autorités chargées de faire respecter la loi, l'organisation de conférences et séminaires, ainsi que le support informatique offert aux autorités nationales.

    [10] Autre matériel diffusé

    Note on preparation of the Competitiveness Council of Ministers (19/02)

    Charlie McCreevy welcomes European Parliament vote on Shareholder Voting Rights in first reading

    Neelie Kroes presents results of energy sector inquiry to Energy Council

    Speech by Viviane Reding : "Towards a True Internal Market for Europe's Telecom Industry and Consumers – the Regulatory Challenges Ahead" at 20th Plenary Meeting of the European Regulators Group (15/02)

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "Województwo opolskie w nowej europejskiej polityce regionalnej" (Opole

    Calendrier du 18 au 25 février 2007 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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