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Daily News – 18.09.2006

Midday Express of 2006-09-18

European Commission - 18/09/2006

EXME06 / 18.9

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

18 / 09 / 06

La Commission européenne a publié en ligne aujourd'hui le premier inventaire européen consolidé des substances polluantes émanant de petites sources diffuses telles que les voitures, les avions, les bateaux, les chaudières domestiques et les petites exploitations agricoles. L'inventaire des données sur les pollutions "diffuses" pour l'ensemble de l'UE rassemble pour la première fois des informations actuellement dispersées dans divers inventaires. Jusqu'à présent, des données détaillées sur les émissions à l’échelle de l'UE n'ont été compilées que pour les grandes sources industrielles comme les usines et les centrales électriques. L'inventaire des pollutions diffuses représente une étape importante de la création du registre européen des rejets et transferts de polluants qui permettra l'élaboration de politiques plus efficaces. L'inventaire confirme que les émissions dans l'air et dans l'eau provenant de sources diffuses représentent une proportion importante de la pollution globale, dépassant même dans certains cas les rejets émanant de grandes installations industrielles. Les secteurs à l'origine des émissions les plus importantes provenant de sources diffuses sont le transport routier, le chauffage domestique et l'agriculture.

  • European civil protection 'terrorist attack' exercice kicks off today in Denmark and Sweden

The EU's Civil Protection Mechanism is part-financing a 5-day civil protection exercise simulating a terrorist attack in Denmark and Sweden, the EU DANEX 2006. Some 400 civil protection professionals and volunteers from seven EU Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia and Sweden) are taking part in this exercise, including fire fighters and experts in handling emergencies with chemical, nuclear and biological materials. The European Commission is covering over 70% of the costs of this exercise. Commissioner for Environment and Civil Protection, Stavros Dimas said: "As we have seen too often, EU Member States must be prepared for any kind of emergency. Simulation exercises like this one are a precious and indispenible tool to learn how to work together in an emergency. The involvement of our Civil Protection Mechanism and seven EU Member States illustrates the European added-value for which we stand." The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was created in 2001. It is run by the Commission and coordinates 30 European countries' assistance to disaster-stricken countries, inside or outside the EU. It provides assistance in the form of practical help needed to save lives and alleviate suffering in the first days of a disaster (typically search and rescue equipment, medical services, temporary shelter, sanitation equipment, etc). The Mechanism has been providing assistance in a number of major disasters in the EU (e.g. in the face of floods and forest fires in 2006) and worldwide, notably the tsunami that hit the Southern shores of Asia in December 2004, the hurricane Katrina that struck the US in September 2005, the South Asia earthquake of October 2005, the oil spill due to the war in Lebanon in August 2006. The Mechanism also supports common training activities and simulation exercises and manages exchanges of civil protection experts.

For more information on EU DANEX, see http://www.brs.dk/eudanex/index.htm

and on EU civil protection, see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/civil/index.htm

La Commission européenne lancera demain à Bruxelles 23 nouveaux projets de recherche sur les technologies de calcul distribué (ou "Grid"), le montant total de l’intervention de l'UE s'élevant à €78 millions. En créant un lien dynamique entre des milliers d'ordinateurs et d'équipements, les technologies de calcul distribué permettent de fournir à la demande des capacités de calcul informatique d'une manière plus souple et plus économique que tous les systèmes antérieurs. Depuis plusieurs années déjà, des travaux de recherche financés par l'UE dans ce domaine aident les entreprises européennes à produire des biens et des services concurrentiels de grande qualité dans les secteurs automobile, aéronautique, financier, pharmaceutique et dans les médias.

Cette industrie est confrontée à une pression sur l'accès aux matières premières destinées à la production de métaux. Les prix de tous les métaux ont atteint des niveaux record en raison de la demande croissance des grandes économies émergentes. Etant donné que les métaux sont des matières premières essentielles pour la plupart des industries manufacturières de l'UE (automobile, aérospatiale, chimique, électrique et mécanique, etc.) et les secteurs de la construction, ces évolutions représentent un défi pour les entreprises de l'UE. Sur la base de la nouvelle analyse de la Commission européenne du secteur des métaux en termes de changement structurel et des grandes tendances, la Commission a l'intention d'adopter une communication proposant des actions politiques en vue de permettre à l'industrie des métaux de l'UE de s'adapter au nouveau contexte de la globalisation. Afin de préparer sa communication, la Commission a lancé aujourd'hui une consultation des parties prenantes afin de recueillir des commentaires, avis et propositions sur les choix politiques futurs dans les domaines des déchets, de l'énergie, du commerce et de la recherche.

  • Commission clears acquisition of WRG by FCC

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Waste Recycling Group Ltd. (WRG) of the UK by Formento de Construcciones y Contratas S.A. (FCC) of Spain. FCC is active in the services and construction sector, including waste management services in several countries. WRG is active in the reception, recycling and disposal of waste in the UK. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will travel to New York from 18-22 September to attend the UN General Assembly (UNGA). In the margins of UNGA she will attend many EU meetings with international partners and hold bilateral talks with foreign ministers from around the world. Developments in the Middle East will be a major focus of her activities : she will attend the meeting of the Middle East Quartet on Wednesday 20th September and hold bilateral meetings with leaders including the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdellah Al-Khativ and the Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa.

  • European Commission statement on Darfour (17/09)

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, is increasingly concerned at the growing instability in Darfur and risk of another humanitarian tragedy. He has, therefore, decided on 17 September that he and the Commissioner for Development, Louis Michel, should visit Sudan soon. He said: "The EU is already heavily engaged both in providing humanitarian relief in Darfur and support for the Africa Union troops there. But we must step up our political engagement, to do what we can to avert a humanitarian crisis and to support the Africa Union's work. That is why I intend to visit Sudan shortly." As part of the same trip President Barroso will lead, for the first time ever, a visit by the Commission to its sister organisation, the Africa Union Commission, in Addis Ababa, to take forward the deepening of relations between these two organisations. Darfur and immigration will be two of the subjects at the top of the agenda. The EU has provided €340 million of humanitarian and food aid in Darfur, as well as €242 million of support for the African Union troops there.

European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hübner, was in Singapore for the second meeting of the Commission on Growth and Development on 17 September. This group, launched in April of this year by Paul Wolfowitz, under the auspices of the World Bank, and chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Michael Spence, will work over a two year period to deepen the understanding of economic growth for development and poverty reduction. It aims to highlight actions - at national and international level - which are most likely to improve developing countries' growth experiences.

During the EC-Norway Energy Dialogue meeting that took place on 15 September in Brussels, European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Odd Roger Enoksen, reaffirmed their mutual interest in close and comprehensive consultations on key energy issues.

Un séminaire Union européenne (UE) – Union africaine (UA) consacré à l'aviation pour les Etats et les communautés économiques régionales d'Afrique s'est tenu les 13 et 14 septembre à Bruxelles. Cet événement était organisé conjointement par la Commission européenne et l'UA afin d'échanger des informations sur la réglementation et le fonctionnement du marché intérieur de l'aviation de l'UE et ses relations avec les pays tiers. Ce séminaire a rassemblé les autorités aéronautiques de 30 Etats africains ainsi que les représentants des communautés économiques régionales et des organisations spécialisées.

Seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.4% in the euro area in July 2006 compared to June 2006. Production remained stable in June and rose by 1.7% in May. In the EU25 output decreased by 0.2% in July 2006 after remaining unchanged in June and increasing by 1.3% in May. In July 2006 compared to July 2005, industrial production rose by 3.2% in both the euro area and the EU25. These estimates are released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.

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