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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-11-09

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] CAP Reform: Commission proposes new cotton reform taking account of Court of Justice ruling
  • [02] Lancement des négociations entre la Suisse et l’UE pour un accord dans le domaine de l'électricité
  • [03] Making a world of difference – new diversity competition launched on MTV
  • [04] Autumn economic forecast 2007-2009: growth moderating
  • [05] Commission clears acquisition of Selenia by Petronas
  • [06] State aid: Commission launches infringement procedures against seven Member States for failure to implement Financial Transparency Directive
  • [07] Healthy markets need effective redress -Commissioner Kuneva discusses consumer collective redress in Europe
  • [08] From Early Warning to Early Action: developing the EU's response to crisis and longer-term threats Midday Express of 2007-11-09 Reference: MEX/07/1109 Date: 09/11/2007 EXME07 / 09.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    09/11/07


  • [01] CAP Reform: Commission proposes new cotton reform taking account of Court of Justice ruling

    The European Commission today proposed a revised reform of the support scheme for Cotton. The new proposal maintains the support arrangements from the current regime, which was annulled by the European Court of Justice because of shortcomings in the impact assessment carried out by the Commission. The proposal foresees that 65 % of the aid should be "decoupled" (i.e. no longer linked to production) and 35 % remain linked to cotton production, in the form of area payments. The Court judgment did not question the reform's approach (i.e. the change of support system) but found that the Commission had failed to carry out an impact study that included labour costs in the calculation of production costs, and failed to assess the effect of the reform on the local ginning industry. The new proposal follows the completion of an in-depth impact assessment and a wide- ranging consultation of stakeholders.

    [02] Lancement des négociations entre la Suisse et l’UE pour un accord dans le domaine de l'électricité

    Aujourd’hui s’est tenue Bruxelles la première réunion de négociation entre la Suisse et l’UE dans le domaine de l’électricité. La Suisse, qui occupe une position centrale dans le réseau électrique européen est un partenaire essentiel pour l’UE dans le bon fonctionnement du marché intérieur de l’électricité. L’accord qui est négocié devrait en particulier porter sur les principes et les règles communs pour la mise en place d’un marché intégré de l’électricité entre l’UE et la Suisse garantissant la fois la sécurité d’approvisionnement des parties et le respect de l’environnement dans le secteur de la production d’électricité.

    [03] Making a world of difference – new diversity competition launched on MTV

    The EU has launched its latest competition to raise awareness of equality and the fight against discrimination with a 30-second advertisement spot on MTV – the world’s largest youth channel. The ad calls on viewers to enter artwork – including photos, videos and collages – on the theme of diversity and equality. The competition is taking place as part of the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All and the five-year ‘For Diversity. Against Discrimination’ information campaign. The entry period for the contest runs until 8 December. The new ad can also be seen on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F-KG691pX8">EUTube – the EU's channel on YouTube.

    More information can be found at: <a href="http://www.eudiversity.com/flashcity.aspx">http://www.eudiversity.com/flashcity.aspx

    [04] Autumn economic forecast 2007-2009: growth moderating

    Growth in the European Union economy is expected to decelerate from 2.9% in 2007 to 2.4% in both 2008 and 2009 (from 2.6% to 2.2% in 2008 and 2.1% in 2009 in the euro area) according to the Commission’s autumn economic forecast. This follows from the impact of the turbulence in the financial markets that has caused tighter financing conditions and increased uncertainty. However, a still benign global environment and solid fundamentals limit the downward revision to 0.3 percentage points (pp.) in 2008 for both areas compared to the spring forecast. In particular, private consumption, which became the main driver of growth earlier this year, is expected to grow at a healthy pace, underpinned by relatively sustained employment growth. The EU as a whole is predicted to create 8 million new jobs over the period 2007-2009, on top of the 3.5 million already created in 2006. This will help reduce EU unemployment to 6.6% in 2009. Thanks in part to this healthy economic activity, the budget deficit for 2007 in both the EU and the euro area is forecast to fall to its lowest level in many years, averaging 1.1% of GDP in the EU and 0.8% in the euro area. The structural deficit is also expected to improve this year, albeit to a lesser degree, though fiscal consolidation will come to a halt thereafter. Inflation is set to increase in the coming quarters as a result of higher commodity prices, but should fall back to around 2% by mid-2008 in the euro area.

    [05] Commission clears acquisition of Selenia by Petronas

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of the Selenia Group (Selenia) of Italy by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) of Malaysia. Petronas is active in oil and gas operations. Selenia produces automotive and industrial lubricants. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [06] State aid: Commission launches infringement procedures against seven Member States for failure to implement Financial Transparency Directive

    The European Commission has decided to send formal requests for information under EC Treaty infringement procedures (Article 226) to Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom for their failure to notify the Commission of national measures to implement Commission Directive 2005/81/EC amending the Directive on financial relations between public authorities and public undertakings (80/723/EEC). In addition, the Commission has also decided to address similar formal requests to the Slovak Republic and Latvia, which have notified implementing measures which do not comply with the requirements of the Directive. The requests take the form of letters of formal notice, the first stage of infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. The Member States now have two months to reply to the Commission's concerns.

    [07] Healthy markets need effective redress -Commissioner Kuneva discusses consumer collective redress in Europe

    Tomorrow, the European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Meglena Kuneva, will give a key speech at the conference on collective redress organised by the Portuguese Presidency with the support of the European Commission in Lisbon.

    The Commissioner will emphasise the importance of collective redress as one of the means of empowering consumers and of ensuring that they are able to obtain adequate redress. She will take stock of the feedback received by the Commission on the issue to date, and will announce the next steps forward.

    The Commissioner will explain her aim to obtain more data in relation to the problem that large numbers of consumers with small claims can face, to examine the advantages and disadvantages of national collective redress schemes and to analyse the economic costs related to collective redress for consumers and business.

    She will present a first version of effective consumer collective redress benchmarks. These benchmarks will be fine-tuned on the basis of a stakeholder consultation which is to be launched shortly. They will serve to assess national collective redress systems and will contribute to the starting point for any future EU initiative. She will make known her intention to publish a Commission Communication on collective redress towards in 2008.

    Interested parties will be able to follow the Lisbon conference on collective redress in real time through a link on the website of the Portuguese Presidency. The speech will be published at 13.00 local time (14.00 Brussels time) on the conference website. For the relevant link and for more information on collective redress, please visit:

    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/redress_cons/collective_redress_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/redress_cons/collective_redress_en.htm

    <a href="http://www.eu2007.pt/UE/vEN/Reunioes_Eventos/Outros/cons_conc.htm">http://www.eu2007.pt/UE/vEN/Reunioes_Eventos/Outros/cons_conc.htm

    [08] From Early Warning to Early Action: developing the EU's response to crisis and longer-term threats

    European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will open on 12 November 2007 the conference "From Early Warning to Early Action: developing the EU's response to crisis and longer-term threats". More 800 participants from governments, NGOs, advocacy groups, international organisations, think tanks and media will discuss during the two day conference latest developments in EU conflict prevention, crisis management and 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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