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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-11-30

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] HIV/AIDS : risk to young Europeans increasing, says Markos Kyprianou
  • [02] Statement by Louis Michel on World AIDS Day – 1 December 2004
  • [03] Commission clears acquisition of Fuchs by MRW
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of Bonus Energy by Siemens
  • [05] Commission fixes banana import quantities for new Member States in 2005
  • [06] Decisions on national bans on GMOs to be referred to Council
  • [07] November 2004 : economic sentiment worsened in both the EU and the euro area
  • [08] November 2004 : Business Climate Indicator fell in the euro area
  • [09] Flash estimate - November 2004 : Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.2%
  • [10] Dalia Grybauskaité at Budget Committee of the European Parliament
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2004-11-30 Reference: MEX/04/1130 Date: 30/11/2004 EXME04 / 30.11

    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

    30/11/04


  • [01] HIV/AIDS : risk to young Europeans increasing, says Markos Kyprianou

    The new generation of Europeans face an unprecedented risk of catching HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to Markos Kyprianou, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection. Mr Kyprianou is due to make a statement to the European Parliament tomorrow to mark World AIDS Day. Speaking on the eve of World AIDS Day, Mr Kyprianou said : "Teenagers and people in their early twenties, are too young to remember the safe sex campaigns of the 1980s and early 1990s. With HIV infection rates rising across our continent, urgent action is needed to avert a public health disaster". The number of newly reported HIV cases in the EU has nearly doubled since 1996, with the most drastic increase observed in the Baltic States. The situation in neighbouring countries is equally grave. In Russia, there are almost one million people infected with HIV, 80% of which are in people under thirty. In September this year health ministers from across the EU and its neighbours met in Vilnius, Lithuania, and endorsed a strategy proposed by the Commission for fighting the AIDS epidemic in Europe (see IP/04/1111).

    [02] Statement by Louis Michel on World AIDS Day – 1 December 2004

    The World AIDS Day must be an occasion to remind us all of the need to reinforce our commitment to confront HIV/AIDS in Europe and throughout the world, when the pandemic continues to spread and the number of people currently living with HIV/AIDS gets close to 40 million.

    [03] Commission clears acquisition of Fuchs by MRW

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of German company Fuchs by Mannesmannröhren-Werke AG (MRW). MRW is active in the production and distribution of tubes, including steel and input stock for the production of tubes. MRW is active in the production and distribution of tubes as well as steel and input stock for the production of tubes. Its parent company Salzgitter is active in steel technology, the production and distribution of steel products and the production of large welded diameter tubes. Fuchs is active in the production and distribution of welded non-precision steel tubes. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. Although the acquisition did not have an EU dimension as the turnover of Fuchs falls below the thresholds set by the EU Merger Regulation, the parties referred it to the Commission to avoid having to file it separately to four different national competition authorities (in Austria, Germany, Poland and Spain) and because of the cross-border nature of the transaction.

    [04] Commission clears acquisition of Bonus Energy by Siemens

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Danish company Bonus Energy by Siemens, Germany. Siemens is a global technology company active in several business areas and Bonus is active in the manufacture of wind turbines. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [05] Commission fixes banana import quantities for new Member States in 2005

    The European Commission adopted a Regulation fixing, for 2005, an additional import quantity of bananas of 460,000 tonnes to supply the market of the ten new Member States (NMS). This additional quantity is fixed on a transitional basis and should in no way prejudge the outcome of the negotiations in the context of the Article XXIV (6) GATT. This quantity will provide the new Member States with a sufficient supply of bananas. On the same basis, the Commission fixed in April 2004 an additional quantity of 300,000 tonnes to supply the market of NMS for the period May-December 2004 (see IP/04/490). Background : After the accession of ten new Member States on 1 May 2004, appropriate arrangements have been made to ensure sufficient supply of bananas to consumers in the NMS. To this end, the import volumes for bananas have been increased for an EU of 25. For the new additional quantities, the current licensing mechanisms apply. These transitional measures are without prejudice to the decision taken by the Council to move to a tariff-only import system no later than 1 January 2006.

    [06] Decisions on national bans on GMOs to be referred to Council

    A draft decision to lift national bans on certain authorised genetically modified organisms currently in place in five EU Member States will pass on the Council of Ministers. The draft decisions concern the GM maize varieties T25 and MON810 banned in Austria, GM maize Bt176 banned in Austria, Germany and Luxembourg, the oilseed rape varieties MS1xRF1 banned in France and Topas 19/2 banned in France and Greece. The Regulatory Committee, which is set up under Directive 2001/18/EC and representing the Member States, did not reach the qualified majority necessary to support the Commission proposal to ask the five Member States to lift their national measures. The Commission will now, in the coming weeks, formally transmit the proposals to the Council of Ministers for decision. The Council can either adopt or reject the proposals with a qualified majority. If no decision is taken after three months, the file returns to the Commission who can then adopt it. If adopted, the Member States in question would have to repeal their national bans at the latest 20 days after they are formally notified of the respective decisions.

    [07] November 2004 : economic sentiment worsened in both the EU and the euro area

    The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) for the EU fell in November by 1 point to a level of 103.4. In the euro area, economic sentiment also worsened, although by a more moderate 0.5 points, reaching a level of 100.8.

    [08] November 2004 : Business Climate Indicator fell in the euro area

    The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area decreased by 0.12 points in November, reaching a value of 0.39, following its sideward movement during the previous 3 months. The decrease in November was driven by a weakening in most components of the indicator, i.e. production trend in the recent past, total and export order books as well as stocks of finished products. Only production expectations remained unchanged.

    [09] Flash estimate - November 2004 : Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.2%

    Euro-zone annual inflation is expected to be 2.2% in November 2004 according to a flash estimate issued today by Eurostat. It was 2.4% in October 2004.

    [10] Dalia Grybauskaité at Budget Committee of the European Parliament

    Today, European Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite, gave her first speech on the Financial Perspectives. She underlined that the Financial Perspectives cannot be divorced from their political context and that the goals ; to boost Europe's competitiveness and cohesion, to protect and develop our natural resources, to offer security and give citizenship a real meaning and to project a stronger voice worldwide, are common European goals. "The EU budget should only be used when a euro spent at EU lever can do the job better than a euro spent at national level", the Commissioner said in the Budget Committee in the European Parliament. She emphasized that an agreement on the Financial Perspectives next year is essential : "It would be a tragedy to deprive ourselves of one of the real advantages of EU financing – the long term approach". In her speech Ms Grybauskaité also discussed one of the key issues in the ongoing debate, the 1% ceiling : "The decision by some Member States to focus the debate on the overall total of spending is understandable. But if the proposals on the table are the best way to meet the goals we have set ourselves as a Union, if they offer real added value and represent a good deal for the taxpayer and the citizen, it would be irrational to dismiss them in favour of some arbitrary spending limit." Ms Grybauskaité concluded by stressing that a 1% cap would mean that the European Union will not be able to meet the common goals.

    [11] Autre matériel diffusé

    Ministerial meeting on Urban Policy (Rotterdam)

    Speech by President José Manuel Barroso : "The EU and the Emerging World Order - perceptions and strategies" at the 7th ECSA World Conference

    Speech by President José Manuel Barroso at the opening of 80th meeting of the ACP Council of Ministers

    Speech by Günter Verheugen : "Mehr Wachstum, merh Wettbewerbsfähigkeit, mehr Innovation - die EU und die Lissabon-Ziele" (29/11, Berlin) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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