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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-01-16

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] Marché intérieur : la Commission demande l'avis de l'industrie et d'autres parties intéressées sur la future politique des brevets
  • [02] Markos Kyprianou visits China to discuss avian flu, influenza preparedness and product safety
  • [03] Benita Ferrero-Waldner's visit to Middle East (16-17/01)
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of KBX by Kalyani and Brembo
  • [05] Commission approves acquisition of joint control of Q-Telecom by TPG IV and Apax
  • [06] VAT : Commission tackles Germany over taxation of supplies of services by executors of wills
  • [07] Fiscalité indirecte : recours contre la Grèce en matière de TVA sur les contrats d'assistance routière et de taxation des voitures
  • [08] Commission requests Portugal to end discriminatory taxation of foreign banks
  • [09] Fiscalité directe : la Commission décide de saisir la Cour de justice contre l'Espagne au sujet de deux dispositions fiscales
  • [10] Report of the Commission to the Council on visa waiver reciprocity with certain third countries
  • [11] La Commission nomme un nouveau Chef de Représentation au Luxembourg
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-01-16 Reference: MEX/06/0116 Date: 16/01/2006 EXME06 / 16.1

    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

    16/01/06


  • [01] Marché intérieur : la Commission demande l'avis de l'industrie et d'autres parties intéressées sur la future politique des brevets

    La Commission européenne a lancé une consultation publique afin de déterminer comment une action future, dont le but est de créer un système de protection des brevets l'échelle de l'UE, pourrait le mieux prendre en compte les besoins des parties intéressées. Le brevet communautaire demeure une priorité, mais la Commission souhaite également savoir quelles seraient les mesures prendre brève échéance pour améliorer le système des brevets en Europe. Toutes les parties intéressées, l'industrie comme les particuliers, sont invitées répondre pour le 31 mars 2006 (date limite).

    [02] Markos Kyprianou visits China to discuss avian flu, influenza preparedness and product safety

    On 16-21 January 2006, the European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou will visit the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong. He will in particular represent the European Commission at the International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Influenza in Beijing on January 18th (see IP/06/29). The Commission is co-hosting the ministerial conference with the World Bank and the government of China. Commissioner Kyprianou will also visit a medical laboratory specialising in avian flu and SARS, and the infectious diseases' ward of a hospital. He shall also visit a toy factory and address EU-China cooperation in product safety, in particular regarding toys, safety, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese authorities.

    [03] Benita Ferrero-Waldner's visit to Middle East (16-17/01)

    The European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, is visiting the Palestinian Territories and Israel on 16th and 17th January. During her visit she expects to meet President Mahmoud Abbas, with whom she will review the situation in the West Bank and Gaza in the run up to the elections scheduled for 25th January. With the elections only 10 days away, the Commissioner will take the opportunity to meet representatives of the EU Election Observation Mission which is already active on the ground. Another main focus of her trip will be the contribution that the EU is making to reconstruction of Gaza following Israel’s disengagement. The Commissioner will also meet acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to express Europe's concern for the health of Prime Sharon, to review bilateral relations with Israel, and prospects for the peace process after the Israeli and Palestinian elections.

    [04] Commission clears acquisition of KBX by Kalyani and Brembo

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of a newly created company KBX Motorbike Products Private Ltd (KBX) of India by Kalyani Brakes Ltd (Kalyani) of India and Brembo S.p.A (Brembo) of Italy. Kalyani is part of the Bosch group and is active in the manufacturing and sale of hydraulic brakes for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and in the manufacturing and sale of braking systems for two wheeled vehicles. Brembo is active in the manufacturing of braking systems for passenger cars, racing cars, two wheeled vehicles and commercial vehicles. The transaction sets up a new joint venture (KBX) in India. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [05] Commission approves acquisition of joint control of Q-Telecom by TPG IV and Apax

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed joint acquisition of Q-Telecommunications ("Q-Telecom"), the smallest mobile telephony operator in Greece, by TPG Advisors IV ("TPG IV") and Apax Partners Holdings ("Apax"), private investors who already jointly control the third largest Greek mobile telephony supplier, TIM Hellas. After a thorough investigation, the Commission has concluded that the operation will not result in a significant impediment to effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

    [06] VAT : Commission tackles Germany over taxation of supplies of services by executors of wills

    The European Commission has decided to send Germany a formal request to change its laws and resulting administrative practices regarding the place of taxation of the services provided by executors of wills. German law treats the place of taxation of such services as that from which the executors provide their services. The Commission considers that these services are similar to the services provided by lawyers and therefore that the place of taxation should, under the European Community VAT rules, be the place of residence or establishment of the customer. Germany's interpretation may lead to cases of double taxation. The Commission's request is in the form of a Reasoned Opinion, the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. In the absence of a satisfactory amendment to the German tax rules within two months of receipt of the reasoned opinion, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice.

    [07] Fiscalité indirecte : recours contre la Grèce en matière de TVA sur les contrats d'assistance routière et de taxation des voitures

    La Commission européenne a décidé de traduire la Grèce devant la Cour européenne de justice face son refus d'exonérer de TVA l'aspect "assurance" des contrats d'assistance routière. Dans une affaire distincte, la Commission a également décidé de former un recours contre la Grèce devant la Cour pour ses règles de taxation des voitures. La méthode utilisée en Grèce pour calculer la dépréciation des véhicules d'occasion importés dans le pays ne garantit pas que le montant de la taxe d'immatriculation due n'excèdera pas celui de la taxe résiduelle incorporé dans la valeur des véhicules d'ancienneté similaire immatriculés en Grèce l'état neuf.

    [08] Commission requests Portugal to end discriminatory taxation of foreign banks

    The European Commission has sent Portugal a formal request to amend its tax legislation concerning outbound interest payments. A withholding tax of 20% is levied on the gross interest paid by Portuguese resident borrowers to non-resident lenders. Interest paid to resident financial institutions, on the other hand, is not subject to a withholding tax, although it is subject to the Portuguese corporate income tax. The result is that interest payments to foreign banks may sometimes be taxed more heavily than interest payments to Portuguese banks. The Commission considers that the higher taxation of foreign banks restricts the freedom to provide services and the free movement of capital. The request is in the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If Portugal does not reply satisfactorily to the reasoned opinion within two months the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [09] Fiscalité directe : la Commission décide de saisir la Cour de justice contre l'Espagne au sujet de deux dispositions fiscales

    La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour de justice contre l'Espagne au sujet de ses règles d'imposition des plus-values réalisées par les personnes physiques non résidentes sur la vente de biens immeubles situés sur son territoire. La législation espagnole soumet ce type de plus values une imposition de 15% lorsqu'elles sont réalisées par des résidents, et de 35% lorsqu'elles le sont par des non résidents. La Commission a aussi décidé de saisir la Cour de justice contre l'Espagne au sujet de ses règles d'imposition des revenus perçus par les non résidents au titre d'un emploi salarié. En vertu de la législation espagnole, les revenus d’emploi des non résidents sont généralement soumis une retenue la source libératoire de 25%, alors que ceux des résidents sont imposés selon un barème progressif. La Commission estime que dans ces deux domaines, la législation fiscale espagnole est incompatible avec les exigences du traité CE, notamment avec le principe de non-discrimination. En dépit de la demande formelle que la Commission lui a adressée en juillet 2005 (IP/05/933), l'Espagne n'a pas modifié les dispositions incriminées.

    [10] Report of the Commission to the Council on visa waiver reciprocity with certain third countries

    European Commission Vice President Franco Frattini presented on 13 January a first report adopted by the Commission on 10 January 2006 on visa waiver reciprocity to the Justice and Home Affairs Council. This report is a key element of the new visa reciprocity mechanism. The Vice President emphasised that "the content of the report is the first confirmation of the success of the new mechanism. The non-reciprocity situation is subject to open debate with third countries concerned and within the EU and the number of non-reciprocity cases has fallen significantly thus ensuring the credibility and efficiency of the common visa policy."

    [11] La Commission nomme un nouveau Chef de Représentation au Luxembourg

    M. Ernst Moutschen a été nommé Chef de la Représentation de la Commission européenne au Luxembourg. Il prend ses fonctions en janvier 2006.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Viviane Reding : "ICT are new opportunities for social inclusion, participation, business, growth and jobs in the EU and China" at the China- Europe International Business School (Shanghai)

    Report of the Commission to the Council on visa waiver reciprocity with certain third countries

    Contrefaçon des pièces en euros en 2005 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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