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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-11-28

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: preliminary report on pharmaceutical sector inquiry highlights cost of pharma companies' delaying tactics
  • [02] Climate change: Poznań conference must shift negotiations on a new global climate deal into higher gear
  • [03] Broadband: Gap between best and worst performing countries in Europe narrowing
  • [04] International cooperation in higher education: Tempus gives € 60 m to university cooperation projects
  • [05] «Union européenne et citoyenneté»: la Commission lance un concours destiné tous les jeunes de l'Union européenne
  • [06] European Commission calls on donors to stick to increased aid promises at UN financing conference in Doha
  • [07] La Commission accorde une aide alimentaire et nutritionnelle de 6 millions € en faveur d'Haïti
  • [08] Why Consumers behave the way they do: Commissioner Kuneva hosts high level conference on Behavioural Economics
  • [09] European elderly: how are they? Key Findings from an EU-funded Research database Unveiled
  • [10] Euro area inflation estimated at 2.1%
  • [11] Euro area unemployment up to 7.7%
  • [12] State aid: Commission approves Dutch emergency recapitalisation of Aegon
  • [13] Fight against cyber crime: cyber patrols and Internet investigation teams to reinforce the EU strategy
  • [14] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-11-28 Reference: MEX/08/1128 Date: 28/11/2008 EXME08 / 28.11

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    28/11/08


  • [01] Antitrust: preliminary report on pharmaceutical sector inquiry highlights cost of pharma companies' delaying tactics

    The European Commission has published its preliminary report on the competition inquiry into the pharmaceutical sector, which finds that competition in this industry does not work as well as it should. According to the preliminary findings there is evidence that originator companies have engaged in practices with the objective of delaying or blocking market entry of competing medicines. Practices vis- -vis generic companies include multiple patent applications for the same medicine (so-called patent clusters), initiation of disputes and litigation, conclusion of patent settlements which constrain market entry of generic companies and interventions before national authorities when generic companies ask for regulatory approvals. Where successful, these practices result in significant additional costs for public health budgets – and ultimately taxpayers and patients – and reduce incentives to innovate. The report takes a sample of medicines that faced loss of exclusivity in the period 2000 to 2007 in 17 Member States and estimates that additional savings of around € 3 billion would have been possible on that sample over this period if generic medicines had entered the market without delay. The report also finds that companies applied defensive patenting strategies, primarily aimed at blocking competitors in the development of new medicines.

    [02] Climate change: Poznań conference must shift negotiations on a new global climate deal into higher gear

    The European Commission and EU Member States aim to shift international negotiations on a new global climate treaty into higher gear and will be pressing for progress on a range of issues at the UN climate change conference in Poznań, Poland from 1-12 December. The Poznań conference represents an important staging-post in the international negotiations which were launched in Bali last December and are due to lead to the conclusion of the new agreement at the end of 2009 in Copenhagen. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas will participate in the high-level segment of the conference on 11-12 December.

    [03] Broadband: Gap between best and worst performing countries in Europe narrowing

    Broadband penetration in Europe continues to grow, from 18.2% in July 2007 to up to 21.7% in July 2008, according to a report published today by the European Commission. The report also shows the gap between EU countries narrowing, from 28.4 percentage points in July 2007 to 27.7 this July. With 17 million fixed broadband lines laid in a year, today's figures show high- speed internet in the EU is more widespread and faster, while mobile broadband is starting to take off, with 6.9% penetration. Three quarters of broadband lines in the EU have download speeds of 2 millions of bits per second (Mbps) and above, a speed that supports TV over the Internet, for example.

    [04] International cooperation in higher education: Tempus gives € 60 m to university cooperation projects

    The European Commission has given its approval to 63 university co- operation and 13 other high quality projects under the new phase of the Tempus programme, selected from 530 applications. All 28 Tempus partner countries are involved, with a total budget of € 60 million. 600 universities from the partner countries and 300 from the EU will participate in these projects.

    [05] «Union européenne et citoyenneté»: la Commission lance un concours destiné tous les jeunes de l'Union européenne

    « Union européenne et citoyenneté », tel est le titre d'un concours lancé aujourd'hui le 28 novembre 2008 par M. Jacques Barrot, Vice- président de la Commission européenne chargé de la justice, de la liberté et de la sécurité. Les étudiants en art et en graphisme âgés de 16 ans minimum et citoyens ou résidents de l'Union européenne sont invités créer une bande dessinée d'une page, sans parole, illustrant le concept de citoyenneté dans l'Union européenne. L'objectif de ce concours est de permettre tous ces jeunes de s'exprimer sur leur propre expérience de vie citoyenne dans l'Union européenne.

    [06] European Commission calls on donors to stick to increased aid promises at UN financing conference in Doha

    Ahead of the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Doha/Qatar 28 November – 2 December, the European Commission called on donors to stick to their promises and increase aid for poor countries. The Commission stressed that the financial crisis should not be used as an excuse to cut development assistance. The EU will reconfirm its commitment to increase development aid by 2015.

    [07] La Commission accorde une aide alimentaire et nutritionnelle de 6 millions € en faveur d'Haïti

    La Commission européenne a adopté en urgence une nouvelle décision prévoyant l'octroi d'une aide alimentaire et nutritionnelle urgente de 6 millions € environ un million de personnes en Haïti. Le service d'aide humanitaire de la Commission européenne (ECHO) ouvrira bientôt un bureau Port-au-Prince, qui sera chargé de suivre l'évolution de la situation et la mise en œuvre de l'aide humanitaire.

    [08] Why Consumers behave the way they do: Commissioner Kuneva hosts high level conference on Behavioural Economics

    Today EU Commissioner for Consumers Meglena Kuneva, welcomed top international academic, business and political experts to a conference in Brussels to discuss the role that Behavioural Economics can play in the development of policies that better serve the consumer. Behavioural Economics is a relatively new, but rapidly expanding discipline that combines economics and experimental research on behaviour in order to examine and explain why consumers choose to shop and buy the way that they do, what influences them in their purchasing decisions and how these affect the market. The European economy needs empowered consumers to boost its performance and drive competition. However, the complexity of today's markets may limit the ability of consumers to make optimal choices. Today's conference will focus on examples of where behavioural economics has already led to better policies which reflect these complexities, and participants will be invited to debate how behavioural economics can help to shape EU legislation in the future. This event could be the starting point of a increasing use of behavioural tools to improve policymaking in Europe.

    [09] European elderly: how are they? Key Findings from an EU-funded Research database Unveiled

    The second detailed results of a European survey of health, ageing and retirement in Europe (SHARE) are being presented today in Brussels. The EU’s Research Framework Programme awarded 5,8M€ over three years to the SHARE research project which collected data on life circumstances of around 35 000 European aged 50 and over in 15 countries, ranging from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. Among the surprising results: Women live longer especially in South of Europe; but men are less sick, especially in the North; people in most Northern Europe eat less or the demise of the family is a myth. The main purpose of the survey was to provide accessible and reliable data to researchers and policy makers in the field of public health, economics and social sciences. Europe has the highest proportion of older citizens of any continent worldwide and the average age of Europeans will continue to increase.

    [10] Euro area inflation estimated at 2.1%

    Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 2.1% in November 2008 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 3.2% in October. Euro area inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available4 as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro area. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (15 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate and 9 times differing by 0.1 over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.

    [11] Euro area unemployment up to 7.7%

    The euro area (EA15) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 7.7% in October 2008, compared with 7.6% in September. It was 7.3% in October 2007. The EU27 unemployment rate was 7.1% in October 2008, compared with 7.0% in September. It was 6.9% in October 2007.Eurostat estimates that 17.183 million men and women in the EU27, of which 12.003 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in October 2008. Compared with September 2008, the number of persons unemployed increased by 290 000 in the EU27 and by 225 000 in the euro area. Compared with October 2007, unemployment went up by 709 000 in the EU27 and by 810 000 in the euro area. These figures are published by Eurostat.

    Rediffusion

    [12] State aid: Commission approves Dutch emergency recapitalisation of Aegon

    The European Commission has approved, under EC Treaty state aid rules, an emergency intervention in the form of a recapitalisation, that the Dutch authorities intend to grant to Aegon N.V., the holding company of the Dutch insurance and pension group Aegon. The Commission found the measure to be in line with its Guidance Communication on state aid to overcome the current financial crisis (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1495&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1495). The measure constitutes an adequate means to remedy a serious disturbance in the Dutch economy while avoiding undue distortions of competition and is therefore compatible with Article 87.3.b. of the EC Treaty. In particular, the measure is limited in time and scope, requires an adequate remuneration and provides safeguards to minimise distortions of competition.

    [13] Fight against cyber crime: cyber patrols and Internet investigation teams to reinforce the EU strategy

    The Council of ministers of the European Union adopted today the European Commission's strategy to reinforce the fight against cyber crime. The strategy proposes a series of operational measures, such as cyber patrols, joint investigation teams and remote searches to become part of the fight against cybercrime in the next five years. The strategy also introduces concrete steps for closer cooperation and information exchange between law enforcement authorities and the private sector.

    [14] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Telecoms Council: Commission sees improved Council position on the EU Telecoms Reform as good basis for negotiations with the European Parliament

    • Memo on SMS and Data Roaming: Commission welcomes swift endorsement by Telecoms Council

    • Speech by Commissioner Kroes 'Achieving self-sustaining competition in telecommunications', Brussels

    • Memo on Antitrust: preliminary report of sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals – frequently asked questions (see also IP/08/1829)

    • Memo on Climate change and the EU’s response

    • Memo on Questions and Answers on Behavioural Economics

    • Memo on the Preparation of the Competitiveness Council of Ministers, Brussels, 1/2 December 2008

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

    • Memo on European elderly: how are they? Key Findings from an EU-funded Research database Unveiled

    • Speech by Commissioner Kroes 'Antitrust: preliminary report of sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Kuneva 'Behavioural Economics Conference', Brussels

    • Calendrier hebdomadaire du 1er au 7 décembre

    • Top News from the European Commission

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Aéroports de Paris/The Nuance Group

    Teijin Pharma / Laboratorios del Dr. Esteve / Oximeplus From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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