Read about Hellenism (by Vlassis Agtzidis) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 16 July 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-03-30

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 Service Presse et Communicationb

30/03/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 29 mars 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 29 March 2000

  • [01] Data protection : Commission endorses "safe harbor" arrangement with US
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [02] Décision des pays membres de l'OPEP d'augmentation des quotas de production : la Commission continue à suivre avec intérêt l'évolution des prix pétroliers
  • [03] EU backing against violence to women and children
  • [04] Commission clears the acquisition by Citigroup (US) of part of Schroders (UK)
  • [05] La Commission autorise l'entreprise commune entre Shell et BASF sous réserve de certains engagements
  • [06] Commission authorises Preussag's acquisition of Hebel
  • [07] Electronic commerce : Commission launches "e-confidence" on-line forum to promote alternative dispute resolution
  • [08] Chris Patten visits Middle East
  • [09] Franz Fischler : "EU prepares for tough WTO negotiations"
  • [10] Frits Bolkestein : "Commission's pension proposals will aim to make pension funds affordable and secure"

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 29 mars 2000 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 29 March 2000

    (voir aussi see also ME of 28/3)

    [01] Data protection : Commission endorses "safe harbor" arrangement with US

    The European Commission has given Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein the go-ahead to seek the support of EU Member States for accepting the United States' proposed "safe harbor" arrangement as providing adequate protection for personal data transferred from the EU to "safe harbor" participants. Under the EU's data protection Directive, Member States must ensure personal data transferred to non-EU countries is "adequately" protected. The same Directive provides that the Commission may make a positive finding when the protection offered by a particular country meets this adequacy requirement. Following two years of discussion, the US is now ready to put in place an arrangement which the Commission considers to offer "adequate" protection. Before adopting a formal decision to this effect, the Commission must seek the support of a qualified majority of Member States. It must also consult their data protection commissioners and the European Parliament. Once adopted the decision will be binding on all Member States and so constitute a strong guarantee against the interruption of data flows from the EU to "safe harbor" particpants in the US. Approval procedures will take some time, but the arrangement should be finalised by the summer and operational in the autumn.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [02] Décision des pays membres de l'OPEP d'augmentation des quotas de production : la Commission continue à suivre avec intérêt l'évolution des prix pétroliers

    La Commission européenne a pris note de la décision des pays membres de l'OPEP d'augmenter les quotas de production, lors de leur Conférence qui s'est déroulée à Vienne, les 27 et 28 mars 2000, et considère que la décision annoncée constitue un premier pas dans la recherche d'un équilibre raisonnable entre les intérêts des pays producteurs et consommateurs de pétrole. Elle n'apporte cependant pas une réponse déterminante aux soucis des pays producteurs et consommateurs en faveur d'une meilleure stabilité des prix.

    [03] EU backing against violence to women and children

    The Daphne programme, a euro 20 million action EU programme to fight violence against women and children, is ready to receive applications for the year 2000. Euro 5 million is ready to be spent each year under the programme from 2000 to 2003. Daphne projects cover trafficking and sexual exploitation, all forms of domestic violence and abuse as well as violence in schools and violence towards minority groups and migrants.

    [04] Commission clears the acquisition by Citigroup (US) of part of Schroders (UK)

    The European Commission has approved the acquisition of part of Schroders plc by Citigroup Inc. through its subsidiary Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc. (SSBH). The operation mainly concerns the markets for investment banking activities and in particular : merger and acquisitions advisory services, securities underwriting and other financial services. However, given the minimum overlaps in the product areas concerned and the companies limited market shares, the operation does not raise competition concerns.

    [05] La Commission autorise l'entreprise commune entre Shell et BASF sous réserve de certains engagements

    La Commission européenne a approuvé le projet d'entreprise commune entre la société néerlandaise Shell Petroleum N.V. et la société allemande BASF Aktiengesellschaft, sous réserve d'un certain nombre d'engagements contractés par les parties. L'entreprise commune regroupera toutes les participations de Shell et de BASF au niveau mondial dans les domaines du polypropylène et du polyéthylène. Afin de mettre fin aux problèmes recensés par la Commission, les parties céderont des usines d'une capacité de production d'au moins 600kT pour les résines de polypropylène et d'au moins 130kT pour les composés de polypropylène. Les activités liées à la technologie de Novolen pour le polypropylène seront elles aussi cédées et l'entreprise commune accordera sous licence ses droits de brevets relatifs au catalyseur métallocène à tous les tiers intéressés ou conclura des accords visant à ne pas faire valoir lesdits droits à leur égard s'ils obtiennent ailleurs la technologie sous licence. Cet ensemble complexe d'engagements destinés à dissiper les craintes au cours de l'enquête de la phase1 n'a pu être accepté qu'en raison de la volonté des parties notifiantes de coopérer à tous les stades de l'enquête.

    [06] Commission authorises Preussag's acquisition of Hebel

    The European Commission has approved the operation by which the German company Preussag acquires the construction company Hebel AG, also German. Hebel produces and sells gas concrete products that are used mainly as wall building materials. This is the only overlapping area between the parties. Preussag is active in this area via its subsidiary Felswerke GmbH. The combined marked share of the parties does not, however, reach a two digit figure. The concentration will therefore have no effects on the European market. The Commission has thus considered the concentration to be compatible with the Common Market.

    [07] Electronic commerce : Commission launches "e-confidence" on-line forum to promote alternative dispute resolution

    The European Commission has proposed to set up an on-line "e-confidence forum" for the exchange of information, knowledge and experience in the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The aim of the on-line forum would be to assist in co-ordination between different initiatives to promote rapid and effective redress mechanisms to resolve, at low cost and without legal procedures, potential problems encountered by businesses and consumers when buying goods or services on the Internet (particularly from other countries). The on-line forum was endorsed by participants at a recent ADR Workshop organised by the Commission in Brussels and is the latest in a series of Commission initiatives to promote ADR schemes. The European Commission's eEurope Initiative, announced by President Romano Prodi at the Helsinki Summit last December, and discussed at the extraordinary Lisbon European Council last week, identified the rapid deployment of ADR schemes as an essential element in creating consumer confidence in electronic commerce.

    [08] Chris Patten visits Middle East

    European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will travel to the Middle East from 1 April-7 April. He will visit Egypt, West Bank-Gaza Strip, Jordan, Israel, Syria and Lebanon. This is Mr Patten's first visit to the region as Commissioner. The visit will underline the strong commitment of the European Union to lasting peace there. It will stress the importance of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (Barcelona Process). The Commission's role in the region is a major one, as the EU is the biggest provider of non-military assistance and the most important trading and investment partner. It also plays an active part in advancing the Middle East Peace Process.

    [09] Franz Fischler : "EU prepares for tough WTO negotiations"

    European Commissioner for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural development, Franz Fischler, has reinforced the European Union's substantial interest in ensuring the success of a new round of trade negotiations concerning both traditional trade and new non-trade issues. "Multifunctionality, sustainability and competitiveness are the key elements of the European Model of Agriculture", he underlined at a Conference in Dublin Castle today. In Geneva WTO Members have recently reassumed negotiations on agricultural trade liberalisation. "The EU has continued to express its general preference for a comprehensive negotiation round with a time-bound framework. Concerning the traditional agricultural trade issues, the EU is prepared for tough negotiations on the blue box, the category of domestic support the direct payments fall into. But without ruling out some updating, I think that a major review of the domestic support categories is neither necessary nor desirable", Mr Fischler stated.

    [10] Frits Bolkestein : "Commission's pension proposals will aim to make pension funds affordable and secure"

    European Commissioner for Internal Market, Frits Bolkstein, said the Commission's upcoming pensions proposals would seek to build on the determination expressed by all Member States at last week's Lisbon Council to "eliminate barriers to investment in pension funds". He told a Brussels conference that the proposals for pension reform, however, would be likely to cover only work related, privately-funded occupational pension schemes. "Public pension schemes remain fully in the remit of Member States. The objective is not to harmonise in detail national supervisory arrangements. It is simply to establish mutual recognition and confidence between Member States. This will be difficult enough", he said. The twin aim of the proposals must be to make pensions affordable and secure by creating a prudential framework based on the protection of members' and beneficiaries' rights, enhanced institutional performance, easier cross-border affiliation and the liberalisation of asset management. Noting that British Petroleum estimates the cost of managing separate pension funds in all Member States at about euro 40 million a year the Commissioner added : "Our proposals will underpin efficiency and security".

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    midex2html v1.04 run on Wednesday, 26 April 2000 - 16:46:32 UTC