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

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 partnership to help 800,000 workers in the defence industry better adapt to change – EMBARGO 14h00 CET
  • [02] State aid: Commission adopts guidance on bank recapitalisation in current financial crisis to boost credit flows to real economy
  • [03] Consumers: Commissioner Kuneva launches EU online consumer education programmes in Bulgaria and Romania
  • [04] Post-négociation: le groupe d'experts de la Commission évalue l'avancement des solutions harmonisées aux obstacles transfrontaliers
  • [05] Capitales européennes de la culture 2014 : réunions de présélection en Suède et en Lettonie
  • [06] Nouveau plan d'action drogues de l'UE (2009-2012): une avancée majeure pour affronter le problème de la drogue de façon plus efficace et plus européenne
  • [07] Saving Lives - Commission acts to improve organ donation across Europe
  • [08] Environment: EU and Ukraine sign agreement for enhanced civil protection cooperation
  • [09] Commissioner Danuta Hübner and London Mayor Boris Johnson launch European Cohesion Policy package for UK capital
  • [10] Contamination incident by dioxins and PCBs in pork meat from Ireland
  • [11] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2008-12-08 Reference: MEX/08/1208 Date: 08/12/2008 EXME08 / 08.12

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    08/12/08


  • [01] EU partnership to help 800,000 workers in the defence industry better adapt to change – EMBARGO 14h00 CET

    The European Commission and the main actors in the defence industry today launched a new partnership to help better anticipate and manage the changes facing the sector. The initiative – presented at a forum on restructuring in Brussels – brings together the Commission and the Aerospace & Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), the European Metalworkers Federation (EMF) and the European Defence Agency (EDA). It will monitor developments in the industry, while the partners will exchange know-how on anticipating skills needs and managing restructuring in a socially responsible way.

    [02] State aid: Commission adopts guidance on bank recapitalisation in current financial crisis to boost credit flows to real economy

    The European Commission has published detailed guidance on how Member States can recapitalise banks in the current financial crisis to ensure adequate levels of lending to the rest of the economy and stabilise financial markets whilst avoiding excessive distortions of competition, in line with EU state aid rules. The guidance takes account of the fact that the credit crunch is now beginning to affect the real economy and that financially sound banks may need state capital to ensure an adequate level loans to companies. The Communication complements and refines the broader guidance document adopted on 13 October 2008 (see <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1495&format=HTML&aged=0&language=FR&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1495), to ensure Member States had rapid guidance on the adequate pricing of state capital injections into banks designed to stabilise the banks themselves. The present guidance further addresses the necessity of appropriate safeguards to ensure that the public capital is used to sustain lending to the real economy and not to finance aggressive commercial conduct to the detriment of competitors who manage without state aid. Such safeguards also need to provide incentives for maintaining state intervention in the financial sector only as long as the crisis in the financial markets so requires. This approach ensures fair competition between Member States, fair competition between banks and a return to normal market functioning as soon as possible.

    [03] Consumers: Commissioner Kuneva launches EU online consumer education programmes in Bulgaria and Romania

    EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva will today in Sofia launch a new internet programme designed to help adults and children know more about their basic consumers rights. You’ve bought a new hi-fi system and when you get it home it doesn’t work properly; you ordered books on the Internet, but you’ve never received them; you receive an invoice for an abnormally high mobile telephone bill; you booked a package holiday abroad before the summer, but it was nothing like what was described in the brochure. What can you do? How do you resolve these consumer problems? The EU online information consumer education programme ("DOLCETA" www.dolceta.eu) aims to provide some answers to these important questions. It sets out clearly – in three levels for basic to more advanced users - what consumer rights you have, on issues from sales contracts, to guarantees, to settling disputes and taking out a credit loan. The programmes are designed to be used by trainers and teachers in adult education, as well as in schools for 15-18 year old students, in primary schools, and for training or reference work by consumer organisations, government agencies, by NGOs or community education programmes. The online consumer education tools already exist in other EU languages, today it is extended to Bulgaria and Romania.

    [04] Post-négociation: le groupe d'experts de la Commission évalue l'avancement des solutions harmonisées aux obstacles transfrontaliers

    Le Groupe consultatif et de suivi sur la compensation et le règlement- livraison (CESAME) de la Commission européenne a publié un rapport détaillé sur les quatre années qu'il a consacrées la suppression des obstacles découlant des pratiques du marché et affectant la compensation et le règlement transfrontaliers des transactions sur valeurs mobilières. Le rapport résume tous les travaux réalisés par le secteur d'activité pour supprimer les six «obstacles Giovannini» que les pratiques du marché créent l'encontre des opérations de post- négociation, et il donne un aperçu des progrès concernant neuf autres de ces obstacles liés, quant eux, au secteur public. Il passe également en revue d'autres questions liées la post-négociation, examinées par le Groupe.(pour plus d'information: IP/08/1903 – O. Drewes - Tel. 299 24 21 - Fax. 295 1413)

    [05] Capitales européennes de la culture 2014 : réunions de présélection en Suède et en Lettonie

    Les jurys chargés d’évaluer les villes candidates au titre de “Capitale européenne de la culture 2014” vont se réunir partir du 8 décembre en Suède puis en Lettonie pour une présélection dans chacun de ces deux Etats Membre. Les villes présélectionnées par le jury devront compléter leur candidature d'ici la fin de l'été 2009. Les deux villes qui porteront finalement le titre pour 2014 — une en Suède et une en Lettonie — seront sélectionnées l'automne de l'année prochaine.

    [06] Nouveau plan d'action drogues de l'UE (2009-2012): une avancée majeure pour affronter le problème de la drogue de façon plus efficace et plus européenne

    Le Conseil a adopté aujourd'hui le plan d'action drogues de l'UE (2009- 2012) que la Commission avait présenté en septembre 2008. Ce nouveau plan d'action témoigne de la convergence des politiques européennes en matière de drogue, lesquelles se fondent sur des données et non sur des idéologies".

    [07] Saving Lives - Commission acts to improve organ donation across Europe

    Today, the Commission adopted important safety and quality measures for organ donation and a 10 point action plan to work with Member States on strengthening organ donation and transplantation systems in Europe. For many patients, organ transplantation represents the only life saving treatment available. There are currently 56,000 patients waiting for a suitable organ donor in the EU. It is estimated that every day 12 people die while waiting for transplantation. The Directive and Action Plan address three key challenges: improving the quality and safety of organs across Europe, increasing organ availability and making transplant systems more efficient and accessible. – EMBARGO 12h30 CET

    [08] Environment: EU and Ukraine sign agreement for enhanced civil protection cooperation

    At 15:30 today, the European Commission and the Ukrainian Ministry of Emergencies and Affairs of Population Protection (set up as a result of the aftermath from the Chornobyl Catastrophe) will sign an arrangement for cooperation and mutual assistance during emergencies. It will be signed by Minister Volodymyr Shandra and DG Environment's acting Director-General, Jos Delbeke. The arrangement is considered a major step forward in relations between the EU and Ukraine. It will provide for the facilitation of mutual assistance during emergencies, cooperation on the assessment of environmental impacts of disasters, mutual observer-status participation in civil protection exercises and training sessions - as well as for cooperation on available partner civil protection capabilities. The arrangement will enable the EU and Ukraine to combine their expertise and know-how to coordinate operations in the event of major disasters. The first arrangement between the Commission and Ukraine was signed in 2007 and encompasses the exchange of information during emergencies. European civil protection assistance was given to Ukraine through the Community Civil Protection Mechanism in August 2008 in a series of floods which hit the country. Assistance was also provided in November 2007 during the Kerch Strait accident followed by a post disaster needs assessment mission to the area in 2008 - with the assistance of a team of international experts from the European Commission, UNEP and EU Member States. EU-Ukraine cooperation will continue in 2009 in light of the new Eastern Partnership initiative recently proposed by the Commission. Photo-op at 15:30 in DG Environment, Av. de Beaulieu 5, 1160 Bruxelles. For more information: European civil protection – <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/environment/civil/index.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/environment/civil/index.htm Eastern Partnership initiative: <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1858&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1858&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

    Rediffusion

    [09] Commissioner Danuta Hübner and London Mayor Boris Johnson launch European Cohesion Policy package for UK capital

    Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for regional policy, visits London on 8 December to launch the new European Cohesion Policy programme for the city. She will present the new £319 million (€ 382 million) package for the capital together with Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, and Tony McNulty, Minister for Employment and Minister for London. As part of her visit to the city, the Commissioner will see two projects in East London which have received EU support for start-up companies.

    [10] Contamination incident by dioxins and PCBs in pork meat from Ireland

    The Commission follows closely the contamination incident to ensure public health protection. During routine monitoring by the Irish authorities of the food chain for a range of contaminants, elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found in pork meat. As these PCB levels might be an indicator for unacceptable dioxin contamination, further investigations were immediately started to determine the dioxin content and to identify the possible source of contamination. Yesterday, the analytical results confirmed the presence of very high levels of dioxins in pork meat, about 100 times the EU maximum level of 1 picogramme/gram fat for dioxins and 1.5 picogramme/gramme fat for the sum of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs. Possible adverse human health effects are related to long term high level exposure to dioxins and PCBs. A short term peak exposure to dioxins and PCBs does not result in adverse health effects. However adequate measures have to be taken to remove highly contaminated products from the food chain to limit human exposure as much as possible. The use of contaminated animal feed was identified to be the source. Preliminary evidence indicates that the contamination problem is likely to have started in September 2008. All possibly contaminated feed has been blocked. The contaminated feed was provided to 10 pig farms which are producing about 10 % of the total supply of pigs in Ireland. Pigs from these farms were after slaughter processed by meat processing plants which are responsible for about 80 % of the total supply of pork meat and pork meat products from Ireland. Given the high levels found and that it is not possible to trace back the Irish pork meat and pork meat products to the farms affected by the dioxin contamination incident, the Irish authorities decided yesterday to recall from the market all pork products produced from pigs slaughtered in Ireland, even if not more than 10 % of the Irish pig meat production is affected by the contamination incident. Distribution details of possibly contaminated pork meat and pork meat products to other Member States and third countries will be provided to the Rapid Alert System for Feed and Food (RASFF) later today. Besides pig farms, the contaminated feed was also delivered to some cattle farms, however no dairy farms are affected. The use of this contaminated feed in a cattle diet is much more limited than in a pig diet but, as a precautionary measure, the affected cattle farms are blocked and investigation are ongoing to determine if the bovine meat is contaminated at unacceptable levels. The Commission is closely following up this contamination incident and the actions taken to withdraw any potentially contaminated pork meat and pork meat products from the market ensuring consumer health protection. The Commission will organise within very short notice a meeting with the competent authorities from the affected Member States to share information and to ensure a harmonised enforcement approach across the affected Member States to ensure a high level of human health protection. The Commission will provide regular updates on developments in this contamination incident.

    [11] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo the Council endorses EU Action Plan on Drugs 2009-2012

    • Memo on Q&A: EU Directive and Action Plan on organ donation and transplantation – EMBARGO 12h30

    • Speech by Commissioner Kroes ' The role of state aid in tackling the financial & economic crisis', Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner McCreevy at the Annual Association of European Journalists Christmas lunch, Dublin – EMBARGO 15h15 CET From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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