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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 02-11-26

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] Romano Prodi met Vladimir Spidla, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
  • [02] "La création du marché européen de l'énergie est une révolution", déclare Loyola de Palacio
  • [03] Landmark reform simplifies and strengthens antitrust enforcement
  • [04] Selon Michaele Schreyer, le budget 2003 crée les conditions indispensables à l'élargissement et aux nouvelles missions de l'UE
  • [05] Fisheries reform : Commission proposes action to reduce catches and discards of unwanted fish to restore fish stocks
  • [06] 320 pesticides to be withdrawn in July 2003
  • [07] Postal services : 1997 Directive has delivered improved service quality
  • [08] Marchés financiers : une nouvelle étude confirme que l'intégration peut entraîner des gains de croissance importants
  • [09] Go-ahead for Hungarian pre-accession programme Sapard
  • [10] Further liberalisation of agricultural trade with the Czech Republic
  • [11] Candidate countries : already 18 projects selected in 2002 from the five new participants in the MEDIA Plus programme
  • [12] Seychelles : la Commission approuve la coopération au développement pour 2002-2007
  • [13] Statement of European External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten on presidential elections in Ecuador (25/11)
  • [14] EU to observe Presidential, Parliamentary and Civic Elections in Kenya
  • [15] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express 26/11/2002 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 26/11/2002

  • [01] Romano Prodi met Vladimir Spidla, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

    The President of the European Commission Romano Prodi yesterday met Czech Prime Minister Vladimir SPIDLA in his first visit to Brussels since taking office. The discussions concentrated on the state of the enlargement process. President Prodi expressed his satisfaction on the impressive progress the Czech Republic has achieved in preparing for the EU accession. The President gave his reassurance that the final package that the EU is going to present to the candidate countries tomorrow will meet their legitimate requests while staying within the financial constraints of the Union. "We have entered the final lap of the enlargement negotiations. We've been working hard to address the concerns of the Czech Republic and I'm convinced that our offer can be the basis for the final agreement", President Prodi said at a joint press conference after the meeting. Prime Minister Spidla also thanked the Commission for its role in extending the mandate of the European Solidarity Fund to cover the damages caused by the flooding last summer in Czech Republic.

    [02] "La création du marché européen de l'énergie est une révolution", déclare Loyola de Palacio

    Les Ministres de l'Energie se sont accordés le 25 novembre sur une ouverture totale des marchés du gaz et de l'électricité dès 2004 pour les professionnels et 2007 pour les ménages. "C'est un changement majeur qui a vu passer les Etats européens de situations nationales de monopoles à la libéralisation complète en quelques années", a commenté Loyola de Palacio, vice-présidente de la Commission européenne, en charge des Transports et de l'Energie. "La création du marché européen de l'énergie est une révolution qui favorisera la compétitivité des entreprises européennes et bénéficiera à l'ensemble des citoyens", a-t-elle ajouté. L'accord obtenu entre les Etats européens vise également à conforter les obligations de service public, notamment le service universel et la protection des consommateurs. Cette ouverture passe par la mise en place de fonctions régulatrices indépendantes et la séparation des fonctions de transport et de distribution de celles de production et de fourniture de services. Le Conseil s'est également accordé sur le règlement organisant la tarification transfrontalière et le développement d'infrastructures transeuropéennes d'énergie. "Le marché unique de l'énergie est une garantie supplémentaire d'approvisionnement sûr et durable", a conclu Loyola de Palacio.

    [03] Landmark reform simplifies and strengthens antitrust enforcement

    The European Commission welcomes the adoption, by the Competitiveness Council, of the most comprehensive antitrust reform undertaken since 1962. This reform, proposed by the Commission in September 2000, will fundamentally simplify the way in which the Treaty's antitrust rules are enforced throughout the European Union. Most importantly, the new Regulation abolishes the practice of notifying business agreements to the Commission, therefore ending bureaucracy and legal costs for companies. Its adoption before the historic enlargement of the Union will strengthen vigorous antitrust enforcement by means of a better and more effective sharing of enforcement tasks between the Commission and national authorities. It will allow the Commission and national authorities to focus their resources on the important fight against price-fixing and other agreements that are truly harmful to competition.

    [04] Selon Michaele Schreyer, le budget 2003 crée les conditions indispensables à l'élargissement et aux nouvelles missions de l'UE

    Au terme des négociations entre le Conseil et le Parlement européen avant la deuxième lecture du budget communautaire 2003 au sein du Conseil, la Commissaire européenne au Budget, Mme Michaele Schreyer, s'est déclarée satisfaite des décisions adoptées. "Le budget 2003 tient compte de la priorité politique mais aussi administrative de l'année prochaine, à savoir la préparation de l'élargissement. La Commission pourra donc s'acquitter de sa mission." Elle a également tenu à souligner que l'Union européenne est désormais en mesure d'accomplir ses futures tâches de politique étrangère, par exemple en Bosnie ou en Afghanistan, sans demander de fonds supplémentaires.

    [05] Fisheries reform : Commission proposes action to reduce catches and discards of unwanted fish to restore fish stocks

    Today, the European Commission has presented an action plan to tackle the main causes of discarding unwanted fish overboard. Discarding is a characteristic of many fisheries, particularly mixed fisheries. "This practice is even more difficult to justify when so many of our stocks are depleting. The cod crisis illustrates how important it is to tackle discards and protect young fish. This requires action on several fronts. We are proposing measures to prevent catches of unwanted fish and to remove incentives for discarding. By leaving more fish in the sea, we will be doing fish resources, the fishing industry, the marine environment and society a good turn. This is what this action plan is about, this is what our reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is about", said Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries. In consultation with fishermen and Member States, the Commission wants to opt for a mix of measures, such as reducing the fishing effort, using more selective nets to prevent the capture of young fish, or real time closures of areas, where dense concentrations of young fish occur. This action plan will be presented to the Council of Fisheries Ministers at its meeting on 27 November. It forms part of a series of proposals and action plans presented by the Commission on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy ; the first package was issued last May.

    [06] 320 pesticides to be withdrawn in July 2003

    Some 320 substances used in plant protection products (PPPs) - including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides - are to be withdrawn from the market by 25 July 2003 as part of the European Commission's new approach to the evaluation of active substances in plant protection products. This aims to improve safeguards to ensure that all such products in use are safe for the environment and human health. Users, wholesalers and retailers of plant protection products will need to be aware of whether the products they use or sell are likely to be withdrawn, so as to prevent them being left with stocks of unusable material. Those concerned should contact their national authority to check the authorisation status for any particular product. The Regulation (n° 2076/2002 of 20 November 2002), with the list of the 320 substances, has now been published in the Offical Journal and is available on the Internet at: http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/oj/2002/l_31920021123en.html

    [07] Postal services : 1997 Directive has delivered improved service quality

    The key objectives of the 1997 postal services Directive, namely the safeguarding of the universal postal service in the Member States and the improvement of the quality of postal services, have been met according to a report just issued by the European Commission. The report notes that Directive 97/67/EC has contributed to a safe, gradual and controlled opening of the postal market at a time of rapid market development. Overall employment levels in the sector have slightly increased.

    [08] Marchés financiers : une nouvelle étude confirme que l'intégration peut entraîner des gains de croissance importants

    Une étude réalisée pour le compte de la Commission européenne confirme que l'intégration des marchés financiers pourrait se traduire par des gains de croissance appréciables pour l'Union européenne. Par exemple, si les entreprises pouvaient se financer sur un marché communautaire intégré d'une taille comparable à celui des Etats-Unis, la croissance de la valeur ajoutée dans le secteur manufacturier pourrait être supérieure de 0,7 à 0,9 point de pourcentage chaque année, et ce de façon durable. Les normes juridiques et comptables apparaissent comme un facteur important du développement financier. Venant après une autre étude récente sur l'incidence économique de l'intégration des marchés de valeurs mobilières (voir document IP/02/1649), ces résultats démontrent une nouvelle fois l'importance des gains économiques découlant de l'intégration financière européenne.

    [09] Go-ahead for Hungarian pre-accession programme Sapard

    The European Commission has today decided to confer the management of Sapard aid to the Hungarian authorities, enabling Hungary to commence the implementation of its Sapard programme. Under this scheme, Hungary will now be entitled to €38.7 million for the year 2000 and €39.4 million for the year 2001, while the indicative amount from 2002 until 2006 will be €40.6 million per annum. Payment of the first advance for the year 2000 can now be made (the maximum is 49% of the annual amount). This decision covers four measures : 'Investments in agricultural holdings', 'Processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products', 'Development and improvement of rural infrastructure', accompanied by 'Technical assistance'.

    [10] Further liberalisation of agricultural trade with the Czech Republic

    In the framework of the "double profit" agreements between the EU and candidate countries, the European Commission today adopted a proposal for an Additional Protocol to the Europe Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part and the Czech Republic, of the other part. This protocol which consolidates all existing agricultural trade preferences between the Parties includes further additional liberalisation of agricultural trade with the Czech Republic under the "double profit" arrangement. The agreement, which foresees an increase in preferential agricultural trade between the EU and the Czech Republic of the order of €120 million, involves the reciprocal complete liberalisation of trade in a range of products including molasses, many fruit and vegetables, honey and fruit juices. The deal also incorporates improvements to existing concessions and addresses new duty-free tariff quotas in the cereals and dairy sectors. The EU will be granted new duty- free access to the Czech market for its exports of rice and olive oil. The substantial tariff quotas on wheat, maize and barley have been granted in parallel with a commitment from the parties to remove export subsidies for the sectors concerned. The draft agreement must now be adopted by the Council and the Czech Republic and be signed by both sides with a view to entering into force from 1 January 2003. Commenting on the proposal, Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler said : "Facilitating mutual farm trade before EU accession is part of the EU's strategy to prepare both sides for the EU accession and the single market".

    [11] Candidate countries : already 18 projects selected in 2002 from the five new participants in the MEDIA Plus programme

    For now four months Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have been participating in the MEDIA Plus and MEDIA training programmes. Thanks to the special arrangements set up to allow a full participation to all 2002 MEDIA activities, the five new countries have managed to submit various projects of which 18 have been selected for financing with a budget of about €2,5 million. In 2003, four new countries, Lithuania, Slovak Republic, Cyprus and Slovenia will join the MEDIA Programme.

    [12] Seychelles : la Commission approuve la coopération au développement pour 2002-2007

    La Commission européenne a adopté un document de stratégie et un programme indicatif national pour les Seychelles, esquissant les grandes lignes de sa coopération avec ce pays pour les cinq années à venir (2002-2007). Au total, quelque 4,7 millions d'€ ont été alloués sur le 9ème FED (Fonds européen de développement), qui est l'instrument financier de l'accord de partenariat ACP-UE signé à Cotonou en juin 2000. Un montant de 3,9 millions d'€ couvrira les activités de développement à long terme dans le secteur de l'environnement, tandis que 600.000€ iront au renforcement des capacités et que 800.000€ seront mis en réserve pour faire face aux impondérables tels que l'aide d'urgence, l'allègement de la dette et l'instabilité des recettes d'exportation.

    [13] Statement of European External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten on presidential elections in Ecuador (25/11)

    "I congratulate the people of Ecuador for the way in which they conducted the second round of presidential elections on 24 November. The European Commission thanks the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and the Government of Ecuador for their invitation to observe these elections. The EU Election Observation Mission, headed by Emma Bonino and including a delegation of the European Parliament headed by Jannis Sakellariou, has received the full cooperation of the authorities. I am pleased to note that the Observation Mission has been able to confirm that the electoral process should be 'considered acceptable according to international standards'. This, and the high proportion of valid votes, are further important steps on the road to Ecuador's democratic consolidation. I congratulate Mr Lucio Gutiérrez on his election as President of the Republic of Ecuador and wish him every success in his future tasks. I welcome Mr Gutiérrez' invitation to all political forces to cooperate with him for the good of the country. I trust and hope that the new Congress and President, together with the political parties and civil society, will work together to further strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law in Ecuador. The Commission will continue to support Ecuador in this endeavour."

    [14] EU to observe Presidential, Parliamentary and Civic Elections in Kenya

    The EU is sending an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Kenya, in view of the Presidential, National Assembly and Civic elections, scheduled for 27 December 2002. European External Relations Commissioner Christopher Patten has appointed Anders Wijkman MEP as Chief Observer. The deployment of the EOM follows an invitation from Kenyan Foreign Minister, H.E. Marsden Madoka, on 7 October 2002 and is a concrete expresion of EU's efforts to support the consolidation of democracy in Kenya. The Commission funding decision for €1.8 million was adopted on 22 November.

    [15] Autre matériel diffusé

    Eléments de langage de M. Barnier à la Conférence sur la future architecture institutionnelle de l'Europe (état des travaux de la Convention) à la Fondation Madariaga (25/11)

    Speech by Pedro Solbes : "Europe's Single Capital Market : a challenge still to be accomplished" at the Eurofi 2000 and Euro 50 Group Conference

    Note sur les résultats du Conseil Energie

    Note sur la préparation du Conseil Agriculture / Pêche


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


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