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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 98-06-17

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>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

17/06/98


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Commerce électronique : la Commission définit des orientations en matière de fiscalité indirecte
  • [02] La Commission inflige une amende de six millions d'Ecus à l'Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (Italie)
  • [03] La Commission ordonne la restitution d'aides octroyées par le Luxembourg en faveur de l'entreprise sidérurgique Arbed
  • [04] Commission opens proceedings on Nerefco
  • [05] Ems flood barrier at Gandersum not covered by state aid rules
  • [06] Commission closes file on R&D-aid in favour of Fokker 70 project
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [07] Hans van den Broek to visit Slovakia

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

    [01] Commerce électronique : la Commission définit des orientations en matière de fiscalité indirecte

    La Commission européenne a adopté une Communication pour faire le point des travaux en cours en vue de préciser les modalités d'application de la fiscalité indirecte au commerce électronique. Elle propose un certain nombre d'orientations qui devraient servir de base aux discussions avec toutes les parties intéressées au développement du commerce électronique. Ces orientations visent à assurer la sécurité, la simplicité et la neutralité de l'imposition de manière à éviter toute distorsion du marché et à promouvoir la croissance du commerce électronique. La Commission considère qu'il s'agit de clarifier, adapter et simplifier le système fiscal existant, en excluant tout nouvel impôt sur ces prestations de services, y compris sur Internet. Cette Communication devrait former la base de la contribution de l'Union européenne à la Conférence ministérielle de l'OCDE qui se tiendra à Ottawa en octobre.

    [02] La Commission inflige une amende de six millions d'Ecus à l'Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (Italie)

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'infliger une amende à l'Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli dello Stato (AAMS). L'AMMS, qui est en position dominante dans le marché italien de la distribution en gros des cigarettes, a mis en oeuvre des pratiques abusives visant à protéger ses cigarettes au détriment de celles fabriquées dans les autres pays de l'Union européenne.

    [03] La Commission ordonne la restitution d'aides octroyées par le Luxembourg en faveur de l'entreprise sidérurgique Arbed

    Au mois de décembre 1994, la Commission européenne avait décidé d'autoriser les aides d'Etat que le Luxembourg avait projeté d'octroyer à ProfilArbed dans le cadre des investissements réalisés par celle-ci pour la protection de l'environnement lors de la construction de sa nouvelle aciérie à Esch- Schifflange. Suite à la plainte d'un concurrent d'Arbed, le Tribunal de Première Instance avait annulé cette décision parce que la Commission n'avait pas tenu compte des observations formulées par le plaignant. Sur base de ces observations, la Commission a maintenant adopté une décision négative à l'égard des dites aides.

    [04] Commission opens proceedings on Nerefco

    The European Commission has decided to open proceedings with regard to the Dutch proposed aid to a process integrated gas turbine at the Nerefco refinery. This project is submitted within the framework of a general CO² reduction plan. The Commission has concerns as to the compatibility of the project with European Union guidelines on State aid for environmental protection.

    [05] Ems flood barrier at Gandersum not covered by state aid rules

    The European Commission has decided that the Ems flood barrier which the Land of Lower Saxony plans to construct at Gandersum ranks as a public infrastructure project and that the EU Treaty provisions on state aid do not apply to it. The Ems barrier is an infrastructure measure whose primary purpose is to provide flood protection. The improved navigability of the river will benefit all users on a non-discriminatory basis. The Commission has decided on these grounds that the financing of the Ems flood barrier at Gandersum from the state budget is not aid within the meaning of Article 92(1) of the EU Treaty.

    [06] Commission closes file on R&D-aid in favour of Fokker 70 project

    The European Commission has closed the file on aid to Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker, notified in 1993, since the Dutch government committed to recovering the ECU 163 million grant from the bankrupt manufacturer's estate. The Dutch authorities decided in 1993 to support the development of the Fokker 70 civil transport aircraft, which was developed from the Fokker 100. Total R&D costs of the project were estimated at ECU 163 million. There were three components to the aid for the development of the Fokker 70 : a royalty-loan, a guarantee for a bank loan and advanced interest payments on the loan, guaranteed by the Dutch government. The aid intensity depended on the results of the project, varying between 0% in the case of success and over 40% in the case of failure.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [07] Hans van den Broek to visit Slovakia

    European Commissioner for External Relations Hans van den Broek will be visiting Slovakia on 18 June to discuss that country's preparations for European Union (EU) accession. He will call on the Government to accelerate its membership preparations and will remind Bratislava that the Commission will be reporting on the progress of all applicants at the end of the year. Discussions will focus on Slovakia's efforts to meet the political criteria for membership, which were highlighted in the Commission's opinion in July 1997. Mr van den Broek will also raise the issue of nuclear safety. Commenting on his visit, Commissioner van den Broek said : "I will assure Slovakia of the EU's unstinting support for its efforts to join the EU. The question is not whether Slovakia will join the EU ; the question is when. And the answer lies in the hands of the Slovak government. We have said clearly what needs to be done and provide considerable financial assistance and technical advice to help Slovakia address these issues." During his one-day visit, Mr van den Broek will meet Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, Foreign Minister Zdenka Kramplova, the President of Parliament, Ivan Gasparovic, and Deputy Prime Minister Jozef Kalman, as well as leaders of opposition parties. He will also address the Civil Society Development Foundation, which was established with the support of the EU, on the occasion of its 5th anniversary. In his speech, the Commissioner will emphasise the importance the EU attaches to civil society and his personal satisfaction at the growth of the NGO sector in Slovakia, which is making a significant contribution to the strengthening of democracy in that country.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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