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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-04-01

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>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

01/04/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Visit Mr van den Broek to Lithuania and Latvia: focus on enlargement preparations
  • [02] Albania: Commission approves emergency humanitarian aid worth ECU 2 million
  • [03] Commission takes Japan to WTO for favouring US bidders for satellite system
  • [04] The external dimension of trans-European energy networks: promoting the inter-connection with third countries

  • [01] Visit Mr van den Broek to Lithuania and Latvia: focus on enlargement preparations

    Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek will make a three day visit to Lithuania and Latvia from 2-4 April 1997 to discuss these countries' preparations for European Union membership. He will explain the situation inside the Union and inform the Lithuanian and Latvian governments of areas in which increased efforts need to be made if they are to assume the obligations of membership. Subjects for discussion include political and economic stability, the internal market, WTO accession, the improvement of border crossing facilities and, in Lithuania, the safety of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.

    [02] Albania: Commission approves emergency humanitarian aid worth ECU 2 million

    The European Commission has approved a first package of humanitarian aid worth ECU 2 million for victims of the crisis in Albania. The aid, managed by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), will enable the International Committee of the Red Cross to carry out distribution of food and medical supplies.

    [03] Commission takes Japan to WTO for favouring US bidders for satellite system

    The European Commission has decided to request formal consultations with Japan in the WTO regarding Japan's alleged exclusion of European suppliers from a US$ 40 million government contract for a global satellite navigation system. In its call for tender, Japan has restricted suppliers to the use of US technical specifications, thereby excluding European companies. The Commission considers this a serious violation of Japan's obligations under the non-discrimination and transparency provisions of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). If left unchallenged, this could set a damaging precedent for the development of the world market in a key area of technology where European firms are some of the most competitive in the world.

    [04] The external dimension of trans-European energy networks: promoting the inter-connection with third countries

    The European Commission commits itself to making use of the available guidelines, political and financial instruments in order to support the development of trans-European and regional energy network projects in third countries and their interconnection with the networks of the European Union. This is the main conclusion of a Communication on the external dimension of the Trans-European Energy Networks, adopted by the Commission under the initiative of Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, responsible for Energy.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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