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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 04-07-19

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] State of the art monitoring technologies : reducing irregularities in EU agricultural funding
  • [02] Commission goes to the European Court of Justice to enforce EU anti- discrimination law
  • [03] Douane : procédure d'infraction contre l'Italie concernant la redevance environnementale sicilienne
  • [04] Assistance mutuelle dans le domaine des impôts directs et indirects : procédures d'infraction contre la Grèce, la France et l'Italie
  • [05] Commission decides to take Germany to Court for excluding houses outside Germany from housing grant
  • [06] Public procurement : Commission acts to enforce EU law in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Finland and Denmark
  • [07] TVA : procédures d'infraction l'encontre de l'Espagne, du Luxembourg, de l'Autriche, du Portugal et de la Finlande
  • [08] Copyright : Commission launches consultations on fine-tuning of legislation
  • [09] Croatia : €76 million for 2004 CARDS programme
  • [10] Employment and poverty reduction in developing countries : Commission and ILO join forces to deliver on development cooperation goals
  • [11] Immigration, integration and employment - first annual report
  • [12] Mai 2004 par rapport avril 2004 : la production industrielle en hausse de 0,7% dans la zone euro ; hausse de 0,6% dans l’UE25
  • [13] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2004-07-19 Reference: MEX/04/0719 Date: 19/07/2004 EXME04 / 19.7

    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

    19/07/04


  • [01] State of the art monitoring technologies : reducing irregularities in EU agricultural funding

    Using innovative Geographic information system (GIS) technology and land parcel identification systems (LPIS), the European Commission is playing a key role in preventing agricultural subsidy irregularities. Through better monitoring of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms, the Commission is ensuring that subsidies are distributed more efficiently, fairly and reliably. The Agriculture and Fisheries Council Meeting in Brussels today will underline that implementing fair CAP reforms is essential. GIS technology is a computerized form of mapping technology, linked to databases containing information associated with the mapped features, in this case fields and field boundaries. LPIS digital data is a key reference to ensure that aid for any piece of land is claimed once only, and only by one farmer, helping identify anomalies. Farmers can now directly observe their land, more precisely determine their boundaries, and file more accurate subsidy applications. The Commission and EU Member States will also be better able to spot irregularities.

    [02] Commission goes to the European Court of Justice to enforce EU anti- discrimination law

    The European Commission has announced that it is taking legal action against six Member States that have failed to transpose two anti- discrimination Directives. The Directives, which prohibit discrimination on racial or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation, were due to be incorporated into national law last year. The Commission will refer Austria, Germany, Finland, Greece, and Luxembourg to the European Court of Justice.

    [03] Douane : procédure d'infraction contre l'Italie concernant la redevance environnementale sicilienne

    La Commission européenne a demandé formellement l'Italie de mettre fin l'imposition d'une redevance environnementale qui, en substance, frappe le gaz nature, en provenance d'Algérie, qui arrive en Italie ou dans d'autres Etats membres via l'Italie, et qui est transporté dans un gazoduc appartenant une société privée. La Commission estime que cette redevance est contraire au tarif douanier commun de l'UE, dans la mesure où elle va l'encontre de l'égalité entre les charges douanières frappant les produits importés des pays tiers aux frontières de l'UE, ainsi qu'aux principes fondamentaux qui régissent la politique commerciale commune et aux obligation internationales de l'UE, découlant de l'accord de coopération avec l'Algérie. La demande formelle est sous forme d'avis motivés, la seconde phase de la procédure d'infraction prévue par l'article 226 du Traité. Si l'Italie ne se conforme pas la demande de la Commission dans les deux mois, celle-ci pourra saisir la Cour de justice.

    [04] Assistance mutuelle dans le domaine des impôts directs et indirects : procédures d'infraction contre la Grèce, la France et l'Italie

    La Commission européenne a demandé officiellement la République hellénique, la République française et la République italienne de lui communiquer les mesures prises par ces trois pays pour mettre en œuvre la directive européenne sur l'assistance mutuelle des autorités compétentes des Etats membres dans le domaine des impôts directs et indirects (Directive 2003/93/CE du Conseil du 7 octobre 2003 modifiant la directive 77/799/CEE). Ces demandes sont présentées sous forme d'avis motivés, deuxième étape de la procédure d'infraction prévue l'article 226 du Traité. La Commission peut saisir la Cour de justice si ces Etats membres ne lui communiquent pas les mesures demandées.

    [05] Commission decides to take Germany to Court for excluding houses outside Germany from housing grant

    The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the European Court of Justice because of its discriminatory rules on housing grants. The Commission considers that the German rule whereby houses outside Germany are excluded from the scope of the grant for the construction or acquisition of personal accommodation, available to persons subject to unlimited German tax liability, is contrary to the EC Treaty provisions on the free movement of persons. Germany replied to a formal request from the Commission to change the legislation (see IP/04/20) by defending the rules and declaring that it was not willing to change its legislation.

    [06] Public procurement : Commission acts to enforce EU law in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Finland and Denmark

    The European Commission has decided to bring Italy before the European Court of Justice over certain provisions of its national legislation governing public work contracts. The Netherlands will be brought before the Court over contracts for the renovation of the city centre of Hoogezand- Sappemeer. The Commission has also formally asked Italy to rectify breaches of European law in the award of contracts for waste management in Sicily and has asked Spain, the Netherlands and Finland to introduce effective procedures to allow tenderers to challenge the decisions of awarding authorities before it is too late to change such decisions, in line with the Public Procurement Remedies Directive. Denmark has been requested to rectify ministerial guidelines which wrongly interpret Directive 92/50/EEC on the procurement of services as not requiring competition where contracts for accounting and auditing services in connection with trials for financial crimes are concerned. The Commission's requests take the form of reasoned opinions, the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. In the absence of a satisfactory response to a reasoned opinion, the Commission may refer the Member State concerned to the European Court of Justice.

    [07] TVA : procédures d'infraction l'encontre de l'Espagne, du Luxembourg, de l'Autriche, du Portugal et de la Finlande

    La Commission européenne a décidé de saisir la Cour de justice européenne l'encontre de l'Espagne en ce qui concerne le régime que cet Etat applique la sortie des biens d'un entrepôt fiscal. La Commission a aussi envoyé des demandes formelles d'appliquer correctement la législation concernant la taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA) au Luxembourg, l'Autriche, la Finlande et au Portugal. Le Luxembourg ne respecte pas le délai de six mois, imposé par la huitième directive TVA, pour rembourser les assujettis non établis, tandis que l'Autriche applique un régime d'imposition simplifié, non conforme la sixième directive TVA, aux assujettis effectuant des transports de personnes et établis dans d'autres Etats membres ou dans certains pays tiers. La Finlande et le Portugal maintiennent des formalités pour les assujettis étrangers exerçant sur le territoire national après l'entrée en vigueur de la directive 2000/65/CE qui avait pour but d'éliminer tous ces obstacles. De surcroît le Portugal applique tort un taux réduit de TVA sur les péages perçus pour traverser le Tage. Ces demandes formelles sont sous forme d'avis motivés, la seconde phase de la procédure d'infraction prévue par l'article 226 du Traité), En l'absence d'une mise en conformité des législations de ces Etats membres endéans un délai de deux mois compter de la réception de l'avis motivé, la Commission pourra décider de porter ces affaires devant la Cour de justice.

    [08] Copyright : Commission launches consultations on fine-tuning of legislation

    The European Commission has launched consultations on simplifying and fine- tuning existing EU legislation on copyright and related rights. The consultations, open until 31st October 2004, are based on a Commission working paper which suggests that current EU copyright legislation is generally effective and consistent, but would benefit from some improvements. The Commission would take into account the results of the consultations before proposing legislative amendments within the next year or so. The review of the existing Directives is in line with the Commission's Better Regulation Action Plan (see IP/03/214). For the full text of the working document, see:

    <a href="http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/copyright/review/consultation_en.htm">http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/copyright/review/consultation_en.htm

    [09] Croatia : €76 million for 2004 CARDS programme

    The European Commission has adopted its annual programme for Croatia. In 2004, within the Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) Programme, a total of €76 million will be spent assisting Croatia in its reform and modernisation efforts. The priorities of the programme are : to further strengthen Croatia's democracy and reinforce the rule of law ; to contribute to the country's economic and social development ; to modernise the state administration and other public institutions as well as to support the sustainable management of its natural resources. The European Council of 17-18 June, granted Croatia the status of Candidate country and it will begin to benefit from pre-accession instruments in 2005.

    [10] Employment and poverty reduction in developing countries : Commission and ILO join forces to deliver on development cooperation goals

    The European Commission and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have today agreed on a strategic partnership to reinforce their joint efforts to reduce poverty and improve labour conditions in developing countries. The partnership will also foster closer collaboration towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Decent Work for All Agenda and other internationally agreed development targets. The aim is to make the greatest possible contribution to strengthening the social dimension of development cooperation. The Commission has been working closely together with the ILO since 1958.

    [11] Immigration, integration and employment - first annual report

    The European Commission has issued its first annual report on migration and integration, which confirms the need for coherent admission policies for economic migrants across the EU, in order to be able to respond better to labour gaps. The Commission also confirms its intention to launch a Green Paper on economic immigration and to work towards the definition of common basic principles for the integration of immigrants to be applied across the EU. The report, requested by the European Council in 2003 and presented jointly by Commissioners Antonio Vitorino and Stavros Dimas, gives an overview of migration trends in the European Union, analyses changes in immigration and describes actions taken regarding the admission and integration of immigrants at national and European level. It follows on from last year's Commission Communication on immigration, integration and employment.

    [12] Mai 2004 par rapport avril 2004 : la production industrielle en hausse de 0,7% dans la zone euro ; hausse de 0,6% dans l’UE25

    La production industrielle de la zone euro, ajustée des variations saisonnières, a augmenté de 0,7% en mai 2004 par rapport avril 2004, selon les estimations publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat. La production avait augmenté de 0,3% en avril et de 0,2% en mars. La production de l'UE25 a enregistré une hausse de 0,6% en mai 2004, après une augmentation de 0,5% en avril et de 0,2% en mars. Par rapport mai 2003, la production industrielle a progressé en mai 2004 de 3,9% dans la zone euro et de 4,1% dans l'UE25.

    [13] Autre matériel diffusé

    Background note on procedures to enforce EU anti-discrimination law

    Discours de M. Busquin : "La recherche européenne pour l'agriculture" au Conseil Agriculture From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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