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Daily News – 21.04.2008

EXME08 / 21.04


News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

21 / 04 / 08

Today in Ljubljana, EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potočnik opened the Transport Research Arena 2008 Conference and Expo, together with Radovan Žerjav, Slovenian Minister for Transport. This four-day flagship event brings together over 1000 CEOs and senior executives from EU road transport industries, national and EU administrations, infrastructures operators, public and private R&D organisations, as well as users’ associations. It showcases the latest policy developments and technology breakthroughs which contribute to make road transport greener, safer, smarter and more user-friendly, while strengthening EU industries’ leadership in that key economic sector.

En adoptant la proposition de la Commission européenne concernant le marquage obligatoire et complet des armes à feu, les ministres européens de la justice et de l’intérieur ont donné leur accord au renforcement de la lutte contre la criminalité organisée et le trafic d’armes à feu. Avec ces nouvelles mesures, la durée de conservation des informations sur les armes à feu sera prolongée et l’achat d’armes à feu sera interdit aux personnes de moins de 18 ans. La nouvelle directive aura également pour effet d’améliorer la traçabilité pour toutes les armes à feu et de rendre plus strictes les règles d’acquisition et de détention. Ces exigences s’appliqueront aussi aux armes à feu transformées.

The European Commission has received the final reports on two projects aimed at enhancing the safety of two categories of consumer electrical products: portable household lights and cord extension sets. These cross-border market surveillance actions found a significant number of non-compliant products on which action was taken and concluded that more needs to be done to further safeguard the safety of European consumers. The first project picked lamps from the Community market already identified as potentially non-compliant and investigated the nature of their safety deficiencies. The second looked at cord extension sets and sought to determine the level of non-compliance in an area already identified as problematic.

Between 2000 and 2007, EU27 exports of goods to Japan fell slightly in value, from 45.5 bn euro to 43.7 bn, while EU27 imports from Japan decreased by 15%, from 92.1 bn to 77.9 bn. As a result the EU27 deficit in trade with Japan declined from 46.6 bn in 2000 to 34.2 bn in 2007. The share of Japan in the EU27's total external trade in goods has fallen by a third between 2000 and 2007. In 2007, Japan accounted for 4% of EU27 exports and 6% of EU27 imports, and was the EU27's fifth most important trading partner. On the occasion of the European Union - Japan summit, which will take place on Wednesday 23 April 2008 in Tokyo, Eurostat issues data on trade in goods and services and FDI flows between the EU and Japan.

  • Climate Change: Commission welcomes continuing downward trend in Europe's greenhouse gas emissions

Preliminary data released on the 15 of April on the European Union's greenhouse gas emissions for 2006 show a downward trend in overall EU emissions. In 2006 greenhouse gas emissions continued their downward trend. The figures show that in comparison to a base year - 1990 for most gases – the 15 Member States which share the EU Kyoto target, reduced their collective emissions by 2.7%. This puts the EU on the way of meeting its Kyoto target of – 8 % as compared to 1990. For the 27 EU Member States emissions were reduced by 7.4% compared to 1990. But compared to their respective base year emissions, which for some Member States differ from 1990, reductions for the 27 EU Member States stood at 10.5%. Despite the good results, Commissioner Dimas urged Member States to reinforce their efforts and apply all measures necessary for meeting the EU’s climate change goals. The data, which was compiled by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has been submitted to the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Website: European Environment Agency (EEA) press release European Commission climate change web site:


Aujourd’hui, le Conseil a autorisé la Commission à ouvrir des négociations en vue de la conclusion d’un accord entre la Communauté européenne et les États-Unis d’Amérique concernant certaines conditions d’accès au programme américain d’exemption de visa («Visa Waiver Program» ou VWP).

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo sur les Questions et réponses relatives à l’adoption de la décision du Conseil autorisant la Commission, au nom de la Communauté européenne, à engager des négociations avec les États-Unis concernant certaines conditions d’accès au programme américain d’exemption de visa

• Memo sur la Modification de la décision-cadre du Conseil relative à la lutte contre le terrorisme

• Speech by Commissioner Rehn at the Opening of the concert by the Youth Orchestra of Southeast Europe, Brussels

• Speech by Commissioner McCreevy on 'The Safety and Efficiency of Post-Trading Arrangements in Europe', Frankfurt-am-Main

• Speech by Commissioner Mandelson on 'Unfinished Globalisation: Investment and the EU-Japan relationship', Tokyo

• Speech by Commissioner Potočnik on 'Making the European transport industry "greener, safer and smarter" to boost our industrial competitiveness', Ljubljana