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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-05-16

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>


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Internal Market Scoreboard shows progress, but trade obstacles remain
  • [02] Audit : la Commission publie une recommandation concernant l'indépendance du contrôleur légal des comptes
  • [03] April 2002 - Euro-zone annual inflation down to 2.4% ; EU15 down to 2.2%
  • [04] David Byrne welcomes Parliament backing of proposals to combat food- borne diseases
  • [05] David Byrne welcomes endorsement of food hygiene proposals by the EP
  • [06] Commission welcomes Parliament's green light for €17.5 billion 6th Research Framework Programme
  • [07] UEFA teams up with EU on fight against young people smoking
  • [08] Viviane Reding à la réunion des ministres des Sports (17/05, Alméria)
  • [09] Margot Wallström visits Denmark to meet incoming Presidency and mark enlargement of European Environment Agency (EEA)
  • [10] Sommet UE-Amérique latine et Caraïbes (ALC) (16-18, Madrid)
  • [11] EU-Russia relations special meeting in Kaliningrad
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 16/05/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 16/05/2002

  • [01] Internal Market Scoreboard shows progress, but trade obstacles remain

    According to the latest Internal Market Scoreboard, there are still significant delays in implementing at national level many pieces of EU law approved by Member States' Ministers in the Council and by the European Parliament. Only seven Member States (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain) currently meet the target set by EU leaders at the Stockholm European Council in Spring 2001, of having an implementation deficit of 1.5% or less: in other words, of having passed into national law at least 98.5% of Internal Market Directives. The UK and Belgium have made particularly good progress in the last six months to achieve the target, while France, Greece, Germany and Ireland are furthest away from the target. The Commission also urges Member States to devote more attention to proper application in practice of Internal Market rules so as to reduce the practical problems encountered by companies and citizens seeking to take advantage of their rights within the Internal Market. The Scoreboard puts the spotlight on technical barriers to the free movement of goods within the Internal Market. The analysis suggests that where barriers persist (e.g. in construction products), the overall economic performance of the sector is held back. The results of a price survey on general grocery and household items indicate wide price differences across Europe. For the same product, consumers in some Member States can pay more than twice as much as consumers in other Member States.

    [02] Audit : la Commission publie une recommandation concernant l'indépendance du contrôleur légal des comptes

    La Commission européenne a publié aujourd'hui une recommandation concernant l'"Indépendance des contrôleurs des comptes dans l'UE". Ce texte énonce une série de principes rigoureux de haut niveau et recommande notamment qu'il soit interdit aux contrôleurs d'effectuer un contrôle légal - exigé par loi - s'ils ont avec leur client une relation quelconque qui pourrait compromettre leur indépendance. Cela peut comprendre toute relation financière, d'affaires, d'emploi ou autre, ou toute situation dans laquelle le contrôleur fournit à un même client des services complémentaires au contrôle. La recommandation traite deux questions clés d'indépendance soulevées par la faillite d'Enron, à savoir la "fourniture de services complémentaires" par le contrôleur et le fait qu'il soit "employé par son client". Bien que la recommandation n'ait pas force de loi, elle constituera une règle claire de bonne pratique que la Commission entend voir immédiatement appliquée dans tout le secteur de l'audit dans l'UE. Dans trois ans, la Commission examinera comment la recommandation a été appliquée dans la pratique et si une législation contraignante de l'UE est nécessaire. Néanmoins, la Commission peut agir plus tôt si l'application de la recommandation par les Etats membres ne la satisfait pas.

    [03] April 2002 - Euro-zone annual inflation down to 2.4% ; EU15 down to 2.2%

    Euro-zone annual inflation fell from 2.5% in March to 2.4% in April 2002, Eurostat reports today. A year earlier the rate was 2.9%. EU15 annual inflation fell from 2.3% in March to 2.2% in April 2002. A year earlier the rate was 2.6%. In April highest annual rates were in Ireland (5.0%), the Netherlands (4.2%) and Greece (4.1%) ; lowest rates were in Germany and Austria (1.6% each) and Belgium (1.7%).

    [04] David Byrne welcomes Parliament backing of proposals to combat food- borne diseases

    European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection David Byrne welcomed that the European Parliament yesterday gave its broad support to two legislative proposals designed to cut the incidence of food-borne diseases. The proposals, adopted by the Commission in August of last year (see IP/01/1167), provide for a thorough revision of current EU legislation and are designed to improve measures to protect against "zoonoses" those diseases transmissible between animals and humans.

    [05] David Byrne welcomes endorsement of food hygiene proposals by the EP

    The European Parliament yesterday delivered its first reading on the "food hygiene package" adopted by the European Commission on 14 July 2000. The package represents a major recast of the food hygiene legislation currently in force. The Parliament considered proposals on general food hygiene, the hygiene of food of animal origin and on the animal health rules for food of animal origin. Under the proposals food operators right through the food chain will bear primary responsibility for food safety. The new regulations will merge, harmonise and simplify very detailed and complex hygiene requirements previously scattered over seventeen existing directives. They innovate in making a single, transparent hygiene policy applicable to all food and all food operators, from farm to table. The focus is on setting objectives while leaving business flexibility in deciding the safety measures to take, rather than prescribing them in great detail.

    [06] Commission welcomes Parliament's green light for €17.5 billion 6th Research Framework Programme

    In a landmark vote yesterday in Strasbourg the European Parliament gave its go-ahead to the European Commission's proposal for next EU Research and Development Framework Programme (FP6). "I welcome this key vote", said Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. "This new R&D Programme will run until 2006, with a €17.5 billion budget, a 17% increase on the last programme. A major innovation in FP6 is the way in which researchers will work together in Europe : on a selected number of priorities, in an integrated way, and with streamlined administrative procedures. Once the Council has endorsed Parliament's vote, it will be the first time that the scientific community and industry will have more than six months to draft proposals before the formal entry into force. We shall keep working with the Parliament and Council to implement the Programme, that represents a big EU financial and policy effort to upgrade European scientific knowledge, quality of life and competitiveness."

    [07] UEFA teams up with EU on fight against young people smoking

    What have Paolo Mandini, Carsten Jancker, Rui Costa, Emile Mpenza and Ebbe Sand in common with dozens of other top European World Cup players ? They say "No". No to cigarettes. Just before the start of the World Cup, UEFA teamed up with the European Union for an anti-smoking campaign targeting young people between 12 and 18 years old. The cooperation agreement will be signed by Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne and UEFA President Lennart Johansson at the World Cup warm-up match between Denmark and Cameroon in Copenhagen tomorrow, 17 May. A television spot including well-known football players will be shown for the first time at the press conference just before the kick-off of the match. Eight out of ten people who smoke start when they are between 12 and 18 years old. David Byrne said : "Let's face it: a young boy or a young girl who starts smoking and gets hooked by the nicotine has no longer a real choice. That's why we want young people to feel free to say no to tobacco when they still have the choice." "Feel free to say no" is the slogan of the EU anti-smoking campaign. The official campaign launch on 31 May coincides with the World anti-smoking Day and the World Cup kick off.

    [08] Viviane Reding à la réunion des ministres des Sports (17/05, Alméria)

    Les ministres des Sports des Quinze se réuniront demain à Alméria (Espagne). A l'ordre du jour figure notamment la présentation par Viviane Reding, Commissaire européenne en charge des Sports, des grandes lignes du Plan d'action communautaire contre le dopage, que la Commission pourrait adopter à l'automne. Les ministres et la Commissaire évoqueront aussi la situation de l'Agence mondiale antidopage, le possible rôle du sport dans la Convention et l'avenir du modèle sportif européen. Les conclusions de cette rencontre seront présentées lors d'une conférence de presse qui aura lieu demain (17 mai) à 18h00 à Alméria.

    [09] Margot Wallström visits Denmark to meet incoming Presidency and mark enlargement of European Environment Agency (EEA)

    European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström will be in Copenhagen on 16 and 17 May. The purpose of her visit is to meet with representatives of the Danish government, which will take over the Presidency of the EU from July 2002. Commissioner Wallström will meet Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Environment Minister Hans Christian Schmidt to discuss and coordinate work on environment policy priorities to be established by the Presidency, and to prepare together the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development, which takes place in August/September. The Commissioner will also speak at a high-level conference celebrating the enlargement of the European Environment Agency (the EEA).

    [10] Sommet UE-Amérique latine et Caraïbes (ALC) (16-18, Madrid)

    Le sommet UE-ALC réunira 48 chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement de l'UE, d'Amérique latine et des Caraïbes. C'est seulement la deuxième manifestation de ce type. Le Sommet approfondira les relations bilatérales entretenues par l'UE tant avec l'Amérique latine qu'avec les groupements régionaux des Caraïbes et les différents pays en cause. Il marque la conclusion des négociations relatives à un accord d'association avec le Chili, les progrès substantiels accomplis dans la négociation d'un accord similaire avec le Mercosur et l'adoption d'un plan d'action de simplification des échanges à mettre en oeuvre immédiatement entre l'UE et le Mercosur. Il devrait permettre de lancer une nouvelle initiative en faveur d'un dialogue et d'une coopération politiques renforcés entre l'UE, la communauté andine et l'Amérique centrale (San José), et d'engager de nouvelles mesures de coopération économique et commerciale. Le Sommet prendra acte aussi du lancement prochain des négociations consacrées à un accord de partenariat économique à conclure avec la région des Caraïbes. Il devrait étoffer la dimension politique du partenariat UE-ALC, en mettant l'accent sur l'attachement commun des deux régions considérées au multilatéralisme (soutien au programme de développement de Doha, ratification du protocole de Kyoto, adhésion au futur Tribunal pénal international). Le Sommet devrait avaliser aussi une nouvelle initiative de lutte contre les inégalités sociales qui sont spécifiques de la région et qui nourrissent l'instabilité tant économique que politique. La Commission européenne y sera représentée par le président Romano Prodi, par M. Chris Patten, commissaire chargé des relations extérieures et par M. Pascal Lamy, commissaire chargé du commerce.

    [11] EU-Russia relations special meeting in Kaliningrad

    Senior officials of the European Commission and Russia met on 15 May in Kaliningrad to discuss the implications of EU enlargement for Kaliningrad. The meeting of the Cooperation Committee was chaired by Catherine Day (Deputy Director General for External Relations of the Commission). Maxim Medvedkov (Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade of Russia) and Governor Egorov of Kaliningrad headed the Russian delegation. The agenda covered a wide range of issues including visas, border control, organised crime and environmental pollution as well as questions of security of energy supply and transport and telecoms links. The outcome of the Cooperation Committee will serve as input for discussions on Kaliningrad at the EU-Russia Summit on 29 May in Moscow.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Declaration by Poul Nielson to the European Parliament in view of the World Food Summit, 10-13/06 in Rome (Strasbourg)

    Declaration by Poul Nielson to the European Parliament on external aspects of Sustainable Development (Strasbourg)

    Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "Mercosur and EU business relations the Lisbon process" at the MEBF (15/05, Madrid)


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


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