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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-06-16

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] Commission reaction to Czech EU referendum
  • [02] EU unveils vision for the energy source of the 21st century : hydrogen and fuel cell technology
  • [03] "L'économie fondée sur l'hydrogène un pont vers l'énergie durable"
  • [04] Fuel cells agreement : EU and US forge links to provide sustainable energy sources for the future
  • [05] "Pour la diversité - Contre la discrimination" : Anna Diamantopoulou intervient pour promouvoir la connaissance des nouvelles dispositions européennes anti-discrimination
  • [06] "Who plays by the fisheries rules ?" - Commission launches public compliance scoreboard on the internet
  • [07] Polluants organiques persistants : la Commission demande instamment à l'UE de ratifier les accords internationaux
  • [08] La Commission met en place un groupe d'experts indépendants sur les accidents dans le secteur du transport
  • [09] Avian influenza : first easing of restrictions in the Netherlands
  • [10] Monkey Pox virus : Commission bans the import prairie dogs and rodents that could carry the disease
  • [11] L'UE est parmi les premiers à signer la convention-cadre pour la lutte antitabac
  • [12] Commission approves take-over of Fortum shareholdings by E.ON
  • [13] "Pas de réforme de la PAC complète, pas de sécurité pour planifier pour les agriculteurs", dit Franz Fischler
  • [14] Northern Dimension Action Plan
  • [15] Message of congratulations from Chris Patten on the occasion of the solemn undertaking by the Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo
  • [16] Erkki Liikanen to visit Slovakia and the Czech Republic
  • [17] Commission supports OIE global conference on animal welfare
  • [18] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 16/06/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 16/06/2003

  • [01] Commission reaction to Czech EU referendum

    With a loud and clear "yes" to EU membership, the Czech people have now joined their neighbours of Central Europe in freely deciding to end decades of divisions and achieve peace, stability and prosperity on our continent. The Commission pays tribute to the Czech citizens for their unambiguous support. This outcome is to be seen, above all, as the achievement of Czech society itself, which, during the dark years of communist dictatorship and since the velvet revolution, was at the forefront of changes and courageously carried out tough reforms to transform the country into a modern democracy and a functioning market economy. The Commission is convinced that the Czech republic, located at the heart of Europe, with its rich historic and cultural heritage, will take full advantage of EU membership and play a central role in the forthcoming developments of the European Union. Commenting on the results, Commission President Romano Prodi said : "This is a good day for Europe, another proof that our peoples belong together. I warmly welcome the Czech people as a member of the European democratic family." Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen said : "The 'Prague spring' in 1968 convinced me that there is not much anyone can teach the Czechs about freedom, democracy and human rights. The entire EU will benefit from the Czech particular sensitivity on questions of equal treatment, human rights, equal opportunities and in the handling of relations with our neighbours."

    [02] EU unveils vision for the energy source of the 21st century : hydrogen and fuel cell technology

    Could most people in Europe be driving cars fuelled by hydrogen in just a few decades time ? Does hydrogen represent the new frontier of global energy and transport ? The report on "Hydrogen and fuel cells a vision for our future" presented today by a high-level expert group to the Commission, sets out scenarios for the widespread use of this clean technology of the future. The report, discussed by Commission President Romano Prodi, Vice- President and Energy and Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio and Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin at a major conference in Brussels, recommends launching a Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technology Platform to bring together key players in this sector. The Platform should provide the basis for an effective public-private business partnership, and identify research and development, and deployment priorities for the future. The report also highlights the need for a range of regulatory, fiscal and financial measures to help make an everyday reality of the hydrogen technology and its many potential uses.

    [03] "L'économie fondée sur l'hydrogène un pont vers l'énergie durable"

    Les 16 et 17 juin le groupe de haut niveau sur l'hydrogène et les piles à combustible présentera à Bruxelles son premier rapport sur ce secteur prometteur. L'hydrogène et les piles à combustible sont considérés par beaucoup comme des solutions énergétiques clés pour le XXIe siècle, car ils permettent la production non polluante et efficace d'électricité et de chaleur à partir d'un large éventail de sources d'énergie primaires. En octobre 2002, la Commission a établi le groupe de haut niveau pour les technologies de l'hydrogène et des piles à combustible, qui se compose de personnalités éminentes représentant les parties intéressées du secteur en question. Il s'agit de déterminer quelle contribution l'hydrogène et les piles à combustible peuvent apporter dans la réalisation de l'objectif de l'Union européenne en matière de systèmes énergétiques durables, et d'examiner ce qui devrait être fait au niveau européen pour trouver les réponses adéquates au niveau de la recherche, de l'industrie et de l'action politique.

    [04] Fuel cells agreement : EU and US forge links to provide sustainable energy sources for the future

    In the transition to a hydrogen economy, fuel cells could provide the planet with a sustainable energy supply to replace rapidly diminishing fossil fuels. Turning this vision into a reality took a further step forward today with the signing of a EU-US co-operation agreement on fuel cells technology. The agreement brokered by European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin and the US Secretary or Energy, Mr Spencer Abraham, aims to strengthen research links, by bringing together EU and US researchers from both the public and private sectors. Key challenges for fuel cells to become commercially competitive are cost reductions, improved performance and durability. Research and technological development will explore how these barriers can be overcome. The Commission and the US Government will discuss shortly joint EU-US research projects in this field.

    [05] "Pour la diversité - Contre la discrimination" : Anna Diamantopoulou intervient pour promouvoir la connaissance des nouvelles dispositions européennes anti-discrimination

    Connaîtriez-vous vos droits si vous étiez victime de discrimination ? Selon une nouvelle enquête Eurobaromètre sur les attitudes vis-à-vis de la discrimination, seul un Européen sur trois répond par l'affirmative. Sensibiliser les gens à leurs droits est l'un des objectifs clés d'une nouvelle campagne européenne d'une durée de cinq ans, destinée à lutter contre la discrimination fondée sur la race ou l'origine ethnique, la religion ou les convictions, l'âge, un handicap ou l'orientation sexuelle. Cette campagne a été lancée aujourd'hui à Bruxelles par Anna Diamantopoulou, membre de la Commission responsable de l'emploi et des affaires sociales. Le lancement intervient à la veille de l'entrée en vigueur de deux nouvelles directives européennes anti-discrimination.

    [06] "Who plays by the fisheries rules ?" - Commission launches public compliance scoreboard on the internet

    Today, the European Commission launched a public scoreboard on compliance with EU fisheries rules. The publicly accessible scoreboard is part of the new, more transparent and efficient Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This Commission initiative represents a clear and accessible source of information about Member States' compliance with their obligations in a number of areas of the CFP. It also provides information about the state of infringement procedures in relation to fisheries. It highlights the problem of overfishing. According to the scoreboard, 76% of all infringement procedures against Member States for failure to comply with fisheries obligations relate to cases of overfishing. The scoreboard also shows weaknesses in Member States' compliance with their obligations to collect and transmit data to the Commission at specified intervals. These weaknesses are partly responsible for overfishing. This is particularly alarming at a time when a growing number of fish stocks are in danger of collapse.

    [07] Polluants organiques persistants : la Commission demande instamment à l'UE de ratifier les accords internationaux

    La Commission européenne a proposé que l'Union européenne ratifie deux accords internationaux relatifs aux polluants organiques persistants (POP). Ces accords, la convention de Stockholm et le protocole de la CEE-ONU relatif aux POP, visent à faire disparaître progressivement les substances chimiques les plus toxiques du monde en contrôlant leur production, leur utilisation, leur importation, leur exportation, leurs émissions et leur élimination. Dans le même temps, la Commission a décidé de proposer un règlement en vertu duquel les obligations résultant des accords internationaux seront exécutées et qui permettra à l'UE de ratifier rapidement les accords.

    [08] La Commission met en place un groupe d'experts indépendants sur les accidents dans le secteur du transport

    La Commission européenne a annoncé aujourd'hui sa décision de mettre en place un "groupe d'experts pour conseiller la Commission sur une stratégie en matière d'accidents du transport". Des enquêtes techniques indépendantes visant à découvrir les causes profondes des accidents du transport pourraient renforcer la sécurité en jouant un rôle préventif. La mission du groupe d'experts sera de conseiller la Commission quant à la nécessité d'améliorer la législation existante et, si nécessaire, de présenter de nouvelles initiatives concernant l'ensemble des modes de transport, y compris le transport de l'énergie (oléoducs et gazoducs).

    [09] Avian influenza : first easing of restrictions in the Netherlands

    On 13 June, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health agreed to re-authorise as of 18 June the export of live poultry and hatching eggs from certain parts of the Netherlands, provided no further outbreaks or suspicions are recorded. Restrictions remain in place for the five provinces with surveillance zones. No further decisions were taken for Belgium and Germany.

    [10] Monkey Pox virus : Commission bans the import prairie dogs and rodents that could carry the disease

    The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) agreed unanimously to ban the import of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) from the USA and rodents of non domestic species and squirrels from Sub Saharan Africa because of the risks of monkey pox disease. The decision will now soon be adopted by the European Commission. Monkey pox is an animal disease which is not present in the European Union. In human beings the disease is usually mild but the clinical symptoms may evoke chicken pox or small pox. The presence of the disease has been confirmed in prairie dogs in certain parts of the USA. The information available cannot exclude the possibility that contamination of prairie dogs is linked to contacts with rodents of non domestic species (Gambian rat) imported from Africa where the disease is endemic. The known reservoirs in the endemic zone are squirrels and rodents of non domestic species in the African rain forest. Despite the name of the name of the disease, monkeys and primates are infected accidentally through direct or close contact with infected reservoir hosts. The SCFCAH concluded that it is appropriate to take measures to ban the import of prairie dogs from the USA and reservoir species from the endemic zone.

    [11] L'UE est parmi les premiers à signer la convention-cadre pour la lutte antitabac

    David Byrne, le commissaire européen chargé de la santé et de la protection des consommateurs et la présidence grecque du Conseil sont parmi les premiers à signer aujourd'hui à Genève la convention-cadre pour la lutte antitabac au nom de l'Union européenne. La convention est ouverte à la signature à partir d'aujourd'hui. Dès que 40 pays l'auront ratifiée, elle aura force de loi dans ces pays et dans les pays qui la ratifieront par la suite. La convention antitabac est une convention mixte, qui doit être ratifiée à la fois par l'Union et par ses Etats membres. Avant la cérémonie de ratification, Gro Harlem Brundtland remettra le prix spécial de la journée mondiale sans tabac du directeur général de l'OMS à David Byrne pour sa "contribution remarquable à la lutte européenne et mondiale contre le tabac". L'UE a joué un rôle prépondérant dans l'élaboration et la promotion des politiques de lutte contre le tabac au sein de l'Union ainsi que dans le processus d'adoption de la convention antitabac.

    [12] Commission approves take-over of Fortum shareholdings by E.ON

    The European Commission has approved the take-over by German energy company E.ON AG of three regional electricity utilities controlled by the Finish Fortum Corporation : Fortum Kraftwerk Burghausen GmbH (Germany), Edenderry Power Ltd. (Ireland) and Fortum Distribution Smaland AB (Sweden). Given the minimal overlaps produced by the transaction in the market for power generation and supply in Germany, the Commission has decided not to oppose the operation.

    [13] "Pas de réforme de la PAC complète, pas de sécurité pour planifier pour les agriculteurs", dit Franz Fischler

    Lors d'une conférence de presse le 13 juin, le Commissaire européen à l'Agriculture Franz Fischler à souligné que l'UE était bien partie pour être en mesure d'adopter, dès la semaine suivante, une réforme complète et équilibrée de l'agriculture. "Les pourparlers bilatéraux très approfondis ont été extrêmement utiles pour les Etats membres, mais aussi pour la présidence et pour la Commission ; à tous, ils ont apporté des éléments de réflexion quant aux points à propos desquels des compromis judicieux peuvent se concrétiser, et aux moyens à mettre en œuvre à cet effet. Les travaux étant interrompus jusqu'à mardi, nous allons tous pouvoir mettre cette pause à profit pour mener une réflexion approfondie. Nous devons nous décider : voulons-nous donner à nos agriculteurs une perspective claire jusqu'en 2013, ou bien nous contenterons-nous d'une simple évaluation à mi- parcours ? Dans la seconde hypothèse, il faut avoir la franchise de dire aux agriculteurs que nous serons très vite acculés à la nécessité de mener un débat sur trois thèmes récurrents, à savoir la réforme, le financement et les excédents, en particulier de beurre. Si l'on se contente d'une réforme au rabais, qui donnerait de nouveaux arguments à nos détracteurs, tant en Europe que dans le reste du monde, pour saper la politique agricole, on ne servira ni les agriculteurs, ni les contribuables, ni les consommateurs. Le seul résultat d'une telle réformette, ce serait d'imposer, à échéance de quelques années, un nouveau débat sur la réforme. Voilà pourquoi je suis fermement résolu à arrêter maintenant une réforme complète, qui permette de remédier aux insuffisances de la politique agricole et donc de la renforcer", a-t-il dit.

    [14] Northern Dimension Action Plan

    The European Commission has adopted its proposals to the Council for the Second Northern Dimension Action Plan. This sets out a framework of priorities, objectives and actions to be pursued in the implementation of the Northern Dimension in the external and cross-border policies of the European Union over the period 2004-2006. Chris Patten, Commissioner for External Relations said : "The clear focus given by the Action Plan, both at the policy level and in terms of concrete priority actions, will be instrumental in helping the Northern Dimension region as a whole seize the opportunities offered by EU enlargement. In particular, and within the context of our Wider Europe policy, it will also help strengthen our cooperation with the Russian Federation, and with North-West Russia as a neighbour."

    [15] Message of congratulations from Chris Patten on the occasion of the solemn undertaking by the Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo

    "I extend my warmest congratulations to you on the occasion of your solemn undertaking in open court to exercise your functions impartially and conscientiously as Prosecutor in the International Criminal Court. As Prosecutor, you and your Office will play a vital role in initiating investigations and conducting trials designed to bring to justice those who have committed the most serious crimes of international concern. I wish you well in the discharge of those duties. You will be aware that the European Union has been a staunch supporter of the ICC with strong political, diplomatic and financial backing for the new court. I have no doubt that the EU will continue to offer full support to the ICC as it translates the commitment of those States which have ratified the Rome Statute into concrete action to combat impunity and advance international justice."

    [16] Erkki Liikanen to visit Slovakia and the Czech Republic

    European Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen will travel to Slovakia and the Czech Republic on 16 and 17 June 2003 to discuss policy initiatives and progress in implementing EU legislation ("acquis communautaire") in the areas of industrial goods and telecommunications before these countries' accession on 1 May 2004. In the Czech Republic, Commissioner Liikanen will arrive only a couple of days after the Czech referendum on EU accession (77,3% in favour of accession), on June 13 and 14, 2003. He will meet among others, Mr Urban, Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr Mlynar, Minister of Informatics, Mr Kohout, State Secretary for European Integration. He will also meet business representatives and participate in the EEMA conference, the European forum for electronic business. In Slovakia the Commissioner will meet, among others, Mr Nemcsics, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy and Mr Prokopovic, Minister of Transport, Post and Telecommunications and participate in the conference "TELE.COM 2003".

    [17] Commission supports OIE global conference on animal welfare

    In order to engage stakeholders and explain the International Animal Health Organization's (OIE) new strategy on animal welfare, the OIE will convene the "First Global Conference on Animal Welfare" in Paris, France on 23-25 February 2004. European Commissioner David Byrne, responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, will attend the conference. The Commission is actively involved in the organisation of this conference. In addition to providing logistical support and conference interpretation, the Commission will assist with the publication of the conference proceedings as an educational tool. The best way to achieve the harmonisation of international standards in the field of animal welfare is by basing standards on the best scientific knowledge available. For over 75 years, the OIE has played a key role in protecting animal health world-wide, thus becoming the world organisation for animal health, recognised by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Due to the essential relationship between animal health and animal welfare, the representatives of its 164 Member Countries asked the OIE to take the international lead role in animal welfare. The February conference will bring together stakeholders (governmental authorities, scientists, private sector and non-profit NGOs) from around the world to support the OIE in its animal welfare activities and to assess how they could contribute most effectively. It will also support the OIE in a science-based approach to the development of international standards for the welfare of animals in agriculture and aquaculture. Further information: a specific website for this conference has been established at the following address: http://www.oie.int/eng/Welfare_2004/home.htm. Requests for press accreditation should be sent to Maria Zampaglione (m.zampaglione@oie.int)

    [18] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Romano Prodi : "The European project in the world: between values and politics" at the Fondazione Don Tonino Bello (13/06, Lecce)

    Speech by Pascal Lamy : "EU's enlargement will contribute to the deepening of EU-China relations" at the EU Chamber of Commerce in China (13/06, Beijing)

    Speech by Loyola de Palacio : "Energy and Transport policy and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cells" at the hydrogen economy conference

    Discours de M. Busquin : "Recherche et Développement : réaliser le potentiel de l'hydrogène et des piles à combustible" à la Conférence sur l'économie de l'hydrogène

    Speech by Romano Prodi : "The energy vector of the future" at the Conference on the Hydrogen Economy


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


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