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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-10-02

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 proposes to sign Council of Europe Convention to promote children's right to maintain contact with both parents
  • [02] La Commission autorise le versement d'une aide à Iveco dans le cadre d'un investissement en Italie
  • [03] Commission starts a formal investigation into a proposed UK aid to newsprint producer Shotton
  • [04] Commission approves an aid scheme supporting disadvantaged communities in the UK
  • [05] La Commission approuve certaines aides, ouvre une enquête sur d'autres, dans le domaine de la production d'énergie renouvelable et les économies d'énergie en Toscane
  • [06] Commission opens inquiry into proposed Austrian aid for BMW's engine plant in Steyr
  • [07] Commission approves proposed aid in favour of Rapid Eye AG
  • [08] Commission clears aid for a new investment project in favour of Fibre Ottiche Sud
  • [09] La Commission approuve les mesures en faveur de l'emploi des jeunes en France
  • [10] Commission clears German support scheme for the construction of combined transport terminals
  • [11] Germany/Transport : Commission authorises North Rhine-Westphalia to help finance the improvement of its transport infrastructure
  • [12] UK ad hoc aid to CLYDEboyd : Commission initiates an investigation procedure
  • [13] London Underground : Commission clears the Public-Private Partnership for the renovation and enhancement of the London Underground
  • [14] Coal : Commission authorises aid to the German coal industry for 2002
  • [15] Charbon : la Commission autorise la France à verser près d'un milliard d'€ à son industrie houillère pour l'année 2002
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [16] Pedro Solbes comments on Italy's 2003 budget
  • [17] Avec la participation de 150.000 élèves, l'action pilote "Sport, écoles et valeurs de l'olympisme" est un grand succès
  • [18] September 2002 : economic sentiment remained unchanged in the EU
  • [19] September 2002 : the Business Climate Indicator for the euro area remained almost stable in September
  • [20] Août 2002 : le chômage dans la zone euro stable à 8,3% ; l'UE15 stable à 7,7%
  • [21] August 2002 : industrial producer prices up by 0.1% in euro-zone and EU15
  • [22] Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority nominated
  • [23] Commission allocates €30 million in humanitarian aid for Southern Africa
  • [24] Pascal Lamy hosts meeting of WTO Director General Supachai with European Parliament
  • [25] Anna Diamantopoulou to participate in launch of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Report on Violence and Health
  • [26] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 02/10/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 02/10/2002[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Commission proposes to sign Council of Europe Convention to promote children's right to maintain contact with both parents

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal that the EU signs the Council of Europe convention on contact concerning children. This convention aims at reinforcing the fundamental right of children and their parents and other persons having family ties with the child to maintain contact on a regular basis. It also seeks to improve the international cooperation in cases of transfrontier access. The Convention will complement and reinforce existing and future EU instruments in this field.

    [02] La Commission autorise le versement d'une aide à Iveco dans le cadre d'un investissement en Italie

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'Italie à verser une aide à l'investissement à finalité régionale d'un montant de 121 millions d'€ en faveur de l'usine Iveco de Foggia, dans les Pouilles (sud de l'Italie), lui permettant de soutenir un projet d'investissement pour la production de nouveaux moteurs diesel. Cette décision a été adoptée au terme d'une procédure formelle d'examen, qui a montré que l'aide en question était à la fois justifiée et proportionnée. Aucune observation ni plainte de tierces parties n'ont été déposées.

    [03] Commission starts a formal investigation into a proposed UK aid to newsprint producer Shotton

    The European Commission has decided to open a formal investigation procedure into a planned aid of €35 million (£ 23 million) in favour of Shotton, a newsprint producer owned by UPM-Kymmene and located in North Wales. The planned aid will be granted under the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which was established to promote sustainable waste management. The aid is intended to adapt Shotton's facilities to produce newsprint from waste paper rather than virgin pulp. Although the Commission recognises the environmental benefits of the project, it has serious doubts on whether this aid could be approved under the current guidelines on State aid for environmental protection.

    [04] Commission approves an aid scheme supporting disadvantaged communities in the UK

    The European Commission has approved a scheme called "Community Investment Tax Credit" designed to improve access to capital for small businesses, business start-ups and community projects in disadvantaged regions throughout the United Kingdom. The Commission has concluded that the scheme is either outside the scope of the EU's state aid rules or is compatible.

    [05] La Commission approuve certaines aides, ouvre une enquête sur d'autres, dans le domaine de la production d'énergie renouvelable et les économies d'énergie en Toscane

    La Commission européenne a ouvert une procédure d'examen approfondi à l'égard de certaines aides envisagées par la région italienne de Toscane en matière de protection de l'environnement. Il s'agit d'aides relatives à la production d'électricité et d'énergie thermique à partir d'installations photovoltaïques et d'aides relatives aux économies d'énergie. Parallèlement, elle a approuvé les aides relatives à la production d'électricité et d'énergie thermique à partir d'autres énergies renouvelables parce que conformes à l'encadrement aides à l'environnement.

    [06] Commission opens inquiry into proposed Austrian aid for BMW's engine plant in Steyr

    The European Commission has decided to initiate a detailed investigation concerning €40.25 million in aid earmarked for BMW's plant in Steyr, in the Austrian region of Oberösterreich. At this stage, the Commission has not been able to establish that the planned aid is compatible with the European framework rules for state aid to the motor vehicle industry and has asked Austria to forward any comments within one month.

    [07] Commission approves proposed aid in favour of Rapid Eye AG

    The European Commission has authorised Germany to grant a proposed €37 million in aid to help Rapid Eye AG, a medium-sized company based in the German eastern region of Brandenburg, develop a new type of satellite based geo-information services for users in the agricultural and cartographic field. The aid will help create jobs, has no negative impact on competition and, in any case, remains within the 35%-ceiling of aid allowable under the applicable rules.

    [08] Commission clears aid for a new investment project in favour of Fibre Ottiche Sud

    The European Commission has concluded that plans by Italy to grant €74.5 million in aid to Fibre Ottiche Sud Srl is compatible with the European Union rules on state aid to large investment projects.

    [09] La Commission approuve les mesures en faveur de l'emploi des jeunes en France

    La Commission européenne a décidé que le dispositif de soutien à l'emploi des jeunes en entreprises envisagé par le gouvernement français ne constitue pas un régime d'aides mais une mesure générale, telle que précisée par la communication de la Commission relative au contrôle des aides d'Etat et à la réduction du coût du travail.

    [10] Commission clears German support scheme for the construction of combined transport terminals

    The European Commission has decided not to raise objections against a German subsidy scheme supporting the construction and extension of combined transport terminals.

    [11] Germany/Transport : Commission authorises North Rhine-Westphalia to help finance the improvement of its transport infrastructure

    The European Commission has decided not to raise any objections to a planned scheme of the German Land of North Rhine-Westphalia supporting municipalities in developing and improving their freight transport infrastructure. The total budget for the scheme is approximately €4 million.

    [12] UK ad hoc aid to CLYDEboyd : Commission initiates an investigation procedure

    The European Commission has decided to initiate the formal investigation procedure of a planned UK investment subsidy in favour of Clydeboyd Ltd. As part of the Freight Facilities Grant Scheme, the aid intends to encourage modal shift from road to water transport by providing a larger berth and enhanced freight handling facilities at Corparch Pier, near Fort William (Scotland).

    [13] London Underground : Commission clears the Public-Private Partnership for the renovation and enhancement of the London Underground

    The European Commission has decided not to raise any objections to the various arrangements -€ 42 billion-, which the UK Government will set up for the renovation and enhancement of the London Underground.

    [14] Coal : Commission authorises aid to the German coal industry for 2002

    The German coal industry will be allowed to receive State aid worth €1,484 million for the period from 24 July 2002 to 31 December 2002.

    [15] Charbon : la Commission autorise la France à verser près d'un milliard d'€ à son industrie houillère pour l'année 2002

    L'industrie houillère française pourra bénéficier d'aides d'Etat pour l'année 2002 à concurrence de 996 millions d'€.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [16] Pedro Solbes comments on Italy's 2003 budget

    European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pedro Solbes yesterday said : "In the first place I welcome the fact that the Italian authorities have revised their macroeconomic assumptions to bring them more into line with recent economic developments. I also welcome the objective to reach a close to balance position in both nominal and cyclically adjusted terms no later than 2006. But the significant slippage in the fiscal position this year is a source of concern. The Commission will give its final opinion of the 2003 budget and the medium term objectives of the Italian budgetary policy only after a full and thorough assessment of the measures. Our analysis will focus on the pace and the quality of the budgetary consolidation process. Particular attention will be paid to the high debt ratio and the amount of one-off adjustment measures. I encourage the Italian government to carry out a structural adjustment effort consistent with the budgetary objective planned for 2003."

    [17] Avec la participation de 150.000 élèves, l'action pilote "Sport, écoles et valeurs de l'olympisme" est un grand succès

    Lancée en septembre 2001 (Cf. IP/01/1269 du 14 septembre 2001) par la Commission européenne et le Comité international olympique (CIO), l'action "Sport, écoles et valeurs de l'olympisme" a fait travailler quelque 6.000 classes et 150.000 élèves de 10 à 12 ans dans trois pays européens, la France, l'Italie et les Pays-Bas. Ce travail a pris diverses formes : débats dans le cadre du cursus normal (histoire, géographie, etc.), organisation de compétitions sportives, représentations graphiques. L'objectif était d'apprendre à ces jeunes Européens quelles sont les valeurs du sport et de l'olympisme, quand l'actualité les confronte à certaines dérives du sport. Devant le succès de cette action pilote, la Commission et le CIO souhaitent que leur coopération soit poursuivie à l'échelle des Quinze lors de l'année scolaire 2003-2004 dans le cadre de l'Année européenne de l'éducation par le sport.

    [18] September 2002 : economic sentiment remained unchanged in the EU

    The economic sentiment indicator remained unchanged in the EU in September 2002 reaching a value of 99.2. In the euro area, the indicator increased by 0.2 percentage points, from 98.7 in August to 98.9 in September. The economic sentiment indicator rose in Italy (0.6 percentage points), Ireland (0.4 percentage points), Spain, Austria and Finland (0.2 percentage points) and Belgium (0.1 percentage point) while it remained unchanged in Portugal and Sweden. The indicator decreased in Greece and the United Kingdom (0.4), Germany and the Netherlands (0.3), and to a lesser extent Denmark (0.2) and France (0.1). Full document available on : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/indicators/businessandconsumersurveys_en.htm

    [19] September 2002 : the Business Climate Indicator for the euro area remained almost stable in September

    The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area increased slightly by 0.06 percentage points between August and September, reaching a value of -0.55. Although the overall path has been gently decreasing over the last 4 months the high volatility suggests some ambiguity in the assessment of the current economic situation. The worsening in the assessment of production expectations and the increase in stocks of finished products are in contrast with the improvement in the assessment of production trends in the recent past and with the increase recorded in order books, including export order books. Full document available on : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/indicators/businessclimate_en.htm

    [20] Août 2002 : le chômage dans la zone euro stable à 8,3% ; l'UE15 stable à 7,7%

    Le taux de chômage de la zone euro, corrigé des variations saisonnières, était de 8,3% en août 2002, inchangé par rapport à juillet, selon les données publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat. Il était de 8,0% en août 2001. Le taux de chômage de l'UE15 était de 7,7% en août, inchangé par rapport à juillet. Il s'élevait à 7,3% en août 2001. En août 2002, les taux les plus bas ont été enregistrés au Luxembourg (2,5%), aux Pays-Bas (2,8% en juillet), en Autriche (4,2%), au Danemark (4,3%), en Irlande (4,5%) et au Portugal (4,6%). Le taux de chômage de l'Espagne (11,3%) est resté le plus élevé de l'UE.

    [21] August 2002 : industrial producer prices up by 0.1% in euro-zone and EU15

    The euro-zone and EU15 industrial producer price index increased by 0.1% in August 2002 compared with the previous month, Eurostat estimates today. In July 2002, prices remained unchanged in both zones. In August 2002 compared to August 2001 industrial producer prices fell by 0.2% in the euro-zone and by 0.3% in the EU15.

    [22] Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority nominated

    The Management Board of the European Food Safety Authority today nominated Geoffrey Podger as its Executive Director. The Chairman of the Board, Dr Stuart Slorach said : "I am delighted to announce that the Management Board had nominated Mr Podger as the Executive Director. This is an important step towards making the European Food Safety Authority fully operational. But there is another step before a formal appointment can be made as the nominated candidate will make a statement to the European Parliament before being appointed". It is likely that Mr Podger will appear before the Environment Committee of the European Parliament before the end of October. Mr Podger is at present, the Chief Executive of the UK Food Standards Agency and has been responsible for its establishment and development. The Management Board interviewed candidates on a shortlist which, in line with the Authority's founding Regulation, had been drawn up by the European Commission following an open call for expression of interests around the EU. The job is one of the most influential and prestigious in food safety and attracted many senior figures in the field. The process of establishing the four key elements of the Authority is advancing rapidly. The Management Board, consisting of a Commission representative and 14 persons appointed in a personal capacity, met for the first time on 18/19 September 2002. The appointment of the Executive Director opens the way to the establishment of the remaining elements, the setting up of the Authority's Scientific Committee and Panels and the establishment of the Advisory Forum. For further information, either consult the Authority's website: http://www.efsa.eu.int/ or http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/efa/index_en.html and Questions and Answers about the European Food Safety Authority at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/health_consumer/library/press135_en.pdf or contact: Andy Stimpson Tel: +322 299 1914 andrew.stimpson@efsa.eu.int

    [23] Commission allocates €30 million in humanitarian aid for Southern Africa

    The European Commission is giving a further €30 million in humanitarian aid to help vulnerable populations in Southern Africa affected by food shortages, displacement and conflict. Commenting on the new decision, Poul Nielson, the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said it was "a substantial and concrete expression of European solidarity towards the innocent victims of this unfolding crisis". He continued : "We have recognised the need to act quickly to prevent an already difficult situation turning into a major catastrophe. In mobilising large-scale humanitarian assistance for Southern Africa, as well as substantial amounts of direct food aid, the European Union has put itself in the forefront of the effort to save lives." Mr Nielson also stressed the important contribution the EU is making to the enhancement of long term food security in the region by explicitly ensuring that all food aid is procured regionally or in the neighbouring countries.

    [24] Pascal Lamy hosts meeting of WTO Director General Supachai with European Parliament

    European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy is host to WTO Director General Dr Supachai, who visited Brussels yesterday to address the European Parliament's Industry and Trade Committee and meet with representatives of European civil society. Mr Lamy welcomed the visit, saying : "I very much appreciate Dr Supachai's decision to come to Brussels shortly after taking up his new function. The fact that his first port of call is the Parliament acknowledges that trade policy making today is no longer reserved to business and government. This visit will give Dr Supachai a first hand experience of the European public's demands for a trade round that combines market opening with efficient and transparent rule-making to harness globalisation and to better integrate developing countries into the international economic system."

    [25] Anna Diamantopoulou to participate in launch of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Report on Violence and Health

    Anna Diamantopoulou, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, will participate in the launch tomorrow 3 October of the WHO's new report on violence and health. The event will include the presence of His Royal Highness Albert II, King of Belgium. Also participating in the event will be Guy Verhofstadt, Prime Minister of Belgium and Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of the WHO. The occasion, to take place at the Palais d'Egmont in Brussels, will begin at 09.15am. Around 11.00, a press conference is scheduled, to be attended inter alia by Mrs Diamantopoulou, Dr Brundtland and Belgian Minister of Health Tavernier. The new WHO report says that an estimated 1.6 million people lost their lives to violence in 2000. About half were suicides, one third were homicides, and one fifth were casualties of war. However, the figures for violent death only tell part of the story. Physical, sexual and psychological abuse are daily occurences in every country in the world, affecting the health and wellbeing of millions of people and costing countries huge amounts of money in healthcare, legal costs, absenteeism from work and lost productivity.

    [26] Autre matériel diffusé

    Closing remarks by Frits Bolkestein at European Commission conference on "Data Protection" (01/10)

    Discours de M. Busquin : "Construction et Recherche" à la Conférence organisée par ECCREDI (! embargo 14h30 !)

    Speech by Chris Patten : "Latin America - the European Dimension" at the Royal Institute of International Affairs Conference (Miami, ! embargo 5.30 pm !)

    Speech by Anna Diamantopoulou : "Is violence an inevitable part of 21st century life?" at the launch event of the WHO report on violence and health (! embargo 03/10, 9.30 am !)


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


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