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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 09-01-23

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] Digital tachograph for road transport: new measures to prevent fraud and equip light vehicles
  • [02] Commission puts Europe's supercomputers on the path to sustainable energy sources
  • [03] L'Union européenne soutient activement les investissements de ses voisins dans des projets d'infrastructure
  • [04] EU and Central America pursue negotiations for an Association Agreement; €15 million EC assistance package for regional integration announced
  • [05] Consumers: European Commission gathers experts to tackle the health risks from personal music players
  • [06] Commissioner Hübner in Vorarlberg (Austria): Leverage effect of Cohesion Policy produces six times more investment for R&D
  • [07] EU reintroduces export refunds for dairy products
  • [08] Nabucco moves forward with the IGC
  • [09] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2009-01-23 Reference: MEX/09/0123 Date: 23/01/2009 EXME09 / 23.01

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    23/01/09


  • [01] Digital tachograph for road transport: new measures to prevent fraud and equip light vehicles

    Today, the European Commission adopted a package of measures aimed at detecting and preventing abuses of the tachograph system, used to record the driving time and rest periods of professional drivers. Furthermore, the new legislation permits the use of dedicated, type-approved adaptors for light vehicles that are required to comply with the Drivers' Hours and Tachograph rules.

    [02] Commission puts Europe's supercomputers on the path to sustainable energy sources

    Cooperation between researchers into a potentially massive new source of sustainable energy and European supercomputers promises to speed up work that could supply the energy needs of the planet. Today the European Commission announced it will give scientists all over Europe working on nuclear fusion, which taps energy from reactions like those that heat the sun, dedicated access to the network of the most powerful national supercomputers in Europe (DEISA). This will allow them to carry out complex parts of their work, such as simulations of a fusion reactor's operation. <a href="http://www.deisa.eu/">DEISA, Europe's distributed high-performance computing service, uses Europe's GÉANT (<a href="http://www.europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/08/133&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">MEMO/08/133), the world's largest computer network to share the huge amounts of data and processing power of Europe's supercomputers, and is receiving €26 million from the EU from 2004-2011. The scientists are part of an ongoing global research project, ITER (latin word for 'the path'), that aims to demonstrate the potential of fusion power as a clean, safe and lasting power source. Possible sources of fusion fuel are widely available, and one gram of fuel could provide as much energy as 11 tons of coal. The Commission is promoting the researchers' access to European supercomputing facilities to contribute to the work of ITER the world-wide fusion energy experiment that is being built in France.

    [03] L'Union européenne soutient activement les investissements de ses voisins dans des projets d'infrastructure

    En un an d'existence peine, la Facilité d'investissement pour le voisinage (FIV) a déj produit des résultats impressionnants sur le terrain et contribué la mobilisation de fonds importants en faveur de projets d'infrastructure dans les pays voisins de l'UE. En 2008, les 71 millions € alloués par la FIV ont permis de soutenir des projets représentant 2,7 milliards € environ, dont 1,6 milliard couvert par des prêts consentis par les institutions financières publiques européennes, parmi lesquelles la Banque européenne d'investissement (BEI), la Banque européenne pour la reconstruction et le développement (BERD), la Banque de développement du Conseil de l'Europe (CEB), l'Agence Française de Développement (AFD) et la Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).

    [04] EU and Central America pursue negotiations for an Association Agreement; €15 million EC assistance package for regional integration announced

    The European Commission and Central America will meet in Brussels from 26 to 30 January 2009 for the sixth round of negotiations leading to an Association Agreement between the two regions. In addition, the Commission is announcing a €15 million aid package to support the strengthening of regional institutions in Central America and the participation of civil society in the process. Both parties intend to conclude this year a comprehensive agreement, which will, among other things, create a free trade area between the EU and Central America. The third EU-Central America Private Sector Forum, co-organised by EUROCHAMBERS, FECAEXCA/CECA and CENCIT , will take place on the morning of 27 January 2009 and will allow for an exchange between private sector representatives from the two regions.

    [05] Consumers: European Commission gathers experts to tackle the health risks from personal music players

    Meglena Kuneva, European Commissioner for Consumers, will give a keynote speech at a conference in Brussels on 27 January, which will look at measures that can be taken to tackle the health risks that personal music players can pose to listeners. Last October, an opinion from the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) found that 5-10% of personal music player listeners risk permanent hearing loss if they listen to a personal music player at high volume settings for more than one hour per day over a period of at least 5 years. The conference will bring together EU Member State experts, scientists, industry, consumer organisations, standard makers, MEPs and other stakeholders, to discuss precautions that users can take, technical solutions that industry could apply to minimise hearing damage, and whether there is a need for further regulation or revision of existing safety standards to better protect consumers.

    [06] Commissioner Hübner in Vorarlberg (Austria): Leverage effect of Cohesion Policy produces six times more investment for R&D

    Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner will address the Landtag (Regional Parliament) of Vorarlberg in Austria on Monday 26 January and visit cutting-edge research projects in the region, set up with the support the European Union's Cohesion Policy.

    [07] EU reintroduces export refunds for dairy products

    At today's Management Committee, it was decided to reintroduce export refunds for certain dairy products for the first time since June 2007. The decision was taken in response to the serious situation on the EU dairy market, caused by a recent sharp fall in producer prices. Export refunds can be paid to allow EU exporters to continue to be present on the world market. The EU will, of course, fully respect the limits on subsidised exports set by the World Trade Organisation. The Commission will continue to observe market developments and will adjust the refunds accordingly. The measure will only apply for as long as market conditions so dictate. For skimmed milk powder (SMP), bids were accepted for a total of 5,612 tonnes at a maximum refund of 200 euros per tonne (out of total bids for 15,172 tonnes). For butter (82 percent fat), bids were accepted for 2,299 tonnes at a maximum refund of 500 euros per tonne (out of total bids for 9,566 tonnes). For butteroil, bids were accepted for 80 tonnes at a maximum refund of 580 euros per tonne (out of total bids for 980 tonnes). At the same time, lower rates were fixed for the standing refunds (the refund rates at which exports can be carried between regular tenders). The rates were 170 euros per tonne for SMP, 450 euros per tonne for butter, 260 euros per tonne for whole milk powder, and 220 euros per tonne for cheeses.

    [08] Nabucco moves forward with the IGC

    Today in Brussels, the countries in which Nabucco will be built, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, convened an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) at the European Commission's invitation to conclude the intergovernmental agreements necessary for the construction of Nabucco. "This is an excellent signal after the pain of our most recent crisis; I look forward to a speedy conclusion of the agreements necessary for the construction of the Nabucco gas pipeline", said Commissioner Piebalgs. The Intergovernmental Conference will establish the planning, tax, and regulatory issues that will ensure that the Nabucco project is bankable and legally sound. The agreements will give long-term financial assurance on income and tax to all investors in the pipeline. The European Investment Bank also lent its full support and assistance to the IGC. This is a long process and further discussions will continue. The timing for those is not yet known.

    [09] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Antitrust: Commission confirms inspection of Slovak Telekom a.s.

    • Calendrier hebdomadaire du 26 janvier au 1er février

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


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