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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-06-12

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] Environment: Commission hosts high-level conference on soil and climate change
  • [02] Commission joins the celebrations of the World Day Against Child Labour
  • [03] Brussels: Concert "Together in Diversity" at the Grand Place to celebrate Intercultural Dialogue
  • [04] High Level Group to boost competitiveness of the agro-food industry
  • [05] Commission takes latest step in CAP simplification process
  • [06] Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner confirms long-term commitment in Afghanistan
  • [07] Commission acts to protect precious habitat on the Dutch North Sea coast
  • [08] Statement by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn on the arrest of ICTY indictee Stojan Zupljanin, Brussels, 11 June 2008
  • [09] Commissioner Piebalgs welcomes EU - Middle East energy development and transportation seminar
  • [10] Industrial production up by 0.9% in euro area
  • [11] Commission initiates Excessive Deficit Procedure for the United Kingdom
  • [12] Commission calls for swift adoption of energy and climate policies as best coordinated response to rising oil prices
  • [13] Commissioner Michel welcomes peace agreement for Somalia
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-06-12 Reference: MEX/08/0612 Date: 12/06/2008 EXME08 / 12.06

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    12/06/08


  • [01] Environment: Commission hosts high-level conference on soil and climate change

    The European Commission today hosted a high-level conference on the relationship between soil and climate change, and the role of soil management in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Organic matter plays a fundamental role supporting soil fertility, retaining water, sustaining biodiversity and regulating the global carbon cycle. But organic matter is in decline, and the conference heard how large amounts of carbon have been lost to the atmosphere in recent years. The Commission is convinced of the need to act at EU level to protect soil. Members of the European Parliament, the President of the Environment Council and other key players agreed that the role of soil as a repository of carbon must be enhanced. They discussed policy options for achieving this, and advocated the adoption of a Directive on the protection of soil, along the lines of the Soil Framework Directive that was blocked by Council last December.

    [02] Commission joins the celebrations of the World Day Against Child Labour

    World Day Against Child Labour will this year be marked by thousands of events in scores of countries around the world on 12 June with a focus on the need to improve access of children to education as the right response to child labour.

    [03] Brussels: Concert "Together in Diversity" at the Grand Place to celebrate Intercultural Dialogue

    To mark the first six months of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, and the end of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, the European Commission, Slovenia and the City of Brussels will host a Concert on Friday, 13 June at 19:00h at the Grand Place. A combination of rhythms and different nationalities will be "Together in diversity", with the participation of three bands: Strojmachine (Slovenia), Karim Baggili Quintet (Belgium) and Gipsy.Cz (Czech Republic).

    [04] High Level Group to boost competitiveness of the agro-food industry

    The first meeting of the High Level Group (HLG) on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry today will help pave the way to boosting the performance of this important sector in Europe. The group, chaired by European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen, includes Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Consumer Protection Meglena Kuneva, Commissioner for Health Androulla Vassiliou and senior policy makers from the public and private sector. Their task is to identify and address issues that determine the competitiveness of the Agro-Food industry and to formulate a set of recommendations to achieve predictable and stable framework conditions for years to come.

    [05] Commission takes latest step in CAP simplification process

    The European Commission has taken the latest step in the ongoing process of simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy: the elimination of the vast majority of licence obligations for imports and exports in the agricultural sector and the rationalisation of related rules . The changes will result in clear and simple rules and a substantial reduction in administrative burdens for both operators and national administrations. Following the adoption of the Single CMO last year by the Council, the Commission has now decided to substantially reduce the number of products that are subject to an import or export licence. The rules for products that will remain subject to a licensing obligation have been harmonised and simplified, which renders them more accessible and easier to work with.

    [06] Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner confirms long-term commitment in Afghanistan

    Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: "Even though social, economic, and infrastructure development cooperation with the international community has brought undeniable gains to Afghanistan, the living standard for most Afghans still has to be improved.. It is important now not to loose sight of our shared goal: to improve the lives of the Afghan people, while ensuring sustainability of reconstruction with strong Afghan ownership. Afghanistan's problems cannot be solved without stronger governance and respect for the rule of law. So it comes as no surprise that the promotion of the rule of law will remain one of our key priorities for the years to come."

    [07] Commission acts to protect precious habitat on the Dutch North Sea coast

    Acting on a request from the Dutch government, the European Commission has adopted a Decision to implement fisheries measures to support the compensation of habitat loss caused by enlarging the Rotterdam harbour and improve the environmental quality of the area. The Commission Decision establishes 5 rest areas for seals and birds within which most fishing activities will be prohibited, and bans vessels of more than 191 kW with tickler chains in this seabed protection area. This is the first time a Member State has sought the Commission's assistance in protecting marine habitats and species within their own 12 nautical miles by using Article 9 of the Basic Regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy (Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002). The measures in question all fall within 3 nautical miles of the coast, and the only other Member State that will be affected by them is Belgium. Before notifying the Commission of its proposal, the Dutch authorities consulted with the Commission, the concerned Member state and with the North Sea Regional Advisory Council. In February 2008, the Netherlands designated the Voordelta area as a special area of conservation and informed the Commission of its intention to take measures to restrict fishery activities. The Voordelta is an extensive area of coastal waters remarkable for the abundance and variety of its flora and fauna, which extends from Rotterdam in the north as far as the Westerschelde estuary in the south. The European Commission is committed to encouraging the extension of the Natura 2000 network into marine areas, and to promoting the use of measures under the Common Fisheries Policy to protect such habitats while they are pending final designation.

    [08] Statement by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn on the arrest of ICTY indictee Stojan Zupljanin, Brussels, 11 June 2008

    "I welcome the news confirmed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that Stojan Zupljanin has been arrested. It is an important step towards full cooperation with the ICTY, which is key to bringing justice and lasting reconciliation in the Western Balkans region."

    [09] Commissioner Piebalgs welcomes EU - Middle East energy development and transportation seminar

    Energy in the Middle East will the topic of a regional seminar organised by the Energy Charter Secretariat and the EC on 19 June in Damascus. Key government and industry experts from the EU, Turkey, the Middle East and Mashreq countries will exchange views on issues such as regional investments, market structures and energy integration. "The EU, Turkey and the broader Mashreq region with Egypt and Iraq have a lot to gain by reinforcing energy cooperation. The price of energy, market reforms, energy security and energy transportation are high on all our political agendas. The Damascus seminar will provide us with important input on a variety of urgent issues, particularly in relation to investment and energy transportation", declared Energy Commissioner Piebalgs. The seminar will allow key energy industry companies to share their views on the possibilities for new oil and gas transit options.

    [10] Industrial production up by 0.9% in euro area

    In April 2008 compared with March 2008, seasonally adjusted industrial production grew by 0.9% in the euro area (EA15) and by 0.3% in the EU272. In March production fell by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. In April 2008 compared with April 2007, industrial production rose by 3.9% in the euro area and by 3.7% in the EU27. These estimates are released by Eurostat.

    Rédiffusion

    [11] Commission initiates Excessive Deficit Procedure for the United Kingdom

    The European Commission today has adopted a report under Article 104(3) of the EU Treaty following the UK authorities' notification, in March 2008, of a planned deficit of 3.2% of GDP in financial year 2008/09, i.e. above the 3% of GDP Treaty reference value. While the report accepts that the planned deficit remains close to the reference value, it concludes that it cannot be qualified as exceptional within the meaning of the Treaty and the Stability and Growth Pact; nor can it be considered temporary.

    [12] Commission calls for swift adoption of energy and climate policies as best coordinated response to rising oil prices

    The European Commission has today debated the policy responses needed to mitigate the effects of rising global fuel prices. Based on today's conclusions, President Barroso will present a communication, to be adopted in good time to be discussed at the European Council on 19-20 June in conjunction with the recent Commission communication on rising food prices (see IP/08/763). The College of Commissioners analysed both structural and cyclical factors and proposes a co-ordinated policy response, including immediate, medium and long-term policy options. Based on Commission proposals made over the last two years, these include stepping up the drive for energy efficiency in business and private households, a commitment to make proposals on the transparency of commercial oil stocks by the end of the year and support for the organisation of a global fuel summit between main producing and consuming countries to discuss a wide range of issues related to the balanced functioning of oil markets. The Commission agreed that member States take short term initiatives to support the most deprived sectors of the population. These measures should fit into a co-ordinated strategy and should avoid distorting effects on the internal market or on fiscal and monetary policy.

    [13] Commissioner Michel welcomes peace agreement for Somalia

    European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, has welcomed the agreement between the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia signed in Djibouti on 9th June. Commissioner Michel stated, "I very much welcome this agreement which offers fresh hope for long-term peace and stability to the people of Somalia. It is just the beginning of a long journey for Somalia on the path towards normality – but it can and must mark a turning-point for this country. In particular, I would like to thank the efforts of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and the government of Djibouti for hosting these talks." Commissioner Michel also emphasised the urgent need to keep up the momentum of an inclusive dialogue for a sustained political solution to the dire situation in Somalia and the importance of all parties respecting the agreement in full. "It is now crucial that all parties stick to the agreement including the creation of a Joint Security Committee within 15 days, a cessation of hostilities within 30 days, and full compliance with future security arrangements under the auspices of the United Nations. Furthermore, I remind all parties to ensure that humanitarian aid workers have full and secure access across the country."

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo Antitrust: Commission market tests commitments proposed by E.ON concerning German electricity markets

    • Memo Antitrust: Commission confirms sending Statement of Objections to E.ON and Gaz de France concerning alleged sharing of French and German gas markets

    • Memo sur les Aides d'État: la Commission entame une enquête approfondie sur le prêt de 300 millions d'euros consenti Alitalia par l'État italien

    • Speech by Stavros DIMAS on Soil: an important resource to safeguard at the Soil and Climate Change Conference in Brussels

    • Speech by Commission ALMUNIA on "The Financial Market Crisis – Consequences and Counter Measures at the Bavarian Representaiton in Brussels

    • Speech du Commissaire PIDLA sur Le défi de l'emploi dans l'Union Européenne, Bruxelles

    • Speech by Commissioner BORG on "Implementing the European Integrated Maritime Policy at th ECASBA Annual Seminar on the implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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