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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-03-19

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] Commission intends to close investigation into Spain/Gibraltar border restrictions
  • [02] Insurance : Commission welcomes Council Common Position on proposed Insurance Mediation Directive
  • [03] Commission clears joint control of Pretax by CapMan and 3iGroup
  • [04] Barcelona Summit : Commission takes steps towards improving Regulatory Impact Assessment
  • [05] Euro-denominated bond issuance in February 2002
  • [06] Commission kicks off action plan for Global Monitoring of Environment and Security
  • [07] Commission allocates €2.5 million in humanitarian aid for drought- affected populations in Kenya
  • [08] Euromed Trade Ministers meet to take concrete steps for further economic integration
  • [09] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 19/03/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 19/03/2002

  • [01] Commission intends to close investigation into Spain/Gibraltar border restrictions

    The European Commission intends to close its investigation regarding the Gibraltar-Spanish frontier restrictions having found no evidence to legally support claims that the checks carried out by the Spanish authorities on travellers and on goods carried by travellers at the crossing point La Linea are disproportionate and therefore incompatible with Community law.

    [02] Insurance : Commission welcomes Council Common Position on proposed Insurance Mediation Directive

    The European Commission has welcomed the unanimous adoption by the Council of a Common Position on the proposed Directive on insurance mediation, a key element in improving the internal market in retail insurance services. The Common Position preserves the main features of the Commission's proposal presented in September 2000 (see IP/00/1048) and takes account of amendments approved by the European Parliament in its first reading. The proposal will now return to the Parliament for its second reading. Once adopted, the proposed Directive, which is a priority measure under the Financial Services Action Plan (see IP/00/556), will replace a 1977 Directive and thus become the only binding Community instrument for insurance intermediaries.

    [03] Commission clears joint control of Pretax by CapMan and 3iGroup

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Finish company Pretax Oy, specialised in financial administration services, by 3i Group plc (UK) and CapMan Capital Management Oy (Finland), both venture capital companies. (The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [04] Barcelona Summit : Commission takes steps towards improving Regulatory Impact Assessment

    The final report on a business impact assessment (BIA) pilot project has been posted on the European Commission's web pages today. This project, launched in September 2000, has reviewed key elements of the existing BIA system and current Commission practices, including the examination of business impacts of a selected number of draft legislative proposals. The lessons learned from the BIA Pilot Project will provide input to the Commission's forthcoming proposal for a new, coherent impact assessment system, incorporating social, environmental and economic impacts, including business ones, which will be outlined in a Communication, expected before the summer. The full BIA Pilot Project report is available at : http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/regulation/bia/ppbia_en.htm

    [05] Euro-denominated bond issuance in February 2002

    Total issuance volume fell by €20 billion to €130 billion, probably in reaction to the unusually heavy issuance by sovereign borrowers in January. The composition of issuance compared to January reflects a declining share of the sovereign sector, leading to a smaller average issue size, a lower share of AAA ratings, fewer fixed-coupon issues and a shortening in the average maturity of issuance. Special factors continued to influence Pfandbriefe issuance, which remained strong before expiry of the deadline for access to the grandfathering clause in the draft EU Directive on the Taxation of Savings on 28 February. The full document will be available at 13.00 hrs. at : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/publications/bondmarkets_en.htm

    [06] Commission kicks off action plan for Global Monitoring of Environment and Security

    Philippe Busquin, European Research Commissioner and responsible for space policy, will open the first meeting of the GMES Steering Committee in Brussels today. This meeting unites, for the first time, the users and suppliers of GMES services and technologies. The steering committee will assist in the implementation of the EU's Action Plan on Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES). The EU's goal is to develop by 2008 an operational and autonomous European global monitoring capability for environmental and security purposes. GMES is an initiative to federate Europe's disparate activities in satellite observation and remote sensing, in support of Community policies. Currently, space data for information on environment and security is derived largely from experimental satellite systems that are national or bilateral among Member States. GMES seeks to better exploit Europe's existing and planned capabilities and infrastructures and to develop mechanisms for collecting and distributing data that help Europe realise its policy goals in various fields, such as environment, development cooperation, civil protection and the fight against fraud. Concrete applications include such activities as monitoring the global environment, detecting natural catastrophes and managing mass movements of refugees.

    [07] Commission allocates €2.5 million in humanitarian aid for drought- affected populations in Kenya

    The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson, is providing a further €2.5 million to help people affected by drought in North and North- East Kenya. In these regions, poor rains during 2001 meant that agricultural production did not recover from the 1999-2000 drought, the worst Kenya has experienced in three decades. The new decision, which targets some 70,000 pastoralists, is part of a comprehensive and integrated ECHO support programme already being implemented. The extra funds will support a range of health/nutrition, livestock, and water/sanitation activities. The aims are to alleviate immediate suffering and prepare vulnerable communities for future droughts. The funding is being channelled through partner NGOs and UN agencies. Since 1998, the Commission has provided €10.645 million in humanitarian assistance to Kenya.

    [08] Euromed Trade Ministers meet to take concrete steps for further economic integration

    Trade Ministers from the 27 countries participating in the Barcelona Process will meet in Toledo on 19 March 2002, hosted by Spanish Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Economy Mr Rato and chaired by Mr Pascal Lamy, the European Commissioner, to discuss ways and means on how to further strengthen the trade and economic cooperation between all partners in the process. On the eve of the meeting Mr Lamy said : "This is an important staging post in bringing us closer to our shared aim of creating a fully-fledged economic space in encompassing all 27 Euromed partners".

    [09] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "Helping Small and Medium Sized businesses to go digital - European initiatives and future perspectives" at CeBIT Forum (18/03, Hannover)

    Background note on Commission's strategy to respond to the US decision to impose protectionist duties on steel imports

    Points d'intervention de Mme Reding au Conseil informel Culture / Audiovisuel (18-19/03, Salamanque)

    Note sur les résultats du Conseil Agriculture


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


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