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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-04-15

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

15/04/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Chefs d'entreprises et consommateurs européennes: la confiance est à la hausse
  • [02] New edition of Panorama of EU industry 1997
  • [03] EU expresses concern over access to Japanese consumer film market in Fuji-Kodak case
  • [04] EU takes Japan to task over trade restrictions on leather
  • [05] Sondage Eurobaromètre: les Européens favorables à une augmentation du budget de l'aide européenne au développement
  • [06] Ritt Bjerregaard: "We must make sure that future generations have the same access to the rain forest that we now have"

  • [01] Chefs d'entreprises et consommateurs européennes: la confiance est à la hausse

    Les enquêtes de la Commission européenne auprès des chefs d'entreprises et des consommateurs révèlent que l'évolution positive de ces derniers mois se confirme pour mars 1997. En effet, l'indicateur de confiance économique a poursuivi sa tendance à la hausse. Tous les indicateurs industriels ont continué à progresser favorablement. Pour la première fois depuis décembre 1995, il existe aujourd'hui une majorité de chefs d'entreprises dans le secteur manufacturier qui s'attendent à une hausse des prix de vente dans les prochains mois. Les attentes en termes d'emplois dans le secteur de la construction se sont améliorées et sont à leur meilleur niveau depuis novembre 1995. Les résultats des enquêtes auprès des consommateurs se sont stabilisés.

    [02] New edition of Panorama of EU industry 1997

    Industry Commissioner Martin Bangemann presented today the 7th edition of the Panorama of EU Industry, the European Commission's annual statistical update on European Industry. It reveals that the increased opening of national economies to world market forces has been a catalyst for restructuring new technologies and rapidly changing consumer markets driven by intense competition. However, a main concern is that even though most EU economies are benefiting from a period of recovery, this might be a jobless one. Although the unemployment rate in the EU has been decreasing, it remained in the two digit range, at close to 10.7 % for the EU as a whole in 1996. To reflect the growing interactions between sectors and companies in Western and Eastern Europe, this edition of the Panorama presents a special section on the industrial situation and restructuring status in Eastern Europe.

    [03] EU expresses concern over access to Japanese consumer film market in Fuji-Kodak case

    The European Union (EU) has presented its views in Geneva on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute between the US and Japan over distribution of photographic film and paper - the so-called Fuji-Kodak case. The EU has a direct export interest in the Japanese consumer film market, and shares US concerns at the difficulties encountered when distributing consumer photographic film and paper in Japan. The EU is anxious to see fair competitive conditions established and preserved in the Japanese film market for imports and domestic products alike, and believes imports are put at a disadvantage by Japanese government measures in breach of WTO rules. This particularly affects the access of imports to Japan's wholesale and distribution channels. The EU takes a specific interest in the relationship between trade and competition rules, and has also asked to join separate US-Japan consultations concerning private restrictive business practices in the Fuji-Kodak case. These consultations have not yet started.

    [04] EU takes Japan to task over trade restrictions on leather

    The European Commission will investigate Japanese trade restrictions on imports of finished leather into Japan. This follows a complaint by the European tanning industry alleging that it is effectively excluded from the Japanese market by an array of high tariffs, the dissuasive management of quotas, domestic price fixing and subsidies to domestic producers. It is further stated that leather importers have to pay an effective penalty of up to 270% on the import cost of raw hide if they want to sell finished leather imports into Japan. Imports have just 2% of the Japanese market as a result, depriving Japanese consumers of high quality European goods. European Union (EU) tanners claim companies have gone out of business or been unable to expand as a result. The Commission is responding to this complaint by using special new EU rules designed to open export markets more effectively. Under the so-called Trade Barriers Regulation, the Commission has launched an investigation which could lead to a challenge before the WTO if Japan does not give a satisfactory response.

    [05] Sondage Eurobaromètre: les Européens favorables à une augmentation du budget de l'aide européenne au développement

    Les citoyens européens jugent l'aide au développement importante et nécessaire et 83% d'entre eux sont favorables à une augmentation du budget européen qui y est consacré. Celle-ci est la principale conclusion d'un sondage "Eurobaromètre" réalisé simultanément dans les 15 Etats membres de l'Union européenne.

    [06] Ritt Bjerregaard: "We must make sure that future generations have the same access to the rain forest that we now have"

    Speaking in Paris at the donors' meeting on the Pilot Programme to conserve the Brazilian rain forest, Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard underlined the need for cooperation and participation from all participants in the Pilot Programme, in order to see sustainable results. The Commissioner made reference to her visit to the Brazilian rainforest in November 1996, where she had the opportunity to visit some parts of the Pilot Project. Mrs Bjerregaard said: "I am convinced that the success of the Pilot Programme will depend on a strong commitment from all parties. The Pilot Programme - I hope - will show itself as an opportunity to re- invent the ways of cooperation between developed and developing countries on global environment issues."

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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