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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-06-26

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] EU fundamentally reforms its farm policy to accomplish sustainable farming in Europe
  • [02] Un règlement européen aligne le coût des virements transfrontaliers en euro sur le prix des virements nationaux
  • [03] Une meilleure information concernant les produits à base de viande sera assurée à partir de juillet 2003
  • [04] Commission clears joint acquisition of Bertelsmann OnLine B.V
  • [05] EU Cohesion Policy in Poland : negotiations on the 2004-2006 programmes will start on 27 June in Warsaw
  • [06] EU and USA agree on opening negotiations on open-skies
  • [07] New Transatlantic Business Dialogue : Erkki Liikanen and Don Evans reaffirm commitment to transatlantic partnership
  • [08] La Commission soutient l'éradication de la torture
  • [09] La Commission octroie 1,2 million d'€ au soutien de l'action humanitaire des Nations unies
  • [10] Customs : EU/China cooperation talks
  • [11] Towards partnership agreements : changes to EU/Greenland fisheries protocol
  • [12] EU and Ivory Coast extend Fisheries Agreement by a year
  • [13] Poul Nielson meets Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Addisu Legesse
  • [14] Une équipe de jeunes cyclistes des 15 et des pays candidats à Paris pour le Centenaire du Tour de France
  • [15] World competition authorities call for enhanced merger review, advocacy and capacity building at ICN conference
  • [16] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 26/06/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 26/06/2003

  • [01] EU fundamentally reforms its farm policy to accomplish sustainable farming in Europe

    Today, EU farm ministers adopted a fundamental reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The reform will completely change the way the EU supports its farm sector. The new CAP will be geared towards consumers and taxpayers, while giving EU farmers the freedom to produce what the market wants. In future, the vast majority of subsidies will be paid independently from the volume of production. To avoid abandonment of production, Member States may choose to maintain a limited link between subsidy and production under well defined conditions and within clear limits. These new "single farm payments" will be linked to the respect of environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards. Severing the link between subsidies and production will make EU farmers more competitive and market orientated, while providing the necessary income stability. More money will be available to farmers for environmental, quality or animal welfare programmes by reducing direct payments for bigger farms. The Council further decided to revise the milk, rice, cereals, durum wheat, dried fodder and nut sectors. In order to respect the tight budgetary ceiling for the EU-25 until 2013, ministers agreed to introduce a financial discipline mechanism. This reform will also strengthen the EU's negotiating hand in the ongoing WTO trade talks. The different elements of the reform will enter into force in 2004 and 2005. The single farm payment will enter into force in 2005. If a Member State needs a transitional period due to its specific agricultural conditions, it may apply the single farm payment from 2007 at the latest.

    [02] Un règlement européen aligne le coût des virements transfrontaliers en euro sur le prix des virements nationaux

    A partir du 1er juillet 2003, les virements transfrontaliers en euros dans l'UE seront traités comme des virements nationaux. Pour le client, cela représentera une économie considérable. L'entrée en vigueur de cette mesure est la conséquence de l'application du Règlement européen 2560/2001 sur les paiements transfrontaliers. Ce Règlement impose l'égalité tarifaire entre un paiement strictement national et un paiement transfrontalier. En juillet 2002, cette disposition était entrée en application pour les paiements par carte et les retraits dans les distributeurs automatiques de billets (voir IP/02/941 et MEMO/02/154). Elle s'appliquera également à partir du 1er juillet pour les virements. En moyenne, ces dernières années, un virement de €100 coûtait €24 en frais (voir IP/01/1293 et MEMO/01/294).

    [03] Une meilleure information concernant les produits à base de viande sera assurée à partir de juillet 2003

    A partir du 1er juillet, grâce aux nouvelles dispositions communautaires, plus strictes, relatives à l'étiquetage des produits à base de viande, les consommateurs seront mieux informés sur les aliments qu'ils consomment. Une directive modifiant l'actuelle réglementation communautaire en matière d'étiquetage est entrée en vigueur le 1er janvier en vue de préciser la définition du terme "viande" utilisée pour l'étiquetage des produits à base de viande ; il convient toutefois de noter que l'ancien et le nouveau type d'étiquetage coexisteront jusqu'à la fin du mois de juin 2003. Pour la plupart des consommateurs, le terme "viande" désigne le muscle. La nouvelle définition leur permettra de savoir s'ils consomment du muscle, de la matière grasse ou des abats. La directive s'applique aux produits contenant de la viande, à l'exclusion des viandes non transformées. Les produits concernés sont les saucisses, les pâtés, les viandes cuites, les plats cuisinés et les conserves de viande.

    [04] Commission clears joint acquisition of Bertelsmann OnLine B.V

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of the dutch undertaking Bertelsmann OnLine B.V., currently a subsidiary of the German Bertelsmann group, by the undertakings Holtzbrinck networXs AG, Verlagsgruppe Weltbild GmbH, and T- Online Venture Gmbh & Co KG. (The operation, notified on 21 May 2003, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [05] EU Cohesion Policy in Poland : negotiations on the 2004-2006 programmes will start on 27 June in Warsaw

    The European Commission today announced the launch of the first round of negotiations with an accession country on future regional development programmes. Negotiations will start on 27 June in Warsaw with Poland. They will be dedicated to the Community Support Framework (CSF) and related Operational Programmes (OP) for the period 2004-2006. In a letter of 18 June, addressed to Jerzy Hausner, Polish Minister of Economy, Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, set out the Commission's position on how Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund should be used in Poland.

    [06] EU and USA agree on opening negotiations on open-skies

    On 25 June, the European Union and the United States of America agreed on the opening of negotiations for an overall agreement on air transport liberalization. The conclusions adopted note that the leaders of the USA and the EU "are pleased to announce their agreement to begin comprehensive air service negotiations in early Autumn following the early June decision of the EU Council to approve a negotiating mandate for the Commission. This is an historic opportunity to build upon the framework of existing agreements with the goal of maximizing benefits for consumers, airlines, and communities on both sides of the Atlantic. The US and the EU will work together in a spirit of cooperation to develop a mutually beneficial approach to this crucial economic sector in a globalised economy." "An aviation agreement between the EU and US would set the model for the rest of the world - these negotiations provide an opportunity to achieve fundamental reform of this sector that we should not waste", said European Commission Vice-President Loyola de Palacio.

    [07] New Transatlantic Business Dialogue : Erkki Liikanen and Don Evans reaffirm commitment to transatlantic partnership

    On 25 June, European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen and his United States counterpart, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, reaffirmed the importance of the transatlantic economic and commercial partnership at a meeting last night in Washington, D.C. The leaders both expressed their belief that the transatlantic partnership is critical for future security and prosperity in Europe, the United States, and around the world.

    [08] La Commission soutient l'éradication de la torture

    A l'occasion de la journée internationale des Nations unies pour le soutien des victimes de la torture, la Commission européenne et le Conseil international pour la réhabilitation des victimes de la torture (IRCT) soutiennent les efforts déployés dans cinq pays - Maroc, Mexique, Géorgie, Sri Lanka et Ouganda pour mettre un frein à la torture. L'initiative vise à favoriser l'application du protocole d'Istanbul dans ces pays. Le protocole est un "Manuel pour enquêter efficacement sur la torture et autres peines ou traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants" que la Commission finance à hauteur de 991.413 €.

    [09] La Commission octroie 1,2 million d'€ au soutien de l'action humanitaire des Nations unies

    La Commission européenne a approuvé l'octroi d'un montant de 1,2 million d'€ pour un ensemble d'aides humanitaires, en vue d'appuyer l'action menée par l'Office de coordination des affaires humanitaires des Nations unies (UNOCHA). Les fonds alloués par l'intermédiaire de l'Office d'aide humanitaire de la Commission européenne (ECHO), placé sous la responsabilité de Poul Nielson : (i) renforceront l'Office de soutien régional de l'UNOCHA en Afrique centrale et orientale et (ii) permettront à l'UNOCHA d'étendre son réseau d'information régional intégré (IRIN), qui fournit des renseignements sur les conditions et crises humanitaires sur le terrain aux acteurs humanitaires internationaux dans 60 pays d'Afrique, d'Asie centrale et du Moyen-Orient.

    [10] Customs : EU/China cooperation talks

    Frits Bolkestein, European Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs, has held talks in Brussels with Mu Xinsheng, Commissioner of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China. The two sides briefed each other on the latest developments in their own respective Customs policy and activities, took stock of the bilateral cooperation exchanges in recent years and, in particular, held productive discussions about the latest development of negotiations on an Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the European Community on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance concerning Customs matters.

    [11] Towards partnership agreements : changes to EU/Greenland fisheries protocol

    The European Commission on behalf of the EU, Denmark and Greenland have initialled a fisheries protocol modifying the current one in line with the new approach set out in the Commission Communication issued last December setting out the need to move from fisheries agreements to partnership agreements. The progressive move towards partnership agreements will be mutually beneficial for all parties by encouraging measures to achieve sustainable fisheries in the waters of the partner concerned. The current protocol covers the period 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2006. These changes include the elimination of 'paper fish', an increase in fishing possibilities for Greenland halibut, Atlantic halibut and shrimps, and the inclusion of a snow crab quota on the basis of scientific advice. Experimental fisheries by EU vessels will be authorised for trial periods on deepsea species, cephalopods, clams and capelin in Greenland waters. If these prove positive, EU vessels will be granted 50% of the fishing opportunities on the new species until the end of this protocol. Licence fees for EU vessel owners fishing under this protocol will be introduced on 1 January 2004. The amount of compensation for fishing possibilities has been agreed at €31,760,679 while €11,059,321 will be allocated for a budgetary programme to support Greenland implement a structural reform of its fisheries sector. Particular emphasis will be put on improving scientific advice. The changes will take effect from 1 January 2004 except for experimental fisheries which can start from 1 July 2003. EU vessels currently operating in Greenland waters come from Germany, Denmark, the UK, Sweden, Spain and Portugal.

    [12] EU and Ivory Coast extend Fisheries Agreement by a year

    The EU and the Ivory Coast have agreed to extend the current Protocol to their Fisheries Agreement for a year from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004. The conditions and the financial compensation will remain exactly the same as they are at present. This Protocol provides fishing possibilities for tuna to 39 tuna seiners, 20 surface longliners and 12 pole and line vessels. The reference tonnage level is 8,500 tonnes per year. It also allows for demersal fishery possibilities up to a level of 600 GRT (gross registered tonnes) per month on an annual average for demersal vessels. The EU financial contribution amounts to €957,500 per year. A substantial percentage of this money (71.3%) goes to targeted measures aimed at promoting scientific and technical programmes, monitoring and control of fishing activities, and supporting the development of fisheries and aquaculture in the Ivory Coast. EU vessels fishing under this agreement come from France, Portugal and Spain.

    [13] Poul Nielson meets Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Addisu Legesse

    The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Poul Nielson, will meet the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Addisu Legesse, on 27 June 2003 from 10h00 to 11h00. A VIP corner will be held in the Commission (rue Geneve 12) immediately after the meeting.

    [14] Une équipe de jeunes cyclistes des 15 et des pays candidats à Paris pour le Centenaire du Tour de France

    A l'occasion de l'édition du Centenaire du Tour de France et à la veille de l'Année européenne de l'éducation par le Sport 2004, la Commission européenne, le ministère français des Sports, l'Union cycliste internationale (UCI) et le Tour invitent à Paris des jeunes cyclistes amateurs pour deux jours de réflexion sur la pratique et les valeurs du sport, et sur les questions liées au cyclisme professionnel, ainsi que pour une Parade, avec les équipes en compétition, dans les rues de Paris à la veille du départ du Tour 2003. Cet événement, qui associera des champions cyclistes, actuels et anciens, aura lieu du 2 au 4 juillet.

    [15] World competition authorities call for enhanced merger review, advocacy and capacity building at ICN conference

    At the end of their second annual conference held in Merida, Mexico, members of the International Competition Network (ICN) adopted a series of recommended practices and presented reports aimed at improving merger review, competition advocacy, and capacity building throughout the world. As a consensus-based organisation, the 80-strong ICN has already contributed significantly to an effective dissemination of sound competition principles, with the ultimate purpose of promoting consumer welfare and job creation. At the same time the ICN is working to reduce costs and burdens on industry, in particular those associated with having to seek merger clearance in a multiplicity of jurisdictions.

    [16] Autre matériel diffusé

    Communiqué de presse commun du Bureau de coordination des affaires humanitaires des Nations unies (OCHA) et de l'Office d'aide humanitaire de la Commission européenne (ECHO) sur l'introduction des nouvelles directives des Nations unies sur l'utilisation des ressources de l'armée et de la protection civile dans le cadre d'opérations d'aide humanitaire d'urgence complexes menées par l'ONU

    Speech by Poul Nielson at the launch of the Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets to Support United Nations Humanitarian Activities in Complex Emergencies

    Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "ICT and productivity: an European perspective" at the European-American Business Council (24/06, Washington)

    Speech by David Byrne : "Controlling the Food and Feed Chain" at the 12th Annual Food Law Conference

    Speech by Loyola de Palacio at the UK-Russia Energy Conference (London)


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


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