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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-02-18

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] VAT : Commission proposes to simplify rules for travel agents selling holiday packages
  • [02] La Commission autorise, sous certaines conditions, le rachat de Royal Canin par Masterfoods
  • [03] Commission gives €700,000 to support UN humanitarian information services in Africa and Central Asia
  • [04] ECHO Director visits Kabul
  • [05] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 18/02/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 18/02/2002

  • [01] VAT : Commission proposes to simplify rules for travel agents selling holiday packages

    The European Commission has presented a proposal to modify the special value added tax (VAT) rules applicable to travel operators selling holiday packages for destinations within the European Union. Under the present special rules, travel agents are normally authorised to charge VAT on their profit margin instead of on the full value of their sales. The proposal would amend these rules to eliminate double taxation problems which currently arise when travel agents make sales to other agents rather than the public. The proposal would also remove unfair competitive advantages for some travel operators arising due to uneven application of the current rules by different Member States and to the non-application of VAT to non- EU operators selling holiday packages to EU residents. The proposal would also modernise and simplify the special rules.

    [02] La Commission autorise, sous certaines conditions, le rachat de Royal Canin par Masterfoods

    La Commission européenne a approuvé, sous certaines conditions, le projet de rachat par Masterfoods Holding, filiale française du groupe américain Mars Inc., de l'entreprise française d'aliments pour animaux de compagnie Royal Canin SA. Mars s'est engagé à céder, sur l'intégralité du marché européen, les activités liées à cinq des marques d'aliments pour animaux de compagnie appartenant à l'entité issue de l'opération - Advance, Premium, Royal Chien, Playdog et Brekkies -, deux grands sites de production, ceux de La Chappelle et de Moulin, situés l'un dans le centre (Loir-et-Cher) et l'autre dans le Sud-Est de la France, ainsi que tous les actifs liés aux activités cédées. L'opération de concentration ne pourra être mise en œuvre tant que les conditions fixées ne seront pas respectées.

    [03] Commission gives €700,000 to support UN humanitarian information services in Africa and Central Asia

    The European Commission has decided to allocate €700,000 to the Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) which operates as a project of the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN- OCHA). Using the latest technology, this service provides accurate and timely information on current crises to a world-wide range of humanitarian ac-tors. IRIN currently has 15,000 direct subscribers. This money, channelled through the Humanitarian Aid office of the Commission (ECHO) which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson, will allow UN-OCHA to expand further its reporting capacities through the esta- blishment of a Humanitarian Information and Analysis Unit based in Nairobi. The setting up of this new unit will boost its present capacity to produce ana-lytical reports on humanitarian developments in major disaster-affected countries in Africa and Central Asia. The funds made available through ECHO will also be used to support IRIN's editorial operations, evaluate its performance and help chart its future expansion. ECHO's support to IRIN is part of the increasing collaboration between the Commission and the United Nations in addressing humanitarian crises.

    [04] ECHO Director visits Kabul

    Costanza Adinolfi, the Director of the EU's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), begins a three-day visit to Afghanistan today. During her mission, she will inspect ECHO-funded humanitarian aid projects and hold meetings with government officials, partner humanitarian organisations and local staff. She will also formally inaugurate the ECHO office in Kabul, which was re- opened in January 2002. The European Commission has a long-standing commitment to the humanitarian effort in Afghanistan. During the Taliban period, despite the closure of the ECHO office, it was able to mount significant relief efforts, targeting the most vulnerable sections of the population, through partner agencies working in the country. After September 11, when expatriate humanitarian workers were obliged to leave the country, most ECHO-funded projects continued thanks to the dedicated efforts of local staff. ECHO staff resumed working in Afghanistan almost immediately after the fall of Kabul. Commissioner Poul Nielson paid tribute to these Afghan staff when he visited Kabul on 4-5 December 2001. During 2001, ECHO allocated almost €55 million in humanitarian assistance for the Afghan population, half of which was before 11 September. The funding has been used for a range of relief actions in favour of refugees, internally displaced people and resident populations as well as for logistical support.

    [05] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de Mme Reding : "Exporter plus d'oeuvres télévisées européennes" au Forum européen des programmes de télévision (Barcelone)

    Speech by Pascal Lamy : "Sustainable development irrigated agriculture in Buleleng and Karang Asem" at the signing Ceremony of EC-Indonesia Financial Agreement (16/02, Jakarta)

    Speech by Anna Diamantopoulou : "Breaking the silence : Preventing Violence against Women in Europe" at the Ministerial Conference on Violence against Women, organised by the Spanish Presidency (Santiago de Compostela)


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


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