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

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] La Commission propose un nouveau programme "Marco Polo" : €115 millions pour concrétiser l'intermodalité du fret
  • [02] Commission proposes to extend the joint undertaking status of Hochtemperatur- Kernkraftwerk GmbH
  • [03] January 2002 : the economic sentiment indicator improves again
  • [04] December 2001 : industrial producer prices down by 0.3% in euro-zone ; -0.2% in EU15
  • [05] Droit d'auteur : la Commission poursuit des procédures d'infraction contre la Belgique et le Danemark
  • [06] Romano Prodi hails the decision by the EP President not to challenge the European Company directive
  • [07] Loyola de Palacio favours European security energy stocks
  • [08] Loyola de Palacio raises new possibilities for aviation insurance
  • [09] Towards a regulated competition in European energy markets
  • [10] New international agreements in the aviation industry
  • [11] Franz Fischler on enlargement : "We want to spend more on rural development than on direct payments"
  • [12] Pascal Lamy welcomes start of WTO Trade Negotiations
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 04/02/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 04/02/2002

  • [01] La Commission propose un nouveau programme "Marco Polo" : €115 millions pour concrétiser l'intermodalité du fret

    Aujourd'hui, la Commission européenne propose d'instituer un nouveau programme en vue de soutenir des services de fret intermodal ainsi que la lutte contre la congestion des transports dans l'Union européenne. Le programme "Marco Polo", annoncé dans le Livre blanc Transports publié par la Commission le 12 septembre 2001, allouera des ressources communautaires à la recherche de nouvelles solutions aux problèmes de transport international qui soient des formules de rechange viables au transport de fret par route. Concrètement, le programme devrait contribuer au transfert de l'accroissement escompté du transport international de fret par route, soit 12 milliards de tonnes-kilomètres par an, des routes encombrées vers les services de fret maritime à courte distance, de fret ferroviaire et de transport de marchandises par les voies navigables intérieures. Le programme devrait être opérationnel d'ici à 2003 et se prolonger jusqu'en 2010. Un budget global de €115 millions est proposé pour la période de 5 ans allant de 2003 à 2007. "La Commission est déterminée à faire de l'expression en vogue 'intermodalité' une véritable solution de rechange aux formules de transport 'tout à la route'", a déclaré Mme Loyola de Palacio, Vice-présidente de la Commission chargée de la politique de l'Energie et des Transports. "Nous proposons au secteur du transport et de la logistique un instrument très concret et pratique lui permettant de relever les défis qui demeurent sur le marché et de transférer un plus grand volume de fret des axes routiers encombrés vers d'autres modes de transport moins surchargés."

    [02] Commission proposes to extend the joint undertaking status of Hochtemperatur- Kernkraftwerk GmbH

    The European Commission proposed to the Council that it should extend until 31 December 2009 the joint undertaking status of Hochtemperatur- Kernkraftwerk GmbH (HKG) together with certain advantages linked to this status, so as to enable the company to complete the process of dismantling the Uentrop (Germany) nuclear power station, which has been shut down since 1989.

    [03] January 2002 : the economic sentiment indicator improves again

    The developments recorded by the economic sentiment indicator in January 2002 seem to confirm the reversal of the negative path followed since the last quarter of 2000. The aggregate indicator for the EU as a whole went up by 0.4 percentage points to reach the average level of the 1990s ; the increase was of 0.1 percentage points in the euro area. The change in the economic sentiment indicator between December and January was positive in 11 Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and the UK), while it remained stable in Italy. The increases were particularly significant (0.5 percentage points or more) in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK. The indicator fell in Spain (0.4 percentage points) and in Portugal (0.6 percentage points).

    [04] December 2001 : industrial producer prices down by 0.3% in euro-zone ; -0.2% in EU15

    The euro-zone industrial producer price index decreased by 0.3% in December 2001 compared with the previous month, Eurostat estimates today. EU15 prices declined by 0.2%. In November the index had decreased by 0.5% in the euro-zone and by 0.4% in the EU15. In December 2001 compared to December 2000 industrial producer prices fell by 1.1% in both areas. The annual price index for the year 2001 compared to 2000 increased by 2.2% in the euro-zone and by 1.9% in the EU15.

    [05] Droit d'auteur : la Commission poursuit des procédures d'infraction contre la Belgique et le Danemark

    La Commission européenne a décidé de poursuivre des procédures d'infraction à l'encontre de la Belgique et du Danemark pour transposition incomplète de la Directive 92/100 sur le droit de location, de prêt et certains droits voisins du droit d'auteur. La Directive devait être transposée par les Etats membres avant le 1er juillet 1994. La Commission a décidé d'adresser une demande formelle, sous forme d'avis motivé, à la Belgique, de transposer dans sa législation nationale les dispositions de cette Directive en matière du droit d'auteur en cas de prêt public des œuvres et d'autres objets. La Commission a également pris la décision d'adresser un avis motivé au Danemark, invitant ce pays à modifier sa réglementation nationale pour la rendre conforme avec les dispositions de la même Directive en ce qui concerne le droit de distribution. L'envoi d'un avis motivé constitue la deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction prévue à l'article 226 du traité. En l'absence d'une réponse satisfaisante de la part de l'Etat membre concerné dans un délai de deux mois à compter de la date de réception de cet avis, la Commission peut décider de saisir la Cour de justice européenne.

    [06] Romano Prodi hails the decision by the EP President not to challenge the European Company directive

    The President of the European Commission, Mr Romano Prodi, welcomed last Friday (01/02) the decision of the President of the European Parliament, Mr Pat Cox, not to challenge before the European Court of Justice the directive establishing a European Company Statute.

    [07] Loyola de Palacio favours European security energy stocks

    At this time of growing geopolitical uncertainties, Europe should think about improving its security stocks and emergency preparedness system. This is a major issue for the next future according to Loyola de Palacio, vice- president of the European Commission in charge of Energy and Transport. In a speech pronounced on 1st February, in New York, in the framework of the World Economic Forum Energy, she said : "Dependence on external oil supplies is an Achilles' heel for our economies and it is more important than ever than oil consuming countries are ready to face threats to their external oil supplies". "Security stocks held by consuming countries are critically important in this respect", she added.

    [08] Loyola de Palacio raises new possibilities for aviation insurance

    The events of 11th September have introduced a new dimension of risks, putting the emphasis on terrorism as a major and global threat. Thus we need to change radically our appreciation of risk by improving the international co-operation between administrations, regulators and industry. Risks must be addressed on a multi-layered government system with, increasingly, shared roles and responsibilities between public and private stakeholders. In the framework of the World Economic Forum, Loyola de Palacio, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of Energy and Transport, made clear her will to consider positively public authorities' support to cover part of the safety and security additional costs. "In the case that the commercial market will not be able to provide sufficient coverage, we will have to consider new options, either through a mutual fund or other system of joint state indemnity", she explained on 2nd February in her intervention in New York.

    [09] Towards a regulated competition in European energy markets

    In a speech given on 3rd February in the framework of the World Economic Forum in New York, Loyola de Palacio, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of Energy and Transport, emphasised the new model developed in Europe of regulated liberalisation of energy markets. "We are in the process of creating the world's largest, integrated and most open electricity and gas markets", she recalled, "but these changes have to be properly managed, in a smoothly co-ordinated and balanced approach". In her view, "the opening of markets must go with a certain degree of effective regulation, which will remain necessary in the interests of the consumers and to achieve other policy objectives, such as guarantee of public service, protection of the environment and security of supply".

    [10] New international agreements in the aviation industry

    The air transport industry has been seriously hit by the terrorist attacks of the 11th of September. This recent crisis poses an immense challenge to leaders in the industry to provide immediate responses to short-term problems. "We shall work more at international level to liberalise the sector", declared Loyola de Palacio, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of Energy and Transport, in speeches pronounced on 3rd February in the framework of the World Economic Forum in New York. "One of the very next steps should be to negotiate a Transatlantic Common Aviation Area between the EU and the USA to set up fair and competitive commercial conditions on this key market", she said. She considered that "direct cash subsidies should be avoided and Europe : our objective is to maintain and improve the liberalised European marketplace, and have international agreements which will give more freedom to airlines to provide services, compete with each other and develop their business." "Such agreements require clear rules of competition", stressed Loyola de Palacio, "which means that we have to consider initiatives to fight against unfair practices by third country airlines".

    [11] Franz Fischler on enlargement : "We want to spend more on rural development than on direct payments"

    Speaking at a seminar with catholic bishops from Central and Eastern Europe, European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler stressed that the Commission's proposals on enlargement and agriculture had met a mixed reception. "For some people, the Commission's proposals do not go far enough, for others they go too far. I think the proposals are sound, because they strike the right balance between the interests of the old and the new Member States. But the reactions also show that many people have rejected the proposals without even bothering to find out what is in them. And there is a growing risk that the enlargement project as a whole could suffer as a result of squabbling over a million € here and a million € there. It is our earnest wish and intention to help the new Member States to maintain an attractive and dynamic rural sector. The real issue is how to give farmers and rural communities in central and eastern Europe hope for the future. This is the true goal we are pursuing with the further integration of Europe. In the first year after accession in the candidate countries, nearly half of the budget, €1.5 billion, would be spent on rural development. We would be spending more on rural development than on direct payments! This is exactly what the rural areas in the candidate countries need: investment in the future and not subsidies which will cement existing structures", he said.

    [12] Pascal Lamy welcomes start of WTO Trade Negotiations

    European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy welcomed Friday's (01/02) decision in Geneva on establishing the negotiating structures for the new round of WTO trade negotiations. He said : "WTO members in Geneva have taken the first, important, indeed necessary, step towards implementing the negotiating mandate agreed in Doha. These decisions mean the WTO is now able to start the actual work of the negotiations. The EU will continue to build up this momentum by presenting its negotiating proposals at an early stage with a view to completing the DDA in three years."

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Anna Diamantopoulou : "Active ageing in Europe" at the Conference on Extension of Working Life and Gradual and Flexible Retirement Schemes organised by the Spanish Presidency (Lanzarote)

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


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