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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-01-16

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] Antitrust: Commission launches sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals with unannounced inspections
  • [02] Danuta Hübner en visite aux Canaries pour lancer la programmation régionale 2007-2013
  • [03] Bluetongue: Commission offers co-funding for vaccination campaign
  • [04] Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomes the resolution of the Kashagan oil field dispute
  • [05] "External costs" in transport: Commission prepares the ground for efficient and fair pricing of transport services
  • [06] Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on bomb attack in Beirut yesterday January 15th 2008
  • [07] Euro area annual inflation stable at 3.1%
  • [08] Commission approves Italian State aid to invest in clean lorries
  • [09] State aid: Commission opens an investigation procedure into changes planned by Ireland to its flat-rate tax regime based on the tonnage of ships
  • [10] Schools can order the Europa School Diary today!
  • [11] European Parliament supports proposal to reduce paper work for 300.000 freight carriers, saving € 160 million
  • [12] Autre matériel diffuse Midday Express of 2008-01-16 Reference: MEX/08/0116 Date: 16/01/2008 EXME08 / 16.01

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    16/01/08

    Matériel diffusé

  • [01] Antitrust: Commission launches sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals with unannounced inspections

    The European Commission has launched a sector inquiry into competition in the pharmaceuticals sector (under Article 17 of Regulation 1/2003), and is conducting inspections at the premises of a number of innovative and generic pharmaceutical companies. The inquiry is a response to indications that competition in pharmaceutical markets in Europe may not be working well: fewer new pharmaceuticals are being brought to market, and the entry of generic pharmaceuticals sometimes seems to be delayed. The inquiry will therefore look at the reasons for this. In particular, the inquiry will examine whether agreements between pharmaceutical companies, such as settlements in patent disputes, may infringe the EC Treaty's prohibition on restrictive business practices (Article 81). It will also look into whether companies may have created artificial barriers to entry, whether through the misuse of patent rights, vexatious litigation or other means, and whether such practices may infringe the EC Treaty's ban on abuses of dominant market positions (Article 82). Vigorous competition in this sector is crucial for the public, as it ensures both access by patients to state- of-the-art medicines, and value for money for health spending by individuals, private health schemes and government health services in Europe. An interim report is planned for autumn 2008 and final results are expected in the spring of 2009. The inquiry's findings will allow the Commission or national competition authorities to focus any future action on the most serious competition concerns, and to identify remedies to resolve the specific competition problems in individual cases.

    [02] Danuta Hübner en visite aux Canaries pour lancer la programmation régionale 2007-2013

    La Commissaire européenne la politique régionale, Mme Danuta Hübner, effectue les 16 et 17 janvier une visite dans la Communauté Autonome des Canaries, l'occasion de laquelle elle s'entretiendra avec le Président du Gouvernement, M. Paulino Rivero, et visitera plusieurs projets financés par l'Union européenne. Ce déplacement intervient dans le contexte de la signature, en décembre dernier, du nouveau programme de cohésion 2007 2013 pour la région ainsi que du Traité de Lisbonne qui consolide et renforce le statut des régions ultrapériphériques.

    [03] Bluetongue: Commission offers co-funding for vaccination campaign

    Markos Kyprianou, Commissioner for Health, today announced that the Commission will make funds available to co-finance an emergency mass vaccination campaign against bluetongue in the EU in 2008. Bluetongue is an insect-transmitted, viral disease which affected thousands of animals across 11 Member States in 2007. At a conference hosted by the Commission in Brussels today, over 350 experts met to discuss the best ways of tackling this disease, with a particular focus on vaccination as a prevention and control measure.

    [04] Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomes the resolution of the Kashagan oil field dispute

    Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, has welcomed today the fact that an agreement has been reached between the members of the Kashagan consortium and the authorities of Kazakhstan. The resolution of this dispute will allow the development of the Kashagan oil field, the largest oil discovery in more than 30 years, to proceed at the quickest pace possible (with the production stream to come on line by 2011). Such progress should also help to ease world energy markets at a time of sharply increasing energy demand.

    [05] "External costs" in transport: Commission prepares the ground for efficient and fair pricing of transport services

    The European Commission has released a comprehensive compilation of existing studies on external costs in the transport sector. This handbook, jointly prepared by several transport research institutes, summarises the state of the art as regards the valuation of external costs. The Commission intends to make use of the handbook as one element which prepares the communication on the internalisation of external costs for all modes of transport that is due in June 2008 and a proposal to revise the directive on the charging of heavy goods vehicles. .

    [06] Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on bomb attack in Beirut yesterday January 15th 2008

    Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner strongly condemns the terrorist attack involving a vehicle of the US embassy in Beirut resulting in the deaths of 3 people.

    [07] Euro area annual inflation stable at 3.1%

    Euro area annual inflation was 3.1% in December 2007, unchanged compared with November. A year earlier the rate was 1.9%. Monthly inflation was 0.4% in December 2007. EU annual inflation was 3.2% in December 2007, up from 3.1% in November. A year earlier the rate was 2.2%. Monthly inflation was 0.4% in December 2007. These figures come from Eurostat.

    Rédiffusion

    Commission opens a formal investigation procedure into complaints of illegal State aid to certain Czech bus operators

    Following a complaint alleging that contracts concluded by the Czech authorities providing public transport compensations to bus carriers in Southern Moravia involve illegal State aid, the European Commission has today decided to formally open an investigation procedure. The Commission at this stage cannot exclude that the contracts in question indeed involve State aid, which however may be compatible in that they may not involve overcompensation. Today's decision will give all stakeholders an opportunity to comment before the Commission takes a final view on this case.

    [08] Commission approves Italian State aid to invest in clean lorries

    The European Commission has approved today environmental investment aid to Italian companies that intend to purchase new clean heavy-duty vehicles.

    [09] State aid: Commission opens an investigation procedure into changes planned by Ireland to its flat-rate tax regime based on the tonnage of ships

    Following up on a notification by the Irish authorities, the European Commission today decided to open a formal investigation into the changes Ireland plans to make to its flat-rate tax regime based on the tonnage of maritime ships (tonnage tax). This tax regime enables shipping companies not to pay company tax but to pay a flat-rate tax based on the tonnage of their fleet. The investigation concerns planned amendments to the existing time charter rules and whether the new notified scheme may apply retroactively from 1 January 2006.

    [10] Schools can order the Europa School Diary today!

    Today in Strasbourg European Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva will present the "Europa School Diary 2008" to the European Parliament. This key tool for students will be printed in more than 2.7 millions copies, in all EU languages, and can be ordered by schools free of charge on a first come, first served basis. It has been prepared by the Commission in partnership with the Generation Europe Foundation, national authorities and other stakeholders. It addresses the European Union, but also consumer and social issues such as debt, food, fraud, electronic commerce, credit, sustainable consumption, climate change, the environment, and the dangers when surfing the web.

    [11] European Parliament supports proposal to reduce paper work for 300.000 freight carriers, saving € 160 million

    The European Parliament has today adopted the European Commission's proposal to remove unnecessary burdens for transport companies.. Freight carriers will no longer have to carry separate transport documents, explaining i.e. frontier crossing points, routes to be taken or distance travelled. In addition, this action rationalises outdated reporting requirements dating from 1960, allowing information on intra community transport flows, such as name and address of the consignor, nature and weight of the goods and place at which the goods are to be delivered to be collected through other available means. The proposal also aligns the remaining information requirements with provisions in existing international conventions, while facilitating freight carriers’ opportunities by allowing them to use simpler means of documentation. This simplification applies to more than 300.000 freight carriers across Europe, a majority of which is small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It is part of the Fast Track Actions within an Action Programme which has the objective to cut administrative burdens on businesses in the EU by 25% in 2012 (IP/07/77).

    [12] Autre matériel diffuse

    • Memo on antitrust – sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals - FAQ

    • Memo sur l'Espagne – programme opérationnel 2007-2013: Canaries

    • Speech by President José Manuel Durão Barroso on "Presentation of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the council of the EU" at the European Parliament in Strasbourg

    • Speech by Markos Kyprianou on "A European Strategy for Bluetongue Vaccination

    • Speech by Charlie McCreevy "SOLVIT Celebration" at the SOLVIT event in Strasbourg

    • Speech by Neelie Kroes "Commission launches sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals" – Introductory remarks at the press conference in Brussels

    • Speech by B. Ferrero-Waldner at the I Forum for the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration : - Henkel/Adhesives and Electronic Materials Business 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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