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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 09-03-12

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] Aides d'État: la Commission autorise régime temporaire luxembourgeois de garanties
  • [02] Commission pushes ICT use for a greener Europe
  • [03] Telecoms: Commission endorses new Danish rules to open wholesale access to cable broadband
  • [04] La Commission européenne tient sa première bourse aux projets environnementaux
  • [05] Industrial producer prices down by 0.8% in euro area
  • [06] Commission publishes stakeholders' opinions on agricultural product quality policy
  • [07] Commissioner Kroes: Competition policy - many achievements, more to do"
  • [08] Sécurité maritime: pour une meilleure prévention des accidents maritimes
  • [09] Energy savings: Member States support rules to reduce the energy use of industrial motors
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2009-03-12 Reference: MEX/09/0312 Date: 12/03/2009 EXME09 / 12.03

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    12/03/09


  • [01] Aides d'État: la Commission autorise régime temporaire luxembourgeois de garanties

    La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu des règles du traité CE sur les aides d'État, la deuxième d’une série de mesures d’aides aux entreprises, adoptée par le Luxembourg pour faire face la crise économique actuelle. Cette mesure permet l'Etat d'accorder jusqu'au 31 décembre 2010 des aides sous forme de garanties pour des crédits d’investissements et de fonds de roulement aux entreprises susceptibles d'avoir une influence structurante sur l'économie nationale ou régionale.

    [02] Commission pushes ICT use for a greener Europe

    As part of its effort to combat climate change and drive economic recovery, the European Commission today called on Member States and industry to use information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve energy efficiency. These technologies are expected to reduce total carbon emissions in Europe by up to 15% by 2020. ICT can not only improve monitoring and management of energy use in factories, offices and in public spaces but above all help make people more aware of how they use energy. With smart metering in their homes, for example, consumers have been found to reduce their energy consumption by as much as 10%.

    [03] Telecoms: Commission endorses new Danish rules to open wholesale access to cable broadband

    The European Commission has endorsed, in a letter published today, the Danish telecoms regulator's (NITA) proposal to oblige the largest cable operator in Denmark to open wholesale access to its cable broadband network to competitors. The Commission recognised that Denmark is in a unique situation because the Danish incumbent telecoms operator, TDC, controls both the telecoms network and large parts of the cable network. Extending obligations already existing for the telecoms network to TDC's cable network should help to maintain the ability of alternative operators to compete effectively with TDC in the broadband market by enabling them to access high bandwidth wholesale products, even if such products are not available over the telecoms network.

    [04] La Commission européenne tient sa première bourse aux projets environnementaux

    L'office de coopération de la Commission européenne, EuropeAid, tiendra sa toute première conférence de type «bourse aux projets» demain, 13 mars, Bruxelles. Cette bourse aux projets est une initiative ambitieuse et novatrice qui a pour but de trouver des donateurs disposés financer des projets environnementaux de grande qualité en mettant en présence des acteurs du développement (organisations de la société civile, centres de recherche, etc.) et un large éventail de donateurs potentiels (collectivités locales, États membres de l'UE ou encore fondations du secteur privé). Au total, 86 projets visant protéger la biodiversité, préserver les forêts et promouvoir les énergies durables ou encore lutter contre le changement climatique et la désertification en Asie, en Afrique, en Amérique latine et en Europe seront présentés cette occasion.

    [05] Industrial producer prices down by 0.8% in euro area

    In January 2009 compared with December 2008, the industrial producer price index fell by 0.8% in the euro area (EA16) and by 0.6% in the EU27. In December 2008, prices decreased by 1.5% and 1.7% respectively. In January 2009 compared with January 2008, industrial producer prices dropped by 0.5% in the euro area but rose by 0.2% in the EU27. These figures come from Eurostat.

    [06] Commission publishes stakeholders' opinions on agricultural product quality policy

    Today DG Agriculture and Rural Development will publish the summary of the 560 stakeholder opinions submitted in response to the Green Paper on agricultural product quality policy. Marianne FISCHER BOEL, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, who is opening the Czech Presidency High Level Conference on Agricultural Quality Policy, said: "The response to the Green paper was highly satisfactory. 560 individuals and organisations responded which was far more than anticipated. This illustrates the considerable interest in quality products and labelling and certification schemes. These responses will now be used in the preparation of the Communication on quality policy, due for publication in May, which will set the strategic direction for the policy." The main conclusions of the consultation are: Support for further simplification of marketing standards while keeping the current legislative approach; clarification and harmonisation of the Geographical Indication schemes and for increased protection at international level; support for improvements to the traditional specialties scheme; improvements in the operation of private and national certification schemes and guidelines should be sufficient; and finally support for compulsory indication of the place-of-farming where justified on a sector-by-sector approach. Following the results of the consultation on the Green Paper and the conclusions of the Czech Presidency Quality Policy Conference, a Commission Communication is expected to be adopted on 27 May. It will lay down strategic orientations and will be another opportunity to advance the debate before any legislative proposals. Stakeholders will be invited to react to the Communication and legislative proposals could be tabled in 2010. The DG AGRI website on quality: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/index_en.htm The opinions received:

    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/policy/opinions_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/policy/opinions_en.htm

    The European Commission has today published a summary of the responses to the recent public consultation on hedge funds. The results of the consultation will inform the ongoing preparation of a legislative proposal to cover hedge funds and private equity. As stated in the recent Communication for the Spring European Council, the European Commission is committed to ensuring that all significant financial market actors are subject to appropriate regulation and oversight. The public consultation attracted 104 responses from the hedge fund industry, other financial market participants, investors, prime brokers, and national and European public authorities. The consultation covered inter alia the transparency of hedge fund activity, the impact of hedge funds on financial markets; and the relationship between hedge funds, their investors and other market participants. Except where confidentiality was requested explicitly, individual responses to the consultation have also been published. The Commission has also published today a summary record of the Conference on Hedge Funds and Private Equity, held in Brussels on 26-27 February 2009. The conference, opened by the Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy, was attended by around 300 delegates. Discussions focused on the impact of hedge funds and private equity on European financial markets and the adequacy of existing regulatory and self-regulatory frameworks.

    [07] Commissioner Kroes: Competition policy - many achievements, more to do"

    Cartels investigated by the Commission from 2005-2007 harmed consumers to the tune of at the very least €7.6bn, and the Commission's tough enforcement of the anti-cartel rules deterred further cartels that would have caused an additional €20 billion or more of harm to consumers every year, according to European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, speaking at an international legal conference in Brussels today. This was precisely why this is no time to heed siren calls to relax enforcement of competition rules because of the economic crisis, Ms Kroes insisted. She said there would "be no rubber stamps" and that it would be "madness" to soften competition rules or lower fines because of the recession. "History shows us that economies are better off when competition authorities do their jobs without fear or favour". Kroes underlined that competition enforcement is toothless without fines, offering this advice to critics: "If a company thinks fines are too high I have an excellent suggestion: don't engage in cartels." "Anyone who thinks we are distracted or going soft will find out the truth the hard way. It is not a choice between the crisis and our other work – we must do both," Kroes said. Kroes also linked the sort of cultures that 'turn a blind eye' to cartels to ones that fail to ask questions and take excessive risks - the infectious behaviour that led to many of the current economic problems. See SPEECH/09/106.

    Rediffusion

    [08] Sécurité maritime: pour une meilleure prévention des accidents maritimes

    Suite l'accord intervenu en conciliation en décembre dernier, le Parlement européen, la suite du Conseil, a définitivement approuvé ce 11 mars 2009 le troisième paquet de mesures pour la sécurité maritime.

    [09] Energy savings: Member States support rules to reduce the energy use of industrial motors

    EU Member States showed their support for new rules to reduce the electricity consumption of industrial motors - which will save the equivalent of Sweden's electricity consumption each year - during today's Ecodesign Regulatory Committee meeting. The Regulation is expected to create 40,000 new jobs and make electricity savings of €9 billion by 2020.

    [10] Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo Cadre général du troisième paquet sur la sécurité maritime

    • Speech by Commissioner Rehn 'Accession process of Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - making progress in challenging circumstances' at the EP Plenary session, Strasbourg

    • Speech by Commissioner Kroes 'Many achievements, more to do' at International Bar Association conference, Brussels

    • Speech by Commissioner Borg 'Opportunities and responsibilities in the Arctic Region: the European Union's perspective', Berlin

    • Introductory remarks by President Barroso at a press point after an informal exchange of views with ETUC and Business Europe, Brussels

    • Discours du Vice-président Tajani 'Connecter l'Europe : Financer la Mobilité et les Villes Durables' au Forum EIB, Barcelona - EMBARGO 14h30 CET -

    • Speech by President Barroso 'Spain has been one of the countries which has worked harder for the construction of our Europe', Brussels – in Spanish only From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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