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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-06-08

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 External Action: Commission presents proposals to strengthen the Union’s role as a global actor
  • [02] EU Trade Commissioner Mandelson urges China to improve market access, step up fight on piracy or risk protectionist backlash
  • [03] The Commission details its plan for a European Institute of Technology
  • [04] State aid: debt write-off for Slovak alcohol producer declared illegal subsidy
  • [05] State aid: Commission endorses public funding to bridge broadband communications gap in Latvia
  • [06] SG/HR Solana and European Commissioner Michel call on all Somali parties to stop violence and support the Transitional Federal Institutions
  • [07] Joe Borg at North Atlantic Minister’s Conference
  • [08] EU and São Tomé e Príncipe initial new fisheries partnership agreement
  • [09] Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on the repeal of the death Penalty law in the Philippines.
  • [10] Rédiffusion
  • [11] Further steps forward in the EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue
  • [12] Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Pilkington by Nippon Sheet Glass
  • [13] &lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF -- &gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF -- &gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF -- &gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF -- &gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt; Midday Express of 2006-06-08 Reference: MEX/06/0608 Date: 08/06/2006 EXME06 / 8.6

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    08/06/06


  • [01] EU External Action: Commission presents proposals to strengthen the Union’s role as a global actor

    The European Commission today approved a communication (“Europe in the World: Some Practical Proposals for Greater Coherence, Effectiveness and Visibility”) which examines how to strengthen the EU’s external action without changes to the existing Treaty. The communication makes proposals to enable the Union to define a strong sense of collective purpose, and ensures that political will is backed by the necessary policy instruments. It also points to examples of how a more coherent approach can bring value- added. The paper will be presented to the forthcoming European Council.

    [02] EU Trade Commissioner Mandelson urges China to improve market access, step up fight on piracy or risk protectionist backlash

    In a speech at Renmin University in Beijing today, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has called on China to move to meet its outstanding WTO commitments or risk a backlash in Europe against its perceived trading power. Arguing that Europe for its part had to have “the confidence to welcome China’s economic resurgence”, Mandelson also insisted that if China did not provide better access for EU investment and trade, improved protection of intellectual property rights and the dismantling of export incentives and other forms of trade-distorting subsidy, it would provoke a negative protectionist response in Europe. Mandelson concluded: “The more the Chinese door swings open, the more European citizens will understand our shared interests”

    [03] The Commission details its plan for a European Institute of Technology

    Following a wide-ranging consultation of stakeholders and Member States, the Commission today adopted a new Communication fleshing out its plan for the establishment of a European Institute of Technology (EIT). Much progress has been made since the Spring European Council (March 2006) invited the Commission to continue developing its proposal to create a European Institute of Technology - a flagship project for excellence in higher education, research and innovation. Responding to the request of the Heads of State and Government in March, the Communication both clarifies its proposal and identifies issues that must be addressed next. The aim is to focus the ongoing consultation and debate in the coming months and prepare a formal proposal towards the end of the year.

    [04] State aid: debt write-off for Slovak alcohol producer declared illegal subsidy

    The European Commission has decided under EC Treaty state aid rules that a write-off of tax debt of SKK 416. 5 million (€11 million) to Frucona Košice, a.s., formerly one of the major producers of spirits in Slovakia, constituted illegal state aid and was incompatible with the Single Market. In order to redress the distortion of competition caused by the debt write- off, the Commission has decided that Slovakia must recover the unlawful aid from Frucona with interest.

    [05] State aid: Commission endorses public funding to bridge broadband communications gap in Latvia

    The European Commission has endorsed under EC Treaty state aid rules a broadband initiative by the Latvian authorities. The measure will bring broadband communications to regions of the country where broadband is not widely available at the moment so as to allow citizens and businesses to exploit the benefits of broadband technology. The Commission concluded that the aid was not likely to cause undue distortion of competition within the Single Market and was therefore compatible with EC Treaty state aid rules (Article 87).

    [06] SG/HR Solana and European Commissioner Michel call on all Somali parties to stop violence and support the Transitional Federal Institutions

    The High Representative for the CFSP and Secretary-General of the Council of the EU, Javier Solana, and the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, appeal to all Somalis to work together towards peace and stability in Mogadishu and the rest of Somalia. HR Solana and Commissioner Michel support the constructive statement of the Transitional Federal Institutions for launching dialogue in Mogadishu with the Islamic Courts, civil society, the business communities as well as other stakeholders. HR Solana and Commissioner Michel take also note of the statement of the Chairman of the Islamic courts to the international community and urge the Islamic courts to engage in constructive dialogue within the framework of the Transitional Federal Institutions. HR Solana and Commissioner Michel recall their unwavering commitment in supporting the Transitional Federal Institutions as the only framework for Governance in Somalia and call on the international community to stand ready to provide assistance within that framework. The EU is already the main donor for Somalia providing vital institutional support to the Transitional Federal Institutions and meeting the basic needs of the somali populations.

    [07] Joe Borg at North Atlantic Minister’s Conference

    Today, Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, travels to Norway to attend the 11th North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference (NAFMC). Hosted by Ms Helga Pedersen, Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, the conference will be held aboard MS Polarlys as it travels along the coast from Tromsǿ to Trondheim. The conference will be attended by fisheries ministers from Canada, Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, Norway and the Russian Federation. The European Union is represented by Commissioner Borg. The main focus for the 11th Conference will be on strengthening Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), and cooperation to deter, prevent and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the North Atlantic. These are both issues on which the European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, has in recent years played a leading role in steering and stimulating progress in the major international fora. Commissioner Borg will give a keynote address on the fight against IUU fisheries. Talks will continue throughout the day, and time will also be available for informal bilateral meetings between fisheries ministers. The NAFMC, which first met in 1995, provides an opportunity for Ministers to exchange views on a regular basis and share experiences in fisheries management, as well as to focus on North Atlantic issues with respect to global processes and trends in the long-term conservation and sustainable management of living marine resources.

    [08] EU and São Tomé e Príncipe initial new fisheries partnership agreement

    The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, and São Tomé e Príncipe, have concluded a new 4-year fisheries partnership agreement to replace the previous agreement which ended on 31 May 2006. The new agreement covers the period from 1 June 2006 until 31 May 2010. It provides fishing possibilities exclusively on tuna for 43 vessels (61 in the previous agreement): 25 seiners (previously 36) and 18 long-liners (25). The fishing possibilities for pole-and-line vessels have not been renewed. The EU financial contribution will amount to € 663,000 per year. From this amount – € 552,500 – will be paid for a reference amount of 8, 500 tonnes of tuna per year. Any additional catches beyond the reference tonnage will be paid retrospectively. The total also includes a specific additional annual allocation of € 110,500 in support of São Tomé e Príncipe’s national fisheries policy. The contribution by vessel owners has been increased from € 25 to € 35 a tonne, and the EU contribution has been reduced in proportion from € 75 to € 65. The technical conditions governing tuna fishing have also been revised to take into account the practices specific to highly-migratory species fisheries (presence of regional observers, obligations to hire ACP fishermen, etc.) The Government of Sao Tome and Principe has agreed to dedicate 50% of the total financial contribution (€ 331,500) to the promotion of sustainable fisheries in their waters. To this end, the Parties will engage in an active and ongoing dialogue on the fisheries policy of São Tomé e Príncipe. Both parties will now initiate the procedures for final adoption. An anticipated provisional application has however been agreed in order to avoid the interruption of fishing activities as from 1 June 2006.

    [09] Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on the repeal of the death Penalty law in the Philippines.

    Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner warmly welcomed the clear majority vote on 6th June in both the Senate and House Representatives to repeal the death Penalty law in the Philippines. "The European Union is against the death penalty everywhere and in all cases and we are delighted that the government of the Philippines has taken this decision. It is a decision that respects human rights and the best standards of justice and we hope that others in the region will follow the Philippine example" said the Commissioner. The European Commission has worked closely with the Government, the Parliament and civil society in the Philippines to abolish the death penalty. Last April, President Arroyo commuted all pending death sentences to life imprisonment. After Cambodia, the Philippines will be the second country in Southeast Asia to do away with the death penalty.

    [10] Rédiffusion

    [11] Further steps forward in the EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue

    The third meeting of the EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue took place in Brussels, Belgium, today. The participants from the EU were: Mr Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Energy; Dr Martin Bartenstein, President of the EU Energy Council, Minister of Economy and Labour of Austria; Mr Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Trade and Industry of Finland. The participants from OPEC were: Dr Edmund Daukoru, President of the OPEC Conference, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources of Nigeria; Mr Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli, Alternate President of the OPEC Conference, Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates; Mr Mohammed S. Barkindo, Acting for the Secretary General of OPEC.

    [12] Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Pilkington by Nippon Sheet Glass

    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of UK-based glass producer Pilkington by Nippon Sheet Glass (“NSG”). The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

    [13] &lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF -- &gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF -- &gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF -- &gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF -- &gt;&lt;!-- PRV_ENDREF --&gt;

    Energy Council of 8 June 2006

    Telecom Council, Luxembourg 8 June 2006

    Frequently Asked Questions: new steps towards a European Institute of Technology

    Préparation du Conseil Transports du 9 juin 2006 au Luxembourg

    Speech by Peter Mandelson on « A World of Opportunity: China and the future of international trade» at the Renmin University in Beijing, China

    Speech by Stavros Dimas on « A Sustainable Bio-Fuels Policy for the European Union » at the Goethe Institute

    Speech by Joe Borg on « A Maritime Policy for the European Union on World Oceans Day» at the Conference organised by the Intergroup on Sustainable Development of the EP, supported by the Committee of Regions

    Speech by Joe Borg on “The Green Paper on a EU Maritime Policy and the role of Port Cities” at the Conference on ‘Renewing Economic Prosperity of Port Cities’ organised by the EP and the Asturias Regional Office

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy on “Improving decision-making and completing the single financial market” at the EUROFI Conference in Luxembourg

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy on “Reviewing the Single Market” at the Eurochambres Plenary Session in Brussels

    Speech by Mariann Fischer Boel on “The direction of travel of the EU’s policies on agriculture and rural development” at the Latvian Parliament

    Discours de Vladimir Spidla “Un dialogue sur la stratégie européenne pour les services“ Bruxelles

    Speech by Viviane Reding on “Audiovisual media services directive: the right instrument to provide legal certainty for Europe’s media businesses in the next decade at the Seminar “Regulating the new media landscape”

    Speech by Joe Borg on “the Green Paper on an EU Maritime Policy” at the joint meeting on the Committees on Transport and Tourism; Environment, Pubick Health and Food Safety; Regional Development; Industry, Research, Energy and Fisheries at the European Parliament From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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