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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-01-15

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 appelle les Etats membres à intensifier leurs efforts de réforme économique et sociale
  • [02] Commission assesses implementation of 2002 Broad Economic Policy Guidelines
  • [03] La Commission définit une nouvelle stratégie européenne pour l'emploi plus pratique
  • [04] Internal Market : mixed results in meeting implementation targets for 2002
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [05] Mario Monti welcomes abolition of State guarantees for German public sector banks
  • [06] Commission clears Apax controlling stake in Focus Wickes
  • [07] Commission clears acquisition of Zellweger by CapVis and Quadriga Fund II
  • [08] Galileo poursuit sa route : la Commission va de l'avant malgré les difficultés de financement rencontrées au sein de l'ESA (Agence spatiale européenne)
  • [09] Farm reform : "Commission proposals would have positive effect on farm incomes", studies say
  • [10] Financial reporting : Commission welcomes Parliament's support for modernised accounting rules
  • [11] Court of European Communities has agreed Commission's arguments
  • [12] EU-Bangladesh : funding plans 2003-2005
  • [13] Pakistan : funding plans 2003-2005
  • [14] La Commission lance un nouveau système d'évaluation de son personnel
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 15/01/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 15/01/2003[I] Résultats de la Commission du 14 janvier 2003 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 14 January

  • [01] La Commission appelle les Etats membres à intensifier leurs efforts de réforme économique et sociale

    Les Etats membres devront intensifier leurs efforts de réforme s'ils veulent respecter l'objectif qu'ils avaient fixé pour l'Union européenne, à savoir devenir l'économie la plus compétitive du monde. Dans son rapport au Conseil européen de printemps (21 mars), la Commission observe que des signes clairs montrent que les réformes des cinq dernières années ont produit d'importants progrès structurels. Ce rapport sur le renouveau économique, social et environnemental de l'Union constate que les objectifs fixés restent à portée, mais qu'il n'y a aucune garantie ferme de succès. Si des progrès ont été observés dans quasiment tous les domaines, les efforts devront néanmoins être accélérés et coordonnés pour pouvoir réaliser les objectifs fixés par les chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement au Conseil européen de Lisbonne, il y a trois ans. Cette année, il conviendra tout particulièrement de veiller à ce que l'investissement dans la connaissance et l'innovation ne soit pas négligé du fait de la conjoncture actuelle. Ces investissements dans la connaissance et l'innovation sont au contraire un élément crucial pour la croissance soutenable, la création d'emplois et l'environnement.

    [02] Commission assesses implementation of 2002 Broad Economic Policy Guidelines

    The European Commission has given its assessment of the implementation of the 2002 Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs). Macroeconomic policy was broadly adequate but there were differences across Member States. Automatic stabilisers acted to cushion weak economic activity but in several Member States we had discretionary budgetary loosening or failure to consolidate structural deficits. This and sticky inflation have limited the room for manoeuvre. The pace of structural reform, which lost its momentum in 2001, was not stepped up in 2002. This is disappointing in view of signs that past reforms, especially in labour markets, are starting to pay off.

    [03] La Commission définit une nouvelle stratégie européenne pour l'emploi plus pratique

    La Commission européenne a adopté les grandes lignes d'une nouvelle stratégie européenne pour l'emploi plus pratique afin de relever de nouveaux défis tels que l'accélération des changements économiques, le vieillissement de la population et l'élargissement. La Commission propose d'assigner trois objectifs fondamentaux à la future stratégie, conformément à l'agenda des réformes de Lisbonne : le plein emploi, l'amélioration de la qualité et de la productivité du travail (emplois de meilleure qualité) ainsi que la promotion de la cohésion et d'un marché du travail favorisant l'insertion. Les priorités spécifiques qu'il conviendra, dans la mesure du possible, d'appuyer au moyen d'objectifs quantifiés, compteront notamment les éléments suivants : insérer (ou réinsérer) les femmes sur le marché du travail, aider les travailleurs plus âgés à rester plus longtemps en activité et rendre le travail plus avantageux. La Commission propose également d'améliorer la gouvernance de la stratégie, notamment en y associant davantage les partenaires sociaux et la société civile et en articulant mieux la stratégie avec d'autres processus de coordination politique de l'Union européenne tels que les grandes orientations de politique économique. La communication présentant les grandes lignes de la stratégie a pour but de susciter un large débat sur l'avenir de la stratégie européenne pour l'emploi au cours de la période qui nous sépare du prochain Conseil européen de printemps, le 21 mars. La Commission présentera ensuite, au début du mois d'avril, des propositions officielles de nouvelles lignes directrices et recommandations pour l'emploi.

    [04] Internal Market : mixed results in meeting implementation targets for 2002

    There have been important successes over the last year in implementing key policies to improve the working of the Internal Market, but also several disappointments, according to a report by the European Commission's services. Only six out of 16 initiatives (or just under 40%) targeted under the April 2002 Review of the Internal Market Strategy (see IP/02/541) completed the stage aimed for (definitive adoption, proposal by the Commission etc) by the end of the year. What is more, several other measures due for delivery by June 2003 are significantly behind schedule. The Internal Market paper is part of a series of documents issued today which together make up a comprehensive assessment of recent progress in economic reform in Europe (see also IP/03/43) for submission to the Spring European Council.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [05] Mario Monti welcomes abolition of State guarantees for German public sector banks

    At the end of the transitional period, State guarantees for regional German public sector banks and public savings banks will be definitively abolished, " declared European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti. The German authorities have redrafted the legal provisions governing the status of public sector banks and savings banks and met the time limit (end 2002) for doing so - pursuant to the agreements concluded in Brussels in July 2001 and February 2002. As a result, the "Anstaltslast" and "Gewährträgerhaftung" guarantees will also no longer apply in German law. This opens the way for fair competition in the German and European banking sector.

    [06] Commission clears Apax controlling stake in Focus Wickes

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition by investment firm Apax Europe V of a controlling stake in do-it-yourself products retailer Focus Wickes Limited. Following completion of the operation, Focus Wickes will be jointly controlled by Apax and Duke Street Capital Holdings Limited, which currently has sole control. (The operation, notified on 29 November 2002, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [07] Commission clears acquisition of Zellweger by CapVis and Quadriga Fund II

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Zellweger Uster Switzerland, active in the manufacture of electronic quality monitoring and measuring systems and equipment for textile production, by the Swiss investment firm CapVis Ltd. and British investment fund Quadriga Fund II. (The operation, notified on 03 December 2002, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [08] Galileo poursuit sa route : la Commission va de l'avant malgré les difficultés de financement rencontrées au sein de l'ESA (Agence spatiale européenne)

    L'avenir d'un programme tel que Galileo, dont l'importance stratégique a été soulignée à maintes reprises par le Conseil européen, ne peut être retardé par les problèmes que traverse actuellement l'Agence spatiale européenne. Comme le souligne Loyola de Palacio, Vice-Présidente de la Commission européenne : "Heureusement, depuis la décision prise en mars dernier par le Conseil de l'Union européenne, la Commission a veillé à mettre tout en œuvre pour un démarrage rapide des activités, ce qui nous permettra de respecter les délais, notamment le lancement commercial des services Galileo dès 2008".

    [09] Farm reform : "Commission proposals would have positive effect on farm incomes", studies say

    Today, the European Commission has published two internal and four external impact studies, which support the overall orientation of its proposals from July 2002 to review the Common Agricultural Policy. The studies indicate that "decoupling" aid from production would result in production adjustments where needed, but would clearly not lead to production abandonment. The studies also highlight that the reforms envisaged by the Commission would significantly improve market balances. This means that in the future our taxpayers' money would not be spent on financing unsaleable food mountains. The Commission's concept to reduce direct payments and shift more money to rural development, the so-called modulation, would impact little on markets. And the most important result of the simulations is that there would be a positive effect on overall farm income. The main impact of decoupling would be seen in the beef sector. The impact in the arable crops would be minor. This is the result of the fact that our current system is already decoupled to a large extent, meaning that adjustments in production will be limited.

    [10] Financial reporting : Commission welcomes Parliament's support for modernised accounting rules

    The European Commission has welcomed the European Parliament's vote on 14 January to approve the proposal for a Directive amending the European Union's Accounting Directives. The amendments will bring existing EU rules into line with current best practice and complement the International Accounting Standards (IAS) Regulation, adopted in June 2002 (see IP/02/827), that requires all EU companies listed on a regulated market to use IAS from 2005 onwards and allows Member States to extend this requirement to all companies. The amendments allow Member States which do not apply IAS to all companies to move towards similar, high quality financial reporting. They allow appropriate accounting for special purpose vehicles, improve the disclosure of risks and uncertainties and increase the consistency of audit reports across the EU. The Commission supported the Parliament's amendments and hopes the EU's Council of Ministers can adopt the Regulation in a single reading in March.

    [11] Court of European Communities has agreed Commission's arguments

    Today the European Court of First Instance rejected the actions brought by three tobacco companies - Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and Japan Tobacco - to annul the various decisions by the European Commission to open civil actions against them before the Federal District Court in New York. The actions in the United States allege that the cigarette companies are involved in cigarette smuggling and other illegal activities in the European Union. They ask the US court for compensation for the financial losses suffered by the EU and the Member States and for a court injunction to put an end to smuggling and the associated illegal activities carried out by the tobacco companies. The Court of First Instance held that the tobacco companies' actions are inadmissible because the decisions by the Commission to open the actions in New York did not themselves have any final legal effect on the tobacco companies. The Commission is pleased that the Court of First Instance has agreed with its arguments. The decision supports the determination of the Commission and its services, in particular OLAF, to combat cigarette fraud whenever it affects the financial interests.

    [12] EU-Bangladesh : funding plans 2003-2005

    The European Commission has approved the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for Bangladesh for the period 2003-2005. Over the next three years, an indicative sum of €411.5 million has been earmarked for Bangladesh to finance the EC cooperation strategy. The NIP outlines the activities to be supported on the basis of the priorities set by the Country Strategy Paper 2002-2006, namely basic health, education and food security and rural development.

    [13] Pakistan : funding plans 2003-2005

    The European Commission today adopted the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for Pakistan, covering the period 2003-2005. Over the next three years an indicative sum of € 71 million has been earmarked for Pakistan to finance the EC cooperation strategy. The NIP outlines activities to be supported, on the basis of priorities set out in the Country Strategy Paper 2002-2006, namely Human Development in the education sector, with emphasis on good governance and accountability in the provision of educational services, and Trade Development and promotion of business and institutional links.

    [14] La Commission lance un nouveau système d'évaluation de son personnel

    La Commission européenne vient de lancer un nouveau système d'évaluation de son personnel dénommé "Rapport d'évolution de carrière" (REC). Le REC sera un élément fondamental d'une nouvelle amélioration de l'efficience et de la gestion de la Commission et mettra en relation les prestations individuelles avec les objectifs de l'institution. Quelque 20.500 fonctionnaires et agents temporaires hors encadrement supérieur seront évalués sur la base de leurs compétences essentielles, de leur conduite et de la réalisation de leurs objectifs personnels. A partir de cette année, les résultats auront une incidence directe sur la progression dans la carrière, au moyen d'un système de points de promotion. Pour tous les membres du personnel, les compétences essentielles englobent les notions de résultats fournis et de service au client et, pour le personnel d'encadrement, les notions de direction des personnes et de gestion des ressources.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Chris Patten : "Afghanistan, one year after the Bonn Agreement" at the European Parliament (Strasbourg)

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


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