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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-03-29

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] EU adopts temporary measures to guard against floods of steel imports resulting from US protectionism
  • [02] Romano Prodi praises the breakthrough : "Galileo will be se success"
  • [03] Galileo : enfin c'est 'OUI'
  • [04] Economie de la zone euro - des signes d'un redémarrage progressif
  • [05] Commission suspects KPN of abusing its dominant position for the termination of calls on its mobile network
  • [06] Commission clears acquisition of DB Insurance Business by Zurich
  • [07] Commission clears acquisition of MADG by MMC
  • [08] Green light for €23.4 million Leader+ rural development programme in Hesse (Germany)
  • [09] Marchés des valeurs mobilières : la Commission invite le CERVM à entamer ses travaux sur les mesures d'exécution relatives aux abus de marché et aux prospectus
  • [10] Chris Patten to pay official visits to China and Singapore
  • [11] EU to observe first Presidential Election in East Timor
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 27/03/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 27/03/2002

  • [01] EU adopts temporary measures to guard against floods of steel imports resulting from US protectionism

    Today, the European Commission adopted safeguard measures on steel. Following the US action to severely restrict steel imports on 20 March, the EU measures are designed to prevent floods of steel imports being diverted into the EU. The measures have been drawn up with scrupulous attention to WTO rules. The safeguard establishes a generous level of imports - within which the measures will not apply - based on the highest recent level of imports (2001). Beyond these levels, tariffs will apply varying from 14.9% to a maximum 26%. These temporary measures, due to enter into force in the coming days, will last for a maximum of six months. During this time, a thorough investigation of the effects of the US measures will be carried out. Developing countries will be effectively excluded from the measures, in line with WTO rules. Announcing the decision, Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said : "Unfounded, unnecessary and unfair US action has forced us to take temporary steps to look after EU industry, and EU workers. But we have done this without indulging in protectionism. Unlike the US, we will keep our market open to imports from the rest of the world. These limited and carefully crafted measures have one simple goal : to prevent a flood of diverted steel coming into the EU market."

    [02] Romano Prodi praises the breakthrough : "Galileo will be se success"

    The President of the European Commission Romano Prodi praised the unanimous decision of the Council of Ministers to launch the development of Galileo, Europe's satellite navigation and positioning system. "I am convinced that Galileo will be a success. It is an initiative of the Commission and something I've been personally promoting for a long time. Galileo is a truly European innovation that will create 150,000 jobs and generate some €10 billion worth of income a year. It will bring much-needed and healthy competition to the world of radionavigation which has been monopolised and controlled by American and Russian military authorities", he said. "With Galileo people can finally have a system that is technologically at least as advanced as other systems and dependent only upon the needs of the people that use it."

    [03] Galileo : enfin c'est 'OUI'

    Conformément aux conclusions du Conseil européen de Barcelone, le Conseil des Ministres des Transports a débloqué hier les 450 millions d'€ nécessaires au développement de Galileo, système européen de positionnement et de navigation par satellite, et adopté le règlement instituant l'entreprise commune chargée d'en assurer la gestion. Cette décision fait suite aux conclusions unanimes du Conseil européen de Barcelone des 13 et 14 mars dernier. Le projet Galileo, développé en collaboration avec l'Agence Spatiale européenne, permettra à l'utilisateur de déterminer très précisément à tout instant sa position dans le temps et dans l'espace : ses applications dans la vie quotidienne sont multiples, depuis la radionavigation dans les voitures individuelles jusqu'à la sécurité dans les transports, en passant par les effets induits sur diverses activités commerciales (secteur bancaire, géologie, travaux publics, énergie….).

    [04] Economie de la zone euro - des signes d'un redémarrage progressif

    Selon le premier rapport trimestriel sur l'économie de la zone euro, publié aujourd'hui par la direction générale des affaires économiques et financières de la Commission européenne, il est probable que l'activité économique enregistrera une reprise progressive au premier semestre de cette année et que la croissance économique, soutenue par une amélioration générale de l'environnement extérieur, s'accélérera à un rythme proche du taux de croissance potentielle, voire supérieur à celui-ci, au cours du second semestre de cette année. Malgré les risques qui continuent d'entourer l'économie mondiale, de plus en plus de signes attestent d'une amélioration économique progressive dans le secteur manufacturier. Les principaux indicateurs avancés, en particulier, se sont réorientés à la hausse presque simultanément. Toutefois, contrairement à l'expérience récente des Etats-Unis, il est peu probable qu'à ce stade encore précoce, la demande des ménages soit le moteur de la croissance économique dans la zone euro. Avec cette nouvelle publication, la Commission entend contribuer à une meilleure compréhension de l'évolution économique dans la zone euro ainsi qu'à améliorer la qualité du débat public autour de la politique économique de cette zone.

    [05] Commission suspects KPN of abusing its dominant position for the termination of calls on its mobile network

    The European Commission has sent to Dutch incumbent telecommunications operator Koninklijke KPN NV a statement of objections alleging that KPN, through its subsidiaries KPN Mobile (mobile traffic) and KPN Telecom (fixed traffic), has violated the competition rules of the EC Treaty. Specifically, the Commission suspects KPN of abusing its dominant position regarding the termination of telephone calls on the KPN mobile network through discriminatory or otherwise unfair behaviour. The case stems from a complaint by MCI WorldCom, a USbased fixed telecommunications network operator who is a new entrant in the European Union market. Studies show that fixed to mobile termination rates in Europe can be ten times higher than the average charge for fixed to fixed interconnection. This results in undue barriers for newcomers to the market and high prices for consumers. Originally, WorldCom's complaint also concerned mobile operators in other EU countries, namely Sweden and Germany, but the complaint against Germany was withdrawn after the German operators reduced their termination rates by 50% and in Sweden the national competition authority is dealing with the issue.

    [06] Commission clears acquisition of DB Insurance Business by Zurich

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of the whole of the insurance business of German Deutsche Bank ("DB Insurance Business") by the Swiss insurance group Zurich Financial Services Group ("Zurich"). (The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [07] Commission clears acquisition of MADG by MMC

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of the whole of German undertaking MMC Auto Deutschland GmbH ("MADG"), active in the wholesaling of motor vehicle, by the Japanese company active in motor vehicle manufacture, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation ("MMC"). (The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [08] Green light for €23.4 million Leader+ rural development programme in Hesse (Germany)

    The European Commission approved the programme for the EU Initiative Leader+ in Hesse (Germany). Welcoming the decision, Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said : "This program 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 €23.4 million. This includes an EU contribution of €8.2 million and a contribution of €7 million from the private sector.

    [09] Marchés des valeurs mobilières : la Commission invite le CERVM à entamer ses travaux sur les mesures d'exécution relatives aux abus de marché et aux prospectus

    La Commission européenne a invité le Comité européen des régulateurs des marchés des valeurs mobilières (CERVM) à entamer dès maintenant ses travaux sur un avis technique relatif aux abus de marché et aux prospectus. La Commission s'inspirera de cet avis pour élaborer les mesures d'exécution éventuelles des directives proposées dans les deux domaines concernés. C'est la première fois que la Commission demande un avis technique au CERVM, conformément à la nouvelle approche en matière de mise en œuvre de la législation sur les services financiers convenue avec le Parlement européen le 5 février (voir IP 02/195) sur la base du rapport Lamfalussy sur la régulation des marchés européens des valeurs mobilières. Il faut que le CERVM entame ses travaux sur les abus de marché et les prospectus dès maintenant pour que l'UE puisse respecter l'échéance de 2003 pour l'intégration complète des marchés européens des valeurs mobilières fixée par les dirigeants européens au Conseil européen de Stockholm en mars 2001 et avalisée par le Conseil européen de Barcelone, qui a exigé des progrès rapides. Les travaux qui pourront être réalisés par le CERVM à ce stade précoce ne préjugeront en rien des négociations sur les textes définitifs des deux directives. Ces négociations se poursuivent au Parlement européen et au Conseil (voir IP/02/417 et IP/01/759).

    [10] Chris Patten to pay official visits to China and Singapore

    The European External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten will pay official visits to China and Singapore between 28th March and 5th April 2002. He will meet senior leaders from both countries, sign two financing agreements for important new co-operation projects with China, and confirm the arrangements for opening the Commission's new Delegation in Singapore. The Commissioner will give a keynote speech at the Central Party School in Beijing, and address leading members of the business communities in Singapore and Shanghai.

    [11] EU to observe first Presidential Election in East Timor

    The European Commission is funding an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the first Presidential election in East Timor on 14 April 2002. John Bowis MEP will be the EU's Chief Observer. The Commission has also decided to continue last year's programme of civic education in order to promote the participation of the East Timorese population in political life.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Calendrier du 2 au 5 avril

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


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