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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-05-03

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>


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Romano Prodi welcomes new international initiative for Mideast Peace
  • [02] La Commission propose la reconnaissance, dans toute l'UE, des décisions rendues dans le domaine du droit de la famille afin de résoudre le problème de l'enlèvement d'enfants
  • [03] La Commission lance une large consultation sur la loi applicable aux obligations non-contractuelles ("Rome II")
  • [04] Commission clears ING and Piraeus joint control of Piraues AEE Life and Piraeus Asset Management
  • [05] Commission clears German Edeka's control of AÖAG in daily consumer goods wholesale and retail
  • [06] Commission clears joint venture between UK Post Office and First Rate Enterprises of Ireland
  • [07] Avec plus de 20.000 "Europass" distribués, les parcours européens de formation sont un succès
  • [08] April 2002 - The economic sentiment indicator increased in the EU
  • [09] April 2002 - The Business Climate Indicator remained almost stable
  • [10] Mars 2002 - Les prix à la production industrielle en hausse de 0,4% dans la zone euro ; +0,3% dans l'UE15
  • [11] Further liberalisation of agricultural trade with Lithuania
  • [12] Energy G-8 in Detroit : Loyola de Palacio stresses the role of demand- side policies and energy emergency preparedness
  • [13] Loyola de Palacio optimistic for a transatlantic common aviation area
  • [14] EU Ministers to debate measures to maximise benefits of European tourism
  • [15] Anna Diamantopoulou at royal launch of ILO's global report on child labour
  • [16] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 03/05/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 03/05/2002

  • [01] Romano Prodi welcomes new international initiative for Mideast Peace

    Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, welcomed the result of the 'Quartet' meeting on the Mideast held in Washington DC yesterday. The Quartet comprises the European Union, the United States, the Russian Federation and the United Nations. It was agreed to work over the next few weeks on a set of principles to form the basis of a meeting in the early summer to resume the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. President Prodi said : "This is precisely the result I had called for in all my contacts with the parties, Arab leaders and President Putin. At the EU-US summit today, which preceded the quartet meeting, we agreed with President George W. Bush on this way forward. The European Commission will do its utmost to support these efforts to secure a lasting peace in the Middle East."

    [02] La Commission propose la reconnaissance, dans toute l'UE, des décisions rendues dans le domaine du droit de la famille afin de résoudre le problème de l'enlèvement d'enfants

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui une proposition visant à compléter le cadre juridique de la reconnaissance mutuelle dans toute l'UE des décisions en matière de divorce et de responsabilité parentale. L'objectif de cette proposition est de décourager les enlèvements d'enfants dans l'UE en établissant un mécanisme pour le retour des enfants enlevés grâce à la coopération entre les tribunaux et les autorités des Etats membres. L'enlèvement d'enfants intervenant dans le cadre de litiges transfrontaliers sur le droit de garde est un problème croissant, source de profonde détresse pour les enfants et les parents concernés.

    [03] La Commission lance une large consultation sur la loi applicable aux obligations non-contractuelles ("Rome II")

    La Commission européenne a lancé aujourd'hui une consultation sur un avant- projet de proposition de règlement qui vise à harmoniser les règles quant à la loi applicable aux obligations non-contractuelles ("Rome II"). Cette mesure s'inscrit dans le cadre des travaux en cours au sein de l'Union européenne en vue de créer un véritable espace européen de liberté et de justice. Il s'agit d'assurer que les tribunaux de tous les Etats membres appliquent la même loi en cas de litige transfrontière portant sur une obligation non contractuelle, facilitant ainsi la reconnaissance mutuelle des décisions de justice dans l'UE.

    [04] Commission clears ING and Piraeus joint control of Piraues AEE Life and Piraeus Asset Management

    The European Commission has cleared an operation under the Merger Regulation whereby ING Continental Europe Holdings B.V., a subsidiary of Dutch financial group ING, and Piraeus Bank S.A. of Greece, acquire joint control of Piraeus AEE Life (Greece) and Piraeus Asset Management Company (Greece) by purchase of shares. (The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure).

    [05] Commission clears German Edeka's control of AÖAG in daily consumer goods wholesale and retail

    The European Commission has cleared plans under the Merger Regulation by Germany's Edeka-group, via its affiliates Edeka Chiemgau and Edeka Handelsgesellschaft Südbayern, to acquire control of the whole of ADEG Österreich Handelsaktiengesellschaft (AÖAG) by way of purchase of assets. The companies are all active in wholesale and retail in daily consumer goods. (The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [06] Commission clears joint venture between UK Post Office and First Rate Enterprises of Ireland

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to plans by Post Office Limited, controlled by Consignia plc, and First Rate Enterprises Limited, controlled by the Bank of Ireland, to create a joint venture called FRTS to whole sale foreign currency and supply traveller's cheques and car hire. (The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [07] Avec plus de 20.000 "Europass" distribués, les parcours européens de formation sont un succès

    La Commission européenne vient d'adopter un rapport faisant un premier bilan de son initiative "Parcours européens de formation", entrée en application au début de l'an 2000. Destinés à favoriser la mobilité des personnes en formation, à améliorer les perspectives d'emploi des jeunes et à augmenter la qualité et l'attrait de l'enseignement professionnel, les parcours européens de formation permettent à une personne en formation en alternance, dont l'apprentissage, de faire un séjour de formation dans un autre Etat membre. Un document, "l'Europass Formation" certifie ce parcours. 20.000 "Europass" ont été établis en deux ans pour des stages dont la durée a varié de 3 à 15 semaines, concernant en grande majorité des jeunes de moins de 23 ans.

    [08] April 2002 - The economic sentiment indicator increased in the EU

    The economic sentiment indicator went up again in the EU in April. It increased by 0.3 percentage points to reach 100. However, for the euro area, the economic sentiment indicator fell slightly (by 0.1 percentage points), from 99.5 in March to 99.4 in April. The change in the economic sentiment indicator between April and March was positive in Italy (0.1 percentage points), Finland (0.1), Sweden (0.2), and, especially, in Denmark (0.4), Spain (0.3) and the UK (0.7). The indicator remained stable in France and Austria, but decreased in the Netherlands (0.3), Ireland (0.2), Portugal (0.2) and to a much lesser extent (by 0.1 percentage points) in Belgium, Germany, and Greece. Full document on : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/indicators/businessandconsumersurveys_en.htm

    [09] April 2002 - The Business Climate Indicator remained almost stable

    The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area remained almost stable (a fall of 0.05 percentage points) between March and April, reaching a value of -0.64. Such developments were mainly driven by the worsening in opinions about production trends in the recent past, while production expectations remained unchanged. Full document on : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/indicators/businessclimate_en.htm

    [10] Mars 2002 - Les prix à la production industrielle en hausse de 0,4% dans la zone euro ; +0,3% dans l'UE15

    Au mois de mars 2002, les prix à la production industrielle dans la zone euro ont augmenté de 0,4% par rapport au mois précédent, selon les estimations publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat. Les prix dans l'UE15 ont augmenté de 0,3%. En février 2002, les prix avaient été stables dans les deux zones (0,0%). Au mois de mars 2002 et par rapport au mois de mars 2001, les prix à la production industrielle ont baissé de 0,8% dans la zone euro et de 0,7% dans l'UE15.

    [11] Further liberalisation of agricultural trade with Lithuania

    In the framework of the so-called "double profit" agreements between the EU and candidate countries, the European Commission adopted today a proposal for a Council Regulation in view of the additional liberalisation of agricultural trade with Lithuania. The proposal foresees a total liberalisation of most ad valorem duties (for example for fresh and prepared fruit and vegetables, juices and processed meat). The proposal also includes "double-profit agreements", i.e. the removal of export refunds and the elimination within tariff quotas of the import duties for wheat, rye and oats, beef and veal, sheep meat, dairy products and molasses. Most other sectors - including pig meat, poultry meat, fats and oils and a wide range of fruit and vegetables - were liberalised in 2000. In parallel with this, the Lithuanian authorities are in the process of implementing the concession agreed for EU exports to Lithuania. This will, by and large, mirror the EU-concessions granted to Lithuania. The agreement means in practise that trade in most agricultural products between the EU and Lithuania will now be completely liberalised. Commenting on the proposal, Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler said : "Facilitating mutual farm trade prior to EU accession of the candidate countries is part of the EU's strategy to prepare both sides for the enlargement of the single market". The proposal has now to be adopted by the Council and will enter into force on 1 July 2002.

    [12] Energy G-8 in Detroit : Loyola de Palacio stresses the role of demand- side policies and energy emergency preparedness

    (! embargo 5.30 pm !) At the G-8 Ministerial meeting on Energy today in Detroit, European Commission Vice President Loyola de Palacio underlined the importance of curbing the growth in energy demand and enhancing the security and stability of energy supplies. "Risks to energy supply can be quickly and relatively cheaply addressed by curbing the growth in energy demand. Curbing energy consumption and improving energy efficiencies will preserve finite energy resources, mitigate supply difficulties and improve the environmental impact of energy use", she declared.

    [13] Loyola de Palacio optimistic for a transatlantic common aviation area

    European Commission Vice-President Loyola de Palacio expressed her optimism on the possibilities to reach agreements with the United States on the bilateral relations in air transport. During her official trip in the United States, where she met Michael P. Jackson, Deputy Secretary of Transportation, she raised several crucial points on Air Transport and pledged for a deeper cooperation between both sides of Atlantic. Asked on the consequences of the long-awaited Court of justice ruling on open-skies agreement, she declared : "The American Administration is well aware that the court outcome shall mean that, in any case, there is a negotiation to be made. I think they are really considering the possibility not only to negotiate this EU-US open skies, but maybe to go a little bit forward."

    [14] EU Ministers to debate measures to maximise benefits of European tourism

    Determination to press ahead with creating and consolidating effective instruments for enhancing the competitiveness of the European tourism industry, in line with EU sustainability goals, will be reiterated at an informal meeting of EU Tourism Ministers in Santander (Spain) on 4 May. This meeting will be followed on 5 May by an all-stakeholders seminar. These events, both organised by the Spanish Presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers will be used to review the situation of tourism in Europe after the September 11 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre, and maximise the benefits of cooperation among tourism stakeholders within an open EU framework. They will build on proposals set out in a Commission Communication of November 2001 on "Working together for the future of European tourism" (see IP/01/1582), to which the European Parliament and the Council have responded with draft resolutions, scheduled to be adopted later in May. Current debate shows that in the absence of a common EU policy on tourism, new political impetus is all the more necessary to kick- start dialogue between the private and public sectors on how best to enhance the sector's competitiveness.

    [15] Anna Diamantopoulou at royal launch of ILO's global report on child labour

    Anna Diamantopoulou, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, will participate in the launch of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) first global report on child labour next Monday 6 May in Brussels. Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde of Belgium will attend a working lunch with Diamantopoulou, Deputy Prime Minister and Labour Minister of Belgium Laurette Onkelinx, ex-ILO Director General Michel Hansenne and ILO Director of the Infocus Programme for Eradicating Child Labour (IPEC) Frans Roselaers. The report will reveal disturbing data : of an estimated global total of 246 million child labourers aged 5-17 years, nearly 180 million or 73% are now believed to be engaged in the worst forms of child labour including hazardous work and even sexual exploitation, slavery, trafficking and debt-bondage. Moreover, the report will point out that child labour also exists in the EU, in the informal economy, the agricultural and construction sectors. Anna Diamantopoulou will call for urgent international measures to combat child labour, in particular through moves to combat poverty, to promote education and to clamp down on trafficking in human beings.

    [16] Autre matériel diffusé

    EU and US agree to launch positive economic agenda at EU-US Summit

    Transcript of joint press conference with US President George W. Bush, Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, and European Commission President Romano Prodi, at the end of the EU-US Summit (02/05, Washington)

    Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "Status of the Information Society in the EU and future challenges" at the Biel's 1st Communication Days (02/05, Biel, CH)

    Calendrier du 6 au 10 mai 2002


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


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