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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-07-04

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

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

  • [01] CAP Reform : wine reform will help Europe regain lost market share
  • [02] Antitrust : la Commission inflige une amende de plus de €151 millions Telefónica pour avoir pratiqué pendant plus de cinq ans des prix déloyaux sur le marché espagnol de l'accès large bande
  • [03] EU renews Industrial Policy for strong manufacturing base in response to globalization and climate change
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] President Lula at the European Commission
  • [05] Airlines black list: Commission adopts new measures against unsafe carriers
  • [06] La Commission lance une consultation publique sur de nouvelles mesures contre les discriminations
  • [07] Avian Influenza confirmed in wild birds in another region in Germany and suspected in France and Austria
  • [08] EU Research at the top of the world : Janez Potočnik to visit the world's most northerly human settlement
  • [09] Burma/Myanmar : Commission supports ICRC's demand for the respect of International Humanitarian Law
  • [10] Commission consults net makers on how to improve technical measures
  • [11] Commission regrets lack of progress on conservation and governance issues at IAATC
  • [12] Volume of retail trade up by 0.4% in euro area ; up by 1.8% in EU27
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-07-04 Reference: MEX/07/0704 Date: 04/07/2007 EXME07 / 4.7

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    04/07/07


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

    [01] CAP Reform : wine reform will help Europe regain lost market share

    The European Commission has adopted proposals for a wide-ranging reform of the Common Market Organisation for wine. This follows more than one year's discussion with all parties on the ideas launched in the June 2006 Communication. This aims to increase the competitiveness of EU producers, win back markets, balance supply and demand, simplify the rules, preserve the best traditions of EU wine production, reinforce the social fabric of rural areas and respect the environment. Key to the reform will be making better use of the budget (€1.3 billion), which will remain at the current level. Under the proposals, all the inefficient market support measures – various aids for distillation, private storage aid, export refunds – would be abolished from day one. The addition of sugar to enrich wine – chaptalisation – would be banned, and aid for must for enrichment, introduced to compensate for the higher cost compared to chaptalisation, would also be abolished. Crisis distillation would be replaced by two crisis management measures, paid for from national financial envelopes. Much more money would go into promoting EU wine, particularly on third country markets. For a five-year transitional period, planting restrictions would be kept in place and uncompetitive producers would have the possibility to leave the sector with attractive financial support. After 2013, restrictions on planting would be lifted to allow competitive producers to expand their production if they so choose. Labelling rules would be made simpler, certain wine making practices accepted by all producer countries in the International Organisation of Vine and Wine would be adopted by the EU and quality policy would be based on a geographical origin approach. Member States would receive a national financial envelope and a menu of actions to allow them to take measures best suited to the local situation. More money would go into Rural Development to fund measures including the setting up of young wine producers and environmental protection.

    [02] Antitrust : la Commission inflige une amende de plus de €151 millions Telefónica pour avoir pratiqué pendant plus de cinq ans des prix déloyaux sur le marché espagnol de l'accès large bande

    La Commission européenne a infligé une amende de €151.875.000 l'opérateur téléphonique historique espagnol Telefónica pour avoir gravement abusé de sa position dominante sur le marché espagnol de l'accès large bande. Telefónica a imposé des prix déloyaux sous forme de compression des marges entre les prix de gros facturés des concurrents et les prix de détail facturés ses propres clients. Ce faisant, l'entreprise a affaibli ses concurrents, rendant leur maintien et leur développement difficiles: ils se voyaient obligés d'essuyer des pertes s'ils souhaitaient rivaliser avec les prix de détail pratiqués par Telefónica. En raison des prix de gros élevés et de l'affaiblissement de la concurrence sur le marché de détail de l'accès large bande, les consommateurs espagnols paient 20% de plus que la moyenne de l'UE-15 pour ce service. Le taux de pénétration sur le marché espagnol de l'accès large bande est de 20% inférieur la moyenne de l'UE-15 et sa croissance est près de 30% inférieure celle de l'UE-15.

    [03] EU renews Industrial Policy for strong manufacturing base in response to globalization and climate change

    The European Union currently benefits from strong economic growth and a rise of productivity and employment, which are supported by a modern and well functioning industrial policy. This policy is based on both horizontal and sectoral initiatives, which have already been adopted or are being implemented. Globalization and technological change are however likely to intensify in the coming years. Furthermore industry needs to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change and to grasp the opportunities of new low-energy and resource saving processes and products. In its mid-term review of industrial policy, tabled today, the European Commission identifies these and other key challenges. Taking stock of the achievements since its Communication of 2005 the Commission sets out an industrial policy agenda for the coming years (see IP/05/1225).

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] President Lula at the European Commission

    Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will pay his first official visit to the European Commission in Brussels on 5 July. During the visit, the Commission President José Manuel Barroso will host a working lunch for President Lula with the participation of several Commissioners. Discussions will focus on global issues including climate change, energy and poverty. President Lula will also participate, together with President Barroso and Portuguese Prime Minister José Socrates, in the International Biofuels Conference, organised by the Commission . President Lula is accompanied by Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Brazilian Presidential Chief of Staff Minister Dilma Roussef and Minister for Industry and Development Miguel Jorge. During the visit, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner and Minister Amorim will sign the Commission assistance strategy for Brazil for the period 2007- 2013, which amounts to €61 million, and Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister Amorim will sign the Memorandum of Understanding on energy, with a view to launch a new sector dialogue in this important area.

    [05] Airlines black list: Commission adopts new measures against unsafe carriers

    Today, the European Commission adopted the fourth update of the Community list of airlines banned in the European Union. This list includes an operating ban of all Indonesian airlines as well as of the Angolan flag carrier, TAAG Angolan airlines, and of Volare Aviation Enterprise from Ukraine. The restrictions previously imposed on Pakistan International Airlines are modified. In addition, airlines from Russia (10) Bulgaria (6) and Moldova (8) have to stop their operations in the European Union on the basis of new measures adopted by these States following consultations with the European Commission.

    [06] La Commission lance une consultation publique sur de nouvelles mesures contre les discriminations

    La Commission européenne a lancé aujourd'hui une consultation en ligne sur la lutte contre les discriminations dans les Etats membres et l'échelle de l'Union européenne. Cette consultation publique aidera la Commission préparer de nouvelles mesures afin d'étendre au-del du marché du travail la lutte contre les discriminations fondées sur le sexe, la religion, les convictions, un handicap, l'âge ou l'orientation sexuelle. Ce lancement intervient alors que l'«Année européenne de l'égalité des chances pour tous» – qui vise sensibiliser les citoyens leur droit l'égalité de traitement et favoriser un vaste débat sur les bienfaits de la diversité pour la société – bat son plein.

    [07] Avian Influenza confirmed in wild birds in another region in Germany and suspected in France and Austria

    The European Commission has been informed by the French and the Austrian authorities of new suspected cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds in their territories. Germany has also confirmed the occurrence of disease in Thuringia. All three Member States are applying the precautionary measures set out under EU legislation. National laboratories are also working intensively to determine whether the outbreaks were caused by the H5N1 virus, and are keeping close contact with the Community Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza in Weybridge, UK. These latest wild bird cases follow the confirmation of H5N1 avian influenza on two poultry farms and in a wild swan in the Czech Republic, as well as cases of the disease in wild birds in Bavaria and Saxony over the last two weeks (see IP/07/878). The H5N1 virus was responsible for over 700 reported cases of avian influenza in wild birds in the EU last year.

    [08] EU Research at the top of the world : Janez Potočnik to visit the world's most northerly human settlement

    From 4-6 July, European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik will visit Svalbard in Northern Norway as part of International Polar Year. The visit is at the invitation of the Norwegian research minister and will include discussion with students taking part in EU projects; visiting an EU- funded research vessel; visiting an EU-funded radar facility studying the interaction between the earth and the sun; visiting the European Centre for Arctic Environmental Research. During the trip, the Commissioner will spend time in Tromsø in mainland Norway, Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Svalbard, and Ny-Ålesund, the world's most northerly human settlement.

    More information about the projects to be visited and others on-going in the region are given in MEMO/07/272. Footage of the trip will be made available through EBS.

    [09] Burma/Myanmar : Commission supports ICRC's demand for the respect of International Humanitarian Law

    On 29 June 2007, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) publicly denounced the government of Burma/Myanmar for violations of international humanitarian law affecting civilians and detainees and for imposing increasingly severe restrictions on ICRC's work.

    [10] Commission consults net makers on how to improve technical measures

    Yesterday the European Commission held a meeting with European fishing net makers to discuss the problems they encounter in the practical application of some technical measures under the Common Fisheries Policy. Technical regulations play a major role in improving the selectivity of fishing gear, and, as a result, decreasing discarding (throwing overboard of unwanted catches). As announced recently, the Commission wants to move towards a ban on discarding in EU fisheries. This meeting will help the Commission to improve both the drafting and the substance of the revised regulation on technical measures in the North-East Atlantic, on which it is presently working. It will also contribute to the debate between the Commission and the fishing fleets concerned. The Commission, therefore, greatly appreciates the contribution made by the participants, which will help ensure better and simpler regulation in future.

    [11] Commission regrets lack of progress on conservation and governance issues at IAATC

    The European Commission has expressed disappointment at the outcome of the annual meeting of the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), which was held in Cancun, Mexico, last week. Despite the best efforts of a number of parties, including the European Union, IATTC failed to agree measures to deal with a number of crucial challenges. Thus, IATTC members were unable to decide on a new multi-annual management plan for tuna stocks, to replace the current plan which comes to an end in December. A proposal by the EU for measures to reduce the by-catch of seabirds also failed to achieve consensus. The EU also sought to introduce improved procedures for blacklisting vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities (IUU), in line with those recently adopted by other tuna management organisations, and to launch an independent performance review of the organisation. But again, these measures were not carried, despite having won broad support from many IATTC members. Both the Joint Meeting of Tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) in Kobe in January, and the UN General Assembly in December 2006, called for RFMOs to urgently undertake independent assessments of their performance. Such reviews - already undertaken by some RFMOs such as the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission - are crucial to strengthen RFMOs as the essential framework for the sustainable management of high seas marine resources and the fight against IUU fishing. These issues will now have to be revisited later this year at the IATTC Extraordinary Session and the Commission has called on all IATTC members to work together to resolve their differences. With 15 members, IATTC is responsible for the conservation of tuna and other species caught in tuna- fisheries in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It has 15 members including Latin American states, the US, Japan, Korea, France and Spain.

    [12] Volume of retail trade up by 0.4% in euro area ; up by 1.8% in EU27

    In May 2007, compared to May 2006, the volume of retail trade grew by 0.4% in the euro area (EA13) and by 1.8% in the EU27. Compared to April 2007, the retail sales index fell by 0.5% and 0.1% respectively. In May 2007, compared to May 2006, retail trade of "food, drinks and tobacco" increased by 0.4% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU27. The non food sector rose by 0.3% and 2.2% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, total retail trade rose in eleven Member States and fell in six. The largest increases were observed in Latvia (+24.3%), Lithuania (+16.5%), Estonia (+15.2%) and Slovakia (+9.9%), and the highest decreases in Luxembourg (-9.9%), Denmark (-2.2%) and Germany (-1.9%). These first estimates come from Eurostat.

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Antitrust : Commission decision against Telefónica - frequently asked questions

    Press conference on Telefónica decision – introductory remarks by Neelie Kroes

    Renewed EU industrial policy in times of climate change and globalization

    Note on the informal meeting of Employment and Social Affairs ministers (05- 06/07, Guimarães)

    Speech by Mariann Fischer Boel : "A balanced reform for a stronger EU wine sector" at the Agriculture Committee of the EP

    Intervention de M. Vladimir pidla contre la discrimination dans le contexte de l'Année européenne de l'égalité des chances pour tous (! embargo 17h30 !)

    Speech by Olli Rehn : "Deepening and widening of the EU: Together for 50 years" at Conference 'Die deutsche EU-Ratspräsidentschaft – Bilanz und Ausblick' (Berlin, ! embargo 20h30 !)

    Speech by Stavros Dimas : "Adaptation to climate change: it may be a matter of survival!" at Adapting to Climate Change Conference (03/07)

    Speech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner : "EU Commitment to the Governance and Rule of Law in Afghanistan" at Afghanistan Conference on Rule of Law (03/07, Rome) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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