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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-01-27

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] UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to visit the European Commission on 28th January
  • [02] La Commission demande l'adoption de nouvelles mesures pour lutter contre les communications commerciales non sollicitées ("spam")
  • [03] Enregistrement de deux dénominations de produits agricoles
  • [04] Company taxation : Commission proposes amendments to Interest & Royalties Directive
  • [05] Franz Fischler : "EU Fisheries Control Agency in Vigo will boost enforcement"
  • [06] Rail transport sector : Anna Diamantopoulou welcomes social partners' agreement on working conditions
  • [07] Conférence sur les industries européennes de la céramique et du verre créer les conditions de la durabilité (27/01)
  • [08] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 27/01/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 27/01/2004

  • [01] UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to visit the European Commission on 28th January

    At the invitation of European Commission President Romano Prodi, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, will visit the Commission for the first time on 28th January 2004. Mr Annan will meet with the Commission at noon. A working lunch with the College will follow. At 14h45, President Prodi and Mr Annan will hold a joint press point in the Commission Press Room. The continued strengthening of EU-UN relations will feature prominently on the agenda, with a discussion of the Commission's proposals for improving the way the EU engages with the UN system. Another key item on the agenda will be the reform of the UN itself and the Union's contribution to the work of the high-level panel on UN reform. The Secretary General's visit will also provide an opportunity to discuss a range of areas of shared concern : Europe's contribution to conflict prevention and crisis management, sustainable development, and management of migration flows. There will also be a broader debate on foreign policy issues, with the spotlight on the engagement of the international community in the reconstruction of Iraq, developments in Iran, Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan, Cyprus and the way forward in implementing the statute of the International Criminal Court.

    [02] La Commission demande l'adoption de nouvelles mesures pour lutter contre les communications commerciales non sollicitées ("spam")

    M. Erkki Liikanen, Commissaire européen responsable des entreprises et de la société de l'information, a présenté aujourd'hui à Bruxelles une série de mesures destinées à contribuer à la mise en œuvre de l'interdiction du spam dans l'UE. Ces mesures sont axées sur l'application effective des règles par les Etats membres, des solutions techniques et une autorégulation à mettre en œuvre par les entreprises, la sensibilisation des consommateurs et la coopération internationale.

    [03] Enregistrement de deux dénominations de produits agricoles

    La Commission européenne a ajouté deux dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires à la liste des indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit de "Fraise du Périgord" (Fruit - France) et de "Queso de Valdéon" (Fromage - Espagne). Les deux dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste d'environ 600 produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur l'internet à l'adresse : http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_fr.htm

    [04] Company taxation : Commission proposes amendments to Interest & Royalties Directive

    The European Commission has made a proposal to broaden the scope of the European Community's Directive that provides for the elimination of withholding tax in the case of payments of interest and royalties between associated companies of different EU Member States (2003/49/EEC). The changes would see the Directive cover a larger range of companies including the European Company (see IP/01/1376) and the European Cooperative Society (see IP/03/1071). The proposal would also, at the request of the EU's Council of Ministers, eliminate a loophole by providing that the Directive would not apply to companies that are exempt from tax on interest and royalties received. The proposal is in line with the Commission's strategy for the EU's future tax policy presented in 2001 (see IP/01/737) in which the Commission stated its view that double taxation due simply to the cross- border nature of economic activity cannot be accepted, but that its elimination should not create opportunities for tax avoidance and evasion and neither should any greater coordination of Member States' tax systems give rise to unintentional non-taxation.

    [05] Franz Fischler : "EU Fisheries Control Agency in Vigo will boost enforcement"

    On a visit to Vigo in Galicia on 26 January, Franz Fischler, European Commissioner responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, welcomed the application of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on the long-term approach to fish stock management and in strengthened control and enforcement. He also praised the Galician fishing sector for its efforts in tackling the effects of the oil spill from the Prestige oil tanker which sank off the Iberian Peninsula in November 2002, bringing fishing and aquaculture activities to a halt. Today, most of these activities have resumed. Financial support from the EU, amounting to €95 million, helped to compensate loss of earnings as well to clean and replace damaged equipment and fishing gear. Mr Fischler welcomed the adoption by the December Council of the cod recovery plan which ushers in the application of long-term measures to stock management. He urged fishermen to look at the recently proposed recovery plan for southern hake and Norway lobster off the Iberian Peninsula as an investment in the future of their sector. Turning to the decision by the European Council to site the EU Inspection Agency in Spain, Mr Fischler said that this Agency would deliver the level-playing field that fishermen have long been calling for and encourage better compliance with CFP rules. The Commission intends to submit a proposal for the creation of the Agency in March. During his visit to Vigo, Mr Fischler met with representatives of the Galician fishing sector and visited the port of Vigo.

    [06] Rail transport sector : Anna Diamantopoulou welcomes social partners' agreement on working conditions

    The European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Anna Diamantopoulou, is to witness the official signing by EU-level social partners of an agreement on working conditions on 27 January. The agreement, negotiated and adopted within the European social dialogue committee on rail transport between the Community of European Railways (CER) and the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF), sets minimum requirements for daily rest, breaks, weekly rest period and driving time for mobile staff crossing borders. Anna Diamantopoulou welcomed the agreement, noting the particular role and influence of social partners, who are "best-placed to know what is happening at grass roots level, and who play a vital role in finding the right balance between the employers' interests in flexibility, and workers' needs for security". She hailed the agreement as a major step forward in the development of social dialogue in the railway sector.

    [07] Conférence sur les industries européennes de la céramique et du verre créer les conditions de la durabilité (27/01)

    La toute première conférence sponsorisée par la Commission européenne sur les industries de la céramique et du verre, qui se tient aujourd'hui à Bruxelles, rassemble quelque 120 acteurs du secteur, membres du Parlement européen et hauts fonctionnaires de la Commission, afin d'examiner les facteurs clés influant sur la compétitivité durable des industries. Parmi les sujets à l'ordre du jour figurent les effets de la mondialisation croissante, les coûts et l'accessibilité de l'énergie et des matières premières, le défi posé par la nécessité de respecter les exigences environnementales au meilleur coût possible, ainsi que les stratégies requises pour le maintien de la viabilité et de l'emploi à plus long terme. Les discussions montrent également qu'il est important de se pencher sur la compétitivité des industries manufacturières comme les secteurs de la céramique et du verre. Ces industries regroupent plus de 5.000 entreprises européennes - essentiellement des PME qui affichent une production annuelle combinée avoisinant les 55 milliards d'€ et emploient plus de 400.000 personnes.

    [08] Autre matériel diffusé

    Statement by President Prodi 'Holocaust Memorial Day'

    Discours de Mme Reding : "Le lancement de Erasmus Mundus : enjeux et objectifs du programme communautaire" à la Journée d'information nationale (Paris)

    Discours d'ouverture de M. Busquin : "Research and development on wind energy" au lancement de la stratégie de R&D du Wind Energy Network

    Frequently asked questions on VAT Invoicing Rules


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


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