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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-04-02

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 02/04/2001

  • [01] Romano Prodi reacts to the arrest of Slobodan Milosevic The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, reacted yesterday to the arrest of Slobodan Milosevic : "I have always said that we have confidence in the young democracy of Yugoslavia and its leaders. They have done the right thing in arresting Mr Milosevic. Those accused of crimes against humanity must be brought to trial. The values of human rights and justice are at the heart of the European Union and part of the common inheritance of all democratic European nations. Yugoslavia has taken another important step towards modern Europe."
  • [02] Chris Patten welcomes Slobodan Milosevic arrest European Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten, issued the following statement : "I welcome the arrest of Slobodan Milosevic as a very important first step in bringing him to justice, and congratulate the authorities in Belgrade. It is right that Milosevic should answer to the Serbian people for the crimes he has committed against them, and in their name. Milosevic's crimes, however, extend well beyond the borders of Serbia. As the mass graves of Bosnia and Croatia testify, his were crimes not just against Serbia, but against humanity. For the sake of all his victims, and for the sake of stability and peace in the Balkans, Milosevic must ultimately face justice for those crimes. Today marks the end of Milosevic's impunity for all he has done, and a step forward for the people of Yugoslavia."
  • [03] Statement by President Prodi on climate change "I am very concerned and disappointed about the apparent decision by the US Administration to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. This is no longer simply an environmental issue. It is hard to understand how it is possible simply to abandon an ongoing effort by the international community to tackle one of the biggest challenges to global sustainability, namely the cutting of greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists are saying very clearly that the climate is changing and this could have disastrous consequences. The Kyoto Protocol provides a solid basis for the efforts to combat climate change and we want it to come into force by 2002. The EU has proposed a dialogue at the highest level, which I hope the US will engage in constructively."
  • [04] Commission clears electronic mailbox joint venture in Denmark The European Commission has cleared a joint venture called e-Boks between Danish IT operating companies DMdata and Kommunedata. e-Boks will provide a Business-to-Consumer mailing and storage infrastructure facility, i.e. an electronic mailbox. The Commission's review showed that the joint venture will be active in a new market where the parent companies presently have no activities.
  • [05] Commission clears Huntsman International's buy of Albright & Wilson's European surfactants The European Commission has approved the acquisition by US company Huntsman International LLC of the European surfactants business (Albright & Wilson Surfactants Europe) of Albright & Wilson Ltd. Huntsman International is a manufacturer of a wide variety of commodity and specialty chemicals, whereas Albright & Wilson Surfactants Europe produces and sells in Europe surface active agents. The deal does not give rise to any competition problems.
  • [06] La Commission ouvre une enquête approfondie concernant l'acquisition de Legrand par Schneider Electric La Commission européenne a ouvert une enquête approfondie concernant le projet d'acquisition, par la société française Schneider Electric SA, de Legrand SA, aussi française, par voie d'une offre publique d'échange. Les deux sociétés fabriquent des équipements de distribution d'électricité basse tension et ont des activités dans la plupart des pays européens. La Commission considère que cette opération nécessite un examen plus détaillé quant à sa compatibilité avec les règles de concurrence européennes, compte tenu des positions très solides de Schneider et de Legrand sur certain marchés aussi bien au niveau européen qu'au niveau national.
  • [07] EU scientists advise on BSE-related issues and review recent research The Scientific Steering Committee has today published opinions on a number of BSE-related issues. The Committee reviewed the information available to date on the safety of milk and reconfirmed there is no evidence pointing at a possible BSE risk presented by milk or colostrum, but recommends that for precautionary reasons the milk, colostrum or milk products from animals with clinical signs of BSE should not be consumed. The scientists also reviewed the scientific justification provided by the Austrian authorities for its bans on imports of live cattle and bovine products from Germany and France. They find the justification provided is not substantial enough to give any significant evidence of an additional BSE risk. The SSC adopted an opinion evaluating the significance of a second case of BSE in the UK in an animal born after the 1st of August 1996 when the re-inforced MBM feed ban was introduced. On the basis of the information provided by the UK authorities they conclude this second case is no cause for modifying its opinion on the UK Data Based Export Scheme. The SSC also recommends to monitor some of the offspring of BSE cases so as to collect possible field evidence of maternal transmission of BSE. The Committee in addition adopted two statements for the minutes. The first concerns a new process for treating BSE and TSE contaminated waste materials based on alkaline hydrolysis at elevated temperature. The second concerns an opinion of the French Food Safety Agency AFFSA which the Committee finds does not provide new elements with respect to its standing opinion of February 2001 on the presence of BSE in small ruminants. The full text of the opinions are available at : http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/ssc/outcome_en.html
  • [08] BSE : Scientists publish geographical BSE risk assessment for thirteen third countries The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) advising the European Commission inter alia on BSE related issues has today published its opinion on the Geographical Risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (GBR) in Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, India, Mauritius, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore and Slovakia. The Committee concludes that is highly unlikely that cattle infected with the BSE agent are present in domestic herds of Brazil and Singapore (GBR level I). They found that it is unlikely but not excluded in the herds of India, Pakistan, Colombia and Mauritius (GBR level II) and that it is likely that BSE is present in the cattle herds of Albania, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and the Slovak Republic (GBR level III) although not yet confirmed. The evaluation of the geographical risk of presence of BSE focuses on the risk for animals to incubate the disease.
  • [09] Commission sends experts to assist in the clean-up of the oil pollution in Denmark European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström today announced that following a request from the Danish civil protection authorities, three experts from the European Task Force dealing with accidental marine pollution were sent to Denmark on 1st April. The experts, two from France and one from the European Commission, are specialists in operational and technical aspects of marine pollution. They will help the Danish authorities to define the best means of minimising the impact of oil pollution from the 29th of March wreck of the Baltic Carrier and to ensure the recovery of affected areas. In this way the lessons learnt and the know- how acquired in the huge pollution from the Erika accident in France in December 1999, will be at the disposal of the Danish local authorities and experts dealing with the emergency. The pollutant heavy fuel oil is very similar in the two cases.
  • [10] FMD : zoo animals to be vaccinated under certain conditions The European Commission invited veterinary experts and experts on zoo- animals to discuss the options to protect rare and endangered species in zoos, including the possibility of vaccination in cases where there is a serious risk of contracting foot and mouth disease (FMD). There was consensus on the imperative needs to apply any possibly disease prevention measures irrespective of the use of vaccines in areas at risk. Clearly, therefore, Member States where there have been outbreaks of FMD should have in place contingency plans to protect zoos including resorting to vaccination if such a risk was identified. Other Member States at lower risk, should maintain a high level of vigilance in relation to their zoo animals. In the event that a Member State considers necessary to vaccinate zoo animals, the Commission will take the circumstances into consideration and defend these actions in the relevant international institutions, especially the OIE and in relation to any trade restrictions imposed by third countries on EC exports. The experts considered, with the appropriate safeguards, that zoo animals could be vaccinated without jeopardising the animal health status of a country where such animals are kept under appropriate controlled conditions.
  • [11] Marchés des valeurs mobilières : les services de la Commission lancent des consultations sur les mécanismes de compensation et de règlement Les services de la Commission européenne ont lancé des consultations sur les mécanismes transfrontaliers de compensation et de règlement dans l'Union européenne. Leur but est de parvenir à une meilleure compréhension des obstacles qui gênent actuellement les transactions transfrontalières sur les marchés des valeurs mobilières de l'Union et de commencer à cerner les questions que pourraient soulever d'éventuels futurs modèles de compensation et de règlement ainsi que les répercussions qui pourraient être les leurs. Les informations ainsi recueillies serviront à un groupe consultatif chargé des questions relatives aux marchés financiers et présidé par M. Alberto Giovannini (le "groupe Giovannini), qui travaille actuellement sur les mécanismes transfrontaliers de compensation et de règlement. En outre, la Commission utilisera ces informations dans le cadre de la révision de la directive sur les services d'investissement (voir IP/00/1315) à laquelle elle procède actuellement et, plus généralement, dans le contexte des efforts qu'elle déploie pour repérer et éliminer les entraves à l'activité de compensation et de règlement en Europe. Les consultations s'effectuent sur la base d'un questionnaire disponible sur le site Europa à l'adresse suivante: http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/giovannini/index_en.htm ou http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market (cliquer sur "Quoi de neuf?")
  • [12] Commission takes stock of "EMU : The First Two Years" The European Commission services publish today comprehensive review of the first two years of Economic and Monetary Union. Solid progress has been made in all the four areas covered by the report which includes : (i) an assessment of the macro-economic performance of the euro-area economy during the past two years including a discussion of the achievements in the area of monetary and fiscal policy and issues related to economic policy coordination ; (ii) an assessment of the external development of the euro, including its role as an international currency ; (iii) the important changes which have taken place in euro-area financial markets ; (iv) a stock taking of the preparations for completing the changeover to the euro. The report is available on DG ECFIN's web-site as of 13h00 today : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/document/europap/eup42en.pdf
  • [13] Commission publishes report on impact of euro introduction on CAP The European Commission published a report entitled "Report on the implementation of the transitional measures for the introduction of the euro in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)". The results of the analysis depict the introduction of to the euro on 1 January 1999 as smooth in the case of the CAP. The report initially focuses on the implementation of the transitional provisions which are founded on the same structure as that of the agrimonetary rules and it addresses the steps taken by Member States towards granting agrimonetary compensation in accordance with transitional measures. Particular emphasis is placed on the effect of transitional measures on farmers' incomes. Clear distinctions are drawn between the potential effects of the euro, on the one hand on prices, and on the other, on direct aid. Finally, the report concludes that the shift towards a more integrated European Union has had no effect on the income of farmers, causing no abnormal changes either in the number of animals or the areas under arable crops. In fact, it has actually simplified matters : a result of the existence of the euro itself and the manner in which it was introduced in the common agricultural policy. The report will is published at the following web address : http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/markets/euro/index_en.htm
  • [14] Chris Patten to visit Skopje EU reacts to the crisis in FYROM European Commissioner for External Relations, Mr Chris Patten, visits the capital of Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Skopje on Monday 2 April together with EU's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Mr Javier Solana. During the visit they will meet President Trajkovski, members of the Government and leaders of opposition parties in the run-up to the signature of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, scheduled to take place in Luxembourg on 9 April. FYROM is the first country of the region to agree a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union.
  • [15] Pascal Lamy visits Russia to underline EU support for Russian efforts to join WTO and reinforce bilateral trade links European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy last Friday reiterated the EU's support for Russia's efforts to accede to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Speaking in Moscow at a Roundtable on "Russia, the International Economy and the WTO", attended by leading figures from both the public and private sectors including Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, Trade Minister German Gref, WTO Director General Mike Moore and Swedish Trade Minister Leif Pagrotsky, Commissioner Lamy underlined the EU's commitment as Russia's principal trading partner, to working together with Russia towards its accession to the WTO. Recognising that Russia has made important efforts to give new momentum to the negotiations, Mr Lamy said : "Today's conference has focused minds and injected dynamism to the task of Russia's accession to the WTO, a gradual process that cannot be completed overnight. Russia can count on us to accompany it along this road".
  • [16] Margot Wallström asks for stakeholders' input on new chemicals policy In a speech opening today's Stakeholders Conference on the Commission's White Paper on a new Chemicals Policy, European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström invited stakeholders from Member States, the European Parliament, industry, NGO's, the science world as well as our international partners for their view on the Commission's ideas for a new chemicals policy as set out in the White Paper presented in February. Mrs Wallström hightlighted the importance of making the new system for authorising chemicals products as practical and competititive as possible without causing risks to human health and the environment. The Commissioner said : "I am convinced that the new system outlined in the White Paper will contribute to sustainable development in the area of chemicals. It will foster a high level of protection both for human health and the environment, as well as innovation and competitiveness of the European chemical industry."
  • [17] Autre matériel diffusé Note sur la préparation du Conseil Transports Déclaration de M. Monti

    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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