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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-05-14

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] Développer la coopération énergétique avec les pays voisins
  • [02] Commission charts course for closer EU-Canada relations
  • [03] Green light for the introduction of a risk equalisation scheme in the Irish health insurance market
  • [04] Commission raises no objections to Irish State aid compensation payments to airlines
  • [05] Feu vert de la Commission aux mesures fiscales françaises en faveur des compagnies maritimes
  • [06] Commission approves proposed aid in favour of Adolf Jass Schwarza
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [07] Retraites professionnelles : la Commission se félicite de l'adoption définitive par le Conseil de la directive sur les fonds de pension
  • [08] Commission regrets US decision to file WTO case on GMOs as misguided and unnecessary
  • [09] North Korea : Commission approves €7.5 million in humanitarian aid
  • [10] Zimbabwe : Commission approves €13 million in humanitarian aid
  • [11] Commissioner Wallström in Germany to promote new chemicals policy
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 14/05/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 14/05/2003[I] Résultats de la Commission du 13 mai 2003 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 13 May 2003

  • [01] Développer la coopération énergétique avec les pays voisins

    La Commission européenne a adopté une communication qui vise à renforcer la coopération énergétique avec les pays voisins, dans le cadre de sa stratégie plus large pour un nouveau cadre dans les relations avec ses voisins. Cette communication définit des orientations pour faire face aux défis d'une dépendance énergétique externe croissante entre l'Union européenne et les pays voisins. Elle examine également la nécessité d'aborder les questions d'infrastructure à un niveau régional, de diversifier les sources d'énergie, à la fois au niveau géographique et technologique, et d'élargir la base pour les échanges d'énergie entre l'Europe et les continents voisins.

    [02] Commission charts course for closer EU-Canada relations

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication with a view to strengthening further the ties between the EU and Canada. This Communication, which is addressed to the European Council of Ministers and Parliament, will be presented to the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien by Commission President, Romano Prodi at the EU-Canada Summit in Athens on 28 May 2003. The central themes of the Communication are the reinforcement of EU-Canada cooperation on international issues, notably under the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and the Commission's preliminary thinking on the potential contents and scope of a bilateral trade and investment agreement. Other issues addressed are collaboration on justice and home affairs matters, on environmental questions, and strengthening educational and cultural links between Europeans and Canadians.

    [03] Green light for the introduction of a risk equalisation scheme in the Irish health insurance market

    The European Commission has decided not to raise objections to the introduction of a risk equalisation scheme in the Irish health insurance market. By introducing this scheme, the Irish authorities aim to prevent new entrants in the market from "cherry picking" good insurance risks. According to the Commission's investigation, the risk equalisation scheme is necessary for the stability of the health insurance system chosen by the Irish authorities. This choice implies a market relying on uniform tariffs for different insurance products. Furthermore, the scheme has been designed to ensure that the envisaged equalisation payments, to be administered by the Irish Health Insurance Authority, are limited to the minimum necessary to neutralise differences in health insurers' risk profiles. Therefore, the risk equalisation scheme is in line with the EU rules on State aid.

    [04] Commission raises no objections to Irish State aid compensation payments to airlines

    The European Commission has decided not to raise any objections to compensation under a procedure already in place in Ireland for losses encountered by airlines due to the temporary closure of airspace especially in the United States following the attacks of 11 September 2001. The Commission concluded that this scheme is compatible with the common market.

    [05] Feu vert de la Commission aux mesures fiscales françaises en faveur des compagnies maritimes

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'approuver le régime d'imposition forfaitaire sur la base du tonnage que la France envisageait de mettre en œuvre à partir de 2003 jusqu'en 2004 pour le secteur de transport maritime.

    [06] Commission approves proposed aid in favour of Adolf Jass Schwarza

    The European Commission has no objections that Germany grants aid of €70 million in the form of direct grants to the undertaking Adolf Jass Schwarza. This aid is destined to finance the construction of a new plant for the production of light-weight corrugated base paper. The project will be located in the East German region of Thuringia. The aid will help to create some 480 jobs. For this project the Commission authorises a maximum allowable aid intensity of 35%.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [07] Retraites professionnelles : la Commission se félicite de l'adoption définitive par le Conseil de la directive sur les fonds de pension

    La Commission européenne a salué l'adoption définitive par le Conseil de la directive sur les activités et la surveillance des institutions de retraite professionnelle (IRP) (voir également IP/03/360, IP/02/820, IP/00/1141 et MEMO/00/62). Un grand pas est ainsi franchi dans la voie de la création d'un marché intérieur des retraites professionnelles, dans un cadre prudentiel suffisamment solide pour protéger les droits des futurs retraités. Grâce à la directive, les institutions de retraite professionnelle pourront opérer avec un maximum de sécurité et d'efficacité. Les institutions concernées (fonds de pension et caisses de retraite) couvrent environ 25% de la population active de l'Union et gèrent des actifs dont la valeur atteint les 2.500 milliards d'€ (29% du PIB de l'UE). Le Conseil est parvenu à un accord sur le texte adopté le 12 mars en seconde lecture par le Parlement européen. La Commission avait présenté sa proposition originale en octobre 2000. La directive, qui constitue un élément central du Plan d'action de la Commission pour les services financiers, doit être mise en œuvre par les Etats membres dans les 24 mois qui suivent sa publication au Journal officiel de l'Union européenne.

    [08] Commission regrets US decision to file WTO case on GMOs as misguided and unnecessary

    On 13 May, the US announced their intention to request WTO consultations on the EU's authorisation system for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The European Commission regrets this move as legally unwarranted, economically unfounded and politically unhelpful.

    [09] North Korea : Commission approves €7.5 million in humanitarian aid

    The European Commission has adopted a €7.5 million humanitarian aid plan to support the health sector in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Funds, allocated by the Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office, ECHO, under the supervision of Commissioner Poul Nielson, will provide much- needed equipment and medicines, and help rehabilitate health centres, hospitals and special services. The programmes will be implemented by international agencies operating in the country and supervised by ECHO support offices in Pyongyang and Beijing. Since 2001, ECHO has contributed more than €24 million to support humanitarian work in the region.

    [10] Zimbabwe : Commission approves €13 million in humanitarian aid

    The European Commission has adopted a €13 million humanitarian aid package to support vulnerable people affected by drought and food shortages in Zimbabwe. The funds provided by the Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office, ECHO, under the supervision of Commissioner Poul Nielson, will help improve nutrition, food, water and sanitation levels and combat HIV/AIDS. The projects will be implemented by ECHO's partners working in the field. Including this latest decision, ECHO has committed €29.2 million to help combat the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe since 2001.

    [11] Commissioner Wallström in Germany to promote new chemicals policy

    European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström will be in Germany on Thursday and Friday this week to discuss the future chemicals policy with representatives from industry and local government of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rheine-Westphalia. Last week the Commission gave their approval to a final 8 weeks internet consultation of the workability of the new regulatory system for chemicals jointly presented by Margot Wallström and Industry Commissioner Erkki Liikanen (see IP/03/646). During her trip, the Commissioner will meet the Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck, and the Minister for the Environment, Margit Conrad, on 15 May. A visit to the BASF chemicals plant in Ludwigshafen is also planned. Press points are foreseen at these two events. On 16 May Commissioner Wallström will meet with the Minister President of North Rheine-Westphalia, Peer Steinbrück, Environment Minister Bärbel Höhn and other Ministers. The Commissioner will give a speech at a stakeholder conference on the chemicals reform, which will be followed by a press conference at the Regional Parliament of North Rheine-Westphalia.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Spokesperson's statement on dawn raids in the copper concentrate sector

    Note sur les résultats du Conseil Ecofin aspects fiscalité et services financiers

    Speech by Günter Verheugen : "Implementation of reforms in Turkey is a determining factor" at the EP plenary session (13/05, Strasbourg)

    Speech by Michaele Schreyer : "Preliminary draft budget for 2004" at the Ecofin Council (13/05)

    Speech by Chris Patten : "The EU commitment to Colombia" at the occasion of the Columbia-EU Forum (13/05, Bogota)


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


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