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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-02-25

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] Central America: Commission holds second round of negotiations for an Association Agreement
  • [02] European Commission puts focus on competitiveness of metals industries
  • [03] EMU commemorative coin: and the winner is...
  • [04] RegioStars Awards: a celebration of Europe's most innovative regional projects
  • [05] Reforms are paying off, but don't forget the most vulnerable – EU report
  • [06] EU-Iraq: negotiations for a Trade and Cooperation Agreement continue
  • [07] EU-funded film “The Counterfeiters” (Austria/ Germany) wins Oscar as best foreign language film
  • [08] European research shows that hydrogen energy could reduce oil consumption in road transport by 40% by 2050
  • [09] President Barroso congratulates Mr Demetris Christofias, newly elected President of Cyprus
  • [10] Nights spent in hotels rose by 3.1% in 2007
  • [11] Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of various Hagemeyer subsidiaries by Rexel subject to conditions
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-02-25 Reference: MEX/08/0225 Date: 25/02/2008 EXME08 / 25.02

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    25/02/08


  • [01] Central America: Commission holds second round of negotiations for an Association Agreement

    The European Commission, negotiating on behalf of the EU, and Central America will meet in Brussels from 25 to 29 February 2008 for a second round of negotiations in view of an Association Agreement, including a free trade area between the EU and Central America.

    [02] European Commission puts focus on competitiveness of metals industries

    Metal industries in Europe are competitive and rely on innovation and high productivity to maintain their position, but are confronted with a situation in which they are losing their share due to higher constraints, compared to other parts of the world. Keeping a competitive metals industry in Europe is the key objective of a European Commission communication adopted today. It highlights important issues influencing the competitiveness of this sector, such as climate change and other environmental challenges, energy, access to raw materials, research and innovation and trade.

    [03] EMU commemorative coin: and the winner is...

    EU citizens and residents have selected a design, symbolizing the euro as the latest step in the long history of European economic integration, for a new euro coin that will be issued next January to commemorate 10 years of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). More than 141,000 people voted in an online competition to select the winning design from a choice of five. The commemorative 2-euro coin will be issued by all euro-area Member States. It is estimated that some 90 million of these coins will be put in circulation.

    [04] RegioStars Awards: a celebration of Europe's most innovative regional projects

    Tonight, Alsace, Øresund, Wales, the West Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber take centre stage in Europe as winners of the first RegioStars Awards for innovative regional projects. Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, and Mr Pasqual Maragall i Mira, former President of Catalonia and President of the Jury, will award prizes for projects promoting sustainable development and knowledge-based regional economies. The awards take place during a two-day conference in Brussels entitled: 'Regions for Economic Change - Sharing excellence'.

    [05] Reforms are paying off, but don't forget the most vulnerable – EU report

    Social protection reforms and active inclusion policies have visibly contributed to higher growth and more jobs in Europe over the past year. Still, more needs to be done to ensure that these benefits reach those at the margins of society and improve social cohesion, says a Commission report to be discussed by Employment and Social Affairs Ministers on 29 February. The 2008 'Joint Report on Social Protection and Inclusion' focuses on priorities and progress made in the areas of child poverty, working longer, private pension provision, health inequalities and long- term care. Once adopted by the Council, the report will go to the Spring European Council on 13-14 March to highlight the social dimension of the jobs and growth package.

    [06] EU-Iraq: negotiations for a Trade and Cooperation Agreement continue

    On 26-27 February 2008, the European Commission and the Government of Iraq will hold the fourth round of negotiations for a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) since negotiations started in November 2006. The fourth round is expected to cover human rights issues, trade in goods and services, customs and taxation, industrial cooperation, transport, employment and social protection, education, training and, youth, culture, agriculture and rural development. The negotiations will be led on the Commission’s side by Hugues Mingarelli, Deputy Director-General for the External Relations DG, and Mohammed Hamoud Bidan, Iraqi Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    [07] EU-funded film “The Counterfeiters” (Austria/ Germany) wins Oscar as best foreign language film

    Yet another triumph for European Cinema: At last night's Oscars, the Oscar for the best foreign language film went to the Austrian-German co- production "The Counterfeiters" (Die Fälscher), a film co-funded by the EU's MEDIA programme and directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky from Austria. This is the third time in a row that European cinema is successful in Hollywood.

    [08] European research shows that hydrogen energy could reduce oil consumption in road transport by 40% by 2050

    A scientific project funded by the EU's research programme has found that introducing hydrogen into the energy system would reduce the total oil consumption by the road transport sector by 40% between now and 2050. By taking a leading position in the worldwide market for hydrogen technologies, Europe can open new economic opportunities and strengthen its competitiveness. But the analysis also states that transition won't happen automatically. Substantial barriers have first to be overcome, ranging from economic and technological to institutional barriers, and actions must be taken as soon as possible.

    [09] President Barroso congratulates Mr Demetris Christofias, newly elected President of Cyprus

    European Commission President José Manuel Barroso today congratulated Mr Demetris Christofias, after his victory yesterday in the Presidential elections in Cyprus.

    [10] Nights spent in hotels rose by 3.1% in 2007

    In 2007, 1 578 million nights were spent in hotels and similar establishments in the EU27, which is an increase of 3.1% compared with 2006. Hotel nights spent by residents in their own country increased by 3.6% to 856 million, while for non-residents hotel nights rose by 2.4% to 722 million. For comparison, the growth rate of total nights spent in hotels in the EU27 was 4.3% in 2006 and 4.6% in 2005. These estimates come from a publication from Eurostat.

    Rediffusion

    [11] Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of various Hagemeyer subsidiaries by Rexel subject to conditions

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Dutch company Hagemeyer's subsidiaries in several EEA countries and in Russia by Rexel of France. Both companies are active in the wholesale distribution of electrical products. The Commission's decision is conditional upon the divestment of Hagemeyer's electrical wholesale distribution business in Ireland. In light of this commitment, the Commission has concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    Statement by Commissioner Louis Michel on nomination of Raul Castro as new President of Cuba

    Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, takes note of the nomination of Raul Castro as President of the Council of Ministers and President of the Council of State of Cuba.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Antitrust: Commission confirms sending a Statement of Objections to Alcan

    • Memo on Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008

    A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    3M/AERO

    Scholz/ TTC/ GMPL JV 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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