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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-01-15

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 sécurité avant tout - une nouvelle législation pour le rappel de produits
  • [02] Fisheries reform : Commission proposes long-term recovery plans for sole, southern hake and Norway lobster
  • [03] La Commission lance un appel pour stimuler la recherche fondamentale
  • [04] Législation sur les déchets : la Commission poursuit les procédures engagées contre six Etats membres
  • [05] Commission indicator forecasts euro area quarterly GDP growth of 0.3% to 0.7% for both the 4th quarter of 2003 and the 1st quarter of 2004
  • [06] Second estimate for the third quarter of 2003 : Euro-zone GDP and EU15 GDP up by 0.4% ; +0.3% and +0.6% respectively compared to third quarter of 2002
  • [07] US Byrd Amendment Dispute : EU requests authorisation to apply sanctions against US
  • [08] Legal action against cigarette smuggling : US Appellate Court rules on the Commission's appeal against previous dismissal
  • [09] L'OMI et l'Union européenne décident d'intensifier leurs relations
  • [10] Poul Nielson meets President Ndayizeye of Burundi
  • [11] Pascal Lamy travels to South East Asia to foster closer trade relations
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 15/01/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 15/01/2004

  • [01] La sécurité avant tout - une nouvelle législation pour le rappel de produits

    Des règles communautaires applicables à partir de ce jour visent à améliorer la sécurité des produits de consommation. C'est en effet aujourd'hui qu'entre en vigueur la directive révisée relative à la sécurité générale des produits (DSGP - 2001/95/CE) adoptée en 2001, qui définit les contrôles de sécurité à effectuer sur l'ensemble des produits de consommation (à l'exception des denrées alimentaires). Cette directive établit des obligations de sécurité pour les produits de consommation tels que les équipements de sport et d'aires de jeu, les articles de puériculture, les briquets et la plupart des produits ménagers tels que les textiles et les meubles. La Commission européenne reçoit chaque année près de 150 notifications relatives à des produits dangereux, généralement liées à des risques d'asphyxie et d'étouffement, de choc électrique et d'incendie. La catégorie de produits faisant l'objet du plus grand nombre de notifications est celle des jouets, suivie des appareils et produits électriques. David Byrne, Commissaire chargé de la santé et de la protection des consommateurs, a déclaré : "Pour la première fois, les fabricants ont l'obligation légale d'informer les autorités lorsqu'un produit dangereux est identifié. De tels produits sont rappelés et retirés du marché. Pour la première fois également, la Commission peut elle-même ordonner le rappel ou l'interdiction provisoire d'un produit afin de garantir un niveau de protection égal dans l'ensemble de l'Union. Il s'agit là d'une très bonne nouvelle pour le consommateur."

    [02] Fisheries reform : Commission proposes long-term recovery plans for sole, southern hake and Norway lobster

    The European Commission has tabled two proposals on long-term measures to help the recovery of sole stocks in the western Channel and Bay of Biscay, and southern hake and Norway lobster in the Cantabrian Sea and western Iberian Peninsula. These proposals correspond to the new approach under the 2002 fisheries reform which abandons short-term measures in favour of multi- annual strategies designed to help restore and maintain fish stocks at safe biological levels. A similar plan for certain cod stocks has already been adopted by the 2003 December Council while political agreement was also reached on a second plan for northern hake. Furthermore, the Council indicated the need for the proposed plans for sole, southern hake and Norway lobster to be adopted as early as possible this year. As with cod and hake, these latest proposals were prepared after consultation with stakeholders. They are based on a strategy to rebuild the stocks concerned to safe biological levels over an estimated 5 to 10 year period. The instruments to be used are similar to those under the cod recovery plan : reduced fishing possibilities, limits on fishing effort and specific control measures. Further proposals will be tabled to incorporate into the existing recovery plans those stocks recently identified as being in danger of collapse. They include cod and plaice in the Celtic Sea, whiting in the Irish Sea and plaice in the North Sea. Consultation with the forthcoming Regional Advisory Councils is envisaged in the preparation of these proposals.

    [03] La Commission lance un appel pour stimuler la recherche fondamentale

    Auhourd'hui à Bruxelles, le commissaire européen chargé de la recherche, M. Philippe Busquin, a présenté le schéma directeur de l'UE pour la recherche fondamentale. La communication intitulée "L'Europe et la recherche fondamentale" donne un aperçu des activités en la matière à l'intérieur de l'UE par comparaison avec d'autres régions, notamment les Etats-Unis et le Japon, et préconise l'ouverture d'un débat sur la manière de promouvoir ces activités. La recherche fondamentale est une composante importante de l'activité scientifique en Europe et un domaine dans lequel l'Europe a toujours excellé. Cependant, au cours des deux dernières décennies, elle a été supplantée par d'autres activités prioritaires principalement la recherche appliquée, orientée vers le marché. Mais l'Europe ne peut se permettre de négliger la recherche fondamentale. Ces derniers mois, la communauté scientifique a engagé un débat très animé sur la nécessité d'agir. En adoptant cette communication, la Commission souhaite participer à cette discussion.

    [04] Législation sur les déchets : la Commission poursuit les procédures engagées contre six Etats membres

    La Commission européenne agit au nom de la protection de l'environnement en Europe en engageant des procédures d'infraction contre la France, la Grèce, l'Italie, l'Espagne, le Luxembourg et le Royaume-Uni pour manquement à la législation de l'UE sur les déchets. La législation en cause a trait à la gestion générale des déchets, aux déchets dangereux, aux huiles usagées, à la mise en décharge décharges et aux PCB (polychlorobiphényles), substances chimiques dangereuses. Elle vise à mettre en place un système efficace et harmonisé pour la collecte, le traitement, le stockage et l'élimination des déchets. La Commission craint qu'en ne mettant pas en œuvre correctement ces dispositions législatives les Etats membres s'exposent à des problèmes tels les dépôts clandestins et la mauvaise gestion des décharges, dont les conséquences pourraient être graves pour la santé publique comme pour l'environnement.

    [05] Commission indicator forecasts euro area quarterly GDP growth of 0.3% to 0.7% for both the 4th quarter of 2003 and the 1st quarter of 2004

    The indicator-based model for quarterly GDP growth for the euro area, developed by the European Commission's Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, forecasts a range of 0.3% to 0.7% for GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2003, revised upwards by 0.1 percentage point compared to the previous release. For the first quarter of 2004, the model forecasts a range of 0.3% to 0.7%. This prediction suggests that the euro area economy is building on the turnaround that took place in the third quarter of 2003.

    [06] Second estimate for the third quarter of 2003 : Euro-zone GDP and EU15 GDP up by 0.4% ; +0.3% and +0.6% respectively compared to third quarter of 2002

    Euro-zone and EU15 GDP both grew by 0.4% in the third quarter of 2003, according to estimates out today from Eurostat. In the second quarter of 2003, GDP decreased by 0.1% in the euro-zone and remained stable in the EU15. In comparison with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP grew by 0.3% in the euro-zone and by 0.6% in the EU15, after increases of 0.1% and 0.4% respectively in the previous quarter.

    [07] US Byrd Amendment Dispute : EU requests authorisation to apply sanctions against US

    The deadline for the US to bring the Byrd amendment into conformity with WTO rules expired on 27 December 2003. Given the lack of compliance from the US, the EU has today requested WTO authorisation to impose sanctions. The move is necessary to safeguard EU rights to retaliate thus defending the interests of EU exporters affected by this measure. The so-called Byrd Amendment mandates the distribution of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties to the companies that have brought the case in the first place and was ruled out illegal by the WTO's Appellate Body in January 2003. European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy commented : "The Byrd amendment has raised widespread concerns from the outset as evidenced by the large number of complainants in this case. Trade defence instruments are a legitimate tool, but they have to follow WTO rules. It is clear that the Byrd Amendment is a WTO-incompatible response to dumping and subsidisation and must therefore go. I hope the US will now take action to remove this measure, thus avoiding the risk of sanctions."

    [08] Legal action against cigarette smuggling : US Appellate Court rules on the Commission's appeal against previous dismissal

    On 14 January 2004 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (New York), ruled on the appeal by the European Community and ten Member States in their case against the U.S. cigarette manufacturers. The ruling confirmed the decision by the District Court to dismiss the case concerning the smuggling claims but also confirmed that the EC and Member States have the right to proceed with their money laundering claims in separate lawsuits. "Fighting fraud and the illegal trade in cigarettes remains a top priority", said European Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer. "The Commission is not giving up on its battle against tobacco smuggling and money laundering".

    [09] L'OMI et l'Union européenne décident d'intensifier leurs relations

    A l'occasion de sa venue à Bruxelles le 22 janvier 2004, pour assister au travail de la Commission temporaire pour l'Amélioration de la Sécurité Maritime (Commission MARE) du Parlement européen, le nouveau secrétaire général de l'Organisation Maritime Internationale (OMI), M. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, rencontrera Loyola de Palacio, Vice-présidente de la Commission européenne, en charge des transports et de l'énergie. Cette rencontre entend poser les jalons d'une relation plus étroite entre l'OMI et la Commission, qui permettra d'intensifier à l'avenir la coopération déjà existante entre les deux institutions, au plus grand bénéfice de la sécurité et de la sûreté maritime, ainsi que d'une protection accrue de l'environnement.

    [10] Poul Nielson meets President Ndayizeye of Burundi

    European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Poul Nielson today met with President Ndayizeye of Burundi, to discuss the political situation in his country. Commissioner Nielson congratulated President Ndayizeye on the recent important progress in the peace process, culminating with the signing in November 2003 of a comprehensive peace and power sharing agreement between the transitional government of Burundi and the main rebel movement CNDD-FDD. This marked an important turning point in the aspirations for a lasting peace. Achieving this would however necessitate an all inclusive peace process and Commissioner Nielson therefore encouraged President Ndayizeye to continue down the path of negotiations and to seek an agreement with the last rebel movement that still remains outside the peace process, the FNL. Mr Nielson reaffirmed the EC's strong support for the peace process. He stressed that preparing for peace was equally important, and progress in institutional reforms and prospects for future elections were also discussed. In spite of recent progress, the peace process remains fragile. Current African Union peace keeping forces in Burundi (AMIB) are playing a significant stabilising role in the country. In support of the AMIB operation Commissioner Nielson and President Ndayizeye signed a €25 million grant from the 9th European Development Fund. There is still cause for concern about continued human rights violations and Commissioner Nielson expressed his shock and outrage at the recent killing of Papal Nuntio Michael Courtney. Commissioner Nielson and President Ndayizeye finally exchanged views on current development programmes. €172 million are available to Burundi under the 9th EDF. Funds will in accordance with the priorities of the Burundi government primarily be focused on rural development, good governance and macro- economic support. For further information, see http://europa.eu.int/comm/mediatheque/photo/new_fr.html

    [11] Pascal Lamy travels to South East Asia to foster closer trade relations

    European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy travels to Bangladesh, India and Indonesia between 17 and 21 January to enhance trade ties with the EU and to boost the WTO negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda. Before leaving for Dhaka, Pascal Lamy said : "It is in all our hands to make sure that 2004 is a useful year for the WTO talks. All WTO members have clearly expressed their commitment to the multilateral trade system and their wish to see WTO talks advance. We now must make sure we translate words into deeds by restarting the talks successfully. So the Doha Development Agenda will be my prime focus during this visit to South and South East Asia."

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Pascal Lamy : "EU Trade policy priorities post Cancun" to Bavarian Industry Association (14/01, Munich)

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


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