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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-03-15

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] Epidémie d'obésité : Markos Kyprianou annonce des mesures alors que les chiffres indiquent une augmentation de la surcharge pondérale chez les enfants
  • [02] Microsoft and Time Warner abandon acquisition of control in ContentGuard as Thomson purchases a one third stake
  • [03] La Commission approuve l'opération EuroSystems entre BAE Systems et Finmeccanica dans le secteur de la défense
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of Aggregate Industries by Holcim
  • [05] La Commission adopte une proposition de règlement instituant une procédure européenne pour les demandes de faible importance
  • [06] Fourth quarter 2004 compared to fourth quarter 2003 : Euro-zone labour costs up by 2.2% ; EU25 up by 2.6%
  • [07] Nobel Prize winners visit Commission
  • [08] Dialogue with President Barroso and NGOs on sustainable development
  • [09] EC-Mongolia Joint Committee meets in Brussels on 15 March 2005
  • [10] Annual meeting of the college and the Court of Auditors on March 16
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-03-15 Reference: MEX/05/0315 Date: 15/03/2005 EXME05 / 15.3

    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

    15/03/05


  • [01] Epidémie d'obésité : Markos Kyprianou annonce des mesures alors que les chiffres indiquent une augmentation de la surcharge pondérale chez les enfants

    Markos Kyprianou, Commissaire européen en charge de la santé et de la protection des consommateurs, annonce une action commune avec l'industrie, les associations de consommateurs, les spécialistes de la santé et les responsables politiques pour lutter contre l'épidémie d'obésité en Europe, alors que les chiffres publiés aujourd'hui indiquent que le nombre d'écoliers de l'UE présentant un excès pondéral augmente de 400.000 par an environ. Les chiffres de l'International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) montrent que l'étendue du problème d'obésité en Europe pourrait avoir été sous-estimée en raison d'une sous-notification dans certains pays et que plus de 200 millions d'adultes travers l'UE pourraient être atteints d'une surcharge pondérale ou d'obésité. "L'obésité progresse rapidement et la prise de poids de l'Europe a des conséquences dévastatrices pour la santé publique et un coût économique considérable. Notre continent est confronté une épidémie d'obésité en tout point aussi grave que celle qui touche l'Amérique du Nord. Je suis particulièrement inquiet de l'augmentation constante du surpoids et de l'obésité dans la population scolaire", a déclaré le commissaire. "La plateforme d'action de l'UE que nous lançons aujourd'hui est la contribution de l'Europe la lutte contre ce problème. Les entreprises, la société civile et les pouvoirs publics doivent travailler ensemble pour enrayer la progression de l'obésité chez nos enfants."

    [02] Microsoft and Time Warner abandon acquisition of control in ContentGuard as Thomson purchases a one third stake

    Microsoft and Time Warner have informed the European Commission that Thomson is acquiring a 33% stake in ContentGuard. Although this acquisition by Thomson was announced in November 2004, it only took place on 14 March 2005. As the original operation, whereby Microsoft and Time Warner acquired joint control of ContentGuard, has been abandoned, the companies have withdrawn their notification under the Merger Regulation. ContentGuard is one of the main Digital Rights Management (DRM) patent holders. The Commission launched an in-depth investigation on 25 August 2004 (see IP/04/1044), in particular over the possibility for Microsoft to block competitors' access to ContentGuard's patents. The Commission considers that following a substantial change in ContentGuard's governing rules and the entry of a new key shareholder (Thomson), Microsoft will no longer have the ability to impose in ContentGuard a licensing policy that would put its rivals in the Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions market at a competitive disadvantage. The Commission has carefully reviewed whether the transaction involving Thomson would fall under the EU Merger Regulation. Through the conjunction of Thomson's acquisition of an equity stake, and of changes in ContentGuard's governance structure, no shareholder will have control over ContentGuard. Thus, this transaction is not subject to EU merger rules.

    [03] La Commission approuve l'opération EuroSystems entre BAE Systems et Finmeccanica dans le secteur de la défense

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement communautaire sur les concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de l'activité "avionique et communications" de BAE Systems, une entreprise britannique du secteur de la défense, par la société italienne du secteur de la défense Finmeccanica, ainsi que la scission de leur entreprise commune, AMS. Ces concentrations s’inscrivent dans le cadre de l’opération dite "EuroSystems", que les parties ont conclue en janvier 2005. La Commission estime que ces opérations n'entraîneront pas de problèmes de concurrence en Europe, dans la mesure où les chevauchements sont limités et où d'autres opérateurs importants et performants sont en concurrence avec les parties pour ces équipements militaires. C'est pourquoi elle est parvenue la conclusion que l'opération n'entravera pas de façon sensible une concurrence effective dans l'espace économique européen (EEE) ou dans une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [04] Commission clears acquisition of Aggregate Industries by Holcim

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition by which Holcim Participations (UK) Ltd acquires control of Aggregate Industries plc in the field of construction materials. The Commission has concluded that concluded that the operation will not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    [05] La Commission adopte une proposition de règlement instituant une procédure européenne pour les demandes de faible importance

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui une proposition de règlement du Parlement européen et du Conseil instituant une procédure européenne pour les demandes de faible importance. Cette proposition a pour objectif de simplifier et d'accélérer le règlement des litiges relatifs des demandes de faible importance et d'en réduire les coûts en instituant une procédure européenne pour les demandes de faible importance laquelle les justiciables peuvent recourir parallèlement aux procédures actuellement prévues par les législations des Etats membres, qui demeurent inchangées.

    [06] Fourth quarter 2004 compared to fourth quarter 2003 : Euro-zone labour costs up by 2.2% ; EU25 up by 2.6%

    Total hourly labour costs in the whole economy of the euro-zone grew by 2.2% in nominal terms in the fourth quarter of 2004 compared to the fourth quarter of 2003, reports Eurostat. In the third quarter of 2004 the increase was 1.8%. In the EU25 the annual rise was 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to 2.4% in the previous quarter. Among the Member States for which data are available in the fourth quarter of 2004, the smallest annual rises were recorded in Italy (1.4%), Germany (1.7%), the Netherlands (2.0%), Luxembourg (2.5%), France and Sweden (both 2.6%). The highest increases were observed in Latvia (12.7%), Slovenia (12.3%), Lithuania (6.4%) and Estonia (5.3%). In industry, hourly labour costs rose by 2.5% in the euro-zone and by 2.7% in the EU25. Among the Member States for which data are available, annual changes ranged between +1.8% in Germany and +14.8% in Slovenia.

    [07] Nobel Prize winners visit Commission

    On 14 and 15 March, European Commission President Barroso met with a group of European winners of Nobel Prizes in Physiology/Medicine, Chemistry and Physics. As the Commission renews its focus on knowledge and innovation for growth and jobs, the time is right to hear the views of a group with considerable experience of the worlds of education and science. With his Commission colleagues Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Science and Research, and Jan Figel', Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism, President Barroso discussed the current proposals on the table for the mid term review of the Lisbon Strategy, the future actions of the EU in the areas of science and education, and ways in which knowledge can best be used to foster growth and jobs.

    [08] Dialogue with President Barroso and NGOs on sustainable development

    European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will today meet with leading environmental and health NGOs in Brussels to discuss the EU's sustainable development agenda. The NGOs participating in the dialogue will include The World Wildlife Fund, The European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth and The European Public Health Alliance – Environment Network. These organisations form part of the G9, a group of Brussels based environmental and health NGOs. Key issues to be discussed at the meeting will include: the role of sustainable development in key Commission initiatives such as the Lisbon Strategy and the Financial Perspectives; sending the right market signals using environmental tax reform and the removal of environmentally harmful subsidies to promote eco-innovations and reduce environmental impacts; and the widespread support shown in opinion polls for EU level action on environment and development. Speaking before the meeting President Barroso said : "This is an essential dialogue and I am delighted to be involved. The future of the EU does not just hinge on growth, but also on protecting the European social model and protecting the environment. All three have the same goal – improving citizen's living conditions and welfare. Through effective partnerships with industry, trade unions, NGOs and consumer interests, the EU can turn the need to protect the environment and for social cohesion into opportunities for innovation, job creation and growth."

    [09] EC-Mongolia Joint Committee meets in Brussels on 15 March 2005

    The EC-Mongolia Joint Committee will hold its 8th meeting today in Brussels to discuss bilateral relations, development cooperation and progress on trade issues. Discussion will include recent EU and Mongolian developments, the new GSP scheme and prospects for market economy status. The state of play and way forward for EU financial assistance to the country will also be reviewed. The European delegation will be led by Hervé Jouanjean, the Commission's External Relations Deputy Director General for Asia and Latin America, and the Mongolian side by Chultem Ulaan, Deputy Prime Minister. During his visit Mr Ulaan will also meet with Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner to discuss the growing relations between Mongolia and the EU. Interested media is invitated to a cocktail after the meeting at 17:45 in the Charlemagne Building, Salon rouge, 1st floor, Rue de la Loi 170. Please contact: Concha Fernández de la Puente, 02-29.52977, 0498.952977.

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/mongolia/intro/index.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/mongolia/intro/index.htm

    [10] Annual meeting of the college and the Court of Auditors on March 16

    The President of the European Commission with the college will meet on Wednesday 16th of March the Court of Auditors and its new President elected in January, Mr Hubert Weber. Three main issues are on the agenda of this meeting: the follow-up to the implementation of the Commission's reform initiated in 2000, the presentation of the Commission's proposal for a roadmap to a positive DAS (declaration of positive assurance) and the state of play of the successful introduction of ABAC (accrual based accounting system), the new accounting system of the Commission.

    [11] Autre matériel diffusé

    EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health : questions and answers

    Speech by Markos Kyprianou : "Empowered Consumers and Sustainability" at the European Consumer Day 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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