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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-09-25

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] Broadband Internet for all Europeans: Commission launches debate on future of universal service
  • [02] EU and China push positive trade agenda
  • [03] Environment: Commission welcomes adoption of legislation to ban EU mercury exports
  • [04] Commissioner Hübner in Veneto: “ideas laboratory” leads the way
  • [05] European Year of Intercultural Dialogue: Award ceremony of 'Cultures on my street' photo competition
  • [06] Millions of people visit monuments during 2008 European Heritage Days supported by the EU
  • [07] Meet researchers all over Europe on 26 September 2008 during the 4th European Researchers' Night
  • [08] Zimbabwe: European Commission provides extra €10M in humanitarian aid
  • [09] «Liberté, Sécurité, Justice: Quel sera le futur?»: la Commission lance une large consultation publique pour définir les priorités futures dans le domaine de la liberté, de la sécurité et de la justice
  • [10] Commission recommends the negotiation of Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements with Georgia
  • [11] Company law: Commission proposes further simplification of EU rules on mergers and divisions
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-09-25 Reference: MEX/08/0925 Date: 25/09/2008 EXME08 / 25.09

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    25/09/08


  • [01] Broadband Internet for all Europeans: Commission launches debate on future of universal service

    How can the EU achieve that all Europeans – from the North of Finland to the South of Italy, from the Western Ireland to Eastern Romania – have access to broadband Internet? This is the main question raised in a Commission report today. From 2003-2007 broadband use in the EU tripled to 36% of households. However, 7% of the EU's population are still not connected (30% in rural areas). There are striking gaps in the EU: 100% of the population is covered in Denmark, Luxembourg and Belgium, but more than 60% in Romania (75% in rural areas) do not have broadband access. Even in strong economies such as Italy and Germany, 18% and 12% respectively of the rural population are not covered. With broadband increasingly important in daily life, policy tools like radio spectrum management and mobile satellite services should accompany a broad debate about the universal service in telecoms – a safety net guaranteeing a minimum level of services, such as connection to a phone network and basic Internet access, filling basic needs that the market does not.

    [02] EU and China push positive trade agenda

    EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson today in Beijing co-chaired the 23rd EU-China Joint Economic and Trade Committee with Commerce Minister Chen Deming. The three-hour meeting covered a wide range of topics, including trade in goods and services, Intellectual Property RIghts, sustainable development and trade, and investment. During the Joint Committee the two sides agreed on a number of points of consensus to overcome hurdles in the EU-China trade relationship.

    [03] Environment: Commission welcomes adoption of legislation to ban EU mercury exports

    The European Commission welcomes the final adoption by the Council today of legislation banning all exports of mercury from the European Union. The export ban is a key part of the EU’s strategy for reducing the global supply of mercury and thereby limiting emissions of the highly toxic heavy metal into the environment. The legislation requires mercury that is no longer used in the chlor-alkali industry – the chemical industry sector responsible for chlorine and caustic soda production – or that is produced in certain other industrial operations, to be put into safe storage once the export ban takes effect in March 2011.

    [04] Commissioner Hübner in Veneto: “ideas laboratory” leads the way

    Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner will today visit Venice and the Veneto region to see how they have transformed themselves into the "ideas laboratory" of Italy. The Commissioner, who is the guest of the President of Veneto region, Giancarlo Galan, will meet members of the regional government, mayors, and industry and trade union representatives to discuss the new programme designed for the region under the EU's Cohesion Policy for 2007-2013. She is visiting two projects supported by the European Union in Venice which reflect the solutions developed by the region in the field of urban development and innovation.

    [05] European Year of Intercultural Dialogue: Award ceremony of 'Cultures on my street' photo competition

    The European Commission received more than 2,000 photographs in response to its invitation launched in March to portray the theme of cultures meeting and mixing in concrete neighbourhoods. It was an encouragement to all EU residents to express their own view of what intercultural dialogue means, under the broad title of “Cultures on my street”. The winners have been selected by a jury and are announced today by Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth.

    [06] Millions of people visit monuments during 2008 European Heritage Days supported by the EU

    More than 30 000 sites and monuments are being opened to the public in 49 European countries throughout September and some 20 million people are expected to visit them. European Heritage Days have become a solid tradition, which is supported conjointly by the Council of Europe and the European Commission.

    [07] Meet researchers all over Europe on 26 September 2008 during the 4th European Researchers' Night

    On 26 September 2008, all EU citizens are invited to meet researchers in over 200 European cities during a European festive event celebrating science, the "Researchers' night". There will be events in 27 countries, from Nice to Goteborg, from Bucharest to Krakow, 200 European cities are actively participating. These special events will give the general public, whether young or old, already interested in science or just wanting to find out more, the opportunity to find out about the fun of science in many different ways.

    [08] Zimbabwe: European Commission provides extra €10M in humanitarian aid

    The European Commission has allocated an additional €10 million in relief assistance for people affected by the enduring humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. The aim is to tackle the suffering among the most vulnerable population groups affected by displacement, epidemics and violence, by mainly providing assistance in the areas of health, water and sanitation. The humanitarian assistance comes in addition to €15 million in food aid that the Commission has already made available in Zimbabwe this year. All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel.

    [09] «Liberté, Sécurité, Justice: Quel sera le futur?»: la Commission lance une large consultation publique pour définir les priorités futures dans le domaine de la liberté, de la sécurité et de la justice

    M. Jacques Barrot, Vice-président de la Commission européenne chargé de la justice, de la liberté et de la sécurité a décidé de lancer une large consultation publique qui sera prise en compte dans le cadre des réflexions qui mèneront la définition des priorités partir de 2010.

    [10] Commission recommends the negotiation of Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements with Georgia

    Today the Commission recommended that the Council open negotiations on agreements to facilitate the procedures for issuing short-stay visas and on readmission between the European Community and Georgia.

    [11] Company law: Commission proposes further simplification of EU rules on mergers and divisions

    The European Commission has put forward a proposal for a directive that will further reduce the administrative burdens on European public limited- liability companies in the area of mergers and divisions. Under the proposal, companies would benefit from simplified requirements on reporting and on publication of draft terms. The proposal complements the two packages of "fast track" measures that were put forward by the Commission in March 2007 (IP/07/1087) and April 2008 (IP/08/598). These measures will contribute to the objective of reducing administrative burdens on EU companies by 25% by the end of 2012. The total savings potential of the measures proposed so far in the area of company law, with the current proposal, is brought to 1 billion €/year.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Telecoms Reform: Parliament vote paves way for Single Telecoms Market in Europe

    • Memo on the Commission's 2008 Report on the Scope of the Universal Service in Telecoms: Frequently Asked Questions

    • Memo on Ireland: Operational Programme "European Fisheries Fund 2007- 2013"

    • Speech by Commissioner Almunia at the European Parliament Plenary Session on the Situation of the world financial system and its effects on the European economy, Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Kroes 'Exclusionary abuses of dominance - the European Commission’s enforcement priorities', New York – EMBARGO 15h15 CET

    • Discours du commissaire pidla 'Le Fonds social européen au service des travailleurs et des demandeurs d'emploi', Le Havre

    • Speech by Commissioner Fischer Boel 'The CAP Health Check: an opportunity for regions', Clermont-Ferrand

    • Address by President Barroso to the Opening Session of the United Nations High Level Event on Millennium Development Goals, New York – EMBARGO 15h00 CET

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    HMC/HAII

    Aegon/Caixa Terrassa/Caixa Terrassa Vida From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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