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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-05-17

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <>


News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Parole 17/05/1999b


  • [01] EU to challenge excessive level of US trade sanctions
  • [02] La Commission autorise l'opération Renault / Nissan
  • [03] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Tecnologistica par le groupe TNT Post
  • [04] All aboard Sweden's jobs train
  • [05] Ritt Bjerregaard : "Integration and sustainability are two sides of the same coin"

  • [01] EU to challenge excessive level of US trade sanctions

    The United States (US) have announced that they will seek authority from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to suspend trade concessions covering trade of about 202 million US$ as a result of the hormone dispute. Commenting on this announcement, European Commissioner Franz Fischler, responsible for Agriculture, said : "I am disappointed that the US has felt compelled to announce that it intends to proceed with the notification of trade sanctions arising from the hormone dispute. We have recently sent to the US a very detailed scientific report which raises doubts about the safety of the hormones which are registered for use as growth promoters in the US and Canada, and we had hoped that the US would take more time to study this before proceeding along the path of trade retaliations. The amount of the sanctions proposed - 202 million US$, whilst it is much less than the very ambitious claims of the US cattle industry - is more than double the amount the US itself unilaterally applied at an earlier stage of this dispute. We will certainly challenge this sum, and the US will have to try to justify it before a WTO arbitrator."

    [02] La Commission autorise l'opération Renault / Nissan

    La Commission européenne a autorisé la concentration par laquelle le constructeur automobile français Renault acquiert des participations au capital du constructeur automobile japonais Nissan Motor, Nissan Diesel et des filiales de financement européennes de Nissan. L'opération concerne principalement le secteur de la voiture de tourisme où les lignes de produits de Renault et de Nissan se recouvrent dans certains segments. Bien que l'opération renforce le degré de concentration du secteur, la Commission a conclu que la fusion ne créera pas une position dominante étant donné la forte présence des concurrents existants sur le marché.

    [03] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Tecnologistica par le groupe TNT Post

    La Commission européenne a autorisé une opération dans le secteur de la logistique, par laquelle le groupe néerlandais TNT Post Group NV (TPG) acquiert la société italienne Tecnologistica S.p.A. TPG deviendra le principal fournisseur dans ce secteur en Italie, toutefois la Commission a considéré que la position atteinte sur le marché ne sera pas assez significative pour engendrer des problèmes de position dominante, compte tenu, notamment, de la présence de nombreux et importants fournisseurs de logistique en Italie et du taux de croissance du marché.

    [04] All aboard Sweden's jobs train

    For the third consecutive year, Sweden's highly successful jobs train will today start a 16-day nationwide tour. The train - almost half a kilometre long - will take in 26 cities, providing new ideas on jobs, entrepreneurship and employment projects. The initiative attracted over 50,000 people last year and this year numbers are expected to increase further. The train will carry exhibitions - bringing together 65 exhibitors from more than 60 organisations, agencies and companies. The central focus is employment in the future and the creation of a truly open labour market. The European Union (EU) will provide details of the European employment strategy, the Social Fund and visitors will be able to look for jobs across the continent through the EURES database, which houses information from more than 500 European job centres. Saluting a "highly original idea", European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Padraig Flynn, said : "This is a great way of showing people how committed the EU and Member States are to jobs".

    [05] Ritt Bjerregaard : "Integration and sustainability are two sides of the same coin"

    At a speech to day in Bonn at the 25th Anniversary Conference of the EEB (European Environmental Bureau) 'Towards a sustainable Europe' European Commissioner for Environment, Ritt Bjerregaard, paid tribute to the work of NGO's in general and of the EEB in particular. "We need each other - but it is not always an easy life. If you were always happy with the decisions the Commission takes you would not be a real NGO. And if I always did what you wanted, I would not be a realistic politician." You "have a key role to play in bringing citizens' concerns to the attention of policy makers. And we need to address the major challenges facing us if we are to deliver sustainable development : making integration a reality; moving towards a recycling society ; addressing international problems effectively; and maximising the environmental benefits of enlarging the European Union". Mrs Bjerregaard mentioned two examples where we need to achieve real integration and sustainability : agriculture, where "the recent Agenda 2000 agreement established a linkage between direct support to producers and environmental protection" ; and climate change, where the measures needed to achieve our commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "will have to address all sectors - energy, transport, agriculture and industry". The Commissioner finally addressed some of the future challenges for sustainability. "In the end, we need to build not just a sustainable Europe, but a sustainable world. Integration needs to be a global concept". With reference to the WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle at the end of the year she said : "Free trade is the solution of the past. Green trade is the solution of the future". And on enlargement: "Two solutions seem equally unacceptable : that enlargement is postponed because of the environment. Or that enlargement does not take environmental concerns fully into account".


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996

    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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