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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-09-27

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] Faciliter l'accès des adultes Ă l'Ă©ducation et Ă la formation! La Commission demande aux Etats membres de mettre en Ĺ“uvre le plan d'action sur l'Ă©ducation et la formation des adultes
  • [02] Eurobarometer on culture : Europeans affirm their strong attachment to culture and expect more from the EU in this area
  • [03] Globalisation Fund to help 4,000 workers in mobile phone sector
  • [04] Deux nouveaux coordonnateurs europĂ©ens pour les rĂ©seaux transeuropĂ©ens de transport
  • [05] La Commission demande Ă la Pologne de mettre fin aux contrats d'achat d'Ă©lectricitĂ© Ă long terme et autorise le mĂ©canisme de compensation prĂ©vu
  • [06] Commission clears acquisition of by PB and BHW by Talanx
  • [07] Commission clears acquisition of BvDEP by BC Funds
  • [08] Commission clears acquisition of Avaya by SLP and TPG V
  • [09] Commission clears acquisition of GCR and Scapa by Barclays
  • [10] Sugar reform : Council backs improved sugar restructuring scheme
  • [11] CĂ©rĂ©ales : le Conseil approuve un taux de jachère nul pour les semis de l'automne 2007 et du printemps 2008
  • [12] Commission to propose suspension of import duties on cereals
  • [13] Secteur laitier : le Conseil est favorable Ă une amĂ©lioration du rĂ©gime de distribution de lait aux Ă©coles et Ă d'autres simplifications du marchĂ©
  • [14] Benita Ferrero-Waldner on arrests of Belarus civil society members
  • [15] Benita Ferrero-Waldner on increased tension in Burma/Myanmar
  • [16] What regional policy for tomorrow ? Cohesion Forum assesses the challenges
  • [17] Cohesion policy 2007-2013 : two new Lithuanian programmes launched
  • [18] DĂ©buts en fanfare pour l'instrument de financement avec partage des risques de la CE et de la BEI : dĂ©jà €359 millions de financements, axĂ©s en grande partie sur les Ă©nergies renouvelables
  • [19] 3rd European Researchers' Night builds on past success
  • [20] Autre matĂ©riel diffusĂ© Midday Express of 2007-09-27 Reference: MEX/07/0927 Date: 27/09/2007 EXME07 / 27.9

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    27/09/07


  • [01] Faciliter l'accès des adultes Ă l'Ă©ducation et Ă la formation! La Commission demande aux Etats membres de mettre en Ĺ“uvre le plan d'action sur l'Ă©ducation et la formation des adultes

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui une communication demandant aux Etats membres de coopérer pour appuyer le plan d'action de l'UE sur l'éducation et la formation des adultes. Ce plan d'action doit contribuer à lever les obstacles à l'engagement des adultes dans des activités d'apprentissage ainsi qu'à améliorer la qualité et l'efficacité dans le secteur de l'éducation et de la formation des adultes. Il est demandé également d'assurer des taux d'investissement adéquats dans le secteur de l'éducation et de la formation des adultes et un meilleur contrôle de celui-ci.

    [02] Eurobarometer on culture : Europeans affirm their strong attachment to culture and expect more from the EU in this area

    A new Europe-wide survey has revealed that two-thirds of Europeans feel that they share elements of a collective culture. Nearly nine out of ten Europeans say that culture, cultural exchanges and intercultural dialogue should have an important place in the EU. These findings emerged from the recent Eurobarometer survey of people's views on culture, which was carried out during the spring. The survey covered 26,000 persons from all over Europe and from all walks of life.

    [03] Globalisation Fund to help 4,000 workers in mobile phone sector

    The European Commission today announced that it has approved two further applications for assistance under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) – from Germany and Finland. These will now be put before the European Parliament and the Council for decision. They are the third and fourth applications for EGF support and concern redundancies in two companies in the mobile phone sector: BenQ in Germany and Perlos in Finland.

    [04] Deux nouveaux coordonnateurs européens pour les réseaux transeuropéens de transport

    La Commission européenne, sur proposition du Vice-président Jacques Barrot, vient de nommer deux nouveaux coordonnateurs européens dans le secteur des réseaux transeuropéens de transport: Mme Karla Peijs pour les voies navigables et M. Luis Valente de Oliveira pour les autoroutes de la mer. Ces coordonnateurs faciliteront le dialogue entre les Etats concernés pour mieux synchroniser les travaux et les plans de financement. "Ces projets sont essentiels pour développer une politique de transport durable, mais ils doivent également faire face à de significatives difficultés de mise en œuvre: le choix de ces deux personnalités reconnues dans le monde des transports est un gage de succès", a déclaré M. Barrot.

    [05] La Commission demande à la Pologne de mettre fin aux contrats d'achat d'électricité à long terme et autorise le mécanisme de compensation prévu

    A la suite d'une enquête ouverte en application des règles du traité CE relatives aux aides d'Etat, la Commission européenne a demandé à la Pologne de mettre fin aux contrats d'achat d'électricité à long terme qui constituent des aides d'Etat illégales et incompatibles. Parallèlement, elle a autorisé la mise en place d'un système de compensation des coûts qui découlent de l'annulation de ces contrats et qui ne peuvent être récupérés par le producteur d'électricité ("coûts échoués"). La Commission est parvenue à la conclusion que cette compensation n'excéderait pas ce qui est nécessaire pour compenser le manque de retour sur investissement pendant la durée de vie des actifs, compte tenu le cas échéant d'une marge bénéficiaire raisonnable.

    [06] Commission clears acquisition of by PB and BHW by Talanx

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of German insurance companies Postbank Versicherung Aktiengesellschaft (PB-V), PostbankLebensversicherung Aktiengesellschaft (PB-L), BHW Lebensversicherung Aktiengesellschaft (BHW- L) and BHW Pensionkasse Aktiengesellschaft (BHW-P) by Talanx Aktiengesellschaft (Talanx), also of Germany. PB-L, BHW-L and BHW-P are all life insurance companies, whilst PB-V is active in non-life insurance. Talanx is active in life insurance, non-life insurance, reinsurance and financial services. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [07] Commission clears acquisition of BvDEP by BC Funds

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing BV (BvDEP) of The Netherlands by BC Funds, acting through CIE Management II Ltd of Guernsey, the Channel Islands. BC Funds are financial investors. BvDEP is an electronic publisher of company information. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [08] Commission clears acquisition of Avaya by SLP and TPG V

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Avaya Inc. ('Avaya', U.S.A.) by TPG Partners V L.P. ('TPG', U.S.A.) and Silver Lake Partners ('SLP', U.S.A.). TPG and SLP are both active in the private equity investment fund. Avaya deals with communications systems and applications for enterprises. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [09] Commission clears acquisition of GCR and Scapa by Barclays

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Gemeaz Cusin Ristorazione S.r.l. (GCR) and Scapa Italia S.r.l. (Scapa), both of Italy, by Barclays Industrial Investments Limited (BIIL), controlled by Barclays of the UK. BIIL is an investment company. Barclays is a global financial services provider. GCR supplies contract catering services in Italy. Scapa is active in food distribution to caterers. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [10] Sugar reform : Council backs improved sugar restructuring scheme

    European Union agriculture ministers backed on 26 September changes to the sugar restructuring scheme which will make it more effective and thus reduce European Union sugar production to sustainable levels. The restructuring scheme was a key element of the 2006 reform of the Common Market Organisation for sugar, offering producers who would be uncompetitive at the new lower price a financial incentive to leave the sector. Unfortunately, much less quota was renounced during the first two years of the scheme than anticipated and changes therefore had to be made to make it more attractive. The main changes agreed are that the percentage of the aid given to growers and machinery contractors should be fixed at 10 percent, but growers who renounce quota will get an additional payment. Retroactive payments are foreseen, to avoid penalising those who have already given up their quotas. A new element is that beet growers may apply directly for aid from the restructuring fund, up to a certain limit. As an additional incentive for companies to participate, those which renounce a certain amount of their quota in 2008/09 will be exempted from paying the restructuring levy on the part of their quota which was subject to preventive withdrawal in the 2007/2008 marketing year. A two step application for renouncing quota for 2008/09 is introduced, where the first step (deadline 31/1/08) as a minimum has to correspond to the preventive withdrawal decided in March this year in order to be able to participate in the second step (deadline 31/3/08). The Commission will let companies know after the first step to what extent they risk an uncompensated cut in 2010 if they do not participate in the second step. The Commission believes that the changes should allow the renunciation of about 3.8 million tonnes of sugar quota in addition to the 2.2 million tonnes given up so far. If insufficient quota has been renounced by 2010, the Commission will make compulsory quota cuts. The level of these cuts will vary depending on how much quota each Member State had renounced under the restructuring scheme.

    [11] Céréales : le Conseil approuve un taux de jachère nul pour les semis de l'automne 2007 et du printemps 2008

    Les ministres de l’agriculture de l’Union européenne ont approuvé le 26 septembre la proposition de la Commission européenne visant à fixer à 0% le taux de mise en jachère obligatoire pour les semis de l’automne 2007 et ceux du printemps 2008. Cette mesure intervient en réaction à la situation de plus en plus tendue sur le marché des céréales. Elle devrait permettre d'accroître la récolte de céréales d'au moins 10 millions de tonnes l'année prochaine. Dans les vingt-sept Etats membres de l'Union, une récolte 2006 moins importante que prévu (265,5 millions de tonnes) a entraîné des tensions dans l'approvisionnement vers la fin de la campagne de commercialisation 2006/2007 et une hausse historique des prix. Les stocks d'intervention ont fondu, passant de 14 millions de tonnes au début de la campagne 2006/2007 à environ 1 million de tonnes aujourd'hui. L'avenir du système de mise en jachère obligatoire fera partie du débat qui sera lancé le 20 novembre par la communication sur le "bilan de santé de la PAC". Il s'agira notamment de voir comment préserver les effets positifs de ce système sur l'environnement. La fixation d'un taux nul n'oblige pas les agriculteurs à cultiver leurs terres. Ils peuvent, s'ils le souhaitent, les maintenir en jachère et continuer de mettre en œuvre des programmes en faveur de l'environnement.

    [12] Commission to propose suspension of import duties on cereals

    Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, today announced that she will propose in the coming days the total suspension of cereal import duties for the current marketing year - which ends on June 30, 2008 – unless market conditions justify their reintroduction before that date. The proposal, which was put to EU agriculture ministers, is a reaction to the exceptionally tight situation on the cereals markets and the record price levels. Although the actual levels of border protection for cereals are rather low, import duties are still applied for certain types of grains that are relevant for the balance of the EU market. At the same time, there are no export refunds on cereal exports. The proposal would have to be approved by the Council of Ministers.

    [13] Secteur laitier : le Conseil est favorable à une amélioration du régime de distribution de lait aux écoles et à d'autres simplifications du marché

    Les ministres de l'agriculture de l'Union européenne ont approuvé le 26 septembre un ensemble de mesures visant à une meilleure gestion du secteur laitier, y compris une amélioration importante du régime de lait distribué aux écoles. Un taux d'aide unique sera fixé pour toutes les catégories de lait distribué dans les écoles. Le régime précédent prévoyait un taux d'aide plus élevé pour le lait à teneur élevée en matière grasse. Cela n'a plus de sens à une époque où l'obésité devient un problème de santé publique majeur et où il convient de réduire la consommation de matières grasses dans les produits laitiers, notamment par les écoliers. En fixant un taux forfaitaire, indépendant de la teneur en matière grasse, l'UE encouragera à l'avenir de facto les écoliers à consommer des produits laitiers à faible teneur en matière grasse. D'autres mesures adoptées ce jour contribueront fortement à simplifier l'organisation commune des marchés dans le secteur du lait et des produits laitiers. Il s'agit notamment de libéraliser le marché du lait de consommation, afin de permettre la vente au détail de laits de différentes teneurs en matière grasse. Les catégories actuelles (lait entier, lait demi-écrémé et lait écrémé) seront maintenues, mais il sera désormais possible de commercialiser du lait présentant d'autres teneurs en matière grasse, pour autant que celles-ci soient clairement indiquées sur l'emballage. D'autres modifications prévues portent sur le stockage privé, le système d'intervention applicable au beurre, les certificats d'importation et la standardisation de la teneur en protéines du lait de conserve.

    [14] Benita Ferrero-Waldner on arrests of Belarus civil society members

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said: "I welcome the initiative taken by Belarusian civil society to organise a European March in Minsk on 14 October in order to express the support of the Belarusian people for closer relations between Belarus and the EU. It is good to see that Belarusian civil society has taken up the EU's offer to Belarus to enter a full partnership, provided that Belarus would take convincing steps towards democratisation. In this context, I am concerned by reports that a number of organisers of this peaceful march have been arrested. I would expect the Belarusian authorities to act in accordance with their recently reconfirmed position of getting closer to the EU. These actions are in contrast to this position. I urge the Belarusian authorities to immediately release all those detained on political grounds and to respect the basic human right of the Belarusian people to express themselves and to assemble, including on the 14th October."

    [15] Benita Ferrero-Waldner on increased tension in Burma/Myanmar

    European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said on 26 September : "I am very concerned by reports about increased tension in Burma/Myanmar. I firmly condemn the use of force by the Burmese authorities against peaceful demonstrators and urge the Burmese authorities to immediately stop any use of force. I support the process started at the UN by having a discussion on the situation in Burma/Myanmar at the UN Security Council today – we need to mobilize Myanmar's immediate neighbours to join our call for restraint of the regime and for a genuine political dialogue, including full respect for human rights. The EU and the US have agreed to consider further steps against the regime in Burma/Myanmar including sanctions if deemed necessary."

    [16] What regional policy for tomorrow ? Cohesion Forum assesses the challenges

    A major consultation on the shape of tomorrow's regional policy will be launched at the Cohesion Forum in Brussels on 27-28 September. The Forum, which takes place every three years, brings together high-level policy- makers from all over Europe. This major political event will open discussion on the shape of Cohesion Policy after 2013, at the start of a new budgetary period. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Commissioners Danuta Hübner (Regional Policy) and Vladimir Špidla (Employment and Social Affairs) will be at the launch of the Forum. They will be joined by Mr José Sócrates, Prime Minister of Portugal, which holds the EU Presidency. The debates will be based on the issues raised and conclusions reached in the Fourth Economic and Social Cohesion report adopted by the Commission last May.

    [17] Cohesion policy 2007-2013 : two new Lithuanian programmes launched

    (! embargo 18h00 !) Lithuania's cohesion programmes for the next seven years are being launched today at a ceremony in Brussels. European Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner and Lithuania's Minister for Finance, Mr Rimantas Šadžius, sign the two Operational Programmes that frame actions under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund, with investment worth €5.7 billion.

    [18] Débuts en fanfare pour l'instrument de financement avec partage des risques de la CE et de la BEI : déjà €359 millions de financements, axés en grande partie sur les énergies renouvelables

    (! embargo 16h00 !) A l'occasion du forum annuel de la Banque européenne d'investissement (BEI) intitulé "Investir dans les énergies, maîtriser les changements climatiques" qui se déroule à Ljubljana, en Slovénie, la Commission européenne et la BEI ont annoncé aujourd'hui le succès du lancement de l'instrument de financement avec partage des risques (IFPR), la dernière en date d'une série d'initiatives communes de la BEI et de la Commission. Cette solution de financement innovante vise à apporter un appui supplémentaire conséquent aux projets de recherche, de développement et d'innovation en Europe. Les premières opérations de financement de l'IFPR concernent principalement des projets dans le domaine des sources d'énergies renouvelables, qui sont l'une des priorités de la BEI en matière de financement pour 2007.

    [19] 3rd European Researchers' Night builds on past success

    Following very successful events in 2006 and 2005, the 3rd European Researchers' Night will take place on 28 September 2007. With 150 locations across 29 countries, 2007 will be the biggest yet. From Riga to Naples, Bucharest to Santa Maria de Feira, Izmir to Reykjavik, universities, research institutions and museums will be opening their doors to unveil the hidden treasures within. Aimed at making researchers' work understandable and accessible, no matter what your level of scientific knowledge, European Researchers' Night is an opportunity to meet researchers both in their working environments and in more unexpected situations – on a sport field, or in a rock band, perhaps! Many of the planned events will use advanced technologies to spectacular effect, or allow the public the chance to use sophisticated research instruments. In Brussels researchers will model recycled clothes. In Budapest you can experience the sensation of crashing a plane, in total safety. In Stockholm you can drive a racing car. In Zurich you can have a drink with the scientists on the lake. Across Europe there will be interactive experiments, drawing competitions, concerts, dinners, parties, exhibitions, quizzes, puzzles, films and much more. To access the full list of events near you, click on :

    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/researchersineurope/events/ern07_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/research/researchersineurope/events/ern07_en.htm

    [20] Autre matériel diffusé

    Commission calls on Member States to implement the Action Plan on Adult Learning - FAQ

    Lithuania - Operational Programme 2007-2013: Economic Growth (! embargo 18h00Â !)

    Opening speech by Danuta HĂĽbner at 4th Cohesion Forum

    Speech by Markos Kyprianou : "Improving the health of migrants in Europe" at Portuguese Presidency Conference on 'Health and Migration' (Lisbon) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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