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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-05-27

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] Environnement : la Semaine verte 2005 s'attaque au changement climatique
  • [02] Biosafety : international meeting to adopt binding rules on trade in GMOs
  • [03] Peter Mandelson : "Export/import health rules must not become unjustified barriers to trade"
  • [04] Surplus sugar stocks in five new Member States
  • [05] Renforcement des défenses de l'Europe contre les épidémies : inauguration d'une agence européenne pour le contrôle des maladies
  • [06] EU success : OIE adopts international guidelines on animal welfare
  • [07] EU cohesion policy could create 2.5 million jobs between 2007 and 2013
  • [08] Commission clears acquisition of TIM Hellas by TPG and APAX
  • [09] Commission provides a further €2 million to help returnees and internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu (India)
  • [10] Sécurité aérienne : les leçons de l'affaire Onur Air
  • [11] Commission welcomes appointment of Pascal Lamy as next WTO Director General
  • [12] Conférence de Berlin du 31 mai sur le système de "guichet unique" pour la TVA
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-05-27 Reference: MEX/05/0527 Date: 27/05/2005 EXME05 / 27.5

    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

    27/05/05


  • [01] Environnement : la Semaine verte 2005 s'attaque au changement climatique

    "Luttons contre le changement climatique !" : tel est cette année le slogan (et l'objectif) de la Semaine verte, événement que la Commission européenne organise annuellement pour mettre en exergue, au travers de conférences et d'expositions, la politique environnementale de l'UE. La Semaine verte 2005 se déroulera du 31 mai au 3 juin dans le bâtiment Charlemagne, et précédera la Journée mondiale de l'environnement célébrée le 5 juin. Quelque 200 invités, originaires d'Europe et du monde entier, animeront la vingtaine de conférences, d'ateliers et de débats consacrés divers aspects du changement climatique. Au total, ce sont près de 4000 personnes qui devraient participer cet événement. Des "journées vertes" organisées parallèlement dans les Etats membres conféreront la Semaine verte une dimension paneuropéenne. Le commissaire européen chargé de l'Environnement, M. Stavros Dimas, inaugurera la Semaine verte 2005 le 31 mai, 9h45.

    [02] Biosafety : international meeting to adopt binding rules on trade in GMOs

    Representatives of 119 governments are expected to adopt binding rules on the documentation that has to accompany genetically modified agricultural commodities, such as wheat, maize and soya, when they are transported across borders. These rules will ensure that only approved GMOs enter the territory of the respective Parties. The documentation requirements are the most important point on the agenda of the second meeting of the parties (MOP2) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which will take place 30 May to 3 June in Montreal, Canada.

    [03] Peter Mandelson : "Export/import health rules must not become unjustified barriers to trade"

    European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has today told a Brussels conference on sanitary and phytosanitary rules that international export and import standards need to be based on sound scientific evidence and the option "that restricts trade the least". Commissioner Mandelson told an audience of MEPs, industry and Member State representatives that the EU needs to act more coherently to ensure market access for EU exports in the field of sanitary and phytosanitary products. The Commissioner argued that the EU needs to ensure that European and international standards are scientifically justified and that trade development assistance needs to be better used to help developing countries to meet those standards so they continue to benefit from access to the EU market.

    [04] Surplus sugar stocks in five new Member States

    The Sugar Management Committee yesterday backed a Commission Regulation determining the definitive figures for surplus sugar stocks in the new Member States. This surplus is the sugar quantity exceeding the quantity considered as being normal carry-over stock at 1 May 2004, the date of accession. Surplus stocks have been identified in five of the new Member States : Estonia: 91,464 tons, Cyprus: 40,213 tons, Latvia: 10,589 tons, Slovakia: 10,225 tons and Malta: 2,452 tons. Operators in these countries in possession of surplus stocks now have until 30 November 2005 to eliminate them, as agreed by the Commission on 20 April 2005 (see IP/05/459). Any stocks remaining after this date will be subject to a charge, paid into the EU budget.

    [05] Renforcement des défenses de l'Europe contre les épidémies : inauguration d'une agence européenne pour le contrôle des maladies

    Le Centre européen de prévention et de contrôle des maladies (CEPCM), la nouvelle agence communautaire pour la santé, sera officiellement inauguré lors d'une cérémonie prévue aujourd'hui Stockholm. Markos Kyprianou, le commissaire européen chargé de la santé et de la protection des consommateurs, Zsuzsanna Jakab, directrice du CEPCM, le ministre de la santé Mars Di Bartolemeo pour la présidence luxembourgeoise, et Morgan Johansson, ministre suédois de la santé publique, comptent parmi les orateurs de la cérémonie, organisée au prestigieux Forum Nobel de l'Institut Karolinska de Stockholm. Le SRAS en 2003 et la menace d'une pandémie de grippe ont éveillé des inquiétudes quant la rapidité de propagation des maladies infectieuses par-del les frontières, l'heure de la mondialisation. Ce problème se pose particulièrement dans l'UE, où des millions de gens traversent chaque jour les frontières. Le CEPCM permettra de renforcer et de développer le système européen de surveillance des maladies l'échelle du continent (voir MEMO/03/155) et de fournir l'UE des conseils scientifiques fiables sur les menaces que représentent les maladies infectieuses.

    [06] EU success : OIE adopts international guidelines on animal welfare

    The European Commission welcomed the adoption of the first ever detailed international guidelines on farm animal welfare at this week's General Session of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) in Paris. The guidelines, which were adopted unanimously by the OIE's 167 member countries, concern the slaughter of animals for human consumption, the humane killing of animals for disease control purposes and the transport of animals by sea and land. The EU has fully supported the OIE in the development of the guidelines, starting with the EU-sponsored OIE global conference on animal welfare in February 2004. Mutually agreed animal welfare guidelines will greatly assist the EU in reaching a common understanding on animal welfare with our international trading partners. At this week's General Session OIE member countries also adopted a resolution on future OIE activities on animal welfare. Future issues to be considered will include the welfare of farmed fish, pets and stray animal control, wildlife and zoo animals as well as laboratory animals kept for experimental purposes. Background information on the OIE and further details on the General Session are available via the OIE website: <a href="http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm">http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm

    [07] EU cohesion policy could create 2.5 million jobs between 2007 and 2013

    Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, sets out how she expects a reformed cohesion policy to contribute to raising employment rates in the European Union. EU-funded programmes affect job creation in two main ways : they create job opportunities through additional investments, and they help to improve the working of the labour market, for example through training or measures to smooth restructuring. Independent evaluations of current and past regional policy suggest that the impact has already been substantial. The clearer focus on jobs and growth – a hallmark of Ms Hübner's term as Commissioner so far – suggests an even greater impact on job creation in future.

    [08] Commission clears acquisition of TIM Hellas by TPG and APAX

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of the Greek undertaking TIM Hellas Telecommunications S.A. (TIM Hellas) by TPG Advisors IV, Inc. (TPG) of the US and British undertaking APAX Europe VI (APAX), controlled by the Guernsey-based Hirzell Trust. TPG is the manager of a group of multiple parallel equity funds investing in a variety of companies through acquisitions and corporate restructurings. APAX is a pan-European investment fund making investments in a range of industry sectors. TIM Hellas is a Greek mobile telecommunications operator. It is also active in the retail sale of mobile telephones in Greece. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [09] Commission provides a further €2 million to help returnees and internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu (India)

    The European Commission adopted today the eight allocation of humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka since the February 2002 ceasefire agreement. The longest period of truce ever since the conflict started in 1983 has allowed more than 380,000 internally displaced persons living in the north and north- east of Sri Lanka to return home. The new funding decision, to be implemented by the Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), will help the new returnees to restart quickly their livelihood as well as providing basic support to vulnerable displaced people living in welfare centres. Also ECHO will help to improve the nutritional status of Tamil women and children still exiled in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu in India.

    [10] Sécurité aérienne : les leçons de l'affaire Onur Air

    Réunis le 26 mai l'initiative de la Commission européenne, le comité d'experts pour la sécurité aérienne des Etats membres a pris un certain nombre de décisions pour harmoniser l'approche européenne dans l'affaire Onur Air. Interdite de vol depuis la mi-mai dans quatre pays dont trois Etats membres de l'Union européenne pour des manquements constatés aux règles de sécurité, la compagnie aérienne turque avait pu néanmoins dévier ses vols vers d'autres Etats de l'Union voisins. Le comité a décidé d'étendre tous les Etats membres les conditions récemment posées par les quatre pays concernés pour lever l'interdiction de vol d'Onur Air. Les experts sont convenus de créer un système d'alerte lorsqu'un Etat membre envisage de prendre des mesures l'égard d'une compagnie aérienne d'un pays tiers. La Commission proposera rapidement un renforcement de la législation qui prévoit la possibilité d’un système d’interdiction de vols harmonisée en Europe, pour garantir le plus haut niveau de sécurité pour les passagers aériens.

    [11] Commission welcomes appointment of Pascal Lamy as next WTO Director General

    On 26 May, the European Commission welcomed the WTO General Council's appointment of Mr Pascal Lamy as the next Director General of the WTO. President Barroso said : "I am very pleased to see former EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy appointed as the next Director General of the WTO, with extensive and broad support from across the WTO's membership. The WTO faces a decisive half-year of negotiation ahead of December's Hong Kong Ministerial. The success of the Round, creating greater opportunities for developed and developing countries alike, now demands political will and practical engagement from all parties. Pascal Lamy is, with his knowledge of trade matters, his international experience, his concern for development and his constant search for consensus, uniquely qualified to lead the WTO at this defining moment."

    [12] Conférence de Berlin du 31 mai sur le système de "guichet unique" pour la TVA

    Conjointement avec la Chambre fédérale allemande des consultants en fiscalité (la "Bundessteuerberaterkammer"), la Commission européenne organise une conférence sur la simplification des obligations relatives la TVA le 31 mai Berlin, en Allemagne. Cette conférence permettra de réunir des experts en la matière provenant des administrations des Etats membres et du secteur des entreprises. Elle aura pour sujet central la proposition présentée par la Commission en octobre 2004 en vue de simplifier les obligations relatives la TVA, qui prévoit notamment la mise en place d'un système de "guichet unique" grâce auquel les assujettis pourraient remplir toutes leurs obligations relatives la TVA dans l'Etat membre où ils sont établis, et ce pour la totalité des opérations qu’ils effectuent dans l'ensemble de l'UE (voir IP/04/1331 et MEMO/04/249). Une conférence de presse ouverte aux journalistes sera donnée 10 heures. Pour de plus amples informations, consulter le programme de la conférence sur le site suivant: <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/index_fr.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/index_fr.htm

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of May 2005

    Tableau récapitulatif - procédures prévues pour la ratification de la Constitution européenne

    Speech by Janez Potočnik : "Bringing ideas to the market: Knowledge for Growth – the role of EU research" at EIRMA annual conference (Copenhagen)

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "A Changing Landscape for Business in Europe" at the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Ireland (Dublin)

    Speech by Peter Mandelson at Conference on EU Exports and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

    Calendrier du 30 mai au 3 juin 2005 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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