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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-02-22

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

Midday Express 22/02/2001

  • [01] Foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom The European Commission has adopted interim protective measures in response to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom. The exports of live animals, fresh meat and meat products, milk and milk products and other animal products from the UK to other parts of the European Union are prohibited until 1 March 2001, unless the latter are treated appropriately. The decision will apply immediately and shall be reviewed at the meeting of the Standing Veterinary Committee scheduled for the 27 February 2001.
  • [02] EU/Morocco fisheries negotiations Franz Fischler : "I regret that agreement could not be reached" Following two days of intense political and technical negotiations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Commission in Rabat, it was impossible to reach an agreement, particularily on the financial compensation for the future fisheries cooperation. Commenting on the negotiations, Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said : "It is well known that these negotiations are delicate and difficult. The EU has put a fair and comprehensive package on the table and I sincerely regret that Morocco was not able to accept our financial offer. According to our proposals, the duration of the cooperation would be limited to three years. It would comprise enhanced cooperation in order to strengthen the Moroccan fisheries sector. In order to ensure sustainable fisheries and the development of the Moroccan fisheries sector, we are also prepared to accept degressive fishing opportunities for the EU fleet, leading to a phasing out for fishing of sensitive species such as cephalopods or shrimps. We are also willing to pay a fair price for the EU fishing opportunities offered by Morocco. This is as good as it gets. With this offer my negotiation mandate is exhausted. I will now report back to the EU Member States." It was agreed that the Moroccan Fisheries Minister would then come to Brussels to meet Commissioner Fischler.
  • [03] Animal experiments : Commission acts against the Netherlands and Belgium The European Commission has decided to refer the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice and to send a Reasoned Opinion (second warning letter) to Belgium for non-respect of the Community's Animal Experiments Directive. Commenting on the decisions, Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said : "While Dutch practice seems satisfactory, the Netherlands needs to make a bigger effort to bring its national legislation into line with the Directive. This will give greater assurance that the strict conditions laid down for animal experiments in the Directive are always followed. As regards the Belgian authorities, I would urge them to ensure strict control on the use of exemptions."
  • [04] Lutte contre le tourisme sexuel impliquant des enfants : la Commission va financer une grande campagne d'information Depuis plusieurs années, la Commission européenne préconise une meilleure coordination des actions avec les ministères chargés du tourisme dans les Etats membres et une coopération plus étroite avec les tours-opérateurs et autres parties prenantes dans la lutte contre le tourisme sexuel impliquant des enfants. Outre la collecte d'informations fiables, l'action de l'Union européenne se concentre, dans ce domaine, sur le soutien d'initiatives concrètes visant à éradiquer ce fléau. La Commission a octroyé une subvention d'1 million d'euros à l'Organisation mondiale du tourisme (OMT), forum mondial du tourisme comptant 138 membres dont 10 Etats membres de l'UE. A partir du 1er janvier 2001, cette subvention favorisera, pendant un an, les activités entreprises par quatre organisations internationales : ECPAT (Suède), Terre des Hommes (TDH), la Fédération internationale des journalistes (FIJ) et l'OMT qui coordonnera et gèrera également le projet. Les activités répondront aux besoins en information et en communication et auront pour objectif la conception d'une stratégie globale destinée à lutter contre le tourisme sexuel impliquant des enfants.
  • [05] Commission resumes humanitarian aid deliveries to Chechnya The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), has resumed aid deliveries to Chechnya, in coordination with United Nations agencies and partner Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The joint decision by the Commission, the UN agencies and the partner NGOs to resume aid deliveries follows the release of Kenny Gluck, an aid worker, and also the fulfilment of basic minimum operational requirements for aid convoys, notably the re-issuance of permits allowing NGOs to work in Chechnya.
  • [06] Le Premier Ministre du Mali, Mandé Sidibé, en visite à la Commission Poul Nielson, Commissaire européen au Développement et à l'Aide humanitaire, recevra le vendredi 23 février Mandé Sidibé, Premier ministre du Mali. Cette rencontre sera l'occasion d'évoquer l'ensemble des relations entre l'Union européenne et le Mali. Les discussions sont susceptibles de porter sur la situation politique et économique au Mali, l'état de la coopération entre la Commission et le Mali, ainsi que la coopération régionale. Le Mali préside actuellement l'Union économique et monétaire ouest africaine (UEMOA) et la Communauté économique des Etats africains de l'Ouest (CEDEAO/ECOWAS). Le Mali a bénéficié au titre du 8ème Fonds Européen de Développement de subventions pour un montant de 209 millions d'euros qui ont essentiellement été alloués à la décentralisation, aux transports, au secteur agricole (filières riz et coton) et à l'environnement. Des élections législatives et présidentielles doivent avoir lieu au Mali l'an prochain.
  • [07] Chris Patten to attend Skopje Summit of South East Europe Cooperation Process on 23 February European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will travel to Skopje on 23 February for the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Governments of South East European Countries (SEECP ). Mr Patten's attendance at this event signals the Commission's strong support for initiatives led by countries of South East Europe to work together to promote regional development. The need for a new era of regional cooperation was one of the principal messages at the 24 November 2000 Zagreb Summit. The presence in Skopje of one EU Member State together with three candidate countries and the five countries of the EU's Stabilisation and Association Process will demonstrate how the perspective of EU membership one day is a motor for regional cooperation. Commissioner Patten will represent the EU together with the High Representative for CFSP, Secretary General Javier Solana.
  • [08] Michaele Schreyer in Estonia to assess progress in the areas of finance and antifraud European Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer today begun a two-day visit (22-23 February) in Tallinn where she was due to meet with a number of Estonian officials in particular Prime Minister Mart Laar, Chief accession negotiator Alar Streimann, Finance Minister Siim Kallas and State Auditor Juhan Parts. Ms Schreyer declared that she was impressed by the considerable progress of Estonia in accession negotiations (16 out of 29 chapters provisionally closed) and that increasing importance should be placed upon implementation in all areas of the Acquis. Since 2000, EU financial assistance to Estonia has substantially increased to around euro 75 million per year, including PHARE and the new instruments ISPA and SAPARD. Ms Schreyer underlined that one of the biggest challenges for the Estonian administration is to improve capacity to effectively manage and implement EU assistance funds. She declared that "Estonia should ensure that EU funds have a real impact in helping accelerate accession preparations of the country and demonstrate that it has the capacity to manage a much larger amount of EU funds upon accession". The Budget Commissioner recalled that the Commission is currently funding a euro 1 million PHARE project on improving internal financial control. Ms Schreyer also expressed hopes that Estonia should soon be the second country (after Bulgaria) to receive accreditation for the SAPARD Agency, which would allow to move to greater decentralised management of EU funds.
  • [09] Autre matériel diffusé Budget breakdown for the Research Framework Programme (2002-2006) Discours de Mme Diamantopoulou : "Quality is the link between competitiveness and cohesion" à la Social and Labour Market Policies : Investing in Quality European Conference Discours de M. Liikanen : "Accelerating the pace towards Stockholm and beyond" au British Embassy Seminar

    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
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