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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-02-20

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] Patents : Commission proposes rules for inventions using software
  • [02] La Commission adopte une proposition visant à limiter l'utilisation de produits chimiques très dangereux
  • [03] How far have we got with the EU's social policy agenda ?
  • [04] Commission approved Leader+ programme in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Germany)
  • [05] Fisheries : Franz Fischler "alarmed" by failure to reduce anarchic catches of blue whiting
  • [06] Commission allocates €700,000 in favour of the victims of drought in Georgia
  • [07] The EU's decision making process : introduction briefing for newcomers (and oldies…) Midday Express 20/02/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 20/02/2002

  • [01] Patents : Commission proposes rules for inventions using software

    The European Commission has presented a proposal for a Directive on the protection by patents of computer-implemented inventions. The proposed Directive would harmonise the way in which national patent laws deal with inventions using software. Such inventions can already be patented by applying to either the European Patent Office (EPO) or the national patent offices of the Member States, but the detailed conditions for patentability may vary. A significant barrier to trade in patented products within the Internal Market exists as long as certain inventions can be protected by patent in some Member States but not others. The proposed Directive will be submitted to the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for adoption under the so-called 'co-decision' procedure.

    [02] La Commission adopte une proposition visant à limiter l'utilisation de produits chimiques très dangereux

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition visant à limiter l'utilisation par le public de 43 produits chimiques qui peuvent provoquer des cancers et sont dangereux pour les gènes humains ou toxiques pour la reproduction s'ils sont utilisés sans précaution. Les substances en question ont été utilisées dans des peintures spéciales, des encres d'imprimerie, des laques et des adhésifs. La Commission propose que leur vente aux consommateurs soit interdite à partir du 1er avril 2003. La plupart des producteurs ont déjà arrêté de vendre ces substances ou préparations aux consommateurs. En revanche, ces produits chimiques continueraient d'être accessibles aux utilisateurs professionnels, qui sont capables de les utiliser en sécurité.

    [03] How far have we got with the EU's social policy agenda ?

    The social policy agenda is the EU's roadmap for modernising and improving the European social model by investing in people and building an active welfare state. It should contribute to achieving the strategic objective defined at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000. Its purpose is to respond to the common challenges the EU is facing in social policy and to ensure at the same time that full advantage can be taken of the new opportunities. Putting the Lisbon objectives - refined at subsequent European Council meetings into practice by establishing a dynamic and mutually reinforcing interaction between economic, employment and social policy is at the heart of this agenda.

    [04] Commission approved Leader+ programme in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Germany)

    The European Commission approved the programme for the EU Initiative Leader+ in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Germany). Welcoming the decision, Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said : "This programme aims to pilot new ideas to help build a more sustainable society, economy and environment for rural Germany. We want to improve the quality of life for all those who live in rural areas. Leader+ will help to add value to local products and to make the best use of natural and cultural resources." During the period 2001-2006, total expenditure under the programme is €42.68 million. This includes an EU contribution of €22.1 million and a contribution of €13.2 million from the private sector.

    [05] Fisheries : Franz Fischler "alarmed" by failure to reduce anarchic catches of blue whiting

    A year after voicing grave concern at the lack of agreement on management measures for blue whiting fisheries in the North-East Atlantic, the European Commission has again warned of the serious danger posed to this stock by the fact that the coastal states concerned failed to agree reductions to their catches. The Commission believes this failure is due to the excessive and unrealistic demands of other parties, based on catches which have tripled from 1998 to 2001, despite repeated warnings by scientists. The coastal States involved include the EU, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway. In view of their blue whiting fishing activities, the Russian Federation has been associated in these negotiations. In line with the scientific advice, the EU has kept catches under its responsibility stable. As a first step towards a recovery plan recommended by ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea), the EU has decided to reduce its catches by 35%. "I call on all the countries concerned to face up to their responsibilities and to cooperate in the conservation of this shared fish stock. Increasing catches by 300% with the intention of building up a track record is irresponsible especially when this anarchic fishing is putting the stock of blue whiting in severe danger of collapse", said Fisheries Commissioner Franz Fischler.

    [06] Commission allocates €700,000 in favour of the victims of drought in Georgia

    Western Georgia was badly affected by a second consecutive drought in 2001. On the basis of two joint assessments undertaken in the region by the UN and the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture, the European Commission has decided to allocate €700,000 to alleviate the negative impact of the drought on vulnerable farming households in Western Georgia. The funds made available will be channelled through the Humanitarian Aid Office, ECHO which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson. ECHO will work with its traditional NGO partners in Georgia Save the Children Fund (NL) and CARE (UK) both of which have already been involved in integrated agricultural programmes seeking sustainable farming systems for vulnerable households. ECHO has been repeatedly intervening in the region of Southern Caucasus in response to the drought that affected Armenia and Georgia at the end of 1999. With this latest intervention, ECHO's total contribution in this respect has reached a total of more than €5 million.

    [07] The EU's decision making process : introduction briefing for newcomers (and oldies…)

    The Press Service would like to invite journalists who have recently arrived in Brussels and started reporting about European affairs (and those who want to refresh their memory or check their understanding) to a short introduction briefing on the decision making process of the EU. Juergen Grunwald from the Commission's legal service will not only try to clarify "who does what" but also how the Amsterdam Treaty is constructed, how does conciliation work and what do spokespeople mean when they talk about "comitologie". Moreover, he will try to reply to all your questions you always wanted to ask on procedures. You are invited to participate on Tuesday, 26 February after the briefing till approx. 14.00. You can send in questions already if you wish to ilse.gordts@cec.eu.int

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


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