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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-07-08

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] Green light for ‚ā¨1.8 billion for food sector and rural development in Poland
  • [02] La Commission expose ses griefs √ neuf grandes banques fran√ßaises et au Groupement des cartes bancaires "CB"
  • [03] Commission approves acquisition of Dynamit Nobel by Rockwood Specialties Group
  • [04] Commission clears acquisition of Grohe by TPG Partners and Credit Suisse
  • [05] Enregistrement de six d√©nominations de produits agricoles portugais
  • [06] Water policy : Commission takes legal action against 13 Member States
  • [07] Qualit√© de l'air ambiant : la Commission demande √ neuf Etats membres de r√©duire la pollution
  • [08] Pension taxation : Commission refers Spain to Court and requests UK to end discrimination
  • [09] Fiscalit√© : la Commission invite la Gr√®ce √ mettre fin √ la discrimination √ l'encontre des fonds d'investissement √©tablis dans les pays de l'AELE membres de l'EEE
  • [10] Public procurement : Commission decides to refer Italy to Court over supply of helicopters
  • [11] EU to present coordinated approach to confront the threat of an HIV/AIDS epidemic in Europe
  • [12] Autre mat√©riel diffus√© Midday Express of 2004-07-08 Reference: MEX/04/0708 Date: 08/07/2004 EXME04 / 8.7

    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

    08/07/04


  • [01] Green light for ‚ā¨1.8 billion for food sector and rural development in Poland

    The European Commission has approved Poland's Sectoral Operational Programme for Restructuring and Modernisation of the Food Sector and Rural Development for the period 2004-2006. The programme includes a broad range of ambitious rural development measures. The focus is on the modernisation of the farming sector, improvement of the processing sector, and the encouragement of rural development. The EU contribution from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Guidance Section amounting to ‚ā¨1.192 billion for the period 2004-2006, will be complemented by national public funding of ‚ā¨591 million.

    [02] La Commission expose ses griefs à neuf grandes banques françaises et au Groupement des cartes bancaires "CB"

    La Commission a adressé une "communication des griefs" à neuf grandes banques ainsi qu'au Groupement des cartes bancaires "CB". Ces griefs portent sur un accord secret dans le secteur des cartes bancaires de paiement par lequel les banques, avec l'aide du GCB, répartissent le marché de l'émission des cartes CB en France, afin de freiner la concurrence de nouveaux entrants comme les banques de la grande distribution et certaines banques petites et moyennes, notamment étrangères. Selon la Commission, l'accord limite fortement la baisse du prix des cartes CB et l'innovation technologique.

    [03] Commission approves acquisition of Dynamit Nobel by Rockwood Specialties Group

    The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Dynamit Nobel AG, a German-based chemical company, by a Luxembourg-based subsidiary of US company Rockwood Specialties Group Inc. (USA).

    [04] Commission clears acquisition of Grohe by TPG Partners and Credit Suisse

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the Merger Regulation to the acquisition of full control of German bathroom fixture maker Grohe AG by TPG Partners IV, L.P. and DLJ Merchant Banking III. Inc., which belongs to the Credit Suisse Group. (The operation, which was notified on June 4, was examined under the simplified merger review procedure)

    [05] Enregistrement de six dénominations de produits agricoles portugais

    La Commission européenne a ajouté six dénominations de produits portugais à base de viande à la liste des indications géographiques protégées (IGP). Il s'agit des produits suivants : "Paia de Toucinho de Estremoz e Borba", "Chouriço de Carne de Estremoz e Borba", "Paia de Lombo de Estremoz e Borba", "Morcela de Estremoz e Borba", "Chouriço grosso de Estremoz e Borba" et "Paia de Estremoz e Borba". Les six dénominations s'ajoutent à la liste d'environ 650 produits déjà protégés en vertu de la législation sur la protection des indications géographiques, des appellations d'origine et des spécialités traditionnelles. Des renseignements sur les produits de qualité ainsi que la liste des dénominations protégées sont disponibles sur l'internet à l'adresse : <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_fr.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/foodqual/quali1_fr.htm

    [06] Water policy : Commission takes legal action against 13 Member States

    The European Commission is taking legal action against 13 Member States for non-compliance with two important EU laws on water. These laws seek to improve the quality of all waters in Europe, from lakes and rivers to coastal waters, for the benefit of Europe's citizens and environment. Nine Member States - Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Sweden - have received final written warnings, which call on them to urgently put in place all the necessary national legislation to comply with the EU Water Framework Directive. This milestone law is aimed at ensuring good quality of all water resources in the EU through a new, integrated cross-border approach to water management. It had to be transposed into national law by December 2003. The Commission has also sent first written warnings to France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom for failing to meet a December 2000 deadline for installing proper treatment for waste-water discharges from cities and towns with more than 15,000 inhabitants. Inadequate waste-water treatment is a major cause of water pollution and represents a serious risk to human health and the environment. Through its action, the Commission helps ensuring citizens a high level of water quality across the EU.

    [07] Qualité de l'air ambiant : la Commission demande à neuf Etats membres de réduire la pollution

    La Commission europ√©enne a adress√© un premier avertissement √ l'Allemagne, √ l'Autriche, √ l'Espagne, √ la France, √ l'Irlande, √ l'Italie, au Luxembourg, au Portugal et au Royaume-Uni, les enjoignant de prendre des mesures plus efficaces pour lutter contre la pollution atmosph√©rique dans un grand nombre de zones urbaines de leur territoire respectif. Les polluants atmosph√©riques en cause, le dioxyde d'azote et les particules, sont nocifs pour l'homme, surtout pour certains groupes sensibles de la population tels que les enfants. Les particules en particulier aggravent les maladies respiratoires et peuvent m√™me entra√ģner des d√©c√®s pr√©matur√©s. En vertu de la l√©gislation europ√©enne dans le domaine de l‚Äôenvironnement, ces neuf Etats membres auraient d√Ľ √©tablir des plans de r√©duction de la pollution pour les zones √ forte concentration de dioxyde d'azote et de particules avant la fin d√©cembre 2003. Ces plans doivent d√©crire les mesures que les Etats membres ont l'intention de prendre pour r√©duire la pollution. Le choix des mesures revient aux Etats membres, et celles-ci peuvent consister, par exemple, en restrictions de la circulation et en d√©localisations des installations polluantes. L'initiative de la Commission contribuera a faire r√©gner un air plus pur dans les villes europ√©ennes, dans l'int√©r√™t des citoyens.

    [08] Pension taxation : Commission refers Spain to Court and requests UK to end discrimination

    The European Commission has decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice because pension contributions paid to non-Spanish funds are not tax deductible while contributions paid to domestic funds are. Although Spain has admitted in the previous correspondence that the legislation is incompatible with EU law, it is not willing to modify its legislation until the implementation of the Pension Fund Directive which is foreseen for 23 September 2005. This proposed timetable is not acceptable. The Commission has also decided to send a formal request to the United Kingdom to amend its legislation. The Commission considers that the beneficial tax treatment of domestic schemes is incompatible with the freedoms mentioned in the EC Treaty (Articles 39, 49 and 56). This is a follow-up to the action taken by the Commission in February 2003 (see IP/03/179), July 2003 (IP/03/965) and December 2003 (IP/03/1756) in accordance with the April 2001 Communication on the elimination of tax obstacles to the cross-border provision of occupational pensions (see IP/01/575 and MEMO/01/142).

    [09] Fiscalité : la Commission invite la Grèce à mettre fin à la discrimination à l'encontre des fonds d'investissement établis dans les pays de l'AELE membres de l'EEE

    La Commission européenne a officiellement invité la Grèce à mettre fin à la discrimination dont font l'objet les fonds d'investissement établis dans les pays de l'AELE membres de l'EEE. La Commission estime que le traitement fiscal des plus-values réalisées sur les ventes de parts de fonds d'investissement établis dans les pays de l'AELE membres de l'EEE est incompatible avec la libre prestation de services et la libre circulation des capitaux (articles 30 et 40 de l'accord sur l'EEE). Après un premier contact, la Grèce a modifié sa législation de manière à appliquer aux fonds d'investissement des autres Etats membres de l'UE le régime fiscal préférentiel initialement réservé aux fonds d'investissement grecs. Elle ne l'a toutefois pas étendu aux fonds des pays de l'AELE membres de l'EEE. La requête de la Commission se présente sous la forme d'un 'avis motivé' au titre de l'article 226 du Traité CE. Si l'Etat membre ne répond pas de manière satisfaisante à l'avis, la Commission peut saisir la Cour de justice.

    [10] Public procurement : Commission decides to refer Italy to Court over supply of helicopters

    The European Commission has decided to refer Italy to the European Court of Justice because of the Italian Government's longstanding policy of awarding contracts, directly and without competition, to the Italian company Agusta, for the supply of helicopters for civilian use by various public services. The Commission considers that such direct awards of contracts are in violation of the EU Directive on the procurement of supplies (93/36/EEC). Although the Directive does allow direct award of contracts, without the publication of a tender notice, in certain specific circumstances, none of these conditions are met in the case of these helicopter supply contracts.

    [11] EU to present coordinated approach to confront the threat of an HIV/AIDS epidemic in Europe

    Health ministers and experts from across Europe are to meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 16-17 September to debate a package of EU actions to tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS in the EU and its eastern neighbours. A report published by the United Nations' AIDS agency (UNAIDS) this week highlighted the spread of the disease in parts of the EU and neighbouring countries, putting the number of people now infected at 1.3 million compared with just 160,000 in 1995. A number of the new Member States, who joined on 1 May this year, are identified by UNAIDS as being amongst the worst affected countries. Meanwhile, the EU's own analysis shows cause for concern about growing numbers of HIV/AIDS infections in the 15-25 age group across the whole of the EU. In early September European Commissioners David Byrne and Pavel Telińćka will outline the Commission's input to address this situation. The aim of the Vilnius conference, which is being jointly organised by the Lithuanian government and the Commission, is to refocus political attention and to build a consensus in favour of Europe-wide actions with all involved working together in partnership. The conference will be opened by the Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas and Commissioner Pavel Telińćka. Senior representatives from the UN, the WHO and from the worlds of science and academia will participate in the conference alongside health ministers. The Vilnius Conference follows up on the Ministerial Conference on HIV/AIDS organised in Dublin on 23-24 February this year during the Irish Presidency of the EU.

    [12] Autre matériel diffusé

    Le Prix Prince des Asturies "Coopération internationale" attribué au programme Erasmus - réactions du Président Prodi et de Viviane Reding (07/07)

    Note sur la réunion informelle du Conseil Emploi et Affaires sociales (08- 10/07, Maastricht)

    EU action against HIV/AIDS

    Speech by Mario Monti : "Access to content and the development of competition in the New Media market- the Commission's approach" at Workshop on access to quality audiovisual contents and development of New Media 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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