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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-07-11

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] "Vers une agriculture durable" : la Commission présente la révision à mi-parcours de la politique agricole de l'UE
  • [02] Car tax : Commission decides to ask Greece to alter its practices in the taxation of imports
  • [03] Taxes boursières : la Commission décide de saisir la Cour à l'encontre de la Belgique
  • [04] TVA/accises : procédures d'infraction contre les Pays-Bas, l'Italie et la France pour non-application d'arrêts de la Cour
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [05] La Commission préconise une plus grande participation financière des travailleurs dans les entreprises
  • [06] Food Chain Committee discussion on MPA-hormones in feed and food products
  • [07] Commission clears merger between Telia and Sonera subject to conditions
  • [08] Capital adequacy : Commission welcomes significant progress on new Basel Capital Accord
  • [09] Frank and open dialogue with Australian Prime Minister Howard
  • [10] New EU-Russia steel agreement opens way for increased steel imports from Russia
  • [11] Environment Ministers from Candidate Countries to discuss sustainable development with Commission and Presidency
  • [12] Commission urges cooperation between scientists and journalists
  • [13] Frits Bolkestein speaks in Paris on Commission response to current situation in financial markets
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 11/07/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 11/07/2002[I] Résultats de la Commission du 10 juillet 2002 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 10 July 2002 (voir aussi see also ME of 10/07)

  • [01] "Vers une agriculture durable" : la Commission présente la révision à mi-parcours de la politique agricole de l'UE

    La Commission européenne a présenté sa révision à mi-parcours de la politique agricole commune (PAC) de l'UE. La Commission est d'avis qu'il y a lieu de mieux motiver les dépenses publiques dans le secteur de l'agriculture. Il s'agit non seulement de soutenir les revenus des agriculteurs mais aussi d'obtenir de meilleurs résultats en ce qui concerne la qualité alimentaire, la préservation de l'environnement, le bien-être des animaux, les paysages et le patrimoine culturel ou encore le renforcement de l'équilibre et la justice sociale. Cette révision prévoit d'affranchir les agriculteurs des tracasseries, de les encourager à produire selon des normes élevées pour le revenu marchand le plus haut plutôt que pour obtenir le maximum d'aides. Pour les consommateurs et les contribuables européens, la révision garantira une meilleure utilisation des ressources. Pour atteindre ces objectifs, la Commission propose : (1) de rompre le lien entre la production et les aides directes ; (2) de subordonner ces aides au respect des normes en matière d'environnement, de sécurité des aliments, de bien-être des animaux et de sécurité sur le lieu de travail ; (3) d'augmenter substantiellement l'aide par une modulation des paiements directs, les petits agriculteurs étant exonérés ; (4) de mettre en place un système d'audit agricole ; (5) d'introduire de nouvelles mesures de développement rural pour améliorer la qualité de la production, la sécurité des aliments et le bien-être des animaux, et pour couvrir les coûts de l'audit agricole. En ce qui concerne la politique de marché, qui reste un pilier essentiel de la PAC, la Commission propose : (a) d'achever le processus de la réforme, en particulier par une diminution de 5% à terme du prix d'intervention et par un nouveau système de protection aux frontières ; (b) une diminution du paiement supplémentaire pour le blé dur, s'accompagnant d'une nouvelle prime à la qualité ; (c) une diminution, assortie de compensations, du prix d'intervention pour le riz ; et (d) des adaptations dans les secteurs des fourrages séchés, des protéagineux et des fruits à coques. Ces propositions respectent intégralement les orientations générales et le cadre financier définis dans l'Agenda 2000.

    [02] Car tax : Commission decides to ask Greece to alter its practices in the taxation of imports

    The European Commission has decided to address a formal request to Greece that it alter its practices as regards the taxation of permanent imports of individuals' personal property, more particularly cars, made as part of an ordinary change of residence. The Commission considers these practices to be incompatible with Directive 83/183/EEC, which provides for the exemption of personal property imported permanently from another Member State by private individuals from turnover tax, excise duty and other consumption taxes which normally apply to such property.

    [03] Taxes boursières : la Commission décide de saisir la Cour à l'encontre de la Belgique

    La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour de Justice concernant l'application par la Belgique d'une taxe sur les opérations de bourse et d'une taxe sur les livraisons de titres au porteur. La Commission estime que la perception de ces taxes sur l'émission de nouveaux titres est contraire à la directive 69/335/CEE du 17 juillet 1969 concernant les impôts indirects frappant les rassemblements de capitaux. Cette Directive harmonise les droits d'apport appliqués aux sociétés de capitaux et supprime les droits de timbre sur les titres représentatifs des capitaux, actions et obligations afin de réduire les discriminations, les double impositions et les entraves à la circulation des capitaux à l'intérieur du marché commun.

    [04] TVA/accises : procédures d'infraction contre les Pays-Bas, l'Italie et la France pour non-application d'arrêts de la Cour

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'envoyer à trois Etats membres des demandes d'information concernant les mesures prises pour se conformer aux arrêts de la Cour de Justice européenne : aux Pays-Bas, suite à l'arrêt en date du 8 novembre 2001 concernant une déduction non conforme de la TVA pour les frais de véhicules des employés ; à l'Italie, suite à l'arrêt en date du 25 octobre 2001 concernant le remboursement de la TVA au moyen de titres obligataires ; et à la France, suivant l'arrêt en date du 27 février 2002 concernant l'application d'un prix minimum pour cigarettes et la taxation différenciée entre tabacs blonds et tabacs bruns. Les demandes d'informations sont sous forme des lettres de mise en demeure, la première étape de la procédure d'infraction susceptible d'être liée à une demande de sanctions prévue par l'article 228 du traité CE applicable au cas ou un Etat membre ne communique pas les mesures prises pour se conformer avec un arrêt de la Cour.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [05] La Commission préconise une plus grande participation financière des travailleurs dans les entreprises

    La Commission européenne a lancé un appel aux gouvernements afin d'améliorer les conditions de la participation financière des travailleurs dans les entreprises, qu'il s'agisse des régimes d'actionnariat, des options d'achat d'actions ou de l'intéressement aux bénéfices. C'est la première fois que la Commission propose de sélectionner et de publier les meilleures pratiques devant servir de repères pour l'évaluation des performances dans ce domaine, lequel est déjà très développé dans certains Etats membres et pratiquement inexistant dans d'autres. L'objectif de l'initiative est de faire en sorte qu'il soit plus aisé pour les entreprises d'offrir des formules de participation financière et, partant, de tirer avantage d'un engagement accru de leur main-d'œuvre envers l'entreprise, tout en accordant aux travailleurs une part des gains de productivité qui en résultent. La communication de la Commission établit les principes généraux qui sous-tendent les régimes nationaux et identifie les risques à la lumière des récentes débâcles d'envergure de tels régimes (par exemple Enron). Elle institue un groupe d'experts à haut niveau chargés d'examiner les obstacles qui entravent la mise en place de régimes de participation financière à l'échelle européenne et de formuler des recommandations. La Commission définira les meilleures pratiques en la matière et procédera à l'étalonnage des performances entre les Etats membres afin de contribuer au développement de la participation financière dans l'ensemble de l'Union européenne.

    [06] Food Chain Committee discussion on MPA-hormones in feed and food products

    The Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health, consisting of representatives of Member States, heard detailed reports by the Dutch, Belgian and Irish authorities on the state of play of their investigations. The European Commission concluded the discussions as follows, to which all Member States agreed : (1) The Netherlands has to make sure that they block all farms and feed producers potentially involved in the incident and has to circulate immediately a full list of all these farms and feed producers. The Netherlands shall also immediately communicate all test results obtained to the Commission and the Member States on an on-going basis ; (2) all Member States will continue to trace potentially affected feed and food, block establishments concerned and test possibly affected products ; (3) all Member States will verify if domestic companies were clients of the Belgian company Bioland ; (4) all Member States will continue to send any new information through the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed to ensure that all members of the network have immediate access to all available information ; (5) Ireland and Belgium will continue their investigation ; (6) all Member States should verify if pharmaceutical waste on their territory is disposed of correctly. The Food Chain Committee will discuss again the situation next Tuesday, 16 July in the afternoon, during its regular meeting.

    [07] Commission clears merger between Telia and Sonera subject to conditions

    The European Commission has given the go ahead to the proposed acquisition of Finnish-based telecommunications group Sonera Corp. by Sweden's Telia AB, another telecoms firm. The Commission feared that the deal - the first between two incumbent telecoms companies in Europe which moreover are neighbours - could act against consumers' interests by reducing competition in Finland and in Sweden. But the companies addressed these concerns by offering to sell Telia's mobile operations in Finland, Telia's cable TV network in Sweden and by creating a legal separation between their fixed and mobile networks and services businesses in Finland and Sweden.

    [08] Capital adequacy : Commission welcomes significant progress on new Basel Capital Accord

    The European Commission has welcomed the significant progress made by the Basel Committee at its 10th July meeting on the development of the New Basel Capital Accord for Internationally active banks and has called upon Member States to ensure full representation of their financial institution when gathering data on the impact of the proposed new framework. The current (1988) Basel Accord constitutes the international benchmark for capital adequacy and is agreed by the G-10 banking supervisors in the Committee on Banking Supervision of the Bank of International Settlements (known as the Basel Committee).

    [09] Frank and open dialogue with Australian Prime Minister Howard

    On 11 July European Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Franz Fischler met Australian Prime Minister Howard, the Prime Minister having stressed his wish to discuss agricultural policy and trade negotiations while in Brussels. Mr Howard had made it clear at all stages of his trip that he wished to use his meetings to press for reforms in common agricultural policy and for progress in the Doha negotiations on agriculture. The Commissioner welcomed the opportunity to clarify for Mr Howard the extent to which the CAP has evolved since Mr Howard was dealing with it as a trade negotiator in the 1970s, and to explain the interest and determination of the European Union to continue to participate very actively in the on-going negotiations on agriculture. "People who are not close to the issue are not always aware of how different the current CAP is from the CAP of the 1970s", Mr Fischler said. "I was pleased to have the opportunity to explain the consistent way in which the EU has been reforming its policy since 1992, and especially since Agenda 2000. And of course the Communication on the Mid-Term Review of the Common Agricultural Policy which the Commission has adopted yesterday is another major sign of the direction we are moving, towards non-trade distorting support." He emphasised that the issue in international terms is not whether agriculture is supported but how, and he hoped that Mr Howard would now recognise that the direction of European agricultural policy is clearly and consistently towards support which is not trade distorting, unlike that of some of our trading partners.

    [10] New EU-Russia steel agreement opens way for increased steel imports from Russia

    On 9 July, negotiators from the European Commission and the Russian government, DG Trade Director Karl Falkenberg and Ambassador Vasiliy Likhachev, signed a new EU-Russia agreement designed to increase imports of certain Russian steel products into the EU. The agreement increases quantitative limits for the import of steel products such as flat and long products into the EU for the years 2002 to 2004. All the products covered by this agreement are not impacted by the recent US protectionist measures and as such excluded from the scope provisional EU safeguards on steel imports approved at the end of March. Welcoming the agreement, Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said : "This agreement covering key Russian exports to the EU reflects the healthy trading relationship between, Russia and the EU, its principal trading partner. We believe the future lies in encouraging open trading relationships. Building on the EU's decision to grant Russia market economy status at our recent Summit in Moscow, we have taken another concrete step to further cement our special relationship."

    [11] Environment Ministers from Candidate Countries to discuss sustainable development with Commission and Presidency

    Environment Ministers from the thirteen candidate countries will meet with Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström and Mr Hans Christian Schmidt, President of the Environment Council, to discuss sustainable development issues on 12 July 2002 in Brussels. The focal point for the discussions will be the EU strategy for sustainable development. Ministers will address both global and internal aspects of this strategy. The preparations for the World Summit in Johannesburg feature prominently on the agenda. On the internal side, the meeting will discuss the preparatory work for the inclusion of Candidate countries in next year's "Synthesis Report" to the Spring European Council in March 2003. "Well before accession the candidate countries are already closely involved in discussions about future EU environment policy. These meetings enable us to work together and align our policy making process so as to ensure a smooth transition in the future", Mrs Wallström said.

    [12] Commission urges cooperation between scientists and journalists

    A meeting to 'bridge the gap' between scientists and media professionals took place on July 9, 2002. It was organised by the European Commission under the auspices of the European Life Sciences Group (ELSG). Participants from 13 different countries looked into ways to establish closer links between scientists and the media and identified more effective practices to improve media coverage of scientific progress in a clear and balanced manner. They proposed, inter alia, to assess the feasibility of creating a EU-wide network of science communicators, and a programme of on-stage internships in order to encourage journalists to work in labs with appropriate tutoring. The relationship between science and the media is not always easy. Scientists complain that the press oversimplifies complex issues and sometimes writes about scientific matters with distrust and fear. Journalists point out researchers' alleged lack of communication skills and will. The meeting was organised to address these issues in a practical way.

    [13] Frits Bolkestein speaks in Paris on Commission response to current situation in financial markets

    In a speech today to the Europlace International Financial Forum in Paris, European Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein noted five lessons for the future from the US corporate scandals which have contributed to current uncertainties in global financial markets. "We must have factual, not fictional accounting… underperforming executives should not be over- rewarded… we need efficient EU takeover rules.. investors must never drop their guard … and companies must be more responsive to shareholders." He stressed that the EU's Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) was already addressing corporate governance, accounting, auditing, prudential and disclosure issues but pledged that the Commission would avoid complacency : "Only the very foolish would pretend that recent events in America could not or will not happen here". He announced that on 23rd July he has asked high-level representatives of Finance Ministries and EU regulators to come to Brussels to exchange views on market developments, corporate governance and accounting issues. The Commissioner stressed that the FSAP is not an "à la carte" menu : it must be implemented in full by the 2005 deadline. He called for all sectors of the financial economy to respond to the Commission's extensive consultations. He also reminded his audience that Europe is not "an isolated silo" and must work together with the US and others. In conclusion, Mr Bolkestein said that the EU has "a unique opportunity to craft the best rules in the world" and to ensure they are implemented evenly and enforced rigorously with proper, convergent supervisory structures across the Union. "We stand at a crossroads of European financial history", he said.

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Note sur la préparation du Conseil Ecofin

    Further clarifications on US Farm Act

    Speaking points by Romano Prodi at the press conference on the mid-term review of the CAP (10/07)

    Press statement of Romano Prodi on the occasion of Australian Prime Minister Howard's visit (10/07)

    Speech by Günter Verheugen : "Aus Geschichte lernen und Zukunft gestalten" at the Centre for International Relations (Warsaw, ! embargo 5 pm !)

    Présentation par M. Fischler de l'examen à mi-parcours de la politique agricole de l'UE au comité consultatif ('Beratender Ausschuß')


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


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