European Commission

50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome:Birthday logo competition

The European Commission announced last Thursday a logo competition with a motto “Happy Birthday EU.” Launched in collaboration with the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of...

Parliament gives nod to new cohesion policy

Billions to bridge disparities and create jobsThe European Parliament last Tuesday gave the green light to “the legal basis for the new ambitious Cohesion Policy 2007- 2013. The new set of rules consists in...

Anti-arms group blasts defence plans

The European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT), and seven national organisations involved in research on and campaigning against arms trade have criticised a proposal by the European Commission for the free movement of defence-related...

Joint Canada-EU patrols in the Northwest Atlantic

The European Union last week joined hands with their Canadian counterparts to combat illegal fishing in the area under the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO.)The European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Joe Borg,...

France wins tough consumer contest

France has the most consumer-friendly healthcare system around Europe, says the 2006 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI), presented recently in Brussels. The Index compares all the EU 25 national healthcare systems plus Switzerland from...

Action vowed to protect children’s rights

The European Commission last week said it would improve and protect the rights of children in Europe and across the world and said it was ready to appoint a special coordinator to ensure children’s...

Russia relations get a boostCommission offers termsfor new agreement

The European Commission last week gave the details of guidelines for negotiating a new EU–Russia agreement which will “provide an updated and more ambitious framework for the EU-Russia relationship.” Commissioner for External Relations and...

Potocnik calls for expanding research work

The European research area got another wake-up call from Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Science and research at the opening of the 56th meeting of Nobel Prize winners in the historic German city of...

Asylum law puts lives at risk

The European Union’s current asylum rules put lives at risk and cause unnecessary suffering to traumatised families fleeing persecution at home, the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) said last week. In a...

Public consultation for organ donation

The European Commission last week launched a public consultation on future EU action in the area of organ donation and transplantation. The aim of the consultation is to identify the main problems encountered in...

Finland, Rehn warn Ankara over Cyprus deadline

Turkey has until the end of the year to recognise Cyprus under the EU-Turkey customs union agreement, the incoming EU Presidency has warned, and the EU enlargement chief has also said Turkey is facing...

Countries urged to scrutinise secret services

EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini last week said he supported the Council of Europe’s appeal to member states to better respect fundamental rights of suspects and control secret services in the fight...

New anti-hunger aid package for poor states

The European Commission last week said it had earmarked 197 million Euro for projects aimed at eradicating hunger in poor countries. The commission - the European Union’s executive arm - said funds would be...

Countries open procurement market for defence goods

European Union governments last week opened their multi-billion defence equipment market to foreign competition as part of the bloc’s drive to forge a stronger defence identity. As of July 1, 22 EU countries were...

MasterCard charged with breaking antitrust rules

The European Commission last Friday put new anti-trust pressure on MasterCard, saying that the global credit card group had blocked competition between banks. MasterCard was restricting competition between banks by fixing a minimum price...

“Strategic partnership” sought with South Africa

The European Commission last week called for an upgrade of relations with South Africa, saying the European Union should focus on building a “strategic partnership” with the country. Officials said the proposal reflected South...

API observes gala evening

On June 24, 2006, the International Press Association (API) organised a benefit dinner-gala on the occasion of its 30th year of activity , starting at 8 p.m. in the Concert Noble, rue d’Arlon 82,...

Governments delay security moves

The European Commission last week said European Union governments were failing to implement rules aimed at strengthening police and judicial co-operation across the bloc. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Barroso said EU member states...

New passports to store fingerprints by 2009 latest

The European Commission last week said that it has adopted rules which would require European Union citizens to have their fingerprints included on newly issued passports by 2009. Member states could start storing their...

Romania, Bulgaria on right track but not quite EU ready

The two EU candidate countries, Romania and Bulgaria, slated to join the 25-member bloc on January 1, 2007 are on the right track with reforms, but still have a lot to do in a...

Telecoms await overhaul

Reding cites “political will” to go ahead with reformsThe European Commission last Thursday decided to go ahead with proposals to overhaul the European Union’s telecom sector to free retail markets and focus on wholesalers...

Poultry market gets 65 mln Euro aid

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European Union producers of eggs and poultry hit by falling demand and declining prices linked to consumer fears over bird flu, are to receive up to 65 million Euro in EU aid, the...

Governments not able to assess rendition flights

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Europe’s top human-rights watchdog last week said that national governments are unable to say whether their airports or airspace have been used for the alleged US transport of terrorist suspects on European soil. “The...

Commission adopts Forest Action Plan

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The European Commission said it had demonstrated its commitment to enhancing sustainable forest management by adopting an EU Forest Action Plan that would improve competitiveness and protect the environment. Eighteen key actions were proposed...

Racist acts to be punishable

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A decision in principle is hoped for this year to make racist and xenophobic activities punishable in the future in all European Union states, said EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Franco Frattini, at a...

Industries cooperate to phase out animal tests

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The European Commission and cosmetics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries last week presented plans to phase out animal testing for products within the European Union. Voluntary measures are aimed at “refining, reducing and replacing animal...

Bush in Vienna  

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Right “tough decisions,” left “compassion for humanity” Using body language right and left, the US President George W. Bush at last week’s EU-US Summit emphasised “Leadership requires making hard choices based on principles” while declaring...

No recognition for unilateral Israeli border

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The European Union will not recognise any border between Israel and the Palestinian areas that is drawn unilaterally by Israel, European External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said last week. Ferrero-Waldner made the remark...

New air passenger data deal with US sought

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The European Commission last week said it would try to clinch a new agreement with the United States under which European Union countries will have to provide Washington with advance information on air passengers...

Intricate web between the EU and Israel

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“Today’s (sixth) EU-Israel Association Council has again made us aware of Europe’s deep ties with Israel and our manifold and intricate web of relations,” Foreign Minister and Council President Ursula Plassnik remarked after last...

EU ends residence permits for EU citizens

European Union citizens no longer require residence cards to move and live in another country in the 25-nation bloc, the European Commission said last Tuesday. Residing in another EU country, however, will still require...

Why Europe needs stronger collaborative research

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Have you heard about Neurobotics? Or robots that can “touch” an object and “feel” its texture? Science fiction? No, this has already become reality, thanks to innovative collaborative research in the information and communication...

On the Tobacco Advertising Directive

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Learning is achieved by repetition. Last week’s dedication of this page to the European antismoking effort was just a small, temporary spark of light in the darkness. Outdoor advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco...

On Smoking

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Smoking provides a massive cost to the health systems of Europe. The tobacco companies profit from their goods. They find ways to market their addictive products, to reach children and adults, to make them...

Arrival of digitalbroadcasting

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The Energy, Industry and Research Committee of the European Parliament monitors very closely the European switchover process from terrestrial analogue to digital broadcasting. The resolution entitled “The Switchover to Digital Technology” was accepted with...

Regions and the Lisbon Strategy

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The Lisbon Strategy is the central plank in on-going European Union efforts to revitalise the economic performance of many of the major member states and to prepare business for the intensified challenge of global...

Interview:EU Ombudsman gets 20,000th complaint

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When Professor P. Nikiforos Diamandouros took over the job as European Ombudsman two years ago, he came with a wealth of experience after doing the same job for Greece for five years, but soon...