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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 09-02-04

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-Ukraine Foreign Minister Troika meeting to confirm ambitious agenda for future relationship
  • [02] Réseau transeuropéen de transport: vers une nouvelle politique pour relever les défis futurs
  • [03] Cohesion Policy in 2008: €38 billion paid to Member States is helping to sustain the economy, says Commissioner Danuta Hübner
  • [04] Volume of retail trade remained stable in both euro area and EU27
  • [05] Member States agree to compulsory origin labelling for virgin and extra virgin olive oil
  • [06] New Commission study examines the new US Farm Bill
  • [07] Aides d'État: la Commission autorise le train de mesures en faveur des établissements de crédit danois
  • [08] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2009-02-04 Reference: MEX/09/0204 Date: 04/02/2009 EXME09 / 04.02

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    04/02/09


  • [01] EU-Ukraine Foreign Minister Troika meeting to confirm ambitious agenda for future relationship

    On 5 February 2009 Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner will participate in the EU- Ukraine Foreign Ministers’ Troika in Prague. The Ukrainian side will be represented by Foreign Minister, Volodomyr Ohryzko. The Troika will cover a range of bilateral issues and issues of common concern including developments in the region, the Eastern Partnership, the state of play on negotiations towards an Association Agreement as well as energy.

    [02] Réseau transeuropéen de transport: vers une nouvelle politique pour relever les défis futurs

    La Commission européenne a adopté aujourd'hui un livre vert qui expose les enjeux futurs de sa politique dans le domaine du réseau transeuropéen de transport (RTE-T). La politique du RTE-T doit être recentrée pour contribuer plus efficacement la réalisation des objectifs de lutte contre le changement climatique et pour aider l'Europe accroître son rôle sur le plan international grâce de meilleures connexions avec les infrastructures de ses voisins et celles du reste du monde. Il est également important que la politique du RTE T soit adaptée pour mieux soutenir le développement économique et social dans le cadre de la stratégie de Lisbonne. L’intégration de tous les modes de transport et des systèmes de transport intelligents peut être renforcée si la politique du RTE-T offre une base qui garantit des services de transport efficaces et sûrs, répondant la demande future des particuliers et des opérateurs économiques. Compte tenu de ces enjeux et des enseignements tirés de la mise en œuvre de la politique du RTE-T ce jour, la Commission présente de nouveaux objectifs et propose trois options pour le développement du RTE-T, tout en soulignant qu’il est nécessaire de disposer d'instruments de mise en œuvre la hauteur des ambitions en matière de planification.

    [03] Cohesion Policy in 2008: €38 billion paid to Member States is helping to sustain the economy, says Commissioner Danuta Hübner

    Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, announced today that more than €38 billion was paid out to Member States in 2008 through the European Union's Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund. This support co- financed thousands of regional development projects across the EU, ranging from major transport, environmental and energy infrastructure to investment in innovative SMEs and training.

    [04] Volume of retail trade remained stable in both euro area and EU27

    In December 2008, compared with November 2008, the volume of retail trade remained stable in both the euro area (EA15) and the EU27. In November retail trade fell by 0.1% in both zones. In December 2008, compared with December 2007, the retail sales index decreased by 1.6% in the euro area and by 0.8% in the EU27. The average volume of retail trade index for 2008, compared with 2007, fell by 1.4% in the euro area, but increased by 0.1% in the EU27. These first estimates come from Eurostat.

    [05] Member States agree to compulsory origin labelling for virgin and extra virgin olive oil

    Today Member States voted in favour of a European Commission proposal to introduce compulsory origin labelling for virgin and extra virgin olive oil. Rules introduced in 2002 established optional labelling for these oils, but this proved insufficient to avoid consumers being misled about the true characteristics and origin of certain products. As a result of agricultural traditions and local extraction and blending practices, such oils may be of quite different taste and quality depending on their geographical origin. For this reason and in line with the traceability rules of European food law, the time has now come to introduce compulsory origin labelling for virgin and extra virgin olive oil. Oils originating from just one country will carry the name of the Member State, or of the third country or of the Community. Blends will be labelled either "blend of Community olive oils", "blend of non-Community olive oils" "blend of Community and non-Community olive oils" or equivalent information. Certain terms such as fruity, green, mature, mild and well-balanced - which have recently been defined by the International Olive Council - may also be used on virgin and extra virgin olive oil labels for oils complying with the definitions. The new rules will apply from 1 July 2009. These rules complement the rules for specific oils which are protected as part of the system of Geographic Indications and are designed to offer further guarantees to consumers that what they buy in a sealed container corresponds with their preferences and expectations.

    [06] New Commission study examines the new US Farm Bill

    The long-awaited 2008 US Farm Bill is the subject of the first MAP (Monitoring Agri-Trade Policy) newsletter of 2009, published by the Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. With US farmers now signing up for support schemes for 2009/10, the latest MAP zooms in on the new scheme known as the Average Crop Election Programme or ACRE. Because guaranteed revenue under ACRE locks in the price increases of the last two years, the new scheme looks more attractive than the traditional suite of support schemes. The new law, especially the ACRE scheme, seems to have been crafted without future WTO commitments in mind. ACRE is likely to be classified as product specific Amber Box support and fall under the discipline of Amber Box individual product specific caps. If there is a high take-up and if prices fall, then expenditure could increase sharply above levels seen in recent years and the proposed ceilings for wheat, soybeans and corn could be breached. The MAP concludes that US policy appears to be moving in the direction of more trade distorting support. The MAP is available at <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/map/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/map/index_en.htm

    Rediffusion

    [07] Aides d'État: la Commission autorise le train de mesures en faveur des établissements de crédit danois

    La Commission européenne a autorisé un train de mesures visant soutenir le financement de l'économie réelle au Danemark. Elle a constaté que ces mesures constituaient un moyen approprié de restaurer la confiance dans la solvabilité des établissements de crédit danois et de stimuler le crédit l'économie réelle tout en étant conformes ses communications relatives aux aides d'État destinées surmonter la crise financière (voir <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1495&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1495 et <a href="http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1901&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en">IP/08/1901). En particulier, ces mesures auront une durée et une portée limitées, feront l'objet d'une rémunération conforme au marché et contiennent suffisamment de garde-fous pour éviter les abus. La Commission en a donc conclu qu'elles constituaient un moyen adéquat de remédier une perturbation grave de l'économie danoise et étaient donc compatibles avec l'article 87, paragraphe 3, point b) du traité CE.

    [08] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Green Paper: TEN-T policy review. Towards a better integrated trans-European transport network at the service of the common transport policy

    • Memo on Ministerial Conference on Childcare, 5-6 February 2009, Prague, Czech Republic

    • Memo on Mergers: Commission welcomes Court of First Instance judgment confirming its suspension decision during Omya/Huber merger investigation

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

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Alcoa/Elkem

    Orkla /Sapa

    Atlantia/Acciona/Itínere Chilean assets From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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