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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-02-21

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 évalue la mise en oeuvre des grandes orientations de politique économique pour 2001
  • [02] Commission assesses the updated Danish convergence programme (2001- 2005)
  • [03] Commission clears Haniel's purchase of Fels, Germany still investigating
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] Sécurité alimentaire : entrée en vigueur du premier train de mesures en matière de sécurité alimentaire de la ferme à la table
  • [05] Commission takes step towards the next generation Internet
  • [06] Entreprises en phase de démarrage : les procédures peuvent encore être simplifiées
  • [07] Commission launches consultation on benchmarking e-Business policies for SMEs
  • [08] Euro-denominated bond issuance in January 2002 almost twice the level in December 2001
  • [09] Peste porcine classique au Luxembourg : interdiction d'exportation des porcs
  • [10] Foot-and-mouth disease : Botswana and Argentina
  • [11] Hormone free beef from the USA : additional testing requirements lifted
  • [12] Commission gives a further €1.6 million in humanitarian aid to vulnerable refugees in Serbia
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 21/02/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 21/02/2002[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] La Commission évalue la mise en oeuvre des grandes orientations de politique économique pour 2001

    La Commission européenne a adopté un rapport comportant une évaluation globale de la mise en oeuvre des grandes orientations de politique économique pour 2001 (GOPE). Les principales conclusions de ce rapport sont que les politiques macroéconomiques ont été adaptées de manière appropriée à la dégradation de l'environnement macroéconomique observée en 2001. Malgré l'impact du ralentissement sur les finances publiques des Etats membres, les positions budgétaires structurelles ne se sont généralement pas aggravées. De nouveaux progrès dans la promotion du potentiel de croissance économique et de l'emploi ont été accomplis dans le cadre du processus de réforme économique et du passage progressif à une société fondée sur la connaissance. Le dynamisme du processus de réforme structurelle semble toutefois s'être ralenti en 2001 et il conviendra donc de donner un élan renouvelé à la réforme structurelle pour pouvoir combler les retards et être en mesure d'atteindre les objectifs ambitieux que la stratégie de Lisbonne avait fixés pour l'économie européenne.

    [02] Commission assesses the updated Danish convergence programme (2001- 2005)

    The European Commission has adopted a recommendation to the Council of Ministers on the 2001 update of the Danish convergence programme (2001- 2005). Denmark has continued to fulfil the convergence criteria on inflation, long term interest rate and on the exchange rate. GDP growth is projected to be 1.1 % in 2001, 1.4% in 2002, 2.4% in 2003 and then level off to 1.9% in 2004 and 2005. The general government budget balance is expected to show surpluses of around 2% of GDP for the entire period 2001- 2005, thus being in full compliance with the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact. The targeted surpluses of 1½-2½% of GDP are also justified to achieve long-term sustainability of public finances in light of the ageing population. The general government debt to GDP ratio is expected to fall substantially to some 35% in 2005. On the basis of the Commission's recommendation, the Ecofin Council is expected to adopt a formal opinion on the updated Danish convergence programme on 5 March 2002.

    [03] Commission clears Haniel's purchase of Fels, Germany still investigating

    The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition by Haniel Baustoff-Industrie Zuschlagstoffe GmbH of Fels-Werke GmbH, two German companies active in the building materials sector. The Commission examined carefully the deal's impact in the Dutch market for wall building materials, but concluded to the absence of serious competition concerns. The acquisition is still being reviewed by the German competition authority in so far as the German market is concerned.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] Sécurité alimentaire : entrée en vigueur du premier train de mesures en matière de sécurité alimentaire de la ferme à la table

    Le Commissaire européen à la Santé et la Protection des Consommateurs David Byrne a déclaré que la journée d'aujourd'hui était à marquer d'une pierre blanche pour la sécurité alimentaire grâce à l'entrée en vigueur du premier train de mesures globales en matière de sécurité alimentaire de la ferme à la table dans le cadre du nouveau règlement clé relatif à la législation alimentaire de l'UE. Au nombre de ces mesures figurent le lancement du nouveau système d'alerte rapide renforcé pour les risques de l'alimentation humaine et animale et de nouveaux pouvoirs d'intervention d'urgence de la Commission lorsqu'une denrée alimentaire ou un aliment pour animaux est susceptible de présenter un risque grave. Dans le même temps, les comités réglementaires existants sont réorganisés en un seul comité permanent de la chaîne alimentaire et de la santé animale et les principes généraux de la législation alimentaire et de la transparence du processus législatif dans ce domaine entrent en application.

    [05] Commission takes step towards the next generation Internet

    Today the European Commission has adopted the Communication entitled "IPv6 Priorities for Action". The Communication calls for a European action plan to accelerate the rollout of Internet Protocol version 6 (Ipv6) - a key technology for the Next Generation Internet. Unless action is taken, space on the current generation of the internet is projected to be exhausted by around 2005. IPv6 will provide a quantum leap in the number of Internet addresses available for the foreseeable future. "IPv6 is a critical technology for enabling the convergence of the Internet with mobile communications, an area where Europe leads the world", said Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society. "The importance of IPv6 to European competitiveness in general can not be overestimated. Europe needs to match its first-class research with political commitment to make IPv6 happen."

    [06] Entreprises en phase de démarrage : les procédures peuvent encore être simplifiées

    En dépit d'une certaine rationalisation, la complexité intrinsèque des procédures à accomplir pour constituer une société décourage toujours les candidats chefs d'entreprise en Europe : c'est ce qui ressort d'une nouvelle analyse comparative de la Commission européenne sur les procédures de démarrage. Les domaines où des progrès peuvent encore être accomplis concernent le délai nécessaire pour constituer une société anonyme, les exigences de capital minimum et les outils d'immatriculation en ligne. Le Conseil européen de Lisbonne de mars 2001 a cité l'évaluation comparative des délais et des coûts exigés par la constitution d'une société comme un domaine où les Etats membres peuvent coopérer pour renforcer la compétitivité de l'Europe. Sur la base d'informations fournies par des experts des Etats membres, l'analyse comparative présente quelques résultats frappants, qui seront examinés lors de la réunion informelle des ministres de l'industrie qui aura lieu à Aranjuez (Madrid) le 23 février 2002.

    [07] Commission launches consultation on benchmarking e-Business policies for SMEs

    The European Commission has launched a wide-ranging consultation on benchmarking of national and regional e-business policies in support of SMEs. This consultation should help both to sharpen the focus of e-business policy making on the real needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe, and to define yardsticks against which success can be measured.

    [08] Euro-denominated bond issuance in January 2002 almost twice the level in December 2001

    According to the last monthly note on the euro-denominated bond markets published today by the European Commission, issuance conditions remained generally favourable in January 2002, amid revised expectations of an early recovery in the global economy; however, the Enron bankruptcy has resulted in reduced demand for lower graded bonds. In line with the normal seasonal pattern, total bond issuance in January 2002 was almost twice the level in December 2001, reaching about €150 billion. A year-on-year comparison of issuance volumes since January 1999 confirms a sustained growth trend of euro-denominated issuance. The composition of issuance in January 2002 reflected a strong rebound in central government issuance. The normal trend toward front-loading of government issuance has been reinforced by increased financing needs as budgetary performance among the euro-area Member States has deteriorated. In contrast, the trend in private sector issuance was relatively weak in January 2002. Financial and corporate issuance was subdued, as the collapse of Enron weighed heavily on investors' risk appetite. Pfandbriefe issuance resumed strongly, amid front- loading before expiry of the grandfathering clause in the draft EU taxation of savings directive on March 2002. The full document will be available at 13.00 hrs. on this address : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/publications/bondmarkets_en.htm

    [09] Peste porcine classique au Luxembourg : interdiction d'exportation des porcs

    Le Comité vétérinaire permanent a rendu hier un avis favorable à une proposition de la Commission européenne visant à interdire l'exportation de porcs vivants et de sperme, d'ovules et d'embryons de porcs en provenance du Luxembourg ainsi que la traversée de ce pays par les transports de porcs vivants suite à l'apparition de foyers de peste porcine classique (PPC) au Luxembourg. La PPC est une maladie virale hautement infectieuse des porcins, qui ne présente toutefois aucun danger pour l'homme. Des restrictions semblables ont été adoptées par le passé après l'apparition de foyers dans plusieurs autres Etats membres. La proposition va être adoptée par la Commission et la décision restera en vigueur jusqu'au 15 mars. La situation sera réexaminée lors de la prochaine réunion du comité, prévue pour les 5 et 6 mars.

    [10] Foot-and-mouth disease : Botswana and Argentina

    An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has been reported on 7 February 2002 in the east of the non-vaccinating region in Botswana (just at the border with Zimbabwe) authorised to export deboned and matured meat to the Community. The Botswanian authorities have immediately suspended the export of such meat to the EU, took all measures to prevent the spread of the disease and gave the Commission the necessary guarantees to apply regionalisation. Due to this situation, the European Commission proposed and the Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) agreed to re-authorise the import of deboned fresh meat from non-affected areas (the south-west of Botswana) from 7 March onwards. The import from the affected area and from a buffer zone between affected and non-affected areas will remain prohibited. The import of deboned fresh meat from animals slaughtered before 7 February is still authorised. The SVC also supported a Commission proposal to lift the measures still applied in three provinces of Argentina. The import of fresh deboned and maturated bovine meat from the provinces of La Pampa and Santiago del Estero from animals slaughtered after 8 March 2002 and from the province of Cordoba from animals slaughtered after 26 March 2002 will be authorised.

    [11] Hormone free beef from the USA : additional testing requirements lifted

    The imports of non-hormone treated US beef to the EU have been subject to increased testing requirements since September 99. The latest results of this testing programme carried out for hormones on US beef imports have not identified any positive findings of hormones in fresh beef or offal. In the light of these encouraging results, the Standing Veterinary committee (SVC) has given a favourable opinion to a proposal of the European Commission to repeal the requirement for 20% of consignments of meat imported from the USA to be tested for the possible presence of hormones. As soon as this decision is adopted by the Commission and comes into force, non-hormone treated cattle products from the US will be tested for presence of any residues on a random basis like any other meat imports from third countries.

    [12] Commission gives a further €1.6 million in humanitarian aid to vulnerable refugees in Serbia

    The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid Office -ECHO- has allocated €1.6 million to alleviate the difficult living conditions of the most vulnerable refugees in Serbia. The beneficiaries will be those vulnerable refugees hosted in private accommodation and in collective centres. This assistance will focus on a quarterly distribution of hygiene parcels. The parcels will be supplied to refugees through international NGOs, in two distributions over the next six months. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia) is still host to the largest refugee population in Europe, with over 375,000 refugees according to 2001 UNHCR figures. Employment prospects for the refugees are very bleak, and most survive thanks to humanitarian assistance and to seasonal jobs in the informal economy. Today, only 6% of the refugee population have declared a firm intention to return to Croatia and Bosnia while the living conditions of the poor in Serbia have worsened. In 2001, ECHO assistance to Serbia amounted to almost €48 million, and was concentrated mainly on the provision of basic assistance to refugees, IDPs and vulnerable people among the local population, support to the health sector, shelter, repatriation and psycho-social support. The present decision will be complemented by a global plan for Serbia to be adopted later in the year.

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Chris Patten : "Reconstructing Afghanistan" at the Foreign Affairs and Development Committees of the European Parliament (20/02)

    Speech by Chris Patten : "Sovereignty and the National Interest Old Concepts, New Meanings" - The Newman Lecture University College (Dublin, ! embargo 8 pm !)


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


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