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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-06-16

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>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Parole 16/06/1999b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

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

  • [01] Marché unique: mieux faire fonctionner le principe de reconnaissance mutuelle
  • [02] First steps towards new agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [03] Preliminary results of EU-inspection to Belgium
  • [04] La Commission décide de réaliser une enquête approfondie sur le projet d'entreprise commune présenté par Telia et Telenor
  • [05] Commission clears the merger between Kingfisher and ASDA
  • [06] Aide humanitaire : nouvelles brèves
  • [07] Single Market : scoreboard underlines further efforts required by Member States

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

    [01] Marché unique: mieux faire fonctionner le principe de reconnaissance mutuelle

    La Commission européenne vient d'adopter une Communication pour faciliter et améliorer l'application du principe de reconnaissance mutuelle dans le marché unique. La Communication répond aux souhaits exprimés par les Etats membres et les opérateurs économiques suite au Plan d'Action pour le marché unique de juin 1997, qui avait indiqué que ce domaine demandait une attention toute particulière. Selon le principe de reconnaissance mutuelle, chaque Etat membre a l'obligation d'accepter sur son territoire les produits légalement fabriqués et/ou commercialisés et les services légalement prestés dans les autres Etats membres. Les Etats membres ne peuvent contester l'application du principe que dans des cas limités, mettant en cause notamment la sécurité publique, la santé ou la protection de l'environnement ; encore faut-il que dans ces cas les mesures qu'ils prennent répondent aux principes de nécessité et de proportionnalité. La Communication prévoit une série d'actions pour une meilleure surveillance de l'application de la reconnaissance mutuelle : mieux faire connaître le principe aux citoyens, aux opérateurs économiques, et aux autorités compétentes des Etats membres à tous les niveaux; faciliter et améliorer les contacts entre administrations nationales et améliorer la gestion par la Commission des plaintes individuelles.

    [02] First steps towards new agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

    The European Commission adopted a report that signals the beginning of negotiations on the upgrading of the European Union's (EU) contractual relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). In the report - to be submitted to the General Affairs Council on 21 June - the Commission concludes that it is feasible to envisage the opening of negotiations for a Stability & Association Agreement (SAA) with FYROM, the first of the countries of South Eastern Europe to be considered for such an agreement (see IP/99/350). Negotiation of the agreement will depend on FYROM's capacity to fulfil contractual obligations in a number of key areas including the liberalisation of trade. Other areas include the harmonisation of banking legislation, the opening up of the services market to foreign companies, and a programme of approximation of FYROM legislation with EU legislation. It is understood that FYROM can continue to benefit from financial assistance and monetary cooperation as well as cooperation in a wide range of other areas, like customs and taxation, education and training, transport and energy, justice and home affairs, etc. Political dialogue will also be covered by the agreement. Taking into account the conclusions drawn by the Council on 21 June, the Commission will be ready to submit to the Council draft negotiating directives for such SAA with FYROM.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [03] Preliminary results of EU-inspection to Belgium

    The source of the dioxin contamination in Belgium is still not clear. Both hypothesis on how the contamination of the fat at the beginning of the feed chain may have occurred - whether by a leak in the heating system or by a mistake during the collection of oils - therefore have to be maintained. This is the main preliminary result of the mission of European Union inspectors to Belgium last week. In the draft urgency report, that was sent to the Belgian authorities for comments before a final report is written, the inspectors also point to the fact that the protective measures taken by the Commission against the dioxin contamination are not fully applied. The inspectors also noted shortcomings in the control of the feed production chain and criticised the general co-ordination and the information flow of the Belgian authorities which lead to a great confusion among consumers.

    [04] La Commission décide de réaliser une enquête approfondie sur le projet d'entreprise commune présenté par Telia et Telenor

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'ouvrir une enquête approfondie sur le projet d'association de leurs activités présenté par l'opérateur public de télécommunications suédois Telia et l'opérateur public de communications norvégien Telenor. L'opération prévue a suscité des préoccupations sérieuses sur le plan de la concurrence, qui n'ont pu être écartées par les modifications que les entreprises ont proposé d'apporter au projet au cours de la période d'enquête, qui a duré six semaines.

    [05] Commission clears the merger between Kingfisher and ASDA

    The European Commission has approved the merger between the specialised retailer Kingfisher plc and ASDA Group plc, a major food retailer in the UK. In the light of the limited market share increment resulting from the merger and the existence of a sufficient number of significant competitors, the operation does not raise competition concerns.

    [06] Aide humanitaire : nouvelles brèves

    La Commission européenne a octroyé des fonds destinés à l'aide humanitaire au Tadjikistan (16 millions d'euros), à l'Angola (10 millions d'euros), au Cambodge (5,5 millions d'euros), à la Sierra Leone (5 millions d'euros), à la Corée du Nord (4 millions d'euros), au Guatemala (2 millions d'euros), à l'Iraq (2 millions d'euros), à la Fédération de Russie (800.000 euros) et au Yémen (800.000 euros). Par ailleurs, le financement du service ECHO Flight dans la Corne de l'Afrique a été renouvelé avec une subvention de 8, 8 millions d'euros. Ces fonds, qui seront gérés par l'Office Humanitaire de la Communauté européenne (ECHO), permettront aux organisations humanitaires de mener à bien des projets pour les 6 à 12 prochains mois.

    [07] Single Market : scoreboard underlines further efforts required by Member States

    Implementation of Single Market rules is improving but Member States will need to maintain their efforts to ensure that the full benefits of the European Union's (EU) Single Market are passed on to citizens and business, according to the latest issue of the European Commission's Single Market scoreboard. Member States have given new impetus to implementing Single Market Directives, so that the 'fragmentation factor (Directives not yet implemented in one or more Member States) has now fallen to 12.8% from 18.2% in May 1998. However, Member States efforts on this front have tended to fade since the beginning of 1999. Concerning infringement proceedings against Member States under Article 226 (formerly 169) of the EU Treaty for failure to apply Single Market rules, the scoreboard notes a steep rise in the number of 'reasoned opinions' (the second stage) and referrals to the European Court of Justice, largely as a result of faster handling of infringement cases by the Commission. The scoreboard also features feedback from the "Dialogue with Citizens" concerning the difficulties encountered by people trying to exercise their Single Market rights. These problems stem from lack of information about the rules, lack of transparency in the way national administrations apply these rights and administrative procedures on the part of Member States which fail to ensure that those rights can be fully and easily exercised in practice.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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