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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-06-23

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 Service Presse et Communicationb

23/06/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Romano Prodi met Zoran Djindjic
  • [02] La Commission autorise la reprise de Raab Karcher par Saint-Gobain
  • [03] La Commission autorise l'opération de concentration de Canal+, Lagardère et Liberty Media
  • [04] EU Commission welcomes agreement to curb air pollution
  • [05] Informer les passagers des transports aériens sur leurs droits
  • [06] Commission welcomes adoption of Dual Use Regulation
  • [07] Commission publishes first quarter 2000 price and cost competitiveness report
  • [08] EU and Korea sign Agreed Minutes on World Shipbuilding

  • [01] Romano Prodi met Zoran Djindjic

    A meeting took place yesterday between Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, and Zoran Djindjic, Chairman of the Democratic Party (Serbia), to discuss present and future policy and EU assistance towards Serbia. President Prodi reiterated the Commission's continuing support for the Serbian population and democratic opposition, and underlined the necessity for the democratic opposition parties to unite with a view to the forthcoming elections. Referring to the recent European Council statement that all of the Western Balkan countries are "potential candidates for EU membership", he underlined that it is the regime in Belgrade and its policies which are continuing to deny the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia its place in Europe, a place to which it will be wholeheartedly welcomed once a democratic government is in place.

    [02] La Commission autorise la reprise de Raab Karcher par Saint-Gobain

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'acquisition, par la société française Saint-Gobain, de Raab Karcher, le principal distributeur allemand de matériaux de construction. Les activités des deux sociétés se chevauchent en Allemagne et, dans une moindre mesure, en France et aux Pays-Bas. Toutefois, la Commission est parvenue à la conclusion que Saint-Gobain/Raab Karcher aurait en face d'elle plusieurs concurrents importants, nationaux et européens, dans les secteurs tant de la production que de la distribution de matériaux de construction.

    [03] La Commission autorise l'opération de concentration de Canal+, Lagardère et Liberty Media

    La Commission européenne donne le feu vert à la prise de contrôle conjoint de CanalSatellite par les groupes Canal+ et Lagardère et celle de Multithématiques par ces mêmes groupes et Liberty Media. Ces opérations n'entraîneront pas la création ou le renforcement d'une position dominante sur les marchés concernés (édition de chaînes thématiques et de services de télévision interactive) et ne soulève donc pas de problème de concurrence .

    [04] EU Commission welcomes agreement to curb air pollution

    The European Commission welcomes yesterday's agreement by EU Environment Ministers to curb air pollution from power generators and set ceilings for four major air pollutants, helping tackle problems such as summer smog and acidification. The agreement reached on the proposals on large combustion plants (LCPs) and national emission ceilings (NECs) will more than halve the emissions of sulphur dioxide from existing power plants. By 2010, overall emissions of sulphur dioxide will be reduced by 77%, nitrogen oxides by 51%, volatile organic compounds by 54% and ammonia by 14%, compared to 1990 levels.

    [05] Informer les passagers des transports aériens sur leurs droits

    (! embargo 14h!) Bien que les passagers bénéficient déjà de droits importants en vertu du droit communautaire, ils ne les connaissent souvent pas et par conséquent n'insistent pas sur le respect de ces droits. C'est la raison pour laquelle la Commission européenne a décidé de lancer une campagne de sensibilisations des passagers aux droits que l'Union européenne a créés pour eux. Cette campagne, qui débute par l'affichage d'une charte dans tous les aéroports de l'UE, sera lancée officiellement le 23 juin à Rome, après la conférence annuelle du Conseil international des aéroports (A.C.I. - Europe). "Créer des droits est une chose, sensibiliser les gens à ces droits en est une autre", a déclaré Loyola de Palacio, vice- président de la Commission chargée des Transports. "C'est pourquoi la Commission publie une charte sur les droits des passagers à afficher dans les aéroports de l'UE et plus tard, je l'espère, dans les bureaux des compagnies aériennes et des agences de voyage. Cette charte permettra aux passagers de mieux comprendre leurs droits et de les exercer plus efficacement."

    [06] Commission welcomes adoption of Dual Use Regulation

    The European Commission welcomes the Council's adoption yesterday of a Regulation covering licensing procedures for the export of dual use goods and technologies. These have been subject to export controls to improve security and reduce arms proliferation. The new Regulation improves the existing system of export controls and strikes the right balance between the need to control these goods and technologies on the one hand, and the trade interests of some of our high-tech industries on the other. It simplifies export licensing procedures and cuts red tape, creating a Community General Export Authorisation valid for most of the widely traded dual use items, for exports to Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Japan, Hungary, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland and the US. The Regulation reduces and simplifies intra-EU trade, notably in nuclear and ballistic devices, and creates a common list of items for which intra-EU controls are maintained, replacing national lists. As for Information Security items (including encryption), intra-EU trade is liberalised completely, except for a few highly specialised products (cryptanalysis items). Erkki Liikanen, European Information Society Commissioner, said : "The Lisbon Summit highlighted consumer confidence as key to the development of Internet and electronic commerce. Cryptographic technologies are vital for security and trust in electronic communication. Yesterday's decision will accelerate the development and use of encryption products and thus increase the security of electronic communication. The Commission for its part is determined to give security the urgency it deserves as demonstrated by the recent eEurope Action Plan."

    [07] Commission publishes first quarter 2000 price and cost competitiveness report

    Due to low price and cost increases in the euro area economies, the relative cost competitiveness of the euro area was at the first quarter 2000 at its most favourable since 1985. The depreciation of the euro against other major international currencies has also contributed to that development although exchange rate movements since the end of the first quarter have mitigated this position somewhat. The report has been prepared by the Commission's Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs and includes for the first time data revised in accordance with the new European System of Accounts (ESA 95). The report is available on the web : http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/document/pccr/pccr_en.htm

    [08] EU and Korea sign Agreed Minutes on World Shipbuilding

    The European Commission and the Republic of Korea have signed a set of "Agreed Minutes" aimed at creating a more transparent and competitive world shipbuilding market. The agreement aims to stabilise the world shipbuilding market and contains several commitments regarding non-subsidisation, transparency (over international accounting standards) commercial pricing and an effective consultative mechanism. The Commission has introduced an official request for ad hoc consultations with Korea, as provided by the agreement in order quickly to clarify several issues of concern and receive answers to key questions. These consultations will take place in Seoul on 18-19 July. The Commission considers that the full implementation of Korea's commitments will constitute the effective means to avoid a potential dispute between the EU and Korea in shipbuilding and work together towards a fair and competitive world shipbuilding market. The Commission and the Korean Government began, discussions last December to find an appropriate solution to the problem facing the world shipbuilding market characterised by significant over-capacity and steadily decreasing prices. The parties initialled the agreed minutes on 10 April. They were approved by the Council on June 19 and signed by Peter Carl, Director- General of Trade and the Ambassador Choi of Korea yesterday.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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