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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-11-26

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] Commission clears acquisition of Picard by BC Partners
  • [02] Panel of scientists require more data to evaluate suspected case of BSE in a goat
  • [03] Le premier "Conseil Espace" ouvre la voie Ă un Programme spatial europĂ©en
  • [04] Commission welcomes Council agreement on making cross-border mergers easier
  • [05] EU funding opportunities for civil society in the ten new Member States
  • [06] Fight against discrimination : strong demand for more EU actionA vast majority of respondents (88%) responding to the Commission's Green Paper consultation on 'Equality and non-discrimination in the European Union' said that the EU should step up its efforts to combat discrimination following enlargement. One of the Commission's first steps will be to issue a Communication on anti-discrimination before the end of 2005.
  • [07] Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers meet to prepare 10th Anniversary of their partnership
  • [08] Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements : the Partnership is moving forward
  • [09] MEDA : over €700 million in 2004 to support the EU's Mediterranean partners
  • [10] EU and Comoros Islands sign fisheries partnership agreement
  • [11] Le SIDA dans l'UE : les cas de nouveaux diagnostics de SIDA ont baissĂ© en 2003 dans l'UE25 pour atteindre 6.441 ; mais tendance Ă la hausse du nombre d'infections Ă VIH nouvellement dĂ©clarĂ©esA l'occasion de la JournĂ©e mondiale de la lutte contre le SIDA, le 1er dĂ©cembre, Eurostat publie aujourd'hui un rapport sur le SIDA dans l'UE basĂ© sur les donnĂ©es du Centre europĂ©en pour la surveillance Ă©pidĂ©miologique du SIDA – EuroHIV. Selon ce rapport, en 2003, 6.441 cas nouvellement diagnostiquĂ©s de SIDA ont Ă©tĂ© dĂ©clarĂ©s dans l'UE25, soit une baisse de 24% par rapport Ă 2002. Le nombre de cas n'a cessĂ© de diminuer depuis 1994, oĂą plus de 25.000 nouveaux cas de SIDA avaient Ă©tĂ© diagnostiquĂ©s. Cette rĂ©duction s'explique en grande partie par l'utilisation accrue du traitement antirĂ©troviral hautement actif depuis le milieu des annĂ©es 1990. Si le nombre de nouveaux diagnostics de SIDA continue de baisser dans l'UE25, une tendance Ă la hausse peut ĂŞtre observĂ©e en ce qui concerne le nombre d'infections Ă VIH nouvellement dĂ©clarĂ©es.
  • [12] Autre matĂ©riel diffusĂ© Midday Express of 2004-11-26 Reference: MEX/04/1126 Date: 26/11/2004 EXME04 / 26.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Général Presse etb

    Communication

    26/11/04


  • [01] Commission clears acquisition of Picard by BC Partners

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of the French Company Financière Fontainebleau SA which controls the undertakings Picard Surgelés S.A, France and Picard I Surgelati SpA, Italy by BC Partners Holdings Limited, based in Guernsey. BC Partners is a private equity fund which focuses on pan-European investments. Fontainebleau is the holding company of Picard and indirectly via another holding company of Picard I. Picard is one of the leading retail distributors of frozen food (uncooked and pre-prepared) in France with 562 stores throughout France. Picard I operates the same business as Picard on the Italian market, where it has a network of 46 stores.

    [02] Panel of scientists require more data to evaluate suspected case of BSE in a goat

    On 25 November, a panel of scientists from the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) on TSEs concluded that the data available on a suspected case of BSE in a goat was incomplete, preventing a definitive interpretation at this time. After evaluating the scientific evidence, the scientists recommended additional lines of investigation to be pursued. They concluded that the necessary data is expected to be available within approximately two months. The results are becoming available following a series of confirmatory tests including testing on mice (a so-called "mouse bioassay"), which takes approximately two years. The goat was slaughtered in France in October 2002. The European Commission will update Member States at a scheduled meeting of national experts on 30 November. Following the findings by a research group in France of a suspected BSE infection in a goat, the Commission immediately made the findings public on 28 October 2004 (see IP/04/1324). The supporting data were submitted on 5 November, as foreseen by the EU procedure, by the French authorities to the CRL for TSEs based in Weybridge (UK), for an evaluation by an expert panel. Although BSE has until now never been found in a goat under natural conditions, precautionary measures to protect consumers from this eventuality have been applied in the EU for several years.

    [03] Le premier "Conseil Espace" ouvre la voie à un Programme spatial européen

    Le tout premier "Conseil Espace" européen s'est tenu aujourd'hui à Bruxelles. Cet événement, qui constitue une étape politique majeure pour l'Europe spatiale, a offert aux Ministres représentant les 27 Etats membres de l'UE et/ou de l'Agence spatiale européenne (ESA) la possibilité de débattre ensemble, pour la première fois, de l'élaboration d'un Programme spatial européen global et cohérent. Dans le sillage du Traité établissant une Constitution pour l'Europe, qui a été signé le 29 octobre par les chefs d'Etat ou de gouvernement de l'UE et qui définit pour la première fois l' "espace" comme une compétence partagée de l'Union, le "Conseil Espace" reconnaît l'importance des activités spatiales pour une large gamme de politiques européennes.

    [04] Commission welcomes Council agreement on making cross-border mergers easier

    The European Commission has welcomed the Council's agreement on its political approach to the Directive on cross-border mergers, proposed by the Commission in November 2003 (see IP/03/716 and MEMO/03/112). This key measure responds to strong demand from businesses and will allow cross- border mergers of limited liability companies in the European Union. Today such mergers are impossible or very difficult and expensive. The Directive will be particularly helpful for small and medium sized companies that want to operate in more than one Member State, but not throughout Europe, and thus cannot seek incorporation under the European Company Statute (see IP/04/1195).

    [05] EU funding opportunities for civil society in the ten new Member States

    The European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security has launched a call for proposals concerning preparatory action to support civil society in the Member States which acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004 (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia). NGOs in the other Member States may participate but the project lead organisation must come from one of the new Member States.

    [06] Fight against discrimination : strong demand for more EU actionA vast majority of respondents (88%) responding to the Commission's Green Paper consultation on 'Equality and non-discrimination in the European Union' said that the EU should step up its efforts to combat discrimination following enlargement. One of the Commission's first steps will be to issue a Communication on anti-discrimination before the end of 2005.

    [07] Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers meet to prepare 10th Anniversary of their partnership

    Euro-Mediterranean Ministers for Foreign Affairs will meet in The Hague on 29-30 November to launch a year of activities to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of their Partnership, under the 'Barcelona Process'. The meeting will focus on three themes : a review of the process and its future direction; economic reforms and investment; and social-cultural aspects. Ministers will welcome the conclusion of negotiations with Syria for an Association Agreement with the EU, which completes the grid of agreements with the EU's Mediterranean Partners. In addition, the meeting will provide an opportunity for political debate on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Commission will be represented by Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. 25 EU Member States, the 10 Mediterranean Partners, plus Libya as observer, will attend the meeting. EU Troika meetings with Israel, the Arab States and Palestine will be held in the margins.

    [08] Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements : the Partnership is moving forward

    An essential feature of the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership has been the negotiation of Association Agreements between the European Union and nine of its Mediterranean Partners to replace the 1970s Cooperation Agreements. With the conclusion of negotiations with Syria (October 2004), the grid of Association Agreements with Mediterranean Partners has been completed. Association Agreements are in force between the EU and Tunisia (since 1998), Israel (2000), Morocco (2000), Jordan (2002), Egypt (2004) and on an interim basis with the Palestinian Authority (1997). Agreements were signed with Algeria in December 2001, and with Lebanon in January 2002.

    [09] MEDA : over €700 million in 2004 to support the EU's Mediterranean partners

    In 2004, the European Commission is providing, under the MEDA Programme, €709 million for cooperation and external aid operations with its Mediterranean partners. This assistance illustrates the EU's commitment to support development in the region focused on reforms based on common values. Algeria (€55 million), Egypt (€164.5 million), Jordan (€36.5 million), Lebanon (€19.5 million), Morocco (€156 million), Syria (€55 million), Tunisia (€24 million), and the West Bank and Gaza Strip (€73.5 million) and the region as a whole (€125.5 million), are benefiting from this new package that brings the MEDA assistance to the region to over €6.156 billion in bilateral and regional cooperation programmes since the Barcelona Process was launched in 1995.

    [10] EU and Comoros Islands sign fisheries partnership agreement

    The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, and the Islamic Republic of the Comoros Islands have initialled a Fisheries Partnership Agreement which will replace their 1988 framework fisheries agreement. They also initialled a new Protocol for a period of 6 years from 1 January 2005. This Protocol, which concerns exclusively tuna, will provide fishing opportunities for 57 vessels, down from 65 at present: 40 tuna seiners (unchanged) and 17 long-liners (down from 25). The annual financial compensation will amount to € 390,000 (up from €350,250), of which 60% will go to measures to strengthen responsible fishing and sustainable fisheries in Comoros waters. The licences paid by the ship owners concerned will increase by 50% to €3,375 for seiners and €2,065 for long-liners. The fishing possibilities and the technical measures have been agreed in accordance with the measures in place under the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the latest scientific advice. The EU is gradually replacing its bilateral fisheries agreements with partnership agreements which place greater emphasis on helping the partner country establish responsible fisheries in their waters. Vessels operating under this Protocol come from Spain, France and Italy.

    [11] Le SIDA dans l'UE : les cas de nouveaux diagnostics de SIDA ont baissé en 2003 dans l'UE25 pour atteindre 6.441 ; mais tendance à la hausse du nombre d'infections à VIH nouvellement déclaréesA l'occasion de la Journée mondiale de la lutte contre le SIDA, le 1er décembre, Eurostat publie aujourd'hui un rapport sur le SIDA dans l'UE basé sur les données du Centre européen pour la surveillance épidémiologique du SIDA – EuroHIV. Selon ce rapport, en 2003, 6.441 cas nouvellement diagnostiqués de SIDA ont été déclarés dans l'UE25, soit une baisse de 24% par rapport à 2002. Le nombre de cas n'a cessé de diminuer depuis 1994, où plus de 25.000 nouveaux cas de SIDA avaient été diagnostiqués. Cette réduction s'explique en grande partie par l'utilisation accrue du traitement antirétroviral hautement actif depuis le milieu des années 1990. Si le nombre de nouveaux diagnostics de SIDA continue de baisser dans l'UE25, une tendance à la hausse peut être observée en ce qui concerne le nombre d'infections à VIH nouvellement déclarées.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by President Barroso : "Europe and Culture" at Berliner Konferenz für europäische Kulturpolitik (Berlin)

    Calendrier du 29 novembre au 4 décembre From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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