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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-03-31

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 approves acquisition of MGM by Sony, Comcast and group of investors
  • [02] La Commission autorise le rachat de Novar par Honeywell, sous réserve du respect de certaines conditions
  • [03] US Byrd amendment : Commission proposes sanctions on US products
  • [04] Banana imports : EU regrets Latin American (banana exporting) countries request for WTO arbitration on the EU's proposed new tariff for bananas
  • [05] March 2005 : economic sentiment declined in both the EU and the euro area
  • [06] March 2005 : Business Climate Indicator in the euro area declined further
  • [07] Flash estimate - March 2005 : Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.1%
  • [08] Résultats d'une consultation sur le thème "Une société de l'information pour tous" : prévoir des exigences en matière d'accessibilité en ligne dans les marchés publics de biens et de services TIC
  • [09] EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council (01/04)
  • [10] Danuta Hübner a rencontré le Président de la Région Nord-Pas-de- Calais
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-03-31 Reference: MEX/05/0331 Date: 31/03/2005 EXME05 / 31.3

    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

    31/03/05


  • [01] Commission approves acquisition of MGM by Sony, Comcast and group of investors

    The European Commission has, under the EU Merger Regulation, cleared the acquisition of film producer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. ("MGM") by the Sony Corporation ("Sony"), Comcast and a group of financial investors. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or in any substantial part of it.

    [02] La Commission autorise le rachat de Novar par Honeywell, sous réserve du respect de certaines conditions

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement sur les concentrations de l'UE, le projet d'acquisition de Novar par Honeywell après la cession envisagée de l'activité exercée par Novar dans le secteur des alarmes incendie en Italie. A la lumière de cet engagement, la Commission est arrivée la conclusion que l'opération n'entraverait pas sensiblement une concurrence effective dans l'EEE ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci et elle a par conséquent autorisé la concentration.

    [03] US Byrd amendment : Commission proposes sanctions on US products

    In application of a WTO ruling, the European Commission has today adopted a proposal to impose sanctions on certain products from the United States. The Commission took this latest step in the dispute over the Byrd Amendment in light of the continuing failure of the US to bring its legislation in conformity with its international obligations. The Commission proposes that an additional duty of 15% applies as of 1 May 2005 on a range of products which include paper, agricultural, textile and machinery products. In taking this action the Commission has acted in close coordination with seven other co-complainants.

    [04] Banana imports : EU regrets Latin American (banana exporting) countries request for WTO arbitration on the EU's proposed new tariff for bananas

    Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and Guatemala requested yesterday arbitration at the WTO on the level of duty proposed by the EU in the new tariff-only system for the EU's import regime for bananas. While the EU regrets the decision of these WTO Members to request arbitration, it will defend its proposal before the arbitrator and remains open for constructive engagement with interested WTO Members.

    [05] March 2005 : economic sentiment declined in both the EU and the euro area

    The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) for the EU showed a marked fall of 2.4 points in March, following its decline by 1.1 points in February. For the first time since December 2003 the indicator fell below its long-term average. In the euro area, where the ESI had decreased by 2 points in February, the fall in confidence was smaller, amounting to 1.4 points. For both areas the indicator has shown a nearly continuous decline since November 2004.

    [06] March 2005 : Business Climate Indicator in the euro area declined further

    Following a significant decline in February, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area fell again considerably in March. The indicator now stands at a value of -0.08, down from 0.20. As in February, all components of the BCI went down in March. The biggest fall in industry managers' opinions was observed for the production trend observed in the recent past. The assessments concerning the export order books, the total order books and the stocks of finished products declined significantly, too. Finally, the remaining component, production expectations, decreased more moderately.

    [07] Flash estimate - March 2005 : Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.1%

    Euro-zone annual inflation is expected to be 2.1% in March 2005 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 2.1% in February. Euro-zone inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro-zone. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (13 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate, 10 times differing by 0.1 and once differing by 0.2, in January 2005, over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.

    [08] Résultats d'une consultation sur le thème "Une société de l'information pour tous" : prévoir des exigences en matière d'accessibilité en ligne dans les marchés publics de biens et de services TIC

    Les marchés publics devraient prévoir des exigences visant rendre les biens et services liés aux technologies de l'information et des communications (TIC) accessibles aux personnes âgées et aux handicapés. C'est l'avis de 90% des 500 personnes interrogées (organismes publics, fournisseurs de biens et services TIC, universités, associations professionnelles et groupes d'utilisateurs) qui ont participé la consultation publique lancée en janvier 2005 par la Commission européenne sur la nécessité de prendre des mesures relatives l'accessibilité des produits et services en ligne (voir IP/05/14). Les personnes interrogées pensent également que les institutions européennes devraient être les premières proposer ces mesures (88%), qu'il faut renforcer l'interopérabilité des biens et services TIC (74%) et que, cette fin, une harmonisation des exigences techniques s'impose l’intérieur comme l'extérieur de l'UE (84%). Toutefois, le doute plane encore sur la manière de mettre ces exigences en application. Même si beaucoup ont plébiscité une forme de certification des produits ou un système d'étiquetage (72%), les avis sont assez partagés entre un système volontaire ou obligatoire et la présence ou l'absence d'une autocertification accompagnée de contrôles. Les propositions de la Commission seront présentées dans une communication prévue pour septembre 2005.

    [09] EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council (01/04)

    The European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will attend the second meeting of the EU- Russia Permanent Partnership Council meeting in Foreign Ministers format, in Luxembourg on 1 April, together with Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. The Russian Federation will be represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov. The agenda will focus on current negotiations for a package of Road Maps to create four "common spaces", in the fields of the Economy, External Security, Freedom, Security and Justice and Education, Research and Culture. The EU's proposals to step up co operation on the socio-economic development of Kaliningrad and the forthcoming Commission fact-finding mission to the northern Caucasus region of Russia will also be discussed, as will a range of international issues including Moldova, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Iran.

    [10] Danuta Hübner a rencontré le Président de la Région Nord-Pas-de- Calais

    Danuta Hübner, Commissaire européenne en charge de la politique régionale, a rencontré hier après-midi M. Daniel Percheron, Président du Conseil Régional du Nord Pas-de-Calais, ainsi que Mme Martine Filleul, Vice-Présidente du Conseil régional en charge des affaires européennes et de l'apprentissage, et M. Gérard Caudron, Conseiller du Président pour les affaires européennes. L'entretien a principalement porté sur les perspectives venir de la région en matière de politique de cohésion.

    [11] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Jan Figel' : "Strong Universities for Europe" at EUA Convention of European Higher Education Institutions (Glasgow, ! embargo 16h00 !) 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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