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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-10-17

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] EU-Canada Summit confirms close ties
  • [02] European Commission launches "Study in Europe" website to promote European higher education
  • [03] EU to restore import customs duties on cereals
  • [04] Environment: Commission unveils package to tackle illegal logging and deforestation
  • [05] Preventing and combating human trafficking: the Commission calls for extraordinary effort by the EU and Member States in 2009
  • [06] La Commission lance la campagne européenne de distribution de lait dans les écoles
  • [07] Poverty Eradication Day: European Commission warns of impact of financial crisis on poor
  • [08] Better protection for holiday-makers: European Parliament to vote on Timeshare (22nd October 2008)
  • [09] De puissants clusters: les piliers de la compétitivité de l’Europe
  • [10] Euro area external trade deficit €9.3 billion euro
  • [11] Construction output up by 0.1% in the euro area
  • [12] Commissioner Vladimír pidla to receive a special award for 'Women's Equality'
  • [13] The Community Fisheries Control Agency adopts its work programme for 2009
  • [14] New database on food quality product names
  • [15] Enregistrement de trois dénominations de produits agricoles
  • [16] European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas welcomed the outcome of the European Summit.
  • [17] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-10-17 Reference: MEX/08/1017 Date: 17/10/2008 EXME08 / 17.10

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    17/10/08


  • [01] EU-Canada Summit confirms close ties

    The annual EU-Canada Summit will take place in Quebec City this Friday, 17 October. The European Commission will be represented by its President, José Manuel Barroso, who will participate alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in his role as President of the Council. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will represent Canada. The agenda will focus on the financial crisis and the global economy, and on boosting EU-Canada economic relations. The Summit will also look at regional issues, such as Afghanistan, where the EU and Canada are co-operating closely together to promote good governance, sound development and the rule of law.

    [02] European Commission launches "Study in Europe" website to promote European higher education

    The European Commission has launched a new web portal called "Study in Europe" to promote the attractiveness of European Higher Education to students from other parts of the world. The portal, at <a href="http://www.study- in-europe.org">www.study-in-europe.org, is part of a wide-ranging campaign to increase the number of students from outside Europe who study in the EU. "Study in Europe" provides clear and up-to-date information about the range of courses on offer in European higher education institutions, admission procedures, costs, scholarships and the higher education environment in Europe.

    [03] EU to restore import customs duties on cereals

    Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, announced that customs duties on cereals imports will be reintroduced as a reaction to the price decrease on the cereals market. A draft Regulation was put to the Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets yesterday. It has now to be formally adopted by the Commission and will enter into force on the third day following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. There are no export refunds on cereals exports.

    [04] Environment: Commission unveils package to tackle illegal logging and deforestation

    The European Commission today unveiled two important initiatives to protect forests globally. The package comprises a legislative proposal to reduce the risk of illegal timber and timber products entering the EU market and a Communication setting out the Commission's proposals for tackling tropical deforestation. Illegal logging and deforestation have serious environmental implications, contributing to climate change and the loss of biodiversity, as well as threatening the livelihood of indigenous people. Illegal logging is also a symptom of wider problems, including a lack of forest governance, and weak law enforcement. In the context of the international negotiations on the post-2012 climate change agreement, the Commission proposes to pursue the objective of halting global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and reducing gross tropical deforestation by at least 50% by 2020.

    [05] Preventing and combating human trafficking: the Commission calls for extraordinary effort by the EU and Member States in 2009

    The second EU Anti-trafficking day will take place tomorrow. On this occasion, the European Commission approves an evaluation of the implementation of the EU Action Plan to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings. The Commission concludes that the EU has developed a dynamic process of approximation of legislation, both in the fields of criminal law and victims' support. However, there is still a serious gap between legislation and implementation.

    [06] La Commission lance la campagne européenne de distribution de lait dans les écoles

    Mariann Fischer Boel, membre de la Commission chargé de l'agriculture, lance aujourd'hui Chypre une campagne européenne pour promouvoir la reprise du programme de distribution de lait dans les écoles. Cette campagne, qui a pour slogan «Milk – Drink it up» ("Le lait – buvez- en!"), vise informer les Européens sur les bienfaits de la consommation de lait et sur la mise disposition des écoles de fonds européens. Au cours de cette journée de promotion d'un régime équilibré et de bonnes habitudes alimentaires organisée par les élèves de l'école Panagia Triherousa de Limassol, Mme Fischer Boel, Mme Androulla Vassiliou, membre de la Commission chargé de la santé, et M. Michalis Polynikis, ministre de l'agriculture de Chypre, donneront le coup d'envoi d'une série d'événements éducatifs et divertissants. Dans le cadre de cette campagne, des jeunes seront invités prendre part un concours de photographie sur le thème «la force du lait».

    [07] Poverty Eradication Day: European Commission warns of impact of financial crisis on poor

    On International Poverty Eradication Day, the European Commission has warned that the financial crisis could seriously undermine the fight against poverty. Saving banks at home, should not serve as an excuse to go back on aid promises abroad. If the UN Millennium Development Goals are to be met, international donors have to stick to their commitments and increase their development assistance. The warning comes ahead of the UN Conference on Financing Development end of November in Doha/Qatar, where donors will discuss progress made in raising aid levels and new and innovative ways of raising funds for development.

    [08] Better protection for holiday-makers: European Parliament to vote on Timeshare (22nd October 2008)

    Consumers across the EU are set to benefit from greater holiday protection - when they buy and resell timeshare holidays, or timeshare-like holidays on cruise boats, canal boats, caravans and "discount holiday clubs" - under new rules to be voted by the European Parliament on 22 October. The aim of the proposed Directive is to further boost consumer confidence in the Timeshare industry (worth over €10.5 billion and responsible for more than 40,000 jobs across the EU) and to eliminate the rogue traders who cause problems for consumers and bring legitimate operators into disrepute. Up to now, EU rules on Timeshare have given consumers basic rights with regard to clear information, the right to withdraw and change their mind, and a ban on deposits. The new Directive which the European Parliament will vote on next Wednesday, aims to tackle loopholes in the current rules. Most importantly, it would extend the scope of the 1994 EU Timeshare Directive to cover new products which have emerged on the market – like discount holiday clubs, and "timeshare-like" holidays on cruise boats, canal boats and caravans. It would also extend protection to important areas like timeshare resale and exchange clubs. The new rules would ensure that consumers are equally well protected across the EU and will create a level playing field in the market for timeshare and certain other holiday-related products.

    [09] De puissants clusters: les piliers de la compétitivité de l’Europe

    Des clusters compétitifs sont des moteurs très puissants pour le développement économique et des piliers de l’innovation dans l’Union européenne. Ils offrent un environnement fertile pour que des sociétés, spécialement des petites et moyennes entreprises (PME), collaborent avec des instituts de recherche, des fournisseurs, des clients et des concurrents situés dans la même zone géographique. Une communication de la Commission, publiée aujourd’hui, appelle l’intensification des efforts en vue de faciliter l’émergence de clusters de classe mondiale dans l’Union européenne. Les défis qui se posent pour y parvenir sont les suivants: approfondissement du marché intérieur, amélioration des politiques de clusters, encouragement de la coopération transnationale, promotion de l’excellence des organisations de clusters et amélioration de l’intégration de PME innovantes dans des clusters.

    [10] Euro area external trade deficit €9.3 billion euro

    The first estimate for the euro area (EA15) trade balance with the rest of the world in August 2008 gave a € 9.3 billion euro deficit, compared with € +1.5 billion in August 2007. The July 2008 balance was € -2.0 billion, compared with € +5.3 billion in July 2007. In August 2008 compared with July 2008, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 0.6% and imports by 1.0%. The first estimate for the August 2008 extra-EU27 trade balance was a deficit of € 27.2 billion euro, compared with € -16.1 billion in August 2007. In July 2008, the balance was € -21.5 billion, compared with € - 13.3 billion in July 2007. In August 2008 compared with July 2008, seasonally adjusted exports and imports both fell by 2.3%. These data are released by Eurostat.

    [11] Construction output up by 0.1% in the euro area

    In the construction sector, seasonally adjusted production increased by 0.1% in the euro area (EA15) but decreased by 0.2% in the EU27 in August 2008, compared with the previous month. In July, production grew by 0.1% and fell by 0.8% respectively. Compared with August 2007, output in August 2008 dropped by 2.5% in the euro area and by 1.5% in the EU27. These first estimates are released by Eurostat.

    [12] Commissioner Vladimír pidla to receive a special award for 'Women's Equality'

    At the Hungarian National Assembly in Budapest today, Equal Opportunities Commissioner Vladimír pidla will receive a special award for 'Women's Equality' from the Association for Women’s Career Development in Hungary which is celebrating its 5th Anniversary. The award is presented in the context of their competition "The Best Workplace for Women 2008.

    [13] The Community Fisheries Control Agency adopts its work programme for 2009

    Yesterday, the Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) has adopted its work programme and budget for 2009 as well as discussed its future multi annual strategic development plan and performance indicators. The work programme provides for the extension of the coordination of control to Western Waters and North East Area Fisheries Commission; activities to be developed in the framework of the new regulation against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the development of capacities to render unique horizontal services for the harmonization of control rules under the Common Fisheries Policy. "The coordination of control operations will continue and at the same time we will largely invest in the necessary services for enhancing the capacities for control at the Community level and achieving a level playing field", said Harm Koster, Executive Director. Moreover, at this yesterday meeting, the French Serge Beslierhas been elected new Chairman of the CFCA Administrative Board. The CFCA has been created in 2006 and has been established in Vigo, in July 2008.

    [14] New database on food quality product names

    DG Agriculture and Rural Development today launched a new database of protected quality names for agricultural products and foodstuffs. By using the 'Database Of Origin and Registration' (DOOR), researchers, producers, agricultural journalists, and interested citizens now have easy access to full information on the registered names - PDOs, PGIs and TSGs. Commenting on the new database, Marianne Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said "This important project illustrates the Commission's commitment to the agricultural quality schemes. DOOR will cut the time taken for examination and greatly facilitate the work of all those seeking data and information on our registered quality names." DOOR comprises data on 832 registered names: PDOs (Protected Designations of Origin), and PGIs (Protected Geographical Indications), and TSGs (Traditional Specialities Guaranteed) scheme, as well as 323 applied-for names. When complete, DOOR will consist of three modules: an online application system, a workflow management system within the Commission, and the on-line database available today. DOOR can be consulted at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/door/browse.html?display">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/door/browse.html?display

    [15] Enregistrement de trois dénominations de produits agricoles

    La Commission européenne a ajouté trois dénominations de produits agricoles et alimentaires la liste des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit de la bière tchèque "České pivo" (IGP), du fromage espagnol "Cebreiro" et du radis italien "Radicchio di Chioggia" (IGP). Les trois dénominations s'ajoutent la liste d'environ 820 produits déj protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur l'internet l'adresse: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_fr.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_fr.htm

    [16] European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas welcomed the outcome of the European Summit.

    "It is important that the Council has shown determination to reach an agreement on the climate and energy package by the end of this year. The case for bold and urgent action on climate and energy is compelling, delaying is not an option. Such policy is in fact part of the solution to the difficulties we are presently facing, and notably the financial crisis. I remain convinced that the package presented by the Commission is not only cost-effective but fair and equitable. Solidarity is at the heart of the package. Work now needs to intensify if we want to reach an agreement by the end of the year. The Commission stands ready to pursue its constructive dialogue with the other European institutions while making sure that the overall architecture of the package is maintained, as well as its environmental integrity. Our climate and energy package will pave the way towards a comprehensive and ambitious climate change framework at the international level in Copenhagen by the end of next year." said Commissioner Dimas.

    [17] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on "Wanted: Cyberellas for Europe"

    • Memo on Questions and answers on deforestation and forest degradation

    • Memo on Questions and Answers on the Proposed Regulation laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the EU market

    • Speech by Commissioner Almunia 'Boosting growth and productivity in an open Europe', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Wallström 'Women and European politics: time for change', Deauville

    • Speech by Commissioner McCreevy 'Challenges for corporate governance in the EU', Paris

    • Speech by Commissioner McCreevy 'Time for regulators to get a better view of derivatives', Brussels

    • Discours du Vice-Président Barrot 'Journée européenne contre la traite des êtres humains', Paris

    • Calendrier hebdomadaire du 20 au 26 octobre

    • Top News from the European Commission From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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