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

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>


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] The euro, one month later
  • [02] The euro changeover and the euro-zone HICP for January 2002
  • [03] Third quarter of 2001 - EU15 current account deficit €0.8 billion ; €1.9 billion surplus on trade in services
  • [04] Flash estimate - January 2002 - Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.5%
  • [05] Commission clears acquisition of Compaq by HP
  • [06] Commission clears creation of Ibsen Photonics A/S by Dansk Kapital and 3i
  • [07] Loyola de Palacio réaffirme la nécessité d'un accord global "Ciel Ouvert" entre l'Europe et les Etats-Unis
  • [08] Declaration by Commissioner Philippe Busquin
  • [09] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 01/02/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 01/02/2002

  • [01] The euro, one month later

    In one month from €-day the euro has firmly taken its place as daily currency in the life of more than 300 million Europeans. Indeed it took only a few days for people to replace much of their national currencies with the new euro banknotes and coins. Currently more than 95% of cash transactions are in euro, in all of the euro area countries. In the Netherlands, euro banknotes and coins are now the only ones to hold legal tender status. It is also the case in Germany, though the retail sector committed to accepting DEM at least until 28 February.

    [02] The euro changeover and the euro-zone HICP for January 2002

    The euro-zone flash estimate for January 2002 is within the range (+/- 0.1) which would have been expected making a simple extrapolation of the seasonal pattern, developments in recent months up to December 2001 and January's fuel price changes. The fact that the flash estimate for January 2002 is higher than the actual figure for December 2001 cannot necessarily be taken as evidence of a significant euro changeover effect when all the other possible influences, described below, are taken into account.

    [03] Third quarter of 2001 - EU15 current account deficit €0.8 billion ; €1.9 billion surplus on trade in services

    According to the latest revisions, the EU15 external current account recorded a deficit of €0.8 billion in the third quarter of 2001, as compared with a deficit of €10.4 billion in the third quarter of 2000 and a deficit of €4.7 billion in the second quarter of 2001. In the third quarter of 2001 the EU15 external balance of trade in services recorded a surplus of €1.9 billion as compared with a surplus of €5.1 billion in the third quarter of 2000 and a surplus of €6.6 billion in the second quarter of 2001. This provisional data, issued today by Eurostat will be subject to revision.

    [04] Flash estimate - January 2002 - Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.5%

    Euro-zone annual inflation is expected to be 2.5 % in January 2002, up from 2.1% in December 2001, according to a flash estimate issued today by Eurostat.

    [05] Commission clears acquisition of Compaq by HP

    The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. (Compaq) by Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), two US-based global providers of computing and enterprise technology solutions. A careful analysis of the merger, the largest ever in the Information Technology sector, and of the competitive forces in the markets concerned has shown that HP would not be in a position to increase prices and that consumers would continue to benefit from sufficient choice and innovation.

    [06] Commission clears creation of Ibsen Photonics A/S by Dansk Kapital and 3i

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the creation of a joint venture called Ibsen Photonics A/S, a Danish company which will make parts for the fibre optics industry, by Dansk Kapitalanlæg Aktieselskab of Denmark and 3i Group plc of Britain, both venture capital companies. (The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [07] Loyola de Palacio réaffirme la nécessité d'un accord global "Ciel Ouvert" entre l'Europe et les Etats-Unis

    Interrogée par des journalistes sur les conclusions de l'avocat général de la Cour de Justice portant sur les accords open-skies, Loyola de Palacio, vice-présidente de la Commission européenne en charge des Transports et de l'Energie a souligné l'importance de ces conclusions qui réaffirment le principe de la non-discrimination. "Il faut évidemment attendre l'arrêt de la Cour car nous ne pouvons pas nous prononcer définitivement sur la seule base des conclusions", a-t-elle rappelé. "Néanmoins, les conclusions donnent raison à l'action de la Commission sur deux points absolument fondamentaux: d'une part les clauses de nationalité sont illégales, car contraires au Traité, et d'autre part les domaines régis par des règlements communautaires relèvent de la compétence externe exclusive de la Communauté".

    [08] Declaration by Commissioner Philippe Busquin

    European Commissioner for Research Philippe Busquin has welcomed the outcome of Wednesday's vote in the German Bundestag to allow the import - under strict conditions - of existing embryonic stem cells for research purposes. "German researchers will now be able to fully participate in EU- funded research projects that investigate the use of embryonic stem cells for curing diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or heart insufficiencies. The decision of the German Bundestag will strengthen the possibilities for researchers to work together on leading-edge science in a European Research Area." In the Commission's proposal for the 6th Framework Research Programme (2002-2006), any intervention on the germ line is excluded from funding as well as the creation of embryos for research purposes or for the procurement of embryonic stem cells. EU funded research projects that raise sensitive ethical questions are always subject to a specific ethical review at the European level and have to respect the ethical rules in place in the country where the research is conducted.

    [09] Autre matériel diffusé

    Calendrier du 4 au 8 février 2002

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


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