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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-05-01

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] Commission defines a framework for the relations between the EU and Denmark in the implementation of common visa, asylum and immigration policies as well as other issues related to the free movement of persons
  • [02] Commission's proposals for the 2003 budget : sound balance between financing new tasks and budgetary discipline
  • [03] No improvement in the market and no change in the behaviour of South Korean yards, says fifth Commission report on world shipbuilding
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] Interreg programme : Commission approves €329 million support for transnational cooperation in the North West of Europe
  • [05] February 2002 compared to February 2001 - Volume of retail trade up by 1.3% in euro-zone ; EU15 up by 2.2%
  • [06] March 2002 - Euro-zone unemployment stable at 8.4% ; EU15 steady at 7.6%
  • [07] Flash estimate - April 2002 - Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.2%
  • [08] Afghanistan : Commission provides almost €20 million extra in humanitarian aid
  • [09] Aide humanitaire au Salvador : la Commission alloue €528.000
  • [10] Conference on company taxation supports further work on an EU-wide consolidated company tax base
  • [11] Cleaner water : EU research means better industrial water management
  • [12] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 30/04/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 30/04/2002[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Commission defines a framework for the relations between the EU and Denmark in the implementation of common visa, asylum and immigration policies as well as other issues related to the free movement of persons

    The European Commission has held an orientation debate on the eventual participation of Denmark in EU measures on which it does not have an opt- in. The political guidelines approved indicates the four following areas where for reasons of good governance there would be an EU interest in the participation of Denmark : the Dublin and Eurodac acquis (on the mechanisms and criteria for determining the Member States responsible for considering an application for asylum), the Regulations "Brussels I" (jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters) and "Transmission of judicial and extra-judicial documents".

    [02] Commission's proposals for the 2003 budget : sound balance between financing new tasks and budgetary discipline

    The European Commission has adopted its budget proposals for 2003 (Preliminary Draft Budget). At just over €98 billion in payments, the proposed 2,7% increase for 2003 over 2002 is lower than the announced average increase of the Member States' budgets. The proposed 2003 budget stays well under the financial planning ceiling for the EU budget in the Agenda 2000. Compared to this ceiling the proposed budget saves €4,7 billion and accounts for 1,03% of the EU's gross national income. Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer said : "The Commission has again proposed a budget which takes financial care of many new responsibilities, initiatives and programmes but leaves a sizeable precautionary margin so that it could tackle other possible financial risks. That's sound budgetary policy." The budget proposals allocate the financial means to the Commission's policy priorities for 2003, the preparation for enlargement, stability and security, and sustainable and inclusive economic development.

    [03] No improvement in the market and no change in the behaviour of South Korean yards, says fifth Commission report on world shipbuilding

    The world shipbuilding market continues to face serious difficulties, while certain South Korean yards are still pricing ships below cost, notes the European Commission's latest (fifth) report on world shipbuilding, adopted today. World ship prices are still being depressed by excess supply, due to past expansion of yards mainly in Korea, but now, and increasingly, in China, too. New orders did reach an historic high in 2000, bringing a brief price recovery, but then sank substantially in 2001, taking prices with them, in the wake of US recession and the effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks on demand for sea trade and cruises respectively. Declining orders for container ships and cruise ships cut the market shares of both Korea and the EU, which are particularly strong in these segments.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] Interreg programme : Commission approves €329 million support for transnational cooperation in the North West of Europe

    Michel Barnier, European Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval of a support programme for the North West of Europe. This Interreg III Community Initiative programme covers a period until 2006 and provides about €329 million in financial support from the EU. It concerns transnational cooperation between Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France in the EU and includes Switzerland as an external partner. Another €326 million comes from national and regional funding, creating total resources of about €655 million.

    [05] February 2002 compared to February 2001 - Volume of retail trade up by 1.3% in euro-zone ; EU15 up by 2.2%

    In February 2002, as compared to February 2001, the volume of retail trade increased by 1.3% in the euro-zone and by 2.2% in the EU15, Eurostat estimates today. Compared to January 2002, sales rose by 0.5% in the euro- zone and by 0.6% in the EU15. In February 2002, as compared to February 2001, retail trade of "food, drinks and tobacco" rose by 1.3% in the euro- zone and by 1.6% in the EU15. The decrease of sales of food in specialised stores continued, this time by 2.7% in the euro-zone and 2.8% in the EU15, while sales in non specialised stores increased by 1.8% and 2.3% respectively. The non food sector gained 0.2% in the euro-zone and 1.7% in the EU15.

    [06] March 2002 - Euro-zone unemployment stable at 8.4% ; EU15 steady at 7.6%

    Euro-zone seasonally-adjusted unemployment stood at 8.4% in March 2002 unchanged compared to February, Eurostat reports today. It was 8.3% in March 2001. The EU15 unemployment rate was 7.6% in March unchanged compared to February. It was also 7.6% in March 2001. In March 2002, lowest rates were registered in the Netherlands (2.4% in February), Luxembourg (2.6%), Austria (4.0%), Denmark (4.1%), Portugal (4.3%), and Ireland (4.4%). Spain's 12.9% remained the EU's highest rate.

    [07] Flash estimate - April 2002 - Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.2%

    Euro-zone annual inflation is expected to be 2.2% in April, down from 2.5% in March, according to a flash estimate issued today by Eurostat.

    [08] Afghanistan : Commission provides almost €20 million extra in humanitarian aid

    The European Commission has approved two humanitarian aid decisions for Afghanistan, totalling €19,135,000. The aid is managed by the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) which comes under the direct responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson. The first decision, for more than €17 million, ensures continuing assistance for vulnerable groups affected by the civil war, the drought and conflict. A second emergency decision allocates more than €2 million for victims of the earthquake that struck the Baghlan region on 25 March. Commenting on the latest funding, Poul Nielson said : "More than twenty years of conflict, coupled with droughts and earthquakes, have exacted a terrible cost in human misery with homes destroyed, health and education systems left in ruins and huge numbers of people displaced from their home areas. Through its previous interventions, and these latest decisions, the Commission is at the forefront of efforts to provide relief to the Afghan population."

    [09] Aide humanitaire au Salvador : la Commission alloue €528.000

    La Commission européenne a approuvé une aide financière d'€528.000 au Salvador destinée à la réhabilitation et reconstruction de logements en faveur des populations rurales touchées par les deux tremblements de terre de 2001. L'assistance fournie par la Commission permettra de diffuser auprès des communautés rurales les plus défavorisées une technique de construction simple et résistante aux séismes, utilisant des matériaux disponibles localement. Les familles les plus vulnérables des communautés rurales situées dans les départements de San Salvador, Usulatán, La Paz, San Vicente et La Libertad et dont les logements ont été détruits suite aux tremblements de terre survenus en 2001 au Salvador, bénéficieront initialement de ces nouvelles techniques d'appui. Les opérations seront confiées à une organisation non gouvernementale partenaire d'ECHO (Atlas Logistique), qui interviendra en étroite coordination avec les autorités locales. L'objectif visé consiste à mettre en place un système de formation avec d'importants effets multiplicateurs. Les fonds alloués sont gérés via l'Office d'Aide Humanitaire de la Commission (ECHO) placé sous la responsabilité du Commissaire Poul Nielson. Début 2001, El Salvador a subi tour à tour deux violents séismes qui ont dévasté plus de 160.000 logements laissant plus de 2.000 morts. L'Office Humanitaire a jusqu'à présent alloué 10 millions d'€ en faveur des victimes des tremblements de terre.

    [10] Conference on company taxation supports further work on an EU-wide consolidated company tax base

    At the European Conference on Company Taxation hosted by the European Commission on 29-30 April in Brussels, business operators and academics gave considerable support to the Commission's suggestion that companies should ultimately be allowed to use a single consolidated tax base for their EU-wide business activities. The Commission had indicated in its Communication on company taxation of 23 October 2001 (see IP/01/1468) that such an EU-wide tax base is the only systematic remedy to the various tax obstacles in the Internal Market and the current costly inefficiencies resulting from the operation of fifteen different sets of tax rules. During the conference, more than 500 high-level tax specialists from the public and private sectors in the EU, candidate countries and beyond debated the four options that the Commission had presented to achieve this objective and their political and technical implications. Discussions will continue with Member States and all interested parties and the Commission will at the same time work on the technical aspects. The Commission will publish a progress report in early 2003.

    [11] Cleaner water : EU research means better industrial water management

    At a media briefing at the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, Barcelona, on 2 May the European Commission will report on three successful EU initiatives which have improved the management of waste industrial water. Water is life. Its availability and quality make the difference for human settlements, economic development and ecosystems. Industry consumes water, and waste originating from production processes often has a negative impact on the environment and on human health. EU-funded research projects can help solve the problem for instance by reducing by 90% water consumption in the tanning and leather industries. The meeting will outline three projects : TANNET addresses tanneries, INCORE tackles abandoned industrial sites and WASTE WATER CLUSTER puts forward innovative solutions in the treatment of waste water. The three projects aim at ensuring high quality drinking water. Their results concern specific and complementary aspects of the water cycle treatment and converge towards a global and integrated approach in water management policy.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Discours de M. Fischler sur le développement rural au Conseil informel des ministres de l'Agriculture (Murcia)

    Speech by Pascal Lamy : "Mexico and the EU: married partners, lovers, or just good friends ?" at the Institute of European Integration Studies (29/04, Mexico)


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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