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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-04-28

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

28/04/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] PIB par habitant
  • [02] Somalie: la Commission approuve un plan d'aide humanitaire de 3,7 millions d'Ecus
  • [03] Padraig Flynn tells the Cohesion Forum that there is no room for complacency regarding the main achievements of Community Structural policies
  • [04] Cohesion Forum: Monika Wulf-Mathies opens discussion on reform of the Structural Funds
  • [05] L'UEM rendra le système monétaire international plus symétrique

  • [01] PIB par habitant

    Les régions les plus "riches" et les plus "pauvres" de l'Union européenne (UE) sont relevées dans un rapport publié aujourd'hui par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. Huit régions - dont trois hébergent des capitales - dépassent 1,5 fois la moyenne UE. Hambourg se trouve en tête, en atteignant près de deux fois la moyenne communautaire. Quatre autres régions sont également localisées en Allemagne. Bruxelles est en deuxième place, suivie par Darmstadt. Les deux régions dépassent la moyenne 1,75 fois. Quatres régions uniquement réalisent maintenant un PIB inférieur à la moitié de la moyenne UE - Ipeiros et Voreio Aigaio en Grèce, les Açores portugaises et les Départements français d'Outre-mer.

    [02] Somalie: la Commission approuve un plan d'aide humanitaire de 3,7 millions d'Ecus

    La Commission européenne a approuvé une aide humanitaire de 3,7 millions d'Ecus en faveur des victimes du conflit en Somalie. La priorité d'ECHO est de couvrir les besoins de base des couches les plus vulnérables de la population, en particulier les personnes déplacées. L'aide se focalisera essentiellement sur des programmes alimentaires et des activités d'ordre médicale. L'aide, octroyée par l'Office humanitaire de la Communauté européenne (ECHO), permettra à la Croix-Rouge et aux organisations non gouvernementales de mettre en oeuvre un programme d'action durant les huit mois à venir.

    [03] Padraig Flynn tells the Cohesion Forum that there is no room for complacency regarding the main achievements of Community Structural policies

    (!!! embargo 2.30 pm !!!) Speaking today in Brussels to the Cohesion Forum, Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Padraig Flynn said that "two things stand out in the Cohesion Report: first, despite the overall increase in wealth during the period surveyed, the shaming fact is that poverty in our societies has actually increased; and secondly, although unemployment now is on the way down, it still blights one in 10 of our total potential workforce and the millions of households involved. The figures issued this month leave the Union with double the unemployment rate of the USA and over three times that in Japan." The Commissioner said that this shows that the challenge for the structural funds and for the Social Fund in particular has not changed. He went on to say that "the European Social Fund is the EU's principal financial instrument for helping people, helping them stand up to, and overcome, the inevitable changes which will flow from the economic side of the Union. It needs to adapt and change, as must the structural funds as a whole, but it must continue to be that instrument as we enter the 21st century." (!!! embargo 2.30 pm !!!)

    [04] Cohesion Forum: Monika Wulf-Mathies opens discussion on reform of the Structural Funds

    (!!! embargo 3.30 pm !!!) Monika Wulf-Mathies, Commissioner for regional policy and cohesion, today articulated a number of questions on the reform of the European Union's structural funds and presented a number of first ideas to make them more efficient. "As the recent Cohesion Report has suggested, we are still a long way from our grand goal of creating a single European area which is competitive, regionally well-balanced and firmly anchored in its social dimension," Monika Wulf-Mathies said at the opening of the Cohesion Forum, taking place in Brussels from April 28th to 30th. That is why in future, there is a need to provide more incentives for investments which promote employment-intensive growth and sustainable development. To increase the employment-intensity of economic growth, more priority should be given to the intangible factors influencing the choice of business locations as well as to human resources, in preference to capital-intensive investments which have only minimal direct and indirect effects on employment, the Commissioner continued. "At least in the case of major private investment projects, we should be trying to prevent Structural Fund assistance from being mis-used to subsidize the relocation of firms." Monika Wulf-Mathies also raised the possibility of a new partnership approach, in which the Commission should confine itself to laying down strategic objectives, examining major projects, making assessments and keeping a check on the Member States' monitoring systems. (!!! embargo 3.30 pm !!!)

    [05] L'UEM rendra le système monétaire international plus symétrique

    (!!! embargo 20h30 !!!) La déclaration d'Yves-Thibault de Silguy, Commissaire européen chargé des affaires économiques, monétaires et financières, devant le comité intérimaire du FMI à Washington aujourd'hui souligne notamment la situation économique en Europe, les progrès réalisés vers l'euro et les conséquences externes de l'UEM. L'économie de l'Union européenne verra une reprise progressive et durable. La croissance économique sera de l'ordre de 2.4% en 1997 et de 2.8% en 1998. A leur réunion à Noordwijk les 5 et 6 avril, les Ministres des Finances ont maintenu le momentum des travaux préparatoires pour la mise en place de l'euro et confirmé la date du 1er janvier 1999 pour son introduction. L'UEM aura des effets importants pour le système monétaire international. Il faut réfléchir aux dispositions de coopération appropriées afin de renforcer la stabilité monétaire. (!!! embargo 20h30 !!!)

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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