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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-04-28

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] EU and China to link up high-speed electronic networks for an open exchange among their best researchers and students
  • [02] Commission welcomes changes to EU law to allow export of patented medicine to countries in need
  • [03] The Commission on track to mobilize €100 Million to combat Bird Flu around the world
  • [04] Commission to recover € 128.2 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
  • [05] April 2006: Business Climate Indicator for the euro area improves strongly
  • [06] April 2006: Economic sentiment improves strongly in both the EU and the euro area
  • [07] Estimation rapide - avril 2006 - L'inflation de la zone euro estimée 2,4%
  • [08] Fourth quarter of 2005 - EU25 current account deficit 32.0 bn euro - 14.4 bn euro surplus on trade in services
  • [09] Declaration by Vice President Franco Frattini on the Joe Van Holsbeeck murder case
  • [10] Mergers: Commission clears proposed takeover of Maxtor by Seagate in hard-disk drive business
  • [11] Discharge 2004 gives new impetus to the Commission’s Action Plan for further improvements
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-04-28 Reference: MEX/06/0428 Date: 28/04/2006 EXME06 / 28.4

    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

    28/04/06


  • [01] EU and China to link up high-speed electronic networks for an open exchange among their best researchers and students

    Communication and collaboration among 45 million researchers and students across Europe and China will be greatly facilitated by a new Sino-European high-speed network connection announced today. Co-funded by the European Union, China and European National Research and Education Networks, the €4.15 million ORIENT (Oriental Research Infrastructure to European NeTworks) project will benefit all Sino-European research, including radio astronomy, sustainable development, meteorology, and grid computing, by helping to step up the flow of information between Europe and China. The ORIENT project is supported by the EU’s 6th Research Framework Programme.

    [02] Commission welcomes changes to EU law to allow export of patented medicine to countries in need

    The European Commission today welcomes the adoption by the European Council of a regulation allowing companies to produce copies of patented medicines under license for export to “countries in need” without sufficient capacity to produce them. The regulation implements within the EU the necessary conditions to meet a WTO Agreement of December 2005, under which national authorities can grant compulsory licences for such production if certain conditions are fulfilled. Yesterday, the European Commission formally recommended that Member States approve EU ratification of the historic changes to WTO law. Today’s move is a clear signal of their intention to do so. The compulsory licensing regulation represents a crucial measure for some of the poorest countries in the world, which will gain improved access to affordable medicines which are safe and effective.

    [03] The Commission on track to mobilize €100 Million to combat Bird Flu around the world

    The European Commission is well on track to fully mobilize €100 million pledged at the Beijing conference to combat Avian Influenza around the world, ahead of the target date. Funds pledged will help poorer countries tackle Bird flu in the animal population, and increase preparedness for a possible human pandemic. The Commission aimed to deploy the whole amount pledged before the Senior Officials Meeting that will bring together donors and beneficiary countries in Vienna on 6/7 June, and is set to achieve that goal well within the deadline.

    [04] Commission to recover € 128.2 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

    A total of € 128.2 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is to be claimed back, following a decision adopted by the European Commission. The money will be recovered because of inadequate control procedures or non-compliance with EU rules on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.

    [05] April 2006: Business Climate Indicator for the euro area improves strongly

    The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area improved strongly in April, suggesting that industrial production growth should be sustained throughout the first half of this year. The increase in the BCI was largely due to marked improvements in industry managers' assessment of the production trend observed in recent months and of both total order books and export order books. A smaller improvement was reported for the stocks of finished products, while managers' production expectations for the months ahead remained unchanged.

    [06] April 2006: Economic sentiment improves strongly in both the EU and the euro area

    The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) improved for the fifth consecutive month in both the EU and the euro area. The indicator for the EU increased by 2.9 points, while a more moderate improvement of 1.7 points was observed for the euro area. Since the recovery started about 1 year ago, the ESI has risen by around 10 points in both areas.

    [07] Estimation rapide - avril 2006 - L'inflation de la zone euro estimée 2,4%

    Selon une estimation rapide publiée par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes, le taux d'inflation annuel de la zone euro s'établirait 2,4% en avril 2006. En mars, le taux était de 2,2%. L'inflation de la zone euro est mesurée par l'Indice des Prix la Consommation de l'Union Monétaire (IPCUM). Pour élaborer les estimations rapides de l'IPCUM, Eurostat utilise les informations préliminaires sur les prix du mois de référence, diffusées par les Etats membres4 pour lesquels les données sont disponibles, ainsi que des informations préliminaires sur les prix de l'énergie. La procédure d'estimation rapide de l'IPCUM combine des informations historiques avec des informations partielles sur les variations récentes de prix de manière obtenir un indice total pour la zone euro. Il n'existe pas de ventilation détaillée. L’expérience a montré que la procédure d'estimation était fiable (anticipation exacte du taux d'inflation dans 14 cas, différence de 0,1 dans 9 cas et différence de 0,2 dans un cas, en janvier 2005, au cours des deux dernières années). Des informations complémentaires sont disponibles dans le communiqué d'Eurostat 113/2001 du 5 novembre 2001.

    [08] Fourth quarter of 2005 - EU25 current account deficit 32.0 bn euro - 14.4 bn euro surplus on trade in services

    According to the latest revisions, the EU25 external current account recorded a deficit of 32.0 billion euro in the fourth quarter of 2005, as compared to a surplus of 4.1 bn in the fourth quarter of 2004 and a deficit of 23.1 bn in the third quarter of 2005. In the fourth quarter of 2005, the EU25 external current account recorded a surplus with the USA (+20.3 bn euro), Switzerland (+1.4 bn) and Canada (+2.8 bn), and a deficit with Japan (-5.0 bn) and remaining partners as a whole (-51.4bn). In the fourth quarter of 2005, compared to the fourth quarter of 2004, a higher deficit was recorded in the goods account (-29.8 bn euro compared to -10.0 bn), while the surplus of the services account increased (+14.4 bn compared to +9.7 bn). The balance of the income account deteriorated (-3.7 bn compared to +16.7 bn), while the balance of the current transfer account remained nearly stable (-12.8 bn compared to -12.3 bn). The surplus recorded in the services account4 (+14.4 bn euro) is the result of surpluses in the transportation (+4.1 bn) and “other services” components (+12.3 bn), and a deficit in travel (-2.1 bn). Preliminary annual results for 2005, compared to 2004, show an increase in the EU25 external current account deficit (-94.2 bn euro compared to -12.8 bn), mainly due to a sharp rise in the goods deficit (-84.6 bn compared to -28.0 bn) and a deterioration in the income account (-11.2 bn compared to +14.3 bn). The surplus on the services account further increased (+47.8 bn compared to +43.8 bn), as did the deficit for the current transfers account (-46.2 bn compared to -42.8 bn). These provisional data, issued by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, are subject to revision.

    Rédiffusion

    [09] Declaration by Vice President Franco Frattini on the Joe Van Holsbeeck murder case

    In response to the arrest in Poland of the suspected murderer of the young man Joe Van Holsbeeck at Brussels Central Station on 12 April 2006 and Prime Minister Verhofstadt’s statement that Belgian will demand his extradition from Poland to Belgium on the basis of the European Arrest Warrant, Vice-President Franco Frattini, Commissioner responsible for Freedom, Security and Justice instructed his staff to examine the legal situation regarding the theoretical possibility of using the European Arrest Warrant to transfer the suspected sixteen-year-old killer, who is the same age as the boy already in custody, from Poland to Belgium. Following these deliberations, and after taking due account of the views of the judicial authorities in the countries concerned, the conclusion is that the suspect can indeed be surrendered. The obligatory refusal in the case of minors set out in the framework decision would not appear to apply. Under Polish law, in such serious cases the age limit is set at 15 years, by way of derogation from the general requirement that criminal liability can be assumed only from the age of seventeen. It equally appears that the ruling by the Polish Supreme Court on 27 April 2005 on the national legislation implementing the arrest warrant, which held that it was unconstitutional to surrender Polish nationals on this basis, is no impediment. The Polish Court itself suspended the effects of the ruling for 18 months, thereby consenting to the surrender of Polish nationals until the Constitution has been amended. Vice President Frattini said ‘I am confident that the relevant provisions of the European Arrest Warrant, in combination with its national implementing measures in regard to the specific legal position of minors, will ensure that suspects, even if they are minors, can be surrendered from one EU Member State to another. This is particularly the case when they are suspected of having committed a very serious crime. The law must be applied in the best interests of the child but suspected murderers cannot be allowed to hide from justice.’

    [10] Mergers: Commission clears proposed takeover of Maxtor by Seagate in hard-disk drive business

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed merger between two US manufacturers of hard-disk drives (HDD), Seagate and Maxtor. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any significant part of it.

    [11] Discharge 2004 gives new impetus to the Commission’s Action Plan for further improvements

    The European Parliament voted today by a large majority (523 votes in favour) to grant the Commission discharge for the general budget 2004. Vice- President Siim Kallas welcomed the positive vote of the Parliament and its broad support for the Commission’s efforts and achievements in modernising and fine-tuning its budgetary praxis. The role of the European Parliament, and further of the European Court of Auditors, is decisive in giving momentum to the Commission’s Action Plan to an Integrated Internal Control Framework

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Rediff: Memo : "Return Preparatory Actions in the area of Migration co- financed by the Commission: Twenty operational projects selected

    Memo : "mesures transitoires pour la libre circulation des travailleurs visées au Traité d’adhésion de 2003”

    Memo : "Calendrier hebdomadaire du 1er au 7 mai”

    Memo : "Decisions of the Commission on the conformity of CAP expenditure with the EU law »

    Speech by Viviane Reding “The new Television without frontiers Directive: the Commission proposal to boost Europe’s audiovisual sector » 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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