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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 97-07-08

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

08/07/97


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission agrees to buy the renovated Berlaymont - a long term solution
  • [02] Mario Monti écrit au gouvernement français sur les obstacles à la libre circulation des marchandises
  • [03] La Commission lance un programme pilote en faveur des pêcheurs et des femmes de pêcheurs de la petite pêche côtière
  • [04] Anita Gradin to visit Romania - Seminar on control of European Union funds
  • [05] Bulgaria: Commission approves emergency medical aid worth ECU 700,000
  • [06] European Union and United States meet to discuss Internet
  • [07] Christos Papoutsis: "Commission will propose further measures to reduce late payments in Europe"
  • [08] Christos Papoutsis: "Culturally based tourism is recognised as instrument to achieve the objectives of economic and social cohesion and regional development"
  • [09] Mario Monti: "Single market principles offer the best framework for electronic commerce"

  • [01] Commission agrees to buy the renovated Berlaymont - a long term solution

    The European Commission will in time become the owner of the totally renovated Berlaymont building. This was agreed today between the Commission and the Belgian State, when Mr Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner responsible for the Budget and Administration, and Belgian Public Administration Minister André Flahaut concluded their negotiations on the financing arrangements governing the Commission's return to the Berlaymont. Today's agreement clarifies financial arrangements and sharing costs and risks between the Commission, the Belgian State and the Berlaymont S.A. "We see the renovation of the Berlaymont as a part of improving the Quartier Léopold. We want an economically sound renovation and a building that is both functional and integrated into its urban environment without forgetting the symbolic value of the Berlaymont", said Commissioner Erkki Liikanen. "The Commission's policy on property is to become owner of a significant part of its office space in the long run. This will generate savings and enable us to take more responsibility for urban development."

    [02] Mario Monti écrit au gouvernement français sur les obstacles à la libre circulation des marchandises

    Mario Monti a exprimé sa plus vive inquiétude face aux violences sur le territoire français à l'égard des cargaisons de produits agro-alimentaires en provenance d'Espagne. Dans une lettre adressée le 8 juillet à M. Pierre Moscovici, Ministre Délégué aux Affaires européennes, le Commissaire en charge du Marché Unique demande au gouvernement français de prendre immédiatement toutes les mesures qui s'imposent pour rétablir la légalité communautaire. M. Monti rappelle que le Conseil européen d'Amsterdam a demandé à la Commission d'examiner les moyens de garantir de manière efficace la libre circulation des marchandises, y compris la possibilité d'imposer des sanctions. Si d'autres épisodes de ce genre continueront à montrer une attitude insuffisamment déterminée de la part des forces de l'ordre français, la Commission se réserve le droit d'agir par les moyens dont elle dispose en vertu du Traité, conclut la lettre.

    [03] La Commission lance un programme pilote en faveur des pêcheurs et des femmes de pêcheurs de la petite pêche côtière

    La Commission européenne a décidé de lancer un programme pilote doté d'un budget de 4 millions d'Ecus, afin d'explorer les possibilités d'une action ultérieure en faveur de la petite pêche côtière. L'objectif est double: il s'agit de susciter des projets en faveur des pêcheurs eux-mêmes (amélioration de la formation professionnelle, renforcement des structures de représentation, échange d'expériences) et des projets en faveur des femmes de pêcheurs qui sont bien souvent partie intégrante dans l'activité économique de la petite pêche côtière (création d'entreprises ou d'organisations de l'économie sociale, formation à la comptabilité, à la commercialisation, à la gestion, échange d'expériences).

    [04] Anita Gradin to visit Romania - Seminar on control of European Union funds

    Anita Gradin, Commissioner for financial control as well as for justice and home affairs, will take part in the European Commission's seminar in Bucharest, Romania on July 9-11 on the management and control of European Union Funds. Commissioner Gradin will also have talks with the Romanian government, specifically on justice and home affairs issues. She will have briefings by police and customs officials and study border controls. The seminar in Romania is the fifth in a series of seminars to be held in the beneficiary countries of the Phare programme. Its main objective is to give participants an opportunity to examine, together with representatives from various European institutions, all issues relating to the management and control of the Phare projects in Romania. More particularly, the aim is to give participants a better grasp of the administrative and procedural changes needed to realise the objectives of the Phare Programme and to assist the Romanian administration in defining a framework of guidelines and discipline necessary to strengthen the internal and external controls of European Union funds.

    [05] Bulgaria: Commission approves emergency medical aid worth ECU 700,000

    The European Commission has approved a package of emergency medical aid worth ECU 700,000 for Bulgaria. The aid, managed by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), will enable European non-governmental organisations to supply and distribute medicines and medical supplies over the next six months. This grant will enable Deutsche Artzgemeinschaft fur medizinische zusammenarbeit (DAZ, Germany) and Médecins sans Frontières (Switzerland) to distribute supplies to selected centres in the districts of Kustendil, Lovetch, Gabrovo, Turgovishte, Rousse and Haskovo over the next six months. Previous ECHO funding for humanitarian aid in Bulgaria came to a total of ECU 1.1 million.

    [06] European Union and United States meet to discuss Internet

    Officials from the US Government and the European Commission meet in Brussels tomorrow to discuss the future of electronic commerce. The talks will focus on intellectual property, security of transactions, electronic payment systems, data protection, taxation and tariffs, among other issues. The meeting will give the Commission team, chaired by Mr Hans Beseler, Director-General for trade policy, the chance to explain its detailed initiative on electronic commerce, launched last April. The US team will be led by Mr Ira Magaziner, Senior Advisor to President Clinton and architect of the US report on electronic commerce presented by President Clinton last week. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jacques Santer agreed at their EU-US Summit in May to treat electronic commerce as a top priority over the next six months.

    [07] Christos Papoutsis: "Commission will propose further measures to reduce late payments in Europe"

    In the last two years there has been little or no action to combat late payment in most European countries, despite the Recommendation addressed in 1995 to the Member States by the European Commission. Therefore, "We have decided to propose further measures to reduce late payments in Europe, such as a Directive" announced Commissioner Christos Papoutsis in a speech at the breakfast today with business people, organised by Chester, Ellesmere Port and North Wales Chamber of Commerce. The Commissioner said that the Directive would set the minimum requirements which should be incorporated into national legislation, such as the statutory right of creditors to interest on late payments. He underlines that "all efforts should be made to establish a climate in Europe where payments are made on time".

    [08] Christos Papoutsis: "Culturally based tourism is recognised as instrument to achieve the objectives of economic and social cohesion and regional development"

    !!! embargo 3.30 pm !!! "A European tourism industry that is the guardian, as well as the promotor of culture, secures its own future", said Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, responsible for Tourism, in a speech to the 7th International Symposium organised today in Chester, England by the Walled Towns Friendship Circle. The Commissioner further said that "the development of cultural tourism contributes to the strengthening of the tourism activity all year round, and may lead to fewer environmental problems". Mr Papoutsis underlined that "tourism and in particular culturally based tourism are increasingly being recognised as instruments to achieve objectives such as economic and social cohesion, economic development and broader societal goals". But, in order to achieve these objectives, "we must have a framework of reference for coherent policies and measures to assist tourism at European level". The Commissioner commended the efforts that the Walled Towns Friendship Circle is carrying out and emphasized that "Your work enhances the fostering of a common European identity and genuine and rewarding partnerships across borders. Furthermore, it strengthens the cultural tourism product of Europe." !!! embargo 3.30. pm !!!

    [09] Mario Monti: "Single market principles offer the best framework for electronic commerce"

    Addressing the European Ministerial Conference on "Global Information Networks" on 8 July in Bonn, Mario Monti estimated that by the year 2000, 250 million people will be connected to the Internet worldwide and the value of the global electronic commerce market will reach ECU 200,000 million, thereby offering enormous opportunities in terms of job creation and competitiveness. "But we need to complete the regulatory framework necessary to avoid potential obstacles to the development of electronic commerce and ensure consumer confidence, while allowing sufficient flexibility for entrepreneurial creativity" said Mr Monti. Work is well under way: before the end of the year the Commission will present a series of specific regulatory initiatives already featured in the Action Plan for the Single Market recently endorsed by the European Council in Amsterdam, concerning namely electronic payments, contracts negotiated at a distance for financial services, copyright and neighbouring rights, legal protection of conditional access services and digital signatures. "However, for the global dimension of electronic commerce, we also need agreements on cooperation at international level on issues such as protection of privacy and personal data and intellectual property. The solutions we have found to many issues using the Single Market approach have much to offer to the world trading system in terms of creating a favourable environment for electronic commerce" concluded Mr Monti.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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