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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-10-15

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 du 15 octobre 2008 – Outcome of Commission meeting of 15 October 2008

  • [01] Telecoms: Commission streamlines notification procedure for national regulators
  • [02] Comment valoriser au mieux les aliments et boissons de qualité de l'UE: la Commission lance une consultation sur la qualité des produits agricoles
  • [03] La Commission propose d’étendre aux prélèvements automatiques les règles relatives aux paiements transfrontaliers en euros (voir MEMO/08/621)
  • [04] Transport routier: une nouvelle directive sur le temps de travail pour couvrir le cas des faux conducteurs indépendants
  • [05] Commission sets out proposal to increase minimum protection for bank deposits to €100,000 (see MEMO/08/622)
  • [06] Antitrust: Commission fines banana suppliers € 60.3 million for running price cartel
  • [07] EU and the Caribbean seal economic partnership with ground-breaking trade deal
  • [08] Commission proposes triangular EU-China-Africa dialogue and cooperation
  • [II] Other news - Autres Nouvelles

  • [09] Hausse des investissements en R&D: les entreprises européennes dépassent les entreprises américaines pour la première fois en cinq ans
  • [10] President Barroso and Prime Minister Fillon meet European Social Partners on financial crisis
  • [11] Euro area annual inflation down to 3.6%
  • [12] Joe Borg visits Scotland
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-10-15 Reference: MEX/08/1015 Date: 15/10/2008 EXME08 / 15.10

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    15/10/08


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 15 octobre 2008 – Outcome of Commission meeting of 15 October 2008

    [01] Telecoms: Commission streamlines notification procedure for national regulators

    The Commission today decided to reduce administrative demands on national telecoms regulators when submitting draft regulatory measures to the Commission. Since 2003, the Commission has reviewed more than 800 national regulators' decisions to break traditional telecoms monopolies and open up networks for competitors. Today, the Commission adopted a new Recommendation on procedural rules for the EU-wide consultation mechanism, also known as 'the Article 7 procedure', that allows national regulators to use a simplified and shortened standard form to notify the Commission of certain decisions. This will considerably simplify and speed up the EU consultation mechanism. To further streamline the process, the Recommendation also invites national regulators to submit their market analyses together with the proposed remedies instead of separately, as it is already best practice in most EU Member States. These rules are another step towards a timelier implementation of regulatory measures and increased legal certainty for market players investing in the European telecoms sector, which ultimately benefits consumers.

    [02] Comment valoriser au mieux les aliments et boissons de qualité de l'UE: la Commission lance une consultation sur la qualité des produits agricoles

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui un livre vert en vue de lancer un débat sur la manière d'aider les agriculteurs européens exploiter de manière optimale la qualité des aliments et boissons qu'ils produisent. Face la progression de la globalisation, la pression accrue exercée par les produits issus des pays d'outre-mer faibles coûts de production et l'évolution de la demande, la meilleure arme de l'Europe est la qualité. Le livre vert passe en revue les normes, les programmes de qualité et de certification ainsi que les systèmes d'étiquetage existants dans l'UE - y compris les indications géographiques, l'agriculture biologique et les programmes de certification de la qualité, privés et régionaux - et examine ce qui pourrait être amélioré pour exploiter les points forts de l'agriculture communautaire et informer plus correctement les consommateurs sur les produits commercialisés. Le document invite les parties prenantes donner leur avis sur la capacité de ces mesures offrir des garanties et informer sur la qualité des produits; celles-ci sont aussi invitées proposer des améliorations. La consultation se poursuivra jusqu’ fin 2008. Une communication sera élaborée l'année prochaine sur la base des résultats recueillis, laquelle pourrait déboucher sur des propositions législatives un stade ultérieur.

    [03] La Commission propose d’étendre aux prélèvements automatiques les règles relatives aux paiements transfrontaliers en euros (voir MEMO/08/621)

    La Commission européenne a présenté une proposition visant modifier les dispositions et étendre la portée du règlement de 2001 relatif aux paiements transfrontaliers en euros, en application duquel les frais pour les transferts bancaires transfrontaliers en euros dans l’UE sont identiques ceux des transferts nationaux. La proposition est une réponse l’évolution rapide du marché des paiements dans l’UE. Elle vise étendre le principe de l’égalité des frais aux paiements par prélèvement automatique. Elle contient également des dispositions visant renforcer la protection des intérêts et des droits des consommateurs et alléger la charge relative la déclaration de données statistiques.

    [04] Transport routier: une nouvelle directive sur le temps de travail pour couvrir le cas des faux conducteurs indépendants

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui une proposition de modification de la directive sur le temps de travail dans le transport routier. Cette proposition vise garantir l'application des règles actuelles sur le temps de travail tous les conducteurs professionnels, y compris les faux travailleurs indépendants.

    [05] Commission sets out proposal to increase minimum protection for bank deposits to €100,000 (see MEMO/08/622)

    The European Commission has put forward a revision of EU rules on deposit guarantee schemes that puts into action the commitments made by EU Finance Ministers on 7 October. The new rules are designed to improve depositor protection and to maintain the confidence of depositors in the financial safety net. Under the new rules, the minimum level of coverage for deposits will be increased within one year from €20,000 to €100,000, and initially to €50,000 in the intervening period. Individual Member States can choose to add to these minimum levels. In addition, the payout period in the event of bank failure will be reduced from three months to three days. The proposal now passes to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers for consideration.

    [06] Antitrust: Commission fines banana suppliers € 60.3 million for running price cartel

    The European Commission has found that banana importers Chiquita, Dole and Weichert participated in a cartel between 2000 and 2002 in violation of the EC Treaty's ban on cartels and restrictive practices (Article 81). The Commission has therefore imposed a total of € 60 300 000 in fines on Dole and Weichert . The cartel members coordinated the setting of their quotation prices for bananas in eight EU Member States. At the time of the infringement, Weichert was trading mainly Del Monte branded bananas. Chiquita was not fined as it provided information to the Commission that enabled it to open its investigation. The fines on Dole and Weichert were reduced by 60% in view of the particular circumstances of the case, including the specific regulatory régime for the banana market that was in place at the time. An additional reduction of 10% was accorded to Weichert as it did not participate in a part of the cartel. Del Monte is held jointly and severally liable for the payment of the fine imposed on Weichert as it controlled Weichert at the time of the infringement. The cartel affected Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Sweden, where the combined retail value of bananas sold in 2002 amounted to around €2.5 billion.

    [07] EU and the Caribbean seal economic partnership with ground-breaking trade deal

    The European Union and countries of the Caribbean region have today signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which will strengthen ties between the two regions and promote regional integration in the Caribbean. The EPA is the first genuinely comprehensive North-South trade and development agreement in the global economy. It includes a package of measures to stimulate trade, investment and innovation, and to promote sustainable development, build a regional market among Caribbean countries and help eliminate poverty. Embargo 16h00 CET

    [08] Commission proposes triangular EU-China-Africa dialogue and cooperation

    The European Commission today proposed that Africa, the EU and China should work closely together in building infrastructure in Africa, supporting African Union (AU) peace and security efforts on the continent, promoting sustainable management of the environment and fostering agricultural production. As both the EU and China are important trading partners and donors for Africa, this proposal suggests Africa, the EU and China should join forces in areas of shared interests rather than to focus on differences. This can also build up knowledge and mutual understanding of the EU and China's engagement in Africa.

    [II] Other news - Autres Nouvelles

    [09] Hausse des investissements en R&D: les entreprises européennes dépassent les entreprises américaines pour la première fois en cinq ans

    Les investissements en recherche et développement (R&D) réalisés par les entreprises de l’UE ont augmenté de 8,8 %, contre 8,6 % pour ceux des entreprises des États-Unis, selon l’édition 2008 du tableau de bord sur les investissements en R&D industrielle de la Commission européenne, qui est publiée aujourd’hui. Trois entreprises de l'UE figurent parmi les dix mieux classées: Nokia occupe la cinquième position (au lieu de la dix-septième) avec 5,3 milliards d'euros d'investissements en R&D, Volkswagen se classe neuvième (au lieu de quatorzième) et Daimler dixième (alors qu’elle était cinquième l’an dernier). Le plus grand investisseur en R&D du monde pour 2008 est Microsoft, avec 5,6 milliards d'euros. Les chiffres du tableau de bord témoignent d'une hausse des ventes et de la rentabilité des entreprises de l'UE. Alors que cet outil existe depuis 2004, c’est la première fois que les entreprises de l'UE affichent une croissance des investissements en R&D plus forte que leurs homologues américaines.

    [10] President Barroso and Prime Minister Fillon meet European Social Partners on financial crisis

    European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and French Prime Minister François Fillon – for the EU Council Presidency – met this morning with employers' and workers' representatives to discuss the impact of the financial crisis on the 'real economy', in particular jobs and growth. Today's Tripartite Social Summit also addressed the impact of climate change and energy policy on employment and social cohesion, including the potential for "green jobs". Vladimír `pidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and representatives of the future Czech and Swedish Council Presidencies also participated.

    [11] Euro area annual inflation down to 3.6%

    Euro area annual inflation was 3.6% in September 2008, down from 3.8% in August. A year earlier the rate was 2.1%. Monthly inflation was 0.2% in September 2008. EU annual inflation was 4.2% in September 2008, down from 4.3% in August. A year earlier the rate was 2.2%. Monthly inflation was 0.3% in September 2008. These figures come from Eurostat.

    [12] Joe Borg visits Scotland

    European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Joe Borg will travel to Scotland tomorrow to meet with the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Mr Richard Lochhead and stakeholders. High on the agenda will be issues of concern to Europe’s fishing nations, such as the weak economic situation of the fishing fleet, and the role which restructuring can play in bringing the industry back to profitability. The Commissioner will have the opportunity to meet with local fishermen in Eyemouth to discuss the problems of coastal communities, and he will also pay a visit to a local processing factory. On Friday, Commissioner Borg will visit a processing plant in Livingston before addressing the annual conference of the European Fish Processors and Traders Association (AIPCE-CEP). In his address, Dr. Borg will discuss illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), a deplorable practice that causes great damage “from net to plate” by depleting fish stocks, distorting markets and prices, and eroding the livelihoods of fishermen operating legally. This criminal practice is of great concern to processors and traders as it undermines consumer confidence in their products. Commissioner Borg will present the new EU legislation against IUU fishing, which is set up to be non-discriminatory, dissuasive and effective.

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Telecoms: the 'Article 7' procedure and the role of the Commission – Frequently Asked Questions

    • Memo on Cross-border euro payments: Frequently Asked Questions (see IP/08/1506)

    • Memo on Revision of EU rules on Deposit Guarantee Schemes - Frequently Asked Questions (see IP/08/1508)

    • Memo on Competition: Commission action against cartels – Questions and answers

    • Memo on The CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement Embargo 16h00 CET

    • Introductory remarks - Pre-European Council Press Conference of President Barroso, Brussels

    • Speech by President Barroso 'Creating a European Response to a Global Crisis', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Fischer Boel 'Getting the most out of EU quality food and drink', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner McCreevy 'The need of a patent system for Europe', Brussels

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Metso Power/Wärtsilä Finland/JV

    GameStop/ Micromania

    EADS/SSTL From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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