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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-03-01

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] Philippe Busquin welcomes successful launch of Envisat today
  • [02] Commission proposes additional protection for deep-sea species
  • [03] Commission welcomes the conclusions of the High-level group on the future of industrial relations
  • [04] Le dégroupage de la bouche locale progresse lentement : la Commission publie un rapport sur les enquêtes sectorielles
  • [05] Germany agrees on the implementation of the understanding with the Commission on State guarantees for Landesbanken and Savings Banks
  • [06] December 2001 compared to December 2000 - Volume of retail trade up by 0.4% in euro-zone ; EU15 up by 1.5%
  • [07] China : Commission approves Country Strategy Paper 2002-2006
  • [08] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 01/03/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 01/03/2002

  • [01] Philippe Busquin welcomes successful launch of Envisat today

    Envisat, which was developed and built at a cost of €2.3 billion, was successfully launched this morning from the European spaceport at Kourou, French Guyana, by an Ariane 5 rocket. It is the largest and most sophisticated earth observation satellite ever built in Europe. From an altitude of 800 km, the 8.2-ton device Europe's new "eyes in space" will deliver an unprecedented wealth of images and data to monitor climate change, track environmental pollution, react to natural disasters or mass movements of refugees. Streams of data from its 10 scientific instruments will build the most detailed profile ever of the planet's atmosphere, land, rivers and seas. This information will help scientists to better understand our planet, and assist European Union decision-makers in defining environmental and other policy goals. European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, also responsible for space policy, said : "I congratulate ESA, CNES, Arianespace, and all European scientists involved, on the successful launch of Envisat. This satellite is a good illustration of Europe's first-class space science and technologies. A better and more intensive use of space technologies in monitoring our environment could help us meet the challenges linked to globalisation. Envisat will become a cornerstone in our policy of building an autonomous European capacity for global monitoring (GMES), which the European Commission and the European Space Agency are jointly piloting."

    [02] Commission proposes additional protection for deep-sea species

    Last December the European Commission proposed limits on catches of deep- sea species. These are species such as blue ling, red seabream or black scabbardfish which are caught in waters beyond the main fishing grounds of the continental shelf in the North Atlantic. The Commission today issued proposals for additional measures to control the amount of fishing directed at these species, to collect scientific data and to establish enforcement rules to protect these species that are particularly vulnerable to fishing. Though deep-water fisheries are fairly recent, fishing effort has been steadily increasing. This is why, last December, the Commission proposed as a first step, to limit catches through the setting of total allowable catches (TACs). The present proposal aims to ensure that these TACs are not overshot and to compile scientific data on the species. "Protection cannot come soon enough for these vulnerable species. We are determined to avoid repeating past mistakes when measures came too late. We must apply the precautionary approach to these little-known ecosystems and limit both our catches and our fishing effort so that these fisheries are sustainable", Commissioner Franz Fischler, in charge of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said.

    [03] Commission welcomes the conclusions of the High-level group on the future of industrial relations

    The European Commission has welcomed the findings of the High-level group on industrial relations, chaired by Ms Maria João Rodrigues, in its report on the future of industrial relations. The report calls for a new agenda for industrial relations to be developed at all levels (European, national, regional or at company level) in order to focus on key priorities : competitiveness, innovation and social cohesion ; wage responsiveness, social inclusion and social protection ; training and life-long learning ; working conditions ; new forms of employment ; management of working time ; management and reconciliation of work and family life.

    [04] Le dégroupage de la bouche locale progresse lentement : la Commission publie un rapport sur les enquêtes sectorielles

    L'accès au dernier kilomètre des lignes téléphoniques connectant les foyers ou les locaux des entreprises en Europe ou, comme l'appellent les spécialistes, le dégroupage de la boucle locale, indispensable pour développer la concurrence au bénéfice des consommateurs et mettre l'internet à haut débit à la portée des citoyens et des PME, est à ce jour très insuffisant, indique une étude menée par la société de conseil juridique Squire, Sanders et Dempsey. Cette étude, préparée pour la Commission et l'autorité de surveillance AELE, et publiée sur le site internet de la Commission, rend compte du point de vue des nouveaux arrivants sur le marché, qui dépendent des réseaux des opérateurs en place pour atteindre les consommateurs. Ces points de vue sont tout à fait dans la ligne des conclusions du septième rapport sur la mise en oeuvre de la réglementation. En décembre 2000, un règlement de l'UE avait prescrit le dégroupage ou accès à la boucle locale dans des conditions équitables. La Commission invite les Etats membres de l'UE, les autorités de la concurrence et de réglementation nationales, ainsi que les opérateurs en position dominante, à réfléchir aux résultats de la présente étude et à jouer leur rôle pour assurer que les objectifs du dégroupage seront atteints. Parallèlement, la Commission, qui a déjà ouvert, en décembre, des procédures d'infraction contre certains Etats membres sur la base du règlement, pourrait engager des poursuites contre les entreprises qui abusent de leur position dominante.

    [05] Germany agrees on the implementation of the understanding with the Commission on State guarantees for Landesbanken and Savings Banks

    After intensive talks yesterday in Brussels, European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti and State-Secretary Caio Koch-Weser from Germany's Federal Ministry of Finance accompanied by Finance Ministers Peer Steinbrück (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Kurt Faltlhauser (Bavaria), Gerhard Stratthaus (Baden-Württemberg) and by the President of the German Savings Banks Association, Dietrich Hoppenstedt, reached conclusions that should clear the road to rendering the German system of State guarantees for public law credit institutions compatible with the State aid rules of the EC Treaty. The conclusions spell out the key measures for implementing the understanding reached between the German Authorities and the Commission on 17 July 2001 regarding the principles of a solution concerning the two forms of guarantees, "Anstaltslast" and "Gewährträgerhaftung", to Landesbanken and savings banks. Mr Koch-Weser confirmed that all necessary legislation both at the Federal and at Länder level will be in place by the end of 2002.

    [06] December 2001 compared to December 2000 - Volume of retail trade up by 0.4% in euro-zone ; EU15 up by 1.5%

    In December 2001, as compared to December 2000, the volume of retail trade increased by 0.4% in the euro-zone and by 1.5% in the EU15, Eurostat estimates today. Compared to November 2001, sales fell by 0.6% in the euro- zone and by 0.4% in the EU15. The annual retail trade index for the year 2001 compared to 2000 increased by 1.3% in the euro-zone and by 2.2% in the EU15. In December 2001, as compared to December 2000, retail trade of "food, drinks and tobacco" rose by 1.2% in the euro-zone and by 1.6% in the EU15. The decrease of sales of food in specialised stores continued, this time by 2.3% in the EU15, while sales in non specialised stores in the same area increased by 2.2%. The non food sector decreased in the euro-zone by 0.8% but gained by 1.2% in the EU15. Among the non food sectors, "textiles, clothing and footwear" increased by 0.6% in the euro-zone and by 3.4% in the EU15, while "household goods" fell by 0.7% in the euro-zone and rose by 1.2% in the EU15.

    [07] China : Commission approves Country Strategy Paper 2002-2006

    The European Commission has today approved the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for China, which sets out the framework for EU cooperation with China during the period 2002-2006. The cooperation strategy outlined in the CSP is designed to support the implementation of the EU's broad policy objectives regarding China. These include further integrating China into the world economy and world trading system ; supporting China's transition to an open society based on the rule of law and respect for human rights ; making better use of European resources by improving coordination between EU assistance and bilateral spending by Member States ; and raising the EU's profile in China.

    [08] Autre matériel diffusé

    Joint Communiqué on GCC-EU 12th Joint Council and Ministerial meeting

    Note sur la préparation du Conseil Environnement

    Calendrier du 4 au 9 mars 2002


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


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