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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 98-11-27

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

27/11/98


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] La Commission prend une décision partiellement négative à l'égard d'une aide en faveur d'Addinol Lube Oil GmbH & Co. KG (Allemagne)
  • [02] Green light for aid to Infraleuna (Saxony-Anhalt)
  • [03] La Commission adopte le rapport "L'emploi en Europe" 1998
  • [04] EU highlights continuing US trade barriers
  • [05] Emma Bonino annonce une formation des associations de consommateurs sur l'euro
  • [06] Mario Monti : "Future tax coordination should concentrate on shifting the tax burden away from labour"
  • [07] Ritt Bjerregaard on protection of animals

  • [01] La Commission prend une décision partiellement négative à l'égard d'une aide en faveur d'Addinol Lube Oil GmbH & Co. KG (Allemagne)

    La Commission européenne a estimé que l'aide de 22 millions de DM (11,2 millions d'Ecus) octroyée par le gouvernement allemand à Addinol Mineralöl GmbH était compatible avec le marché commun. En revanche, l'aide à la restructuration de 47,05 millions de DM (24 millions d'Ecus) envisagée en faveur d'Addinol Mineralöl GmbH et d'Addinol Lube Oil GmbH & Co. KG, société nouvellement créée, n'est pas compatible, étant donné qu'elle menace de fausser la concurrence.

    [02] Green light for aid to Infraleuna (Saxony-Anhalt)

    The European Commission has decided that financial assistance to InfraLeuna Infrastruktur und Service GmbH (Infraleuna) does not constitute State aid. InfraLeuna receives financial backing in order to finalise the Bundesanstalt für vereinigungsbedingte Sonderaufgaben (BvS) task of privatising the chemical site in Leuna, clear the site of environmental damages of the past and set up an infrastructure which allows commercial operations on the site. The Commission has, however, considered it necessary to impose conditions to assure that the measures do not convey profits to any of the parties involved.

    [03] La Commission adopte le rapport "L'emploi en Europe" 1998

    La Commission européenne a adopté la 10ème édition de son rapport annuel "L'emploi en Europe", qui s'inscrit dans l'ensemble des éléments destinés à préparer le Conseil européen de Vienne, en décembre. Le rapport 1998 présente les dernières tendances de l'Union européenne en matière d'emploi et de marché du travail et fournit une base analytique à la révision de la stratégie pour l'emploi et à l'adoption des lignes directrices pour l'emploi en 1999.

    [04] EU highlights continuing US trade barriers

    The European Union (EU) today published its fourteenth annual report on United States (US) barriers to trade and investment highlighting continuing US trade barriers for European exporters. Long-standing problems include high tariff levels, complex customs procedures, restrictive export regulations and a non-recognition of certain EU product standards. New US trade barriers are also identified, notably the extraterritorial provisions of sub-federal US legislation which restricts the ability of EU companies dealing with certain third countries from bidding for contracts in various US States and cities. Unilateralism in US trade legislation remains a serious concern, particuarly in the light of the recent US threat to introduce unilateral sanctions against the EU in the ongoing banana dispute. The EU is firmly committed to addressing these issues through the appropriate bilateral or multilateral channels, and in a comprehensive new round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations. The EU will consider action through the WTO dispute settlement procedure if the US trade laws assessed in the report break internationally-agreed rules.

    [05] Emma Bonino annonce une formation des associations de consommateurs sur l'euro

    Une trentaine de jours avant le démarrage de l'euro, 210 formateurs des associations de consommateurs recoivent une formation sur tous les aspects importants pour les consommateurs lors du passage à l'euro. Au cours de trois sessions de deux jours pendant les mois de novembre et décembre, ils seront préparés à donner leur propres explications sur l'euro et à pouvoir répondre à toutes les questions pratiques qui se posent aux consommateurs, a annoncé Emma Bonino, Commissaire européen de la Politique des Consommateurs lors de la conférence "Le passage à l'euro" ce vendredi à Vienne. Le programme inclut les aspects juridiques et économiques ainsi que psychologiques et sociologiques de la monnaie unique. L'objectif est donc de faire une formation complète sur l´euro adressée aux personnes qui seront inévitablement appelés à donner des formations ou des conseils au sein des associations et auprès des consommateurs. La Commission finance le programme avec 200.000 Ecus.

    [06] Mario Monti : "Future tax coordination should concentrate on shifting the tax burden away from labour"

    (! embargo 3 pm !) "There is no single miraculous solution to unemployment in Europe. The answer lies instead in finding a mixture of policies which combine macro-economic stability, a functioning Single Market, active labour market policies and welfare reforms, as well as coordinated, better- balanced and efficient tax systems. Today, there is every prospect that Member States are ready to renew their commitment towards a more employment and growth-oriented Union" pointed out European Commissioner for Internal Market, Mario Monti, addressing the Kangaroo Group today in London. In his speech on "EMU, Taxation and Competitiveness", he outlined future priorities for the two areas which have a great deal of potential for improving the employment situation : the Single Market and tax coordination. "There is no question of increasing the overall tax burden in Europe, if we want to boost the EU's competitiveness in the global economy, especially in view of job creation. Rather than thinking of a minimum rate of company taxation, which would be in any case premature, it is important to fully implement the agreed package on harmful tax competition, including the adoption of the savings tax directive. The real challenge is to shift taxation away from labour (hitting workers as well as companies, through social security contributions) to other sources, be these capital income, consumption or energy taxation. To achieve this goal, we have still a long way to go", concluded Mr Monti.

    [07] Ritt Bjerregaard on protection of animals

    European Commissioner for Environment Ritt Bjerregaard introduced the main areas for action to the Eurogroup for Animal Welfare : "The Commission has been active in several areas concerning the welfare of animals. We have made substantial progress in the Council on the Proposal for zoos. We are finalising the draft 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive. And finally the issue of the use of non-human primates as laboratory animals is on track." On zoo's : "I hope that the Directive can be adopted early next year. I will use my best endeavours to ensure proper and quick implementation by the Member States and I count on Eurogroup and its national member organisations to assist me in that task." On the revision of the Cosmetics Directive : "The key elements include an immediate ban on animal testing for the finished cosmetic products, a ban on animal testing for ingredients when alternative methods become available and the European Union to take the lead in the acceptance of alternative methods. We hope that the example set by the EU will speed up discussions in the OECD in order to gain global acceptance of these methods." On Non-human primates : "Some key elements include proof of origin and transport of the animals, control of breeding establishments, ban on the use of wild-caught animals and guidelines on housing and care of non-human primates." Finally Commissioner Bjerregaard underlined "how encouraging it is for me personally to see that we share common objectives in this area and are working together productively to achieve our goals. This makes my job as Commissioner much easier in terms of taking a strong stand on these important matters. I am confident that together we can make a major contribution to the welfare of animals."

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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