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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-07-09

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 and Philip Morris International sign 12-year agreement to combat contraband and counterfeit cigarettes
  • [02] Cyprus to receive €3.4 million from fisheries fund
  • [03] Protection of "Parmigiano Reggiano" : Commission decides to take Germany to the Court of Justice
  • [04] Protecting the ozone layer : Commission takes legal action against nine Member States
  • [05] Libre circulation des capitaux : la Commission clôt la procédure engagée contre le Portugal au sujet de la loi de privatisation
  • [06] Excise duties : Commission requests Ireland to change tax stamp rules and to cooperate
  • [07] "1000 débats pour l'Europe" sur la nouvelle Constitution
  • [08] Joe Borg participates at seminar in Tunisia on Enlargement and the Mediterranean
  • [09] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2004-07-09 Reference: MEX/04/0709 Date: 09/07/2004 EXME04 / 9.7

    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

    09/07/04


  • [01] Commission and Philip Morris International sign 12-year agreement to combat contraband and counterfeit cigarettes

    The European Commission, together with ten Member States of the European Union and Philip Morris International (PMI), today announced a multi-year agreement that includes an efficient system to fight against future cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting and which ends all litigation between the parties in this area. Through the agreement, Philip Morris International will work with the European Commission, its anti-fraud office OLAF, and law enforcement authorities to help in the fight against contraband, including the rapidly growing problem of counterfeit cigarettes. The agreement includes substantial payments by Philip Morris International, which could total approximately USD 1.25 billion over twelve years. "I welcome the conclusion of the negotiations of this important agreement. This agreement is to the advantage of the EU to protect its financial interests", said Commission President Romano Prodi. "This agreement represents a major step forward in the battle against contraband and counterfeit cigarettes", said Commissioner Michaele Schreyer, responsible for budget and the fight against fraud. "We believe that it will enhance the ability of the European Commission and the Member States to combat the illegal trade in cigarettes, which results in the loss of substantial tax and customs revenues each year. Contraband and counterfeit products cheat everyone : governments, consumers and legitimate businesses", she added.

    [02] Cyprus to receive €3.4 million from fisheries fund

    The European Commission has given the green light to Cyprus' operational programme for fisheries for the period 1 May 2004 to 31 December 2006. Cyprus will receive €3.4 million from the EU Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). Almost half the aid (48%) will help finance a reduction in fleet capacity, through the permanent removal of fishing vessels, so as to achieve a better balance between fishing capacity and available fish resources. Most of the other half (44%) will support investment in the modernisation of aquaculture, processing and marketing of fisheries products and fishing port facilities. In aquaculture, priority will be given to enhancing environmental conditions and promote the quality and hygiene of aquaculture products. Landing facilities will be improved and special attention will be given to increasing the productivity and competitiveness of the processing and marketing sectors. While fisheries only represent 0.3% of Cyprus GDP, the fisheries and aquaculture industry, which provides around 1,350 jobs, plays a significant socio-economic role in a number of coastal areas.

    [03] Protection of "Parmigiano Reggiano" : Commission decides to take Germany to the Court of Justice

    The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the European Court of Justice for failure to apply to the name "Parmigiano Reggiano" the Union's legislation on protected designations of origin (PDO). Germany does not give full protection to this PDO within its territory. Use of the name, registered at Union level since 1996, is by law exclusively reserved for producers within a delimited geographical area in Italy who make the cheese in line with a binding specification.

    [04] Protecting the ozone layer : Commission takes legal action against nine Member States

    The European Commission has sent first written warnings to nine Member States that have not informed the Commission about what they have done to limit the use of the pesticide methyl bromide. The pesticide is being phased out under EU law, as it depletes the Earth's ozone layer, which protects humans, animals and plants from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet radiation. But for certain uses – where no alternatives exist yet - it is still allowed under strict control. Such uses include treatments to ensure that traded crops are pest-free. Member States must report to the Commission every year about the exact amount of methyl bromide they have used, for which purposes and what they have done to reduce the use. They must also report on progress in evaluating and using alternatives. Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have either not reported or reported insubstantially. The Commission is therefore taking legal action to ensure EU citizens the environmental protection they expect.

    [05] Libre circulation des capitaux : la Commission clôt la procédure engagée contre le Portugal au sujet de la loi de privatisation

    La Commission européenne a décidé de clore la procédure d'infraction engagée contre le Portugal pour non-respect d'un arrêt de la Cour de justice du 4 juin 2002. La Cour avait constaté dans cet arrêt que la procédure d'autorisation des investissements étrangers dans des entreprises privatisées était incompatible avec les dispositions du traité CE relatives la libre circulation des capitaux (article 56). Cette décision fait suite la notification de mesures supplémentaires prises par le Portugal le 4 février 2004 en vue de se conformer l'arrêt de la Cour.

    [06] Excise duties : Commission requests Ireland to change tax stamp rules and to cooperate

    The European Commission has sent a formal request to Ireland to amend its legislation on the application of excise duties to tobacco. Ireland collects excise duties on manufactured tobacco using fiscal marks on the packaging and demands payment of the duties upon making these marks available. This runs counter to the principles of Directive 92/12/EEC, which states that excise duties cannot be charged until products are released for consumption. Since Ireland has up to now failed to reply to previous requests, the Commission has also sent Ireland a formal request to comply with its Treaty obligation to cooperate with the Commission to achieve the Community's tasks (Article 10 of the Treaty). These formal requests will take the form of so-called 'reasoned opinions' (second stage of the formal infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty). In the absence of a satisfactory reaction within two months of receipt of the reasoned opinions, the Commission may refer the matters to the Court of Justice.

    [07] "1000 débats pour l'Europe" sur la nouvelle Constitution

    Les Présidents Pat Cox (Parlement européen), Romano Prodi (Commission européenne) et Peter Straub (Comité des régions) lancent un appel pour l'organisation de débats publics sur la nouvelle Constitution européenne. Ils invitent les élus et représentants des autorités européennes, nationales, régionales et locales des 25 Etats membres de l'Union européenne s'associer ainsi l'opération "1.000 débats pour l'Europe".

    [08] Joe Borg participates at seminar in Tunisia on Enlargement and the Mediterranean

    European Commissioner Joe Borg participates today in Tunis at a seminar on EU enlargement and its effect on EU relations with the Mediterranean. The seminar is organised by the delegation of the Commission in Tunisia with the support of the embassies of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta and Poland in the country. The seminar is an opportunity for the EU to share with Tunisia the experiences gained by the new EU Member States over the past few years in the area of political, economic and social changes and to hear Tunisian views on enlargement.

    [09] Autre matériel diffusé

    Statement by Michaele Schreyer on the Anti-Contraband and Anti-Counterfeit agreement with Philip Morris

    Speech by Franz Fischler : "A fresh outlook for EU agriculture" at COPA / COGECA Presidium meeting

    Speech by Danuta Hübner at launch of trade negotiations between the EU and the South African Development Community (SADC) (08/07, Windhoek)

    Speech by Poul Nielson at opening of the negotiations for the Economic Partnership Agreement between the SADC and the EU (08/07, Windhoek)

    Calendrier du 12 au 16 juillet 2004 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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