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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-02-25

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

25/02/99


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Recours d'Agenor contre la Commission rejeté en référé
  • [02] Commission clears joint venture between Deutsche Post and Securicor
  • [03] Commission clears acquisition of Dagenham Motors Group Plc by Polar Motors Group Ltd
  • [04] Scientists approve first alternative methods to animal testing
  • [05] Commission officially launches in Essen its fifth framework programme for research

  • [01] Recours d'Agenor contre la Commission rejeté en référé

    Le juge des référés de Bruxelles a rejeté le 24 février 1999 la requête d'Agenor, le bureau d'assistance technique du programme Leonardo. La société Agenor avait demandé au juge la semaine dernière qu'il ordonne la poursuite du contrat entre Agenor et la Commission. Le juge des référés n'a pas accepté cette demande. Le juge a constaté que le contrat entre Agenor et la Commission a expiré le 31 janvier 1999. Il n'y a donc plus de contrat entre les deux intéressés. La Commission, suite à ce jugement, a repris contact avec Agenor de façon à ce que la transmission des documents encore en possession d'Agenor puisse se faire dans de bonnes conditions. C'est la Direction générale XXII, responsable pour la formation, l'éducation et la jeunesse qui assurera dorénavant la gestion du programme Leonardo. Elle garantira la continuation et le bon fonctionnement de ce programme dans l'intérêt des personnes qui y participent et en bénéficient.

    [02] Commission clears joint venture between Deutsche Post and Securicor

    The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition by Deutsche Post (Germany) of a controlling interest in the express distribution business of UK company Securicor. The target will become a joint venture between Deutsche Post and Securicor. From Deutsche Post's viewpoint, the acquisition is one of the several carried out in recent months (including, amongst others, DHL, Danzas and Trans-o-flex). It allows Deutsche Post to further expand in the express area and to pursue its plan to build up a European parcel network for business customers. Securicor will benefit from an improved access to markets of continental Europe. The operation will not create any serious risk of dominance on the markets for express and parcel services. The two parties' businesses are rather complementary both in terms of types of services provided as well as in geographic coverage. Moreover, the new entity will face competition at least from integrators such as UPS and Fedex and from other national postal companies such as the Dutch group TPG, La Poste Française and the British Post Office.

    [03] Commission clears acquisition of Dagenham Motors Group Plc by Polar Motors Group Ltd

    The European Commission has given the green light to the acquisition of Dagenham Motors Group plc by Polar Motors Group Ltd, both companies being active in the retailing and servicing of Ford motor vehicles in the UK. Polar Motor Group Ltd is jointly controlled by Ford Motor Company Ltd and Jardine Motors Group plc, which latter is active in motor vehicle retailing in the UK. The Commission found that the combined market shares of the parties to the concentration on both the passenger car and commercial vehicle markets in the UK are not such as to raise competition concerns. Moreover, Dagenham Motor Group's retail network was already reserved exclusively for Ford and will remain so after the acquisition, so no additional foreclosure effects are created. Therefore the Commission has decided not to oppose the concentration.

    [04] Scientists approve first alternative methods to animal testing

    The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products (SCCNFP) has approved the first alternative methods to animal testing for assessing the safety of cosmetic substances. Two in vitro tests to assess skin corrosivity of chemicals (aggressiveness of substances to the skin) and one in vitro test assessing their phototoxic potential (reaction of the skin after application of a chemical substance and exposure to light) have been validated. Following that validation process, the SCCNFP must be consulted and has expressed the opinion that these methods are applicable to the safety evaluation of cosmetic ingredients. "This is a considerable step towards replacing animal testing by alternative methods, although the methods still have to be put into legislation", said Emma Bonino, European Commissioner for Consumer policy.

    [05] Commission officially launches in Essen its fifth framework programme for research

    Today, in Essen, the European Commission is formally launching its fifth framework programme for research and technological development (5FPR) at the opening of a two-day conference, organised in cooperation with the German Presidency, which has attracted over 4000 delegates from more than 60 countries. The conference was opened by Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsible for research and innovation, together with Edelgard Bulmahn, German Federal Minister for Research and Education, Umberto Scapagnini, who chairs the European Parliament's R&D and energy committee, and Wolfgang Clement, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia. Commenting on this 15 billion euro programme, the third in overall terms of the European Union, Edith Cresson underlined the political and scientific challenges of the 5FPR : "The 5FPR represents an important step towards the implementation of a new approach for European research, which is directly focused on the needs of businesses and citizens in an overall European perspective".

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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