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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-12-16

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] Statement of Romano Prodi following the successful conclusion of enlargement negotiations
  • [02] Enlargement and agriculture : Summit adopts fair and tailor-made package which benefits farmers in accession countries
  • [03] Commission puts industrial policy at the core of its agenda
  • [04] Commission clears purchase by Bravida of Obel's electrical, ventilation and other technical installation units
  • [05] La Commission renvoie en France, Espagne et Portugal l'examen au niveau local du rachat de Brico par Leroy Merlin et autorise l'opération dans le reste de l'UE
  • [06] Commission clears life insurance joint venture between Aegon and La Mondiale
  • [07] Commission clears Knauf's full control of Alcopor Knauf
  • [08] November 2002 : monthly euro-denominated bond market
  • [09] Third quarter 2002 compared to third quarter 2001 : Euro-zone and EU15 labour costs up by 3.5%
  • [10] Results of Flash Eurobarometer survey on awareness of the general public of Union citizenship and related rights
  • [11] Performance innovatrice de l'UE : encore des efforts à faire malgré des signes prometteurs
  • [12] Commission calls on EU scientific and industrial communities to apply for €5 billion research funding
  • [13] Commission to host conference on Non-proliferation and Disarmament Cooperation Initiative from 16 to 17 December 2002 in Brussels
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 16/12/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 16/12/2002

  • [01] Statement of Romano Prodi following the successful conclusion of enlargement negotiations

    The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, made the following statement on 13 December : "Enlargement has been from the beginning the number one priority of my Commission. I have worked for this day long and hard. Today we have delivered. Accession of ten new Member States will bring an end to the divisions in Europe. For the first time in history Europe will become one because unification is the free will of its people. The European Union has stood by its commitments. The deal that we have reached here in Copenhagen represents EU at its best : leadership, solidarity and determination. Each institution, all our Member States and candidate countries have carried their part of the responsibility. Most of all, none of this would not have been possible without very close cooperation between the Danish Presidency and the European Commission.

    [02] Enlargement and agriculture : Summit adopts fair and tailor-made package which benefits farmers in accession countries

    Heads of State and Government from the European Union and the ten candidate countries reached agreement on a formula for enlarging the EU to encompass ten new Member States as from 2004. Following the decision of the Copenhagen Summit, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia can join the EU on 1 May 2004. The following was agreed. The new Member States will receive a rural development package which is specifically adapted to their requirements and has more favourable conditions than those applied to the present EU Member States. The amount available for the ten candidate countries was fixed at €5.1 billion for 2004-2006. Direct aids for the new member states will be phased in over ten years. They will thus receive 25% of the full EU rate in 2004, rising to 30% in 2005 and 35% in 2006. This level can be topped up by 20%, financed by their rural development funds and national funds, up to 45% in 2004, 50% in 2005 and 55% in 2006. From 2007, the new Member States may continue top-up EU direct payments by up to 20% above the applicable phasing-in level in the relevant year, but financed entirely by national funds. Special provisions have been agreed for Cyprus and Slovenia, to take account of their internal support systems prior to accession. The farmers from the new Member States will have full and immediate access to Common Agricultural Policy market measures, such as export refunds, and cereal, skimmed milk powder or butter intervention, which will contribute to stabilising their prices and incomes.

    [03] Commission puts industrial policy at the core of its agenda

    The industrial policy challenges that Europe must take up now if it is to deliver on European citizens' rising environmental, employment, social and public health expectations are set out in a Communication adopted by the European Commission. The Commission expects this Communication on Industrial Policy in an Enlarged Europe to launch a pan-European debate on how best to enhance industry's vibrancy, dynamism, and world-wide competitiveness, so as to achieve economically, socially and environmentally balanced growth. It invites contributions from all stakeholders to this debate. Romano Prodi, President of the Commission said : "This Communication demonstrates our commitment to keep industry and its competitiveness at the core of the Commission's policy. Only competitive enterprises can create the jobs and wealth we need to realise the strategic goals we set at the Lisbon and Gothenburg Summits." Erkki Liikanen, Enterprise Commissioner, said : "The Communication underlines the necessary vigilance to always strike the right balance between the three pillars - social, environmental and economic - of sustainable development. If the economic pillar is not strong enough it will become impossible to achieve our ambitious goals of sustainable development. Only a competitive European industry can generate the financial resources necessary to meet the other objectives."

    [04] Commission clears purchase by Bravida of Obel's electrical, ventilation and other technical installation units

    The European Commission has approved the acquisition by Norwegian company Bravida of the electrical, ventilation and other technical installation businesses of Danish company Obel A/S. The examination of the case has shown that the companies' activities overlap only in Denmark and Sweden and that the position of Bravida post-merger does not lead to any competition concerns in either country.

    [05] La Commission renvoie en France, Espagne et Portugal l'examen au niveau local du rachat de Brico par Leroy Merlin et autorise l'opération dans le reste de l'UE

    La Commission européenne a décidé de renvoyer aux autorités de la concurrence en France, en Espagne et au Portugal l'analyse de l'impact sur leurs marchés de l'acquisition de centres de bricolage Brico par Leroy Merlin. La Commission a considéré que l'opération ne posait pas de problèmes de concurrence dans le reste de l'Union européenne et que les trois autorités nationales étaient mieux placées pour évaluer l'impact sur la distribution d'articles de bricolage dans leurs pays. C'est la première fois que la Commission renvoie, à leur demande, une concentration à plus de deux Etats membres ce qui s'explique par le caractère purement local des problèmes posés. Ceci ne contredit nullement la proposition de la Commission, contenue dans la proposition de modification du Règlement Fusion adoptée cette semaine, de rendre le processus de renvoi de et vers la Commission plus flexible.

    [06] Commission clears life insurance joint venture between Aegon and La Mondiale

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to a group life insurance joint venture between Dutch insurer Aegon International N.V. and France's La Mondiale group. (The operation, notified on 11 November 2002, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure).

    [07] Commission clears Knauf's full control of Alcopor Knauf

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition by France's Knauf La Rhénane of sole control of Swiss company Alcopor Knauf Holding AG, which is active in the production of thermal and acoustic insulation products. The company is currently controlled by Knauf and Alcopor Holding AG of Switzerland. (The operation, notified on 12 November 2002, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure).

    [08] November 2002 : monthly euro-denominated bond market

    With the expectation of an interest-rate cut by the ECB and a relatively gloomy economic outlook already priced into short-term yields, the euro yield curve was stable in November. Total bond issuance was €117bn in November, unchanged relative to October. The composition of issuance in November still reflects tough conditions for corporate issuers. Their share of total issuance amounted to only 3% in November, compared to 4% in October and a 12-month average of 9%. Full document and statistical annex available on : http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/publications/bondmarkets_en.htm

    [09] Third quarter 2002 compared to third quarter 2001 : Euro-zone and EU15 labour costs up by 3.5%

    Total hourly labour costs in the whole economy of the euro-zone grew by 3.5% in nominal terms in the third quarter of 2002 compared to the third quarter of 2001, Eurostat reports today. In the second quarter of 2002 the increase was 3.6%. For the EU15 the rise was also 3.5% in the third quarter of 2002, compared to 3.6%4 in the previous quarter. Among Member States for which data are available, the smallest annual rise was in Portugal (2.3%) and the biggest in the Netherlands (5.5%).

    [10] Results of Flash Eurobarometer survey on awareness of the general public of Union citizenship and related rights

    DG Justice and Home Affairs has carried out a Flash Eurobarometer survey concerning awareness of the general public of Union citizenship and related rights. The survey also included a question on awareness of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The results of the survey are somewhat contradictory : general public was quite familiar with most of the rights of Union citizens, but the term itself was not well recognised, even if the majority has heard about it. At Union level, the majority, about 70% of those interviewed, has heard about term 'Union citizenship'. More specifically, about 1/3 knows what Union citizenship means, 1/3 has heard about it but is not sure about the meaning and 1/3 has never heard the term Union citizenship. The Member States in which Union citizenship is most familiar are Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Luxembourg and Ireland, where about 80% is familiar with the term. The Luxembourgers know the exact meaning best with 55%. Union citizenship is the least known in Belgium, Sweden, Greece and UK, where more than 40% of people interviewed had never heard about it. In these Member States also the group who knew the exact meaning was the smallest, about 20%. This means that in many Member States the term Union citizenship is seen as vague and abstract concept. The awareness of general public of the Charter was even lower : only 43% have heard about it and even less, only 8% know what it is.

    [11] Performance innovatrice de l'UE : encore des efforts à faire malgré des signes prometteurs

    Le tableau de bord européen de l'innovation 2002, publié aujourd'hui par la Commission européenne, révèle que les capacités innovatrices de l'UE par rapport aux Etats-Unis et au Japon restent faibles malgré une évolution encourageante dans plusieurs domaines. Les lacunes persistantes dans les investissements en matière de R&D et de brevets de haute technologie, déjà diagnostiquées en 2001, renforcent les préoccupations pour l'avenir de l'innovation technologique dans l'UE. Le tableau de bord présente pour la première fois non seulement les performances des Etats membres, mais aussi celles des pays candidats et des régions.

    [12] Commission calls on EU scientific and industrial communities to apply for €5 billion research funding

    On December 17, the European Commission will publish the first calls for proposals for the 6th EU Research Framework Programme (FP6 2002-2006). Research centres, universities and enterprises are invited to make the most of the first batch of 49 calls, covering a total of €5 billion. Most of this first allocation (€3.4 billion) will be dedicated to the seven main FP6 priorities, ranging from life sciences to aeronautics, from information society technologies to energy and transport. 70% of this funding will focus on new funding schemes such as Networks of Excellence and Integrated Projects, and at least 15% overall will go to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    [13] Commission to host conference on Non-proliferation and Disarmament Cooperation Initiative from 16 to 17 December 2002 in Brussels

    The European Commission will host an ad-hoc conference on the Non- proliferation and Disarmament Cooperation Initiative (NDCI) in Brussels from 16 to 17 December 2002. The conference will be co-chaired and co- sponsored by the European Union, USA and Canada. It is meant to take stock of programmes supporting the Russian Federation and the other NIS in the field of Non Proliferation and Disarmament of Weapons of Mass Destruction, have further detailed discussion on successes and difficulties of implementation at project level, develop ways forward and define further needs and priorities. In a number of working sessions participants from the EU, the USA, Canada, EU candidate countries, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Russia and other countries out of the New Independent States (NIS) as well as representatives from International Organisations will discuss issues such as Nuclear Security Programmes, Chemical Weapons Destruction Programmes, Cooperation in the Biological Sector, Export Control Cooperation and Mechanisms to tackle the risk of proliferation of Science, Technology and Expertise.

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    Questions et réponses concernant le transport des animaux

    Discours de M. Busquin : "La carrière du chercheur en Europe" à la Conférence sur la carrière des chercheurs

    Discours de M. Lamy : "La politique commerciale de l'Union européenne : la mondialisation au bénéfice de tous" au Foment del Treball (13/12, Barcelone)

    Discours de M. Lamy : "La Convention: l'avenir de l'Europe se joue aujourd'hui" à l'Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Empresa (13/12, Barcelone)


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


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