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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-06-24

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] Partenariat euro-méditerranéen : la Commission appelle au développement d'un réseau euro-méditerranéen de transport compétitif et fiable
  • [02] Commission assesses the revised 2002 update of the stability programme of the Netherlands (2001-2007)
  • [03] L'accord UE/Canada sur le vin et les boissons spiritueuses met fin à l'utilisation générique de dénominations européennes
  • [04] Commission approves investment aid for European Optic Media Technology in Thüringen
  • [05] Belgian tax regime for US Foreign Sales Corporations not in line with EU State aid rules
  • [06] Formal State aid investigation procedure with respect to restructuring of Bank Burgenland AG
  • [07] United Kingdom authorised to grant investment aid to the coal industry
  • [08] Dutch aid to HVC container terminal : Commission closes investigation
  • [09] Road transport : Commission opens infringement procedure against Austria
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [10] Avian influenza in Germany : all measures lifted
  • [11] La Commission propose d'approuver les règles de l'OMI en matière de responsabilité à l'égard des passagers
  • [12] Europeans say "Yes!" to a strong Europe in space
  • [13] La Commission organise un séminaire destiné à déterminer la demande du marché pour des services accessibles par un numéro de téléphone européen unique (00 3883)
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 24/06/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 24/06/2003[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Partenariat euro-méditerranéen : la Commission appelle au développement d'un réseau euro-méditerranéen de transport compétitif et fiable

    La Commission européenne donne une impulsion significative au développement d'un réseau euro-méditerranéen de transport en rendant publique une analyse de ses aspects économiques, politiques, financiers et de fiabilité. S'inscrivant dans le cadre de sa nouvelle politique de proximité à l'égard des voisins de l'Union et de la réflexion engagée sur l'avenir du réseau transeuropéen de transport (Groupe Van Miert), la Communication adoptée aujourd'hui vise à mieux définir les enjeux du réseau euro-méditerranéen de transport, tout en soulignant les contraintes inhérentes à son développement, qu'il s'agisse des préoccupations de sécurité, de sûreté ou de financement.

    [02] Commission assesses the revised 2002 update of the stability programme of the Netherlands (2001-2007)

    The European Commission has made a recommendation for a Council opinion on the revised 2002 updated stability programme of the Netherlands, which covers the period 2001-2007. The original version of the 2002 update was already submitted in December 2002 but not discussed in the Council because of the prolonged government formation after the 22 January 2003 elections. The sharp economic slowdown which started in 2001 led to a marked deterioration of the general government balance from a surplus of 0.1% of GDP in 2001 to a deficit of 1.2% of GDP in 2002. The revised 2002 update expects the general government deficit to increase to 1.6% of GDP in 2003 and 1.7% of GDP in 2004, despite consolidation measures decided by the new government. In subsequent years the balance is expected to improve in response to a projected recovery of economic growth and further fiscal consolidation. Nevertheless a deficit of 0.5% of GDP would still exist in 2007. The cyclically adjusted budget balance is expected to improve more rapidly and to fall to below 0.5% of GDP in the period 2005 to 2007. However, in both 2003 and 2004 the reduction of the cyclically adjusted deficit is somewhat less than the required half a percentage point of GDP. In the period 2002-2007, the government debt ratio is projected to remain broadly stable, at around 52½% of GDP. The Netherlands complies with the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact. It complies broadly with the 2003 Broad Economic Policy Guidelines. However, given the downside risks attached to the growth projections, additional measures might be needed to ensure that a budgetary position close to balance or in surplus would be achieved in the medium term. On the basis of the Commission recommendation, the Council is expected to adopt a formal Opinion on the revised 2002 update of the stability programme of the Netherlands on 15 July 2003.

    [03] L'accord UE/Canada sur le vin et les boissons spiritueuses met fin à l'utilisation générique de dénominations européennes

    A partir de la mise en œuvre complète de l'accord entre l'Union européenne et le Canada sur le commerce des vins et des boissons spiritueuses, les dénominations 'Port', 'Sherry', 'Chablis', 'Rhine' et 'Marsala' ne seront plus utilisées au Canada que pour désigner des vins européens. En application d'un accord bilatéral, l'UE et le Canada s'engageront à protéger réciproquement les indications géographiques des vins et des boissons spiritueuses. La Commission européenne a approuvé le texte de l'accord et l'a transmis au Conseil en lui recommandant d'en autoriser la signature et l'entrée en vigueur.

    [04] Commission approves investment aid for European Optic Media Technology in Thüringen

    The European Commission has authorised Germany to grant a proposed €35.42 million in aid to help European Optic Media Technology GmbH to build a new plant for the production of optical storage media in Erfurt, Thüringen. The aid will help create jobs a total of 440 jobs in the region. The aid amount remains within the 35%-ceiling of aid allowable under the regional aid rules.

    [05] Belgian tax regime for US Foreign Sales Corporations not in line with EU State aid rules

    Following an in-depth investigation initiated in April 2002, the European Commission has concluded that the special tax regime available to the activities of the so-called "US-Foreign Sales Corporations" located in Belgium does not meet the requirements of the EU State aid rules. Because at the time of the implementation of the scheme the Belgian authorities as well as the beneficiaries had legitimate reasons to believe that the scheme was not a state aid, the Commission has decided not to seek the reimbursement of the fiscal advantages that might have been received.

    [06] Formal State aid investigation procedure with respect to restructuring of Bank Burgenland AG

    The European Commission has decided to initiate the formal investigation procedure concerning the restructuring plan of Bank Burgenland AG. Restructuring became necessary after the bank discovered fraud in 1999. As part of this restructuring operation the Land Burgenland has extended guarantees in favour of Bank Burgenland. The formal investigation proceedings will now clarify whether the measures taken comply with the EU Guidelines on State Aid for Rescuing and Restructuring Firms in Difficulty. In particular, the restructuring plan submitted must restore the long-term viability of the bank.

    [07] United Kingdom authorised to grant investment aid to the coal industry

    The European Commission has decided not to raise any objections to the aid scheme amounting to a maximum of GBP 60 million (€ 86.1 million) which the United Kingdom is proposing to grant to the coal industry to cover investment costs. The Commission considers that the aid is compatible with the proper functioning of the internal market.

    [08] Dutch aid to HVC container terminal : Commission closes investigation

    The European Commission has decided to close its formal investigation into the planned Dutch investment subsidy to N.V. Huisvuilcentrale Noord-Holland (HVC), concluding that the project was compatible with the common market. The aid is intended to promote household waste transport by inland waterways rather than by road transport, by the construction of a container terminal at Alkmaar (Province of Noord-Holland).

    [09] Road transport : Commission opens infringement procedure against Austria

    The European Commission has decided to open an infringement procedure against Austria, which is planning to ban heavy goods vehicles carrying certain goods from a section of the A12 motorway, in Tyrol, from 1 August 2003 on. The Commission decided to act rapidly to enforce the rules in the Treaty and keep the internal market working smoothly. The Austrian authorities have one week to respond to the points raised by the Commission.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [10] Avian influenza in Germany : all measures lifted

    Starting from tomorrow, the export to other Member States and third countries of live poultry and hatching eggs from the whole Land of North- Rhine Westphalia can restart. These restrictions were imposed after an outbreak of avian influenza on 13 May. The rapid and effective action taken by the German authorities allowed to control the disease and limit it to one single outbreak. The repopulation of emptied holdings can also begin, as all investigations of sentinel birds which have been placed in the one previously infected holding have demonstrated the absence of any avian influenza virus. In Belgium, the measures are limited to the surveillance zones since 12 June and in the Netherlands restricitions only apply to the provinces Flevoland, Gelderland, Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Utrecht since 18 June.

    [11] La Commission propose d'approuver les règles de l'OMI en matière de responsabilité à l'égard des passagers

    La Commission européenne a présenté une proposition de décision du Conseil en vertu de laquelle tous les Etats membres de l'UE deviendront parties au nouveau régime de responsabilité des transporteurs à l'égard des passagers transportés par mer élaboré par l'Organisation maritime internationale (OMI). "Ceci améliorera notablement l'indemnisation des passagers du transport maritime dans l'UE, où les régimes sont actuellement très différents et où les montants d'indemnisation prévus en cas de décès ou de blessure d'un passager sont parfois très bas", a déclaré Loyola de Palacio, la vice-présidente de la Commission responsable des questions de transport et d'énergie.

    [12] Europeans say "Yes!" to a strong Europe in space

    A four-month consultation on Europe's future in space came to a close in Paris today, with European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, European Space Agency Director General Antonio Rodotà and other leading players in the space sector calling for a significant increase in European efforts in space research and an upgraded institutional framework. Claudie Haigneré, French Minister for Research and New Technologies, and Letizia Moratti, Italian Minister for Education, Universities and Scientific Research, also attended to propose key measures to drive forward the space ambitions of Europe. Other priorities outlined at the conference included better co- ordination between all sectors at EU and international levels, guaranteed independent access to space for Europe and a flexible system of programme funding. Participants stressed the need to develop space technology, such as Internet by satellite and security applications. The Conference provided important input for the forthcoming EU White Paper on Space Policy, due to be published by the Commission in October 2003.

    [13] La Commission organise un séminaire destiné à déterminer la demande du marché pour des services accessibles par un numéro de téléphone européen unique (00 3883)

    La Commission européenne tiendra aujourd'hui un atelier destiné à déterminer s'il existe ou non une demande, de la part des acteurs du marché, pour la fourniture de services paneuropéens tels que des services d'appel gratuit et des services à tarif majoré accessibles par un numéro de téléphone commun, depuis n'importe quel endroit d'Europe. A ce jour, les numéros nationaux tels que les 0800 et 0900 ne fonctionnent pas toujours au- delà des frontières nationales, tandis que les systèmes mondiaux offrent une couverture inégale. A l'occasion de l'atelier, une série de fournisseurs et producteurs potentiels de services présenteront leur vision des débouchés commerciaux ouverts par un nouvel espace de services téléphoniques, qui garantit connectivité et conditions d'accès à partir de n'importe quel pays de l'Union européenne selon le droit européen.

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Loyola de Palacio : "European energy reforms and the private sector" at Forum for EU-US Legal Economic Affairs (Washington, ! embargo 4 pm !)

    Discours de M. Fischler : "Mittelmeer und Erweiterung" au Conseil de l'Europe (23/06, Strasbourg)


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


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