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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-02-24

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

24/02/99


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] La Commission engage une réflexion sur l'application des règles de concurrence au sport
  • [02] Marchés publics : la Commission lance une consultation sur les concessions
  • [03] Commission approves public funding of two public special interest channels in Germany
  • [04] Commission declares incompatibility of some aid granted to Daewoo Vitoria
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [05] Ritt Bjerregaard on chemicals in the EU

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] La Commission engage une réflexion sur l'application des règles de concurrence au sport

    Le Commissaire européen à la concurrence, Karel Van Miert, en accord avec les Commissaires respectivement responsables de la Culture et des Affaires sociales, Marcelino Oreja et Padraig Flynn, a informé la Commission de quelques orientations préliminaires de ses services sur l'application des règles de concurrence de l'Union européenne (UE) dans le domaine du sport. Ces orientations ne préjugent pas des conclusions définitives de l'examen de la soixantaine de dossiers encore ouverts mais elles reflètent l'état actuel de réflexion sur la manière dont la Commission envisage de trancher certaines questions délicates. Les orientations définitives ne seront adoptées que suite à un processus de réflexion et de dialogue avec le monde du sport qui a été lancé à l'initiative de M. Oreja. Le but de la Commission consiste à garantir la cohérence entre les différentes actions et politiques qu'elle mène et qui ont un impact sur le sport, notamment entre la libre circulation des personnes au sein de l'UE, la défense de la concurrence, la politique culturelle et la politique de l'audiovisuel.

    [02] Marchés publics : la Commission lance une consultation sur les concessions

    La Commission européenne a décidé de lancer une consultation sur l'application des règles du marché unique à certaines formes de partenariat entre des entités publiques et le secteur privé, et en particulier aux concessions. Cette consultation se basera sur un projet de Communication interprétative visant à éclaircir comment les principes du Traité de l'Union européenne concernant notamment la non-discrimination, la liberté d'établissement et la libre prestation de services, ainsi que les Directives sur les marchés publics, doivent être appliqués aux contrats de concession ou aux autres formes analogues de partenariat public privé. Suite à la consultation de tous les milieux intéressés, qui prendra fin au mois de mai 1999, la Commission adoptera la Communication interprétative dans sa version définitive.

    [03] Commission approves public funding of two public special interest channels in Germany

    The European Commission has approved the financing from State resources of the two German public special interest channels "Kinderkanal" and "Phoenix". Further to a complaint, the Commission found public funding of both channels through the transfer of monies collected from licence fees to constitute State aid. The Commission found the transfers compatible with the European Union Treaty because they allow for public service remits of the public broadcasting.

    [04] Commission declares incompatibility of some aid granted to Daewoo Vitoria

    The European Commission has declared incompatible with the common market aid granted to Daewoo Electronics Manufacturing S.A. "Demesa" for the construction of a refrigerators plant in the industrial area of Jundiz, Vitoria, in the Basque Country (Spain). The total cost of the investment is 71,133,388 euro (11,835,600,000 ESP). The case goes back to June 1996, when three Spanish and European manufacturers' associations filed a complaint with regard to aid allegedly received by Demesa in the form of investment subsidies and tax exemptions which went beyond the maximum ceiling for regional aid in the Basque Country. The Commission, in view of the difficult situation of the refrigerators and freezers market in which Demesa operates, concludes that only the investment aid corresponding to 20% of the eligible costs, which has been granted in conformity with the Ekimen regional aid scheme, is compatible with the common market.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [05] Ritt Bjerregaard on chemicals in the EU

    Speaking today in Brussels at a brainstorming workshop on chemicals, European Commissioner for the Environment Ritt Bjerregaard recalled that : "We have at our disposal an impressive arsenal of instruments, covering hazard identification, risk assessment and risk management, and covering in principle all chemicals, new and old", but "development and use of the instruments has not been reflected in growing public confidence in chemicals. We're getting the message that the current legislation just isn't doing the job". "We need a system that demonstrably deals with the concerns, with the emphasis on prevention rather that cure. And we're not there yet". The Commissioner underlined the "major concern related to the number of chemicals, which constitute the 'burden of the past' and for which there is little data available". "Risk assessment provides the basis for the management of hazardous chemicals. There are no risk reduction measures without a risk assessment. Is this basis still valid in all instances ? What about chemicals which are known to cause cancer, or which are mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction ? Does their risk assessment need to be supplemented by a cost-benefit analysis prior to managing the risk ? The Commission in 1993 thought not, but the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers decided otherwise. Often the effects related to the use of chemicals only emerge with time. The phenomenon of endocrine disruption and the migration of phthalates in soft PVC toys illustrates this point". The Commissioner concluded : "We must balance the interests of the protection of the environment and human health, as well as consumer protection, with the need for industry to remain competitive. We must also respect the requirements of the internal market. In summary, we have to take account of the social, environmental and economic dimensions."

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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