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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 08-03-03

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] Conference in Brussels: How can we help young people with fewer opportunities in society?
  • [02] Montenegro joins EU competitiveness programme - EMBARGO 16h00 -
  • [03] Euro area inflation estimated at 3.2 %
  • [04] First ever meeting of environment ministers from EU and Latin America and Caribbean countries to be held in Brussels
  • [05] Consumers: Don't shop in the dark! Commission reveals finalists for EU Consumer Champion of the Year Award and launches new poster campaign
  • [06] Commission regrets missed opportunities at annual meeting of General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean
  • [07] Commission clears acquisition of neckermann by Sun Group
  • [08] Commission clears acquisition of part of Edison by Cofatech Servizi Midday Express of 2008-03-03 Reference: MEX/08/0303 Date: 03/03/2008 EXME08 / 03.03

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

    03/03/08


  • [01] Conference in Brussels: How can we help young people with fewer opportunities in society?

    On 3-4 March, the European Commission is organising a conference in Brussels on the 'Participation of young people with fewer opportunities'. It will be the first European event focusing on the category of socio- economically deprived young people in Europe. The conference aims to highlight innovative ways to encourage the participation of marginalized young people in society and to identify key factors for success in projects working in this area. More than 150 participants have been invited from all over Europe, including representatives of 23 umbrella NGOs and national or local NGOs from all Member States, youth workers and policy-makers.

    [02] Montenegro joins EU competitiveness programme - EMBARGO 16h00 -

    Montenegro is the fourth country of the group of candidate and potential candidate countries to join the EU's Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) after Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in October 2007 and Turkey in February 2008. Under the CIP, the European Commission promotes innovation, entrepreneurship and growth in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Today, European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen and Mr Branimir Gvozdenović, Minister for Economic Development of the Republic of Montenegro, signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising the Republic’s entry to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation pillar of CIP.

    [03] Euro area inflation estimated at 3.2 %

    Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 3.2% in February 2008 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 3.2% in January. Euro area inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available4 as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro area. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (17 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate and 7 times differing by 0.1 over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.

    [04] First ever meeting of environment ministers from EU and Latin America and Caribbean countries to be held in Brussels

    Climate change adaptation, renewable energy, biodiversity loss and deforestation will be at the top of the agenda of the first meeting between EU and Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) environment ministers which will be held in Brussels on 4 March. These issues are especially significant given their importance for the economic well-being of EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries. The issues raised at the meeting will provide the basis for the EU-LAC Heads of State and Government Summit in Lima this May. More than two dozen ministers from the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean will be attending. A press conference will be held on 4th March at 14:30 in the Council press room.

    [05] Consumers: Don't shop in the dark! Commission reveals finalists for EU Consumer Champion of the Year Award and launches new poster campaign

    The Commission has today revealed the 27 finalists of the first ever "European Consumer Champion Award." This award is being launched as an annual event to mark European Consumer Day – which will be celebrated alongside International Consumer Day on March 15. The nominated campaigns from the different Member States can be seen on http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/ecd/index_en.htm. The overall EU Consumer Champion Award will be given to the national campaign which has most successfully informed people about their rights and shifted consumer behaviour. The campaigns cover a wide range of topics, including financial services, air passenger rights, internet fraud, misleading advertising, young consumers and food information. Commissioner Meglena Kuneva will announce the EU winner on at 11.00 on Monday 10 March at a press conference outside the Commission pressroom. There will also be a formal awards ceremony at 14.00 the same day, in the Galeries de la Reine (Brussels city centre). At both events, there will be an exhibition of all 27 nominated campaigns, and the national organisations which ran these campaigns will be present. The Commission has today also launched a new poster campaign to mark European Consumer Day. The poster campaign uses the striking image of a woman with her head covered by a stark white shopping bag. It aims to send a clear message that consumers are too often left operating in the dark - in the supermarkets, when they shop online, or when they try to switch their phone or energy supplier. Consumers can't see prices clearly, can't compare offers easily and they are faced with an information overload. The key role of consumer policy is to break down the barriers, particularly at the retail level, that are holding consumers back from making informed choices. The poster is also part of the Commission's overall goal to challenge conventional stereotypes and put consumers back where they belong - as a driving force for competition in the market. The central message of the poster campaign is: "Know Your Rights, Use Your Rights." It is an appeal to consumers to take power back in their hands, to get informed and to use their power of comparison and power of choice. The poster campaign will also be used by Member States during the Consumer Day activities that will take place at national level. For more information, including the poster, see: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/ecd/index_en.htm">http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/ecd/index_en.htm

    [06] Commission regrets missed opportunities at annual meeting of General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean

    Commissioner Joe Borg has expressed his regret at the failure of the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean (GFCM) to take more decisive conservation decisions and agree on a performance review at its annual meeting, held in Rome last week. The EU was behind several of the ambitious proposals tabled at the meeting, which could have led to major progress in conservation of vulnerable resources, the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and the performance review of the GFCM. The European Commission is satisfied, however, that GFCM was able to adopt a regional Port State Inspection Scheme, even though at this stage it will only be applicable to foreign flagged vessels. It said that to avoid discrimination and ensure the transparent and harmonised application of such a measure, the port scheme should be applicable to both national and foreign vessels and expressed the hope that the issue could be re-examined at next year’s session. Port state control now represents a benchmark in the international fight against IUU fishing, since the adoption of the first such scheme by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission in 2007. The GFCM Scientific Committee has given advice that clearly indicates the need to take both conservation and management measures to protect Mediterranean fish stocks. The EU was the only Contracting Party to table proposals this week which addressed this scientific advice, along with other measures aimed at improving the control needs of the organisation. Commenting after the meeting, Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, expressed great disappointment at the lack of progress on these issues. Joe Borg said: "The GFCM is closely related to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. It should therefore be prepared to undertake a performance review, as called for in the UN General Assembly's 2006 Resolution on sustainable fisheries and the FAO's own Committee on Fisheries in 2007". He also reiterated the Commission's commitment to working with its Mediterranean partners to ensure the long-term sustainability of sea fisheries.

    [07] Commission clears acquisition of neckermann by Sun Group

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of neckermann.de GmbH of Germany by Sun Group of the US. Sun Group is a private equity portfolio investments company. neckermann is active in distance retail sales of a wide range of consumer goods. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [08] Commission clears acquisition of part of Edison by Cofatech Servizi

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of part of Edison SpA of Italy (the "Target") active in electricity generation by Cofatech Servizi SpA of Italy, belonging to the Gaz de France Group. Cofatech Servizi supplies energy management, installation and maintenance services in Europe. The Target produces combined electricity and steam (thermoelectric cogeneration) in Italy. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    Autre matériel diffusé

    • Memo on Preparation of Eurogroup and Economic and Finance Ministers Council, Brussels, 3 and 4 March 2008

    A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

    Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

    Theodorus I / Theodorus II / EADS Astrium / Euro Heat Pipes From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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