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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-01-20

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] Contrefaçon: la Commission propose de faciliter l'intervention des douanes
  • [02] Capital gains tax on shares: Commission decides to refer Spain to Court over discrimination
  • [03] Industrial property: Commission proposes improvements to Community Trade Mark system
  • [04] Commission asks Luxembourg to comply with EU law on unsafe pesticides
  • [05] Commission asks Spain to comply with EU law on access to environmental information
  • [06] Green Week 2003: Commission invites schools to participate in creative painting and sculpture competition
  • [07] Commissioner Nielson to visit Zambia, Angola and South Africa, 23 to 29 January 2003
  • [08] Volkswagen and Audi to conclude agreements with repair shops for the provision of after-sales services
  • [09] Preparation of Eurogroup and Council of Economics and Finance Ministers, Brussels, 20-21 January 2003
  • [10] Commission clears management services JV between DMdata of Denmark WM- data of Sweden
  • [11] Commission clears joint control of Italian eyewear maker Safilo
  • [12] European Commission Launches Pilot Courses for Training Civilian Experts in Crisis Management
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 20/01/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 20/01/2003

  • [01] Contrefaçon: la Commission propose de faciliter l'intervention des douanes

    La Commission européenne a proposé un projet de règlement au Conseil pour combattre la contrefaçon et piraterie. Il détermine d'une part les conditions d'intervention des autorités douanières à l'égard de marchandises soupçonnées par des titulaires de droit ou par des autorités douanières de porter atteinte à certains droits de propriété intellectuelle et d'autre part les mesures à prendre par les autorités compétentes à l'égard de marchandises portant atteinte à certains droits de propriété intellectuelle. Ce projet législatif remplacerait un règlement existant (3295/94/CE) pour apporter plus de clarté juridique, étendre l'application aux nouveaux droits de propriété intellectuelle, faciliter l'accès à la réglementation pour les titulaires de droits et élaborer un outil législatif performant permettant de mieux appréhender ces phénomènes de fraude. Dans une approche globale, avec les titulaires de droits, de lutte contre ces phénomènes, la Commission proposera bientôt aussi une directive visant à harmoniser les législations des Etats membres relatives aux moyens de faire respecter les droits de propriété intellectuelle.

    [02] Capital gains tax on shares: Commission decides to refer Spain to Court over discrimination

    The European Commission has decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice over its refusal to alter its legislation applying capital gains tax under more favourable conditions for shares traded on Spanish stock exchanges than for shares traded on the stock exchanges of other Member States. The Commission considers that the arrangements in Spain are contrary to the principles of freedom to provide services (Article 49 of the EC Treaty) and free movement of capital (Article 56 of the EC Treaty). Spain has not amended its legislation despite receiving a formal request from the Commission to do so in March 2002 (see IP/02/457).

    [03] Industrial property: Commission proposes improvements to Community Trade Mark system

    The European Commission has presented a proposal for a Regulation modifying existing procedures for the granting of Community Trade Marks (CTMs) by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) in Alicante. Community Trade Marks are valid EU-wide on the basis of a single application to the OHIM. The new proposal would abolish the system of searches. That system was intended to help applicants for CTMs to monitor effectively the possible existence of prior conflicting rights, but in practice has not proved satisfactory. Moreover, the Regulation would amend the regime for professional representation before the OHIM to bring it fully into line with the principles of freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services. Furthermore, the proposed Regulation would expand the system to include instruments allowing the Boards of Appeal to improve further the way they function. The Regulation would also make other procedural changes aimed at making the system simpler and more efficient, without affecting its substance or the rights of the parties involved. For the full text of the proposed Regulation and of reports on the functioning of the existing Regulation see: http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/indprop/tm/index.htm

    [04] Commission asks Luxembourg to comply with EU law on unsafe pesticides

    The European Commission has requested that Luxembourg complies with a ruling by the European Court of Justice concerning implementation of the EU's Biocides Directive. This Directive sets environmental and safety standards for biocidal products, i.e. non-agricultural pesticides. It requires Member States to set up an authorisation system for the marketing of biocidal products. In contrast to plant protection products, biocidal products control organisms harmful to human or animal health and organisms that damage natural or manufactured products. They include products like wood preservatives, disinfectants and insecticides. Luxembourg has so far failed to notify the Commission of any transposing legislation to the Commission. The Commission's request takes the form of a "Letter of Formal Notice", or first written warning, under Article 228 of the EC Treaty. Failure to implement rulings of the Court can result in substantial fines being imposed on the Member State in question.

    [05] Commission asks Spain to comply with EU law on access to environmental information

    The European Commission has formally requested that Spain fully implements the Directive on access to environmental information. The request takes the form of a so-called Reasoned Opinion or "final written warning", the second stage of infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice. This case arose from a complaint lodged against the Government of the Region of Cantabria following its failure to fulfil two requests for access to information. The first request concerned the proposed list of sites of Community interest under the EC Natura 2000 scheme, which seeks to conserve natural habitats and wild flora and fauna. The second request was made to the Cantabrian Environment Minister with regards to a quarry at Izara. The EU Directive enables citizens to be better informed about environmental matters thereby improving the protection of the environment.

    [06] Green Week 2003: Commission invites schools to participate in creative painting and sculpture competition

    The European Commission invites all children in the EU and candidate countries, aged between 5 and 16 years, to take part in its Green Week schools competition 2003. The competition is part of the annual Green Week conference and exhibition, which this year will take place from 2-5 June 2003 in Brussels. Younger children are invited to make water themed drawings and paintings, while older pupils can take part by making sculptures using recycled material. Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said: "For me it is very important to know what young people think and feel about the environment. After all, we are only "borrowing" the planet from the younger generation and I believe that if all adults listened more carefully to young people's concerns, and acted upon them, the Earth would be in a healthier state".

    [07] Commissioner Nielson to visit Zambia, Angola and South Africa, 23 to 29 January 2003

    Mr Poul Nielson, European Commissioner for Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid, will visit Southern Africa from 23 to 29 January 2003. Mr Nielson's visit to Zambia, Angola and South Africa will include the signing of co-operation strategies, bilateral talks with government members and visits to Commission funded programmes. In Zambia notably, Mr Nielson will take stock of the EU response to the food crisis and re-iterate solidarity with those in need. In Angola, Mr Nielson will sign the EU/Angola Co- operation Strategy for the coming 5 years which is worth €146 million, and announce further funding worth €8 million for humanitarian operations in 2003. Also in Angola, Mr Nielson will give a message of strong support for the country's post-conflict development and peace process. At the end of his visit, Commissioner Nielson will pay a short stopover visit to South Africa where he will sign the new EU-South Africa three-year Indicative Programme worth €386 million.

    [08] Volkswagen and Audi to conclude agreements with repair shops for the provision of after-sales services

    The Commission reached agreement with Audi AG, the German car manufacturer belonging to the Volkswagen group, on the authorisation of repair shops in the Audi network. Audi has undertaken to establish a system of qualitative selective distribution for the provision of after-sales services in order to benefit from the new block exemption regulation. This permits former Audi dealers or repairers that meet the relevant quality criteria to remain active in the market as members of Audi's network. In addition, Volkswagen AG will ensure that the same policy will be followed by all the other brands of the Volkswagen group.

    [09] Preparation of Eurogroup and Council of Economics and Finance Ministers, Brussels, 20-21 January 2003

    Eurogroup Finance Ministers are due to meet in Brussels at 19h00 on Monday 20 January. A press conference is due at the end of the Eurogroup meeting. The European Union's Council of Economics and Finance Ministers will meet in Brussels on Tuesday 21 January at 10h00. The European Commission will be represented at the Council by Economic Affairs Commissioner Pedro Solbes and Internal Market and Taxation Commissioner Frits Bolkestein.

    [10] Commission clears management services JV between DMdata of Denmark WM- data of Sweden

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to an operation whereby Denmark's DMdata A/S, controlled by Mærsk Data A/S and Danske Bank Aktieselskab, and WM-data of Sweden will acquire joint control of WM-data Infra Solutions AB, which will focus on operational management services. (The agreement, which was notified on December 9, was examined under a simplified procedure)

    [11] Commission clears joint control of Italian eyewear maker Safilo

    The European Commission has cleared under the Merger Regulation an operation whereby DLJ Merchant Banking III, Inc., which belongs to the Credit Suisse Group, and businessman Vittorio Tabacchi acquire joint control of Italian producer of eyewear products Safilo Holdings S.p.A. (The operation, which was notified for clearance on December 6, was examined under a simplified procedure).

    [12] European Commission Launches Pilot Courses for Training Civilian Experts in Crisis Management

    The first European Union (EU) pilot training course for experts in civilian crisis management opens today, 20 January 2003, at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Stadtschlaining. 28 participants from all EU member states, as well as from EU candidate countries and from conflict areas will undergo two weeks of intensive training to prepare themselves for participation in EU missions in areas of conflict. Judges, prosecutors and human rights observers as well as local administrators, social workers, teachers and infrastructure experts are amongst those to be trained on how to apply their professional competence in conflict-stricken environments. The course is part of a major training initiative launched by the European Commission at the end of 2001 with the aim of boosting the Union's civilian peacekeeping capacities. The initiative will train up to 250 experts in 2003. The European Commission contributes €1.49m to the training courses under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de M. Fischler : La mondialisation de l'agriculture : de nouveaux risques, de nouvelles chances !

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


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