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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-11-24

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] Politique européenne de voisinage : une année de progrès
  • [02] Euro-Mediterranean Summit to agree on an ambitious 5-year work programme ; José Manuel Barroso to attend
  • [03] Mediterranean partners to benefit from over €850 million in EU grant support in 2005
  • [04] Commission proposes changes to JLS databases to strengthen EU internal security and facilitate legitimate travelling
  • [05] Prevention, preparedness and response in the fight against terrorism : Commission launches Green Paper on Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • [06] 2006 Baltic fish quotas : Commission proposes to make cod fishing possibilities conditional on a reduction in fishing effort to rebuild depleted stocks
  • [07] Marco Polo : €30 millions pour des services de fret
  • [08] Commission prohibits real estate transfer tax exemption for housing companies in Berlin
  • [09] La Commission refuse d'admettre la prolongation du délai de livraison d'un navire de croisière construit par un chantier naval italien
  • [10] Avian influenza : adjustments to import bans and to biosecurity requirements agreed
  • [11] Une intégration économique internationale croissante : opportunités saisir et défis relever
  • [12] Danuta Hübner presents new initiatives for financing investment for growth and jobs in EU Member States and regions
  • [13] Le rapport sur l'état du phénomène de la drogue en Europe montre que l'UE compte plus de 2 millions de consommateurs problématiques de drogue
  • [14] Eurostat Yearbook 2005 : a portal to European statistics ; differences and similarities within the EU seen through figures
  • [15] Joe Borg : "Extracting value from the oceans through an EU maritime policy"
  • [16] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-11-24 Reference: MEX/05/1124 Date: 24/11/2005 EXME05 / 24.11

    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

    24/11/05


  • [01] Politique européenne de voisinage : une année de progrès

    Depuis la présentation des premiers plans d'action de la politique européenne de voisinage (PEV) il y a un an, cette dernière est en train de faire ses preuves en tant qu'instrument clé pour promouvoir la bonne gouvernance et le développement économique et social dans les pays qui bordent les frontières terrestres et maritimes de l'Union européenne. La Commission européenne a examiné une communication présentant les progrès réalisés jusqu' présent et soulignant les priorités pour l'année venir. Ce document explique comment la PEV répond aux souhaits de relations plus étroites avec l'UE exprimés par ses voisins et aux préoccupations des citoyens européens que suscitent des questions telles que l'immigration et la criminalité organisée, et comment cette politique contribue la réalisation des objectifs de la stratégie européenne de sécurité.

    [02] Euro-Mediterranean Summit to agree on an ambitious 5-year work programme ; José Manuel Barroso to attend

    For the first time ever since the Barcelona Declaration in 1995, Euro- Mediterranean heads of State and government will meet to mark the tenth anniversary of the Partnership. At this historic Summit, they are expected to announce a Declaration on a common vision and decide on a 5-year work programme that aims both at reinforcing relations and meeting the tough challenges that lie ahead for the region. Returning to the city of its birth, European and Mediterranean partners, together with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will gather in Barcelona on 27 and 28 November, to agree on an ambitious agenda of revitalisation and reform. The proposed work programme includes far- reaching proposals for addressing challenges such as terrorism, political and economic reform and migration. Along with the 5-year work programme and Declaration the Summit will also present a Code of Conduct to Counter Terrorism.

    [03] Mediterranean partners to benefit from over €850 million in EU grant support in 2005

    The European Commission's aid to Mediterranean partners will exceed €850 million in 2005. Most aid will be delivered through the MEDA programme. The aid package demonstrates the EU's continued commitment to the region's development. This is in addition to around €2 billion annually in loans.

    [04] Commission proposes changes to JLS databases to strengthen EU internal security and facilitate legitimate travelling

    With a view to achieving a higher level of EU internal security the European Commission today adopted a package of measures consisting of : (a) a proposal for a Council Decision concerning the access for consultation to the Visa Information System (VIS) to authorities of Member States responsible for internal security and to Europol for the purposes of the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and of other serious criminal offences, and (b) a communication on the medium- and long- term development of the three common European databases in the field of justice and home affairs : the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS) and EURODAC, the database containing fingerprints of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

    [05] Prevention, preparedness and response in the fight against terrorism : Commission launches Green Paper on Critical Infrastructure Protection

    The European Commission has adopted a green paper on a Programme for critical infrastructure protection which outlines the options on what would enhance prevention, preparedness and response to the Union's critical infrastructure protection. The Green Paper provides options on how the Commission may respond to the Council’s request to establish an “European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection” (EPCIP) and a “Critical Infrastructure Warning Information Network” (CIWIN) and constitutes the second phase of a consultation process that began with a Commission Communication on critical Infrastructure Protection that was adopted in October 2004.

    [06] 2006 Baltic fish quotas : Commission proposes to make cod fishing possibilities conditional on a reduction in fishing effort to rebuild depleted stocks

    Today, the European Commission tabled a proposal on fishing possibilities and associated conditions for certain fish stocks in the Baltic Sea for 2006 (see table). While the state of most Baltic fish stocks is fairly good, allowing for stable or even increased fishing possibilities to be proposed, the cod stocks continue to give cause for concern. The objective is therefore to rebuild these cod stocks and protect those in a sound biological state while maintaining, as far as possible, the economic activities of the fleets concerned. With regard to cod, the Commission proposes to increase fishing possibilities but only as a step towards a long-term recovery plan for which the Commission will shortly table a proposal. Thus measures would have to be taken in parallel to reduce the fishing effort by 10% in 2006, in addition to the setting up of temporary closures.

    [07] Marco Polo : €30 millions pour des services de fret

    La Commission européenne a publié aujourd'hui sur son site web le troisième appel de propositions dans le cadre du programme Marco Polo. L'objectif de ce programme lancé en juin 2003 est de réduire l'engorgement des infrastructures routières et d'améliorer les performances environnementales du système de transport de marchandises. Pour ce troisième appel, le budget a été augmenté de 50% et porté €30,1 millions afin de résoudre les problèmes d'engorgement croissants et de répondre la demande des marchés. Les entreprises commerciales de l'UE et des pays tiers participants sont invitées présenter des propositions en vue de la création de nouveaux services de fret et de l'amélioration des performances environnementales du transport de marchandises.

    [08] Commission prohibits real estate transfer tax exemption for housing companies in Berlin

    The European Commission has prohibited, under the EC Treaty rules on state aid, the implementation of a German aid scheme which foresees to exempt housing companies in the labour market region of Berlin from the real estate transfer tax in case of mergers and acquisitions. The objective of the scheme is to redevelop the housing market in the labour market region of Berlin as this market is characterised by oversupply. However, as the scheme is not targeted at so-called 'pockets of deprivation' where high levels of social exclusion exist, the Commission considers that a tax exemption covering the whole of Berlin is disproportionately wide, and the resultant distortion of competition cannot be justified under the EC Treaty (Article 87).

    [09] La Commission refuse d'admettre la prolongation du délai de livraison d'un navire de croisière construit par un chantier naval italien

    La Commission européenne a décidé, en application des règles du traité CE relatives aux aides d'Etat, de ne pas admettre la prolongation du délai de livraison d’un navire de croisière construit au chantier naval Fincantieri en Italie. En application des règles relatives aux aides d'Etat de l'UE, les aides au fonctionnement en faveur de la construction navales ont été supprimées fin 2000. Des aides au fonctionnement concurrence de 9% de la valeur des contrats de construction navale signés avant cette date ont continué d'être autorisées pour les contrats exécutés dans un délai de trois ans. Des dérogations cette règle peuvent être accordées des conditions strictes. En octobre 2004, la Commission a accordé une telle dérogation pour quatre navires de croisière construits par Fincantieri. Elle a, en revanche, dû refuser la prolongation du délai pour le cinquième navire, étant donné qu'il était clair dès la signature du contrat en 2000 que la livraison du navire dans un délai de trois ans n'était techniquement pas possible. Aucune aide ne peut par conséquent être versée pour le cinquième navire.

    [10] Avian influenza : adjustments to import bans and to biosecurity requirements agreed

    Member States have endorsed a number of Commission decisions on import restrictions and biosecurity measures currently in place against the risk of avian influenza, at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) on 23 November. It was agreed that, for Turkey and Croatia, the existing ban on import to the EU will be regionalised to cover only the areas previously affected by avian influenza, given the strict control measures applied in these countries. In relation to Romania, the ban on imports of live poultry will continue to apply for the whole country, whilst a regionalised approach is now taken for poultry meat and poultry products. For Russia, it was agreed to prolong the existing measures and to further apply the principle of regionalisation. The Standing Committee also voted in favour of a Commission proposal to extend until 31 May 2006 biosecurity measures in place to protect domestic flocks from avian influenza.

    [11] Une intégration économique internationale croissante : opportunités saisir et défis relever

    L'Europe tire profit de la mondialisation. Ses populations en ont bénéficié durant la seconde moitié du siècle dernier, et la mutation économique rapide que nous connaissons aujourd'hui l'échelle mondiale offre la perspective de nouvelles améliorations de nos niveaux de vie. Ces retombées positives pourraient bien emprunter les mêmes canaux que par le passé: prix plus bas pour les consommateurs et les entreprises ; volumes d'échanges internationaux plus importants ; élévation des niveaux de productivité et des salaires réels ; meilleure diffusion du progrès technologique et élargissement des variétés de produits. Toutefois, l'UE, qui est inextricablement liée l'économie mondiale, doit jouer un rôle actif et relever les défis de la mondialisation. Elle doit réfléchir la manière de réaliser les opportunités offertes par la mondialisation, mais elle doit aussi s'attacher la définition de politiques appropriées, qui concilient flexibilité et équité, visant doter les citoyens des qualifications, du soutien et des incitations qui leur permettront de réussir dans un monde en évolution permanente.

    [12] Danuta Hübner presents new initiatives for financing investment for growth and jobs in EU Member States and regions

    Today in Brussels, more than 500 representatives from Member States, candidate countries and regions, as well as from the banking, finance and business sectors attended a major conference on the theme of "Financing Growth and Cohesion in the Enlarged EU". The conference was organised by Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy, in cooperation with the EU Presidency and the international financial institutions. Commissioner Hübner unveiled a fresh initiative in the field of urban renewal and updated the participants on the recent launched initiatives for the reform of cohesion policy, Jaspers and Jeremie.

    [13] Le rapport sur l'état du phénomène de la drogue en Europe montre que l'UE compte plus de 2 millions de consommateurs problématiques de drogue

    Le nombre de consommateurs problématiques de drogue dans l'Union européenne s'établit aujourd'hui 2,1 millions, plus d'un million d'entre eux étant probablement des consommateurs par voie d'injection. Environ 9 millions d'Européens (3% du nombre total d'adultes) ont consommé de la cocaïne un moment donné de leur vie. Environ 2,6 millions d'adultes dans l'UE (0,8%) ont consommé récemment de l'ecstasy. Plus de 62 millions d'Européens (soit plus de 20% du nombre total d'adultes) ont déj goûté au cannabis et environ 20 millions (plus de 6% du nombre total d'adultes) en ont consommé au cours des 12 derniers mois. Ces chiffres spectaculaires proviennent du rapport 2005 sur l'état du phénomène de la drogue en Europe, publié par l'Observatoire européen des drogues et des toxicomanies (OEDT), voir <a href="http://annualreport.emcdda.eu.int">http://annualreport.emcdda.eu.int, qui a été présenté la presse aujourd'hui.

    [14] Eurostat Yearbook 2005 : a portal to European statistics ; differences and similarities within the EU seen through figures

    What is the share of housing, food and clothing in households' total consumption expenditure in the EU25 ? In which Member State does the highest proportion of enterprises have broadband internet access, and which has the largest production of wood ? Which Member State has the highest teacher/pupil ratio ? The answers to these questions, and to many more, can be found in the 10th edition of the Eurostat Yearbook, published by Eurostat.

    [15] Joe Borg : "Extracting value from the oceans through an EU maritime policy"

    European Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Commissioner Joe Borg will address the Commonwealth Business Forum in Malta this afternoon. In his speech, "Extracting Value from the Oceans", Mr Borg will highlight how a holistic and integrated EU Maritime Policy can contribute to developing a thriving maritime economy, while preserving a sustainable ocean enviroment. He will outline the Comission's plans to create an innovative policy framework that will enable those within the business community to seize, and fully exploit, the prospects that arise. With a view to establishing where some of the potential for this exploitation lies, Mr Borg will outline his visions for the future maritime policy for the EU - and reaffirm his conviction that business has a leading role to play in extracting value from the oceans. On the issue of how to achieve sustainable future growth in areas such as coastal tourism, fisheries, aquaculture, offshore oil and gas drilling, wind, tidal and wave energy, biotechnology, shipbuilding and maritime transport, Joe Borg says : "My answer revolves around action on three main fronts: firstly, we need to develop better scientific knowledge of the state of the oceans. This must be supported by increased marine research and technological developments, as well as by an effort to share scientific knowledge among stakeholders. Secondly, we need to establish a new mode of governance for a policy that cuts across so many different interests and that involves such a wide range of different stakeholders. Thirdly, we need to recognise the importance of the international dimension of ocean management and, in so doing, pursue leadership on this front within international fora with global institutions, third countries and organisations such as the Commonwealth."

    [16] Autre matériel diffusé

    Euro-Mediterranean Partnership - Where are we 10 years after the Barcelona Declaration?

    Improving efficiency and interoperability of large-scale data bases in the field of Justice, Freedom and Security - a short glossary

    Conference on Financing Growth and Jobs in the Enlarged EU

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "Making scare resources work harder" at Conference on Financing Growth and Jobs in the Enlarged EU

    Speech by Franco Frattini : "Responses to the threat of terrorism and effects on communities" (London)

    Speech by Günter Verheugen : "Wachstum und Kohäsion finanzieren: der EU Beitrag" at the Conference 'Financing Growth & Cohesion in the enlarged EU'

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "The EU Mortgage Credit Market – The Commission perspective" to the European Mortgage Federation

    Speech by Margot Wallström : "Approaching the Challenges of Emerging Markets through Sustainable and Competitive European Business" at the European Parliament

    Speech by Olli Rehn : "Accession negotiations with Turkey: the time for celebration is over, now comes the time for delivery" at EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (23/11)

    Speech by Peter Mandelson : "Doha: Goals for Hong Kong" to European Parliament Trade Committee (23/11)

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "Postal Services and the Internal Market" at Annual DPWNight (Deutsche Post World Net) Event 2005 (23/11) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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