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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-04-12

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

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Competition: Commission sector inquiry highlights competition concerns in payment cards industry
  • [02] Politique d'égalité des chances : recruter plus de femmes aux postes de responsabilité
  • [03] Exécution budgétaire record
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] Commission clears, subject to conditions, takeovers of Guidant by Boston Scientific and of Guidant's vascular businesses by Abbott Laboratories
  • [05] Classical swine fever in Germany : revised measures on North-Rhine Westphalia
  • [06] Quarterly euro-area GDP growth projections in the range of 0.4% to 0.8% for the first quarter of 2006, 0.3% to 0.8% for the second quarter and 0.2% to 0.8% for the third quarter
  • [07] Deuxième estimation pour le quatrième trimestre 2005 : le PIB de la zone euro en hausse de 0,3% et celui de l'UE25 de 0,4%
  • [08] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-04-12 Reference: MEX/06/0412 Date: 12/04/2006 EXME06 / 12.4

    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

    12/04/06


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] Competition: Commission sector inquiry highlights competition concerns in payment cards industry

    Businesses and consumers do not yet benefit from a fully competitive Internal Market in payment cards according to a preliminary report published by the European Commission on its sector inquiry into the payment cards industry (see IP/05/719 and MEMO 05/204). The report, based on responses from many market participants, reveals several potential barriers to entry into payment card markets, such as technical obstacles and practices by banks and networks that may raise costs for entrants. The industry, consumers and other interested parties have ten weeks (until 21 June) to submit their views and comments on the preliminary findings. If the preliminary findings on payment cards are borne out by this consultation, the Commission will consider action under EC Treaty antitrust rules in individual cases. In addition, the results of the sector inquiry will feed into the Commission’s analysis of whether amendments to the regulatory framework for payment cards are necessary. The Commission will publish in July a report on the second part of its retail banking inquiry - focusing on current accounts and financing of small firms.

    [02] Politique d'égalité des chances : recruter plus de femmes aux postes de responsabilité

    La Commission européenne a adopté les objectifs de recrutement de femmes pour l'année 2006 dans le cadre de la politique d'égalité des chances entre femmes et hommes qu'elle applique pour son personnel. Il s'agit d'objectifs de premiers recrutements et de premières nominations de femmes aux postes d'encadrement et aux autres postes d'administrateurs, destinés améliorer la représentation des femmes ces postes qui, malgré de réels progrès, demeure insuffisante. La mise en œuvre d'actions positives, que ce soit par le biais du 4ème Programme d'Action pour l'égalité des chances entre femmes et hommes ou par l'adoption d'objectifs annuels de recrutement et de nomination a contribué ces dernières années modifier les tendances l'œuvre. La Commission marque son engagement faire plus et mieux en 2006, en fixant des objectifs de recrutement ambitieux, et en poursuivant la réflexion tant sur la possibilité de mesures contraignantes, que sur les moyens de pallier la faiblesse de certains viviers disponibles et des taux de candidatures féminines aux postes d'encadrement.

    [03] Exécution budgétaire record

    L'exécution du budget a atteint un record en 2005 : seul 1% du budget de l'UE, soit €1.077 millions, n'a pas été utilisé. Ce résultat, auquel il faut ajouter des recettes supplémentaires d'un montant de €1.292 millions, permettra de réduire cette année les contributions nationales au budget de l'UE d'un total de €2.410 millions, ce qui correspond un niveau historiquement bas, qui n'avait plus été atteint depuis 1997.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] Commission clears, subject to conditions, takeovers of Guidant by Boston Scientific and of Guidant's vascular businesses by Abbott Laboratories

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the planned acquisition by US healthcare group Boston Scientific Corporation of its competitor Guidant Corporation, a US company specialised in cardiovascular medical products, subject to conditions. In parallel, the Commission has also cleared the acquisition of Guidant's interventional cardiology and endovascular devices businesses by Abbott Laboratories (Abbott), also subject to commitments. In the light of the commitments submitted by both Boston Scientific and Abbott, the Commission has concluded that the two transactions would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or a significant part of it.

    [05] Classical swine fever in Germany : revised measures on North-Rhine Westphalia

    On 11 April, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health voted in favour of a Commission proposal modifying the measures adopted last week due to the classical swine fever which have occurred in the last forty days in North-Rhine Westphalia, in Germany (see IP/06/459). Under the Decision agreed and which will enter into force next week, pigs may be transported from farms located in the surveillance zones established around the outbreaks of disease to other holdings located in the said zones. This would prevent animal welfare problems in the farms, from which movement of pigs was completely ban over the last weeks, and which is causing overcrowding in the farms. Before being moved, pigs must however undergo special clinical and laboratory testing, to exclude that they are incubating the disease, and the German authorities have to report to the Committee on the authorisation given. All other measures adopted last week in relation to Classical swine fever in Germany remain in force until 15 May. The disease situation and the measures adopted at Community level will be reviewed again at the meeting of the Standing Committee of 20 April.

    [06] Quarterly euro-area GDP growth projections in the range of 0.4% to 0.8% for the first quarter of 2006, 0.3% to 0.8% for the second quarter and 0.2% to 0.8% for the third quarter

    The dynamic factor model for quarterly GDP growth in the euro area, developed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, projects a range of 0.4% to 0.8% for GDP growth in the first quarter of 2006, slightly lower than the previous release (3 March). The projected range for GDP growth is 0.3% to 0.8% in the second quarter and 0.2% to 0.8% in third quarter, both revised marginally downwards.

    [07] Deuxième estimation pour le quatrième trimestre 2005 : le PIB de la zone euro en hausse de 0,3% et celui de l'UE25 de 0,4%

    Au cours du quatrième trimestre 2005, le Produit Intérieur Brut (PIB) de la zone euro a augmenté de 0,3% et celui de l'UE25 de 0,4% par rapport au trimestre précédent, selon les estimations révisées publiées par Eurostat. Au cours du troisième trimestre 2005, les taux de croissance avaient été de +0,7% dans les deux zones. En comparaison avec le même trimestre de l'année précédente, le PIB de la zone euro a augmenté de 1, 8% et celui de l'UE25 de 2,0% après respectivement +1,6% et +1,9% au cours du trimestre précédent. Au cours du quatrième trimestre 2005 et parmi les Etats membres pour lesquels des données sont disponibles, la Lettonie (+2,7%) a enregistré le plus fort taux de croissance, suivie de la Lituanie (+2,5%) et de l'Estonie (+2,2%). Seule la Grèce (-0,2%) a enregistré une baisse.

    [08] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Stavros Dimas : "Challenges in the Environment Sector" at the European Institute of Romania (11/04)

    Mémo: “Competition: Commission’s sector inquiry into the payments cards industry – frequently asked questions”

    Calendrier du 18 au 23 avril 2006 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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