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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-12-03

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 3 décembre 2008 – Outcome of Commission meeting of 3 December 2008

  • [01] The Eastern Partnership – an ambitious new chapter in the EU's relations with its Eastern neighbours
  • [02] €10.7 million from EU Globalisation Fund to help redundant workers in Spain and Lithuania
  • [03] The Commission proposes measures to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy in low-income households
  • [04] Placer les demandeurs d’asile au cœur d’une procédure humaine et équitable: la Commission européenne propose de modifier le régime d’asile européen commun
  • [05] Antitrust: consumer welfare at heart of Commission fight against abuses by dominant undertakings
  • [06] Environment: Commission proposes revised laws on recycling and use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment
  • [07] Environment: Commission launches debate on the management of bio-waste in the EU
  • [08] La Commission remanie ses cadres dirigeants
  • [II] Other news - Autres Nouvelles

  • [09] Telecoms: Commission concerned over German regulator's failure to notify mobile termination rates
  • [10] Commissioner Hübner hails impact of European Cohesion Policy in Southern Italy
  • [11] Volume of retail trade down by 0.8% in euro area
  • [12] Commission clears acquisition of Alloin by Kuehne+Nagel
  • [13] Commission proposes to join forces on European Metrology Research - European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP)
  • [14] European Commission response to cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe
  • [15] Africa and the European Union join forces to work together against climate change
  • [16] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-12-03 Reference: MEX/08/1203 Date: 03/12/2008 EXME08 / 03.12

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    03/12/08


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission du 3 décembre 2008 – Outcome of Commission meeting of 3 December 2008

    [01] The Eastern Partnership – an ambitious new chapter in the EU's relations with its Eastern neighbours

    The Commission's proposal for a new Eastern Partnership represents a step change in the EU’s relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus , Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. This ambitious Partnership foresees a substantial upgrading of the level of political engagement, including the prospect of a new generation of Association Agreements, far-reaching integration into the EU economy, easier travel to the EU for citizens providing that security requirements are met, enhanced energy security arrangements benefiting all concerned, and increased financial assistance. The EU proposes much more intensive day to day support for partners' reform efforts through a new Comprehensive Institution Building programme, and a new multilateral dimension which will bring partners together to address common challenges. The new Partnership includes new measures to support the social and economic development of the 6 countries, and five flagship initiatives that will give very concrete evidence of the EU's support.

    [02] €10.7 million from EU Globalisation Fund to help redundant workers in Spain and Lithuania

    The European Commission has today made payments totalling €10.7 million from the European Globalisation adjustment Fund (EGF). The payment of €10.4 million to Spain will help some 1,600 workers made redundant when the American multinational Delphi decided to close down its factory in Cádiz and offshore production to its existing plant in Tangiers. A further €298,000 will help 600 dismissed textile workers from Alytaus Tekstilė in southern Lithuania to get back into work as quickly as possible. The payments follow approval by the Budgetary Authority (the European Parliament and the Council) on 22 October 2008.

    [03] The Commission proposes measures to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy in low-income households

    The European Commission adopted a proposal today which will, for the first time, enable all Member States and regions in the European Union to invest in energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures in housing, with the support of European Cohesion Policy funding. The measure, foreseen in the European Economic Recovery Plan presented last week, will be targeted at low-income households. In practice, this means the EU will be able to co- finance national, regional or local authority schemes to install double- glazing, wall insulation and solar panels in housing.

    [04] Placer les demandeurs d’asile au cœur d’une procédure humaine et équitable: la Commission européenne propose de modifier le régime d’asile européen commun

    La Commission européenne a adopté ce jour les propositions modifiant trois des instruments législatifs qui régissent le régime d’asile européen commun: la directive relative aux conditions d’accueil des demandeurs d’asile, le règlement de Dublin déterminant l’État membre responsable de l’examen d’une demande d’asile, et le règlement créant le système Eurodac, une base de données qui contient les empreintes digitales des demandeurs d’asile et facilite l’application du règlement de Dublin. Ces modifications constituent les premières propositions concrètes présentées par la Commission pour mettre en œuvre le plan d’action sur l’asile et le pacte sur l’immigration et l’asile. Elles visent garantir un traitement équitable et uniforme aux demandeurs d’asile, où qu’ils introduisent leur demande dans l’Union, et renforcer l’efficacité du régime d’asile européen.

    [05] Antitrust: consumer welfare at heart of Commission fight against abuses by dominant undertakings

    The European Commission has published guidance on its enforcement priorities in applying EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant market position (Article 82) to abusive exclusionary conduct by dominant undertakings. Such conduct aims to exclude actual competitors from expanding or would-be competitors from entering a market, thereby potentially depriving customers of more choice, more innovative goods or services and/or lower prices. The guidance sets out the Commission's determination to prioritise those cases where the exclusionary conduct of a dominant undertaking is liable to have harmful effects on consumers

    [06] Environment: Commission proposes revised laws on recycling and use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment

    Improving implementation and enforcement of laws on electrical and electronic equipment and cutting unnecessary administrative burden are the main objectives of the revised directives proposed by the Commission today. The directives on the collection and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment and on the restriction of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment – the so-called WEEE and RoHS directives – have been in force since 2004 but there is room for further improvement and simplification. The proposed directives set higher but more flexible targets on the collection and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment and introduce greater coherence with other EU legislation.

    [07] Environment: Commission launches debate on the management of bio-waste in the EU

    The European Commission today presented a discussion paper on the management of bio-waste in the European Union. Bio-waste – biodegradable garden, kitchen and food waste – accounts for around one third of municipal waste and has major potential impacts on the environment. When disposed of in landfill sites, it emits methane – a powerful greenhouse gas which is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a major contributor to climate change. While waste management in the EU is governed by a substantial body of regulation, there may be room for further improvement in the area of bio-waste, which offers potential advantages as a source of renewable energy and recycled materials. Today's Green Paper explores options and opportunities in bio-waste management in the European Union and will contribute to the assessment of the need for legislative action. It addresses in particular the best level for action – EU, national or local – and asks stakeholders for evidence supporting their respective views.

    [08] La Commission remanie ses cadres dirigeants

    La Commission a adopté aujourd'hui, sur proposition du Président Barroso et du Vice-Président Kallas, un ensemble de décisions mettant en œuvre sa politique de mobilité pour les hauts fonctionnaires. Depuis le début de cette Commission, il s'agit du troisième train de mesures de mobilité après ceux de novembre 2005 et novembre 2006 pour les hauts fonctionnaires de niveau Directeurs généraux, Directeurs généraux adjoints ou équivalents qui ont atteint, ou atteindront bientôt, cinq années ou plus d'ancienneté dans leur poste actuel. La Commission réaffirme le principe que l'ensemble des hauts fonctionnaires exercent une même fonction entre deux cinq ans, avec un maximum de sept ans. D'autres décisions sur la mobilité des hauts fonctionnaires seront prises en 2009.

    [II] Other news - Autres Nouvelles

    [09] Telecoms: Commission concerned over German regulator's failure to notify mobile termination rates

    The European Commission, in a letter made public today, requested the German telecoms regulator, Bundesnetzagentur ("BNetzA"), to notify it of all German mobile operators' termination rates, the wholesale tariffs charged by the operator of a customer receiving a phone call to the operator of the caller's network. Mobile termination rates are relatively high in Germany compared to several other Member States. The Commission underlines that these rates need to be notified to it under the EU telecoms rules (<a href="http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/implementation_enforcement/article_7/index_en.htm">"Article 7 procedure"). This procedure, provided for by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers since 2002, aims to ensure more coherent and transparent termination rates across Europe, thereby avoiding distortions of competition between operators from different Member States. BNetzA has failed twice, in 2006 and now again, to include these rates in its analysis of the market for wholesale mobile call termination. In its letter, the Commission therefore alerts BNetzA that in case it continues to fail to comply with this obligation, the Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, will consider opening an infringement proceeding for non-compliance with EU legislation.

    [10] Commissioner Hübner hails impact of European Cohesion Policy in Southern Italy

    Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for regional policy, will highlight the impact of European regional policy in the "Mezzogiorno" when she addresses a major conference in the Italian city of Reggio Calabria tomorrow. The event, focused on policy efficiency for development in Southern Italy, is hosted by the Italian Ministry for Economic Development. At the invitation of Agazio Loiero, President of Calabria region, the Commissioner will also have an opportunity to visit projects supported by the European Union's Cohesion Policy including the Gioia Tauro seaport and research and development facilities in Lamezia Terme.

    [11] Volume of retail trade down by 0.8% in euro area

    In October 2008, compared with September 2008, the volume of retail trade fell by 0.8% in the euro area (EA15) and by 0.3% in the EU27. In September retail trade remained unchanged in both zones. In October 2008, compared with October 2007, the retail sales index decreased by 2.1% in the euro area and by 0.8% in the EU27.These first estimates come from Eurostat.

    [12] Commission clears acquisition of Alloin by Kuehne+Nagel

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Alloin Holding SAS (Alloin) of France by Kuehne+Nagel Participations SARL (Kuehne+Nagel), also of France. Kuehne+Nagel is active in freight forwarding, contract logistics, insurance broking and real estate. Alloin provides transport services and freight forwarding. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [13] Commission proposes to join forces on European Metrology Research - European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP)

    The Commission has adopted today a proposal for co-decision of the European Parliament and Council to set up a joint European Research Programme in the field of Metrology (EMRP), the science of measurement. This proposal, based on article 169 of the Treaty, will establish a European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) bringing together 22 national metrology research programmes from of a large a number of Member States and associated countries to the Framework Programme 7 (FP7): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom as well as Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. An "Article 169 initiative", the EMRP is expected to be financed jointly by the 22 participating Member States (EUR 200 million) and through an expected Community contribution of EUR 200 million. Link to RTD website: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?pg=newsalert&lg=en&year=2008&na=na- 011208">http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?pg=newsalert&lg=en&year=2008&na=na- 011208 Link to other article 169 initiative (Eurostars): <a href="http://www.eurostars- eureka.eu">www.eurostars-eureka.eu

    Rediffusion

    [14] European Commission response to cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe

    The European Commission has responded to the growing cholera crisis in Zimbabwe by deploying humanitarian funding aimed both at treating victims of the disease and at stemming its spread. More than €9 million from the Commission humanitarian 'global plan' for Zimbabwe (IP/08/1404) is being provided to UN and non-governmental partner agencies working in Zimbabwe to support water, sanitation and hygiene actions, epidemic response and the provision of essential drugs.

    [15] Africa and the European Union join forces to work together against climate change

    Africa and the EU have outlined their common concerns for global warming and their common interest for an ambitious post-Kyoto international agreement through the endorsement today of a joint declaration on climate change.

    [16] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Questions and Answers on the Commission Proposal to amend the Dublin Regulation

    • Memo on Questions and Answers on the Commission Proposal to amend the EURODAC Regulation

    • Memo on Questions and Answers on the Commission Proposal to amend the Reception Conditions Directive

    • Memo on Antitrust: Guidance on Commission enforcement priorities in applying Article 82 to exclusionary conduct by dominant firms – frequently asked questions (see also <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1877&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1877)

    • Memo on Eastern Partnership

    • Memo on Questions and answers on the revised directive on restrictions of certain dangerous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS)

    • Memo on Questions and answers on the revised directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

    • Speech by Commissioner Fischer Boel 'The Green Paper on Agricultural Product Quality', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Potočnik 'Competitiveness Council makes headway on the European Research Area', Brussels

    • Speech by Vice-President Wallström 'Security: it's what women want', Madrid

    • Speech by Vice-President Wallström 'Europe online: new media for a new age', Madrid

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Lufthansa/SN Holding (Brussels Airlines From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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