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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-10-04

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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 04/10/2001

  • [01] Sabena : la Commission demande la notification urgente des mesures prises La Commission européenne a pris connaissance de la décision des autorités belges d'accorder un crédit-pont à la compagnie Sabena afin de lui permettre de poursuivre ses activités. Cette décision faisait suite à l'annonce par la Sabena qu'elle sollicitait le concordat judiciaire. La Commission a demandé aux autorités belges de bien vouloir notifier les mesures qu'elles entendent prendre, ainsi que les plans de restructuration de la Sabena, afin de les analyser dans les plus brefs délais, dans le cadre des aides au sauvetage.
  • [02] EU to accelerate preparatory work on Russia's accession to WTO following EU-Russia Summit At the EU-Russia summit held yesterday in Brussels, the European Commission agreed to accelerate preparatory work on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The Commission has agreed to present a comprehensive list of its requests to Russia covering all areas to be negotiated before the end of this year in order that the WTO's working party can reconvene its work in Geneva in early 2002. Following the summit, Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said : "As Russia's main trading partner, the EU strongly supports Russia's goal of joining the WTO. Consequently, we have decided to give fresh impetus to this process by committing ourselves to preparing an across-the-board list of our requests to give to Russia at the latest by the end of this year. We have been assured by the US that they will do likewise. As a result, work on Russia's WTO accession in Geneva will be receive fresh impetus early next year."
  • [03] Commission promotes synergies between research and regional policy At the initiative of Commissioners Philippe Busquin, responsible for research, and Michel Barnier, responsible for regional policy and institutional reform, the European Commission has just adopted a strategy paper on the regional dimension of the European Research Area. The paper is designed to incite local and regional authorities, especially those from the least developed regions, to benefit from the new possibilities offered by the European Research Area, and to provide new perspectives to the EU's research and regional policies alike. The ever faster pace of globalisation and technological progress have given rise to a number of questions such as how to use the dynamics of regional initiatives for the advancement of science and innovation, how to use the potential of research and innovation to integrate regions in the emerging knowledge-based economy and how can Europe's regions best contribute to the creation of the European Research Area ? The proposed strategy addresses those issues and aims at a better integration of research and regional policies.
  • [04] Marchés publics : la Commission ouvre des procédures d'infraction contre l'Italie et la Grèce La Commission européenne a décidé d'adresser des demandes officielles à l'Italie et à la Grèce pour qu'elles se conforment à la législation communautaire concernant la passation de marchés publics sur appels d'offres publics et sur concours. Ces deux pays n'ont pas veillé à la bonne application de la directive portant coordination des procédures de passation des marchés publics de services (92/50/CEE). Le marché passé en Italie concerne un système de comptabilité informatisée dans le secteur de la santé publique à Frosinone, et celui qui a été passé en Grèce un programme d'urbanisme de la municipalité de Sérres. Dans les deux affaires, les pouvoirs adjudicateurs n'ont pas publié d'appel d'offres au Journal officiel des Communautés européennes. Les demandes officielles prennent la forme d'avis motivés (deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction au titre de l'article 226 du traité CE). Faute de réaction satisfaisante de la part des Etats membres dans un délai de deux mois à compter de la réception de l'avis motivé, la Commission a la possibilité de saisir la Cour de Justice de ces affaires.
  • [05] Libre circulation des marchandises : procédure d'infraction contre la France sur les métaux précieux La Commission européenne a décidé d'envoyer une demande formelle à la France de modifier sa réglementation sur les métaux précieux et plus particulièrement la dénomination "or" qui crée des discriminations contre les autres Etats Membres. La Commission estime que cette réglementation est contraire aux règles du Traité qui interdisent les entraves à la libre circulation des marchandises dans le marché intérieur (article 28). La demande formelle sera transmise sous forme d'avis motivé, la deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction prévue à l'article 226 du traité CE. Si la France ne se conformait pas à cette demande dans un délai de deux mois après réception de l'avis motivé, la Commission pourrait décider de saisir la Cour de justice.
  • [06] Second quarter 2001 - Euro-zone labour costs up by 2.7% ; EU15 up by 3.1% (! embargo 12 am !) Total hourly labour costs in the whole economy of the euro-zone grew by 2.7% in nominal terms in the second quarter of 2001 compared to the same period the previous year, Eurostat reports today. In the first quarter of 2001 the increase was a revised 3.1%. For the EU15 the rise was 3.1%, compared to a revised 3.6% in the previous quarter. Among countries for which data are available, only Italy registered an annual decrease (-1.4%). The biggest rise was in the Netherlands (5.2%) and Spain (5.1%). In industry, hourly labour costs in the euro-zone rose by 2.8% whilst for the EU15 the increase was 3.1%. From the data available, the smallest annual rise in costs was in Italy (1.6%), while the biggest increase was registered in Ireland (7.9%).
  • [07] EU support for building confidence in FYROM The European Commission has adopted on 3 October 2001 a decision to finance a Confidence Building Programme for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia under its Rapid Reaction Mechanism. The main objective of this programme, for which the budget is euro 10.3 million, is to provide rapid support for the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement of August 13, 2001 signed by the main political leaders of the Government coalition. It is very important to assist now in implementing the Agreement in order to reduce inter-ethnic tensions and to avoid escalation of the conflict or even spill-over to neighbouring countries. This package will be conditional upon full ratification of all constitutional amendments and a new law on local government.
  • [08] Letter of European External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten on 03/10 to Mr Jaswant Singh, Indian Minister for External Affairs "It is with shock and horror that I have learnt the tragic news of the act of terrorism that has struck your nation in Kashmir. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones that the victims leave behind. I share their grief and your hope that they may find the strength to deal with an irreplaceable loss. I assure you, also on behalf of my colleagues, that we share not only your sorrow but also your resolve to confront and defeat the terrorist evil that continues to threaten humanity around the globe."
  • [09] Réunion informelle des ministres de l'Audiovisuel (Mons, 05-06/10) Les ministres en charge de l'Audiovisuel se réuniront demain et samedi à Mons sous la présidence de M. Hervé Hasquin, ministre-président du gouvernement de la Communauté française de Belgique. Mme Viviane Reding représentera la Commission européenne. Le principal point à l'agenda est la présentation par la Commission de la communication sur le cinéma adoptée la semaine dernière (Cf. IP/01/1326 du 27 septembre 2001).
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Speech by Pedro Solbes at the European Parliament : "Council and Commission statement on Stability and Growth Pact and on Ecofin informal meeting in Liège" (03/10, Strasbourg) Speech by David Byrne : "Consumer protection past and future" at the Belgian Presidency Conference "The consumer's involvement in the Single Market" (! embargo 1.45 pm !) Note sur la préparation du Conseil Emploi / Affaires sociales (08/10)

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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