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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-10-10

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

[I] RĂ©sultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] La Commission encourage l'adoption des voitures Ă hydrogène et le dĂ©veloppement des technologies de l'hydrogène
  • [02] An ocean of opportunity : Commission proposes Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU
  • [03] Gens de mer et rĂ©glementation sociale : l'UE met le cap sur une nouvelle politique maritime
  • [04] Commission gives Romania one month to improve farm aid systems; welcomes progress made in Bulgaria
  • [05] La Commission autorise sous conditions des aides publiques pour le financement des retraites des fonctionnaires de La Poste française
  • [06] Commission opens in-depth investigation into possible aid in privatisation of Romanian car producer Automobile Craiova
  • [07] La Commission ouvre une procĂ©dure formelle d'examen concernant le rĂ©gime fiscal espagnol applicable Ă l'acquisition d'actions d'entreprises Ă©trangères
  • [08] Commission endorses reform of supplementary pension regime in Greek banking sector
  • [09] Commission approves new United Kingdom levy schemes for promotion and quality products
  • [10] La Commission donne son feu vert Ă une aide d'Etat italienne aux camions propres
  • [11] Commission approves public financing for Grosseto regional airport in Italy
  • [12] La Commission ouvre une procĂ©dure formelle d'examen sur le financement des retraites de la RATP
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [13] Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty
  • [14] Erasmus Mundus : les participants contribuent Ă amĂ©liorer encore le programme d'enseignement supĂ©rieur
  • [15] Commission clears acquisition of HAC by MAN and Hörmann
  • [16] Danuta HĂĽbner meets with Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and German President Köhler to celebrate cross-border cooperation
  • [17] EU and China decide on textile import monitoring system for 2008
  • [18] Launch of new programme supporting integrated border management systems in the South Caucasus
  • [19] Joe Borg takes new integrated maritime policy to European capitals
  • [20] Autre matĂ©riel diffusĂ© Midday Express of 2007-10-10 Reference: MEX/07/1010 Date: 10/10/2007 EXME07 / 10.10

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    10/10/07


  • [I] RĂ©sultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] La Commission encourage l'adoption des voitures à hydrogène et le développement des technologies de l'hydrogène

    La Commission européenne a adopté deux propositions qui marqueront un pas en avant dans le développement et la commercialisation de véhicules à hydrogène propres et sûrs. La première concerne la mise sur pied de l'initiative technologique conjointe (ITC) pour les piles à combustible et l'hydrogène, un ambitieux programme intégré d'activités de recherche, de développement technologique et de démonstration, mené sous la conduite de l'industrie. Ce partenariat public privé, ayant pour moteur l'industrie européenne, sera mis en œuvre au cours des six prochaines années, grâce à une contribution financière de l'UE de €470 millions, complétée par un apport d'un montant identique de la part du secteur privé. L'ITC devrait accélérer le développement des technologies de l'hydrogène jusqu'au stade de leur décollage commercial entre 2010 et 2020. Deuxièmement, un certain nombre de voitures à hydrogène sont, dès à présent, mûres pour une introduction sur le marché. C'est pourquoi la Commission propose de simplifier leur réception, de telle sorte qu'elles puissent être vues plus souvent sur les routes d'Europe. Les deux propositions seront maintenant examinées par le Parlement européen et le Conseil des ministres.

    [02] An ocean of opportunity : Commission proposes Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication setting out its vision for an Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU, together with a detailed action plan setting out an ambitious work programme for the years ahead. Scientific discoveries, huge strides in technological development, globalisation, climate change, and marine pollution are rapidly altering Europe's relationship with the seas and oceans, with all the opportunities and challenges that this presents. An integrated maritime policy will enable the Union to meet the challenges head on. This proposal is grounded in an extensive public consultation which ended last June, and represents the work of a Steering Group of 10 Commissioners chaired by Joe Borg. The Communication and Action Plan are accompanied by a report on the results of the consultation which revealed strong stakeholder support for the Commission's initiative.

    [03] Gens de mer et réglementation sociale : l'UE met le cap sur une nouvelle politique maritime

    Faut-il radouber la législation sociale communautaire, dont certains volets excluent les gens de mer, et la rendre digne d'un secteur maritime moderne? Est-il nécessaire d'y introduire des dispositions spécifiques aux professions de la mer? Quel est le meilleur moyen d'améliorer les conditions d'hygiène et de sécurité à bord des navires? Autant de questions posées aux représentants des travailleurs et des employeurs, l'objectif étant de savoir si la législation en question offre aux gens de mer une protection adéquate. Il s'agit, dans un premier temps, de renforcer la dimension sociale de la politique maritime et de rendre le secteur d'activité correspondant plus attractif, sans toutefois porter atteinte à sa compétitivité. La consultation s’inscrit dans le prolongement du Livre vert sur l'avenir de la politique maritime, publié l'an dernier, et fait partie des nouvelles dispositions communautaires adoptées aujourd'hui en la matière.

    [04] Commission gives Romania one month to improve farm aid systems; welcomes progress made in Bulgaria

    The European Commission wrote to Romania to inform it that it faces a provisional 25 percent cut in European Union farm payments unless it can reverse certain serious shortcomings in its administration and financial control system before payments to farmers take place (payment year begins 1 December 2007). The Commission will not be withholding farm payments to Bulgaria because its system has been set up and is operational. Commission Regulation 1423/2006, building on Art. 37 of the Accession Treaties for Romania and Bulgaria, provides for the reduction of payments by 25 percent if the systems set up to ensure the correct payment of farm aid are so seriously deficient that they affect the proper functioning of the overall system. Romania can prevent this happening by delivering on two points of the utmost importance: putting in place and properly testing two software modules which are indispensable elements in the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS); avoiding payments to farmers before the required controls are completed. Additional on-the-spot checks are required to compensate for the insufficient quality of the Land Parcel Identification System. Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, has written to the Romanian Agriculture Minister, Mr Decebal Traian Remes, and a reply is expected by 9 November.

    [05] La Commission autorise sous conditions des aides publiques pour le financement des retraites des fonctionnaires de La Poste française

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu des règles du Traité CE sur les aides d'Etat, les aides prévues par la France pour la réforme du mode de financement des retraites des fonctionnaires de l’Etat rattachés à La Poste. Des conditions ont été attachées à cette autorisation afin d'assurer que La Poste et ses concurrents sont placés dans une situation d'équité concurrentielle en ce qui concerne les contributions sociales et fiscales obligatoires.

    [06] Commission opens in-depth investigation into possible aid in privatisation of Romanian car producer Automobile Craiova

    The European Commission has opened a formal investigation under EC Treaty state aid rules into possible aid granted in the context of the privatisation of Automobile Craiova (former Daewoo Romania) and its sale to Ford Motor Company in September 2007. The Commission has also required Romania to suspend the granting of any unlawful aid until the Commission takes a decision on its compatibility. The Romanian authorities attached specific conditions to the privatisation, in particular the achievement of a minimum production level of 200000 cars in the fourth year after the privatisation, the continuation of the current activity for four years and the maintenance of all former employees of Automobile Craiova and Daewoo Romania. The Commission has to verify whether these conditions resulted in a lower sales price than if the privatisation had been unconditional. If this is the case, the privatisation could involve elements of state aid. In addition, Romania seems to have changed the terms of the privatisation at a later stage of the process, which might have involved additional aid elements. The opening of an investigation gives interested parties the possibility to comment on the measures under examination. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

    [07] La Commission ouvre une procédure formelle d'examen concernant le régime fiscal espagnol applicable à l'acquisition d'actions d'entreprises étrangères

    La Commission européenne a ouvert une procédure formelle d'examen, en vertu des règles du traité CE relatives aux aides d'Etat, concernant une disposition de la loi espagnole sur l'impôt des sociétés permettant aux entreprises espagnoles de bénéficier de déductions fiscales en cas de prise de participation dans des sociétés étrangères. Ce régime semble constituer une dérogation au régime fiscal général en vigueur en Espagne. La Commission craint que ce dispositif n'avantage les entreprises espagnoles prenant une participation dans des sociétés étrangères plutôt que nationales. L'ouverture d'une procédure d'examen permet aux parties intéressées de formuler des observations sur les mesures faisant l'objet de l'enquête. Elle ne préjuge pas de la décision finale de la Commission.

    [08] Commission endorses reform of supplementary pension regime in Greek banking sector

    The European Commission has approved, under the EC Treaty rules on state aid, the optional transfer of the supplementary pension regime of certain banks to the general social security regime in Greece. The Commission's investigation found that the conditions for transfer would not give any economic advantage to the banks concerned by the reform.

    [09] Commission approves new United Kingdom levy schemes for promotion and quality products

    The European Commission has authorised levy schemes in the United Kingdom amounting to €911 million over the period 2008 to 2014 to provide technical support (knowledge transfer, training, benchmarking and best practice, general information and communications) and encourage the development of quality products.

    [10] La Commission donne son feu vert Ă une aide d'Etat italienne aux camions propres

    La Commission européenne a approuvé une aide à l'investissement destinée à l'entreprise italienne Fercam pour le remplacement d'une partie de sa flotte de camions par des véhicules propres.

    [11] Commission approves public financing for Grosseto regional airport in Italy

    The European Commission has decided to allow Italy to grant start-up aid for new air routes from Grosseto regional airport to other European destinations. The measure will last three years as of 2008 and provide up to € 927,000.00 to airlines in order to finance new routes. The main objective of the aid is to improve access to air transport services which are of basic importance for the economic and social development of this area.

    [12] La Commission ouvre une procédure formelle d'examen sur le financement des retraites de la RATP

    La Commission européenne a adopté une décision d'ouverture de procédure concernant le financement des retraites de la RATP. L'enquête de la Commission porte sur la compatibilité d'une réorganisation de ce financement, engagée en janvier 2006, avec les règles communautaires sur le contrôle des aides d'Etat. La décision adoptée aujourd'hui permettra aux parties prenantes et aux entreprises du secteur des transports en commun de s'exprimer sur l'analyse préliminaire de la Commission. La Commission souhaite notamment évaluer plus en détail l'impact que la réorganisation a eu, et pourrait avoir à l'avenir, sur la position concurrentielle de la RATP.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [13] Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner joins in the calls to abolish the death penalty: "Today, on the World Day against the Death Penalty I join in with all those who urge all states to abolish the death penalty in practice and law. We must break the cycle of violence and reaffirm the value of life. The EU's firm political commitment is shown by its decision to introduce, in the framework of a cross-regional alliance, a resolution against the death penalty at the 62nd United Nations General Assembly."

    [14] Erasmus Mundus : les participants contribuent à améliorer encore le programme d'enseignement supérieur

    Le 11 octobre, Ján Figel’, commissaire européen à l'éducation, à la formation, à la culture et à la jeunesse, accueillera plus de 100 étudiants et anciens étudiants Erasmus Mundus à Bruxelles. Ces derniers viennent de tous les continents et représentent quelque 4.000 étudiants et anciens étudiants Erasmus qui suivent actuellement des mastères Erasmus Mundus prestigieux dans des universités européennes. En juillet, la Commission a proposé de renouveler le programme pour la période 2009-2013.

    [15] Commission clears acquisition of HAC by MAN and Hörmann

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Hörmann Automotive Components (HAC) of Germany by Man Nutzfahrzeuge Aktiengesellschaft (MN), belonging to the MAN Aktiengesellschaft group (MAN) of Germany and Hörmann Industrie Beteiligungs (Hörmann), also of Germany. MAN supplies commercial vehicles, diesel engines, turbo engines, industrial services engineering services and construction engineering. Hörmann is active in electrical, machine and construction engineering, radio engineering and related services. HAC produces components for trucks. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [16] Danuta Hübner meets with Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and German President Köhler to celebrate cross-border cooperation

    European Regional policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner is visiting the "Euro- region" Enschede-Gronau on the Dutch-German border together with her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and German President Horst Köhler. This meeting, hosted by G.J. Jansen, Queen's Commissioner in the Province of Overijssel and attended by the key stakeholders (mayors, academics entrepreneurs and partners of the euro-region) of territorial cooperation between Germany and the Netherlands, marks 50 years of cross- border cooperation in the area, one of the oldest in Europe.

    [17] EU and China decide on textile import monitoring system for 2008

    Following from their 2005 Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in managing the transition to free trade in textiles, the European Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade have decided on a system of joint import surveillance that will operate for one year in 2008 following the end of the import growth caps on ten categories of textiles and clothing from China. The 'double checking system' will track the issuing of licences for export in China and the importation of goods into the EU. This monitoring system provides a clear picture of the likely development of trade patterns and ensures predictability for EU businesses. The arrangement covers the eight most sensitive of the ten product categories covered by the levels agreed in 2005 and that will expire at the end of the year. Although imports of these goods will be closely monitored their level of import will not be restricted by this arrangement.

    [18] Launch of new programme supporting integrated border management systems in the South Caucasus

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, together with her partners from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have endorsed a new €6 million 3 year programme aiming at the introduction of EU border management standards in the South Caucasus. It took place at the EU Ministerial Conference on EC programme in support of integrated border management systems in South Caucasus. The new programme aims to introduce EU border management standards, interagency cooperation between border guards and customs officials within the countries, as well as cooperation between agencies of neighbouring countries. It will focus on improvement of national strategies as well as tackle on-the-ground activities such as common border checks, and upgrading of border crossing points.

    [19] Joe Borg takes new integrated maritime policy to European capitals

    European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Joe Borg, will travel to Madrid tomorrow morning to start a series of short visits to five European capitals for meetings with Ministers responsible for maritime affairs. He will be accompanied throughout by Portuguese Secretary of State, Mira Gomes, as representative of the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union. The purpose of the tour is to present the new integrated maritime policy, adopted today, discuss the next steps and listen to Member States' views. Tomorrow Mr Borg will meet with Spanish Secretary of State for European Affairs, Mr Alberto Navarro González, before proceeding on to London, where, on Friday morning, he will have talks with British Parliamentary Under-Secretary for State responsible for Maritime Policy Jim Fitzpatrick. In the afternoon, Commissioner Borg will be in Paris, where he will meet with French State Secretary for European Affairs, Jean- Pierre Jouyet. The tour will conclude in The Hague on Monday, where he will have talks with Dutch State Secretary for Transport Mrs J C Heringa-Huizinga. Today, the Commission adopted a package on an integrated maritime policy for the Union aiming to reconcile growth and jobs with the protection of the marine environment through better governance and more coordination of sectoral policies impacting on maritime affairs. The proposed policy is grounded in the response to the highly successful one-year long consultation process. See IP/07/1463 and MEM0/07/403 + <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/index_en.html">http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/index_en.html

    [20] Autre matériel diffusé

    Questions and answers on an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union

    Clean and safe cars : Commission promotes hydrogen vehicles

    Speech by Franco Frattini : "Europe against the Death Penalty" (09/10, Lisbon)

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "European regional policy – a development laboratory" at Seminar 'Regional policy in a global perspective' (09/10) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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