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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 07-05-03

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 supports worldwide free press
  • [02] Commission calls on euro-area members to strike while the iron is hot
  • [03] Environnement : la Commission fait le point sur les résultats obtenus, les priorités actuelles et les projets pour l'avenir
  • [04] Innovation must do more for the environment
  • [05] Telecoms : Commission takes next step in infringement proceedings because of Germany's "regulatory holiday" law
  • [06] Entrepreneuriat responsable : petites entreprises, grandes valeurs, compétitivité de demain
  • [07] Commission clears acquisition of Countrywide by Apollo
  • [08] Commission clears acquisition of Nylstar by Bear Stearns
  • [09] Commission announcement of decision on National Allocation Plan of Estonia
  • [10] Research to boost regional competitiveness
  • [11] L'UE25 a enregistré un déficit des échanges courants de €4,8 milliards ; excédent de €19,3 milliards pour la balance des services
  • [12] March 2007 compared to February 2007 : industrial producer prices up by 0.3% in both euro area and EU27
  • [13] Statement by Olli Rehn on the political situation in Turkey
  • [14] Iraq : Commission participates in Compact and neighbours meetings and reiterates its support to the country
  • [15] High-level Education Conference (02/05)
  • [16] Leonard Orban et l'Office des Publications de l'UE participent "Lire le Futur" - Foire du Livre de Prague
  • [17] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2007-05-03 Reference: MEX/07/0503 Date: 03/05/2007 EXME07 / 3.5

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communicationb

    03/05/07


  • [01] Commission supports worldwide free press

    Today, the European Commission joins the celebration of the 2007 UN World Press Freedom Day, dedicated this year to the safety and impunity of journalists. Freedom of information – and access to information – are basic human rights which should be available to everyone world wide. Freedom of expression is one of the first human rights priorities of the European Union inside and outside its borders.

    [02] Commission calls on euro-area members to strike while the iron is hot

    Over the last twelve months, the euro-area economy has gone from strength to strength. The euro-area grew by 2.7% in 2006, its fastest growth rate since 2000, and well-above its long-term average. Employment growth accelerated to around 1.5% in 2006, yielding an increase of close to 2 million new jobs and inflation remained around 2%. These undoubted achievements put EMU on a strong footing to face the challenges which still lie ahead. These include raising potential growth, enhancing adjustment to economic shocks, putting Europe's fiscal house in order and ensuring a successful enlargement of the euro area.

    [03] Environnement : la Commission fait le point sur les résultats obtenus, les priorités actuelles et les projets pour l'avenir

    La Commission européenne a adopté son examen mi-parcours du sixième programme d'action communautaire pour l'environnement (6EAP), qui passe en revue les progrès accomplis depuis le lancement du 6EAP en 2002 et les défis relever d'ici la clôture du programme en 2012. L'examen mi- parcours permet de conclure que l'UE respecte les délais d'adoption des mesures prévues dans le programme. Il apparaît donc clairement que la Commission continuera soutenir les quatre domaines de priorité du 6EAP, savoir lutter contre le changement climatique, protéger la nature et enrayer la perte de biodiversité, améliorer la qualité de l'environnement et donc la santé des populations et enfin rompre avec les techniques méconnaissant la durabilité en matière de gestion des ressources naturelles et des déchets. La Commission a également arrêté son bilan annuel de la politique de l'environnement pour l'année 2006 qui présente les principales évolutions enregistrées l'an dernier au niveau de l'Union européenne et des Etats membres. Ce document montre que le changement climatique est plus que jamais prioritaire sur l'agenda politique et que des progrès ont été faits sur des questions telles que la stratégie révisée de développement durable, le règlement REACH (substances chimiques) et la conservation de la biodiversité et des ressources naturelles.

    [04] Innovation must do more for the environment

    The European Commission today published a report on trends and developments in eco-innovation in the European Union. While confirming the strong growth of eco-industries the report emphasises that the state of the environment and climate change call for the take-up of clean and environmentally- friendly innovation on a massive scale. The report highlights that European companies are world leaders in several environmental markets and that current environmental legislation acts as a driver for promoting innovation in these markets. Based on the EU Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP), the report proposes to focus on a number of priorities and actions that will raise demand for environmental technologies and eco-innovation.

    [05] Telecoms : Commission takes next step in infringement proceedings because of Germany's "regulatory holiday" law

    In the dispute about Germany's new telecom law, the European Commission sent today a reasoned opinion, the second stage of infringement proceedings. So far, Germany failed to remove new provisions in German law that could grant Deutsche Telekom a 'regulatory holiday' in spite of its dominant position in the broadband market. The Commission's reasoned opinion is the last step before referring the case to the European Court of Justice. Germany will only have one month to reply.

    [06] Entrepreneuriat responsable : petites entreprises, grandes valeurs, compétitivité de demain

    Il est peu habituel que des adolescents estoniens prennent la parole l'occasion de grandes manifestations européennes sur la responsabilité sociale des entreprises (RSE). Axé sur le lien entre l'entrepreneuriat, les valeurs et la responsabilité, l'échange sur l'entrepreneuriat responsable ("Responsible Entrepreneurship Exchange") a ouvert de nouvelles perspectives en explorant les synergies naturelles entre la responsabilisation des entreprises d'une part et le monde dynamique de l'entrepreneuriat et des petites et moyennes entreprises d'autre part. Le ton a été donné par les dirigeants de Volli, une entreprise étudiante estonienne qui fabrique des portefeuilles partir de cartons de fruits recyclés et a remporté le prix 2006 de l'entreprise responsable ("HP Responsible Business Award") décerné aux jeunes. L'échange sur l'entrepreneuriat responsable sert de tribune la présentation d'un important rapport européen intitulé "Opportunity and Responsibility: how to get more small businesses to integrate social and environmental issues into what they do" ("Chances et responsabilité: comment inciter un plus grande nombre de petites entreprises intégrer les questions sociales et environnementales dans leurs activités").

    [07] Commission clears acquisition of Countrywide by Apollo

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Countrywide plc of the UK by Apollo Group (Apollo) of the US. Apollo is a portfolio investment company. Countrywide provides services in the residential property sector including estate agency, property management, insurance and mortgage mediation, surveying and valuation and conveyancing. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [08] Commission clears acquisition of Nylstar by Bear Stearns

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Nylstar N.V. of The Netherlands by Bear, Stearns International Limited (Bear Stearns) of the UK. Bear Stearns is active in global investment banking, securities and investment management. Nylstar produces and distributes polyamide textile yarn. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [09] Commission announcement of decision on National Allocation Plan of Estonia

    On Friday 4 May, the European Commission is scheduled to take its decision on the national allocation plan submitted by Estonia under Directive 2003/87/EC, which establishes the EU emissions trading scheme for greenhouse gases. The decision will be communicated at 12 pm Central European Summer Time (CEST) via a press release.

    The announcement will also be displayed simultaneously on both the

    href="http://europa.eu.int/rapid/">http://europa.eu.int/rapid/ and the DG Environment website at: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/emission.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/emission.htm and <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/2nd_phase_ep.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/2nd_phase_ep.htm .

    The legal decision will be posted on the DG Environment emissions trading website at the time of the announcement being made: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/2nd_phase_ep.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/2nd_phase_ep.htm .

    [10] Research to boost regional competitiveness

    As part of the process of drawing up new guidelines on "Coordinating the Framework Programme and Cohesion Policy to support R&D", a conference is being held on 3 May, with the participation of Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research and Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy. The Commission is keen to help Member States to exploit to the maximum the possibilities offered to them by the EU's Cohesion Policy and 7th Research Framework Programme. While in the past both policies have supported research at the regional level, there is now greater potential than ever before for the two programmes to work together in concert. The new generation of Cohesion Policy (2007-2013) has research and innovation as major policy priorities, and the 7th Framework Programme has reinforced its regional actions through 'Regions of Knowledge' and 'Research Potential of convergence regions'. The Commission will make proposals for concrete guidelines later this year, with this conference providing a good opportunity for a first exchange of ideas with many of the people involved in the implementation of both programmes at European, national and regional level.

    [11] L'UE25 a enregistré un déficit des échanges courants de €4,8 milliards ; excédent de €19,3 milliards pour la balance des services

    Selon les dernières révisions, le compte des opérations courantes de l'UE25 avec les pays tiers a enregistré un déficit de €4,8 milliards au quatrième trimestre 2006, contre un déficit de €24,0 milliards au quatrième trimestre 2005 et un déficit de €20,5 milliards au troisième trimestre 2006. Au quatrième trimestre 2006, par rapport au quatrième trimestre 2005, un déficit plus faible a été enregistré pour le compte des biens (€-25,2 milliards contre €-32,1 milliards), alors que l'excédent du compte des services a augmenté (€+19,3 milliards contre €+16,0 milliards). L'excédent du compte des revenus a également augmenté (€+16,5 milliards contre €+5,7 milliards), de même que le déficit du compte des transferts courants (€-15,4 milliards contre €- 13,6 milliards). Ces données provisoires, publiées par Eurostat.

    [12] March 2007 compared to February 2007 : industrial producer prices up by 0.3% in both euro area and EU27

    The euro area (EA13) industrial producer price index rose by 0.3% in March 2007 compared to February. In March 2007, EU27 prices also gained 0.3%. In February prices also increased by 0.3% in both the euro area and the EU27. In March 2007 compared to March 2006, industrial producer prices rose by 2.7% in the euro area and by 2.4% in the EU27. These figures come from Eurostat.

    [13] Statement by Olli Rehn on the political situation in Turkey

    On 2 May, European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn stated: "The European Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, and the supremacy of democratic civilian power over the military. If a country wants to become a member of the Union, it needs to respect these principles. This is the core of the Copenhagen criteria of EU accession. The European Commission has taken note of the ruling issued by the Constitutional Court of Turkey. Regardless of the unfortunate events leading to the ruling, this legal decision by the Constitutional Court should now be respected by all parties. The respect of state institutions is essential to ensure political stability. The Commission expects that the parliamentary and presidential elections will be carried out democratically without any undue interference, and in an atmosphere of responsible debate and political stability. Under these circumstances, the Commission welcomes the announcement of holding new parliamentary elections soon in order to ensure political stability and democratic development in Turkey.

    [14] Iraq : Commission participates in Compact and neighbours meetings and reiterates its support to the country

    The European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will participate in the Iraq Neighbours meeting that will take place in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) on 4 May 2007. The meeting will bring together Iraq with its neighbours, other key Arab countries, the UN, Arab League and other important world players to discuss current developments in Iraq and their repercussions at regional and international levels. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said : "The big challenges that Iraq faces and their potential impact on the region cannot be underestimated, nor the complexity of the task ahead. But these do not discourage us. The Commission is committed to working towards an Iraq which is secure, stable and economically prosperous - an Iraq in peace and enjoying constructive relations with its neighbours." The Commission will also participate in the launching of the International Compact for Iraq in Sharm El Sheikh on 3 May. The Compact is an initiative of the government of Iraq for a new partnership with the international community aiming to help Iraq on the path of peace and political and economic reconstruction.

    [15] High-level Education Conference (02/05)

    Rich country donors, international organizations and civil society leaders underlined on 2 May the urgent need for donors to deliver on their promises to educate all the world's children by 2015 and announced a number of new funding commitments. Louis Michel, Gordon Brown and Paul Wolfowitz convened a high-level conference in Brussels in order to accelerate progress towards the education Millennium Development Goal (MDG) that all children complete primary education by 2015. The conference heard of significant progress by developing countries in preparing ten-year plans to achieve universal primary education.

    [16] Leonard Orban et l'Office des Publications de l'UE participent "Lire le Futur" - Foire du Livre de Prague

    Leonard Orban, Commissaire européen en charge du multilinguisme et responsable des relations entre la Commission et l'Office des Publications, inaugurera la 13e Foire internationale du Livre de Prague, le 3 mai 2007. M. Orban s'adressera également aux éditeurs et aux médias en mettant l'accent sur le secteur européen de la traduction et sur les principaux services publics en ligne offerts par l'Office des Publications. L'Office des Publications de l'UE sera présent pour la première fois la Foire internationale du Livre.

    [17] Autre matériel diffusé

    Mid-term review of the Sixth Community environment action programme (6th EAP) and Environment Policy Review 2006

    Speech by Janez Potočnik : "Research and the structuring of the Lisbon vision" at Conference 'Coordinating Framework Programme and Structural Funds to support R&D'

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "Co-ordinating Cohesion Policy and Framework Programme Support for R&D" at Conference 'Coordinating Framework Programme and Structural Funds to support R&D'

    Speech by Franco Frattini : "Helping EU citizens seize opportunities: EU's policies and legislation in the area of freedom, security and justice" at 4th European Jurists Forum (Vienna)

    Speech by Franco Frattini : "The EU as an area of Freedom, Security and Justice" at Vienna University

    Speech by Joe Borg : "Towards a Future Maritime Policy for the Union" at High-level Conference on "Towards a Future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European Vision for Oceans and Seas" (Bremen)

    Speech by José Manuel Barroso : "Bounding Europe, binding Europeans: a maritime policy for our oceans and seas" at Maritime Policy Conference (02/05, Bremen)

    Speech by Günter Verheugen to European Parliament's ITRE commission (02/05)

    Speech by Günter Verheugen : "Creating a business friendly Europe" at British Chambers of Commerce (02/05)

    Speech by Stavros Dimas : "Improving environmental quality through carbon trading" at Carbon Expo Conference (02/05, Cologne)

    Speech by Danuta Hübner : "EU Cohesion Policy: exchange of views; preparations of the 4th report on cohesion legislative and work programme for 2008" to European Parliament's commission on Regional Development (02/05)

    Speech by Mariann Fischer Boel : "The future of the CAP: planning starts now" at Ulster Farmers Union (02/05, Belfast)

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "Capital Markets and European Competitiveness" (02/05)

    Speech by Charlie McCreevy : "Why issuers value shareholder transparency?" at European Association of Listed Companies (02/05) From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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