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European Commission – Midday Express of 2005-04-05

News from the Press and Communication Directorate General’s midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Général Presse et Communication

05 / 04 / 05

Aider les gens à faire face au changement : la Commission propose plus de 11 milliards d’€ pour aider les travailleurs de l’UE et les régions affectées par les restructurations
La Commission européenne envisage d’allouer jusqu’à 11,3 milliards d’€ aux personnes et régions touchées par les changements économiques. Face à un futur augurant une concurrence globale intense, l’Union européenne a besoin de politiques efficaces en place pour aider les personnes à gérer les changements, pour favoriser les nouvelles entreprises dans les secteurs affectés par les changements économiques et pour anticiper les restructurations. La Commission a formulé une proposition pour renforcer le dialogue social, améliorer les politiques existantes, augmenter les aides financières et recibler les aides existantes.

Commission clears acquisition of Edinfor by EDP and LogicaCMG
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Edinfor Sistemas Informáticos, S.A. (Edinfor) of Portugal by LogicaCMG Corporate Holdings Ltd, controlled by LogicaCMG plc of the UK and Energias de Portugal, S.A. (EDP) of Portugal. EDP is a major European utility and one of Portugal’s largest business groups. EDP’s core business is the generation, distribution and supply of electricity. The EDP group is also active in telecommunications and information technology. EDP’s information technology requirements are provided by its wholly owned subsidiary, Edinfor, which, post-transaction will no longer be solely controlled by EDP but jointly controlled by LogicaCMG and EDP. LogicaCMG is a UK company resulting from the merger of Logica plc and CMG plc in December 2002. The principal activity of the LogicaCMG group is the provision of IT services to clients on a worldwide basis. Its services include IT consultancy, systems integration and outsourcing services to a number of business sectors including telecommunications, financial, energy and utilities, distribution, transport and the public sector. The group has a presence in 34 countries. Edinfor is the Information Technology arm of the EDP group. Edinfor is also active in finance and insurance sectors, operating through its subsidiaries : Applications Outsourcing, Maintenance and Integration (ACE Holdings), a Software House and SAP implementation and integration service (Case Edinfor) and Strategic Consulting services for the electricity and rail industries (No Limits Consulting). Edinfor is also active in Geographic Information and Cartography systems (IT-Geo). The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

EU-Canada veterinary agreement paves the way for more trade
The European Commission yesterday adopted a decision on new simplified import rules for pork products and bovine semen from Canada. The EU and Canada have recently made significant advances under the EU-Canada Veterinary Agreement (agreement on sanitary measures to protect public and animal health in respect of trade in live animals and animal products, signed in 1998). For the first time ever, the two trading partners have agreed to mutually recognise the production standards of the other by virtue of the establishment of equivalence agreements. Based on this, both sides have adopted simplified import certificates for these products, which will reduce production, inspection and certification costs and should increase trade. A new simplified listing procedure has created much shorter time frames for authorising EU establishments for export to Canada. The EU and Canada are now working on equivalence arrangements for dairy products, fisheries and live bivalve molluscs like mussels and clams. On the basis of the EU-Canada Veterinary Agreement regionalisation measures are taken, which make it possible for both sides to limit import restrictions to the regions affected by a disease outbreak. The EU’s Health and Consumer Protection Directorate (SANCO) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which are responsible for the implementation and administration of the EU-Canada Veterinary Agreement have also concluded an arrangement on sharing non public information in order to facilitate a rapid response in situations where there is a risk to human, animal or plant health.

Commission commends UNDP on latest Arab Human Development report
The European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, today congratulated the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on its 2004 Arab Human Development report, Towards Freedom in the Arab World. The report, written by Arab authors for an Arab audience, highlights a lack of individual and civil liberties. Speaking to Arab Foreign Ministers at the EU-GCC meeting in Bahrain, the Commissioner said : “I fully endorse the findings of this report. Supporting Arab countries’ own reforms, particularly in promoting freedom of thought, expression and association, is a key priority for the EU in the region. I intend to work closely with the UNDP and with Arab partners towards these goals.”

Autre matériel diffusé
Questions & answers on the Commission’s Communication on “restructuring and employment”
Speech by Charlie McCreevy : “Regulation – Right and Wrong” at annual Conference on Financial Service Action Plan (Dublin)
Speech by Mariann Fischer Boel : “Zukunftsaussichten für die Europäische Landwirtschaft” at Agrarkongress der FDP-Bundestagsfraktion (04/04, Münster
Speech by Stavros Dimas : “State of play on REACH” at annual meeting of chairpersons of the CDU and CSU Groups in the German Bundestag, Laender Parliament and the EPP-ED Group of the EP (04/04)

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