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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-07-07

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] Music copyright : Commission proposes reform on Internet licensing
  • [02] Marché intérieur : la Commission reçoit un mandat de négociation de la convention des Nations unies sur la contractualisation électronique ("e-contracting")
  • [03] Pollution industrielle : adoption d'un nouveau registre européen
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of HCUK, HCS and MSS by HMC
  • [05] Commission clears acquisition of Giochi Preziosi by 3i and Fingiochi
  • [06] Commission requests Sweden, Austria and the Czech Republic to fully implement Directive on financial transparency
  • [07] La Commission prend des mesures contre 11 Etats membres afin de garantir l'application effective de la réglementation communautaire en matière de télécommunications
  • [08] Car taxation : infringement procedures against Greece, the Netherlands and Poland
  • [09] TVA : la Commission poursuit les procédures d'infraction engagées l'encontre de l'Italie et du Portugal
  • [10] Les restrictions françaises sur les importations de produits phytosanitaires sont jugées inacceptables par la Commission
  • [11] Speed limitation devices and road safety : reasoned opinions addressed to the Czech Republic and Ireland
  • [12] Des avis motivés l'encontre de cinq Etats membres sur les certificats d'immatriculation
  • [13] Freedom of establishment in the EU : Commission takes legal action against the Netherlands for failing to comply with a judgment of the Court of Justice
  • [14] Free movement of capital : Commission calls on Spain to apply Court of Justice ruling on privatisation law and to comply with law on investment in companies
  • [15] Commission expresses concern about case of Uzbek human rights activist
  • [16] Sommet du G8 : José Manuel Barroso s'engage au versement d'une aide d'un milliard d'euros en faveur du commerce
  • [17] Peter Mandelson calls on G8 to back Doha Round and 'Aid for Trade'
  • [18] Joint Statement on the meeting between Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner responsible for Energy, and Thorhild Widvey, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy
  • [19] Astronomie : les projets de l'Europe sont tournés vers le futur
  • [20] Commission opens state of the art Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Test Facilities
  • [21] Commission aids advances in astronomy
  • [22] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-07-07 Reference: MEX/05/0707 Date: 07/07/2005 EXME05 / 7.7

    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

    07/07/05


  • [01] Music copyright : Commission proposes reform on Internet licensing

    The European Commission has published an in-depth study on how copyright for musical works is licensed for use on the Internet. It concludes that the main obstacle to the growth of legitimate online content services in the EU is the difficulty securing attractive content for online exploitation. In particular, the present structures for cross-border collective management of music copyright – which were developed for the analogue environment – prevent music from fulfilling its unique potential as a driver for online content services. The Commission proposes options to remedy this situation as only music has the real potential to kick-start online content services in Europe in line with the Lisbon agenda. The study is available at:

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/copyright/index_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/copyright/index_en.htm

    [02] Marché intérieur : la Commission reçoit un mandat de négociation de la convention des Nations unies sur la contractualisation électronique ("e-contracting")

    La Commission européenne a reçu du Conseil l'autorisation d'engager les négociations, au nom de l'Union européenne, sur un projet de convention des Nations unies visant faciliter la passation électronique de contrats internationaux entre entreprises. Les négociations se dérouleront au sein de la Commission des Nations unies pour le droit commercial international (CNUDCI).

    [03] Pollution industrielle : adoption d'un nouveau registre européen

    La Commission européenne a salué l'accord intervenu, le 6 juillet, en première lecture entre le Parlement européen et le Conseil sur la création d'un registre européen des rejets et transferts de polluants (PRTR) en application des dispositions d'un protocole des Nations unies. Le PRTR européen, qui sera disponible sur internet, contiendra différentes données relatives la pollution industrielle et fournira au public des informations sur la qualité de l'environnement au niveau local et dans toute l'Europe. Il s'agira d'une version plus complète du registre européen des émissions de polluants (EPER) primé en 2004. Lancé en février 2004, l'EPER a enregistré plus de 230.000 visiteurs au cours de sa première année d'activité.

    [04] Commission clears acquisition of HCUK, HCS and MSS by HMC

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of UK based undertakings Hyundai Car (UK) Limited (HCUK), Hyundai Car Sales Limited (HCS) and MSS Automotive Services Limited (MSS) by Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) of Korea. HMC manufactures cars worldwide. HCUK, HCS and MSS are UK distributors of cars and related spare parts. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [05] Commission clears acquisition of Giochi Preziosi by 3i and Fingiochi

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Giochi Preziosi S.p.A. of Italy by 3i Group plc (3i) of the UK and Fingiochi S.p.A. of Italy. 3i Group is an international venture capital company providing management advice and managing investments on behalf of investment funds. It holds investments in various sectors of industry and services (communication, engineering, food, healthcare, IT services, leisure, media, oil and gas, software and internet, support services and transport and logistics). Fingiochi is currently the controlling shareholder of Giochi Preziosi. Giochi Preziosi is mainly active in the wholesale and retail sale of toys, in particular in Italy. It is also active to a lesser extent in the wholesale and retail of Christmas decorations, shoes, stationery products, confectionery, baby products and promotional gadgets in Italy. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [06] Commission requests Sweden, Austria and the Czech Republic to fully implement Directive on financial transparency

    The European Commission has decided to send a formal reminder to Sweden about its obligation to comply with a ruling of the Court of Justice (case C-141/03, 15 July 2004) that the Kingdom has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EC Treaty by not implementing the Commission Directive on the transparency of financial relations between Member States and public undertakings (2000/52/EC, amending Directive 80/723/EC). The reminder takes the form of a letter of formal notice under Article 228 of the EC Treaty. The Commission has also issued a formal request to Austria to implement correctly the same Directive (2002/52/EC) and four formal requests to the Czech Republic to implement the original Directive 80/723/EC and the three amending Directives (85/413/EC, 93/84/EC and 2002/52/EC). The formal requests take the form of reasoned opinions, the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty If Austria and the Czech Republic do not take the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months of receipt, the Commission may refer them to the European Court of Justice.

    [07] La Commission prend des mesures contre 11 Etats membres afin de garantir l'application effective de la réglementation communautaire en matière de télécommunications

    La Commission européenne a adressé des lettres de mise en demeure onze Etats membres en raison de leur application incorrecte de la réglementation communautaire sur les communications électroniques, y compris les télécommunications. Les Etats membres concernés par cette nouvelle série de procédures d'infraction sont: la République tchèque, la Grèce, la France, la Hongrie, la Lettonie, la Lituanie, Malte, la Pologne, la Slovaquie, la Slovénie et la Finlande. Parmi les points essentiels qui sont en cause, on peut citer l'indépendance des autorités de réglementation nationales des télécommunications, l'exigence de la portabilité du numéro et d'annuaires complets des abonnés, la nomination des fournisseurs du "service universel" et la disponibilité du numéro d'appel d'urgence européen, le 112.

    [08] Car taxation : infringement procedures against Greece, the Netherlands and Poland

    The European Commission has decided to send Greece and the Netherlands formal requests to amend their car registration taxation rules. Greece calculates the depreciation on second hand cars imported into the country in a way that does not respect Article 90 of the Treaty. The Greek rules do not guarantee that the registration tax will not exceed the residual tax on a vehicle of a similar age that was registered in Greece when new. The Netherlands imposes a registration tax on cars leased and registered abroad, which are intended to be used in the Netherlands by Dutch residents, in terms that do not respect the freedom to provide services. In addition, the Commission has decided to send Poland a formal request for information concerning the excise duty that Poland applies to cars when first registered in Poland. The excise duty rate increases according to the age of cars so that higher tax rates are applied only to imported second-hand cars. The requests to Greece and the Netherlands take the form of "reasoned opinions", the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty, while the "letter of formal notice" sent to Poland constitutes the first stage of the said procedure. If the Commission does not receive satisfactory responses from the Member States, it may ultimately bring the cases before the Court of Justice.

    [09] TVA : la Commission poursuit les procédures d'infraction engagées l'encontre de l'Italie et du Portugal

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'adresser l'Italie une mise en demeure officielle l'enjoignant de modifier sa législation limitant le droit des opérateurs de déduire la TVA relative aux services de téléphonie mobile. La mise en demeure prend la forme d'un avis motivé, qui constitue la deuxième phase de la procédure d'infraction prévue par l'article 226 du traité CE. La Commission a en outre décidé d'assigner l'Italie devant la Cour de justice en ce qui concerne l'amnistie fiscale qu'elle accorde dans le domaine de la TVA et d'attraire le Portugal devant cette même Cour parce que le taux de TVA appliqué aux péages acquitter pour franchir les deux ponts sur le Tage Lisbonne ne sont pas conformes au droit communautaire.

    [10] Les restrictions françaises sur les importations de produits phytosanitaires sont jugées inacceptables par la Commission

    En 2004, les autorités françaises ont procédé la saisie de produits phytosanitaires importés de la République slovaque et leur ont retiré leurs autorisations de mise sur le marché, en faisant valoir que ces produits n'étaient pas conformes aux exigences de la réglementation française. Comme les produits en question avaient bel et bien fait l'objet d'essais et de contrôles adéquats, la réponse de la Commission prend, présent, la forme d'un avis motivé, deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction, qui explicite la violation du principe de libre circulation des marchandises et le non respect des procédures de notification que constituent les mesures prises par les autorités françaises dans ce cas.

    [11] Speed limitation devices and road safety : reasoned opinions addressed to the Czech Republic and Ireland

    The European Commission has sent reasoned opinions to two Member States which have so far failed to communicate to it measures for the transposal into national law of European legislation on the installation and use of speed limitation devices for certain categories of motor vehicles. Improving road safety is a constant priority of European transport policy.

    [12] Des avis motivés l'encontre de cinq Etats membres sur les certificats d'immatriculation

    La Commission européenne a envoyé des avis motivés au Danemark, au Luxembourg, au Portugal, Chypre et la République tchèque pour défaut de transposition en droit national de la législation européenne relative l'introduction du certificat d'immatriculation harmonisé. Cette législation contribue notamment améliorer la sécurité routière en permettant de contrôler la compétence des conducteurs conduire leur catégorie de véhicule. Elle améliore également le bon fonctionnement du marché intérieur du transport routier en harmonisant les certificats d'immatriculation.

    [13] Freedom of establishment in the EU : Commission takes legal action against the Netherlands for failing to comply with a judgment of the Court of Justice

    The European Commission has sent a letter of formal notice to the Netherlands for failing to take the necessary measures to comply with a judgment delivered by the Court of Justice on the right of establishment of foreign shareholders of companies owning seagoing ships, of foreign directors of such companies and of shipping companies owning seagoing ships registered in the Netherlands.

    [14] Free movement of capital : Commission calls on Spain to apply Court of Justice ruling on privatisation law and to comply with law on investment in companies

    The European Commission has decided to send Spain a formal request to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling of 13 May 2003, which found that by maintaining in force certain provisions of its privatisation Law 5/1995, as well as Royal Decrees on Repsol SA, Telefónica de España SA, Telefónica Servicios Móviles SA, Argentaria, Tabacalera SA, and Endesa SA, in so far as they implement a system of prior administrative approval, Spain had failed to fulfil its obligations under EC Treaty rules on the free movement of capital (Article 56). The Commission's request is in the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of the procedure under EC Treaty infringement procedures related to compliance with Court of Justice rulings (Article 228). The Commission has also decided to send Spain a formal request to comply with Community law on the limitation of voting rights on investment in the energy sector by state-owned companies. The Commission is concerned that certain provisions of the Spanish law in question constitute an unjustified restriction on the free movement of capital, in violation of Treaty rules (Article 56). The Commission request is in the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage in the infringement procedure laid down in Art 226 of the EC Treaty. In both cases, should the Spanish authorities not take satisfactory steps to comply within two months of receiving the reasoned opinion, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the Court of Justice.

    [15] Commission expresses concern about case of Uzbek human rights activist

    The European Commission has been informed about the detention in Kazakhstan of Mr Luftullo Shmasudinov, an Uzbek refugee and prominent human rights activist. Mr Shamsudinov fled Uzbekistan following the massacre in Andijan and widely informed the media about the dramatic events he witnessed in May. He and his family have been granted refugee status by the UNHCR. The Uzbek authorities have accused him of terrorism and have demanded Kazakhstan's authorities hand him over. European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, gave this reaction: "I wish to express my deep concern about this development. If deported to Uzbekistan, Mr Shamsudinov could face imprisonment, torture and death. His deportation would set a negative precedent for the Kyrgyz Republic where, further to harsh pressure from Uzbek authorities, at least 29 Uzbek asylum seekers face deportation. I call upon the government of Kazakhstan to provide information on the arrest of Mr Shamsudinov and remind the government of its international commitments under the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of Refugees to which Kazakhstan is a party. I hope Kazakhstan will honour its commitments under these UN Conventions and the standards of the OSCE which it wishes to preside over in 2009."'

    [16] Sommet du G8 : José Manuel Barroso s'engage au versement d'une aide d'un milliard d'euros en faveur du commerce

    Lors d'une conférence de presse qui s'est tenue le 6 juillet Gleneagles, en Ecosse, avant l'ouverture du sommet du G8, le président de la Commission européenne, M. José Manuel Barroso, s'est engagé l'octroi d'une aide annuelle d'un milliard d'€ pour soutenir la capacité commerciale des pays en développement. Grâce l'aide au commerce accordée par l'UE, les pays pauvres pourront mieux exploiter les possibilités d'exportation qu'offre l'ouverture des marchés. Le président Barroso représente l'UE au sommet du G8 conjointement avec la présidence britannique. La libéralisation des échanges multilatéraux est susceptible d'ouvrir des perspectives économiques considérables, qui pourraient sortir de nombreuses personnes de la pauvreté. Nombre de pays en développement ne sont cependant pas en mesure d'exploiter de nouvelles possibilités d'exportation. Le président Barroso, qui participe au sommet du G8 en tant que "9e homme autour de la table", a fourni des précisions sur l'aide au commerce et a exposé ses principales revendications pour le sommet. Il vient de rentrer d'un voyage en Afrique du sud, au Mozambique et en République démocratique du Congo, ainsi qu'en Libye, où il est intervenu, aux côtés de M. Kofi Annan, lors du sommet de l'Union africaine.

    [17] Peter Mandelson calls on G8 to back Doha Round and 'Aid for Trade'

    In a speech to a Joint German Marshall Fund and Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa event in Edinburgh on 6 July, European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson called on the G8 to back an ambitious Doha Development Round and follow the Commission in prioritising 'aid for trade' to help build Africa's capacity to benefit from free trade and market access. Speaking alongside WTO Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi, Commissioner Mandelson called on the G8 to "match the partial advances on debt relief and the additional aid pledged, with a fresh act of political will to build Africa's opportunities and capacities to benefit from free and fair trade".

    [18] Joint Statement on the meeting between Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner responsible for Energy, and Thorhild Widvey, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy

    European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and Minister Thorhild Widvey at their meeting today in Oslo agreed to further strengthen the energy dialogue between Norway and the European Union and to continue to develop their energy relations and cooperation. At the meeting the mutual interest in close and comprehensive consultations on key energy issues was confirmed. Norway is a major exporter of oil and gas to the European Union and, through the EEA Agreement, an integral part of the EU internal energy market.

    [19] Astronomie : les projets de l'Europe sont tournés vers le futur

    L'institut JIVE (Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe), un des observatoires astronomiques les plus avancés au monde, organise aujourd'hui Dwingeloo, aux Pays-Bas, une journée d'information sur les progrès réalisés grâce aux infrastructures européennes de recherche dans les domaines de l’astronomie optique, de la radioastronomie, de la planétologie et de la physique des astroparticules. Les participants pourront obtenir des informations sur les projets financés par l'UE qui sont la pointe des recherches visant sonder l'univers primordial, découvrir d’alléchantes traces du Big Bang et pénétrer les mystères de la matière sombre, des ondes gravitationnelles et des planètes situées hors de notre système solaire. Les infrastructures de recherche européennes relient les chercheurs, les installations de pointe travers le monde et les disciplines scientifiques afin de développer les connaissances en superposant par exemple les signaux émis par les radiotélescopes de plusieurs continents pour créer un seul radiotélescope ayant la taille de la Terre.

    [20] Commission opens state of the art Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Test Facilities

    European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, today opens new hydrogen and fuel cell testing facilities at the European Commission's Institute for Energy in Petten, the Netherlands. The new facilities are part of the Commission's endeavour to provide policy-makers and industry with independent evaluation of the performance of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in terms of efficiency, safety, environmental impact and reliability, through simulating lifetime operational conditions of fuel cells and hydrogen fuel tanks. Maria van der Hoeven, Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science will also attend the opening.

    [21] Commission aids advances in astronomy

    During his visit to the JIVE Astronomical Research Establishment, Dwingeloo (NL) today, European Commisioner for Research Janez Potočnik took part in a ceremony to move the worldwide network of radio telescopes from analogue data transmission to digital transmission via the GEANT Network, which is supported by the Commission. The possibility for higher speed connection will transform five worldwide telescopes into a single global-sized telescope, capable of peering deep into space and analysing the findings more efficiently than previously.

    [22] Autre matériel diffusé

    Preparation of the Informal Competitiveness Council of Ministers (11-12, Cardiff)

    Frequently asked questions on central copyright clearance for online use across the EU

    Infringement proceedings in the field of electronic communications: what are the issues at stake?

    Background note - EU Aid for Trade

    Astronomy looks into the future – the role of European Infrastructures

    Speech by Olli Rehn : "Commission Declaration on the Balkans 10 years after Srebrenica" (06/07, European Parliament, Strasbourg)

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner : "Security in the Far East" (06/07, European Parliament, Strasbourg)

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner : "A world without landmines" (06/07, European Parliament, Strasbourg)

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "Working together to show the added value of Europe" at Plenary session of the Committee of the Regions (06/07)

    Discours de M. Louis Michel : "La politique de développement de l'UE : enjeux et propositions de la Commission" au séminaire de l'Alliance des Démocrates et des Libéraux pour l'Europe (ADLE) (06/07, Strasbourg)

    Statement by Olli Rehn on Bulgaria and Romanian at European Parliament (06/07, Strasbourg) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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