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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-05-26

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 launches TV ad campaign to promote a life without tobacco
  • [02] Commissioner Michel to participate in the Pledging Conference for African Union Mission in the Sudan/Darfur (AMIS)
  • [03] EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson to Turin for joint ILO/European Commission Conference on globalisation and employment
  • [04] Ceintures de sécurité obligatoires: La Commission se félicite de la décision du Parlement concernant les véhicules utilitaires
  • [05] Pedestrian safety: Commission welcomes Parliament agreement on control of ‘bull-bars’
  • [06] EU Bathing Water: Quality is generally good, but one in ten inland beaches does not meet EU standards
  • [07] Commission allocates €6 million for humanitarian assistance to vulnerable groups in Tajikistan
  • [08] Comoros: Commission provides €500,000 in humanitarian aid for victims of Karthala volcano eruption
  • [09] Commissioner Andris Piebalgs participates in the opening ceremony of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and discusses energy issues with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr.İlham Aliev
  • [10] The European Commission and European Parliament sign a revised Framework Agreement
  • [11] Rédiffusion de notes
  • [12] Bt10: Ireland notifies contaminated consignment stopped in port
  • [13] Concentrations: La Commission autorise le rachat de Clearwave par Vodafone
  • [14] European Commission promotes gender mainstreaming in the Structural Funds
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé
  • [16] Rédiffusion d’autre matériel Midday Express of 2005-05-26 Reference: MEX/05/0526 Date: 26/05/2005 EXME05 / 26.5

    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

    26/05/05


  • [01] Commission launches TV ad campaign to promote a life without tobacco

    To mark UN World No Tobacco Day (31 May), the European Commission has unveiled the next phase of its ‘HELP’ anti-smoking campaign – an EU- wide TV adverting campaign that seeks to “de-normalise” the deadly habit. By substituting cigarettes with party-whistles in three every day situations, the adverts show the abnormality of smoking and the problems it poses. The aim of the campaign is to show that help is available to those addicted to, vulnerable to or affected by smoking. The advertisements do not condemn smokers and young people but instead focus the ridicule on the cigarette itself. Markos Kyprianou, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, today presented the adverts to the press, which form part of the EU anti-smoking campaign “HELP: For a Life Without Tobacco” (see IP/05/225). In addition to the adverts which will run on TV stations throughout the 25 EU Member States from 7 June, the Commissioner also launched the ‘HELP’ web site and provided an update on the progress of the campaign. In a separate development the Commission has adopted enabling legislation to introduce “picture warnings” on cigarette packs, including pictures of blackened lungs and rotten teeth (see IP/04/1284)..

    [02] Commissioner Michel to participate in the Pledging Conference for African Union Mission in the Sudan/Darfur (AMIS)

    The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, will participate on Thursday 26 May in the Pledging Conference to support the African Union's peacekeeping mission in the Darfur (AMIS). The AMIS mission in the Darfur is the first peace keeping operation carried out by the African Union (AU). And it is also a test case for the AU-EU partnership. The European Commission has disbursed €30M through its Peace Facility for Africa to support AMIS and €60M are still available to support its expansion until October.

    [03] EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson to Turin for joint ILO/European Commission Conference on globalisation and employment

    EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson will tomorrow address a conference on ‘Employment and social policy in an open trading regime’, jointly hosted by the International Labour Organisation and the European Commission in Turin, Italy. The Commission and the ILO have established a partnership to promote action by which progressive liberalisation and free and fair trade can reinforce employment, social and environmental protection.

    [04] Ceintures de sécurité obligatoires: La Commission se félicite de la décision du Parlement concernant les véhicules utilitaires

    La Commission européenne se réjouit qu’un pas important ait été franchi en vue d’améliorer substantiellement la sécurité routière au sein de l’Union européenne. Le Parlement européen, en adoptant trois directives sur l’installation obligatoire des ceintures de sécurité, a en effet posé un jalon important en vue de réduire de moitié le nombre des victimes des accidents de la route d’ici 2010. Par conséquent, l’installation obligatoire de ceintures de sécurité dans les véhicules utilitaires devrait démarrer six mois après l’entrée en vigueur de la directive, soit au cours du dernier trimestre de cette année. D’abord appliquée aux nouveaux types de véhicules, elle sera étendue ensuite aux nouveaux véhicules dont le type est déj en production. Cette mesure, qui concerne tous les véhicules utilitaires et, au premier chef, les autocars de tourisme et les minibus, combinée avec l’obligation du port de la ceinture, contribuera sans nul doute infléchir les chiffres dramatiques que l’Europe a connus ces dernières années.

    [05] Pedestrian safety: Commission welcomes Parliament agreement on control of ‘bull-bars’

    The European Commissioner responsible for enterprise and industry, Günter Verheugen, welcomed the European Parliament’s vote (first reading) on a Directive which will provide better control on the use of frontal protection systems, or ‘bull-bars’ as more commonly known. These controls will ensure an improved level of safety for those vulnerable road users. At the same time the Directive will also allow use of these systems where they can be proven to provide an improvement in safety levels when used on certain vehicles presently on Europe’s roads. The Directive has still to be approved by the Council of Ministers.

    [06] EU Bathing Water: Quality is generally good, but one in ten inland beaches does not meet EU standards

    The Commission today presented its annual report on the quality of bathing water. The report offers information about the quality of water millions of Europeans swim in each summer. Last year the vast majority of bathing sites were deemed safe by virtue of complying with the standards of the 1976 Bathing Water Directive. However, inland waters did not fare so well. While 96.7% of coastal sites met the standards, compliance at inland bathing sites such as lakes and rivers has worsened, with one in ten not up to standard..

    [07] Commission allocates €6 million for humanitarian assistance to vulnerable groups in Tajikistan

    The European Commission has approved a €6 million humanitarian aid package to continue meeting the forgotten needs of vulnerable communities throughout the Republic of Tajikistan. These funds are being allocated through DG Humanitarian Aid - ECHO, a service of the European Commission under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. The assistance provided will focus on three main areas of intervention – health, drinking water and sanitation, and food. Projects funded with this package will be implemented by international agencies and NGO’s operating in the country. ECHO has been continuously providing aid for humanitarian interventions to Tajikistan since 1992, in which time it has allocated over EUR 153 million. .

    [08] Comoros: Commission provides €500,000 in humanitarian aid for victims of Karthala volcano eruption

    The European Commission has allocated €500,000 for emergency interventions to support vulnerable populations affected by the eruption of Karthala volcano, in the eastern region of Grande Comore, the largest island of the Comoros group. The aid is being provided through ECHO, the Commission’s humanitarian aid department, which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. The funds are being channelled through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and will serve mainly to provide safe drinking water for around 38,000 people living in 36 villages who are affected by the contamination of water tanks by gas, lava and toxic fumes.

    [09] Commissioner Andris Piebalgs participates in the opening ceremony of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and discusses energy issues with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr.İlham Aliev

    The The Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs participated today in the opening ceremony of the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline and highlighted the importance of the project for improving security of supply in the European Union and international markets. On this occasion he stated that “50 million tons of oil per year added to the world markets represents an important supply volume particularly in a context of a historical level of oil prices up to 50 dollars per barrel”.

    During his speech the Commissioner stressed the importance of this major international infrastructure project involving Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and a wide range of private companies. The pipeline would allow a critical amount of Caspian oil resources to reach European and international markets. In addition the Commissioner highlighted the crucial role of the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline for reducing environmental risks related to the maritime transport of oil in the Black Sea and Bosporus Straits. The Commissioner referred to the recently established cooperation framework between the European Union and the countries of the Caspian and Black Sea Regions aiming at progressively integrating their energy markets as well as enhancing security and safety of energy infrastructures. In the discussion with the President Aliev the Commissioner recalled the importance of the decision taken by the European Union in June 2004 to include Azerbaijan in the European Neighbourhood Policy. The Commissioner and the President of Azerbaijan touched also upon the important potential of Azerbaijan for the supply of gas to European markets..

    [10] The European Commission and European Parliament sign a revised Framework Agreement

    The two institutions are expected to sign the agreement today in the European Parliament. The revised text that Parliament and the Commission is a consistent and rigorous implementation of the commitments made by President Jose Manuel Barroso in response to the EP resolution of the 18th November. Vice President Margot Wallström, speaking in the Parliament about the revised Framework Agreement said: “I am deeply convinced that it will not be only our two Institutions which will benefit from the new Agreement. The Union as such will benefit from an increased cooperation between Parliament and the Commission: Europe needs a strong European Parliament exercising its powers; Europe equally needs a strong, independent and credible Commission. “Some important changes have been decided as regards the political responsibility of the Commission before Parliament: on potential conflict of interest, the revised Agreement clarifies the responsibility of the Commission President for identifying any conflict of interest and foresees the information to Parliament if an individual case has been re-allocated. On lack of confidence vis- -vis of individual Commissioner, the text makes it clear that it is for the Commission President to take appropriate measures following a decision of Parliament to express a lack of confidence, and to present the outcome of the decisions to Parliament. Finally, as regards replacement of a Member of the Commission during the term of office of the College, the President of Parliament and the President of the Commission will be in contact in order to decide how to ensure that the new Member will present him or herself before Parliament without any delay. Some other key provisions of the text: a regular political dialogue is established between the two Institutions at the highest possible level; the President of the Commission and Vice President Margot Wallström will meet the Conference of Presidents on a regular basis; VP Wallström will also meet regularly with the Conference of Committee Chairs in the EP; the timetable for the Commission’s legislative and work programme has been streamlined and the process leading to the legislative and work programme becomes more political; that timetable will be annexed to the revised Agreement;

    reference is made in the body of the Agreement to the multi-annual inter- institutional programming, a key initiative launched by the current Commission in the spirit of the European Constitution; the text provides for increased transparency as regards the experts groups (assisting the Commission); in that field, the revised Agreement provides for more openness on the activities and the composition of such groups; this will substantially contribute to enhance transparency of the European Union as a whole; and a new procedure is established for consultation of the budgetary authority prior to announcement by the Commission of new financial undertakings at the occasion of donor’s conference; the compromise achieved consolidate existing practises and safeguards the role of the Commission as the institution executing the budget as well as the role of both branches of the budgetary authority

    [11] Rédiffusion de notes

    [12] Bt10: Ireland notifies contaminated consignment stopped in port

    Today the Irish authorities informed the European Commission through the Rapid Alert System that a shipment with a consignment of corn-gluten feed contaminated with the unauthorised GMO maize Bt10 arrived in Ireland yesterday. The Irish authorities are taking the necessary measures to ensure that this consignment does not enter the feed chain. This is the first case of a contaminated consignment arriving in the EU since the adoption of EU measures to prevent the import of products containing the maize Bt10 (see IP/05/437) and it demonstrates that the measures in place are functioning as they should.

    [13] Concentrations: La Commission autorise le rachat de Clearwave par Vodafone

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en application du règlement CE sur les concentrations, le rachat par Vodafone de Clearwave, holding qui possède en République tchèque et en Roumanie des filiales spécialisées dans les télécommunications. La Commission a en effet conclu que l'opération n'entraverait pas de manière significative la concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen (EEE) ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [14] European Commission promotes gender mainstreaming in the Structural Funds

    Today Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, has hosted the third meeting of the High Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming, which comprises senior civil servants from EU Member States responsible for promoting the gender dimension in the management of the structural funds. Best practice examples include a Gender Institute in Sachsen-Anhalt (Germany), pre-school care facilities in Kent (UK) and a micro-credit scheme for female entrepreneurs in Finland.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Ján Figel’ on “The Joy of Education and Training” at the WorldSkills opening ceremony in Helsinki

    Speech by Janez Potocnik on “Working together for the Europe of knowledge

    Speech by Peter Mandelson at the ILO Forum on “Trade policy for a “Social Europe”

    MEMO on the meaning and making of the new EU anti-smoking TV campaigns

    MEMO on bathing water: Overview of the situation in Member States

    MEMO : Onur Air: vers un renforcement de contrôle dans l’UE

    [16] Rédiffusion d’autre matériel

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner on “EU-Russia Relations” at the European Parliament

    Speech by Andris Piebalgs on “Baku-Tbilissi-Ceyhan pipeline is a milestone project for security of supply” From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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