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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-05-19

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-Parole 19/05/1999b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

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

  • [01] "Preparing for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol"
  • [02] La Commission propose une révision de la coopération avec les pays ACP en conflit
  • [03] Food aid Russia
  • [04] La Commission ouvre une enquête à l'égard des aides en faveur de Verlipack (Belgique)
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [05] La Commission autorise la fusion Sanofi-Synthélabo
  • [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition du Groupe Valfond par UBS
  • [07] Strengthening of sanctions against FRY/Serbia
  • [08] Fifth donors conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina on 20-21 May

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

    [01] "Preparing for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol"

    The European Commission adopted a Communication to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament on Climate Change. The Communication serves as the Commission's input to the Cologne European Council on 4 and 5 June. The Communication concentrates on what the European Union (EU) should do in order to curb the current trends and achieve the Kyoto target by the end of the commitment period 2008 to 2012. It gives an overview of progress at EU level on proposals for common and coordinated policies and measures. Further work on implementing policies and measures across all policy sectors is of primary importance. All sectors will have to make a contribution to the reduction of emissions. The most important sectors where action needs to be taken or further pursued are transport, energy, industry and agriculture, but also private individuals and households will have to make an effort.

    [02] La Commission propose une révision de la coopération avec les pays ACP en conflit

    Dans une Communication au Conseil des Ministres et au Parlement européen approuvée aujourd'hui, la Commission européenne propose une révision approfondie de la coopération avec les pays d'Afrique, Caraïbes et Pacifique (ACP) impliqués dans des conflits armés. La Communication de la Commission vise à ouvrir un débat avec les Etats membres de l'Union Européenne (UE) sur la stratégie à adopter envers les pays et les régions ACP, dans lesquels la coopération "traditionnelle" n'est plus applicable, soit parce que les conditions de sécurité rendent la mise en œuvre des programmes impossible, soit parce que les impératifs de la défense nationale pèsent à un tel point sur les ressources publiques que toute planification économique à long terme devient illusoire. La Communication décrit les mesures déjà prises par la Commission pour renforcer le contrôle de l'utilisation des fonds communautaires, afin d'éviter leur détournement à des fins belliqueuses. En outre, elle propose une définition des circonstances dans lesquelles des mesures concrètes telles que le gel, la réduction ou la suspension de l'aide au développement en réaction au déclenchement d'hostilités devraient être appliquées.

    [03] Food aid Russia

    The European Commission has taken note of the fact that the remaining difficulties relating to the implementation of the food aid programme for Russia have been resolved. During the last weeks intensive discussions have taken place between the Russian authorities and representatives of the Commission to reach an agreement on the food sales price in Russia of the commodities to be delivered in the framework of this programme. During last weekend, the latter issue has been agreed and, as a result of that, the Commission reckons that euro 300 million might be generated as a consequence of the sales of the different products delivered by the European Union in a number of regions in Russia. This amount will be transferred on a special account on the basis of which specific social programmes will be financed in Russia. Two tranches of the food programme are already under execution, while preparations will start now for putting into effect the third part of the different deliveries programmed.

    [04] La Commission ouvre une enquête à l'égard des aides en faveur de Verlipack (Belgique)

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'engager la procédure formelle d'examen prévue par l'article 88, paragraphe 2, du traité CE à l'encontre des aides à hauteur de 21 millions d'euros (850 millions de BEF) accordées en 1997 par la Région wallonne en faveur du groupe Verlipack, déclarée faillie le 18 janvier 1999. L'enquête sera menée, d'une part, à l'égard de l'apport en capital neuf de 8,6 millions d'euros (350 millions de BEF) effectué en 1997 à l'occasion de l'augmentation du capital de ce groupe, approuvé par la Commission le 16 septembre 1998. D'autre part, l'enquête visera une intervention supplémentaire, non communiquée à la Commission au moment de sa décision, que les autorités wallonnes avaient consentie, également en 1997, sous forme de deux prêts d'un total de 12,4 millions d'euros (500 millions de BEF), au groupe Heye-Glas en vue de financer sa contribution au capital de Verlipack.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [05] La Commission autorise la fusion Sanofi-Synthélabo

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'opération suivant laquelle Sanofi, contrôlée par le groupe Elf-Aquitaine, et Synthélabo, contrôlée par le groupe L'Oréal, seraient regroupées au sein d'une nouvelle société, dénommée Sanofi-Synthélabo, sous réserve de la réalisation de l'engagement présenté par les parties. Cet engagement vise à résoudre les problèmes de concurrence qui auraient pu découler du regroupement des activités respectives des parties dans le domaine des principes actifs stupéfiants, puisqu'il prévoit la cession irrévocable des activités de Synthélabo dans ce secteur.

    [06] La Commission autorise l'acquisition du Groupe Valfond par UBS

    La Commission européenne a autorisé une opération par laquelle le groupe international bancaire suisse Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) acquiert le contrôle unique de l'équipementier automobile français Groupe Valfond par acquisition des actions. L'opération n'a pas d'impact significatif sur la concurrence.

    [07] Strengthening of sanctions against FRY/Serbia

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council Regulation strengthening the sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Republic of Serbia in the field of finance and investment. The proposal aims at widening the scope of the freezing of funds held abroad by the FRY/Serb governments and a ban on investment in Serbia (Council Regulations 1295/98 and 1607/98). The freezing of funds will now also apply to companies, institutions, undertakings and entities controlled by those Governments and to persons acting for or on behalf of. Freezing of funds not only means blocking existing funds but also prohibits making available new funds, including export finance. With regard to the investment ban the proposal provides for a straightforward prohibition to acquire or extend any participation, ownership of or control of real estate, company, undertaking institutions or entities owned by or controlled by the FRY/Serbia Governments. For this purpose the Commission proposes to draw up three lists to be annexed to the Regulation, one containing the names of those persons acting for or on behalf of the FRY/Serbia Governments, the second the names of companies, undertakings, institutions and entities within the European Union (EU) that are owned or controlled by those governments and the third containing the names of natural or legal persons within FRY who are deemed not to be controlled by the FRY/Serbia Governments. The proposal also provides for a management committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission, to deal with the issues of amending the lists and granting authorisation for exceptions to the freezing of funds (notably in respect of companies within the EU).

    [08] Fifth donors conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina on 20-21 May

    The European Commission and the World Bank are hosting a new donors conference in Brussels to secure funding for the last phase of the Priority Reconstruction and Recovery programme for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Notably as a result of this programme an annual average economic growth of 40% in the country has been possible since 1995. For that purpose, European Union (EU) funding representing more than euro 220 million will be made available for reconstruction and humanitarian assistance in 1999. This will bring the overall EU contribution for the period 1995 to 1999 to almost euro 2,033 million. The conference will also address the impact of the Kosovo conflict on BiH. A medium-term framework for sustainable development in the period 2000-04 will be presented by the World Bank. The fifth donors conference will be held on May 20-21 in the Centre Borschette (Room 0A), rue Froissart 36, 1040 Brussels. The press is welcome to attend the opening session on Thursday 20 May at 09h30 and a press conference will be held in meeting room 0D at 18h00 on the same day.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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