The EU moves toward the creation of a Asylum Support Office

The JHA Council, on the 18th April 2008, adopted conclusions on practical cooperation which invite the Commission to come forward in the near future with proposals to provide adequate support for practical cooperation activities between Member States, including the creation of an Asylum Support Office which would provide for adequate structural and financial backing in order to guarantee the level of ambition necessary to complete the Common European Asylum System.

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New Scientific and Technical Research call for proposals (COST)

The European Commission has published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) a  notice for administraive procedures from the Council for athe n open call European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST) (2008/C 96/09). COST brings together researchers and experts in different countries working on specific topics. COST does NOT fund research itself, but supports networking activities such as meetings, conferences, short term scientific exchanges and outreach activities. Currently more than 200 scientific networks (Actions) are supported.

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250 million Europeans regularly use Internet


More than half of Europeans are now regular Internet users, 80% of them have broadband connections and 60% of public services in the EU are fully available online. Two thirds of schools and half of doctors make use of fast Internet connections, thanks to strong broadband growth in Europe.

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EC examines use of Insurance Block Exemption Regulation

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the functioning of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (BER).

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EC proposal for migration from the Schengen Information System

The European Commission have published a proposal for a council decsion on migration from the Schengen Information System (SIS 1+) to the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) including the objective of establishing the legal framework governing the migration from the Schengen Information System in its current form (SIS 1+) to the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II). This will include a comprehensive test, with a view to demonstrating, in particular, that the level of performance of SIS II is at least equivalent to that achieved with SIS 1+.

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Improving Habitat Networks Locational Supplement

The European Commission (EC) has released information from European institutions and bodies regarding the Authorisation for State aid pursuant to Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty Cases where the Commission raises no objections (2008/C 97/02). The Forestry Grant Aid - improving Habitat Networks Locational Supplement aid scheme will provide aid to the foestry sector in Wales in the form of direct grants. Authorities will dispose of a budget of 1,40 million Pounds.

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TSE testing for sheep and goats for human consumption aid scheme

The European Commission (EC) has released information from European institutions and bodies regarding the Authorisation for State aid pursuant to Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty Cases where the Commission raises no objections (2008/C 97/01). One aid scheme focused on was the TSE testing for sheep and goats for human consumption scheme.

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