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THE WEEK IN EUROPE

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--------------------------------------------------------------------- Structural funds restructured - Van den Broek...
--------------------------------------------------------------------- Structural funds restructured - Van den Broek at the UN - Eurobarometer on Eastern Europe - EIB funds growth - aid to Bradford - fish prices - safer Eurotankers - safe seas - EC-central America accords - GATT and public procurement - competition policy - competition and betting ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Under plans for changes to the EC's structural funds agreed by the European Commission on Wednesday, two more UK regions, Merseyside and the Scottish highlands and islands, will qualify for funding under objective 1.

Speaking after a meeting with top United Nations' officials in New York yesterday (Wednesday), Hans van den Brook said the community was as committed as ever to finding a solution to the conflict in former Yugoslavia.

Over the last year, support for the market economy faltered in the Commonwealth of Independent States, but remained solid elsewhere in central and eastern Europe, according to the latest Eurobarometer on area.

The European Investment Bank agreed 1 billion ECUs in loans on Tuesday for the first batch of infrastructure projects under the so called Edinburgh facility, the communities grown initiative launched at the December summit.

Regional policy commissioner Bruce Millan announced last week £11 million ECUs aid to Bradford to continue the economic recovery funded by community programmes since 1988.

Following action by French trawlermen at Brittany ports earlier this week in protest a cheap fish imports into France, the European Commission's fisheries committee is set to draw up measures this week to improve prices.

Industry commissioner Martin Bangemann met Alain Grill, president of EuroYards, a grouping of the big five community ship yards, in Brussels on Tuesday for talks about the construction of a safer European-design oil tanker.

The commission yesterday adopted a communication for a common policy on safe seas which presents a coherent programme for improved maritime safety and pollution prevention by both community and international shipping.

Commissioner for cooperation and development Manuel Marin signed three financing agreements totalling some 20.6m ECUs with three central American states, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Panama, on the margins of the EC central American conference in San Salvador on Monday.

speaking in Cheshire last Friday as EC and US trade officials in Washington were hammering out solutions on public procurement contracts, the EC's economic affairs commissioner Sir Leon Brittan expressed confidence on a GATT deal but stressed that a difficult 'end game' lay ahead.

In an address to the European Parliament's economic and monetary committee in Brussels on Friday, competition commissioner Karel van Miert reminded member states that the best way to deal with economic problems was to tackle them collectively at community level.

The betting firm Ladbroke Racing is to take the European Commission to the European Court for not investigating its complaint that the French company Pari Mutuel Urbain exercises a monopoly in off course betting.

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