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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-06-13

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 13/06/2001

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 12 juin 2001 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 12 June

  • [01] Commission adopts new Generalised Scheme of Tariff Preferences (GSP) Regulation to foster sustainable development The European Commission has adopted a proposal for revision to the Generalised Scheme of Tariff Preferences (GSP) for the years 2002 to 2004. Welcoming the Commission's decision, Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said : "This regulation is designed to simplify the GSP regime, restore the level of its benefits and target them more effectively in the interests of developing countries. It is also intended to improve the effectiveness of special incentives to promote core labour and environmental standards. The scheme constitutes a central plank of EU trade policy and a further tangible example of the promotion of sustainable development". The new Regulation complements and fully incorporates the recent "Everything But Arms" (EBA) initiative in favour of Least Developed Countries.
  • [02] ESB : la Commission renforce les mesures contre les Encéphalopathies Spongiformes Transmissibles La Commission européenne a décidé de présenter une série de propositions en prévision de l'entrée en vigueur, le 1er juillet 2001, du règlement n° 999/2001 du Conseil et du Parlement européen sur les encéphalopathies spongiformes transmissibles (EST). Ce règlement contient un cadre de mesures communautaires de lutte contre les risques pour la santé animale et la santé publique liés aux EST. Les propositions abaissent la limite d'âge pour le dépistage obligatoire de l'ESB chez les bovins appartenant à un groupe à haut risque à 24 mois (au lieu de 30) et introduisent le dépistage aléatoire des EST chez les ovins et les caprins. Elles prolongent l'interdiction actuelle d'utiliser, pour l'alimentation animale, des farines de viandes et d'os. Il est également proposé d'élargir, avec effet au 1er octobre 2001, l'éventail des produits importés dans l'UE devant être soumis aux mesures de protection. Enfin, soucieuse de satisfaire aux souhaits des Etats membres et du Parlement, la Commission propose de modifier les règles d'éradication de l'ESB en donnant aux autorités locales compétentes la possibilité de ne pas exiger l'abattage de l'ensemble du troupeau lorsqu'un cas d'ESB est confirmé.
  • [03] Commission reinforces research effort on BSE and related diseases The European Commission has set out a series of measures to strengthen research on BSE and related diseases across Europe. These steps are outlined in a communication to the Council and the European Parliament on research activities in Europe related to Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE). The Communication draws conclusions from the research efforts underway in all Member States and identifies actions to close existing gaps in TSE research. It is based on an inventory of European TSE research activities published in April 2001, which was elaborated by a high-level group of experts from Member States. On 31 May 2001, the Commission made additional funds available in the order of euro 25 million for new research projects and for the coordination of national and European activities. One important theme to be addressed will be the understanding of how infectious prions propagate in human and animal bodies. The accession countries will be invited to fully participate in these collective efforts.
  • [04] La Commission définit une stratégie à long terme pour reconstituer les stocks de cabillaud et de merlu La Commission européenne a adopté une communication sur la nécessité de plans de reconstitution à long terme des stocks de cabillaud et de merlu. Selon cette communication, une combinaison de mesures est nécessaire, y compris une limitation des activités de pêche, la fixation de totaux admissibles de captures (TAC) strictement conformes aux objectifs du plan de reconstitution, l'application de mesures techniques, telles que l'augmentation des maillages et l'amélioration des contrôles et de la mise en œuvre. A la suite de consultations avec les parties intéressées et à la lumière des avis scientifiques les plus récents, la Commission présentera ses propositions officielles au Conseil et au Parlement européen vers la fin de l'année. Elle espère que la stratégie de reconstitution des stocks sera adoptée pour le printemps 2002, de manière à pouvoir être mise en œuvre à partir du milieu de l'année 2002 au plus tard.
  • [05] Excise duties : Commission moves against Sweden over tax discrimination against wine The European Commission has decided to send a formal request to Sweden to end tax discrimination against wine in comparison to beer. The Commission considers that the Swedish tax system affords undue protection to beer, mainly produced domestically, in comparison to wine, which comes from other Member States. In the Commission's view, this discriminatory tax regime violates EC Treaty rules (Article 90) that forbid Member States to impose higher taxes on products from other Member States than on competing domestic products. The Court of Justice has ruled in several cases that beer and table wine are competing products. The formal request to Sweden will take the form of a so-called 'reasoned opinion' (second stage of the formal infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty). In the absence of a satisfactory amendment to the Swedish tax rules within two months of receipt of the reasoned opinion, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice.
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [06] Commission objects to GFU joint gas sales in Norway The European Commission has warned Norwegian gas producers that the joint sale of Norwegian gas carried out through the Gas Negotiation Committee (GFU) is in breach of the European Union competition rules as it fixes, among other things, the price and the quantities sold. The Commission welcomes the recent announcement by the Norwegian government to discontinue the GFU joint sales. But the Commission wants this to be translated into facts by the companies and, more importantly, to see the long term, adverse effects of the past and present misbehaviour remedied.
  • [07] Commission approves partnership between bmi british midland, Lufthansa and SAS The European Commission has granted a six-year exemption to a co-operation agreement between bmi british midland, Lufthansa and SAS. The three airlines have submitted important undertakings to address competition concerns raised previously by the Commission. As a result, consumers will benefit from the increased competition created by the cooperation agreement itself and from the remedies offered.
  • [08] David Byrne welcomes adoption of European Parliament report on establishment of European Food Authority European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection David Byrne yesterday welcomed the adoption of the European Parliament's position on the Commission proposal setting up the European Food Authority and laying down general principles of EU food law. The proposal is the cornerstone of the EU food safety strategy. The European Parliament supports the Commission's integrated approach to safety along the entire food chain, combining general principles and requirements for food law with the organisational arrangements and procedures to deliver this in a single legal text. Of the more than 200 amendments put forward by the Parliament, the Commissioner said he could notably accept those aiming to make the workings of the future Authority more transparent.
  • [09] FMD : nearly all restrictions now lifted The Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) yesterday voted in favour of a European Commission proposal with regard to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Netherlands.
  • [10] La Commission envoie 1 million d'euros d'aide alimentaire d'urgence au Tchad La Commission européenne a décidé d'octroyer une aide de 950.000 euros en faveur des groupes vulnérables et des populations locales affectées par la sécheresse qui sévit actuellement au Tchad. Ce programme ciblera les départements au sud du pays : Tandjilé, Chari et Logone occidental, soit une population de 155.000 personnes.
  • [11] EU to observe parliamentary elections in Bangladesh The European Commission has today adopted a decision to fund the sending of an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to monitor the forthcoming general elections in Bangladesh. These elections, for which a date has not yet been announced are to be held before October 12, 2001. Joaquim Miranda MEP has been appointed as the Chief Observer of the Election Observation Mission.
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Discours de M. Prodi : "What I expect from Gothenburg making the vision a reality" (Parlement européen, Strasbourg) Discours de Mme Reding : "Europe and sovereignity. A citizen's Europe through Education and Culture" à la 2001 Jean Monnet Lecture (Newcastle, ! embargo 20h00 !) Speech by David Byrne : "Risk analysis Risk communication: The decision maker's dilemma" at the Joint WHO/FAO/OIE Conference on BSE and its Risks (Paris)

    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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