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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-06-03

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-Parole 03/06/1999b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 2 juin - Outcome of Commission meeting of 2 June

  • [01] Commission decision on dioxin contaminated poultry and poultry products
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [02] La Commission autorise General Electric à acquérir les turbines à gaz à haut rendement de Alstom
  • [03] Commission authorises ABB and Alstom to enter into a joint venture on power generation equipment
  • [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par Solvay des activités PVC et PVDC de BASF
  • [05] US cuts EU wheat gluten import quota
  • [06] Banking supervision : Mario Monti welcomes launch of review of Basle Capital Accord
  • [07] Tortue de la Méditerranée : la Commission poursuit la Grèce pour non- respect de la législation de l'UE en matière de conservation de la nature

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 2 juin - Outcome of Commission meeting of 2 June

    (voir aussi see also Midday Express of 02/06)

    [01] Commission decision on dioxin contaminated poultry and poultry products

    Following the favourable opinion of the Standing Veterinary Committee the European Commission decided yesterday on the application of the safeguard clause to ensure that all contaminated or potentially contaminated products are excluded from the market. The decision obliges Member States to ensure the withdrawal and destruction of any poultry or egg products or food products containing these products from the market if these products may contain poultry related products which have come from the suspect farms. For trade purposes the Belgian authorities will have to provide a certificate to the effect that the exported product does not contain material originating from the restricted farms. In the case of food products the restriction applies if the product contains more than 2% egg product. The Belgian authorities are obliged to provide all information necessary to facilitate the tracing of exported products which must then be destroyed. Dioxin monitoring plans must be put in place in Belgium and those Member States who have imported contaminated products.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [02] La Commission autorise General Electric à acquérir les turbines à gaz à haut rendement de Alstom

    La Commission européenne a donné son feu vert à l'acquisition par General Electric Company (GE) (USA) des activités relatives aux turbines à gaz à haut rendement d'Alstom France SA (Alstom), qu'Alstom avait développées en utilisant la technologie de GE en vertu d'un accord de licence. GE est l'une des quatre sociétés dans le monde qui disposent d'une technologie pour les turbines à gaz couverte par des droits de propriété industrielle. Les autres sont ABB (Suisse/Suède), Siemens (Allemagne)/Westinghouse et Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) du Japon. D'autres sociétés fabriquent des turbines à gaz à haut rendement sous licence. Etant donné la présence de ces autres acteurs sur le marché européen, la Commission est arrivée à la conclusion que cette opération ne mènera pas à la création ou au renforcement d'une position dominante.

    [03] Commission authorises ABB and Alstom to enter into a joint venture on power generation equipment

    The European Commission has decided not to oppose the creation of a joint venture by which Alstom (France) and ABB Handels- und Verwaltungs AG, belonging to the Swiss-Swedish ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. Group (ABB) create a joint venture on power generation equipment, ABB Alstom Power NV (JV). Alstom and ABB will contribute their worldwide activities on gas, steam and hydro turbines, hydro generators, heat recovery steam generators, boilers, environmental control products and district heating to the JV. Although this operation leads to the elimination of an important competitor, the Commission has concluded that no dominant position is created given the fact that large players such as Siemens (Germany), General Electric (GE) (US), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) (Japan), Ansaldo (Italy) and also smaller competitors remain active on these markets. However, given the consolidation that has taken place in this industry in recent years, any further consolidation is likely to be scrutinised very carefully by the Commission.

    [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par Solvay des activités PVC et PVDC de BASF

    La Commission européenne a donné son feu vert à la concentration par laquelle le groupe industriel belge Solvay SA acquiert le contrôle des activités de production et distribution de polychlorure de vinyl (PVC) et de polyvinylidène (PVDC) du groupe chimique allemand BASF Aktiengesellschaft. Bien que l'opération accentue le degré de concentration dans ce secteur, la Commission a conclu que la fusion ne créera pas de position dominante étant donné la forte présence des concurrents existants sur le marché.

    [05] US cuts EU wheat gluten import quota

    In a highly discriminatory move, the United States (US) acted without warning on Friday 28 May 1999 to cut the European Union (EU) quota for wheat gluten imports. The cut of over 5,000 tonnes for the trading year 1 June 1999-31 May 2000 represents about 20% of the EU's already diminished share of the US market. Imports from other countries, notably Australia and Canada, are not affected by the move which targets only the EU trade. The US action is based on the fact that the quota allocated to the EU for the previous year (1998/99) was overshot by 5,204 tonnes. However, the European Commission strenuously objects to the action taken since the overshoot was largely due to the failure of US Customs to record declared imports against the EU quota. Only US Customs had the complete picture of how much wheat gluten had been imported, yet they were posting misleading data on their traders' internet site about the room for further imports under quota. When they realised their error, the extra amounts were added to the quotas, showing the overshoot for the EU. Now the EU trade is being penalised for what is in effect an omission of the US authorities. The EU is at present challenging US limitations on US wheat gluten imports before the World Trade Organisation.

    [06] Banking supervision : Mario Monti welcomes launch of review of Basle Capital Accord

    European Commissioner for Financial Services, Mario Monti, has welcomed the publication today in London by the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision of a consultative paper on the Review of the Basle Capital Accord. "The Commission shares the need for a review of capital standards", commented Mr Monti. "Progress in the framework of the Basle Committee will complement work already underway by the Commission, in collaboration with European Union (EU) banking regulators and supervisors in the Banking Advisory Committee, on a review of the present EU rules on capital standards, namely the Directives on the Solvency Ratio and Own Funds. The Commission is due to issue its own consultation paper on the review of regulatory capital within the EU in the autumn. The Commission's work has been lent new political impetus by the Action Plan on Financial Services, which was presented by the Commission on 11 May, endorsed by Ecofin ministers on 25 May and is under consideration by the European Council in Cologne. The Action Plan emphasises the need to maintain the highest standards of prudential regulation for EU financial institutions and foresees the presentation by the Commission in spring 2000 of new draft EU legislation on bank capital requirements."

    [07] Tortue de la Méditerranée : la Commission poursuit la Grèce pour non- respect de la législation de l'UE en matière de conservation de la nature

    La Commission européenne a décidé, conformément à la Directive "habitats" (Directive 92/43/CEE du Conseil concernant la conservation des habitats naturels ainsi que de la faune et de la flore sauvages) d'adresser à la Grèce un avis motivé pour protection insuffisante de la tortue Caretta caretta, espèce rare vivant dans la Méditerranée.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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