Ref. :  000012176
Date :  2004-04-07
Language :  English
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Commission Spring Economic Forecasts 2004 -2005 for the euro area, the European Union and the Acceding and Candidate countries

After bottoming out in the first half of 2003, the economies of the euro area and EU turned around in the second half of the year. The average growth rate for the year as a whole is estimated to have been 0.4% in the euro area and 0.8% in the EU. In view of the buoyancy of global growth and trade and the returning confidence of domestic producers and consumers, the recovery is set to gather momentum this year. A rebound to average growth rates of 1.7% for the euro area and 2% for the EU is projected for 2004, levelling off at around 2.4% in 2005. Apart from the external stimulus from global demand, the main factors behind the outlook for the recovery include accommodative macroeconomic policy conditions, continued disinflation, supportive financial conditions, and progress in structural reforms. The recovery is underpinned by a rise in investment expenditure, supported by a more gradual pick-up in private consumption. Despite this projected increase in the momentum of economic activity, the protracted downturn should continue to weigh on the performance of the labour market. Employment growth is expected to register 0.3% in 2004 and a somewhat better 0.9% in 2005.

1. Diverse fiscal developments

Following the estimated deterioration in 2003, the general government deficit in the euro area is expected to remain stable at 2.7% of GDP in 2004 (2.6% in the EU). With respect to 2003, the general government balance is expected to deteriorate this year in several EU countries, compensated by an improvement in Germany, Spain, France, Austria and the UK. In the case of Denmark, Sweden and Finland, the deterioration refers to a fall in the surplus.

In a number of cases this situation calls for the activation of the budgetary surveillance instruments foreseen by the Treaty and the SGP. Specifically:

In the Netherlands the breach of the 3% of GDP deficit threshold in 2003 requires the immediate preparation of a report on the existence of an excessive deficit (Article 104(3)). The implementation of the following steps of the Excessive Deficit Procedure would be decided on the basis of measures taken to adjust the situation in 2004.

In Italy the budget deficit was slightly below 2½% of GDP in 2003. According to the Commission forecast the deficit would exceed 3% of GDP in 2004. The interruption in the reduction of the debt, which at 106% of GDP is the highest in the euro area is a further source of concern. This requires the immediate activation of the early-warning mechanism so as that the authorities make the necessary policy adjustment.

In Greece the latest data reported by the government show a budget deficit rising to just below 3% of GDP in 2003. Based on these data the Commission forecast projects a deficit in excess of 3% in 2004. However, the data for 2003, are not validated by Eurostat and do not therefore provide a reliable basis for assessing the budgetary situation at this stage. A fact-finding mission is being prepared for the end of April in order to have more information about the budgetary situation in this country and decide on steps to be taken.

In Portugal, the deficit has been maintained below 3% of GDP in 2002 and 2003. Portugal has therefore complied with the terms of the excessive deficit recommendation addressed to it in 2002 (Article 104(7)). Accordingly, the abrogation of the excessive deficit is in order. However, Portugal should take the necessary measures to avoid the re-occurrence of an excessive deficit.

In the UK the latest estimates show a budget deficit of 3.2% of GDP in (calendar) year 2003. In the case of the UK the relevant measurement period for budgetary surveillance purposes is the financial year, from 1 April to 31 March. . The Commission forecast and official statements by the UK authorities indicate that the deficit in the financial year 2003-04 exceeded 3% of GDP .The Commission has therefore to prepare a report on the existence of an excessive deficit (Article 104(3)). The deficit however is expected to return to below the 3% of GDP threshold over the forecast period, both in calendar and financial year basis. Without prejudice to the eventual outcome of the EDP, this might give margins to conclude that an excessive deficit would not exist in the sense of the Treaty and therefore bring the procedure to an end.

In 2005, on a "no policy change" assumption and, hence, not including measures that may be adopted in the next budgets, a slight improvement is expected for the euro area with the general government deficit declining to 2.6% of GDP (2.4% for the EU). Under this assumption, four countries (France, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal) are projected to exceed the reference value of 3%.

2. Buoyant world economy boosts global trade

After the weak growth in world trade in 2002, a strong rebound of 5% is estimated to have taken place in 2003. The near-term outlook is for a further acceleration to around 8% in 2004-2005.

World GDP growth is estimated to have been stronger-than-expected at 3.7% in 2003. This year, world economic activity should expand at a robust 4.5%, before levelling off in 2005. This acceleration is supported by a number of factors, including accommodative macroeconomic policies, supportive financial conditions and a return of confidence.

The regional distribution of world growth widened in 2003, with stronger than expected contributions coming from the US, the CIS, OPEC, Asia (especially China) and the acceding countries. In the US, helped by monetary and fiscal policy stimulus and solid underlying productivity growth, the recovery is expected to continue, with growth at 4.2% in 2004. Nonetheless, in view of the high general government and current account deficits, this pace of economic expansion is viewed as unsustainable, and the growth rate is expected to decline to 3.2% in 2005.

Prospects for Japan have improved markedly with a sharp upward adjustment of growth from an estimated 2.7% in 2003 to 3.4% this year. Deflation appears to be coming to an end, but the general government deficit is expected to remain above 7% of GDP in 2004 and 2005.

The economic outlook for Asia (excluding Japan) remains buoyant with growth in the vicinity of 7% in 2004-2005. During this period, Hong Kong and Korea are expected to take up the slack created by a slight attenuation of the striking growth rates of China and India. Among the other emerging regions, Latin America is expected to double its growth rate in 2004 after a lacklustre performance in 2003. Economic activity is also expected to pick up speed in Africa. In the countries preparing for accession on 1 May 2004 and the other candidate countries, continued strong growth is expected throughout the forecast period, supported by domestic demand and structural change.

3. Rising commodity prices and recovering stock markets

The global recovery has put upward pressure on both fuel and non-fuel commodity prices. While the appreciation of the euro has shielded the euro area from many of the adverse effects of this trend, its implications for the world economy are less encouraging.

The assumed profile for oil prices has been revised upwards compared to the Autumn forecasts. From an average of USD 28.5 per barrel (Brent crude) in 2003, the price of oil is assumed to decline gradually from a high of USD 31.5 per barrel in the first and second quarters of this year, yielding an average of USD 31 per barrel for the year as a whole. Some easing is foreseen during the course of 2005, producing an average of USD 29 per barrel.

After stabilising in the middle of last year, equity prices continued their upward trend into the new year, before levelling off somewhat recently. Long-term government bond yields have remained low by historical standards, despite improving global growth prospects. Corporate bond spreads have also narrowed to historically low levels. Overall, these developments, which suggest that financing conditions in the global economy have improved compared to one year ago, should be supportive of the recovery.

4. Growth re-emerged in the euro area and EU economies in the second half of 2003 …

For the euro area, the rebound in economic activity was driven by a surge in the growth of exports, while the growth-contribution of domestic demand was negative. The latter was due in particular to the negative performance of investment in the third quarter. Domestic demand took over from trade as the engine of growth in the last quarter of the year. Investment picked up considerably, breaking a prolonged downward trend. However, lacklustre private consumption provided no impulse to growth and the contribution of net exports turned negative due to a sharp rise in the growth of imports.

The recovery, which took place in the second half of 2003, was broadly in line with predictions in the Autumn forecast. However, the source of the turnaround was somewhat surprising as the stronger-than-expected growth in the third quarter was driven by external rather than internal demand. The outcome for the last quarter was closer to expectations both in terms of the magnitude and the composition of growth.

5. …and will gain momentum in 2004

Survey indicators have been sending out encouraging signals for the prospects of a recovery since the middle of last year. While the euro-area economic sentiment indicator has improved since summer 2003, capacity utilisation in manufacturing is still below its long-term average. Business sentiment in the manufacturing sector has hesitated somewhat recently, but the improvement in production expectations has been maintained.

In the services sector, confidence is still at a low ebb but demand expectations are advancing. The gradual rise in consumer confidence is based mainly on a better outlook for the economy and for the labour market. This should lead to greater optimism on the part of households regarding their own financial situation, which should in turn provide an impulse to consumer spending.

The projected recovery in business and household spending in the coming months stems in part from the particularly low real interest rates, both short-term and long-term. This has contributed to an easing of the balance-sheet constraints of households and businesses through a reduction in debt servicing costs. The rebound in stock markets since March of last year and the buoyant housing markets in some Member States have also helped to partially restore wealth lost following the bursting of the stock market bubble. Households' real disposable income has been sustained by the resilience of employment and real wage growth. The projected decline in inflation should also provide a positive stimulus to consumption.

The average growth rate in the euro area is projected to rise to 1.7% in 2004 and 2.3% in 2005 (2.0% and 2.4% in the EU, respectively), barely unchanged from last autumn's forecast. Growth is expected to be supported by domestic demand, which in turn will be sustained by an acceleration of capital formation during the course of 2004, followed by a more gradual recovery of private consumption expenditure.

6. Encouraging labour market performance and outlook

Despite the prolonged downturn, the rise in the unemployment rate has been quite moderate in comparison to previous cycles. The euro area unemployment rate stabilised at 8.8% in the second quarter of 2003, after increasing by 0.8 of a percentage point during the slowdown in the current cycle. This contrasts with a rise of over 2 percentage points to above 10% in the trough of the early nineties. On the employment side, the picture is also more encouraging insofar as job losses are concerned. No jobs were lost in net terms in the recent downturn, while more than 2.5 million jobs disappeared in the 1992-93 recession.

In line with the gradual nature of the recovery and the usual lagged response of the labour market, about half a million jobs are expected to be created this year. However, this figure should more than double in 2005 as the recovery gathers pace. The euro area unemployment rate is expected to remain stable at 8.8% (8.1% in the EU) this year, before edging downwards in 2005.

7. Headline inflation set to fall below 2% this year

Notwithstanding the economic slowdown and the appreciation of the euro, headline inflation remained sluggish in 2003, buoyed up by such temporary factors as weather-induced food and energy price hikes and rises in indirect taxes. Compared to an estimated 2.1% in 2003, headline inflation is expected to fall to 1.8% this year, as a result of the lagged effects of the euro appreciation and weak domestic price pressures. Inflation should fall further to 1.6% in 2005.

Core inflation was also rather sticky during 2003. Services sector inflation was particularly sluggish in view of the sector's relatively low productivity and less exposure to competition than the manufacturing sector. However, a reduction in the pace of unit labour cost growth, as labour productivity picks up and wage moderation continues, should also lead to a fall in core inflation.

8. Upside and downside risks to the forecast

Many regions of the world are sending out encouraging signals in support of a continuation of global growth. This reinforces the likelihood of a broad-based simultaneous acceleration of growth across the world, which would generate a mutually reinforcing growth momentum. However, long-standing macroeconomic imbalances may hold back growth in the US economy later in the forecasting period. Rising oil and other commodity prices might also put a damper on global growth. On balance, however, the international environment implies an upside bias.

A renewed sharp appreciation in the euro exchange rate could undermine activity mainly in the euro-area manufacturing sector, especially in those Member States that have recently depended on external demand to generate economic growth. On the other hand, any further appreciation would ease inflationary pressures further and, accordingly, raise real disposable income.

The protracted nature of the downturn and uncertainties related to current and future income have undermined consumer confidence, leading to the postponement of consumption plans and sluggish private consumption. Survey indicators suggest that consumers are still wary about committing themselves to purchases of larger consumer durable goods. Furthermore, although geopolitical tensions diminished in the second half of 2003, the threat of terrorist attacks continues to weigh on consumer confidence, particularly in view of the events in Madrid in early March. With the resumption of confidence, the release of pent-up demand would accelerate the return to potential growth. The rise in house prices in a number of EU countries and the contribution of the rise in stock markets to restoration of household wealth should also support spending.

Although investment is being supported by favourable financing conditions and positive developments in earnings and profitability, possible constraints posed by the incomplete adjustment of balance sheets cannot be ruled out. It should also be recalled that confidence can be positively affected by visible progress on structural reforms.

Overall, the balance of risks appears to have shifted towards the downside in recent months.

9. Acceding countries: A positive stimulus from EU integration

Despite weak growth in the EU, the economies of the new Member States are estimated to have expanded on average at a robust 3.6% in 2003 as accession unleashes favourable growth dynamics. In particular, private consumption supported growth, notably in the Baltic States, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Three factors underpinned household spending: (i) increased real disposable income, partly thanks to relatively low inflation in many countries at about the euro-area level; (ii) greater access to credit as a result of the development of the banking system; (iii) anticipated spending ahead of expected price rises in 2004 linked to indirect tax hikes.

Investment activity was weak in 2003 (except in the Baltic States), reflecting the global situation, but also as a consequence of the stalling reform process in the acceding countries. Exports did very well, notably in Slovakia, which, given weak EU demand, is mostly explained by an export basket with a higher value-added content. In Poland the depreciation of the zloty contributed significantly to the good export performance.

    More investment, but the unemployment rate is slow to decrease

    Interest rate convergence towards EU levels, the need to improve infrastructure and the recovery in the EU are the factors which should lift investment growth from a meagre 1.9% in the acceding countries last year to 7.3% in 2005. In general, economic activity will also be supported by the availability of EU funds (estimated at 3% of GDP in the acceding countries over the period 2004-2006, including pre-accession aid, and after the contribution to the EU budget). Average growth in the acceding countries should be around 4% in 2004 and 2005.

    Catching-up should continue vigorously as the new Member States with the lowest per capita GDP are expected to grow the fastest. Benefiting from macroeconomic stability, the Baltic States are expected to post growth rates above 5% in 2004-2005. The strongest acceleration of growth is forecast in Poland (from 1.4% in 2002 to almost 5% in 2005) on the back of an expansionary fiscal policy. Among the high-income acceding countries, Cyprus is also expected to grow relatively strongly, but the prospects for re-unification entail both upside and downside risks.

    In 2004-2005, employment is expected to increase moderately in the acceding countries as activity picks up and new activities develop, compensating for jobs lost in the restructuring process. However, the unemployment rate is set to decline only slowly to 13.8% in 2005 in the acceding countries as a whole compared to 14.3% in 2003.

    Inflation set to increase

    Except in Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia, inflation was particularly low in 2003 in the new Member States at about the same level as in the euro area, thanks to increased competition and low import prices. An acceleration is, however, expected in 2004 to 3.8% on average, linked to an increase in indirect taxes since tax rates are adjusted to the EU levels. A subsequent easing of inflation to 3.3% is projected for 2005.

    High government deficits, but generally expected to decline

    On average, the general government deficit in the acceding countries is estimated to be about 5.7% of GDP in 2003, worse than in 2002. In the Czech Republic, the deficit increased considerably because of the inclusion of some state guarantees. The deficit ranges from a surplus in Estonia to a deficit of 12.9% of GDP in the Czech Republic. Five other countries had deficits in excess of 3% of GDP in 2003: Cyprus, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia.

    As fiscal consolidation resumes, government balances are expected to improve in most new Member States in 2004, with the notable exception of Poland. Despite strong growth, budgetary balances are also worsening in the Baltic States, because of accession-related expenditures. In Lithuania, the deficit is approaching the 3% of GDP threshold, while in Estonia the large surplus of 2.6% of GDP in 2003 should completely disappear in 2005.
10. Other candidate countries

The other candidate countries will see a continued improvement in their macroeconomic performance. Growth is expected to amount to around 5% per year over the forecast period. Private domestic demand remains the driving force behind growth in each country.

In Turkey and Romania, disinflation should continue, driven by the trend real appreciation of the exchange rate of these countries, a strengthening of the supply side of their economies, driven by strong investment, and overall prudent fiscal and monetary policies. Towards the end of the forecasting horizon, inflation is foreseen to be in single digits in both countries, as is already the case in Bulgaria with quite low, but slightly accelerating, inflation.

Despite sustained gains in labour productivity, strong economic growth will lead to a rise in employment in all countries and falling unemployment, although the improvement will be very small in Turkey due to the strong rise in labour supply.

The general government deficit will see a moderate widening in Bulgaria and Romania, whereas Turkey will continue to experience a significant reduction of its deficit.

In all three countries, current account balances are set to widen further, driven by strong domestic demand and a slight deterioration in the price competitiveness of exports, which leads to rising deficits in their respective merchandise trade balances.

More detailed information on the forecasts is available in European Economy, published on the internet at:

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 flecheCommunication from the Commission on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world
 flecheFirst-ever European strategy for culture: contributing to economic growth and intercultural understanding
 flecheErasmus celebrates 20 years breaking records of participation
 flecheEuropean Commission welcomes adoption of negotiating mandates for new Free Trade Agreements with India, Korea and ASEAN
 flecheMandelson warns lack of trust could threaten EU-Russia relationship
 flecheCommission proposes stronger partnership to improve access to foreign markets for EU business
 flecheLa Commission européenne, la BEI et 6 Etats membres lancent le Fonds Fiduciaire pour les infrastructures en Afrique
 flecheEuropean partners join lively debate on flexicurity
 flecheCommission calls for more predictable and more effective development aid
 flecheThis is the Europe we want!
 flecheA vision for the single market of the 21st century
 flecheCommission welcomes international agreement to boost trade in new pharmaceuticals
 flecheMEDIA 2007: €755 million boost for Europe's film industry
 flecheClimate change and the EU’s response
 flecheMedia pluralism in the Member States of the European Union
 flecheMedia pluralism: Commission stresses need for transparency, freedom and diversity in Europe's media landscape
 flecheComment le marché unique est-il perçu?
 flecheNew EU energy plan - more security, less pollution
 flecheSlovenia ready to adopt the euro
 flecheBulgaria and Romania latest to join the EU
 fleche"Knowledge of territorial trends and structures are crucial for strategic programming", Danuta Hübner tells Brussels conference
 flecheEU welcomes signing of new Central European Free Trade Agreement
 fleche„Europe – succeeding together“ : Presidency Programme 1 January to 30 June 2007
 fleche8th Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs - “Tampere conclusions”
 flecheFAQ: UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity – a new instrument of international governance
 flecheConclusions of Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society
 flecheThe Commission launches new scholarship scheme outside the EU
 flecheErasmus turns 20
 flecheEurope sees progress on Corporate Social Responsibility
 fleche29 ways to promote inter-cultural understanding: examples of best practice from around Europe
 flecheEuropean Commission publishes the study on the Economy of Culture in Europe
 flecheThe economy of culture in Europe
 flechePresentation of the European Commission's 2007 Work Programme
 flecheLa proposition de décision du Parlement européen et du Conseil visant à déclarer 2008 " Année européenne du dialogue interculturel "
 flecheBrazil and the global economy
 flecheGlobalisation : trends, issues and macro implications for the EU
 flecheTowards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child
 fleche"There is no more time left": Peter Mandelson statement to the press following suspension of WTO Doha negotiations
 fleche"Key role for border regions in the EU jobs and growth strategy", Danuta Hübner tells Saarbrücken conference
 flecheAn arrangement which infringes national competition law may infringe Community law at the same time
 flecheCommission provides €20 million food aid to the Palestinians
 flecheThe euro: a currency in search of a deeper market, enhanced economic reform and a stronger voice on the world stage
 flechePresident Barroso calls on G8 to lay the foundations for a stable energy future and makes new aid proposal for Africa
 flecheChairs' Conclusions: Euro-Med ECOFIN Ministerial Meeting
 fleche"South and East Mediterranean economies, like Europe, would gain from further economic reforms"

 flecheLe Comité ministériel euro-méditerranéen examine à Tunis les orientations futures de la FEMIP
 flecheMondialisation et Travail décent pour tous
 fleche“Cross border cooperation: encourage a new bottom-up generation of projects”
 flecheEU-US Summit: signature of new agreement to boost cooperation in higher education and vocational training
 flecheWhite paper on a European Communication Policy
 flecheWine: Profound reform will balance market, increase competitiveness, preserve rural areas and simplify rules for producers and consumers
 flecheCommission proposes to upgrade EU’s relations with South Africa to a Strategic Partnership
 flecheTrade and competitiveness
 flecheCommission promotes 'decent work in the world' to fight poverty and promote fair globalisation
 flecheEuropean Charter for Film Online endorsed by major industry players
 flecheEvasion of anti-dumping duties under scrutiny
 flecheCommission: Bulgaria’s and Romania’s accession possible in 2007, if preparation efforts are intensified
 flecheCommission spring economic forecasts 2006-2007: growth rebounds
 flecheEnlargement, two years on: all win as new Member States get richer
 flecheCommission actions since the Chernobyl Disaster
 flecheEuropean Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy
Islam in Europe – from dialogue to action

 flecheCommissioner Michel sends a warning signal on shortage of doctors and nurses in Africa
 flecheEurope, Latin America and the Caribbean – working together for greater social solidarity
 fleche"Dialogue of Cultures – clash of civilizations or clash of ignorance?"
 fleche«La dimension sociale de la Mondialisation dans la politique de développement»
 flecheThe European Commission proposes that 2008 be "European Year of Intercultural Dialogue"

 flecheEuro-Mediterranean Policy / Preparation of APEM
 flecheEuropean Neighbourhood Policy
 fleche«A regional strategy for peace, security and development for the Horn of Africa»
 flecheThe Commission welcomes the CARIM first annual Report on Mediterranean Migration
 flecheEuropean Institute of Technology: the Commission proposes a new flagship for excellence
 flecheCommission proposes up to €500 million per year for a new European Globalisation adjustment Fund to support workers
 flecheTrade in services
 flecheEuropean Commission steps up efforts to put Europe’s memory on the Web via a “European Digital Library”
 flecheEU and the Caribbean: Commission proposes a new partnership for growth, stability and development
 flecheNew Regional aid Guidelines 2007-2013 - European Union / Provisional text
 flecheInauguration of the EAS: The European Administrative School (EAS), the first inter-institutional training centre celebrates its official inauguration on 10 February 2006
 flecheAu service des régions: politique régionale de l'UE
 flecheCouncil decision on the conclusion of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
 flecheState aid: Commission adopts new regional aid guidelines for 2007-2013
 flecheAfrica’s “silent tsunamis”: Commission adopts humanitarian aid decisions worth €165.7 million
 flecheEuropean Union adopts new ‘tariff-only’ import regime for bananas from 1 January 2006
 flecheEU radically reforms its sugar sector to give producers long-term competitive future
 flecheRising international economic integration: opportunities and challenges
 flecheCommissioner Mariann Fischer Boel urges Council to adopt bold and responsible sugar reform
 flecheProposing the launch of a european transparency initiative
 flecheEU should implement democratic safeguards in stalled Constitution now without waiting for ratification, says CoR President
 flecheCommission welcomes the support by the EU Council and the Parliament to offer a complete untying of aid
 flecheEU and Morocco reach agreement on Galileo
 flecheBird Flu - European Commission earmarks €30 million for Asia
 flechePublic procurement: EU and China strengthen cooperation
 flecheEuropean scientists develop H7N1 avian flu vaccine
 flecheEuropean values in the globalised world
 flecheAdoption of a Unesco Convention on Cultural Diversity
 flecheEuropean Commission launches PLAN D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate
 flecheEuropean Commission adopts “European Union Strategy for Africa”
 flecheLatest report underlines progress in the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue
 flecheThe European Union opens accession negotiations with Croatia
 flecheEuro area economy gains momentum despite clouds on the horizon
 flecheEconomic Partnership Agreements: EU and Caribbean Region launch third phase of negotiations
 flecheDon’t stop learning ! The European Commission promotes adult education with increased funding
 flecheClimate change: Commission proposes strategy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from air travel
 flecheEuropean Day of Languages: half of the EU’s population can speak a language other than their mother tongue
 flecheDéclaration, au nom de l'Union européenne, sur la reprise unilatérale par l'Iran des activités de conversion de l'uranium dans l'usine d'Ispahan
 flecheEuropean Commission welcomes Israeli disengagement from Gaza and prepares further measures to support the peace process
 flecheAvian Influenza: Commission asks Member States to step up surveillance
 flecheEuropean Commission actions in the field of aviation safety
 flecheEuropean Commission mobilizes extra €58 M to the Global Fund to accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries
 flecheEuropean Commission launches a four-year Campaign to raise public awareness on sustainable energy
 flecheCounterfeiting and piracy: the Commission proposes European criminal-law provisions to combat infringements of intellectual property rights
 flecheA European Union Agency to protect and promote fundamental rights
 flecheFunding for European cinema: significant increase in new Member States’ applications for EU support
 flecheEuropean Documentation Centres
 flecheEuropean documentation centres in the European Union
 flecheDecision of the european parlement and of the concil establishing for the period 2007-2013 the programme "Citizens for Europe"to promote active European citizenship
 fleche La BEI et la Banque Mondiale intensifient leur coopération sur les Pays Partenaires Méditerranéens
 flecheConférence de presse pré Conseil européen de M. José Manuel BARROSO, Président de la Commission européenne
 flecheCultural diversity : a major step towards the adoption of a UNESCO Convention
 flecheAnother successful year for Erasmus : student and teacher mobility rose by almost 10% in 2003/2004
 flecheEU Trade Commissioner urges African Trade Ministers: make Doha the “Round for Africa”
 flecheCommission paves the way for renewal of EU Sustainable Development Strategy
 flecheThe Doha Development Agenda
 flecheCommission presents a set of proposals for enlarging the Schengen area to the new member states

 flecheAddressing the concerns of young people in Europe: the Commission adopts a communication on youth policies
 fleche Environment: Green Week 2005 gets to grips with climate change
 flecheCommission White Paper on market access for developing countries: opening the door to development

 flecheCommission tables first elements for a genuine European Space Policy
 flecheThird progress report on economic and social cohesion
 flecheThe EU and the US: a bilateral partnership for global solutions
 flecheChinese textiles imports investigation: use of the urgency procedure
 flecheEU proposes WTO consultations with China on two textile product categories
 fleche Partenariat Union européenne/États-Unis: la Commission propose de renforcer les relations économiques et politiques
 fleche President Barroso meets Afghan President Hamid Karzai – and announces details of Afghan reconstruction programmes for 2005/2006
 flecheNouveau site Web et budget de 6 millions d’euros pour l’établissement de relations en vue de la recherche de partenaires commerciaux appropriés dans l’Union européenne élargie
 fleche Mr Olli Rehn, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enlargement
"Prioritisation: where should Turkey focus its energies"
Forum Istanbul - Istanbul, 5 May 2005

 flecheThe new Europe Direct information network: Europe on your doorstep
 flecheImproving and extending the use of ICT to make the most of Europe’s cultural and audiovisual heritage
 flecheThe European Union on your doorstep: new generation of information relays launched
 flecheEuropean Commission welcomes breakthrough in WTO agriculture talks
 flecheNew tools for knowledge and growth: EU scientists propose priorities for research infrastructures
 flecheClimate change: Commission hails entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol
 flecheWomen and the elderly are crossing the digital divide, but the poor still lag behind, says new EU report
 flecheTsunami: Commission takes further action to help rebuild fisheries and aquaculture sector in tsunami-hit areas
 flecheErasmus Mundus: 69 universités supplémentaires participent au programme
 flecheTranslating the Monterrey Consensus into Practice: the Contribution by the European Union
 fleche European Commission launches public debate on economic migration
 flecheCommission pledges €140 million to help eliminate the threat of anti-personnel land mines
 flecheEuropean handbook on integration
 flecheFirst European handbook on integration of immigrants presented by European Commission
 flecheEU-India Summit: towards a strategic partnership
 flecheQuestions for the general public concerning the future European Fundamental Rights Agency
 flecheDiscours de M. António Vitorino à la Conférence des Présidents des commissions compétentes en matière d'immigration des parlements de l'UE
 flecheEU-WTO: In WTO review of trade policy EU will stress its support for the multilateral trade system
 flecheWhat Europeans think of the EU’s farm policy
 flecheDeveloping countries: the Commission proposes system of trade preferences for 2006-2008
 flecheCommission appeals against WTO sugar ruling
 flecheEnlargement - Turkey's progress towards accession
 flecheLa Commission approuve un rapport sur la gouvernance européenne (2003-2004)
 flecheCommission launches new portal giving all citizens of the enlarged EU access to better information on their rights
 flecheCommission grants Euro 93 million to upgrade European Research and Education Internet (GÉANT)
 flecheStrengthening economic governance and improving the Stability and Growth Pact
 flecheCountdown 2015 - Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights for all : London, 31 August - 2 September 2004
 flecheGeneral information concerning in-service training (stages) with the European Commission
 flechePortail sur les possibilités d'éducation et de formation dans l'ensemble de l'espace européen
 flechePresident-designate Barroso unveils his team
 flecheImmigration & asylum : current state of play
 flecheBarroso, José Manuel
 flecheWith oil prices surging, Loyola de Palacio recalls the necessity of having a concerted European approach to the issue of security of energy supplies
 flecheEuropean Commission approves 5.75 million euros for crises in Asia

 flecheThe role of broadband networks in securing knowledge-based regions
 flecheThe humanitarian crisis in Greater Darfur, Sudan- response of the European Commission - UPDATE EU by far the biggest donor

 flecheEndangered wildlife: Commission wants tighter rules to protect wild animals and plants from unsustainable international trade
 flecheGeneral overview of active WTO dispute settlement cases involving the EC as complainant or defendant
 flecheEU’s Position on the Middle East Conflict
 flecheEU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit
 flecheLamy, Pascal
 flecheCox, Pat
 flecheProdi, Romano
 flecheEuropean Commission Statement on the European Parliament elections
 flecheCommission proposes action to secure the social dimension of globalisation
 flecheEU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit: moving the strategic partnership forward
 flecheEU takes action to foster international sustainable fishing
 flecheWTO-DDA: EU ready to go the extra mile in three key areas of the talks
 flecheStatement of President Prodi on enlargement
 flecheCommission takes further steps to ensure access to medicines for poor countries
 flecheCroatia: Commission recommends opening of accession negotiations
 flecheCommission prepares the necessary steps to welcome a united Cyprus into the European Union on 1 May 2004
 flecheWTO India - GSP: WTO confirms differentiation among developing countries is possible
 flecheCommission adopts new safe harbour for licensing of patents, know-how and software copyright
 flecheAir pollution: Commission takes legal action against 10 Member States
 flecheCommission recommends concrete action to promote growth and employment in the enlarged Union
 flecheEurope needs more scientists: EU blueprint for action
 flecheThe European Commission and Philip Morris International confirm discussions
 flecheNew EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control adopted
 flechePresidency Conclusions Brussels European Council 25/26 march 2004
 flecheCommission concludes on Microsoft investigation, imposes conduct remedies and a fine
 flecheKey data on health 2002 Health in the EU under the microscope
 flecheEU acts to increase transparency, efficiency and predictability in the use of trade defence
 flecheEU-Canada: Commission agrees design of future EU-Canada Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement
 flecheBiodiversity: Commission sounds alarm on need to reduce global biodiversity loss
 flecheDeveloping countries: Commission adopts action plan to help developing countries fight agricultural commodity dependency and support the development of the cotton sector in Africa
 flecheEuropean Union signs landmark tourism accord with China today in Beijing
 flecheLa Commission appelle à un renforcement des relations entre l'UE et la Russie
 flecheTrade implications of EU enlargement: Facts and Figures
 flecheThe future of WTO
 flecheWestern Balkans proceed with economic transition
 flecheRomano Prodi President of the European Commission. 2004 Spring Report. Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament.
 flecheCommission reports on progress towards meeting 'Johannesburg' commitments
 flecheEuropean Research Network extended to the Balkans with EU Support
 flecheCommission calls on Member States to keep up the momentum in tackling poverty and social exclusion
 flecheEuropean Commission stands behind the Kyoto Protocol
 flecheUS Steel: EU welcomes termination of US steel safeguard measure
 flecheCommission launches preparations for Balkan participation in Community programmes
 flecheWTO and agriculture: Fischler's five tests to kick-start stalled talks
 flechePresident Prodi statement World Aids Day
 flecheEC action against HIV/AIDS
 fleche2003 review of the EU economy: On the verge of new patterns of economic growth?
 flecheEU- WTO: European Commission proposes to put Doha Round of trade talks back on track
 flecheCommission discusses amendments to EU Constitution
 flecheEU-India Summit: An opportunity to strengthen relations
 flecheCommission adopts five new humanitarian aid decisions worth over EUR 11.5 million
 flecheCommission and United Nations join forces to launch humanitarian appeals for 2004
 flecheCommission proceeds with excessive deficit procedure for Germany
 flecheEU-Mercosur: Ministerial meeting to roadmap free trade negotiations
 flecheState of play on GMO authorisations under EU law
 flecheComenius Week
Highlighting the European dimension at school

 flecheBulgaria, Romania and Turkey make significant progress towards accession criteria
 flecheAcceding countries expected to be ready for accession, urged to tackle remaining issues
 flecheForeign Sales Corporations (FSC): Commission prepares for the imposition of countermeasures on US products
 flecheEU/Russia Summit, Rome, 6 November
 flecheRemoving obstacles to development: Commission proposes EUR 250 million to support African-led peace keeping operations in Africa
 flecheAccelerating the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria: Commission commits further EUR 170 million to the Global Fund
 flecheAfghanistan: Commission Proposes EUR 79.5 million for Fourth Reconstruction programme
 flecheEnvironmental democracy: Commission promotes citizens' involvement in environmental matters
 flecheEU Cohesion Policy: Commissioner Barnier visits Cyprus
 flecheSingle-hull oil tankers banned from European ports from 21 October 2003
 flecheHIV/AIDS: European Research provides clear proof that HIV virus cannot pass through condoms
 flecheA european knowledge society in a global community
 flecheCommission provides support to OLAF and Belgian authorities on investigation into fraud in grain trade prices
 flecheEU complies with WTO ruling on Hormone beef and calls on USA and Canada to lift trade sanctions
 flecheEU-Andean Community: Second Round of Negotiations for new Political Dialogue and Co-operation Agreement
 flecheEurobarometer : latest survey shows growing support for key EU policies in acceding countries
 flecheCommission acts to boost efficiency and flexibility of EU development assistance to benefit the poor
 flecheCommission proceeds with excessive deficit procedure for France assesses
 flecheCinedays 2003: long live European cinema!
 flecheEuropean industry leaders and EU policymakers meet to plan for security research
 flecheEuro area economy demonstrates initial signs of recovery
 flecheEuropean Commission, eight acceding countries and US sign Bilateral Investment Understanding
 flecheTrade in Cotton: constructive proposals to solve African problem
 flecheCommission adopts opinion on the European Constitution
 fleche"State of play of Agriculture Negotiations"
 flecheWorld cotton day: EU sympathises with concerns of African countries
 flecheKey areas for decision in Cancun
 flecheEverything you wanted to know about Cancun
 flecheJoin EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy in an on-line chat September 4 2003
 flecheEuropean Commission regrets the request for a WTO panel on GMOs
 flecheEC and US propose a framework for a joint approach on agricultural questions in WTO
 flecheTrade in agricultural goods and fishery products. EU – US Joint Text on Agriculture

 flecheWTO Farm Talks/Cancun: EU’s Fischler calls for renewed effort to bridge differences
 flecheEU-US Summit - Washington
 flecheThessaloniki European Council - Presidency Conclusions
 flecheAccess to medicines: EU clears plan to ensure delivery of cheap medicines to developing countries
 flecheLe Conseil Éducation adopte les critères de référence européens
 flecheOMC SERVICES - L'UE propose d'améliorer les échanges commerciaux - au bénéfice des pays en développement
 flecheLa Commission propose de créer un Fonds européen pour l'eau doté d'un budget d'1 milliard d'euros
 flecheEU survey results: Europe goes on-line for health information, but still prefers more traditional sources
 flecheLa lutte contre les maladies transmissibles dans les pays en développement: la Commission resserre son programme d'action
 flecheMultilingualism in the European Commission: A long-standing tradition and an asset to the European Union
 flecheSustainable agriculture for developing countries: the options offered by life sciences and biotechnology
 fleche'Your Voice in Europe': new Commission portal aims to give citizens a bigger role in policy making
 flecheAgriculture: plus grande ouverture du marché et réduction du soutien faussant les échanges
 flecheCombating digital illiteracy, promoting virtual campuses and virtual twinning of schools: the e-learning programme's aims (2004-2006)
 flecheLa Commission place la politique industrielle au premier plan de ses préoccupations
 flechePascal Lamy salue l'achèvement des négociations sur l'adhésion de l'Arménie à l'OMC
 flecheForum européen du tourisme: promotion du développement durable dans le tourisme
 flecheLibéralisation des services : l'Union européenne lance un consultation publique sur les demandes pour l'accès au marché européen
 flecheEU - Russia economic and trade relations: an overview
 flecheL'Union européenne va négocier des accords de partenariat avec des Etats d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique
 flecheL’UE poursuit sa bataille pour étendre l’accès aux médicaments pour les pays en développement
 flecheL'Europe lance un partenariat avec les pays en voie de développement pour lutter contre le sida, la malaria et la tuberculose
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