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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-11-08

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] Secteur financier : la Commission présente une analyse des obstacles aux fusions et acquisitions transfrontalières
  • [02] International customs operation "FAKE"
  • [03] Plus de transparence et une meilleure réglementation : la Commission met en ligne un registre public des groupes d'experts
  • [04] More than €49 million to help Romania repair rail and roads damaged by floods
  • [05] Partnership agreements with Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia on euro information
  • [06] Commission clears joint venture between Svitzer and Wilhelmsen
  • [07] Galileo - accord entre l'UE et le Maroc
  • [08] La Commission fournit €5 millions pour répondre la crise alimentaire au Malawi
  • [09] Réduire les essais sur les animaux : la Commission convient d'un partenariat avec les entreprises
  • [10] Public Internet consultation on animal welfare
  • [11] Benita Ferrero-Waldner to meet PM Ariel Sharon and President Abu Mazen
  • [12] Commission takes formal decision to open a Delegation in Baghdad
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-11-08 Reference: MEX/05/1108 Date: 08/11/2005 EXME05 / 8.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Presse etb

    Communication

    08/11/05


  • [01] Secteur financier : la Commission présente une analyse des obstacles aux fusions et acquisitions transfrontalières

    La Commission européenne a présenté au Conseil des ministres de l'Economie et des Finances (Ecofin) son analyse préliminaire des raisons pour lesquelles il y a eu jusqu' présent peu de concentrations transfrontalières dans le secteur financier de l'UE. Une enquête auprès des acteurs du marché lancée en avril 2005 a aidé identifier les principaux obstacles. La présente analyse permettra de mieux voir ce qu'il y a lieu de faire pour les surmonter.

    [02] International customs operation "FAKE"

    Almost 30000 counterfeit batteries at the port of Thessaloniki, 60000 light bulbs at Gioia Tauro in Italy, several hundreds of thousands of packets of counterfeit branded cigarettes at the port of Antwerp and tonnes and tonnes of counterfeit clothing all over Europe : these are just some of the wide range of counterfeit products netted by the customs operation "FAKE". This joint operation by the 25 EU Member States was the first to be coordinated in the new permanent technical infrastructure of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). It was organised by OLAF and the Directorate General for Taxation and the Customs Union (TAXUD) from May 2005 onwards. Its final results were presented today in Brussels and Rome.

    [03] Plus de transparence et une meilleure réglementation : la Commission met en ligne un registre public des groupes d'experts

    La Commission européenne a établi un registre public des groupes d'experts qui l'assistent dans la préparation des propositions législatives et des initiatives politiques. Le nouveau registre couvre les organes consultatifs formels et informels. Il fournit des informations sur la nature et les tâches de chaque groupe et indique quel service au sein de la Commission est responsable de la supervision du groupe.

    [04] More than €49 million to help Romania repair rail and roads damaged by floods

    The European Regional Policy Commissioner, Danuta Hübner, has announced that Romania will receive fast-track support of more than €49 million to help repair rail and roads damaged by floods. The Commission decided to offer this aid to Romania through the ISPA programme (Pre-Accession Instrument for Structural Policies), which helps candidate countries prepare to become members to the European Union. The money will be used for the reconstruction of railways and roads in Romania damaged and destroyed during the floods in July and August.

    [05] Partnership agreements with Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia on euro information

    Today, the Ministers of Finance of Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia and Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia have signed partnership agreements under which the European Commission will support national euro information campaigns as part of the practical preparations for the adoption of Europe's single currency. The three countries are the front runners for adopting the euro among the ten new countries that joined the EU in May 2004. This is because they aspire to join on 1 January 2007 and their currencies joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERMII) on 28 June 2004. However, the decision to adopt the euro will be taken by the Ecofin Council after discussion by the European Council on a proposal from the Commission concluding that one, two or all three fulfil the "Maastricht" convergence criteria laid down in the EU Treaty. This so- called Convergence Report will be prepared next year. The Partnership agreements are part of the Prince programme (Information programme for the european citizen) created in 1995, ahead of the launch of the euro, to ensure that citizens are duly informed about the euro. They will support Member States communication activities such as media campaigns, leaflets and conferences.

    [06] Commission clears joint venture between Svitzer and Wilhelmsen

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the creation of a joint venture by Aktienselskabet Em. Z. Svitzer and its subsidiaries (Svitzer) of Denmark and Wilhelmsen Offshore & Chartering AS (Wilhelmsen) of Norway. Svitzer is mainly active in harbour towage, salvage, terminal towage, emergency response and rescue services, ocean towage services and the provision of crew boat services. Its European operations are primarily located in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK. Svitzer is ultimately controlled by A.P Møller-Mærsk A/S (APMM) of Denmark. Wilhelmsen operates crew boat services and chartering of vessels. Wilhelmsen is ultimately controlled by Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WW), a global provider of maritime transportation and associated services. The proposed concentration consists of a 50%-50% joint venture (JV). All the commercial crew boat activities of the parties will be transferred to the JV. The rest of their businesses will remain unchanged. The assets to be transferred to the JV will consist of 55 vessels, 23 vessels provided by Svitzer and 32 by Wilhelmsen. The JV will operate in South East Asia and the Middle East (mainly Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Indonesia) and will not be active in the European Economic Area. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [07] Galileo - accord entre l'UE et le Maroc

    Un accord a été conclu entre l'Union européenne et le Royaume du Maroc sur la participation de ce dernier au programme Galileo. L'accord a été paraphé le 8 novembre Bruxelles par Heinz Hilbrecht, Directeur, qui représentait la Commission européenne, et S. E. M. Alem Menouar, Ambassadeur du Maroc auprès de l'Union européenne. L'accord comprend une coopération industrielle et scientifique et il permettra également le développement d'applications spécifiques pour le Maroc et son environnement géographique (Méditerranée occidentale et Afrique de l'Ouest). Le vice-président Jacques Barrot, responsable de la politique européenne des transports, a déclaré : "Je me réjouis de cet accord. Le Maroc est le premier pays africain rejoindre le projet Galileo."

    [08] La Commission fournit €5 millions pour répondre la crise alimentaire au Malawi

    En plus des actions proactives lancées depuis le mois d'avril en réponse l'évolution préoccupante de la sécurité alimentaire au Malawi, la Commission européenne vient d'allouer €5 millions supplémentaires pour des interventions d'urgence destinées venir en aide aux groupes les plus vulnérables.

    [09] Réduire les essais sur les animaux : la Commission convient d'un partenariat avec les entreprises

    La réduction des essais sur les animaux est l'un des objectifs du nouveau "Partenariat européen visant promouvoir les alternatives aux essais sur les animaux". Les organisations professionnelles dans les secteurs des produits pharmaceutiques, chimiques, cosmétiques et biotechnologiques ainsi que la Commission européenne se sont mises d'accord sur cette approche l'occasion de la conférence sur les alternatives aux essais sur les animaux "Europe Goes Alternative" qui s'est déroulée le 7 novembre Bruxelles. La conférence a été organisée conjointement par le Vice- président de la Commission européenne Günter Verheugen et le Commissaire Janez Potočnik. La mise au point de nouvelles méthodes permettra non seulement de réduire les essais sur les animaux, mais aussi d'améliorer la compétitivité des entreprises européennes. La meilleure alternative commerciale au "test d'apyrogénicité sur le lapin", employé pour détecter la présence d'impuretés dans les médicaments, est un essai utilisant des cellules humaines qui représente un volume d'affaires de €200 millions au niveau mondial et qui permettrait de sauver la vie de 200.000 lapins par an (cf. IP/03/662).

    [10] Public Internet consultation on animal welfare

    The European Commission has launched an internet consultation on the welfare of farm animals, to assess the level of public awareness of animal welfare issues, and to gauge how important they are for EU citizens. Questions in the online survey cover the perceived level of animal welfare protection in the EU, including for individual species, and where improvements could be made. Other topics relate to the sources and quality of information on animal welfare, and measures that could be taken at EU- level to increase awareness on this issue. Participants in the survey are also asked what results they would expect to see if animal welfare standards were to become a greater consideration in food production. This online survey, which will run until 11 December 2005, is the second initiative in the framework of the Commission's consultation on animal welfare, following the gathering of comments from the Advisory Group on the Food Chain and Animal and Plant Health in July. The Commission will adopt an Action Plan on Animal Welfare in early December, and the results of this public consultation will be published simultaneously. For further information, see :

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/consultations/action_plan_farmed_background_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/consultations/action_plan_farmed_background_en.htm

    [11] Benita Ferrero-Waldner to meet PM Ariel Sharon and President Abu Mazen

    The European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner will travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories this week (9-11 November) to hold talks with leading figures in the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Abu Mazen. The trip comes days after the EU gave agreement in principle to invitations from both parties to provide a third party presence on the Gaza/Egypt border, and this new initiative will be a major focus of the Commissioner's visit. Other topics will be the situation following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, the Commission's recently published strategy for EU- Palestine cooperation, and the need for both parties to meet their Road Map obligations in full. The Commissioner will also discuss with each side the implementation of their Action Plans under the European Neighbourhood Policy, which is helping to facilitate trilateral economic cooperation between the EU and the two parties.

    [12] Commission takes formal decision to open a Delegation in Baghdad

    Today, the European Commission has formally taken the decision to open a Delegation in Iraq. The Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero- Waldner indicated in June that she hoped to open a Delegation soon. This formal decision will now allow preparation work to get underway. The formal undertaking to open a Delegation is a sign of the Commission's commitment to the new Iraq, as Iraqis prepare for the election of their first constitutional government. It reflects the growing role that the EU is playing in Iraq's political and economic reconstruction and the need for the Commission to establish a permanent presence in the country to promote political links and support Community reconstruction assistance. The decision is in line with the conclusions reached at the June International Conference held in Brussels last June.

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Case Study – Customs operation FAKE

    Joint Customs Operation "FAKE" : questions & answers

    Speech by Stavros Dimas : "Renewable Energy Policy in the European Union" at the The Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference (07/11)

    Speech by Franco Frattini : "Legal migration and the follow-up to the Green paper and on the fight against illegal immigration" (07/11, University of Harvard, Boston)

    Speech by Margot Wallström : "Bridging the Gap; how to bring Europe and its citizens closer together?" at Stakeholders’ Forum co-organised by the European economic and Social Committee and the European Commission

    Discours de M. Vladimir pidla : "Moving Forward" la Conférence de la Présidence britannique sur l'égalité entre les femmes et les hommes (Birmingham) 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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