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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-07-07

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

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] Emissions trading : Commission clears over 5,000 plants to enter emissions market next January
  • [02] Echange de quotas d'émission : la Commission entame des actions pour accélérer les préparatifs dans les Etats membres
  • [03] New guidelines set forth Commission approach to saving companies in difficulty
  • [04] Feu vert conditionnel pour l'aide accordée Alstom
  • [05] La Commission inflige une amende Tetra Laval pour avoir fourni des renseignements inexacts lors de l'acquisition de Sidel
  • [06] Commission proposes comprehensive measures to end isolation of Turkish Cypriot community
  • [07] Developing countries : Commission unveils system of trade preferences for next ten years – simple, transparent and objective
  • [08] Commission asks Italy to change its rules on accounting by professional sports clubs ('Salva calcio')
  • [09] Discrimination fiscale : la Commission demande la France de modifier le régime PEA
  • [10] La Commission demande la France de lever l'interdiction de publicité télévisée pour l'édition et le cinéma
  • [11] Cross-border shopping : Commission requests UK to amend its policy of seizure of tobacco and cars
  • [12] Safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers : Commission decides to take five Member States to the Court of Justice
  • [13] Maritime safety : Commission sends reasoned opinions to eight Member States
  • [14] Passenger ships safety : Commission sends reasoned opinion to Italy
  • [15] Safety of maritime traffic : Commission sends reasoned opinions to nine Member States
  • [16] Interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system : Commission decides to take six Member States to the Court of Justice
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [17] EU-Ukraine Summit (08/07, The Hague)
  • [18] UE-ACP : lancement de négociations avec la région du Sud de l'Afrique
  • [19] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2004-07-07 Reference: MEX/04/0707 Date: 07/07/2004 EXME04 / 7.7

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Général Presse etb

    Communication

    07/07/04


  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] Emissions trading : Commission clears over 5,000 plants to enter emissions market next January

    The European Commission has accepted eight national allocation plans for CO² emission allowances. Five plans - from Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden - have been accepted unconditionally. Another three - from Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom - have been approved on condition that technical changes are made. This will make them automatically acceptable, without requiring a second assessment by the Commission. National allocation plans outline the number of CO² emission allowances that Member States intend to allocate to energy-intensive industrial plants, so they can participate in emissions trading from January 2005. Today's decision clears over 5,000 plants of an estimated 12, 000 in the EU25. They will receive over 40% of the allowances expected to be put into circulation. The EU emissions trading scheme will ensure that greenhouse gas emissions in the energy and industry sectors are cut at least cost to the economy and help the EU and its Member States meet their emission targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

    [02] Echange de quotas d'émission : la Commission entame des actions pour accélérer les préparatifs dans les Etats membres

    Pour permettre une bonne mise en route du système d'échange de quotas d’émission dans l'UE dès janvier prochain, la Commission européenne entame actuellement des actions l'encontre des Etats membres qui tardent prendre toutes les mesures de préparation qui s'imposent. Le système en question permettra de réduire, au moindre coût pour l'économie, les émissions de gaz effet de serre dans les secteurs de l'industrie et de l'énergie et aidera l'UE et les Etats membres réaliser leurs objectifs en matière d'émissions conformément au protocole de Kyoto de 1997. Ce sera le plus vaste système de ce type jamais mis en place. La Commission a décidé d'envoyer deux Etats membres, savoir la Grèce et l'Italie, un premier avertissement écrit pour n'avoir pas encore soumis leur plan national d'allocation de quotas. Ce plan doit préciser la quantité de quotas d'émission que chaque Etat membre a l'intention d'allouer ses entreprises. La Commission a également décidé d'adresser un dernier avertissement écrit tous les Etats membres de l'UE, excepté l'Autriche, l'Allemagne, la France et la Suède, dès lors qu' la date du 31 décembre 2003 ils n'avaient pas encore transposé intégralement la directive sur l'échange de quotas d'émission dans leur droit national, ainsi qu'ils en avaient l'obligation.

    [03] New guidelines set forth Commission approach to saving companies in difficulty

    The new guidelines clarify the approach the European Commission intends to take in individual cases where the State financially supports a rescue and restructuring operation in favor of individual enterprises. These guidelines are an essential State aid policy instrument because they make Commission decisions in individual cases more predictable for companies and the public at large.

    [04] Feu vert conditionnel pour l'aide accordée Alstom

    La Commission européenne a approuvé les aides octroyées par la France Alstom au soutien de sa restructuration industrielle. L'aide mise exécution par la France est cependant soumise aux conditions strictes, y compris des cessions et des mesures d'ouverture de marché. "L'ensemble de mesures importantes de cessions, d'ouverture de marché et de restructuration permet de rétablir des conditions de concurrence saines", a déclaré Mario Monti, le Commissaire chargé de la concurrence.

    [05] La Commission inflige une amende Tetra Laval pour avoir fourni des renseignements inexacts lors de l'acquisition de Sidel

    La Commission européenne a décidé d'infliger une amende de 90.000 € au producteur helvético suédois d'emballages en carton Tetra Laval B.V. pour avoir fourni des renseignements inexacts concernant l'existence de sa technologie Tetra Fast lorsqu'elle a demandé que son acquisition de l'entreprise française Sidel soit autorisée conformément au règlement sur les concentrations. La Commission souhaite réaffirmer qu'il est de la plus haute importance que les parties une opération de concentration respectent les obligations en matière de notification énoncées dans le "formulaire CO" et qu'elles fournissent des renseignements complets et exacts concernant leurs activités respectives, compte tenu, en particulier, des délais légaux stricts applicables au contrôle des concentrations. C'est la cinquième fois seulement que la Commission inflige une amende de cette nature dans une affaire de concentration. Il est noter que le nouveau règlement sur les concentrations, qui est entré en vigueur le 1er mai, prévoit des amendes pouvant atteindre 1% du chiffre d'affaires global si les entreprises fournissent des renseignements inexacts ou dénaturés, alors que l'ancien règlement, applicable l'affaire en cause, prévoyait des amendes de 1.000 50.000 €.

    [06] Commission proposes comprehensive measures to end isolation of Turkish Cypriot community

    Responding to the invitation of the Council, the European Commission has proposed a comprehensive package of aid and trade measures which aim to put an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community and to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus. These measures will facilitate trade from the northern part of the island and strengthen its economic integration through financial assistance of €259 million. They also set specific rules for goods crossing the green line separating the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

    [07] Developing countries : Commission unveils system of trade preferences for next ten years – simple, transparent and objective

    Today the European Commission has adopted a Communication setting out the principles that will guide the EU system of trade preferences for developing countries (Generalised System of Preferences - GSP) for the next ten years. The GSP is a key instrument to help developing countries reduce poverty by generating revenue through international trade. The Commission proposes to improve the current system in a number of areas: simplification (cutting back the five separate arrangements which exist at present); focusing the benefits on those developing countries most in need, fostering regional cooperation and strengthening the focus for additional GSP benefits on sustainable development.

    [08] Commission asks Italy to change its rules on accounting by professional sports clubs ('Salva calcio')

    The European Commission has decided to ask Italy formally to change its "Salva-Calcio" law on financial reporting by professional sports clubs, including Serie A football clubs. The Commission believes that the legislation breaches EU accounting laws in that the balance sheets of a number of sport clubs fail to provide a true and fair view. The Commission's request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion', the second stage of EC Treaty infringement procedures (Article 226). Unless a satisfactory response is received within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice.

    [09] Discrimination fiscale : la Commission demande la France de modifier le régime PEA

    La Commission européenne a décidé de demander formellement la France de modifier sa législation relative au Plan d'Epargne en Actions (PEA- loi de 1992) pour étendre les avantages fiscaux aux investissements dans l'Espace économique européen. La demande prendra la forme d'un avis motivé.

    [10] La Commission demande la France de lever l'interdiction de publicité télévisée pour l'édition et le cinéma

    La Commission européenne a décidé de demander formellement la France de revoir sa réglementation interdisant la publicité télévisée pour les secteurs de l'édition et du cinéma. Selon la Commission, cette interdiction viole la liberté de prestation des services (article 49 CE) dans la mesure où des mesures moins restrictives seraient possibles pour atteindre l'objectif de protection de la diversité culturelle mis en avant par les autorités françaises. La demande de la Commission prend la forme d'un 'avis motivé', qui constitue la deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction en vertu de l'article 226 du traité CE. En l'absence de réponse satisfaisante dans un délai de deux mois, la Commission peut saisir la Cour de justice.

    [11] Cross-border shopping : Commission requests UK to amend its policy of seizure of tobacco and cars

    The European Commission has decided to send the United Kingdom a formal request to amend its policies relating to excise duties and cross-border shopping for tobacco and alcohol. The Commission's request concerns the policy of seizing goods and sometimes cars even for minor offences and follows on earlier letters of formal notice (see IP/01/1482, IP/02/1320 and IP/03/1539). The Commission considers that such seizures are disproportionate to the gravity of the offence in some situations and represent an obstacle to the free movement of goods subject to excise duties in the Internal Market. The request has been sent in the form of a reasoned opinion which is the second stage of the infringement procedure provided for in Article 226 of the Treaty. If there is no satisfactory response to the reasoned opinion within two months the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice.

    [12] Safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers : Commission decides to take five Member States to the Court of Justice

    The European Commission has decided to lodge a complaint with the Court of Justice against Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Finland for failure to respect EU maritime legislation on safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers. (Directive 2001/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 December 2001 establishing harmonised requirements and procedures for the safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers - OJ L 13, 16.1.2002, p. 9). This Directive establishes harmonised suitability requirements for ships and terminals and improved cooperation and communication procedures between bulk carriers and terminals. The aim of the legislation infringed is to enhance the safety of bulk carriers calling at terminals in the Member States by reducing the risks of excessive stresses and physical damage to the ship's structure during loading and unloading. Member States had to adopt the necessary legislation before 5 August 2003.

    [13] Maritime safety : Commission sends reasoned opinions to eight Member States

    The European Commission has sent reasoned opinions – the last step before a formal complaint to the Court of Justice is lodged – to Belgium, Luxemburg and Finland for failure to respect EU legislation on safety rules and standards for passenger ships (Commission Directive 2003/75/EC of 29 July 2003 amending Annex I to Council Directive 98/18/EC on safety rules and standards for passenger ships (OJ L 190, 30.7.2003, p. 6). This Directive provides for modifications to be introduced to life-rafts, fast rescue boats, means of rescue and life jackets on existing ro-ro ships and calls upon Member States to adopt the necessary legislation by 30 January 2004. The Commission has also decided to send reasoned opinions to Belgium, Greece, France, Italy, Luxemburg, Finland, Portugal, Denmark and Sweden for failure to communicate national measures fully transposing a 2002 Directive (Directive 2002/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 amending Directives on maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships (JO L 324, 29.11.2002, p. 53). This Directive provides for the amendment of 11 EU maritime safety directives in order to accelerate their update and facilitate their amendment in the light of developments in the international instruments applicable in the field of maritime safety, prevention of pollution from ships and shipboard living and working conditions.

    [14] Passenger ships safety : Commission sends reasoned opinion to Italy

    The European Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Italy for failure to correctly implement a 1999 Directive (Council Directive 1999/35/EC of 29 April 1999 on a system of mandatory surveys for the safe operation of regular ro-ro ferry and high-speed passenger craft services (OJ L 138, 1.6.1999, p. 1). The directive provides for certain verifications (inter alia, carriage of valid certificates, compliance with standards for classification) to be performed by Member States prior to the start of operation by a ro-ro ferry or high-speed passenger craft on a regular. Following a complaint, the Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Italy for limiting acceptable standards for classification to those established by recognised organisations, thus excluding those accepted as equivalent by the administration of the flag State. This decision by Italian authorities is contrary to Article 4 (1) (c) of the Directive.

    [15] Safety of maritime traffic : Commission sends reasoned opinions to nine Member States

    The European Commission has sent reasoned opinions – the last step before a formal complaint is lodged with the Court of Justice – to Belgium, Greece, France, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and the United Kingdom for failure to communicate national measures transposing a 2002 Directive (Commission Directive 2002/59/EC of 27 June 2002 establishing a EU vessel traffic monitoring and information system and repealing Council Directive 93/75/EC (OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p. 10). This Directive, which is an essential part of the second package of legal instruments adopted by the EU in the wake of the Erika accident, sets out the obligation to notify the maritime authorities, in particular in case a ship is carrying dangerous or polluting goods. The Directive also provides for the monitoring of hazardous ships and for the intervention in the event of accidents at sea. In this context it sets out the obligation for Member States to drawn up plans to accommodate ships in distress in the waters under their jurisdiction by improving the response of authorities to incidents, accidents and potentially dangerous situations at sea, in order to contribute to better prevention and detection of pollution by ships. Member States had to adopt the necessary legislation before 5 February 2004.

    [16] Interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system : Commission decides to take six Member States to the Court of Justice

    The European Commission has decided to lodge a complaint with the Court of Justice against Germany, France, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom and Sweden for failure to respect EU legislation on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system. The aim of the legislation infringed is to establish the conditions to be met to achieve interoperability within the EU territory of the trans-European conventional rail system (Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system (OJ L 110, 20.04.2001, p. 1). These conditions concern the design, construction, putting into service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance of the parts of this system as well as the professional qualifications and health and safety conditions of the staff who contribute to its operation. Member States had to adopt the necessary legislation before 20 April 2003.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [17] EU-Ukraine Summit (08/07, The Hague)

    The European Union and Ukraine will hold their annual Summit on 8 July in The Hague. The Summit will be hosted by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, as President of the European Council, accompanied by Foreign Minister Bernard Bot. The Commission will be represented by President Romano Prodi. Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten as well the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana will also attend. Leaders are expected to endorse the strengthening of EU- Ukraine bilateral relations through the European Neighbourhood Policy by completing work on a joint Action Plan. The EU seeks to reach early agreement on an Action Plan with measures to ensure the application of the highest democratic standards in Ukraine, and to promote efforts for continued economic and structural reform. The Summit should underline the importance of upholding the shared values of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights including media freedom. The EU will recall the importance of ensuring the democratic conduct of the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine in October 2004, and underline the importance of impartial, unhindered and balanced media coverage during the election campaign.

    [18] UE-ACP : lancement de négociations avec la région du Sud de l'Afrique

    L'UE et sept pays du Sud de l'Afrique ont décidé d'unir leurs forces et de promouvoir le commerce et le développement en négociant un accord de partenariat économique de région région (APE). La cérémonie d'ouverture aura lieu le 8 juillet Windhoek, en Namibie. En favorisant les échanges entre les deux régions et en établissant des règles commerciales claires, l'APE contribuera l'intégration économique de la région. La suppression des barrières commerciales au sein de la région est le complément nécessaire l'accès presque total au marché de l'UE dont jouissent déj ces pays.

    [19] Autre matériel diffusé

    Colloque entre le Président de la Commission européenne et le Président du Congrès juif européen

    La Commission adopte une proposition modifiant le mécanisme de réciprocité du règlement visa Schengen

    EU-South African Development Community (SADC) : facts and figures

    Commission adopts new rules governing aid to firms in difficulty From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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