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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-11-17

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

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 16 novembre 2004 -

  • [01] La Commission prépare le sprint final dans les négociations sur ITER
  • [02] New Member States grant more subsidies than old ones, but amount likely to fall
  • [03] Commission opens formal investigation into possible subsidies to Finland's Componenta
  • [04] La Commission approuve le financement public de projets haut débit dans le département des Pyrénées-Atlantiques, en Ecosse et dans les Midlands
  • [05] Commission creates level playing field for all grain brandy producers in Germany
  • [06] La Commission autorise la prolongation jusque 2010 d'un régime d'aide instauré par la Belgique pour favoriser l'utilisation des voies navigables intérieures
  • [07] Commission approves German on-board training aid in favour of seafarers
  • [08] Commission appoints Zoltán Kazatsay Deputy Director-General for DG Energy and Transport
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [09] Reaction of European Commisioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Poul Nielson on the presumed death of Margaret Hassan in Irak
  • [10] Contrôles des espèces monétaires : la Commission se félicite de l'accord du Conseil sur de nouvelles mesures en vue de combattre le blanchiment de capitaux
  • [11] Négociations UNESCO sur la diversité culturelle : la Commission obtient un mandat du Conseil
  • [12] Cambodia : €25 million for the Northwest Provinces
  • [13] Octobre 2004 : le taux d'inflation annuel de la zone euro en hausse 2,4% ; le taux de l'UE 25 en hausse 2,3%
  • [14] September 2004 compared to August 2004 : industrial production up by 0.5% in euro-zone ; EU25 up by 0.4%
  • [15] 11 établissements d'enseignement supérieur reçoivent le label ECTS l'occasion de la première rencontre européenne des promoteurs du processus de Bologne
  • [16] Guide prices for fisheries products in 2005 : decreases for a number of white fish species
  • [17] EEA unveils first digital map of Europe's changing landscapes
  • [18] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2004-11-17 Reference: MEX/04/1117 Date: 17/11/2004 EXME04 / 17.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Général Presse etb

    Communication

    17/11/04


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 16 novembre 2004 -

    Outcome of Commission meeting of 16 November

    [01] La Commission prépare le sprint final dans les négociations sur ITER

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition de décision du Conseil sur les négociations internationales relatives ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor – réacteur thermonucléaire expérimental international). La Commission a proposé des modifications de son mandat de négociation pour faciliter l'obtention d’un consensus dans les négociations avec les six parties (UE, Japon, Chine, Russie, Corée du Sud et Etats-Unis) en vue de construire ITER en commun au site candidat européen de Cadarache, en France. En fonction de la décision du Conseil le 26 novembre, la Commission s'efforcera d'arriver une conclusion positive avec toutes les parties dans les plus brefs délais. Un élément central du consensus pourrait être un "véritable partenariat" entre l'UE et le Japon. Le Japon pourrait bénéficier de conditions favorables reflétant sa contribution particulière au projet ITER. En outre, l'UE pourrait contribuer d'autres initiatives de recherche dans le domaine de la fusion au Japon pour compléter le projet ITER dans le cadre d'une "approche élargie" de la maîtrise de l'énergie de fusion.

    [02] New Member States grant more subsidies than old ones, but amount likely to fall

    The ten new members of the European Union spend more than the old ones in state subsidies to businesses as a percentage of their gross domestic product (GDP), but this is likely to be corrected as they overcome problems specific to their economies prior to accession. In absolute amounts, however, they granted an annual average of €6 billion in the four years 2000-2003 compared with €34 billion for the EU-15 in 2002, the latest EU State aid scoreboard reveals. An EU-25 scoreboard will be published in the spring.

    [03] Commission opens formal investigation into possible subsidies to Finland's Componenta

    The European Commission has opened a formal state aid investigation concerning a potential subsidy by the city of Karkkila, in the southern part of Finland, to Componenta Corporation, a company which produces ready- to-install cast, geared and machined components, based in the same city but with activities also in Sweden and the Netherlands. Based on the information available at this stage, the Commission believes that the acquisition by the city of Componenta's 50% share in a real estate joint venture might hide a subsidy which, if confirmed, would probably not be allowed under regional investment aid rules or any other European Union rules.

    [04] La Commission approuve le financement public de projets haut débit dans le département des Pyrénées-Atlantiques, en Ecosse et dans les Midlands

    Dans le cas du projet relatif au département des Pyrénées-Atlantiques, la Commission européenne a décidé que, dans certaines conditions, le co- financement public d'une infrastructure ouverte de haut débit constituait la compensation d'une obligation de service d'intérêt économique général et non une aide. Dans le cas des deux projets au Royaume-Uni, la Commission a déclaré compatibles deux aides concernant la fourniture de services de haut débit, considérant que les subventions étaient nécessaires au déploiement de ces services dans des zones rurales et isolées qui en étaient privées.

    [05] Commission creates level playing field for all grain brandy producers in Germany

    The European Commission has decided that a German subsidy scheme for the producers of Kornbranntwein, a brandy made out of corn, is in breach of EU State aid rules because it distorts competition with other brandy producers. However, the Commission has agreed to give the German producers until 30 September 2006 to adapt to competition.

    [06] La Commission autorise la prolongation jusque 2010 d'un régime d'aide instauré par la Belgique pour favoriser l'utilisation des voies navigables intérieures

    La Commission européenne a décidé de ne pas soulever d'objections au projet des autorités flamandes visant prolonger jusqu'en 2010 le régime d'aide offrant une aide financière pour la construction d'installations de chargement et de déchargement le long des voies navigables de la région des Flandres, en Belgique. Le régime d'aide, qui a été approuvé par la Commission pour la première fois en 2001, vise faciliter l'accès aux voies navigables et accroître leur utilisation pour le transport de marchandises.

    [07] Commission approves German on-board training aid in favour of seafarers

    The European Commission gave the go-ahead to German maritime training aid for the next ten years (from 2004 to 2013). The Commission had already approved on a yearly basis the same German scheme from 1998 to 2003. The aid regime will help preserve maritime know-how and expertise on board German merchant ships.

    [08] Commission appoints Zoltán Kazatsay Deputy Director-General for DG Energy and Transport

    The European Commission has decided to appoint Mr Zoltán Kazatsay as the new Deputy Director-General for Energy and Transport. Mr Kazatsay is 52 years old and of Hungarian nationality. He was until now Deputy State Secretary at the Hungarian Ministry of Economy and Transport where he has been in charge of the cooperation with the Commission, also replacing the Hungarian minister, when absent, at the Transport Council. Mr Kazatsay has a degree in civil engineering from the University in Budapest. He began his career in 1978 at the Road and Railway Design Company as a senior consultant. He then came to the Ministry of Transport in 1989 where he has occupied different posts including Head of Division responsible for transport and water-purification. Mr Kazatsay will be in charge of coordinating the work of three operational directorates dealing respectively with Inland, Air and Maritime Transport.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [09] Reaction of European Commisioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Poul Nielson on the presumed death of Margaret Hassan in Irak

    "I was horrified to learn about the reported brutal murder of the aid worker, Margaret Hassan. My thoughts are with her family and colleages, and with the needy people of Iraq who have lost such a good friend. In peace and war, Margaret dedicated her life to helping vulnerable Iraqis, most recently through the humanitarian organisation Care International. This kind of savagery makes it almost impossible for relief agencies to continue their crucial work in Iraq. The main victims are the innocent and suffering Iraqis that benefited from international aid programmes. The European Commission has been financing Care's excellent and impartial aid work in Iraq for almost a decade. I join the staff of the Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) today in mourning the loss of a valued colleague who was a true humanitarian."

    [10] Contrôles des espèces monétaires : la Commission se félicite de l'accord du Conseil sur de nouvelles mesures en vue de combattre le blanchiment de capitaux

    La Commission européenne se félicite de l'accord politique obtenu par le Conseil des Ministres des affaires économiques et financières pour une position commune relative une proposition de la Commission pour un règlement introduisant une approche communautaire des contrôles de capitaux entrant et quittant l'UE (voir IP/02/955). Une fois adopté, le règlement devrait exiger que chaque Etat membre s'assure que les voyageurs qui franchissent les frontières extérieures de l'UE fassent une déclaration s'ils transportent plus de 10.000 € (ou une somme équivalente dans d'autres devises ou en biens facilement convertibles). En 2002, la Commission avait révélé dans un rapport que le total des mouvements de capitaux atteignait les 135 billions d'€. Ce rapport résultait d'une action conjointe menée de septembre 1999 février 2000 par les autorités douanières des Etats membres qui avaient été chargées de surveiller les mouvements d'argent liquide transfrontaliers d'un montant supérieur 10.000 €. Cette grande quantité de mouvements de capitaux pouvait impliquer des activités de blanchiment d'argent et de ce fait constituer une menace pour la communauté et les intérêts nationaux.

    [11] Négociations UNESCO sur la diversité culturelle : la Commission obtient un mandat du Conseil

    Le Conseil Education et Culture des 15 et 16 novembre a confié un mandat la Commission européenne afin que celle-ci négocie au nom de la Communauté européenne et de ses Etats membres dans le cadre de la Convention Unesco sur la diversité culturelle.

    [12] Cambodia : €25 million for the Northwest Provinces

    The European Commission has approved €25 million for a project to alleviate poverty in the north-west provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Siem Reap in Cambodia. In this area, where agriculture is the primary source of income, more than 44% of households live below the poverty line. The purpose of the project, which will target smallholder farmers and their families is to : increase and diversify agriculture, livestock and fisheries production ; develop new employment opportunities ; support activities at local and farmer's level relating to planning, marketing, hygiene and sanitation and to improve access to basic amenities such as safe drinking water. Furthermore, it will improve access to markets and arable land by constructing and improving secondary roads, access to land for the poor through the provision of land title to smallholders and targeted mine clearance. The area for the project was initially chosen in consultation with the Royal Government of Cambodia and the beneficiaries have been actively involved in the project design.

    [13] Octobre 2004 : le taux d'inflation annuel de la zone euro en hausse 2,4% ; le taux de l'UE 25 en hausse 2,3%

    Le taux d'inflation annuel de la zone euro est passé de 2,1% en septembre 2,4% en octobre 2004, indique aujourd'hui Eurostat. Un an auparavant, il s'élevait 2,0%. Le taux d'inflation mensuel a été de 0,3% en octobre 2004. Le taux d'inflation annuel de l'UE25 a été de 2,3% en octobre 2004, contre 2,1% en septembre. Un an auparavant, il s'élevait 1,9%. Le taux mensuel a été de 0,3% en octobre 2004. En octobre 2004, les taux d'inflation annuels les plus bas ont été observés en Finlande (0,6%), au Royaume-Uni (1,2%), en Suède (1,4%) et aux Pays-Bas (1,5%), et les plus élevés en Lettonie (7,2%), en Hongrie (6,4%), en Slovaquie (6,3%) et en Pologne (4,6%).

    [14] September 2004 compared to August 2004 : industrial production up by 0.5% in euro-zone ; EU25 up by 0.4%

    Seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 0.5% in the euro-zone in September 2004 compared to August 2004, Eurostat estimates today. Production fell by 0.6% in August after a rise of 0.2% in July. Output in the EU25 grew by 0.4% in September 2004, after a fall of 0.5% in August and a rise of 0.1% in July. In September 2004 compared to September 2003, industrial production rose by 2.9% in the euro-zone and by 2.6% in the EU25.

    [15] 11 établissements d'enseignement supérieur reçoivent le label ECTS l'occasion de la première rencontre européenne des promoteurs du processus de Bologne

    Les 18 et 19 novembre 2004, la Commission européenne organise Bruxelles la première rencontre des 200 promoteurs de Bologne sélectionnés par leurs autorités nationales pour conseiller leurs collègues dans la mise en oeuvre des réformes du processus de Bologne dans 40 pays européens. Les participants s'accorderont sur une stratégie européenne pour promouvoir ces réformes. La Commission remettra en outre le label ECTS (système européen de transfert et d'accumulation de crédits) aux 11 établissements d'enseignement supérieur qui appliquent correctement l'ECTS dans l'ensemble de leurs programmes. Ces établissements reçoivent un financement communautaire pour étendre le système ECTS l'apprentissage tout au long de la vie.

    [16] Guide prices for fisheries products in 2005 : decreases for a number of white fish species

    The European Commission has tabled its annual proposal on next year's guide prices for fresh and frozen fisheries products as well as the Community producer price for tuna for processing. Average prices for a majority of white fish species have fallen over the period 2002-2004. The Commission proposes therefore to decrease guide prices for most of these species by between -0.5 to -3%. Increases of 0.5% for megrim and 1.5% for whiting are proposed. The current prices of spotted dogfish, plaice, hake, dab and common flounder would be maintained. In the case of pelagic species, there are proposed increases of 1.5% for mackerel and 2% for anchovies, decreases for herring (-3%) and whole albacore (-1%) and maintenance of current prices for sardines and gutted albacore. Decreases are also proposed for crustaceans, tuna for processing (-2%) and for frozen products except for sea bream (+1%) and illex (+1.5%). Prices for Greenland halibut, hake fillets, swordfish, squids and common squids would remain the same. The Commission proposals are based on Member States' average market prices over the previous three years. Other important factors also taken into account include trends in production, market demand, the interests of consumers and the need to avoid withdrawals of fisheries products from the market. The proposal and table showing differences with current guide prices can be accessed at the following address:

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/fisheries/news_corner/press/inf04_45_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/fisheries/news_corner/press/inf04_45_en.htm

    [17] EEA unveils first digital map of Europe's changing landscapes

    The first digital map of the multiple changes that have occurred in Europe's landscapes since 1990 was unveiled today, enabling policy-makers to draw lessons from how their decisions in areas such as agriculture and transport are impacting on the region's finite land resources and the wider environment. The European Environment Agency (EEA) presented today the results of its Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2000 project at a high-level event in Brussels for representatives from several European Commission Services - including regional policy, agriculture, research and environment - the European Space Agency and the EEA's current and prospective member countries. Using a common methodology, CLC2000 provides the first standardised survey of Europe's land cover for the year 2000 and of the changes that happened over the decade since the first CLC was undertaken in the late 1980s. Both products are publicly available at no cost through the EEA's web site. CLC2000's combination of geographical breadth and local detail is unmatched by any other land cover information programme in the world. The project already covers 30 countries and the number is expected to expand in 2005. The EEA has produced CLC2000 from IMAGE2000, a satellite imaging programme undertaken together with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. Aerial photos and near-ground imaging were also used. From IMAGE2000, experts from across Europe have produced detailed maps showing 44 different land cover types, such as 'continuous urban fabric', 'pasture' and 'non-irrigated arable land'. CLC2000 is available at <a href="http://dataservice.eea.eu.int">http://dataservice.eea.eu.int, where illustrative maps highlighting the changes between 1990 and 2000 in selected areas can also be found. IMAGE2000 data can be accessed from <a href="http://image2000.jrc.it">http://image2000.jrc.it.

    [18] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Chris Patten : "Lifting of the arms embargo on China" at European Parliament (16/11, Strasbourg) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/

    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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