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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-05-30

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 European strategy on e-Justice
  • [02] Structuring dialogue with stakeholders: the European Commission launches the Justice Forum
  • [03] Electronic interconnection of criminal records- establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System
  • [04] Electronic Identity: easy access to public services across the EU
  • [05] Europe to be in a pole position for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Race
  • [06] World No Tobacco Day: EU Tobacco Advertising Ban Effective, concludes EU report
  • [07] Commission: policy statement proposes major changes in fisheries management regimes for 2009
  • [08] Commissioner Piebalgs welcomes the cooperation between Europe's two biggest energy spot markets
  • [09] Euro area inflation estimated at 3.6%
  • [10] Le chĂ´mage stable Ă 7,1% dans la zone euro
  • [11] Enregistrement de trois dĂ©nominations de produits agricoles
  • [12] New test methods regulation under REACH approved
  • [13] Commission hosts conference on access to justice in environmental matters
  • [14] Commission clears acquisition of EKO Schrottrecycling by Scholz Recycling and EKO Recycling
  • [15] La Commission autorise l’acquisition d'Indra par Sita et Renault
  • [16] PĂŞche: DĂ©claration de la Commission sur la crise du secteur
  • [17] Autre matĂ©riel diffusĂ© Midday Express of 2008-05-30 Reference: MEX/08/0530 Date: 30/05/2008 EXME08 / 30.05

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    30/05/08


  • [01] Towards a European strategy on e-Justice

    The Commission has adopted today a Communication to the European Parliament, Council and the EESC presenting ideas for the use of Information Society tools in the field of justice. The Communication deals with current and future initiatives which will help promote the European Justice Area.

    [02] Structuring dialogue with stakeholders: the European Commission launches the Justice Forum

    Today, the Commission launches the Justice Forum. The objective of the Forum is to promote a dialogue between the Commission and stakeholders in the justice systems of the Member States. Representatives of all professions involved in the justice systems (judges, lawyers, prosecutors, academics, legal translators and interpreters), and delegates from NGOs, the Council of Europe, the Fundamental Rights Agency and others have been invited to take part in the Justice Forum's meetings. The Justice Forum will cover both civil and criminal justice issues, and this is reflected in its membership.

    [03] Electronic interconnection of criminal records- establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System

    Commission has adopted today a proposal for a Council Decision on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS).

    [04] Electronic Identity: easy access to public services across the EU

    Today, the European Commission unveils a pilot project to ensure cross- border recognition of national electronic identity (eID) systems and enable easy access to public services in 13 Member States. Throughout the EU, some 30 million national eID cards are used by citizens to access a variety of public services such as claiming social security and unemployment benefits or filing tax returns. The Commission's project will enable EU citizens to prove their identity and use national electronic identity systems (passwords, ID cards, PIN codes and others) throughout the EU, not just in their home country. The plan is to align and link these systems without replacing existing ones. The project will run for three years and receive €10 million funding from the European Commission and an equal contribution from the participating partners.

    [05] Europe to be in a pole position for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Race

    The future of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies in Europe is on its way. The Council adopted today the regulation setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. This public-private joint technology initiative (JTI) will implement the EU target-oriented research and development to support the broad market introduction of these technologies. Founding members are the European Community and a non-profit association of European industry interests composed of a major share of Europe's fuel cells and hydrogen companies of all sizes from micro to large multinationals. The Commission is expected to fund 470 M€ from the Seventh Framework Programme for a period of six years which will be at least matched by industry contributions. The first calls for proposals are expected to be published after this summer. The official celebration of the launch will be at the JTI's first Stakeholders' General Assembly the 14 and 15 of October this year in Brussels.

    [06] World No Tobacco Day: EU Tobacco Advertising Ban Effective, concludes EU report

    Less than three years after its entry into force the EU advertising ban has proven its effectiveness. This is the conclusion of the Commission report on the performance of the Tobacco Advertising Directive. Today, all Member States have transposed the Directive and tobacco brand advertising in the press aimed at the general public has virtually disappeared. Direct tobacco sponsorship of cross-border sports and other events within the EU has also ceased. The key challenge in the tobacco advertising ban has shifted to the internet which is difficult to control. The Commission is working with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to strengthen advertising bans at global level, to ensure that the EU ban is not undermined from the outside.

    [07] Commission: policy statement proposes major changes in fisheries management regimes for 2009

    The European Commission today published its annual policy statement on fishing opportunities for 2009, outlining the approach it intends to take when setting Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and fishing effort limitations for the coming year. The Communication highlights the lack of concrete progress since the 2002 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). In particular, TACs are consistently set too far above scientific advice to allow overfished stocks to recover, and the days-at-sea system of effort limitation is ineffective. As a result, 88% of EU stocks are overfished, compared with 25% on average globally. Despite substantial efforts, there has been no overall improvement in the status of stocks since 2003. The Commission is therefore proposing greater flexibility in changing TACs from year to year, to enable both more effective recovery measures for overexploited stocks, and greater benefit for fishers when stocks do recover. The Commission is also proposing to shift to a kilowatt-day system for managing fishing effort, which will be both easier to control and more flexible to implement. Member States and stakeholders are invited to present their views on the approach set out by 30 June.

    [08] Commissioner Piebalgs welcomes the cooperation between Europe's two biggest energy spot markets

    Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomed today the EEX and Powernext joint venture as a step forward in creating a well-functioning market. In a press conference organised today in Brussels to present the new cooperation between German and French spot markets for electricity, Commissioner Piebalgs said "I am pleased to stand here today and bear witness to an important agreement, which, I hope, also means great progress for the European electricity market. Efficient power exchanges are indeed an issue that the European Commission's Energy Policy for Europe recognised as a key requirement for a well functioning electricity market".

    [09] Euro area inflation estimated at 3.6%

    Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 3.6% in May 2008 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 3.3% in April. Euro area inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro area. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (15 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate and 9 times differing by 0.1 over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.

    [10] Le chĂ´mage stable Ă 7,1% dans la zone euro

    Dans la zone euro (ZE15), le taux de chômage corrigé des variations saisonnières, s’est établi à 7,1% en avril 2008, inchangé par rapport à mars. Il était de 7,5% en avril 2007. Dans l’UE271, le taux de chômage s’est élevé à 6,7% en avril 2008, également inchangé par rapport à mars. Il était de 7,2% en avril 2007. Selon les estimations d’Eurostat, 16,047 millions d’hommes et de femmes étaient au chômage en avril 2008 dans l’UE27, dont 11,072 millions dans la zone euro. Par rapport à mars 2008, le nombre de chômeurs a augmenté respectivement de 16 000 et 60 000. Comparé à avril 2007, le chômage a diminué de 1,1 million dans l'UE27 et de 0,4 million dans la zone euro. Ces chiffres sont publiés par Eurostat.

    [11] Enregistrement de trois dénominations de produits agricoles

    La Commission europĂ©enne a ajoutĂ© trois dĂ©nominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires Ă la liste des appellations d'origine protĂ©gĂ©es (AOP) et indications gĂ©ographiques protĂ©gĂ©es (IGP). Il s'agit de "MiĂłd wrzosowy z BorĂłw DolnoĹ›skich" (Miel - Pologne - IGP) "ChodskĂ© pivo" (Bière – RĂ©publique Tchèque – IGP) et "ÎŁÄαĆÎŻ´Î± ΖαşĎŤ˝Î¸żĎ… (Stafida Zakynthou)" (Grains de raisins sĂ©chĂ©s – Grèce - IGP). Les trois dĂ©nominations s'ajoutent Ă la liste d'environ 800 produits dĂ©jĂ protĂ©gĂ©s en vertu de la lĂ©gislation sur la protection des indications gĂ©ographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spĂ©cialitĂ©s traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualitĂ© ainsi que la liste des dĂ©nominations protĂ©gĂ©es sont disponibles sur l'internet Ă l'adresse: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_fr.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_fr.htm

    [12] New test methods regulation under REACH approved

    The Commission adopted today a new regulation on test methods for chemicals. These methods, which set standards for testing whether certain substances are hazardous to human health and the environment, are vital for the operation of the European Union's chemicals legislation REACH. The new regulation brings together all existing provisions on test methods. The Commission reiterated its commitment to replacing, reducing and refining the testing of chemicals on vertebrate animals with alternative test methods. The Commission is stepping up its efforts to speed up the availability of these alternative test methods, which will be integrated into the new regulation as soon as they become available. Legislation on cosmetics, detergents and biocides also makes use of the test methods in this new regulation. The adoption of the regulation coincides with the start of registration obligations under REACH on 1 June.

    [13] Commission hosts conference on access to justice in environmental matters

    The Commission will host a conference in Brussels on Monday 2 June on access to justice in environmental matters. The focus of the conference is on how the access to justice provisions of the Aarhus Convention are being implemented in the EU. The Aarhus Convention is an environmental convention covering three areas: access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. It was adopted by member countries of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in 1998. The conference aims to examine the state of play and the possible future steps to be taken with respect to the implementation of the Convention's provisions on access to justice in the EU Member States. The conference is open to the public and will be held in the Charlemagne Building, 170 rue de la Loi, starting at 9:00.

    [14] Commission clears acquisition of EKO Schrottrecycling by Scholz Recycling and EKO Recycling

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of EKO Schrottrecycling GmbH of Germany by Scholz Recycling GmbH of Germany, belonging to the Scholz group, and EKO Recycling GmbH, also of Germany, belonging to the ArcelorMittal group. Scholz Recycling collects, processes and trades metal scrap. EKO Recycling trades metal scrap in Germany. EKO Schrottrecycling operates scrap yards in Cottbus and EisenhĂĽttenstadt, Germany. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [15] La Commission autorise l’acquisition d'Indra par Sita et Renault

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement Concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de l’entreprise française Indra Investissements SAS (Indra) par les entreprises françaises Sita France S.A. (Sita), appartenant au groupe Suez, et Renault s.a.s. contrôlée par le groupe Renault. Sita est actif dans le secteur de la gestion des déchets en France et Renault dans l'industrie automobile. Indra est actif dans le secteur de la gestion des déchets en France, et plus particulièrement la distribution et la déconstruction de véhicules hors d'usage. 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.

    Rediffusion

    [16] PĂŞche: DĂ©claration de la Commission sur la crise du secteur

    Face aux graves difficultés, liées à la forte hausse du prix du pétrole, qui affectent le secteur européen de la pêche, le Commissaire Européen Joe Borg a renouvelé son appel pour la restructuration du secteur avant qu'il ne soit trop tard. Les difficultés du secteur résident dans l'inadéquation entre la taille de la flotte et le niveau durable des possibilités de pêche. Ces problèmes se sont sérieusement aggravés avec la flambée du prix du pétrole des dernières années. Dans la plupart des ports européens, le prix du fuel a dépassé 0,7 Eur/l, marquant ainsi une hausse de 240% depuis 2004.

    [17] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Questions and answers on the adoption of the e Justice Communication

    • Memo on Preparation of Eurogroup and Economic and Finance Ministers Council, Frankfurt 2 June and Luxembourg 3 June 2008

    • Memo on Annual policy statement on fishing opportunities for 2009 – questions and answers

    • Speech by Commissioner Ferrero Waldner 'The European Neighbourhood Policy – making Europe more secure', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Ferrero Waldner 'Vorbereitung der Europäischen Union für die Zukunft?,

    • Speech by Commissioner Rehn 'The EU and Western Balkans: Tackling Crime with Better Governance', Brussels

    • Discours de la Commissaire Reding sur Les principaux chantiers en cours de l'Europe des télécoms et des médias, Paris

    • Calendrier hebdomadaire du 2 au 8 juin 2008

    • Top News from the European Commission

    A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    BHP Billiton/Rio Tinto

    Nordic Capital/ ConvaTec From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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