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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-07-24

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] Commission reports on achievements and internal management and control systems in 2001 and adopts an action plan to speed up reform implementation in specific areas
  • [02] Modernisation du système comptable : vers un cadre intégré fondé sur le principe de la comptabilité d'exercice
  • [03] Commission exempts multilateral interchange fees for cross-border Visa card payments
  • [04] Commission fines seven companies in Dutch industrial gases cartel
  • [05] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Sulzer Textil par Promatech sous réserve de cessions d'actifs
  • [06] Commission declares State aid to BAE Berliner Batteriefabrik and MODAC compatible with the EC Treaty
  • [07] Commission declares State aid to Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau incompatible with the EC Treaty
  • [08] Italie / Province de Trente : la Commission approuve partiellement l'aide prévue pour soulager le réseau routier d'une partie du trafic de marchandises
  • [09] Commission appoints new Head of Fisheries, new Deputy Secretary General and Deputies in Trade and Competition
  • [10] Nicolas Théry nommé chef de cabinet du Commissaire Pascal Lamy
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [11] World Summit on Sustainable Development : Commission pushes for tangible results and globalisation for the benefit of all
  • [12] La Commission statue définitivement sur les aides françaises à l'industrie houillère pour les années 1998 à 2001
  • [13] High-level exchange of views on financial markets
  • [14] La Commission salue l'approbation d'un nouveau montant de 65 millions d'€ de crédits humanitaires en faveur de l'Afrique australe, de l'Afghanistan et des Palestiniens
  • [15] Reproductive Health in Developing Countries : Commission moves to fill the 'decency gap' with €32 million package
  • [16] Pascal Lamy and Chris Patten agree with Mercosur counterparts ambitious programme for EU-Mercosur trade negotiations
  • [17] Franz Fischler visits Japan and Thailand to press for more political involvement in Doha Round Midday Express 24/07/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 24/07/2002[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Commission reports on achievements and internal management and control systems in 2001 and adopts an action plan to speed up reform implementation in specific areas

    The European Commission has examined Reports from all Directors General and Heads of Service on the contributions made by all Departments to the Commission's five year strategic objectives and on the manner in which the services were managed. The review centred on the adoption by the Commission of a Synthesis Report on the first-ever series of Annual Activity Reports (AAR's), compiled and signed by every Director-General and Head of Service. In keeping with the provisions of the Commission Reform Strategy, each AAR includes an Assurance Declaration (AD) by each of the top managers on the proper and efficient use of funds for the year 2001. The Synthesis Report highlights broad progress on the Commission's strategic objectives, it analyses qualifications and concerns expressed by Directors-General about the current management systems, and it proposes specific actions to remedy identified weaknesses.

    [02] Modernisation du système comptable : vers un cadre intégré fondé sur le principe de la comptabilité d'exercice

    La Commission européenne a pris note des travaux de longue haleine visant à moderniser le système et le cadre comptables. Ces travaux aboutiront à une proposition détaillée qui doit permettre à la Commission de prendre une décision pour fin de 2002 sur les options concernant le développement du projet, son calendrier de mise en œuvre et son coût. Michaele Schreyer, le Commissaire chargé du budget et de la lutte antifraude, a déclaré que "le cadre comptable de la Commission, qui est fondé sur un système de comptabilité de caisse, évolue, comme celui des administrations publiques de certains Etats membres, vers des pratiques comptables de type plus commercial (comptabilité d'exercice) comme l'exige le nouveau règlement financier qui doit entrer en vigueur en 2005". Mme Schreyer a également déclaré que les travaux entrepris ont aussi pour objectif "d'examiner comment appliquer les normes comptables internationales pour le secteur public dans l'environnement de la Commission et comment développer parallèlement le système comptable automatisé pour assurer la production de comptes fiables et complets" non seulement pour les comptes de caisse mais aussi pour les comptes généraux.

    [03] Commission exempts multilateral interchange fees for cross-border Visa card payments

    The European Commission has exempted under the European Union competition rules certain multilateral interchange fees (MIF) for cross-border payments with Visa cards, after the card organisation made major changes to the system. The new MIF will not only be reduced in absolute terms, but will also be capped at the level of relevant costs, significantly improving the situation for retailers and, ultimately, the consumer.

    [04] Commission fines seven companies in Dutch industrial gases cartel

    The European Commission has fined seven producers of industrial and medical gases a total of €25.72 million for participating in a secret cartel in the Netherlands between September 1993 and December 1997. The illicit arrangement concerned the supply of several gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and argon for which the cartel members colluded to keep prices high. This is the third cartel decision taken by the Commission this year and further highlights its determination to crack down on price-fixing agreements which harm customers, industrial consumers and, as is the case for medical gases, also taxpayers.

    [05] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Sulzer Textil par Promatech sous réserve de cessions d'actifs

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'acquisition de Sulzer Textil, la division des machines textiles de la société suisse Sulzer Ltd., par l'entreprise italienne Promatech SpA, qui fabrique également des machines à tisser. Une enquête approfondie a montré que l'opération aurait conduit à la création d'une position dominante sur le marché ouest-européen des machines à tisser à pinces, mais Promatech a remédié à ce problème en proposant de céder les unités de production de machines à tisser à pinces situées à Vérone (Italie) et à Solothurn (Suisse).

    [06] Commission declares State aid to BAE Berliner Batteriefabrik and MODAC compatible with the EC Treaty

    The European Commission has decided not to raise objections to notified rescue aid of an amount of about one million € in favour of BAE Berliner Batteriefabrik and its subsidiary MODAC. Both companies manufacture and sell industrial batteries. They are based in Berlin and have 342 employees.

    [07] Commission declares State aid to Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau incompatible with the EC Treaty

    The European Commission has decided to declare non-notified State aid of an amount of around €1 million to Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau GmbH, a company based in Ilmenau, Thüringen, Germany, as incompatible with the common market. Germany must take all necessary measures to recover the aid unlawfully made available to the beneficiary.

    [08] Italie / Province de Trente : la Commission approuve partiellement l'aide prévue pour soulager le réseau routier d'une partie du trafic de marchandises

    La Commission européenne a autorisé le volet principal d'un régime d'aide spécifique élaboré par la Province autonome de Trente pour encourager le recours à d'autres modes de transport que la route pour le fret. La Commission a toutefois décidé d'enquêter sur l'une des dispositions de ce régime, qui concerne l'investissement dans les équipements ferroviaires.

    [09] Commission appoints new Head of Fisheries, new Deputy Secretary General and Deputies in Trade and Competition

    Mr Jörgen Holmquist, currently Deputy Director General of DG Budget, was today appointed Director General for DG Fish. Mr. Eckart Guth, currently Head of the Private Office of Commissioner Schreyer will become the Deputy Secretary General in charge of relations with other the other institutions. Mr Pierre Defraigne, currently Head of Private Office of Commissioner Lamy, was appointed Deputy Director General for Trade and finally Mr Claude Chêne, currently in charge of the design of administrative reform proposals under Vice-President Kinnock, was appointed Deputy Director General for Competition (State Aids).

    [10] Nicolas Théry nommé chef de cabinet du Commissaire Pascal Lamy

    Suite à la nomination de M. Pierre Defraigne aux fonctions de Directeur Général adjoint à la DG Trade, Pascal Lamy a confié la direction de son Cabinet à M. Nicolas Théry, Inspecteur des Finances. M. Théry prendra ses fonctions à compter du 1er septembre 2002. Ancien élève de l'ENA (1989), Nicolas Théry a travaillé quatre ans à l'Inspection générale des finances avant de rejoindre la direction du Trésor, au sein du bureau "marché des changes et balance des paiements" puis comme chef du bureau "entreprises d'assurances". En juin 1997, il a été nommé conseiller pour les affaires monétaires et financières puis pour les questions européennes et internationales au Cabinet de Dominique Strauss-Khan, Ministre français de l'économie, des finances et de l'industrie. Après avoir été Directeur de Cabinet de Florence Parly, Secrétaire d'Etat au Budget, il a rejoint le syndicat CFDT en septembre 2000, en qualité de secrétaire confédéral chargé des questions économiques.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [11] World Summit on Sustainable Development : Commission pushes for tangible results and globalisation for the benefit of all

    European Commission President Romano Prodi today urged world leaders to attend the upcoming World Summit in Johannesburg and take decisions on global action for global sustainable development. "It is time to move from words to deeds. This requires leadership and commitment. The EU is determined to face its responsibilities and play a leading role in securing tangible results in Johannesburg. Poverty and environmental degradation are global problems requiring global solutions. Ten years after the Rio Conference, action is overdue. With the Millennium Declaration, the Doha development agenda and the Monterrey Consensus we have taken important steps forward in securing international commitment. We have agreed to improve market access and increase development aid. In Johannesburg developed and developing countries must work hand-in-hand to make globalisation work for everyone by agreeing on objectives and partnerships to make development sustainable and reverse environmental degredation. We will take important initiatives in the areas of water and energy. I call on others to follow our lead." President Prodi will attend the Summit in Johannesburg, which will last from 26 August to 4 September. The Commission will also be represented by Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström and Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Poul Nielson.

    [12] La Commission statue définitivement sur les aides françaises à l'industrie houillère pour les années 1998 à 2001

    La France est autorisée à accorder une aide à la réduction d'activité complémentaire à celle déjà autorisée par la Commission pour les années 1998 et 2001, à concurrence de 5,9 millions d'€. Pour les années 1999 et 2000, la France doit récupérer auprès de Charbonnages de France un montant d'aides s'élevant à 4,5 millions d'€.

    [13] High-level exchange of views on financial markets

    The current market situation in the wake of corporate scandals in the US is being closely monitored by all EU regulators and supervisors, and by the European Commission. The overall macroeconomic picture remains broadly encouraging and provides a good basis for restoring confidence. The EU is well on the way towards establishing, primarily through the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP), the right policy framework to protect investors, savers and policyholders, and to boost European markets. Continued and enhanced cooperation at EU level, both in terms of its long- term strategy and in response to market developments, is crucial for the development of strong and stable markets so that regulation can be effectively enforced. These were the main points to emerge from the exchange of views in Brussels yesterday, chaired by Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein. The meeting brought together senior representatives of EU Finance Ministries, financial services supervisors and senior market participants. The Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Pedro Solbes, also spoke about the broad economic situation.

    [14] La Commission salue l'approbation d'un nouveau montant de 65 millions d'€ de crédits humanitaires en faveur de l'Afrique australe, de l'Afghanistan et des Palestiniens

    Poul Nielson, Commissaire européen chargé du Développement et de l'Aide humanitaire, a fait part au Conseil de ministres et au Parlement européen de sa satisfaction pour leur réaction rapide à la demande d'octroi de ressources humanitaires supplémentaires présentées récemment par la Commission. Les deux institutions ont accepté de libérer un nouveau montant de 65 millions d'€ de la réserve d'urgence du budget de la CE afin de faire face aux besoins humanitaires constatés en Afrique australe, en Afghanistan et au Moyen-Orient. Evoquant plus particulièrement la progression rapide de la crise alimentaire en Afrique australe, M. Nielson a indiqué que "grâce à ECHO et à l'Office de coopération EuropeAID, la Commission a déjà engagé près de 90 millions € pour contribuer à atténuer les souffrances. Ces nouvelles ressources nous permettent toutefois de doper encore notre effort en ce moment crucial. Alors que les stocks d'aliments atteindront probablement un bas niveau désastreux avant même que n'arrive la prochaine récolte, le besoin d'une assistance à grande échelle et, notamment, un soutien nutritionnel, des soins de santé et d'autres mesures vitales d'intervention se fait urgent dans les prochaines semaines".

    [15] Reproductive Health in Developing Countries : Commission moves to fill the 'decency gap' with €32 million package

    The European Commission has strengthened its support for sexual and reproduction health with the approval by Member States of a €32 million programme in 22 developing countries. The joint EU-ACP programme is being launched in partnership with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and will help the target countries with family planning and advice on population, health and sexual matters. This decision makes good a promise made by Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Poul Nielson last year to step in and fill the 'decency gap' left by the US Administration's intention to end its support for the UNFPA. Welcoming the green light given to the Commission proposal and commenting on the US move, Mr Nielson said : "We highly value the work carried out by organisations such as the IPPF and the UNFPA. We consider that their efforts in areas such as contraception and HIV/AIDS form part of the solution to challenges in developing countries rather than part of the problem. The US decision is regrettable and counter-productive. The decision to cut funding to the UNFPA may well lead to more unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and increased dangers for mothers and infants. The losers from this decision will be some of the most vulnerable people on this planet. Reproductive health services are crucial elements in the fight against poverty and the UNFPA and the IPPF deserve strong support to continue their activities."

    [16] Pascal Lamy and Chris Patten agree with Mercosur counterparts ambitious programme for EU-Mercosur trade negotiations

    European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten together with their Mercosur counterparts have today injected renewed impetus to the EU-Mercosur relations by agreeing on an ambitious programme for the trade negotiations. Both parties have agreed on a work- programme phasing in the negotiations on all issues under the comprehensive agenda over a calendar of negotiating rounds to take place in 2002 and 2003. At the conclusion of the meeting both Commissioners said : "The agreement reached today fulfils the mandate given to us at the Madrid summit to intensify the negotiating process. It clearly reflects the importance that both parties attach to the process of regional integration between the EU and Mercosur. This is also an occasion for us to show the continued EU support for this region."

    [17] Franz Fischler visits Japan and Thailand to press for more political involvement in Doha Round

    From 24 to 29 July European Commissioner Franz Fischler, responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, will pay an official visit to Japan and Thailand. His first stop will be Tokyo where the Commissioner will meet representatives of the Japanese government. In Nara he will then attend the "QUINT", an informal meeting of Japan, the US, Australia, Canada and the EU. This meeting will give the farm ministers and the Commissioner an opportunity to have an open exchange of views on WTO negotiations on agriculture, non-trade concerns, the process of reform of agriculture policies, and the role of new technologies. Commenting on his visit, Mr Fischler said : "The EU is fully committed to a successful outcome of the Doha Development Round. I'll impress upon my colleagues the need for increased political involvement, and for seeking a balanced result between the different countries and in particular developing and developed countries, in order to make the Doha agenda bear fruit. This meeting will also give me the opportunity to present the Commission's proposal to make our Common Agricultural Policy less trade distorting and to discuss the US Farm Bill, which goes exactly in the opposite direction." On 28 July, Mr Fischler is expected to arrive in Thailand, for his first official visit to this country.

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


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