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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-03-06

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 06/03/2000b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Financial services: Commission sends reasoned opinion to Belgium over discriminatory tax regime
  • [02] Access to environmental information: Commission takes Belgium and France to Court
  • [03] Commission moves to simplify single market legislation
  • [04] Economic confidence indicator reaches a new record high in the euro- area in February 2000
  • [05] Other information distributed:
  • [06] SPEECH/00/68 Anna DIAMANTOPOULOU
  • [07] SPEECH/00/70 Pascal LAMY
  • [08] SPEECH/00/69 Anna DIAMANTOPOULOU
  • [09] SPEECH/00/71 Pascal LAMY

  • [01] Financial services: Commission sends reasoned opinion to Belgium over discriminatory tax regime

    The European Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to Belgium concerning tax rules which restrict income tax reductions for mortgage repayments to loans insured by Belgian-based firms. The reasoned opinion is the second stage of formal infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months following receipt of the reasoned opinion, the Commission may refer Belgium to the Court of Justice

    [02] Access to environmental information: Commission takes Belgium and France to Court

    The European Commission has decided to bring Belgium and France before the European Court of Justice for failing properly to transpose the Access to Environmental Information Directive into their national legislation. The case against Belgium concerns a clause in the Belgian legislation which allows the authorities to reject requests for environmental information without giving reasons. This is contradictory to the Directive. The French legislation also falls short of the Directive's provision on this issue, as well as on several other issues.

    [03] Commission moves to simplify single market legislation

    A series of recommendations to simplify national and EC legislation affecting the Internal Market have been made by the European Commission in a review of the SLIM initiative Simpler Legislation for the Internal Market. SLIM has resulted in clearer rules but more could be done to target complex sectors and enhance transparency, according to the report. The report recommends that the Commission should set itself a target of coming forward with proposals within six months of a SLIM report.. SLIM is a cornerstone of EU efforts to simplify and improve Internal Market rules to make cross-border transactions easier and improve competitiveness. The importance of simplified legislation for market integration and economic growth was clearly identified in the Commission's most recent report on product and capital markets and in the Commission's submission to the special Lisbon European Council to be held March 23-24. Regulatory costs and red tape, mostly due to national and regional regulation rather than EC rules, are estimated at 3-5 % of the European Union's Gross Domestic Product.

    [04] Economic confidence indicator reaches a new record high in the euro- area in February 2000

    In February 2000 the economic sentiment indicator advanced 0.4 points to 106.0 in the euro area establishing a new record level. It advanced 0.1 points to 105.8 in the EU. Denmark and Finland registered the biggest increases, 1.2 and 0.9 points respectively, while the largest decrease was for Austria, 1.6 points. Industrial confidence rose one point in the EU and two points in the euro area; industrialists are more optimistic in twelve member states. The construction confidence indicator lost part of the previous month gains, although it remains at a higher level than that at the end of 1999. Consumer confidence increased slightly in the euro-area after having remained steady over the last three months, while it edged down to its December 1999 level in the EU following a record in January 2000.

    [05] Other information distributed:

    A disposition au secrétariat de Beate Gminder (BREY 06/37): BIO sur le résultat de la rèunion du comité scientifique directeur du 2-3 Mars 2000 A disposition au secrétariat de Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen (BREY 06/116): BIO on The now established Baia Mare Task Force

    [06] SPEECH/00/68 Anna DIAMANTOPOULOU

    New Employment Strategies in the EU and Japan Adaptability and Entrepreneuship. to the Eighth EU-Japan Symposium, Tokyo, Japan

    [07] SPEECH/00/70 Pascal LAMY

    India- Europe Relations in the Age of Globalisation: The Challenges and Opportunities Ahead to the Indian Institute for Foreign Affairs, New Delhi, India

    [08] SPEECH/00/69 Anna DIAMANTOPOULOU

    Competiveness and Cohesion: the Core Counterpoint to the Japanese Diet : Labour Affairs Committee, Tokyo, Japan

    [09] SPEECH/00/71 Pascal LAMY

    Strengthening the multilateral trade system: How can the EU and India co- operate?

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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