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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-03-02

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] Prix des véhicules automobiles : en dépit de la convergence des prix, il demeure souvent plus intéressant d'acheter un véhicule à l'étranger
  • [02] A new action plan to boost entrepreneurship in Europe
  • [03] Charte européenne des petites entreprises : les Etats membres améliorent l'environnement des petites entreprises en s'inspirant de leurs points forts réciproques
  • [04] Competition probe leads to decrease in tariffs for broadband access via line sharing in Germany
  • [05] L'Europe part à la chasse aux comètes : Philippe Busquin se félicite du lancement de la sonde spatiale Rosetta
  • [06] Commission supports Afghan elections with an additional €8 million
  • [07] Janvier 2004 : le chômage dans la zone euro stable à 8,8% ; l'UE 15 inchangée à 8,0%
  • [08] New decision of Eurostat on deficit and debt - classification of funded pension schemes in case of government responsibility or guarantee
  • [09] EU competitiveness passing the credibility test
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 02/03/2004 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 02/03/2004

  • [01] Prix des véhicules automobiles : en dépit de la convergence des prix, il demeure souvent plus intéressant d'acheter un véhicule à l'étranger

    Le dernier rapport sur les prix des véhicules automobiles montre que la convergence des prix des véhicules neufs pratiqués sur les différents marchés se poursuit. Les derniers chiffres disponibles à la date du 1er novembre 2003 indiquent toutefois que de nombreux consommateurs européens peuvent toujours réaliser des économies substantielles en achetant leur véhicule dans un autre Etat membre. Il subsiste en effet des écarts de prix considérables entre certains pays, en particulier pour certains modèles. Le Danemark, la Grèce et la Finlande enregistrent les prix hors taxes les plus bas. A l'inverse, c'est en Allemagne, le plus grand marché de l'automobile, et, dans une moindre mesure, en Autriche que les prix demeurent parmi les plus élevés de la zone euro.

    [02] A new action plan to boost entrepreneurship in Europe

    The European Commission has launched a new action plan setting out Europe's agenda for entrepreneurship in the years to come. The action plan outlines key actions in five strategic areas. High on the agenda are fostering a more entrepreneurial mindset among young people, reducing the stigma of failure, providing support for women and ethnic minorities, reducing the complexity of complying with tax laws and making it easier to transfer a business to new owners. Examples of best practice will be benchmarked and shared across the new enlarged Europe. A specific focus will be placed on listening to SMEs when drafting new legislation. The Commission will monitor and report on progress alongside its current reporting on the European Charter for Small Enterprises. The action plan aims to unlock the potential for entrepreneurship in Europe. Too few Europeans set up their own businesses and too few small businesses in Europe experience substantial growth. Yet almost half of Europeans say they would prefer to be self-employed, and almost a third of Europe's SMEs cite growth as their main ambition. Overcoming this paradox is a key aim of this action plan.

    [03] Charte européenne des petites entreprises : les Etats membres améliorent l'environnement des petites entreprises en s'inspirant de leurs points forts réciproques

    Les Etats membres ont effectué des progrès sur la voie de l'amélioration de l'environnement des petites entreprises dans les trois domaines prioritaires pour 2003 de la Charte européenne des petites entreprises, à savoir l'accès au financement, l'innovation et le transfert de technologie, ainsi que la consultation des petites entreprises. Le quatrième rapport sur la mise en œuvre de la Charte européenne des petites entreprises fait également apparaître que les Etats membres s'inspirent de plus en plus les uns des autres, grâce à l'échange de bonnes pratiques recensées dans le cadre de l'application de la Charte. L'amélioration de l'environnement des petites entreprises est toutefois un processus continu. Il est essentiel que les Etats membres maintiennent une ligne d'action conforme aux recommandations de la Charte. Le rapport sur la mise en œuvre de la Charte dans les pays en passe d'adhérer et les pays candidats indique de nettes améliorations en matière de soutien aux nouvelles entreprises.

    [04] Competition probe leads to decrease in tariffs for broadband access via line sharing in Germany

    Deutsche Telekom has committed vis-à-vis the European Commission to terminate the presumed margin squeeze with effect from 1 April 2004. This commitment leads to a significant reduction in the line sharing fee that competitors have to pay to Deutsche Telekom for shared access to its local loops. "In spite of a 2001 EU obligation to provide competitors shared access to its local loops, only a few competitors found it profitable to make use of shared access. Deutsche Telekom meanwhile has become a quasi- monopolist for broadband access at retail level. None of the new entrants has been able to reach any significant market position. This is due to DT's anti-competitive tariff structure", Competition Commissioner Mario Monti stated. "We believe that competition between operators is the best means for bringing the overall prices down. That is why we have ensured that the margin squeeze shall be remedied to a large extent by lower wholesale tariffs that competitors have to pay for shared access. We trust that the German regulator accepts this consumer-friendly solution", Mario Monti continued.

    [05] L'Europe part à la chasse aux comètes : Philippe Busquin se félicite du lancement de la sonde spatiale Rosetta

    La sonde cométaire "Rosetta" de l'Agence spatiale européenne a été lancée aujourd'hui à Kourou, en Guyane française. Philippe Busquin, membre de la Commission européenne responsable de la Recherche, s'est félicité du décollage de ce passionnant projet. Rosetta voyagera pendant dix ans dans le système solaire pour rencontrer la comète Churyumov-Gerasimenko. La sonde recueillera de nouvelles données sur les noyaux cométaires, photographiera la comète et enverra un atterrisseur à sa surface. Pour la première fois dans l'histoire, une comète se dirigeant vers le soleil sera examinée de tout près. Rosetta, qui fait partie d'un programme de l'Agence spatiale européen, a été construite par une équipe industrielle regroupant plus de cinquante contractants provenant des quatorze pays européens et des Etats-Unis.

    [06] Commission supports Afghan elections with an additional €8 million

    The European Commission approved today a further €8 million package to support the elections in Afghanistan. The funding will support the Voter Registration Project managed by the United Nations (UN), to which the European Union is the biggest single donor. Taken with previous contributions, today's announcement brings the Commission contribution to €15 million, and when Member States' donations are added, the total EU funding for this project is €30million. Following the successful adoption of the new Constitution on January 4 2004, the holding of national elections is the next important milestone for Afghanistan on its road to a democratic future as set out in the Bonn Agreement.

    [07] Janvier 2004 : le chômage dans la zone euro stable à 8,8% ; l'UE 15 inchangée à 8,0%

    Le taux de chômage de la zone euro, corrigé des variations saisonnières, s'est élevé à 8,8% en janvier 2004, stable par rapport au mois de décembre 2003, selon les données publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat. Il était de 8,7% en janvier 2003. Le taux de chômage de l'UE15 s'est élevé à 8,0% en janvier 2004, inchangé par rapport à décembre 2003. Il était de 7,9% en janvier 2003. En janvier 2004, les taux les plus bas ont été enregistrés au Luxembourg (3,9%), aux Pays-Bas (4,3% en décembre 2003), en Autriche (4,5%) et en Irlande (4,6%). Le taux de chômage de l'Espagne (11,2%) est resté le plus élevé de l'UE.

    [08] New decision of Eurostat on deficit and debt - classification of funded pension schemes in case of government responsibility or guarantee

    Eurostat has taken a decision on the classification of some funded pension schemes where government is involved either as a manager of the flows of contributions and pension benefits or as a guarantor for the risk of defaulting payments of pensions. This decision does not cover the schemes organised by employers for their own staff (including specific schemes for civil servants organised by government). The decision specifies the cases where a pension scheme should not be treated as a social security scheme, with the consequence that the flows of contributions made to the scheme and of pension benefits paid by the scheme are not recorded as government revenue or as government expenditure and, therefore, do not have an impact on government deficit or surplus.

    [09] EU competitiveness passing the credibility test

    "The Lisbon locomotive is pulling too many wagons and risks grinding to a halt", warned European Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein today in a speech in Brussels. "We need to concentrate first on a much smaller set of actions and priorities, mainly focused on competitiveness. The mid- term review of the Lisbon process in early 2005, therefore, presents us with an excellent opportunity to agree a shortlist of actions that need to be undertaken both at EU and at national level before the end of 2007. The Council of Ministers, and the Competitiveness Council in particular, need to stop talking about competitiveness and start doing something about it. How can Ministers with a straight face say they want more R&D and innovation in Europe and then in the next breath block the Community Patent? How can Ministers credibly say they want business to be able to organise themselves at European level to stand up to global competition and then adopt a Takeover bids Directive only after it has been effectively gutted? Third, the most competitive economy in the world by the end of this decade will be the economy with the best regulatory framework and the lowest administrative burdens. But better regulation is an area where in the EU we have so far seen more heat being generated than light."

    [10] Autre matériel diffusé

    Note sur la préparation du Conseil Emploi et Affaires sociales (04/03)

    Speech by Erkki Liikanen : "A new Action Plan for Entrepreneurship" at his press conference on Entrepreneurship

    Discours de M. Solbes : "Macroeconomía y reformas estructurales: la experiencia europea" au Forum Mexique-UE (01/03, Monterrey)

    Speech by Franz Fischler : "The CAP, the WTO and Enlargement : Looking beyond our common borders" at Eton College (01/03)

    Speech by Franz Fischler : "Post-reform : What next for EU agriculture ?" at the Agra Europe Outlook Conference (London)


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


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