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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-10-29

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] La Commission autorise le rachat par les groupes CVC et PAI de la part détenue par Edison dans Provimi
  • [02] Commission closes probe into KLM/NorthWest and Lufthansa/SAS/United Airlines transatlantic air alliances
  • [03] Radioactive waste management: Commission supports co-ordination of European research
  • [04] Information Society Technologies Conference in Copenhagen - focus on Europe's IT research priorities
  • [05] Recognition of professional qualifications: four Member States before the Court
  • [06] Conservation in Zoos: Commission requests ten Member States to improve standards
  • [07] Commission questions environmental impact assessment measures in Portugal, Sweden and Greece
  • [08] European Commission adopts € 110 million co-operation agreement and financing programme for the period 2002-2007 for the Kingdom of Lesotho
  • [09] Financial reporting: Commission welcomes IASB/FASB convergence agreement
  • [10] Commission clears consumer credit JV between Sofinco and Commercial Bank of Greece
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 29/10/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 29/10/2002

  • [01] La Commission autorise le rachat par les groupes CVC et PAI de la part détenue par Edison dans Provimi

    La Commission européenne a autorisé le projet de rachat de la participation majoritaire détenue par Edison dans Provimi, un fabricant d'aliments pour animaux, par une holding contrôlée conjointement par le groupe CVC et le groupe PAI. Cette opération ne soulève aucun problème de concurrence.

    [02] Commission closes probe into KLM/NorthWest and Lufthansa/SAS/United Airlines transatlantic air alliances

    The European Commission has decided to close its investigations into the alliances between KLM and NorthWest, on the one hand, and between Lufthansa, SAS and United Airlines, on the other hand. In the latter case, the airlines successfully addressed concerns about reduced competition on a number of routes between the German airport of Frankfurt and US destinations. In the case of KLM/NorthWest no remedies were held necessary. "I am happy that we were able to bring these investigations to a successful end. Airline alliances generally present benefits for the consumer, but regulators must ensure that they do not result in the elimination of competition on specific routes and we achieved that" European Competition Commissioner, Mario Monti, said.

    [03] Radioactive waste management: Commission supports co-ordination of European research

    Today the European Commission launched a project to create a network of major radioactive waste management organisations across Europe. This project aims to improve the co-operation on research for disposal of radioactive waste. The project is of significance as it will see seven EU Member States (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and Switzerland working collaboratively in the Net.Excel network. As a result, the participants will enhance the quality of research, and be able to make more efficient and co-ordinated decisions in the field of radioactive waste management. Sharing research in underground laboratories in Europe will be an important component in the project. The network will strengthen EU competence in dealing with the disposal of spent fuel or high level radioactive waste.

    [04] Information Society Technologies Conference in Copenhagen - focus on Europe's IT research priorities

    The Conference "IST 2002 Partnerships for the Future", which will take place in Copenhagen on 4-6 November 2002, will attract more than 3000 delegates and will feature an exhibition of the best results of EU funded research projects. The Conference will also provide for 43 networking sessions proposed by European industrialists and researchers. Moreover, the event will include three days of interactive conference workshops which were all proposed and developed by Europe's IT research community. The IST 2002 Conference is co-organised by the European Commission and the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. Commissioners Erkki Liikanen, responsible for Enterprise and Information Society and Philippe Busquin, responsible for Research will be present at the Conference together with the Danish Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Helge Sander. Its aim is to build and strengthen R&D networks at a time when the IT sector is going through difficulties, and when the EU's sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development is taking off.

    [05] Recognition of professional qualifications: four Member States before the Court

    The Commission has decided to bring proceedings before the Court of Justice against Austria, Greece, Portugal and Finland in order to uphold European law in the field of recognition of professional qualifications. In Austria, the rules governing access to posts of sickness insurance fund doctors favours candidates domiciled or resident in the geographical area of the fund concerned. Again in Austria, three paramedical professions can be exercised only by persons in paid employment. In Greece, the conditions laid down for companies operating opticians' shops are too restrictive. Finally, Greece, Portugal and Finland have not communicated the measures transposing Directive 1999/42/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications relating to certain industrial, commercial and craft activities. The Commission decisions are intended to ensure that persons who, according to European law, possess the qualifications and/or the appropriate experience are not deprived of the right to exercise their profession and to become established anywhere in the European Union. Moreover, defending the free movement of qualified persons ensures that undertakings and citizens in the host country really do have access to such services, thereby promoting the dissemination of best practice and innovative ideas.

    [06] Conservation in Zoos: Commission requests ten Member States to improve standards

    The European Commission has formally requested that Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Finland implement EU legislation with regard to zoos into their national legislation. The ten Member States cited have failed to meet an agreed April 2002 deadline for adopting national legislation to implement an EU law designed to improve the conservation role of zoos. This Directive was adopted to ensure that the keeping of animals in zoos throughout the European Union is done in a way that preserves wild species and respects their welfare, while at the same time retaining a role of education of the public and of scientific research. Under the Directive, zoos in the EU must hold a licence to operate and are subject to strict inspections by national competent authorities. The requests take the form of reasoned opinions, the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If the Member States concerned do not comply with the requests within two months, the Commission may refer them to the Court of Justice

    [07] Commission questions environmental impact assessment measures in Portugal, Sweden and Greece

    The European Commission has decided to refer Portugal to the European Court of Justice for not correctly carrying out a prior environmental impact assessment on the final section of the Lisbon to Algarve motorway. The Commission is concerned that environmental impacts, especially those affecting the habitat of the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus), were not properly assessed beforehand. The Iberian Lynx is one of the most endangered cat species in the world. The Commission has also sent formal requests to Greece and Sweden to ensure adequate impact assessment measures. The request to Greece concerns the Mamidakis petrochemical plant in Lesbos, which has been operating without a permit since 1997 on a site that was nominated for the Natura 2000 network of protected sites under the EU's Habitats Directive. No adequate prior environmental impact assessment was carried out here either and the Commission is worried that the nature conservation value of this sensitive area is being damaged. The request to Sweden is to ensure that Swedish legislation is amended so as to require adequate environmental impact assessments prior to the decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear power plants and reactors. The formal requests to Greece and Sweden take the form of so-called 'reasoned opinions', the second stage of formal infringement procedures. If the Greek and Swedish authorities do not comply within two months of receiving the reasoned opinions, the Commission may decide to refer to cases to the Court of Justice.

    [08] European Commission adopts € 110 million co-operation agreement and financing programme for the period 2002-2007 for the Kingdom of Lesotho

    The European Commission has adopted a framework programme outlining its co- operation strategy (Country Strategy Paper/CSP) and financial allocations (Indicative Programme/IP) to Lesotho over the next six years. The EU- Lesotho CSP defines the priority areas of assistance. The objective is to support government's efforts to reduce poverty through sustainable economic and social development. Main areas of intervention are the improvement of living standards, the improvement of transport infrastructure, the support for the government's macro-economic reform and support in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

    [09] Financial reporting: Commission welcomes IASB/FASB convergence agreement

    The European Commission has welcomed today's joint announcement by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) of their commitment to achieving real convergence between their respective accounting standards by 2005, when listed EU companies will required to apply IAS. The announcement is a major step towards a global system of accounting standards and will in particular help the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to accept financial statements prepared by EU companies in accordance with IAS, without reconciliation to US GAAP, for the purposes of listing on US markets.

    [10] Commission clears consumer credit JV between Sofinco and Commercial Bank of Greece

    The European Commission has cleared plans by Credit Agricole's subsidiary Sofinco SA and Commercial Bank of Greece to create a joint venture called Emporiki Credicom Bank S.A., which will operate in the field of consumer financing in Greece (The deal was notified to the Commision on September 26 under the simplifed merger review procedure)

    [11] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de M. Lamy "L'Union européenne et les Etats-Unis face à la globalisation: un enjeu pour le monde"

    Speech by M Byrne: "EU Health Policy on a World Stage"

    Speech by M. Liikanen « SMEs, Internal Market, Entrepreneurs and their importance to the vitality of the EU »


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


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