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EXME08 / 30.09

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

30 / 09 / 08

Danuta Hübner, the European Commissioner responsible for regional policy, and the Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, will launch a debate today on the EU's future strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Commissioner Hübner and Premier Reinfeldt will open a stakeholder conference in Stockholm, attended by representatives of Member States, NGOs, local authorities and financing institutions, with the aim of laying the foundations for a stronger and more coordinated Baltic Sea policy.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, said: “I should like to congratulate Ecuador and all Ecuadoreans for the serenity and seriousness of yesterday's referendum. I believe that it is vital now that the whole country be united to pave together the path for Ecuador." The Commissioner added "I would also like to express my gratitude to all observers in the country, especially to the EU Election Observation Mission led by José Ribeiro e Castro. They have contributed to the climate of transparency and public confidence which marked yesterday´s historic poll.” On Sunday 28th September 2008, the citizens of Ecuador voted to approve or reject a new Constitution for the country. It is worth highlighting not only the decision to put this issue of capital importance to a popular vote, but also the fact that Ecuadorean voters exercised their democratic rights with responsibility and in a peaceful way. The text for a new Constitution was prepared by a Constituent Assembly elected by Ecuadorean voters in September 2007. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner decided to deploy an EU Election Observation Mission for those elections as well as for yesterday´s referendum. The EU, recognising the historical importance of these events for Ecuador, is committed to accompanying the country in this process.

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 3.6% in September 2008 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 3.8% in August. 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 (14 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate and 10 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.

  • Better healthcare for all in Europe - Commissioner Vassiliou launches Europe for Patients campaign

Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou launches today the 'Europe for Patients' campaign in Brussels. The campaign highlights the different health policy initiatives the Commission intends to adopt in the coming 6-9 months. All these initiatives are bound by a common goal – better healthcare for all in Europe. The initiatives address patient safety, rare diseases, organ donation and transplantation, cancer screening, health workforce, flu and childhood vaccination and antibiotic use. The first initiative under the campaign on cross border health care was adopted by the Commission in July. The launch event will unveil a logo for Europe for Patients and a webpage on the EU Health Portal in 22 languages which will become an information hub where documents, articles and events will be posted in relation to the Europe for Patients initiatives. Link to the website: http://health.europa.eu/efp

Rediffusion

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, said: “I should like to congratulate Ecuador and all Ecuadoreans for the serenity and seriousness of yesterday's referendum. I believe that it is vital now that the whole country be united to pave together the path for Ecuador." The Commissioner added "I would also like to express my gratitude to all observers in the country, especially to the EU Election Observation Mission led by José Ribeiro e Castro. They have contributed to the climate of transparency and public confidence which marked yesterday´s historic poll.” On Sunday 28th September 2008, the citizens of Ecuador voted to approve or reject a new Constitution for the country. It is worth highlighting not only the decision to put this issue of capital importance to a popular vote, but also the fact that Ecuadorean voters exercised their democratic rights with responsibility and in a peaceful way. The text for a new Constitution was prepared by a Constituent Assembly elected by Ecuadorean voters in September 2007. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner decided to deploy an EU Election Observation Mission for those elections as well as for yesterday´s referendum. The EU, recognising the historical importance of these events for Ecuador, is committed to accompanying the country in this process.

  • Joe Borg welcomes Council's support for CFP reform initiative

At the initiative of the French Presidency, an informal Fisheries Council meeting has been held in Brussels to discuss the proposed Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) due for completion in 2012. European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Joe Borg received the broad support of the Member States to kick-start preparations immediately for this reform. The main focus of the coming review will be on resource conservation and fleet policy. Commissioner Borg told the Council, "An economically, socially and environmentally healthy fishing industry depends on healthy fish stocks and on the fishing fleets being in balance with their fishing opportunities. Ecological sustainability is therefore fundamental." The debate launched today will continue in 2009 not only with the Member States, but through a broad-based consultation with the fisheries sector, other stakeholders and the wider public. The Commission intends to table a Green Paper in early 2009 which will provide the basis for a public debate. A summary of the consultation will be published in early 2010, and the Commission will aim to table reform proposals later in the same year, with a view to their coming into force in 2012. Later, Fisheries Ministers endorsed the Commission's plan to proceed with the payment of the financial contribution to Mauritania under the EU/Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement. An open discussion was also held on the proposed revision of the cod recovery plan, and the Commission will continue to work with Member States in the light of the opinions expressed with a view to having the plan adopted at the Council meeting in November.

  • Commission transmits to Council proposal to authorise a GM soybean

The Commission will transmit to the Council a proposal to authorise a genetically modified (GM) soybean after Member States did not endorse it today during a meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH). The Commission presented today to SCoFCAH the proposal for the authorisation of GM soybean MON89788, also known as "RoundupReady2" soybean, for import and processing and food and feed uses. The authorisation of this GM soybean is important as it will help preventing shortages in supply of the EU livestock industry with soybean imports from third countries. Member States returned no definitive opinion, either for or against the proposal, during the SCoFCAH meeting. The Commission tabled the proposal following an application submitted by the American food biotechnology company Monsanto and a favourable scientific assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which addressed all safety concerns. EFSA concluded that there is no risk to human or animal health or to the environment. As a result of today's inconclusive vote, the Commission will now transmit the dossier to the Council for a decision. If the Council does not reach a position within three months, the proposal will be sent back to the Commission for final adoption. For more information, see: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/index_en.htm

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo on Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden, with the participation of Belarus, Norway and the Russian Federation – Operational Programme 2007-2013: Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013

• Opening Address by Commissioner McCreevy at the Price WaterHouse Coopers Conference "Winning in Challenging Times", Dublin

• Speech by Commissioner Fischer Boel ' Observations on a CAP for the future', Brussels - EMBARGO 14h00 -

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

Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

STAK Van der Sluijs Groep/ Frisol

Beheer/ North Sea Petroleum Holding


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