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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-11-29

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] State aid: Commission authorises €800.000 restructuring aid to Polish mechanical engineering company Techmatrans
  • [02] State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into financial advantages to BT from UK Crown pension guarantee
  • [03] Commissioner Danuta Hübner signs memorandum on regional policy cooperation with Brazil
  • [04] Commission calls for an all-inclusive digital society
  • [05] State aid: Commission approves €884million public funding plus continued loan facilities for Post Office Ltd
  • [06] Enthusiasm for new networking tool among European researchers in Japan
  • [07] European Science and Research Commissioner in Cape Town for Global Earth Observation Summit
  • [08] Brevet des gens de mer: la Commission envoie des lettres de mise en demeure 11 États membres pour n'avoir pas transposé les règles sur la mobilité et les compétences des équipages
  • [09] Commission welcomes start of a new era for Europe's audiovisual media
  • [10] EU- India Summit: setting the path for a growing strategic partnership
  • [11] Simplification de la PAC: une étude indique que la charge administrative liée la conditionnalité est limitée
  • [12] Le Parlement européen soutient l'initiative de la Commission pour faciliter les échanges commerciaux avec les Etats-Unis et permettre de continuer d'utiliser les pintes et les miles
  • [13] Commission approves 10 programmes for pre-accession assistance to Croatia, Turkey and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • [14] EU27 surplus in trade in services increased to nearly € 70 billion in 2006
  • [15] Commissioner Joe Borg in Slovenia to discuss fisheries and maritime affairs Midday Express of 2007-11-29 Reference: MEX/07/1129 Date: 29/11/2007 EXME07 / 29.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    29/11/07


  • [01] State aid: Commission authorises €800.000 restructuring aid to Polish mechanical engineering company Techmatrans

    The European Commission has concluded that a planned €800.000 aid to Techmatrans in Poland, is compatible with EC Treaty state aid rules. Following an in-depth investigation launched in February 2007 (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/212&format=HTML&aged=1&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/07/212), the Commission found that the restructuring plan is sufficient to restore the firm's viability without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

    [02] State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into financial advantages to BT from UK Crown pension guarantee

    The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under EC Treaty state aid rules on the effects of a UK Crown guarantee covering the pension liabilities of the BT Group plc on the EU telecommunications markets. The Commission investigation does not question the safeguards for BT's employees, introduced by the guarantee. The issue is a consequence of the guarantee where BT is exempted from certain common law financial obligations, such as the payment of a levy to the Pension Protection Fund.

    [03] Commissioner Danuta Hübner signs memorandum on regional policy cooperation with Brazil

    Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, will today in Brasilia sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian Ministry of National Integration to set up a structured dialogue on regional policy. At the invitation of Mr Geddel Vieira Lima, Minister of National Integration, she will also open an EU-Brazil seminar on regional policy.

    [04] Commission calls for an all-inclusive digital society

    Despite technological progress and enhanced competition, more than one in three Europeans are still excluded from fully benefiting from the digital society. Benefits of €35-85 billion over five years could be generated if society would be made more inclusive, websites more accessible and broadband Internet made available to all EU citizens. Today, the Commission presents its e-Inclusion initiative to Council, calling on Member States to support a number of key actions, including an awareness campaign for 2008 "e-Inclusion, be part of it!" e-Accessibility legislation, similar to that of the USA, is also under consideration.

    [05] State aid: Commission approves €884million public funding plus continued loan facilities for Post Office Ltd

    The European Commission has authorised, under the EC Treaty’s rules on state aid, £634million (€884million) of public funding for the UK's network of post offices Post Office Ltd over the three years starting 1 April 2008. In addition it has authorised the continuation, over the same period, of existing loan facilities which allow the network to fund the provision of cash services at post office counters. The post office network is entrusted with important public service tasks and the Commission is satisfied that the requirements of the Community framework for state aid in the form of public service compensation are met.

    [06] Enthusiasm for new networking tool among European researchers in Japan

    European researchers in Japan have given a resounding "yes" to the European Commission's proposed initiative to create a network of European researchers in Japan called ERA-Link/Japan. This network will provide them with information and services about career and research-funding opportunities in Europe, as well as openings for research collaboration. A survey of over 500 European researchers working in Japan has shown that the majority have been there for less than five years and that only 10% have no knowledge of Japanese. The results of the survey will be presented at events in Tokyo on 29 November and Brussels on 7 December.

    [07] European Science and Research Commissioner in Cape Town for Global Earth Observation Summit

    Janez Potočnik, the European Science and Research Commissioner, will be in Cape Town on 29 and 30 November, representing the European Commission at the Global Earth Observation (GEO) Summit. This Summit will review progress on the implementation of the 10-year plan to create a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), agreed at the GEO summit held in Brussels in February 2005. GEOSS will give policy-makers and the scientific community comprehensive and timely observation data about the Earth's physical, chemical and biological systems, which will help tackle many of today's challenges, such as the depletion of natural resources, the emergence of new diseases, climate change, the impact of migration and the loss of biodiversity.

    [08] Brevet des gens de mer: la Commission envoie des lettres de mise en demeure 11 États membres pour n'avoir pas transposé les règles sur la mobilité et les compétences des équipages

    La Commission européenne a décidé aujourd'hui d’envoyer une lettre de mise en demeure 11 États membres pour ne pas avoir communiqué la Commission les mesures de transposition de la directive sur la reconnaissance des brevets des gens de mer . Les États membres concernés sont les suivants: Bulgarie, Chypre, République tchèque, Estonie, Espagne, Finlande, Italie, Lituanie, Pologne, Portugal et Royaume-Uni. Compte tenu de la pénurie croissante des gens de mer affectant de nombreux États membres depuis les années '80, cette directive instaure pour la première fois la reconnaissance automatique des brevets nationaux. Elle vise ainsi faciliter la mobilité des marins communautaires d'un État membre vers l'autre.

    [09] Commission welcomes start of a new era for Europe's audiovisual media

    Today the European Parliament formally has approved without amendments the Council's common position on the new Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers Directive. The Directive modernises the rules for Europe's audiovisual industry and offers a comprehensive legal framework that covers all audiovisual media services – including on-demand services. Less detailed, more flexible and future-oriented rules on TV advertising will allow audiovisual content to be better financed. Member States now have two years to make the Directive national law.

    [10] EU- India Summit: setting the path for a growing strategic partnership

    The 8th EU-India Summit will take place on 30 November 2007 in New Delhi. This year’s Summit will confirm in many respects the strengthening of EU- India relations: on the agenda are issues like trade, energy, climate change, WTO talks, as well as regional issues such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Africa, the Middle East, and Pakistan. It is expected that the two sides will sign the renewal of their cooperation agreement on science and technology as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on EC- India development cooperation 2007 – 2010 amounting to 260 million euro covering health, education, civil aviation and academic and cultural cooperation.

    [11] Simplification de la PAC: une étude indique que la charge administrative liée la conditionnalité est limitée

    Selon un nouveau rapport établi pour le compte de la Commission européenne, les contraintes administratives résultant de l'application par les agriculteurs des normes obligatoires en matière de protection de l'environnement, de santé publique, de santé des animaux et des végétaux et de bien-être animal (la «conditionnalité») sont très limitées. Ce rapport se fonde sur des recherches menées dans cinq États membres de l'Union européenne, dont il ressort également que le type de modèle choisi par chaque pays pour les paiements directs aux agriculteurs n'influe que très peu sur le volume de leur charge administrative. Les conclusions de ce rapport et les propositions de simplification contenues dans le récent «bilan de santé de la PAC» constituent un bon point de départ pour atteindre l'objectif de réduction de 25 % de la charge administrative d'ici 2012.

    [12] Le Parlement européen soutient l'initiative de la Commission pour faciliter les échanges commerciaux avec les Etats-Unis et permettre de continuer d'utiliser les pintes et les miles

    Le Parlement européen a approuvé en première lecture la proposition de la Commission européenne sur les unités de mesure (IP 07/1297). La Grande- Bretagne et l'Irlande pourront donc continuer utiliser les miles pour la signalisation routière et les indications de la vitesse et les pintes pour le lait en bouteille et la bière et le cidre la pression. Cette mesure permettra aussi de continuer utiliser pour une durée indéfinie des étiquettes avec des indications complémentaires ou doubles des dimensions du système métrique et du système "impérial".

    [13] Commission approves 10 programmes for pre-accession assistance to Croatia, Turkey and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

    The Commission today approved a package of 10 operational programmes totalling € 920 million for 2007-2009 to support candidate countries in regional development and human resources. This investment is being made available in the framework of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The candidate countries are: Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    [14] EU27 surplus in trade in services increased to nearly € 70 billion in 2006

    In 2006, EU27 external trade in services recorded a surplus of 68.5 billion euro, an increase compared with € 52.9 billion in 2005 and € 46.4 billion in 2004. The increased surplus in 2006 was mainly due to an improved balance in insurance services, where the deficit of € 2.2 billion recorded in 2005 turned into a surplus of € 7.0 billion in 2006, to increased surpluses in financial services (€+24.5 billion in 2006 compared with € +20.8 billion in 2005) and computer and information services (€+11.3 billion compared with € +8.6 billion) and to a reduced deficit in travel (€ -14.0 billion compared with €-18.4 billion), partially offset by the decreased surplus in transportation services (€+13.6 billion compared with € +16.8 billion). The significant surplus in "other business services", which comprise merchanting and other trade- related services, operational leasing services and miscellaneous business, professional and technical services, remained nearly stable (€ +31.2 billion compared with € 31.3 billion), as did the surplus in construction (€ +5.5 billion compared with € +5.1 billion), and the deficit in royalties and license fees (€ -9.2 billion compared with € -8.4 billion).These data, issued by Eurostat, are subject to revision.

    [15] Commissioner Joe Borg in Slovenia to discuss fisheries and maritime affairs

    Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Joe Borg will arrive in Slovenia this evening for a short visit focusing on fisheries and maritime affairs. Tonight, he will attend a formal welcome dinner hosted by Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Iztoc Jarc. Other participants will include the State Secretary for Transport Mr Peter Verlic, and the State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr Andrej Ster. Mr Borg will update his Slovenian colleagues on a number of issues, including progress on the implementation of the EU's new Integrated Maritime Policy. Tomorrow morning, Commissioner Borg will meet bilaterally with Minister Jarc in the fishing port of Portoroz, where they will discuss fisheries issues that will be of importance during the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2008. Commissioner Borg will meet with representatives of the Slovenian fishing sector to hear their views on a range of issues and will later launch a new fishing inspection vessel that has been recently comissioned by Slovenia as part of its efforts to improve its control and enforcement of fisheries activities in its waters. There will also be a joint press conference by the Commissioner and Minister Jarc.

    Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo: European initiative on an all-inclusive digital society: Frequently Asked Questions

    • Memo: Le dialogue social européen profite concrètement aux travailleurs et aux entreprises

    • Rediffusion Speech by Commissioner Reding on The EU Telecoms Reform 2007: Better, more consistent rules for effective competition and sustainable investment

    • Rediffusion Allocution de clôture du Vice-Président Frattini sur la violence dans le sport

    • Speech by Vice-President Kallas on the European Court of Auditors' Report on the 2006 financial year at the European Parliament plenary session

    • Speech by Commissioner Hübner on the "Road to European Regional policy:

    History, Achievements and Perspectives" in Brazil EMBARGO until 14:00

    • Speech by Commissioner Mandelson on Europe and indispensable India in New Delhi

    • Speech du Commissaire pidla sur la responsabilité sociale des entreprises: défis et solutions

    • Speech by Commissioner Borg on Acting together for the future of the Maritime Policy

    • Speech by Commissioner Fischer Boel on Keeping the EU spirits industry competitive: the role of the Commission

    A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration : From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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