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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-05-04

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] Pope Benedict XVI receives European Commission President José Manuel Barroso
  • [02] Sunscreens: Commission moves to improve labelling
  • [03] The Commission recommends to negotiate visa facilitation agreement with FYROM
  • [04] Commissioner Piebalgs Enhances Bilateral Energy Cooperation with Kazakhstan
  • [05] Company law and corporate governance: public hearing on future priorities for the Action Plan
  • [06] 'Fin-Focus': new Commission newsletter on what EU financial services policies mean for consumers
  • [07] Le cinéma européen plus présent que jamais au festival de Cannes 2006
  • [08] March 2006 compared to March 2005 - Volume of retail trade down by 0.2% in euro-zone - Up by 0.7% in EU25
  • [09] Commissioner Potocnik on new ways to drive demand for new technologies, Vienna, 4 May
  • [10] Rédiffusion
  • [11] Déclaration du Commissaire Louis Michel sur le calendrier électoral en RDC
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-05-04 Reference: MEX/06/0504 Date: 04/05/2006 EXME06 / 04.5

    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

    04/05/06


  • [01] Pope Benedict XVI receives European Commission President José Manuel Barroso

    Pope Benedict XVI will receive the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, in a private audience on Friday, May 5th 2006 at the Vatican. This is a significant meeting as it is the first meeting between the Holy Father and President Barroso, and it will touch, amongst other things, on the future of Europe and on the continuing dialogue between the different religions and cultures of Europe. President Barroso stated “I am happy to be able to present to the Holy Father the face of Europe today; an area of peace and stability that has united 25 Member States with the same fundamental values and which strives continuously for a better world through the process of dialogue and solidarity.” After the audience with the Pope, President Barroso will meet Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, the Holy See Secretary for Relations with States, accompanied by the newly appointed European Commission ambassador to the Vatican, Luis Ritto. The Vatican State and the European Union have enjoyed diplomatic relations since 1970. The Holy See has supported the establishment of the European Community from beginning and the pontificate of Benedict XVI, started in April last year, gives great importance to European affairs.

    [02] Sunscreens: Commission moves to improve labelling

    Summer, beach, sun ... millions of Europeans will soon hit the sun spots for their annual summer holidays. And millions of citizens will be faced with the question what sunscreen product to choose in order to be adequately protected. But there are weaknesses in the way sunscreen products are currently labelled. One important aspect relates to the two different types of hazardous UV-radiation. UVB radiation is the cause for “sun-burn”. UVA radiation causes premature skin ageing, interferences with the human immune system, and is an important contributor to the skin- cancer risk. However, the so-called ‘sun protection factor (SPF)’ only protects against sunburn (UVB radiation). Against this background, the European Commission has launched an initiative to improve the labelling system. Following a public consultation opened today, the Commission will issue a recommendation which will ensure that industry, as of 2007, applies a standardised, simple and understandable labelling of sunscreen products. For more details see MEMO/06185.

    [03] The Commission recommends to negotiate visa facilitation agreement with FYROM

    Today the Commission agreed to recommend to the Council to authorise the Commission to open negotiations for the conclusion of agreements between the European Community and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the facilitation of issuance of short-stay visas and on readmission.

    [04] Commissioner Piebalgs Enhances Bilateral Energy Cooperation with Kazakhstan

    The Commissioner started his official visit to Kazakhstan, a major oil and gas producer in Central Asia, today, in order to discuss the possibilities for enhancing energy cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU. He is joined by representatives of the European oil and gas industry and will meet with numerous high level officials during his stay. The event marks the very first visit to Kazakhstan of any European Energy Commissioner.

    [05] Company law and corporate governance: public hearing on future priorities for the Action Plan

    The European Commission held on 3 May 2006 a public hearing on future priorities for the Action Plan on "Modernising Company Law and Enhancing Corporate Governance in the EU" (see IP/03/716). Over 300 stakeholders participated in a broad and lively exchange of views on a range of corporate governance issues.

    [06] 'Fin-Focus': new Commission newsletter on what EU financial services policies mean for consumers

    The European Commission launches today a new publication on financial services, Fin-Focus. This online newsletter highlights issues and events in financial services of particular relevance to consumers and users.

    [07] Le cinéma européen plus présent que jamais au festival de Cannes 2006

    L'ouverture du festival international du film de Cannes 2006, le 17 mai prochain, couronnera une année particulièrement féconde pour l'industrie européenne du cinéma. La sélection finale comprend en effet pas moins de 17 films européens, qui ont tous bénéficié d'un financement dans le cadre du programme MEDIA de l'Union européenne. L'avenir du programme MEDIA, l'élaboration de modèles économiques pour les services de cinéma en ligne et la compétitivité du cinéma européen l'étranger figureront l'ordre du jour de la réunion annuelle du 23 mai sur la politique audiovisuelle de l'Union, lors de laquelle les ministres européens de la culture rencontreront Viviane Reding, membre de la Commission.

    [08] March 2006 compared to March 2005 - Volume of retail trade down by 0.2% in euro-zone - Up by 0.7% in EU25

    In March 2006, compared to March 2005, the volume of retail trade fell by 0.2% in the euro-zone and rose by 0.7% in the EU25. Compared to February 20063, the retail sales index dropped by 0.8% in the euro-zone and by 0.3% in the EU25. In March 2006, compared to March 2005, retail trade of “food, drinks and tobacco” fell by 0.9% in the euro-zone but gained 0.2% in the EU25. The non food sector increased by 0.5% and 1.3% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, total retail trade rose in Latvia (+16.8%), Estonia (+12.6%), Lithuania (+10.6%), Slovakia (+10.4%), Poland (+8.2%), Luxembourg (+7.6%), Finland (+5.9%), Sweden (+5.2%), Denmark (+4.2%), Cyprus (+2.6%), France (+1.6%), Spain and the United Kingdom (both +1.2%). Falls were recorded in Belgium (-2.7%), Portugal (- 2.4%), Germany (-2.2%) and Austria (-1.2%). These first estimates come from Eurostat.

    [09] Commissioner Potocnik on new ways to drive demand for new technologies, Vienna, 4 May

    At a conference on European Technology Platforms hosted by the Austrian Presidency in Vienna today, European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik proposed making more use of European Technology Platforms to stimulate demand for new technologies within Europe. Building on the idea of ‘lead markets’ proposed by the Aho Group earlier this year, Commissioner Potočnik said “consider the importance of regulation, standards and public procurement in the construction sector – getting this right would open up innovative markets with huge opportunities, for example low or zero energy buildings.” The Strategic research agendas developed by European technology platforms, he said could “naturally evolve into European lead market agendas, developed [...] with national authorities”. He announced a wide consultation on this proposal with a view to a report on its feasibility by the end of the year.

    [10] Rédiffusion

    [11] Déclaration du Commissaire Louis Michel sur le calendrier électoral en RDC

    Le Commissaire européen au développement et l’aide humanitaire, Louis Michel, se réjouit de l’annonce faite par la Commission électorale indépendante (CEI) du calendrier du premier tour des élections présidentielles et législatives en République démocratique du Congo. Le calendrier prévoit notamment l’organisation de ce premier tour le 30 juillet 2006, et le début de la campagne électorale le jeudi 29 juin pour une période de 30 jours. Après l’adoption de la loi électorale et l’enrôlement des candidats, l’annonce par la Commission électorale indépendante de la date du premier tour des élections présidentielles et législatives ouvre la dernière phase du processus électoral. Elle permet aux citoyens congolais, qui ont longuement attendu ces élections, de constater que les préparatifs se poursuivent et que le processus est bel et bien irréversible. Tous les efforts doivent maintenant être rassemblés pour que cette date soit respectée et que les élections se déroulent dans le calme, dans la transparence et dans le respect absolu de la liberté d’expression. La Commission européenne invite l’ensemble de la classe politique congolaise ainsi que les différents courants religieux et philosophiques tout mettre en œuvre pour que ce processus bénéficie de la sérénité nécessaire ainsi que du maximum de participation de la part des électeurs congolais. La Commission européenne sera intransigeante avec tout débordement ou tentative de sabotage du processus. Elle invite dores et déj tous les acteurs se plier au verdict des urnes. Ces élections constituent les premières élections libres et démocratiques depuis plus de quarante ans au Congo. Elles permettront de tourner définitivement la page de la guerre, des abus et de la corruption et contribueront rebâtir un Etat de droit sur lequel fonder le développement durable du pays. Le commissaire Louis Michel salue en outre les efforts menés par la Commission électorale indépendante et, en particulier, par son Président, l’Abbé Malu Malu, dans la gestion de ce lourd processus. La Commission européenne remercie également l’Afrique du Sud pour sa contribution importante au stade final du processus électoral, s’agissant en particulier de son engagement imprimer, assembler et livrer en RDC, dans un délai compatible avec le calendrier retenu, tous les bulletins de vote. Principal bailleur de fonds du processus électoral avec €149 millions, la Commission européenne poursuivra après les élections les efforts importants qu’elle accomplit en faveur de la RDC et de sa population.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Rediff Speech by Danuta Hübner : "A positive agenda for the future of Europe»

    Speech by Janez Potocnik : "New ways to drive demand for new technologies» at the Austrian Presidency Conference on European Technology Platforms

    Speech by Peter Mandelson : "Europe’s response to globalisation: where does EU trade policy go from here?” in Wolfberg, Switzerland

    Speech by Franco Frattini : (!embargo 13h30!)"The role of internal security in relations between the EU and its neighbours” at the Ministerial Conference in Vienna

    Memo : “Sunscreen products: What matters?”

    Memo : “Competition: European Commission confirms issuing a Statement of Objections against alleged participants in a cartel for Gaz Insulated Switchgear”

    Memo : “Preparation of Eurogroup and Economic and Finance Ministers Council, Brussels 4 and 5 May”” From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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