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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-06-26
Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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CONTENTS / CONTENU
MIDDAY EXPRESSNews from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction GĂ©nĂ©rale Communicationb
 Commission proposes to allocate â‚¬44 million to the fight against tortureEuropean Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, stated on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture : "I would like to pay tribute to all the victims of acts of torture on all continents, as well as to all those who are deeply committed to fighting for the eradication of this barbaric practice. The Commission has made the fight against torture a key priority in its external relations. We spare no efforts in fighting against this scourge of mankind by consistently raising the issue of torture in our relations with third countries and in multilateral fora and by providing substantial funding to support projects aiming at the prevention of torture and through assistance to torture victims throughout the world. Under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), we have spent on average â‚¬11Â million per year in support of torture prevention and rehabilitation projects over the past five years. This makes us the lead global donor in this field. The Commission is committed to continue this substantial support and envisages allocating well over â‚¬44 million during the next four years to the fight against torture. As in the past, a substantial share of these funds will be allocated to torture rehabilitation centres, inside and outside the EU, as well as to numerous torture prevention initiatives by NGOs around the world."
 TSEs : Commission adopts more proportionate requirementsThe European Commission has today adopted a Regulation amending the EU provisions for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in sheep and goats. The new legislation makes the TSE monitoring and eradication requirements more flexible and balanced, while ensuring that the current very high level of consumer protection is maintained. Very intensive TSE monitoring in sheep and goats has been carried out since 2005 (see IP/05/2005), yet no incidence of BSE has been detected in these animals in that time. Moreover, in its Opinion of March 2007, the European Food Safety Authority found no evidence of any link between scrapie (the most common TSE in small ruminants) and any human disease. Therefore, the stringent EU measures in place for TSE monitoring and eradication in sheep and goats are no longer viewed as proportionate. For that reason, the Commission has reviewed the measures, making them more targeted, more risk-based and less burdensome on farmers and livestock operators. The highly intensive TSE testing in sheep and goats will be adjusted, and the number of tests which will have to be carried out on these animals will return to around the pre- 2005 level. In addition, the rules on culling whole herds upon detection of a TSE case have been adjusted, to reduce unnecessary mass slaughters which can have severe social and economic consequences. Much clearer provisions for measures to be taken when an unusual or atypical type of TSE is found in sheep or goats are also laid out in the legislation adopted today. The Regulation was endorsed by Member States in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health in April, and will enter into effect on 1 July 2007. For more information, see:
 Commission welcomes Member States' agreement on the European Institute of TechnologyOn 25 June, the Competitiveness Council agreed on a general approach for the European Institute of Technology (EIT), proposed by the European Commission in October 2006. By combining the worlds of academia, research and business, the EIT will be a flagship for excellence in innovation, research and higher education. Subject to the European Parliament's agreement later this year, the EIT should be able to begin operations in 2008. It will be organised on the basis of 'Knowledge and Innovation Communities' (partnerships of universities, research organisations, companies and other stakeholders in the innovation process), and coordinated by a small governing structure.
 Commission approves proposed acquisition of Initial ESG by UTCThe European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the British company Initial Electronic Security Group (ESG) by the US-based company United Technologies Corporation (UTC). After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.
 Commission clears acquisition of KW and RSE by SalzgitterThe European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of KlĂ¶ckner-Werke AG (KW) and RSE Grundbesitz und Beteiligungs AG (RSE), both of Germany, by Salzgitter AG of Germany. Salzgitter is active in the production, distribution and related services of various steel products, including flat steel products and steel tubes. KW produces and distributes industrial machines, such as filling and packaging machines. RSE is a real estate holding company. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
 Hausse de la charge fiscale globale dans l'UE27 Ă 39,6% du PIB en 2005Selon Eurostat, en 2005, la charge fiscale globale (c'est-Ă -dire le montant total des impĂ´ts et cotisations sociales) dans l'UE27 reprĂ©sentait 39,6% du PIB, contre 39,2% en 2004. Le taux d'imposition de l'UE27 est pratiquement le mĂŞme qu'en 1995 (39,7%) mais est nĂ©anmoins infĂ©rieur au pic de 41,0% atteint en 1999. La tendance Ă la baisse, qui avait commencĂ© en 1999 dans la plupart des pays, s'est interrompue en 2005. Dans la zone euro (ZE13), la charge fiscale globale a atteint 39,9% en 2005, contre 39,6% en 2004. Depuis 1995, la fiscalitĂ© dans la zone euro a connu une Ă©volution similaire Ă celle de l'UE27, quoiqu'Ă un niveau lĂ©gĂ¨rement supĂ©rieur. La charge fiscale globale dans l'UE demeure gĂ©nĂ©ralement Ă©levĂ©e par rapport au reste du monde, le taux d'imposition de l'UE27 dĂ©passant celui des Etats-Unis et du Japon de quelque 13 points de pourcentage. La charge fiscale varie nĂ©anmoins de faĂ§on significative d'un Etat membre Ă l'autre, allant, en 2005, de moins de 30% en Roumanie (28,0%), en Lituanie (28,9%), en Slovaquie (29,3%) et en Lettonie (29,4%) Ă plus de 50% en SuĂ¨de (51,3%) et au Danemark (50,3%).
 Commission shows good progress in recruitment from the 12 new Member StatesBy 1 May 2007, 2701 â€” officials and temporary agents â€” had been recruited from among the nationals of the 12 new Member States. The European Commission is well on track to reach its recruitment targets for 2007 by the end of the year. The numbers are taken from a report to the Budgetary Authority on the recruitment of EU-12 nationals, and give an update on progress made in EU-10 and EU-2 recruitment.
 Joe Borg : "North Atlantic fisheries ministers' conference shows value of international cooperation in fight against illegal fishing""The tangible progress achieved in the past year against illegal fishing in the North Atlantic is very encouraging. As highlighted at the North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference, such progress is due to stronger international cooperation by all the Parties concerned. This must spur all of us on to intensify our efforts to prevent those engaged in illegal fishing from making money out of their fraudulent catches. Only then will the fight against this harmful form of crime be won." European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Joe Borg, was reacting to the outcome of the 12th North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference which was held in Narsaq, Greenland, last week.
 EU and New Zealand set out new agenda for bilateral relationsOn 27 and 28 June 2007, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will pay an official visit to New Zealand to prepare the ground for a new partnership framework which provides the framework for relations between the European Union and New Zealand will be launched in September. During her visit she will meet among others with the Prime Minister Helen Clark, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and the Minister of Defence, Phil Goff. The situation in the Asia-Pacific region, global challenges like climate change and energy security as well as further international topics like the Middle East will be in the centre of the talks.
 Autre matĂ©riel diffusĂ©Discours de M. Vladimir Ĺ pidla : "La FlexicuritĂ© en Europe: modernisation du marchĂ© du travail europĂ©en au 21Ă¨me siĂ¨cle" au European Policy Centre
Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "Moving forward on Capital Market Integration" at Federation of European Stock Exchanges (FESE) Convention 2007
Speech by Olli Rehn : "50 years of deepening and widening" at Conference 'Fifty Years of the EU â€“ Three Decades of Enlargement: the Road Ahead'
Speech by Olli Rehn : "Strengthening the economic potential of the Western Balkans" at Inter-parliamentary colloquium, European Parliament (25/06)
Speech by Janez PotoÄŤnik : "Research towards future challenges of European agriculture" at SCAR (Standing Committee for Agriculture Research) Conference on the future of Agriculture Research (! embargo 13h30 !)
Speech by Danuta HĂĽbner : "Regiony PrzyszĹ‚o[ci: DÄ…|yÄ‡ do innowacyjnego rozwoju" (Warsaw)
Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner : "EU Foreign Policy: Myth or Reality?" at
The Sydney Institute
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