|Monday, 18 February 2019|
European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-02-15
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
 European Enviroment Commissioner Margot Wallström comments on President Bush's initiative on Climate Change"I welcome that the US Government has now put forward its plan for a domestic climate change policy. I am hopeful that this will raise awareness in the United States of the urgent need for action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The US, as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has a great responsibility in contributing to global efforts to combat climate change. But the plan is no alternative to the Kyoto Protocol to which the EU remains fully committed. The Protocol is the only effective international framework for combating global warming and we urge the United States to return to the Kyoto process. It seems that President Bush's proposals will not lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions but allow a significant increase. This raises the question whether the US will be able to meet its commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The US has ratified the Convention that requires parties to stabilise their greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels. The EU has already reduced its emissions below 1990 levels and we will meet our Kyoto target of an 8% reduction by 2008-2012. Ultimately, the efforts made by the US should match those undertaken in other parts of the world in the context of the Kyoto Protocol. To protect our climate we will have to reduce emissions. We all know that even the targets in the Kyoto Protocol are only a first step if we want to prevent the severe consequences that climate change could have. Action to fight climate change is vital to achieve sustainable development. President Bush believes that taking action under the Kyoto Protocol would harm the US economy. I think that improving the environment through technological progress can actually enhance our competitiveness and fuel economic growth. This is what sustainable development is about: Protecting our eco-system while ensuring economic prosperity."
 Commission refers Danish Crown / Steff-Houlberg merger to Denmark after clearing markets outside DenmarkThe European Commission has granted regulatory approval to the merger between Denmark's two largest slaughterhouses Danish Crown and Steff- Houlberg insofar as its impact outside Denmark is concerned. The examination of the deal's effect on the Danish market has been referred to the Danish competition authority at Denmark's request as the merger threatens to create severe competition concerns on five markets in Denmark. This is the first time Denmark has requested a merger referral since it introduced its own merger control rules in October 2000.
 Poul Nielson welcomes the entry into force of the United Nations Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed ConflictsPoul Nielson, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, has hailed as a "major achievement", the entry into force of the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts, adopted by the General Assembly in 2000. He said : "This confirms that there is a broad international consensus on the universality of the Rights of the Child and a determination to uphold these rights at all times, including in conflict situations. It provides the opportunity to take concrete steps to make governments and armed groups respect their obligations not to recruit underage soldiers, to release abducted children and child soldiers, and to allow their reintegration into society." Mr Nielson emphasised that the Commission "wholeheartedly supported" the guiding principles of the Optional Protocol which includes giving primacy to the interests of children, ensuring their right to be heard, and respecting the rule of non- discrimination. He added : "The message is clear for those who would seek to exploit children in conflict situations. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable. The survival, protection and development of children are universal imperatives which must be respected."
 Renewal of EU fisheries agreement with Sao Tomé e PrincipeThe European Union and Sao Tomé agreed on 14 February 2002 to renew the protocol to their fisheries agreement for a period of three years from 1 June 2002. This agreement which has until now been exclusively focused on tuna fisheries will offer fishing possibilities to 36 tuna seiners, 25 surface long-liners and 2 pole and line vessels. The previous numbers were 36, 33 and 7 respectively. The financial compensation will amount to €2.2 million over three years (currently €1.91 million), including compensation for an experimental deep-water crab fishery during the first year and a premium of €50,000 for an evaluation study on the state of these crab stocks. Should this lead to fishing possibilities for crab in the second year of the protocol, a corresponding compensation would be agreed. 40% of the financial compensation will be allocated to measures in favour of the local fisheries sector, scientific research and surveillance of fisheries activities.
 Les citoyens peuvent poser des questions à la Présidence espagnoleLe lundi 18 février 2002 le Secrétaire d'Etat espagnol chargé des Affaires européennes, M. Ramón de Miguel, dialoguera en direct sur internet avec les citoyens dans le cadre d'un chat organisé par la Commission européenne. Le dialogue concernera plus particulièrement la récente Déclaration de Laeken et les futurs travaux de la Convention sur l'avenir de l'UE, ainsi que les priorités de la Présidence espagnole. Les lignes, dans les 11 langues officielles, seront ouvertes de 18.00 à 20.00 CET. Les questions peuvent être envoyées à l'avance à: Chat-presES@cec.eu.int. Les questions devront être les plus courtes possible, 256 caractères maximum. Pour de plus amples informations pratiques sur la manière de participer à ce dialgogue, consultez la page "Participer au chat" : http://europa.eu.int/comm/chat/miguel/index_es.htm
 Philippe Busquin promotes research against anti-personnel landminesOn Monday, 18 February 2002 European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will present his view on how best the European research efforts against landmines should be pursued in order to reach the ambitious goal of total elimination of anti-personnel landmines world-wide in the coming years. The Common Position adopted by the Council and the European Parliament on 23 July 2001, demands that the Community exercises determined leadership in order to reach this goal. It also underlines that further research and development of mine action technology will have to continue and that further scientific research should be intensified with the aim to facilitate mine clearance to become faster, safer and more cost-effective. Commissioner Busquin is convinced that the many ongoing research efforts, at all levels and in the Members States, will have to be much better co- ordinated. A strategy is needed identifying the different steps of development and bringing together all actors: universities, research centre and industry including the work done by the Joint Research Centre. At the Conference, Mr Busquin will outline how the European Research Area with its new instruments contains many potentials for humanitarian demining. He will recommend the actors to create a newtork of excellence. Keynote speakers will include Commissioner Busquin, Belgian Defence Minister André Flahaut and several Members of the European Parliament. The international workshop hosted by the Royal Military Academy of Belgium will also give a forum to speakers from various NGOs, international organisations such as the United Nations Mine Action Services and from the scientific world. The press is invited to attend the entire workshop (starting at 9h00), as well as the press conference at 16h30 at the Royal Military Academy, Avenue de la Renaissance 30, Bloc I, Pressroom, Brussels.
 Autre matériel diffuséSpeech by Loyola de Palacio : "Boosting Short Sea Shipping" (Livorno, ! embargo 5 pm !)
Speech by Pascal Lamy : "Europe and Asia old Partners with a new Agenda" at the Asia-Europe Foundation (Singapore)
Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "Creating a Dynamic Marketplace : EU telecoms policy in the framework of eEurope" at the 13th Annual European Communications Conference (14/02, London)
Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "e-commerce and car distribution" at the Automotive Fellowship International Ltd (14/02, London)
Note sur la préparation du Conseil Agriculture
Calendrier du 18 au 24 février
From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/