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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 06-11-22

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] Commission launches open debate : modernizing labour law to meet the challenges of the 21st century
  • [02] Bilan 2006 de l'économie de l'UE : les pays de la zone euro doivent mieux s'adapter l'union monétaire
  • [03] Commission adopts new State aid framework for Research, Development and Innovation
  • [04] Incitations fiscales: la Commission encourage une utilisation plus efficace des incitations fiscales en faveur de la recherche et du développement
  • [05] Commission opens investigation into 2006 state guarantee for BAWAG-PSK
  • [06] La Commission ouvre une enquête sur le projet français de crédit d'impôt en faveur de la création de jeux vidéo
  • [07] Commission opens investigation into financial support to DHL and Leipzig/Halle airport
  • [08] "Poste Italiane" : la Commission donne son aval la rémunération versée pour la distribution de livrets d'épargne postale; elle ouvre une enquête sur la distribution des bons d'épargne de la poste
  • [09] Commission allows Malta to aid the creation of new air routes
  • [10] Commission adopts mobility package for Directors-General, Directors and Principal Advisers
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [11] Statement of Commissioners Vladimír pidla and Danuta Hübner on the redundancies at Volkswagen in Forest/Vorst (21/11)
  • [12] Commission welcomes successful outcome of November Fisheries Council
  • [13] EU and South Korea sign science & research agreement
  • [14] EU and Japan reach agreement on a broader approach to fusion energy
  • [15] Animal welfare : international workshop to discuss best practice and future prospects
  • [16] La compréhension interculturelle l'honneur : vingt-neuf exemples de toute l'Europe
  • [17] Commission clears acquisition of SR Technics by Istithmar, Mubadala and DAE
  • [18] La Commission autorise le rachat de Schwarz par UCB
  • [19] Septembre 2006 comparé août 2006 : les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie en baisse de 1,3% dans la zone euro ; baisse de 1% dans l'UE25
  • [20] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2006-11-22 Reference: MEX/06/1122 Date: 22/11/2006 EXME06 / 22.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    22/11/06


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

    [01] Commission launches open debate : modernizing labour law to meet the challenges of the 21st century

    The European Commission has launched a broad open public debate on reviewing labour law and adaptation to the modern world of work. The discussion paper will ask Member States, social partners and other stakeholder how labour law at EU and national level can help the job market become more flexible while maximizing security for workers (the 'flexicurity' approach). The consultation will run over a period of four months and its contributions will feed into in the upcoming Commission communication on flexicurity in June 2007.

    [02] Bilan 2006 de l'économie de l'UE : les pays de la zone euro doivent mieux s'adapter l'union monétaire

    L'expérience des huit dernières années montre que de nombreux pays de la zone euro ne se sont pas encore pleinement adaptés la vie au sein de l'union monétaire avec une politique monétaire et monnaie communes. C'est ce que conclut une communication de la Commission sur "le renforcement de la zone euro : priorités politiques principales" adoptée l'occasion du bilan 2006 de l'économie de l'Union européenne. Il faut donc améliorer la performance sur le plan économique et cimenter la cohésion de la zone euro afin de rendre plus clairs les avantages d'une monnaie unique aux yeux des citoyens de la zone euro. Les réformes structurelles doivent être accélérées et les finances publiques consolidées afin de se donner la marge de manœuvre nécessaire pour affronter le prochain fléchissement de la conjoncture. Enfin, et surtout, il faut une meilleure gouvernance de la zone euro tant pour assurer une coordination plus étroite entre les budgets nationaux et des réformes bénéfiques tous, que pour donner la zone euro une voix plus forte et plus claire dans le monde.

    [03] Commission adopts new State aid framework for Research, Development and Innovation

    The European Commission has adopted a new framework to clarify to Member States how best they can give State aid to not only research and development but also innovation projects, without infringing EC Treaty state aid rules. This new Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I) Framework will help Member States wishing to use State aid as a complementary instrument to boost R&D&I. The framework sets out a series of guidelines for specific types of state aid measures – such as aid for R&D projects, aid to young innovative enterprises and aid to innovation clusters – that could encourage additional R&D&I investments by private firms, thus stimulating growth and employment and improving Europe’s competitiveness. These guidelines allow individual Member States to tailor aid measures to particular situations, subject to the overall test that the aid must address a defined market failure, must be well designed and that the identified benefits must outweigh the distortions to competition resulting from the aid. The new framework is due to apply from 1st January 2007.

    [04] Incitations fiscales: la Commission encourage une utilisation plus efficace des incitations fiscales en faveur de la recherche et du développement

    La Commission européenne a adopté une communication sur l'utilisation plus efficace des incitations fiscales en faveur de la recherche et du développement dans le but de stimuler les investissements dans ce domaine, renforcer la création d'emplois et la croissance économique en Europe. La communication précise les règles juridiques découlant de la jurisprudence de l'UE et fixe quelques principes directeurs et bonnes pratiques en matière de conception des incitations fiscales en faveur de la R&D. Elle encourage les Etats membres améliorer l'utilisation des incitations sur des questions spécifiques de R&D et mieux les coordonner.

    [05] Commission opens investigation into 2006 state guarantee for BAWAG-PSK

    The European Commission has opened a formal investigation under EC Treaty state aid rules into a €900 million guarantee granted in 2006 to BAWAG- PSK by an Austrian law, the BAWAG P.S.K Sicherungsgesetz. The Commission needs more information to assess whether the guarantee is in line with the aid EC rules for supporting firms in difficulties. The opening of an in- depth investigation, which is common for guarantees of this magnitude, gives interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed measures. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure.

    [06] La Commission ouvre une enquête sur le projet français de crédit d'impôt en faveur de la création de jeux vidéo

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'ouvrir en vertu des règles du traité CE sur les aides d'Etat une enquête approfondie sur le projet de crédit d'impôt en faveur de la création des jeux vidéo en France. Selon les autorités françaises, cette mesure serait compatible avec les règles communautaires dans la mesure où elle viserait promouvoir la culture. Cette enquête approfondie permettra notamment la Commission de déterminer si cette mesure soutient uniquement des produits contenu culturel et si elle n'entraîne pas des distorsions excessives de la concurrence au sein du marché commun. L'ouverture d'une procédure donne aux parties intéressées la possibilité de présenter leurs observations relatives aux mesures envisagées. Elle ne préjuge en rien de l'issue de l'investigation.

    [07] Commission opens investigation into financial support to DHL and Leipzig/Halle airport

    The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EC Treaty's State aid rules into possible aid granted by the German Land of Saxony to DHL and Leipzig/Halle airport, through the financing of the new southern runway and financial guarantees endorsed by Saxony. The Commission has doubts that the two operations have been carried out on terms that would be acceptable to a market investor. In particular, the Commission wants to ensure that DHL does not receive additional state aid over and above the regional investment aid already approved by the Commission for the new DHL hub at Leipzig-Halle Airport. The risk is that further aid would distort competition in the European express parcel market. The opening of an investigation procedure gives interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed measures. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

    [08] "Poste Italiane" : la Commission donne son aval la rémunération versée pour la distribution de livrets d'épargne postale; elle ouvre une enquête sur la distribution des bons d'épargne de la poste

    La Commission européenne a décidé, en vertu des règles du traité CE relatives aux aides d'Etat, que la rémunération versée par "Cassa Depositi e Prestiti" la "Poste Italiane" pour la distribution de livrets d'épargne de la poste entre 2000 et 2005 correspondait aux conditions du marché et, partant, ne constituait pas une aide d'Etat. Elle a cependant ouvert une procédure formelle d'examen, en vertu des règles relatives aux aides d'Etat, concernant la rémunération versée Poste Italiane pour la distribution de bons d'épargne de la poste. Il se pourrait que cette dernière rémunération soit plus élevée que le prix du marché et constitue dès lors une subvention illégale. L'ouverture d’une enquête approfondie permet aux parties intéressées de présenter leurs observations sur la mesure en cause. Elle ne préjuge pas du résultat final de la procédure.

    [09] Commission allows Malta to aid the creation of new air routes

    The European Commission has decided to allow Malta to grant start-up aid for new air routes from Malta international airport. The measure will last until September 2011 and provides for a total of Lm25 million (€58 million) to airlines in order to finance new routes. The primary objective of the aid is to improve connectivity by enhancing access to air transport services which are of basic importance for the economic and social development of Malta.

    [10] Commission adopts mobility package for Directors-General, Directors and Principal Advisers

    The European Commission has taken a number of administrative decisions in order to further implement its mobility policy for officials. Since the start of the Barroso Commission, this is the second mobility package in relation to Directors-General after the major package of November 2005 (IP/05/1399). It is however the first time the Commission has taken such a step in relation to Directors or equivalent. These two packages deal with the mobility of those senior officials who have reached, or will soon reach, five years in their present job. The Commission reaffirms the principle that all senior officials serve between two and five years in a single function, with a maximum of seven years.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [11] Statement of Commissioners Vladimír pidla and Danuta Hübner on the redundancies at Volkswagen in Forest/Vorst (21/11)

    "The European Commission is aware of the challenging effect of any large- scale redundancies at Volkswagen plant in Forest/Vorst for the Brussels region and Belgium. Commissioners Vladimír pidla and Danuta Hübner are especially aware of the difficult situation for workers who lose their jobs. The Commission has emphasised over the past months the importance of supporting workers in transition, helping them with active labour market policies to get another job, and to keep the period without a job as short as possible. This is the essence of the much debated flexicurity approach. Through the European Social Fund the Commission supports measures for re- qualification and training in case of job losses. Belgium received €1.1 billion over the past six years (2000-2006). Commissioner Danuta Hübner together with Commissioner pidla announced today their willingness to meet as soon as possible with the relevant Regional Authorities in Belgium to discuss how best European Structural Funds can assist in addressing the consequences of the decisions taken or to be taken by the Volkswagen managers. Both Commissioners hope to propose a package of measures within European Cohesion policy which will help to re-train those who lose their job, help those who want to create their own business and help supplier businesses to re-orient to new markets to try to dampen any knock-on effects of the decision. Commissioner Hübner also expressed her wish to have the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Facility (EIF) involved in these talks, with a view to the deployment of loan finance. The Commission wants to recall the importance of abiding by the European and national rules in case of mass-redundancies, especially with regards to information and consultation of workers' representatives. As always the Social Dialogue is the crucial instrument to ease the situation for the workers as much as possible."

    [12] Commission welcomes successful outcome of November Fisheries Council

    The European Commission has warmly welcomed the outcome of the Council of Fisheries Ministers, yesterday, which reached political agreement on three important Commission proposals. The new Regulations will make a substantial contribution to the EU's endeavours to secure sustainability in all fisheries. Two of the deals were reached on proposals that had been tabled some three and two years ago. The proposals related to conservation measures for Mediterranean fisheries, the use of new technology in deterring illegal fishing activities and the setting of fishing possibilities for deep sea species for 2007 and 2008.

    [13] EU and South Korea sign science & research agreement

    Today in Brussels, the European Union and the Republic of Korea sign two cooperation agreements, one on science and technology (S&T) and one specific to fusion energy research. The S&T agreement will promote collaboration in areas where EU and South Korea have similar priorities, such as life sciences (biotechnology and health research), information society technologies and telecommunications, industrial and materials technologies, sustainable development, renewable energy sources, satellites and earth observation. The fusion energy research agreement will complement the ITER agreement signed yesterday in Paris, and promote the joint implementation of research and technological development activities to accelerate the development of fusion energy as a clean and sustainable energy source for the 21st century.

    [14] EU and Japan reach agreement on a broader approach to fusion energy

    Today Europe and Japan will confirm their agreement on a so-called "Broader Approach" to fusion energy. This agreement will create a privileged partnership complementing ITER, the major international fusion energy project signed yesterday in Paris. The partnership of ITER includes Japan, Russia, Korea, China, India and USA, with the European Union hosting the project at Cadarache in France. This new "Broader Approach" agreement commits the EU and Japan to work together on projects, in particular the design of a high-tech materials testing facility, which will complement research in ITER and set the basis for the construction of a future demonstration fusion power plant (DEMO). The agreement last ten years, and represents about €340 million of European investment.

    [15] Animal welfare : international workshop to discuss best practice and future prospects

    An international workshop on animal welfare, organised by the European Commission, the Finnish Presidency, the Council of Europe and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), will take place in Strasbourg on 23rd and 24th November 2006. Participants from over 50 countries will meet to share national experiences in promoting and implementing animal welfare legislation, while also looking at how a better common understanding of animal welfare rules can be achieved. They will have the opportunity to discuss how to overcome the social, legal, economic and scientific obstacles that can hinder the effective implementation of animal welfare standards, and to exchange best practice solutions. The workshop will also address the role of international organisations in promoting and protecting animal welfare, the added value of trans-national cooperation in this area, and the ways in which such collaboration could be improved. There will be the opportunity to review the current guidelines and standards on animal welfare set out by the OIE, EU and Council of Europe, and to consider how these could be enhanced. The overall aim of the workshop is to develop ideas on how better coordination and consensus on animal welfare issues can be achieved, with a view to improving the handling and treatment of animals at international level in the future. For more information on the workshop, see: <a href="http://www.coe.int/animalwelfare-workshop">www.coe.int/animalwelfare- workshop ; for more information on EU animal welfare issues, see: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/index_en.htm

    [16] La compréhension interculturelle l'honneur : vingt-neuf exemples de toute l'Europe

    Les 22 et 23 novembre 2006, la Commission européenne organise Bruxelles une grande conférence européenne sur le thème du dialogue interculturel. Cette manifestation sera l'occasion de mettre en lumière des projets de bonne pratique ayant bénéficié du soutien financier d'un programme européen comme Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates ou Jeunesse, ou concernant la société civile et la culture. Une exposition spéciale présentera en même temps les résultats de vingt-neuf projets, provenant de toute l'Europe, qui constitueront des vitrines de bonne pratique en matière de compréhension interculturelle dans diverses situations.

    [17] Commission clears acquisition of SR Technics by Istithmar, Mubadala and DAE

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of SR Technics Holding AG (SR Technics) of Switzerland by Istithmar PJSC (Istithmar), Mubadala Development Company PJSC (Mubadala) and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Limited (DAE), all of the United Arab Emirates. Istithmar is an investment company focusing on private equity, real estate and other investments. Mubadala is active in investments in a wide range of sectors. DAE is a holding company for manufacture and services companies. SR Technics is active in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for commercial aircraft. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [18] La Commission autorise le rachat de Schwarz par UCB

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en application du règlement CE sur les concentrations, le projet d'acquisition de Schwarz Pharma Aktiengesellschaft (Allemagne) par UCB SA (Belgique). Elle a considéré que cette opération n'entraverait pas de manière significative une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen ou dans une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

    [19] Septembre 2006 comparé août 2006 : les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie en baisse de 1,3% dans la zone euro ; baisse de 1% dans l'UE25

    Dans la zone euro, l'indice des entrées de commandes dans l'industrie a diminué de 1,3% en septembre 2006 comparé août 2006. L'indice avait augmenté de 3,8% en août et de 2,0% en juillet. Dans l'UE25, les entrées de commandes ont baissé de 1,0% en septembre 2006, après des hausses de 2, 7% en août et de 1,7% en juillet. En excluant la construction navale ainsi que l'équipement ferroviaire et aérospatial, les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie ont diminué en septembre 2006 de 2,0% dans la zone euro et de 0,7% dans l'UE25. En septembre 2006 par rapport septembre 2005, les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie ont crû de 7,6% dans la zone euro et de 6,8% dans l'UE25. En excluant la construction navale ainsi que l’équipement ferroviaire et aérospatial, les entrées de commandes dans l'industrie ont progressé de 5,4% dans la zone euro et de 5,0% dans l'UE25. Ces estimations sont publiées par Eurostat.

    [20] Autre matériel diffusé

    Green Paper on modernising labour law to meet the challenges of the 21st century

    State aid : new framework for Research, Development and Innovation - frequently asked questions

    Tax incentives to promote R&D - frequently asked questions

    Speech by Olli Rehn : "Enlargement Package 2006" to European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee (21/11)

    Speech by Siim Kallas : "Transparency against corruption and the perception of corruption" at the Council of Europe Conference on Democracy and Corruption (21/11, Strasbourg)

    Speech by Andris Piebalgs: "Energy and development" at the External Energy Policy Conference (21/11)

    Concluding remarks by Benita Ferrero-Waldner at Conference: 'Towards an EU External Energy Policy to Assure a High Level of Supply Security' (21/11) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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