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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 96-05-13

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory

From: News Distribution Manager <>


News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

13 / 05 / 1996


  • [01] Jacques Santer: The Information Society can reconcile the industrialised world and the developing countries

  • [02] European conference on rural development

  • [03] Liberian refugees: Commission appeals for an end to the "Bulk Challenge"'s odyssey

  • [04] Ritt Bjerregaard: Sustainability - the Irish way

  • [01] Jacques Santer: The Information Society can reconcile the industrialised world and the developing countries

    !!! embargo 5.30 pm !!!

    Speaking today at the opening of the Information Society and Development Conference in Midrand, South Africa, President Santer said: "The Information Society can trigger a new vision of humanity, a new spirit of reconciliation and common interest between the industrialised world and the developing countries. The European Union is already contributing to this process with the largest aid and assistance programmes in the world." President Santer made an appeal to the private sector to help developing countries entering the Information Society. "The Information Society is not just about future new markets, the bottom line, the company shareholder stock options and profits." The private sector "should help in a spirit of partnership by being as generous as possible with technology and expertise". !!! embargo 5.30 pm !!!

    [02] European conference on rural development

    Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Franz Fischler announced today that the Commission will organize a major European Conference on Rural Development in Cork, Ireland from 7 - 9th November 1996. Mr Fischler said: "The purpose of the Conference will be to discuss the future perspectives for the Union's Rural Development policy. It will help the Commission design the objectives and content of a new, fully-fledged integrated Rural Development policy. This policy will seek to address the challenges faced by rural areas in a way that considers all economic sectors and all aspects of rural life, and which builds on their strengths". The Conference will be a key stage in developing the ideas for the future EU policy as set out in the Commission's Agricultural Strategy Paper of November 1995.

    [03] Liberian refugees: Commission appeals for an end to the "Bulk Challenge"'s odyssey

    The Commission announced ECHO's (European Community Humanitarian Office) readiness to finance emergency assistance to the thousands of refugees which have fled Liberia, and appealed to the main humanitarian agencies, in primis the ICRC and the UNHCR, to step up efforts to create a humanitarian space for this purpose in the region, with the help of consenting governments. ECHO will pursue, in the meantime, financing of the few humanitarian agencies and NGOs (WFP, MSF, AICF) still operating in Liberia.

    [04] Ritt Bjerregaard: Sustainability - the Irish way

    At a meeting with the Irish press in Dublin today, Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard said there are two key issues which occupy the day to day reality of all the citizens of the EU - employment and the quality of the environment. The assertions that EU environmental policy means too much regulation, a burden for idustry, anti-jobs are not true. They represent the rhetoric of the past. The recent State of the Environment report for Ireland estimates over 155,000 persons are in direct employment dependent on high environmental quality. This is a clear demonstration of how environment and socioeconomic development can be mutually supporting. "We must try to achieve similar degrees of relationship between environment and economy if we are to reach our goal of sustainable development. We must also be on our guard to ensure that in exploiting the environment we do not degrade it", Ritt Bjerregaard said.


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at
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