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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-02-02

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

02/02/99


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission presents sixth periodic report on the regions
  • [02] Commission opens full investigation into KLM / Martinair merger
  • [03] La Commission approuve le rachat de PLM par Rexam
  • [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par Recoletos du contrôle conjoint d'Enidosa, éditeur du journal "El Mundo"
  • [05] Commission authorises Motorola's participation in Symbian, a joint venture company producing operating systems for wireless information devices
  • [06] Marcelino Oreja : "We need to coordinate measures to eradicate doping in sport"
  • [07] Franz Fischler : "CAP-reform benefits farmers, consumers and EU- economy"

  • [01] Commission presents sixth periodic report on the regions

    The European Commission is set to approve on Wednesday the sixth periodic report on the social and economic situation and development of the regions. While in previous periodic reports and in the Cohesion report, only the first signs of real convergence of lagging regions were detected, the evidence is now unambiguous : the GDP, or output, per head of poorer regions is converging towards the European Union's (EU) average. Over the 10 years 1986 to 1996, GDP per head in the 10 poorest regions increased from 41% of the EU average to 50%, in the 25 poorest regions, it rose from 52% to 59%. GDP per head in the four Cohesion countries went up from 65% of the EU average to 75%, and, according to forecasts, to 77% in 1999.

    [02] Commission opens full investigation into KLM / Martinair merger

    The European Commission has decided to open a full investigation into the proposed acquisition by Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschaapij NV (KLM), the Dutch national airline, of the 50% of the shares in Martinair Holland NV (Martinair), one of the main Dutch charter airlines, that it does not already own. On the basis of its initial examination of the proposal, the Commission found that there were grounds for serious doubts about its compatibility with the common market as regards its effect on competition. The main area of concern identified was the supply of flights from Dutch airports (notably Amsterdam/Schiphol) to tour operators and individual 'leisure' customers for destinations around the Mediterranean.

    [03] La Commission approuve le rachat de PLM par Rexam

    La Commission européenne a approuvé le rachat de PLM AB (Suède) par Rexam Plc (Royaume-Uni). L'acquisition a été réalisée par offre publique d'achat. L'opération concerne le secteur de l'emballage. PLM produit des boîtes pour boissons et des emballages en plastique et en verre. Les activités de Rexam concernent l'emballage pour les produits alimentaires, d'hygiène, de santé, industriels, d'impression, de films et papiers encollés, de construction et d'ingénierie. Le seul chevauchement de produits entre Rexam et PLM, dans l'Espace Economique Européen (EEE), se situe dans l'approvisionnement en récipients en plastique à parois minces, en gobelets en plastique et en récipients pharmaceutiques en plastique. Dans l'EEE, la part de marché cumulée des parties est de moins de 10% pour chacun des produits. Les concurrents actifs sur ces marchés sont Polarcup, Autobar, Van Leer, RPC et Duni. Pour cette raison, la Commission a décidé que l'opération proposée ne mènerait pas à la création ou au renforcement d'une position dominante.

    [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition par Recoletos du contrôle conjoint d'Enidosa, éditeur du journal "El Mundo"

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'acquisition par Recoletos Compañía Editorial du contrôle conjoint d'Unidad Editorial S.A. (Unedisa). Recoletos est une entreprise espagnole d'édition contrôlée par le groupe Pearson. Elle publie les journaux "Expansión" et "Marca" ainsi qu'un large éventail de revues. Unedisa est l'éditeur espagnol du journal "El Mundo". L'opération notifiée consiste dans l'acquisition par Recoletos d'une participation minoritaire dans Unedisa et la signature par celle-ci des accords avec les restants actionnaires, Rizzoli (l'éditeur de "Il Corriere della Sera") et les fondateurs de "El Mundo".

    [05] Commission authorises Motorola's participation in Symbian, a joint venture company producing operating systems for wireless information devices

    The European Commission has approved the entry of Motorola as a shareholder of Symbian, a joint venture created last August by the mobile phone manufacturers Ericsson and Nokia and the handheld computer and operating system manufacturer Psion. The aim of Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola, as actual or potential manufacturers of wireless information devices (WIDs), and Psion, as a developer of this technology, is to establish the so called EPOC operating system as a de facto standard for wireless information devices and to stimulate the development of a mass market for such products.

    [06] Marcelino Oreja : "We need to coordinate measures to eradicate doping in sport"

    Speaking today in Lausanne at the "World conference on doping in sport" organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the representative of the European Commissioner in charge of Culture and Sports, Marcelino Oreja, said that "the European Union is totally committed to combating doping, and the Heads of State and Government reminded us at Vienna of the need to do whatever we could to stamp it out. Although the Commission powers on this matter are very limited, I consider that regulation is now of paramount importance. Often measures taken by federations are repudiated by the courts, hence the need to establish a legal framework that makes for effective action without infringing people's rights. To do this, I think we need : a definition of doping - a single list of banned substances, recognised by all sporting organisations - harmonised tests, checks and procedures, and a harmonised system of penalties."

    [07] Franz Fischler : "CAP-reform benefits farmers, consumers and EU- economy"

    In his speech at the annual conference of the National Farmers Union in London, Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, underlined that the Commission has proposed a clear concept for reforming the agricultural and rural development policy within the framework of Agenda 2000. This concept has been subject to discussion at all levels and with the beginning of 1999 the final negotiations started. The European Council of Vienna has confirmed its intention to conclude on Agenda 2000 in March. "Governments have to realise that if they want a fitter, leaner, more competitive agricultural sector then it is going to cost money. But the reform will bring a major overall economic gain both to farming and to consumers", emphasised Mr Fischler. Independent studies have shown a potential of up to £ 12 billion per annum by the year 2005 if farm gate prices fall by the full percentage of the proposed reduction and if they are passed on to consumers. "It is quite clear that the status quo is going to take us in one direction only - that is food mountains, lower quotas, falling farm incomes and rural depopulation. Agenda 2000 will take us in the other direction. Furthermore a decision on Agenda 2000 prior to the opening of the next World Trade Organisation round ensures a solid position of the European Union in those negotiations. The absence of such a decision risks our future agricultural policy being decided in Geneva rather than in Brussels", warned Mr Fischler.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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