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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-05-31

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 du 31 mai 2006 -

  • [01] Taxation: European Commission suggests the need for a coherent European strategy to combat tax fraud
  • [02] Competition: Commission imposes fines of €344.5625 million on producers of acrylic glass for price fixing
  • [03] La Commission cherche améliorer la sécurité des réseaux et de l'information en Europe
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] G8 on Education : Commissioner Figel’ to present the EU’s experiences in Moscow
  • [05] EU response to Indonesia earthquake
  • [06] Concentrations: la Commission européenne autorise l'acquisition de Bocchi et De Weide Blik par CVC
  • [07] Avian Influenza: Results of EU surveillance in wild birds presented
  • [08] Flash estimate - May 2006- Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.5%
  • [09] Première publication des comptes européens des secteurs institutionnels
  • [10] May 2006: Further improvement of economic sentiment in both the EU and the euro area
  • [11] May 2006: Business Climate Indicator for the euro area declines slightly
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-05-31 Reference: MEX/06/0531 Date: 31/05/2006 EXME06 / 31.5

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communicationb

    31/05/06


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 31 mai 2006 -

    Outcome of Commission meeting of 31 May 2006

    [01] Taxation: European Commission suggests the need for a coherent European strategy to combat tax fraud

    The European Commission has adopted a communication whose aim is to launch a debate with all parties concerned on a European strategy to combat tax fraud. It notes that tax fraud is a growing problem and that the Member States cannot act effectively in isolation. It proposes a new Community approach to administrative cooperation with third countries and is prepared to engage in a broad discussion on the need to modify VAT systems. Regarding cooperation between Member States, it proposes strengthening the provisions in force for indirect taxation (VAT and excise duties) and reforming Community legislation on direct taxation and assistance in the recovery of taxes.

    [02] Competition: Commission imposes fines of €344.5625 million on producers of acrylic glass for price fixing

    The European Commission has decided that Arkema (formerly Atofina), Degussa, ICI, Lucite and Quinn Barlo (formerly Barlo) have violated the EC Treaty rules’ ban on restrictive business practices (Article 81) by participating in a cartel on the market for acrylic glass. Four of these companies (Total/Elf Aquitaine/Arkema, Lucite, ICI and Quinn Barlo) were therefore fined a total of € 344.5625 million. Arkema and ICI had their fines increased by 50% as they are repeat offenders. Degussa, also a repeat offender, would have been fined had it not received full immunity from fines under the Commission’s leniency regime for being first to provide information about the cartel. The five companies agreed, fixed and monitored (target) prices for acrylic glass and exchanged commercially important and confidential information in the European Economic Area (EEA) between 1997 and 2002. Acrylic glass is widely used inter alia in cars, DVDs, lenses, household appliances, electronics, baths and showers.

    [03] La Commission cherche améliorer la sécurité des réseaux et de l'information en Europe

    Les entreprises, les particuliers et les administrations publiques en Europe continuent sous-estimer les risques liés une protection insuffisante des réseaux et de l’information. La sécurité ne représente actuellement qu’environ 5 13 % des dépenses dans les technologies de l’information, soit un niveau dont la faiblesse est préoccupante. La Commission soutient par conséquent, dans un document stratégique adopté aujourd'hui, un effort de sensibilisation la sécurité par un dialogue ouvert, inclusif et multipartite sur une nouvelle stratégie de la sécurité des technologies de l’information pour l'Europe. Un partenariat entre les États membres, avec la participation du secteur des TI et des utilisateurs, ainsi que de l’Agence européenne chargée de la sécurité des réseaux et de l’information (ENISA), devrait déboucher sur le développement de technologies de l’information et de la communication plus dignes de confiance, sûres et fiables. Les particuliers et les organisations doivent être responsabilisés afin de prendre en charge leurs propres intérêts et responsabilités.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] G8 on Education : Commissioner Figel’ to present the EU’s experiences in Moscow

    On 1 and 2 June, Mr Jan Figel’, European Commissioner in charge of Education & Training, will participate in a meeting of G8 Education Ministers in Moscow. Russia has highlighted education, alongside energy security and infectious diseases, as one of the three priorities for its presidency of the G8.

    [05] EU response to Indonesia earthquake

    Following the earthquake that struck Indonesia near the Javanese city of Yogyakarta on Saturday, 27 May, the EU immediately mobilised to assess needs and offer help. In Brussels, the coordination machinery has been active drawing together the Austrian Presidency of the EU, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) and the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), and the EU Situation Centre and Civil-Military Cell of the EU Military Staff.

    [06] Concentrations: la Commission européenne autorise l'acquisition de Bocchi et De Weide Blik par CVC

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement CE sur les concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de l’entreprise néerlandaise Bocchi et de l’entreprise belge De Weide Blik par le groupe luxembourgeois CVC. Au terme de son enquête de marché, la Commission a conclu que l’opération n’entraverait pas de manière significative une concurrence effective dans l’Espace Economique Européen (EEE) ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [07] Avian Influenza: Results of EU surveillance in wild birds presented

    The European Commission and the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) for Avian Influenza in Weybridge have published the results of the surveillance for avian influenza in wild birds carried out in the EU over the past 10 months. The extensive epidemiological data was presented today at the FAO/OIE International Scientific Conference on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, which is taking place in Rome this week. Although final figures are still being collected for February-May 2006, it is estimated that around 60 000 wild birds were tested for avian influenza in the EU during that period. This, combined with the 39 000 wild birds tested between July 2005- January 2006, means that almost 100 000 tests for the H5N1 virus have been carried out on wild birds over the past 10 months. Since February 2006, over 700 wild birds across 13 Member States have been found to be infected with the H5N1 “Asian strain” of avian influenza. However, a positive decline in the incidence of the disease in wild birds in Europe has also been noted over the past weeks.

    [08] Flash estimate - May 2006- Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.5%

    Euro-zone annual inflation is expected to be 2.5% in May 2006 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 2.4% in April3. Euro-zone inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available4 as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro-zone. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (14 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate, 9 times differing by 0.1 and once differing by 0.2, in January 2005, over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.

    [09] Première publication des comptes européens des secteurs institutionnels

    Eurostat et la Banque Centrale Européenne (BCE) publient pour la première fois des comptes européens annuels des secteurs institutionnels portant sur la période 1999-2004. Eurostat publie les comptes non financiers de la zone euro1, de l'Union européenne et des Etats membres. Ces comptes comportent des informations complètes sur les activités économiques des ménages et des entreprises. La BCE publie, pour la zone euro, des comptes financiers et non financiers intégrés y compris les comptes financiers de patrimoine.

    [10] May 2006: Further improvement of economic sentiment in both the EU and the euro area

    The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) showed only a slight improvement of 0.1 of a point for the EU, while sentiment was reinforced by an increase of 1.0 point in the euro area. For both areas, this is the sixth consecutive month that shows strengthening economic sentiment.

    [11] May 2006: Business Climate Indicator for the euro area declines slightly

    After the upturn in April, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area declined slightly in May. Despite this recent weakening, the BCI remains at a high level suggesting that the pick-up in industrial production growth should continue in the second quarter of 2006. The fall in the BCI was due to a marked deterioration in industry managers' assessment of the production trend observed in recent months, while assessments of total order books and export order books remained broadly stable. Managers were slightly more optimistic regarding the production expectations for the months ahead and the stocks of finished products.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Competition: Commission action against cartels – Questions and answers

    Competition: Commission confirms inspections in the energy sector

    Commission’s new approach to Network and Information Security: FAQ

    Competitiveness Council: Brussels 29 and 30 May 2006

    Competition: Commission action against Cartels – Q & A

    Employment, Social policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, 1-2 June 2006, Luxembourg 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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