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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-11-06

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 approche communautaire de la sûreté nucléaire dans l'UE
  • [02] Commission proposes to ensure the continuing availability of Euratom loans for nuclear safety and decommissioning projects in candidate and other non-member countries
  • [03] La Commission adopte un règlement qui facilite les aides d'Etat en faveur de l'emploi
  • [04] Brian Gray appointed Deputy Director General of DG Budget
  • [05] Commission establishes new administration offices to increase its internal efficiency and reallocate resources to core tasks
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [06] Commission proposes fisheries action plan to counter the socio- economic impact of stock depletion
  • [07] Commission clears acquisition of ABB's financial services business by GE
  • [08] Commission clears acquisition by RTL of Holtzbrinck's stake in the German TV channel n-tv
  • [09] Further liberalisation of agricultural trade with Slovenia
  • [10] Franz Fischler visits Czech Republic
  • [11] Textiles quotas eliminated under EU-Brazil agreement signed today
  • [12] Pascal Lamy meets UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (05/11, New York)
  • [13] Vice Prime-Minister Khristenko and Director-General Lamoureux open the EU-Russia Technology Centre as a platform for the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 06/11/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 06/11/2002[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Vers une approche communautaire de la sûreté nucléaire dans l'UE

    (! embargo 15h00 !) La Commission européenne a proposé un paquet inédit de mesures en vue de doter enfin l'Union européenne d'une véritable approche communautaire de la sûreté nucléaire et de la sécurité d'approvisionnement. Ces propositions concernent la sûreté des installations nucléaires en exploitation et en cours de démantèlement, la gestion des déchets radioactifs et le commerce des matières nucléaires avec la Russie. Elles visent la mise en place de normes communes et de mécanismes de contrôle qui garantiront l'application uniforme des mêmes critères de sûreté ayant force de droit sur le territoire de l'UE. "Il est de notre responsabilité d'assurer une approche commune de la sûreté nucléaire et de la gestion des déchets : les citoyens européens ne nous pardonneraient pas l'inaction de l'UE dans ce domaine", a déclaré Loyola de Palacio, vice-présidente en charge de l'Energie et des Transports. "Indépendamment des choix de politique énergétique des Etats membres, une action cohérente de l'UE dans ce secteur est nécessaire, encore renforcée par l'échéance prochaine de l'élargissement. Les lacunes de la législation communautaire en matière de sûreté nucléaire doivent être comblées", a-t-elle également rappelé.

    [02] Commission proposes to ensure the continuing availability of Euratom loans for nuclear safety and decommissioning projects in candidate and other non-member countries

    On behalf of Euratom, the European Commission has agreed to ask the Council to increase the borrowing ceiling to cover Euratom lending to eligible projects, notably related to nuclear safety and decommissioning of installations in candidate and other non-member countries. The proposals also require agreement of the Council and the European Parliament.

    [03] La Commission adopte un règlement qui facilite les aides d'Etat en faveur de l'emploi

    La Commission européenne a adopté un règlement sur les aides à l'emploi destinées à faciliter les initiatives de création d'emplois des Etats membres. Selon le nouveau règlement, ceux-ci peuvent accorder des aides à la création d'emplois et à l'embauche de travailleurs défavorisés et handicapés sans devoir solliciter l'autorisation préalable de la Commission. Pour les chômeurs de longue durée et autres travailleurs défavorisés, les Etats membres peuvent prendre à leur compte jusqu'à l'équivalent de 50% des charges salariales et des cotisations obligatoires de sécurité sociale d'une année. Dans le cas des handicapés, les Etats membres peuvent prendre à leur charge jusqu'à 60% de ces coûts. Le nouveau règlement ne préjuge pas d'autres catégories d'aides à l'emploi, mais ces mesures devront être notifiées et seront examinées par la Commission cas par cas.

    [04] Brian Gray appointed Deputy Director General of DG Budget

    The European Commission has appointed Mr Brian Gray, Commission official of British nationality, Deputy Director General of DG Budget. Mr Gray will be responsible for relations with the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament, the Court of Auditors and for the discharge procedure. He will participate in the implementation of the reform of the Commission, particularly in financial management and in the modernisation of the Commission's accounting system.

    [05] Commission establishes new administration offices to increase its internal efficiency and reallocate resources to core tasks

    The European Commission has approved the establishment of three new Offices aimed at rationalising the day-to-day management of administrative and support services, particularly those that are currently carried out by the Directorate General for Personnel and Administration. In transferring part of the tasks to three Offices, one for the payment of all Commission staff entitlements, the other two for the management of Commission infrastructure in Brussels and Luxembourg, the Commission is seeking to increase the effectiveness of the delivery of these services to the benefit of staff. The new Offices, due to begin work in January, will lead once fully operational and after the end of the transition phase - to annual savings on overall operating costs of up to €12 million, roughly 14% of the current cost of providing these services. These efficiency gains could increase further if the other EU institutions agreed to pool their responsibilities in these fields. The decisions adopted today follow exhaustive consultations with the Commission staff unions.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [06] Commission proposes fisheries action plan to counter the socio- economic impact of stock depletion

    The European Commission has proposed an action plan to respond to the potential social, economic and regional consequences of restructuring the fishing industry caused by the dire state of several fish stocks. This action plan, which was prepared after consultations with the Member States, identifies the possible impact of the fishing effort limitation in certain areas for certain stocks proposed by the Commission in the context of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The measures set out in the action plan should be used by Member States to alleviate the short-term consequences of the proposed conservation measures for affected fishermen and other operators in the fishing industry. They include the reprogramming of €611 million under the FIFG for social measures and for reducing fleet capacity, specific measures in favour of small-scale fishing, the improvement of living and working conditions on board, as well as social protection in the fisheries sector and measures to help young fishermen. Substantial EU funds can be used to help affected fishermen, vessel owners and other operators to cope with economic and social problems. Currently only 3% of the total amount of financial aid under the FIFG have been programmed for social measures, compared to 22% for fleet renewal and modernisation. The action plan concludes that although there will be a social cost to reducing fishing effort within the framework of multi-annual management plans, the cost of postponing the measures required by the present over-exploitation of common fisheries resources would be even greater. Bilateral consultations with Member States have confirmed that it is not possible at this stage to make a reliable estimate of affected jobs, as no decision has been taken yet on multi-annual management plans.

    [07] Commission clears acquisition of ABB's financial services business by GE

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition of ABB's Structured Finance Business (ABB SF) by GE Capital Corp. (GE Capital), a subsidiary of US-based General Electric Corp. A careful analysis of the transaction has shown that GE Capital's business will be constrained by sufficient competition from the remaining players in the market and, therefore, consumers and vendors will face an environment where a wide choice of financial solutions and suppliers is maintained. The acquisition has an impact mainly in the business equipment leasing markets in Norway and Sweden.

    [08] Commission clears acquisition by RTL of Holtzbrinck's stake in the German TV channel n-tv

    The European Commission has cleared the acquisition by RTL Television of Holtzbrinck's 47% stake in the joint venture n-tv, a German news TV channel. Following this transaction n-tv will be jointly controlled by RTL and AOL Time Warner.

    [09] Further liberalisation of agricultural trade with Slovenia

    In the framework of the "double profit" agreements between the EU and candidate countries, the European Commission today adopted a proposal for a Council Decision in view of additional liberalisation of agricultural trade with Slovenia. The agreement with an additional duty free trade coverage of around €100 million incorporates a substantial improvement in existing concessions and addresses further new concessions in the cereals sectors. The deal includes granting reciprocal duty-free tariff quotas of 20000 tonnes on wheat, 9000 tonnes on rye, 32000 tonnes on barley and 20000 tonnes for maize. Both sides agreed complete liberalisation for other cereals, malt and molasses, as well as over 220 other agricultural products, in particular in the fruit and vegetable sectors. The agreement also involves a commitment from the parties to remove export refunds for the cereal sectors. The proposal has now to be adopted by the Council and will most likely enter into force on 1 January 2003. In parallel, the Slovenian authorities are in the process of implementing the concession agreed for EU exports to Slovenia.

    [10] Franz Fischler visits Czech Republic

    With the enlargement negotiations approaching the finishing line and following the Brussels Summit, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Franz Fischler's visit will serve as an excellent opportunity to touch base on the state of play of the enlargement negotiations on agriculture and on the preparations in the Czech Republic. "I intend to use this trip to reinforce support for the EU accession of the Czech Republic. I want to inform, to explain and to discuss in order to address the concerns and fears of the Czech people. Let there be no doubt. Being in the EU is far better for the Czech rural sector, and offers a far more stable and secure future, than staying out. I am also looking forward to meet my colleagues from all candidate countries to discuss the latest developments regarding the enlargement negotiations", Mr Fischler commented.

    [11] Textiles quotas eliminated under EU-Brazil agreement signed today

    Under the EU-Brazil Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on textiles trade liberalisation signed today, the EU will lift all textile quotas it applies vis-à-vis Brazil. In return, Brazil will respect maximum tariff levels, refrain from applying any non-tariff barriers to EU textile and clothing exports, and discontinue the application of an additional tax on textile and clothing imports. European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said : "This agreement is a clear sign that the EU is ready to anticipate opening up its textile market ahead of the WTO deadline of 2005, provided its trading partners are ready to provide better access to their markets. The elimination of trade barriers in textiles is also a contribution to the on- going EU-Mercosur negotiations bringing progress in the roadmap we agreed during our ministerial meeting in July."

    [12] Pascal Lamy meets UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (05/11, New York)

    During his visit to New York on 5 November, European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy met UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Purpose of the visit was to compare notes on the progress achieved to date in the ongoing WTO negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and in particular to explain EU proposals to better integrate developing countries into the multilateral trading system.

    [13] Vice Prime-Minister Khristenko and Director-General Lamoureux open the EU-Russia Technology Centre as a platform for the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue

    Russian Vice-Prime Minister Victor Khristenko and European Commission Director-General for Energy and Transport François Lamoureux, the sole interlocutors for the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue, opened the EU-Russia Technology Centre in Moscow on Tuesday, 5 November 2002. As noted by Mr Lamoureux : "Concrete progress has been made in the dialogue so far, paving the way for a future long-term EU-Russia common energy house."

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Note sur les résultats du Conseil Ecofin

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


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