EDF financial training to be provided by EC

The European Commission has released individual service contract forecast. The successful service provider will have to design and implement training modules on EDF financial and contractual procedures.

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New 2 EUR commemorative coin

A Europe-wide online poll to select a design for a commemorative €2 coin has chosen a design by Greek sculptor George Stamatopoulos. His design symbolises the currency as the latest step in a long history of trade within and outside Europe. The winning design will be on 90 million coins minted and put into circulation next year to mark the 10th anniversary of the completion of economic and monetary union (EMU).

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Single Market for postal service

The Third Postal Directive was published in the Official Journal on the 27th February 2008. The publication marks the entry into force of the directive and sets the clock ticking for abolishing legal monopolies on postal services by 31 December 2010. The Directive is the result of a broad political consensus on the way forward for the regulatory framework of European postal services. The Commission will monitor and assist Member States pro-actively in implementing the Directive. In particular, it will pay close attention to potential entry barriers that would deprive users of the benefit of a dynamic and open market.

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EC addresses challenges of forest-based industries

The European Commission adopted, on the 27th February 2008, a 19-point plan to address the challenges facing forest-based industries, which are adapting to deal with increased global competition, climate change and energy and wood supply availability. Important competitiveness challenges cover innovation, access to non-EU markets and high energy and transport costs. Moreover, the access to and availability of new and recovered raw material at competitive prices and the strategic role of this sector in limiting climate change are issues which need to be addressed specifically in order to provide the right framework conditions within which this industrial chain can prosper and grow. Furthermore, and in particular in the woodworking and printing sectors, the dimension of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) is especially relevant. The communication is part of the Commission's integrated industrial policy consisting of horizontal and sectoral measures.

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EC imposes 899 meuro penalty on Microsoft

The European Commission has imposed a penalty payment of € 899 million on Microsoft for non-compliance with its obligations under the Commission’s March 2004 Decision prior to 22 October 2007. The Decision on 27th February 2008, adopted under Article 24(2) of Regulation 1/2003, finds that, prior to 22 October 2007, Microsoft had charged unreasonable prices for access to interface documentation for work group servers. The 2004 Decision, which was upheld by the Court of First Instance in September 2007, found that Microsoft had abused its dominant position under Article 82 of the EC Treaty, and required Microsoft to disclose interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers at a reasonable price.

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ICT products for disabled and elderly

European Commission Directorate General for Information Society and Media wish to increase accessibility to ICT products and services by disabled and elderly people. In view of existing problems faced by disabled and elderly users when accessing ICT products and services, the study aims at putting forward potential solution(s) to deal horizontally with the issue of accessibility in order to give those users the same rights as other end users.

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An even safer internet for children Programme

The European Commission proposed a new Safer Internet programme to enhance the safety of children in the online environment. Encompassing recent communications services from the Web 2.0, such as social networking, the new programme will fight not only illegal content but also harmful behaviour such as bullying and grooming. With a budget of €55 million, the programme, which builds further on the successful Safer Internet programme started in 2005, will run from 2009 to 2013.

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European agenda for culture in a globalising world

With reference to Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world (COM(2007) 242 final). The Committee of Rregions published it's official opinion in the OJ of the European Union on the 26th Feburary 2008 and it was made clear that it explicitly welcomes the European Commission's submission on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world. The commitee agreed that The document rightly sets out the key role of culture in the integration process and noted the need for appropriate tools to promote to the full Europe's cultural richness and diversity and thus achieve the ‘strategic objectives of prosperity, solidarity and security’ both inside and outside the EU. Amoungst various positives the committee welcomed the fact that the Commission highlights the key role of culture and the creative economy in generating growth and creating jobs. Culture is a European growth industry.

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Europe on the air

From April 2008 on, day in and day out,16 radio stations from 13 countries working in a consortium and 7 associate radio stations will co-produce and simultaneously broadcast programmes devoted to current affairs and society in the Europe of 27.

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European legal experts dealing with rights

The European Commission directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities are working towards the establishment, organisation and coordination of a European network of legal experts in the field of labour law, dealing with both individual and collective rights/aspects.

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New €2 commemorative coin

A Europe-wide online poll to select a design for a commemorative €2 coin has chosen a design by Greek sculptor George Stamatopoulos. His design symbolises the currency as the latest step in a long history of trade within and outside Europe. The winning design will be on 90 million coins minted and put into circulation next year to mark the 10th anniversary of the completion of economic and monetary union (EMU).

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Ex post evaluation of the URBAN Community Initiative

The Directorate-General Regional Policy from the European Union is undertaking an ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy Programmes financed by the European Regional Development Fund during the period 2000–2006. The focus of the present study will be the 70 URBAN II programmes in the EU14 and the URBACT network for exchange of experience and good practice. The Urban Community Initiative did not continue into the 2007–13 period. Instead, urban regeneration measures are being 'mainstreamed' into Cohesion Policy Programmes as well as national programmes.

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