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EXME09 / 31.08


News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

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

31 / 08 / 09

The European Commission welcomes the provisional figures for 2008 released today indicating that the EU's greenhouse gas emissions fell again for the fourth year running. The European Environment Agency estimates that emissions from the EU-15 member states fell by 1.3% in 2008 compared with 2007 levels, taking them to 6.2% below their levels in the base year (1990 in most cases). This represents another significant step by the EU-15 towards meeting its Kyoto Protocol target of reducing emissions in the 2008-2012 period by 8% below the base year level. EU-27 emissions are estimated to have fallen 1.5% in 2008 to stand 13.6% lower than the base year level.

Today at the VII World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Rome, the European Commission and the European cosmetic industry presented their joint financial effort for research into alternative safety testing methods. On 30 July 2009, the European Commission launched a €25 million call for proposals in this field and the European cosmetic industry, represented by the European Cosmetics Association (Colipa), committed to match the funds. As a result, up to €50 million will be allocated to research projects laying the scientific foundation for future safety testing methods with a higher predictive value, and that will be faster and cheaper than animal tests.

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be -0.2% in August 2009 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was -0.7% in July.

  • Retail financial services: Commission to host public hearing on responsible lending and borrowing.

The European Commission is to host a public hearing in Brussels on 3 September 2009 on responsible lending and borrowing. This hearing will draw to a close the public consultation on this issue launched in mid-June. Building on previous consultations and policy development in the area of retail financial services, and especially mortgage credit, the consultation and hearing seek to strengthen and deepen the Commission services’ understanding of the remaining issues surrounding responsible lending and borrowing, and to contribute to the Commission's analysis of the varying policy options in this area. The topics to be discussed will include: the advertising and marketing of credit products, pre-contractual information, advice standards, ways to assess product suitability and borrower creditworthiness, responsible borrowing, and issues relating to the framework for credit intermediaries and non-bank lenders (e.g. disclosures, registration, licensing and supervision).The programme of the public hearing is available at:


The European Union has today signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with countries from the Eastern and Southern Africa regional grouping (ESA). These countries are Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar., Zambia and Comoros have indicated they will sign at a later date. The agreement was signed in Grand Baie, Mauritius, by EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton and Swedish deputy trade minister Gunnar Wieslander on behalf of the EU. The deal offers the ESA countries that signed the agreement immediate and full access to EU markets (with transition periods for rice and sugar), together with improved rules of origin. ESA countries will open their markets gradually over the next 15 years, with a number of important exceptions reflecting their development needs.

The European Commission has welcomed the successful conclusion today at the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of negotiations to establish an international agreement on port state measures as part of the global fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. The measures agreed by delegates from the FAO Member States set minimum standards for the anti-IUU measures to be taken by Port States, and are a major contribution to the ongoing global fight against illegal fishing activities. Today's agreement is also significant as it is the first major international instrument on fisheries management to be established since the adoption of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement in 1996.

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo on Interim Economic Partnership Agreement: Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA)

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

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