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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-11-27

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 supports global insurance fund to help ACP countries 'weather future storms' from climate change
  • [02] Free movement of capital: Commission contests Greek law on investment in strategic companies
  • [03] Pharmacies: procédure d'infraction concernant l'Italie
  • [04] Exclusivité des activités de gestion collective: procédures d'infraction l'encontre de la Tchéquie et de la Hongrie
  • [05] Insurance: Commission continues its scrutiny of the exemption of Irish Voluntary Health Insurance Board (VHI) from EU rules
  • [06] Motor insurance: Commission requests information on Ireland's compliance with Court judgement
  • [07] Public procurement: infringement proceedings against Spain
  • [08] Public procurement: infringement proceedings against Cyprus and Greece
  • [09] Public procurement: Commission refers Germany to Court of Justice over award of waste disposal contract without competitive tender procedure
  • [10] Distribution des carburants: la Commission décide le classement de la procédure contre l'Italie
  • [11] Liberté d'établissement et services: classement d'une série de procédures d'infraction
  • [12] Qualifications professionnelles: la Commission prend des mesures l’encontre de quatre États membres pour garantir la mise en œuvre du droit de l’UE
  • [13] Internal Market: Commission takes action to ensure that Member States implement EU laws
  • [14] Public procurement: Commission asks Spain for information on compliance with Court judgement on public contract review procedures
  • [15] Free movement of capital: Commission calls again on Germany to apply a Court ruling on Volkswagen law
  • [16] Collective Redress: Commission seeks views on settling large scale consumer complaints
  • [17] La Commission saisit la Cour de justice pour excès de spots publicitaires la télévision espagnole
  • [18] Spain: Commission pursues legal action over breaches of environmental law
  • [19] Environment: Commission closes cases against Portugal and United Kingdom
  • [20] Environment: Commission sends Portugal final warning over drinking water
  • [21] November 2008: Business Climate Indicator for the euro area decreases further in November
  • [22] November 2008: Economic sentiment falls to historically low levels in both the EU and the euro area
  • [23] State aid: Commission authorises €116 million Finnish film support scheme
  • [24] State aid: Commission authorises PLN 24 million (€ 6.2 million) aid to Polish foundry Odlewnia Żeliwa "Śrem"
  • [25] Maritime safety: Commission takes Estonia and Italy to the European Court of Justice
  • [26] Télécommunications: la Commission se félicite de l'initiative française d'instaurer des tarifs compétitifs de terminaison d'appel mobile
  • [27] VAT – The European Commission refers the Netherlands to Court of Justice for its VAT exemption for the provision of personnel
  • [28] VAT reduced rate for horses: The European Commission refers the Netherlands to Court of Justice and opens second stage infringement proceedings against Austria, France, Germany and Luxembourg
  • [29] Direct taxation: The European Commission requests Portugal and Spain to change restrictive exit tax provisions for companies
  • [30] VAT: the European Commission requests Italy to notify adoption of national provisions transposing two Directives in the VAT field
  • [31] Direct taxation: Commission takes steps against Luxembourg as regards the application of the Savings Tax Directive
  • [32] Direct taxation: The European Commission takes steps against the United Kingdom as regards the deductibility of cross-border pension contributions
  • [33] Direct Taxation: The European Commission refers Portugal and Spain to Court of Justice over discriminatory taxation of foreign pension funds
  • [34] Direct taxation: The European Commission requests Estonia to end discrimination of foreign charities
  • [35] Innovation et apprentissage par les TIC: il est temps de s'adapter aux progrès technologiques et de fixer les priorités de demain
  • [36] VAT – The European Commission refers Poland to the Court of Justice for the application of a reduced rate to certain items
  • [37] Égalité des chances entre les hommes et les femmes : la Commission prend des mesures contre six pays
  • [38] Danuta Hübner salue les nouvelles priorités choisies par la Communauté valencienne (Espagne) pour tirer profit des investissements européens
  • [39] Energy Performance of Buildings: Commission launches Court proceedings against Luxemburg
  • [40] Greece: Commission takes legal action over lack of waste water treatment, waste landfill problems
  • [41] Environment: Commission warns Bulgaria about poor environmental performance
  • [42] EU27 surplus in trade in services increased to € 84 billion in 2007
  • [43] Commission adopts measures to prevent the spread of classical scrapie from flock to flock with the aim to eradicate it
  • [44] The Commission launches a major Recovery Plan for growth and jobs, to boost demand and restore confidence in the European economy
  • [45] Mergers: Commission closes investigation after BHP Billiton abandons proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto
  • [46] European Commission approves German hard coal state aid for 2008
  • [47] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-11-27 Reference: MEX/08/1127 Date: 27/11/2008 EXME08 / 27.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    27/11/08


  • [01] EU supports global insurance fund to help ACP countries 'weather future storms' from climate change

    The European Commission (EC) has provided €24.5 million in funding as the first donor for the Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF). The GIIF aims to mitigate weather and catastrophic risks in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries through the application of index insurance. Index insurance solutions guarantee beneficiaries, including smallholders, rapid payments following natural disasters once a pre-determined index (e.g. centimetres of rainfall, variation of temperature, wind-speed and seismic activity on Richter scale) has been triggered. Their application will allow ACP countries to mitigate the increasing risks from natural hazards due to climate change and to reduce the vulnerability of their populations. The GIIF will be implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

    [02] Free movement of capital: Commission contests Greek law on investment in strategic companies

    The European Commission has sent Greece a formal request to eliminate the restrictions on investment in strategic companies introduced by Law 3631/2008. The infringement procedure was initiated by a letter of formal notice in May 2008. Having analysed the Greek government's reply, the Commission considers that the restrictions represent unjustified obstacles to EC Treaty rules on free movement of capital and freedom of establishment. The Commission's request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion', the second stage of infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

    [03] Pharmacies: procédure d'infraction concernant l'Italie

    La Commission européenne a décidé de demander formellement l'Italie de modifier sa législation qui interdit un pharmacien de détenir plusieurs pharmacies et qui limite quatre le nombre maximum de pharmacies pouvant être détenues par la même société de pharmaciens. Ces quatre pharmacies doivent en plus être situées dans la même province, Selon la Commission de telles contraintes sont contraires l'article 43 du traité CE concernant la liberté d'établissement. La demande de la Commission prend la forme d'un "avis motivé" qui constitue la deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction en vertu de l'article 226 du traité CE. En l'absence de réponse satisfaisante dans un délai de deux mois, la Commission pourra saisir la Cour de justice.

    [04] Exclusivité des activités de gestion collective: procédures d'infraction l'encontre de la Tchéquie et de la Hongrie

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'envoyer un avis motivé la République Tchèque et la Hongrie en raison des entraves la liberté d'établissement et la libre prestation de services que représentent les exclusivités conférées aux sociétés nationales de gestion des droits.

    [05] Insurance: Commission continues its scrutiny of the exemption of Irish Voluntary Health Insurance Board (VHI) from EU rules

    The European Commission has decided to send Ireland a final request to eliminate the exemption of the Irish Voluntary Health Insurance Board (VHI) from certain EU rules on non-life insurance. This follows a complaint to the Commission alleging that the VHI is unlawfully pursuing insurance activities without being subject to the First Non-Life Insurance Directive in particular. The Commission's request takes the form of a "complementary reasoned opinion", which follows the "reasoned opinion" previously sent by the Commission. Ireland is now, once again, asked to establish compliance with EU law. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

    [06] Motor insurance: Commission requests information on Ireland's compliance with Court judgement

    The European Commission has decided, under Article 228 of the EC Treaty, to send a letter of formal notice to Ireland requesting full information on its compliance with a 2008 judgement of the European Court of Justice (Case C 211/07) concerning payment of compensation to those without motor insurance.

    [07] Public procurement: infringement proceedings against Spain

    The European Commission has decided to send a formal request to Spain concerning its rules on modification of contracts after their award, as contained in the new Spanish public procurement law (Ley 30/2007 de contratos del sector público, LCSP). This formal request by the Commission takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion', the second stage of infringement proceedings under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If there is no satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [08] Public procurement: infringement proceedings against Cyprus and Greece

    The European Commission has decided to refer Cyprus to the European Court of Justice over the award of a public contract for Vasilikos Power Station. The Commission has also decided, under Article 228 of the EC Treaty, to send a reasoned opinion to Greece concerning its compliance with a judgement of the European Court of Justice.

    [09] Public procurement: Commission refers Germany to Court of Justice over award of waste disposal contract without competitive tender procedure

    The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the European Court of Justice over a public service contract for the disposal of biodegradable and green wastes that the municipality of Bonn had awarded to a private waste disposal undertaking without a competitive tender procedure.

    [10] Distribution des carburants: la Commission décide le classement de la procédure contre l'Italie

    La Commission européenne a décidé de classer sa procédure d'infraction contre l'Italie ayant pour objet la législation étatique et régionale en matière d'établissement des stations-service, suite la récente réforme législative générale du secteur qui a éliminé toutes les restrictions contestées.

    [11] Liberté d'établissement et services: classement d'une série de procédures d'infraction

    Suite aux modifications des législations nationales contestées, la Commission européenne a décidé aujourd'hui de classer une série de procédures d'infraction ayant pour objet des restrictions en matière de: concessions hydroélectriques en France; insémination bovine en Allemagne; agriculture biologique en Autriche; surfaces commerciales en Pologne; titres d'épargnes en Irlande; et services télévisuels en France.

    [12] Qualifications professionnelles: la Commission prend des mesures l’encontre de quatre États membres pour garantir la mise en œuvre du droit de l’UE

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'introduire un recours devant la Cour de justice des CE contre quatre Etats membres, savoir l'Estonie, la Lituanie, la Lettonie et les Pays-Bas, pour non-communication des mesures de transposition de la directive 2005/36/CE relative la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles.

    [13] Internal Market: Commission takes action to ensure that Member States implement EU laws

    The European Commission has decided to pursue infringement procedures against several Member States for failure to implement certain Internal Market Directives into national law. The Commission will send reasoned opinions to 16 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, France, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) regarding a Directive on Statutory Audit. The Commission will also send reasoned opinions to the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy and Portugal regarding the Eligible Assets Directive. Finally, the Commission will send, under Article 228 of the EC Treaty, a letter of formal notice to Luxembourg requesting full information on its compliance with a judgement of the European Court of Justice concerning implementation of a Directive on public procurement.

    [14] Public procurement: Commission asks Spain for information on compliance with Court judgement on public contract review procedures

    The European Commission has decided, under Article 228 of the EC Treaty, to send a letter of formal notice asking Spain for full information on its compliance with a 2008 judgment of the European Court of Justice concerning remedies in the field of public procurement.

    [15] Free movement of capital: Commission calls again on Germany to apply a Court ruling on Volkswagen law

    The European Commission has decided to ask Germany formally to modify the 1960 law privatising Volkswagen (VW law) following a Court of Justice ruling of 23 October 2007. The Court found that three provisions of the VW law attribute unjustified special rights to German public authorities (the Land of Lower Saxony and potentially also the Federal Government) and that by maintaining them in force, Germany has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EC Treaty rules on the free movement of capital (Article 56). The request for compliance with the Court ruling takes the form of a ‘reasoned opinion’, the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 228 of the EC Treaty related to compliance with Court of Justice rulings. In the absence of a satisfactory reply from Germany within two months of receiving the reasoned opinion, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [16] Collective Redress: Commission seeks views on settling large scale consumer complaints

    The European Commission has published a Green Paper on Consumer Collective Redress on how to facilitate redress in situations where large numbers of consumers have been harmed by a single trader's practice which is in breach of consumer law. Violations of consumer rules could include overcharging consumers - through hidden charges or overbilling - misleading advertising on websites, or failing to provide compulsory information on financial products. These kinds of illegal practices, if they occur to a large number of consumers, can cause considerable damage to consumers, generate unfair competition and distort markets. The Green Paper identifies barriers to effective consumer redress in terms of access, effectiveness and affordability and presents various options to close the gaps identified. The options set out in the Green Paper seek to ensure that consumers who are victims of illegal commercial practices can get compensated for their losses, while avoiding unfounded claims. Comments on the Green Paper can be submitted until 1 March 2009.

    [17] La Commission saisit la Cour de justice pour excès de spots publicitaires la télévision espagnole

    La Commission européenne a décidé aujourd'hui de poursuivre l'Espagne devant la Cour de justice européenne pour non-respect des règles de la directive communautaire «Télévision sans frontières» sur la publicité. Il s'agit de la dernière étape d'une procédure d'infraction engagée en juillet 2007 (<a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/1062&format=HTML&aged=1&language=FR&guiLanguage=fr">IP/07/1062). Sur les grandes chaînes de télévision publiques et commerciales espagnoles, la durée des spots publicitaires et de télé-achat dépasse régulièrement - et souvent de plusieurs minutes - la limite de 12 minutes par heure. Bien que l'Union européenne reconnaisse la nécessité de la publicité pour financer les programmes commerciaux, elle impose la règle des 12 minutes pour protéger les téléspectateurs d'un excès de spots publicitaires la télévision. Le Parlement européen et le Conseil des ministres ont confirmé récemment la règle des 12 minutes, l'occasion de l'actualisation de la directive (<a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/1809&format=HTML&aged=1&language=FR&guiLanguage=fr">IP/07/1809).

    [18] Spain: Commission pursues legal action over breaches of environmental law

    The European Commission is pursuing legal action against Spain involving three breaches of EU environmental law. Two of the breaches relate to obligations for the treatment of waste water, with more than 400 towns and cities listed as not having water treatment up to EU standard. The final warnings are the last step before the Commission takes Court action. In the other case, Spain will receive a final warning for a breach in relation to open-cast coal mining in a Natura 2000 site in Castilla y León.

    [19] Environment: Commission closes cases against Portugal and United Kingdom

    The European Commission has decided to close two cases of nature protection infringements in Portugal and the UK. Both countries were being challenged by the Commission over their national designations of protected areas, which are a requirement under the Habitats and Birds Directives. Portugal has now brought in sufficient protection for Steppic birds and for the Bonelli's eagle, while the UK has upgraded its protection of bog habitats in Cumbria, and for Atlantic salmon spawning sites on the river Faughan in Northern Ireland. The Commission is therefore able to close both cases. The protected areas are part of Natura 2000, a Europe-wide network of protected areas set up to protect biodiversity and halt species loss.

    [20] Environment: Commission sends Portugal final warning over drinking water

    The European Commission has sent Portugal a final written warning for not complying with a 2005 European Court of Justice ruling on drinking water. The Commission has powers to ask the Court to impose fines if Portugal does not comply rapidly. Nearly eight years after the EU standards took effect and three years after the Court ruling, drinking water in many parts of Portugal is still unsafe for human consumption.

    [21] November 2008: Business Climate Indicator for the euro area decreases further in November

    The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area fell more markedly this month than last, and now stands close to values last observed in 1993. The continued steep decline of the indicator signals a deteriorating trend in year-on-year industrial production growth, which is likely to continue to be negative even in the fourth quarter. All five underlying components of the BCI deteriorated. Managers reported a sharp fall in the production trend observed in recent months while stocks of finished goods increased. Their assessment of the current overall order book and export order book is increasingly negative. Looking ahead, production expectations in the euro area worsened notably compared to last month.

    [22] November 2008: Economic sentiment falls to historically low levels in both the EU and the euro area

    In November, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) declined considerably in the EU and the euro area. This came after another sharp decline in sentiment observed in the October survey. It fell by 6.7 points in the EU and by 5.1 points in the euro area, to 70.5 and 74.9, respectively. The ESI for the EU stands at its lowest since January 1985, while that for the euro area is at the lowest since August 1993.

    [23] State aid: Commission authorises €116 million Finnish film support scheme

    The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules a €116 million Finnish film support scheme until 31 December 2013. The scheme covers all of Finland's film support measures including film development, production, distribution and exhibition, particularly in rural Finland. The Commission found that the scheme is compatible with the cultural and sectoral derogations of the EC Treaty, in line with the Cinema Communication rules concerning aid to film production, In particular, the aid to cinemas has been approved on economic and social grounds, particularly in small, remote communities.

    [24] State aid: Commission authorises PLN 24 million (€ 6.2 million) aid to Polish foundry Odlewnia Żeliwa "Śrem"

    The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules restructuring aid in favour of the cast iron producer Odlewnia Żeliwa "Śrem" (OZS). After an in-depth investigation (see IP/06/1706), the Commission found that the restructuring measures were adequate to restore the company's viability, that the aid was limited to the minimum necessary and did not create undue distortions of competition. The Commission therefore concluded that the aid was in line with the EU rules on restructuring of companies in difficulties.

    [25] Maritime safety: Commission takes Estonia and Italy to the European Court of Justice

    The European Commission decided today to take Estonia and Italy to Court for failure to transpose legislation on the mutual recognition of seafarers' certificates issued by the Member States.

    [26] Télécommunications: la Commission se félicite de l'initiative française d'instaurer des tarifs compétitifs de terminaison d'appel mobile

    Dans une lettre, la Commission s'est aujourd'hui félicitée de la proposition de l'autorité française de régulation visant ramener les tarifs de gros pratiqués par les opérateurs français de téléphonie mobile un niveau plus proche des coûts supportés par un opérateur efficace. La décision proposée par l'ARCEP (Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes) marque une étape capitale vers l'élimination des distorsions de prix entre opérateurs de téléphonie en France. La décision entraînera une baisse des prix la consommation des appels mobiles et favorisera l'investissement et l'innovation dans l'ensemble du secteur français des télécommunications. La Commission a également invité l'ARCEP poursuivre ses efforts pour parvenir des tarifs de terminaison d'appel mobile réellement orientés en fonction des coûts et symétriques, applicables tous les opérateurs, en fixant, lors du prochain cycle d’analyse des marchés aux fins de régulation qui commence en 2011, une date laquelle les tarifs devront être égaux aux coûts d'un opérateur efficace.

    [27] VAT – The European Commission refers the Netherlands to Court of Justice for its VAT exemption for the provision of personnel

    The Commission has decided to refer the Netherlands to the Court of Justice for applying a VAT exemption for the provision of personnel.

    [28] VAT reduced rate for horses: The European Commission refers the Netherlands to Court of Justice and opens second stage infringement proceedings against Austria, France, Germany and Luxembourg

    The European Commission has decided to refer the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice for applying a reduced VAT rate to horses, and in particular race horses. At the same time, the Commission formally requested Austria, France, Germany and Luxembourg to amend their legislation with regard to similar measures. If these Member States fail to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months, the Commission may also refer them to the Court.

    [29] Direct taxation: The European Commission requests Portugal and Spain to change restrictive exit tax provisions for companies

    The European Commission has formally requested Portugal and Spain to change their tax provisions which impose immediate exit taxes when companies cease to be tax resident in these countries or transfer their assets to another Member State. The Commission considers these provisions to be incompatible with the freedom of establishment (art. 43 EC) provided for in Article 43 of the Treaty and Article 31 of the EEA Agreement. The requests take the form of a reasoned opinion (second step of the infringement procedure provided for in Article 226 of the EC Treaty). If there is no satisfactory reaction to the reasoned opinions within two months, the Commission may decide to refer the cases to the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

    [30] VAT: the European Commission requests Italy to notify adoption of national provisions transposing two Directives in the VAT field

    The European Commission has decided to send Italy two reasoned opinions (the second stage in the infringement procedure provided for in Article 226 of the EC Treaty) for failing to notify transposition measures of two Directives: Council Directive 2006/69/EC aiming at countering VAT fraud and Council Directive 2006/112/ EC, the VAT Directive, recasting the Sixth VAT Directive on the common system of value added tax.

    [31] Direct taxation: Commission takes steps against Luxembourg as regards the application of the Savings Tax Directive

    The European Commission has formally requested Luxembourg to amend its legislation which incorrectly transposes certain provisions of the Savings Tax Directive . The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion (second step of the infringement procedure of Article 226 of the EC Treaty). If no satisfactory reaction to the reasoned opinion is received within two months, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [32] Direct taxation: The European Commission takes steps against the United Kingdom as regards the deductibility of cross-border pension contributions

    The European Commission has formally requested the United Kingdom to amend its legislation which in certain circumstances, denies deductibility of pension contributions paid to pension funds established outside the United Kingdom. The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion (second step of the infringement procedure of Article 226 of the EC Treaty). If no satisfactory reaction to the reasoned opinion is received within two months, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

    [33] Direct Taxation: The European Commission refers Portugal and Spain to Court of Justice over discriminatory taxation of foreign pension funds

    The European Commission has decided to refer Spain and Portugal to the European Court of Justice for their rules under which dividend and/or interest payments to foreign pension funds (outbound payments) may be taxed more heavily than dividend and/or interest payments to domestic pension funds (domestic payments). The Commission considers these rules to be contrary to the EC Treaty and the EEA Agreement, as they restrict the free movement of capital.

    [34] Direct taxation: The European Commission requests Estonia to end discrimination of foreign charities

    The European Commission has sent Estonia a formal request to end the discriminatory treatment of donations to foreign non-profit organisations and foundations (charities). Estonia allows tax relief for donations to charities, but only if they are established in Estonia. Donations to foreign charities are excluded from any relief. The Commission's request takes the form of a ‘reasoned opinion’ (second step of the infringement procedure of Article 226 of the EC Treaty). If Estonia does not reply satisfactorily to the reasoned opinion within two months the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    [35] Innovation et apprentissage par les TIC: il est temps de s'adapter aux progrès technologiques et de fixer les priorités de demain

    Les technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC) ne sont pas encore suffisamment présentes dans les systèmes d'enseignement européens, qu'il convient de réformer pour les adapter aux importantes mutations technologiques que connaissent nos sociétés. Telle est la principale conclusion d'un rapport adopté par la Commission européenne.

    [36] VAT – The European Commission refers Poland to the Court of Justice for the application of a reduced rate to certain items

    The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice regarding the reduced VAT rate it applies to the supplies of certain children's items. The Commission fully supports social and family friendly policies, as part of the EU’s response to the pressing challenge of demographic ageing. However, it must ensure that the EU VAT binding rules are applied by all Member States. It points out that more efficient instruments- such as direct subsidies or personal income tax allowance- can be easily (without the agreement of the 26 other Member States) implemented by Poland to reach its objectives.

    [37] Égalité des chances entre les hommes et les femmes : la Commission prend des mesures contre six pays

    Aujourd’hui, la Commission a envoyé des avis motivés six États membres n’ayant pas pleinement transposé la réglementation européenne qui interdit la discrimination en matière d'emploi et de travail fondée sur le sexe (2002/73/CE). L'Autriche, la Lituanie, la Slovénie, la Hongrie, l'Italie et Malte ont deux mois pour répondre. S'ils ne le font pas ou si leur réponse n'est pas satisfaisante, la Commission peut décider de saisir la Cour de justice européenne (CJE) (voir également <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/08/742&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=enhttp://europa.eu/rapid/setlanguage.do?language=en">MEMO/08/742).

    [38] Danuta Hübner salue les nouvelles priorités choisies par la Communauté valencienne (Espagne) pour tirer profit des investissements européens

    Ces 27 et 28 novembre, Danuta Hübner, Commissaire européen la politique régionale, est en déplacement dans la Communauté autonome valencienne l’invitation de Francisco Camps, le Président de la « Generalitat Valenciana ». Elle se rendra sur les lieux de plusieurs projets financés par l'Union européenne. Bien que son développement économique lui ait permis de quitter le groupe des régions en retard de développement, la Communauté valencienne continuera recevoir un soutien prioritaire de la politique de cohésion dans les prochaines années pour consolider sa convergence.

    [39] Energy Performance of Buildings: Commission launches Court proceedings against Luxemburg

    The European Commission today launched Court proceedings against Luxemburg for failure to notify adequate national implementing measures as required by the 2002 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive . The Directive aims at reducing energy consumption in buildings and thus plays an important part in improving overall energy efficiency.

    [40] Greece: Commission takes legal action over lack of waste water treatment, waste landfill problems

    The European Commission is taking legal action over two cases where Greece is violating EU legislation designed to protect human health and the environment against pollution from waste water and solid waste. In one case the Commission is launching an infringement procedure against Greece for not putting in place the required infrastructure for collecting and treating waste water in 12 towns and cities despite having already been condemned by the European Court of Justice for this failure. If Greece does not rectify the situation rapidly, the next step might be a financial penalty for Greece. In the other case, the Commission is sending Greece a final warning over problems with the operation of a new landfill which constitute a violation of EU waste legislation.

    [41] Environment: Commission warns Bulgaria about poor environmental performance

    The European Commission has sent warning letters to Bulgaria in two separate cases over its failure to properly implement EC environmental laws. The first case concerns the waste framework directive, and Bulgaria's failure to establish an adequate household waste management system in Sofia. In the second case Bulgaria is being sent a first written warning about environmental impact assessments required under the wild birds directive.

    [42] EU27 surplus in trade in services increased to € 84 billion in 2007

    In 2007, EU27 external trade in services recorded a surplus of € 84.1 billion, an increase compared with 68.5 bn in 2006 and € 54.1 bn in 2005. The increased surplus in 2007 was mainly due to higher surpluses in financial services (+€ 30.8 bn in 2007 compared with +€ 24.2 bn in 2006), transportation (+€15.5 bn compared with +€11.1 bn), computer & information services (+€14.5 bn compared with +€12.0 bn), insurance services (+€6.9 bn compared with +€4.0 bn) and construction services (+€8.1 bn compared with +€6.6 bn), and reduced deficits in personal, cultural & recreational services (-€1.2 bn compared with -€2.6 bn) and communications services (-€0.4 bn compared with -€1.1 bn). These improvements were partially offset by increased deficits in travel (- €18.6 bn compared with -€15.4 bn) and royalties & licence fees (-€8.3 bn compared with -€7.0 bn). The significant surplus in "other business services", which includes miscellaneous business, professional and technical services, remained stable (+€35.5 bn compared with +€35.2 bn). These data, issued by Eurostat.

    [43] Commission adopts measures to prevent the spread of classical scrapie from flock to flock with the aim to eradicate it

    The Member States supported today a European Commission proposal introducing an animal health measure consisting in a targeted ban on the use of milk to feed ruminants and a revised eradication scheme in order to prevent the spread of, and eventually to eradicate, classical scrapie. The ban concerns the use of milk for feeding purposes from classical scrapie infected flocks. In particular, it introduces a prohibition to use milk from infected flocks to feed ruminants (i.e. cattle, sheep, goats), and more specifically, milk coming from sheep sensitive to classical scrapie and milk from all goats. Such a restriction would prevent the disease from spreading to other health, flocks through feeding. The revised eradication scheme will be supported by the necessary Community co-funding, and aims to eradicate sensitive animals; i.e. sensitive sheep and all goats from the infected flocks, which will be re-populated with genetically resistant animals. Goats and sensitive sheep, in dairy flocks, should be eradicated within 18 months after the diagnostic of classical scrapie. Furthermore, studies seem to demonstrate the existence of genetic resistance in goats. These studies have been forwarded to the European Food Safety Authority to assess their scientific robustness by the first quarter of 2009. This proposal does not concern the use of milk (from classical scrapie infected flocks) for human consumption. This milk could continue to be used for cheese production. The proposal will now be submitted to the scrutiny of the European Parliament for one month. The introduction of the measures, which aim to ensure and maintain the high level of protection of animal health in the EU, became necessary after the European Safety Authority (EFSA) adopted, on 6 November, an opinion on the exposure risk related to Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) from milk and milk products derived from small ruminants which confirms that there is a risk of transmission of scrapie from infected ewe to lamb via milk or colostrums and points out that the use in feed of milk from small ruminants from infected flocks could lead to the spread of the disease.

    Rediffusion

    [44] The Commission launches a major Recovery Plan for growth and jobs, to boost demand and restore confidence in the European economy

    The European Commission has today presented a comprehensive plan to drive Europe's recovery from the current economic crisis. The Recovery Plan is based on two mutually reinforcing main elements. Firstly, short-term measures to boost demand, save jobs and help restore confidence. Secondly, "smart investment" to yield higher growth and sustainable prosperity in the longer-term. The Plan calls for a timely, targeted and temporary fiscal stimulus of around €200 billion or 1.5% of EU GDP, within both national budgets (around €170 billion, 1.2% of GDP) and EU and European Investment Bank budgets (around €30 billion, 0.3% of GDP). Every Member State is called upon to take major measures good for its own citizens and good for the rest of Europe. The Recovery Plan will reinforce and accelerate reforms already underway under the Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy. It includes extensive action at national and EU level to help households and industry and concentrate support on the most vulnerable. It puts forward concrete steps to promote entrepreneurship, research and innovation, including in the car and construction industries. The Recovery Plan aims to boost efforts to tackle climate change while creating much-needed jobs at the same time, through for example strategic investment in energy efficient buildings and technologies.

    [45] Mergers: Commission closes investigation after BHP Billiton abandons proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto

    The European Commission intends to close its investigation under the EU Merger Regulation into BHP Billiton's proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto and not adopt a final decision as BHP Billiton has informed the European Commission that it has abandoned the proposed acquisition and has withdrawn its notification. The Commission is satisfied that the planned transaction has effectively been abandoned and will not proceed.

    [46] European Commission approves German hard coal state aid for 2008

    The Commission approved today German State aid in favour of hard coal production in the year 2008. The measure essentially covers State aid to accessing coal reserves and to cover exceptional costs for German hard coal mining. The total State aid for 2008 is 2 378 million €. As in past years the German authorities notified this yearly measure to implement the coal production plan as previously approved by the Commission. Since the budget of the year 2008 is lower than the one foreseen in the plan and since the measures at stake are consistent with those previously foreseen, the Commission considers the aid for 2008 to be compatible with EU rules on State aid to the coal industry.

    [47] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo FAQs on the European Economic Recovery Plan

    • Memo on Road to recovery: the Cohesion package

    • Memo on Green Paper on Consumer Collective Redress – Questions and Answers

    • Memo on Directive on equal treatment for men and women in employment

    • Memo on Preparation second Agriculture Council of November 2008

    • Speech by Commissioner Hübner "Presentation of the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion", Marseille

    • Speech by Commissioner Hübner "Regional challenges at 2020 horizon", Marseille

    • Speech by Commissioner Hübner "Cohesion policy response to the financial crisis"

    • Speech by President Barroso ' A European Economic Recovery Plan', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Potočnik 'Knowledge based growth: keeping on course in turbulent waters', Brussels

    • Discours de la Vice-PrésidenteWallström 'Le meilleur de l'Europe pour les femmes', Paris

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    MPS Group/Argos Soditic/Bellco

    Diester Industrie / Oleon Group From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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