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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-08-11

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] Statement of President Barroso on Lebanon
  • [02] EU assists Lebanon in managing the environmental impact of the Middle East crisis
  • [03] Statement by Vice-President Franco Frattini on tackling of migration flows to the Canary Islands
  • [04] Commission publishes updated crop yield forecast: July heat waves and drought reduce European crop yields
  • [05] Rédiffusion
  • [06] Joint declaration by Vi-President Franco Frattini and Vice-President Jacques Barrot
  • [07] Drought: Use of set aside land for animal feed allowed in a more Member States
  • [08] Statement by Commission Spokesperson: Receipt of letter from Spanish authorities on Eon/Endesa merger
  • [09] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-08-11 Reference: MEX/06/0811 Date: 11/08/2006 EXME06 / 11.8

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communicationb

    11/08/06


  • [01] Statement of President Barroso on Lebanon

    The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said: "The EU is continuing its efforts to respond effectively to the needs of this terrible conflict. Commissioner Louis Michel will be visiting the region next week to assess the situation on the ground and address the urgent and critical issue of safe and unhindered humanitarian access with both the Lebanese and Israeli authorities. First and foremost, hostilities must cease immediately. So far at least 1011 Lebanese, many of them civilians, and 116 Israelis have been killed in this conflict. Humanitarian assistance must urgently reach the civilian population, which has suffered too much during this conflict. The EU has already committed and pledged more than €100 million in humanitarian aid for the Lebanese population. For this aid to reach the people in need - and this includes the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced families - safe and unhindered access is essential. All parties must assume their responsibilities and allow humanitarian assistance to reach the civilian population safely and promptly. High Representative Solana's mission to the region is also a reflection of the EU's continued engagement. Furthermore, Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner will continue to participate actively in all diplomatic efforts towards a lasting solution. Finally, the EU stands ready to support rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, once conditions allow. Following the Rome conference in the last week of July, the Commission is already preparing for the provision of assistance for the revival of Lebanon. Important steps towards ending this conflict must be taken. Both Lebanese and Israelis alike deserve a life in peace, and the EU will do its utmost to help to make it possible.

    [02] EU assists Lebanon in managing the environmental impact of the Middle East crisis

    The European Commission is in the forefront of efforts to tackle the oil pollution along the Lebanese coast. The Lebanese authorities sought assistance through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. In response, the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) dispatched three experts to Beirut to assist the Lebanese authorities in the assessment of the situation and the preparation of the clean-up operations. Several tonnes of specialist equipment are being sent to help Lebanon manage the consequences of this environmental disaster.

    [03] Statement by Vice-President Franco Frattini on tackling of migration flows to the Canary Islands

    "I have just been informed by Director-General Ilka Laitinen of FRONTEX[1] that the joint sea operation on tackling migration flows to the Canary Islands, HERA-II, is ready to be launched. This is truly a historic moment in the history of EU immigration policies and a very tangible expression of EU solidarity amongst Member states. This is the “solidarity in action” I promised to the government and citizens of Spain, and those of the Canary Islands in particular, and this is the kind of support the governments and citizens from Malta and Italy also receive in addressing their specific migration pressures. The second stage of a Mediterranean border control operation, entitled Jason, will also be launched as soon as possible. These operations are not about building “Fortress Europe”, these operation have a humanitarian character, aiming at saving lives at sea, as well as reducing illegal immigration and combating trafficking in human beings, a crime from which only traffickers benefit. These operations furthermore form part and parcel of a wider EU comprehensive approach in addressing migration, in particular migration from Africa. Except for measures in addressing illegal immigration, this approach also includes exploring possibilities for legal migration, aims at avoiding “brain drain”, so detrimental to countries of origin, and rather to look at engaging migrants in the further development of their country, and includes programmes to assist refugees getting access to international protection sooner and closer to their needs. The operations are also fully in line with the Rabat Action Plan on a Euro-African Partnership for Migration and Development, 56 countries of origin, transit and destination agreed upon last month in Rabat, which also includes cooperation in the fight against illegal immigration. I am extremely grateful to the governments of the various Member States involved in this particular operation for their assistance, knowledge and equipment offered. This is what Europe is about."

    [04] Commission publishes updated crop yield forecast: July heat waves and drought reduce European crop yields

    An updated analysis by the European Commission, through its advanced crop yield forecasting system, shows that the particularly hot weather in July has significantly affected this year’s EU crops productions. Compared to the previous analysis performed at the end of June, the European crop monitoring system now depicts a further reduction of crops. In comparison with the 2005 campaign, the main crop yields affected are: soft wheat (- 4.0%), winter barley (-2.0%), grain maize (-5.1%), potato (-4.3%) and sugar beet (-3.0%). The total cereal production is expected to be about 9 M tonnes (-3.6%) even lower than 2005’s reduced yields. In terms of production, Germany, Poland, UK, France and Italy appear to be most affected. Compared to the 2003 drought, the geographic area affected by the yield reduction is greater, whereas the overall loss in production is less severe.

    [05] Rédiffusion

    [06] Joint declaration by Vi-President Franco Frattini and Vice-President Jacques Barrot

    Following this mornings events in the United Kingdom in regard to the disruption of a major terrorist plot, the European Commission has been in close and continuous contact with the UK authorities. Vice-President Franco Frattini has congratulated his colleague Home Secretary John Reid and British authorities on the police and intelligence work undertaken, which seems to have been very effective and saved many lives "Today’s events", Vice-President Frattini stated, "show once more that terrorism is a continuous and global threat in Europe and in other parts of the world, which calls for a constant, concerted response from all European countries, institutions and peoples. The European Union's counter-terrorism policies in all its dimensions, including prevention, protection, prosecution and response, will be implemented with full vigour to this end". Vice-President Barrot welcomed the quick Europe-wide reaction to coordinate air traffic management through Eurocontrol, which has prevented flights from taking off to Heathrow airport. On a case by case basis Eurocontrol, in full concertation with UK authorities, also helped to reroute European flights already on their way to Heathrow. Vice -President Barrot stated: "the aviation industry had shown great solidarity in very difficult circumstances".

    [07] Drought: Use of set aside land for animal feed allowed in a more Member States

    After agreeing to authorise farmers affected by severe drought to use set aside land for animal feed purposes in nine Member States at the end of July, the European Commission has now responded positively to similar demands from five other Member States: Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Slovenia. Normally the agricultural use of set-aside areas is allowed only from 31 August onwards but due to the heatwave in the last weeks, the animal feed growing on these areas would dry up before it could be used.

    [08] Statement by Commission Spokesperson: Receipt of letter from Spanish authorities on Eon/Endesa merger

    I can confirm that the European Commission has today received an answer to the letter it sent to the Spanish authorities on 3 August 2006. The letter from the Commission, based on Article 21 of the Merger Regulation, requested clarifications to the decision taken by the CNE (Spanish Energy Regulator) on the Eon/Endesa case. The services of the Commission will now examine in detail the reply from the Spanish authorities. The European Commission will not comment on the content of the letter before it has finished its assessment.

    [09] Autre matériel diffusé

    Updated crop yield forecasts for 2006 and analysis of drought effects

    Rediffusion « Commission activities in the fight against terrorism 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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