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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-02-10

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

10/02/99


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Get Galileo to set the pace in satellite navigation, improve safety, generate jobs, Commission says
  • [02] Commission adopts Communication on options regarding WTO decision on EU hormones ban
  • [03] La Commission adopte deux décisions relatives aux redevances d'atterrissage dans les aéroports portugais et finlandais
  • [04] Commission fines A.P. Møller for late notification and unlawful implementation of three concentrations

  • [01] Get Galileo to set the pace in satellite navigation, improve safety, generate jobs, Commission says

    The European Commission called for governments of the European Union to press ahead in the race to develop the next generation of satellite technology. The Commission's proposal for the Galileo project, published today, asks Member States to give their political and financial backing to achieving a European-developed, state-of-the-art Global Navigation Satellite System that should set the industry standard for the 21st century. The development of a European system would avoid the problems caused by our current dependence on US and Russian satellites over which Europe has no control. Satellite signals are already directing international air and sea movements but there is growing market potential to help cut traffic congestion by routing cars and trucks more efficiently, as well as for farming, fishing, fraud prevention (tracking and tracing) as well as infrastructure planning, mineral exploration and land surveys.

    [02] Commission adopts Communication on options regarding WTO decision on EU hormones ban

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament outlining three different possible options which could be introduced as interim measures pending the finalisation of the additional scientific studies that were commissioned last year. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) granted the European Union (EU) a "reasonable period" which expires on 13 May 1999 to bring its measures on beef hormones into conformity with the provisions of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement (SPS). In response to the WTO Appellate Body's ruling last February, the Commission initiated a complementary risk assessment and commissioned a number of new scientific studies. While some preliminary results are expected to become available by the end of April or early May, the final results from most of these studies are expected to become available only later in the year or in 2000. The EU's final decision on the current prohibition can only be taken once these studies have been completed. The purpose of this Communication is to deal with the situation in which the EU now finds itself, in the run-up to the 13 May deadline and during the subsequent interim period that is necessary to complete the complementary risk assessment. It is against this background that the Commission has put forward three options and invites the Council and Parliament to urgently engage in a debate on the matter to decide on the most appropriate EU strategy. The options are paying compensation through trade concessions, transforming the ban on inports into a temporary one on the basis of available pertinent evidence, or lifting the ban on imports and applying labelling. The Commission will initiate talks with the complaining parties (the US and Canada) in order to evaluate the merits of these options and in particular to explore the feasibility of compensation.

    [03] La Commission adopte deux décisions relatives aux redevances d'atterrissage dans les aéroports portugais et finlandais

    La Commission européenne a demandé au Portugal de mettre fin au système de rabais et de modulation des redevances d'atterrissage selon l'origine du vol dans les aéroports de Lisbonne, Porto et Faro. La Commission a de même demandé au gestionnaire des aéroports finlandais de mettre fin à son système de modulation des redevances d'atterrissage selon l'origine du vol dans les aéroports d'Helsinki, Vaasa, Turku, Pori et Tampere. L'article 86 du traité CE interdit que, pour un même service, les gestionnaires d'un aéroport discriminent entre les différentes compagnies aériennes sans justification objective. Or, le traitement d'un avion est le même qu'il soit le premier ou le centième d'une compagnie aérienne ou qu'il vienne d'un autre aéroport portugais, voire finlandais, ou d'un autre Etat membre.

    [04] Commission fines A.P. Møller for late notification and unlawful implementation of three concentrations

    The European Commission has decided to impose a total fine of 219,000 euro on the Danish company A.P. Møller for failing to notify and for putting into effect three concentrations. In its decision the Commission has taken into account in particular the fact that both infringements lasted for a significant period, and that A.P. Møller should have been aware of its obligation to notify the respective transactions under the Merger Regulation. This is the second time that the Commission has imposed a fine under the Merger Regulation since its entry into force in 1990.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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