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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-07-15

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] State aid : Commission provides greater legal certainty for financing services of general economic interest
  • [02] Voitures plus propres : la Commission lance une consultation sur des limites d'émission plus strictes
  • [03] Commission to recover €244.4 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
  • [04] Commission outlines next steps on BSE
  • [05] Marchés publics : la Commission fournit un éclairage de la mise en œuvre des nouvelles règles des marchés publics électroniques
  • [06] Production céréalière : les prévisions de la Commission montrent une diminution due aux sécheresses dans l'ouest de l'UE
  • [07] Expert panel welcomes European research cooperation and recommends further funds
  • [08] Commission closes sandeel fishing in North Sea and Skagerrak
  • [09] Joe Borg in Bremerhaven
  • [10] Qualifications professionnelles : une procédure d'infraction est engagée contre l'Espagne et la France
  • [11] Internal market : infringement proceedings against Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Ireland and Greece
  • [12] Marchés publics : procédures d'infraction contre l'Allemagne, l'Espagne, la Grèce, l'Italie, le Portugal et la France
  • [13] Direct taxation : infringement proceedings against Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Luxembourg for failure to notify implementing measures
  • [14] Commission requests Sweden to change discriminatory rules on tax relief for capital gains arising from home sales
  • [15] Commission requests Finland to amend discriminatory rules on personal tax deductions for resident individuals with foreign source income
  • [16] Commission decides to refer Germany to Court concerning tax deductions for school fees
  • [17] Infractions la législation en matière d'environnement : la Commission entame une procédure l'encontre de l'Allemagne et de l'Espagne
  • [18] La Commission prend de nouvelles mesures contre la France dans dix dossiers concernant des infractions la législation en matière d'environnement
  • [19] United Kingdom : Commission takes action over breaches of environmental law
  • [20] Greece : Commission takes action over breaches of environmental law
  • [21] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-07-15 Reference: MEX/05/0715 Date: 15/07/2005 EXME05 / 15.7

    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

    15/07/05


  • [01] State aid : Commission provides greater legal certainty for financing services of general economic interest

    A package of measures providing greater legal certainty to the financing of services of general economic interest has been adopted by the European Commission. The measures will ensure that companies can receive public support to cover all costs incurred, including a reasonable profit, in carrying out public service tasks as defined and entrusted to them by public authorities, whilst ensuring that there is no over-compensation liable to distort competition. Member States will be able to grant compensation to small-scale public services, hospitals and social housing without notifying the Commission. The measures take the form of a Commission Decision, a Community Framework for state aid in the form of public service compensation and an amendment to the Commission Directive on financial transparency. These are the first implementing measures of the State Aid Action Plan (see IP/05/680). The measures only apply to undertakings conducting economic activities, as financial support granted to entities not conducting economic activities (e.g basic compulsory social security schemes) does not constitute state aid anyway.

    [02] Voitures plus propres : la Commission lance une consultation sur des limites d'émission plus strictes

    Réduire les émissions des voitures et des véhicules utilitaires légers neufs, tel est l'objectif poursuivi par un projet de train de mesures que la Commission européenne entend présenter avant la fin 2005. Avant de finaliser cette proposition appelée "Euro 5", la Commission invite présent les parties concernées lui adresser leurs observations sur ce projet. La proposition de la Commission contribuera de manière significative une nouvelle amélioration de la qualité de l'air en Europe. D'après le projet de la Commission, les émissions de particules des véhicules diesel seraient réduites de 80% et les émissions d'oxydes d'azote (NOx) de 20%. Ces normes plus sévères conduiraient l'introduction de filtres particules pour les voitures diesel. Pour les voitures essence, la Commission propose de diminuer les émissions de NOx et celles des hydrocarbures de 25%. Les nouvelles valeurs limites "Euro 5" pourraient entrer en vigueur mi-2008 au plus tôt. Il se peut que la proposition finale soit modifiée pour tenir compte des réactions reçues lors de la consultation.

    [03] Commission to recover €244.4 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

    A total of € 244.4 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is to be claimed back, following a decision adopted today by the European Commission. The money will be recovered because of inadequate control procedures or non-compliance with EU rules on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking virtually all expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.

    [04] Commission outlines next steps on BSE

    The European Commission today adopted a reflection paper, the TSE Roadmap, providing an outline of possible future changes to EU measures on BSE in the short, medium and long-term. TSEs are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, namely BSE affecting cattle and scrapie affecting goats and sheep. Over the past few years, there has been a significant decrease in the number of positive cases of BSE detected in the EU, due to the stringent risk reducing measures at EU-level. In light of this positive trend, and new developments in science and technology, the TSE Roadmap considers possible amendments to certain BSE measures currently in place while still making food safety and consumer protection the highest priority.

    [05] Marchés publics : la Commission fournit un éclairage de la mise en œuvre des nouvelles règles des marchés publics électroniques

    La Commission européenne a publié un document expliquant et interprétant les règles des marchés publics électroniques figurant dans les nouvelles directives sur les marchés publics (2004/18/CE et 2004/17/CE). Il s'agit d'aider les Etats membres transposer cette réglementation en droit national et les pouvoirs adjudicateurs la mettre en oeuvre. Ce document peut être consulté en ligne: <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/publicprocurement/e- procurement_fr.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/publicprocurement/e- procurement_fr.htm

    [06] Production céréalière : les prévisions de la Commission montrent une diminution due aux sécheresses dans l'ouest de l'UE

    Les analyses scientifiques détaillées, que la Commission européenne a obtenues grâce son système avancé de prévision du rendement des cultures, montrent que la production de cette année sera inférieure d'au moins 28 millions de tonnes aux chiffres records de l'année dernière (soit environ 10% de moins), mais que la récolte totale de céréales dans l'UE reste proche de la moyenne des cinq dernière années. Cette chute est due principalement aux conséquences de la sécheresse sur le rendement des cultures. Les terres cultivées les plus touchées se trouvent en Espagne, au Portugal, en France, en Italie et au centre de la Grèce. Les prévisions publiées aujourd'hui par la Commission fournissent des estimations de rendement pour les principales cultures de l'Union européenne et comparent les chiffres obtenus avec la production de l'année dernière et la moyenne des récoltes des cinq dernières années. Elles recensent également les régions les plus touchées par les conditions climatiques extrêmement pénibles de cette année et établissent une comparaison avec des périodes critiques antérieures.

    [07] Expert panel welcomes European research cooperation and recommends further funds

    COST (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research) is a suitable mechanism for contributing to the Lisbon and Barcelona goals, due to its role in assisting the coordination of national research, an expert panel has told the Commission. The experts found that its structure and operating procedures are designed to be simple and responsive, making it particularly appropriate for involving new countries and new research groups. The flexibility of COST makes it attractive to young people and it has a role as good preparation for participation in European research programmes. Following positive developments in reforming COST's science management, the expert panel was able to recommend the granting of the full €80m provided in the Sixth Framework Programme to the European Science Foundation (ESF), which provides the scientific secretariat for COST.

    [08] Commission closes sandeel fishing in North Sea and Skagerrak

    The European Commission today adopted a regulation to close fishing for sandeel in the North Sea and Skagerrak until the end of 2005. This decision, which will shortly become applicable, was taken because scientists from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF), estimate that the number of individual sandeels is lower than the threshold set by the Council of Fisheries Ministers, last December. The Council had decided that, given the poor state of the sandeel stock last year, the fishing effort in this fishery, in 2005, should be set at 40% of that of 2004. Furthermore, if scientists estimated, by May 2005, that the number of individual sandeels was below 300 billion, the fishery would be closed for the remainder of the year. As STECF has estimated this number to be below this threshold, the Commission is therefore closing the fishery to ensure the protection of the sandeel stock. EU aid is available for those affected by such closures under the Fisheries Fund (the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance, or FIFG).

    [09] Joe Borg in Bremerhaven

    Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs is in Bremen today where he attended a Conference entitled "25 years Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Sea Research". In his address to the Conference, Commissioner Borg underlined the crucial role of science and research as the basis for policy making. He outlined the work of the Commission Task Force in preparing a Green Paper on an all-embracing Maritime Policy for the European Union. The Green Paper, he said, will seek to address the economic, environmental, social, as well as governance challenges relating to the oceans and the seas in a holistic manner. Commissioner Borg welcomed the input of stakeholders, such as the Alfred Wegener Institute, in what can be expected from the Union when developing such a Maritime Policy. Mr Borg will also be meeting the German Federal Minister for Education and Research, Mrs Edelgard Bulmahn. He will visit a processing plant and Eurogate, the Container Terminal, before returning to Brussels in the evening.

    [10] Qualifications professionnelles : une procédure d'infraction est engagée contre l'Espagne et la France

    La Commission européenne a officiellement demandé la France et l'Espagne de corriger les infractions au droit communautaire sur les qualifications professionnelles. Ces demande prennent la forme d'"avis motivés", la seconde étape de la procédure d'infraction fixée par l'article 226 du traité CE. En l'absence d'une réponse satisfaisante dans un délai de deux mois, la Commission pourrait saisir la Cour de justice. L'Espagne a été mise en demeure de modifier sa législation concernant la reconnaissance des diplômes d'ingénieur. La France a été mise en demeure de modifier sa législation relative au port du titre professionnel de dentiste.

    [11] Internal market : infringement proceedings against Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Ireland and Greece

    The European Commission has decided to refer Spain to the European Court of Justice over its national legislation which enables discrimination against shareholders by listed companies when they issue new shares and convertible bonds. The Commission believes this discriminatory treatment is an infringement of the principle of equal treatment of shareholders and of the "pre-emption" rights accorded to shareholders under the Second Company Law Directive (Article 42 and Article 29 respectively). Pre-emption rights aim to encourage investment by providing a guarantee that existing shareholders will have the first opportunity to buy newly issued shares. The referral of this case to the Court follows a reasoned opinion, which was communicated to Spain earlier this year as the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 226 of the Treaty. The Commission has also decided, under Article 228 of the EC Treaty, to send two letters of formal notice asking the Member States concerned for full information on their execution of previous European Court judgements: the first to Sweden relating to the Court judgement requiring it to write the Directive 2001/17/EC on the reorganisation and winding-up of insurance undertakings ("the Winding Up Directive") into national law, and the second to Luxembourg relating to the Court judgement requiring it to implement EU law on legal protection of biotechnological inventions. The Commission has formally asked Ireland to amend its legislation on insurance cover for blameless drivers of uninsured vehicles. This request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion", the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court. Finally, the Commission has sent a supplementary reasoned opinion to Greece with regard to Greek rules imposing a mandatory membership in the Greek National Association of Insurers for all undertakings providing motor insurance services in Greece.

    [12] Marchés publics : procédures d'infraction contre l'Allemagne, l'Espagne, la Grèce, l'Italie, le Portugal et la France

    Dans le cadre de dix procédures l'encontre de six Etats membres, la Commission européenne a engagé une action pour remédier aux infractions au droit communautaire sur les marchés publics. Pour quatre de ces procédures, l'Etat membre concerné a été traduit devant la Cour européenne de justice. Pour quatre autres procédures, la Commission a invité formellement l'Etat membre concerné remédier aux infractions au droit communautaire sur les marchés publics. Ces actions prennent la forme d'un "avis motivé", deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction prévue l'article 226 du Traité CE. Si aucune réponse satisfaisante n'est reçue dans les deux mois, la Commission peut saisir la Cour de justice. Les deux autres procédures concernent le non-respect d’arrêts antérieurs de la Cour européenne. Le détail des procédures est le suivant : l'Allemagne sera citée devant la Cour pour une procédure concernant le transport d'œuvres d'art destinées des expositions temporaires et recevra une lettre de mise en demeure l'invitant donner des informations complètes sur l'exécution d'un arrêt de la Cour européenne de 2005 relatif des marchés de transport de déchets dans la municipalité de Munich. Elle recevra également un avis motivé concernant des marchés de services de traitement des eaux usées Hambourg. En outre, une procédure relative des marchés de services de traitement des eaux usées Hinte a été classée. L'Espagne sera traduite devant la Cour pour l'attribution d'une concession concernant la construction, l'entretien et l'exploitation de deux connexions de l'autoroute A6. La Grèce sera traduite devant la Cour en raison d'une procédure d'adjudication pour la construction d'une centrale thermoélectrique Lavrio et elle recevra un avis motivé propos d'une procédure lancée par le Ministère de l'Agriculture concernant l’attribution de 24 études sur la protection et la gestion de forêts domaniales. L'Italie sera traduite devant la Cour pour la gestion de services de transport sanitaire en Toscane et elle recevra un avis motivé sur son application de la directive "Recours", telle qu’elle est interprétée par la jurisprudence de la Cour de justice. En outre, la Commission a décidé, en vertu de l'article 228 du Traité CE, d'envoyer au Portugal un autre avis motivé lui demandant de respecter immédiatement l'arrêt de la Cour de 2004 relatif l'application de la directive 89/665/CEE sur les marchés publics. Si le Portugal ne s'exécute pas, la Commission peut demander la Cour d'imposer au Portugal des astreintes quotidiennes. Enfin, un avis motivé a été envoyé la France propos de l'achat d'hélicoptères par son ministère de la Défense.

    [13] Direct taxation : infringement proceedings against Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Luxembourg for failure to notify implementing measures

    The European Commission has decided to send formal requests to Greece, Italy and Luxembourg to adopt and notify the measures required for the implementation of Directive 2003/123/EC, amending the Parent Subsidiary Directive 90/435/EEC. At the same time, the Commission has sent a formal request to Greece to adopt and notify the measures required for the implementation of Directive 2004/76/EC amending the Interest & Royalties Directive 2003/49/EC. The Commission has also sent formal requests to the Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Luxembourg to adopt and notify the measures for the implementation of Council Directive 2004/56/EC amending Directive 77/799/EEC concerning mutual assistance by the competent authorities of the Member States. These requests are in the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of infringement proceedings provided for in the EC Treaty (Article 226). The Commission may initiate proceedings before the European Court of Justice if the Member States fail to notify the requested measures within two months of receiving the reasoned opinion.

    [14] Commission requests Sweden to change discriminatory rules on tax relief for capital gains arising from home sales

    The European Commission has sent Sweden a formal request to amend its legislation according to which capital gains from home sales attract tax relief only if the sold home is situated in Sweden and the sales proceeds are reinvested in a replacement residence in Sweden. The Commission considers that not allowing tax relief where the original dwelling is situated outside Sweden or where the proceeds are used to acquire a replacement home in another Member State is contrary to EC Treaty rules, including those on the free movement of persons. The request is in the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If Sweden does not reply satisfactorily to the reasoned opinion within two months the Commission may refer the matter to the Court.

    [15] Commission requests Finland to amend discriminatory rules on personal tax deductions for resident individuals with foreign source income

    The European Commission has sent Finland a formal request to amend its legislation according to which personal deductions to resident individuals are limited to a pro-rata share of their global income derived from Finnish sources. The Commission considers that not allowing full personal deductions is contrary to EC Treaty rules, notably those on the free movement of persons, as interpreted by the European Court of Justice in Case C-385-00 "de Groot". The request is in the form of a ‘reasoned opinion’ under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If Finland does not reply satisfactorily to the reasoned opinion within two months the Commission may refer the matter to the Court.

    [16] Commission decides to refer Germany to Court concerning tax deductions for school fees

    The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the European Court of Justice because fees paid to foreign schools can never be deducted from the German income tax base whereas fees paid to certain German schools are tax deductible.

    [17] Infractions la législation en matière d'environnement : la Commission entame une procédure l'encontre de l'Allemagne et de l'Espagne

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'entamer des procédures d'infraction l'encontre de l'Allemagne et de l'Espagne pour violations de la législation communautaire en matière d'environnement. L'Allemagne a reçu un premier avertissement écrit pour ne s'être toujours pas conformée l’arrêt de la Cour de justice européenne de 2004. La Cour avait condamné l'Allemagne pour non-transposition en droit national d'un texte législatif communautaire relatif aux organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM). L'Espagne sera assignée devant la Cour pour deux affaires concernant la protection des oiseaux sauvages et la protection de la couche d'ozone. Dans deux autres affaires, qui concernent l'accès du public aux informations relatives l'environnement et l'évaluation stratégique des incidences sur l'environnement, l'Espagne a reçu des avis motivés (derniers avertissements) avant la saisine éventuelle de la Cour. Les procédures entamées s'inscrivent dans le cadre d'une série de décisions actuellement annoncées par la Commission l'encontre de plusieurs Etats membres concernant des infractions environnementales.

    [18] La Commission prend de nouvelles mesures contre la France dans dix dossiers concernant des infractions la législation en matière d'environnement

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'engager des procédures d'infraction contre la France dans dix dossiers concernant des violations de la législation de l'UE en matière d'environnement. Trois avertissements ont été adressés la France pour défaut d'observation des arrêts de la Cour de justice européenne concernant les micro-organismes génétiquement modifiés (MGM), les organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM) et la gestion des déchets. La France recevra en outre, dans le cadre de la dernière étape avait la saisine éventuelle de la Cour par la Commission, sept avertissements finals pour non-respect d'autres dispositions de la législation de l'UE dans le domaine de l'environnement. Ces mesures s'inscrivent dans le cadre d’une série de décisions contre plusieurs Etats membres actuellement annoncées par la Commission concernant des infractions au droit de l’environnement. Dans l'intervalle, la Commission a été en mesure de classer plusieurs dossiers d'infraction évoqués précédemment, la France ayant pris les mesures requises.

    [19] United Kingdom : Commission takes action over breaches of environmental law

    The European Commission has decided to pursue infringement proceedings against the United Kingdom in eight cases involving breaches of EU environment law. In the most advanced case, the UK has received a first written warning because it has not complied with a judgement of the European Court of Justice regarding the safe management of hazardous waste. In two other cases, concerning urban wastewater treatment, the UK will be referred to the Court. In the remaining five cases, the UK has received final warnings before possible Court action in relation to EU laws on noise, the protection of the ozone layer and waste electrical and electronic equipment. These actions are part of a series of environment-related infringement decisions against several Member States, which the Commission is now announcing.

    [20] Greece : Commission takes action over breaches of environmental law

    The European Commission has decided to pursue infringement proceedings against Greece in eight cases involving breaches of EU environment law. At the same time, three on-going cases will be closed following their satisfactory resolution. In the most advanced open case, Greece has received a first written warning for not heeding a judgement of the European Court of Justice that requires Greece to implement an EU law on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In addition, the Commission will refer Greece to the Court over gaps in its measures to protect the ozone layer. In the remaining six cases, covering laws on waste water, air pollution, waste, noise, impact assessment and access to information, Greece has been sent final written warnings - the last step before referral to the European Court of Justice. These actions are part of a series of environment-related infringement decisions against several Member States, which the Commission is now announcing.

    [21] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by President Barroso : "The EU and China: painting a brighter future together" at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing)

    Speech by Joaquin Almunia : "The euro and the main challenges to achieve convergence" (14/07, Valletta)

    State aid : Commission provides greater legal certainty for financing services of general economic interest - frequently asked questions

    Clearance of annual accounts of CAP expenditure

    Questions and answers on TSE Roadmap

    Crop yield forecasts for 2005 and analysis of drought effects

    Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of July 2005

    The EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights presents its report on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2004

    Calendrier du 18 au 22 juillet 2005 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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