Could a European network of biobanks help to develop treatments for complex diseases?

Supported by the seventh Framework Programme, a seminar to explore the challenges and requirements to create a European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) and the development of new cures for complex diseases will take place at the EU Parliament (Salon des Membres, Brussels) on 28th May 2008.

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EC Non-opposition to a notified concentration between Delta Lloyd and Swiss Life Belgium

On the 24th of May, the European Commission published in the Official Journal its decision dating back to 29 April 2008 when the Commission decided not to oppose the notified concentration between Delta Lloyd and Swiss Life Belgium. The concentration was declared compatible with the common market.

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More than 100 experts meet in Valladolid to discuss Rural Development

On the 22nd and 23rd May 2008, Valladolid hosted over 100 professionals who took part in an internation seminar on Rural Development. The "Present and future of territorial Rural development: somewhere overthere in 2013" seminar brought together sector leaders to share their knowldege and experiences, identify common resources and searach for the tool which will allow each and everyone of them to work more efficiently, make our rural space more valuable and optimize the resources that are available.

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What are the ingredients for successful growth in developing countries?

Developing countries can achieve fast, sustained, equitable growth if they take advantage of opportunities in the global economy and have committed leaders. Those are among the messages in a report that Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, and Nobel Laureate Michael Spence present today in Brussels. The 'Growth Report: Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development' concludes two years of work by the Commission on Growth and Development. Commissioner Hübner was a member of this group, created under the auspices of the World Bank, and chaired by Professor Spence. The report identifies distinctive characteristics of successful growth, using 13 high-growth economies since 1950 as examples, and explores how developing countries can emulate them.

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Cross-border electronic Procurement in the EU

The European Commission is moving a step closer to making it easier for companies, in particular Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), to bid for public sector contracts anywhere in the EU; a crucial step towards achieving the Single European Market. The Commission will co-finance a pilot project, driven by eight European countries that will create the conditions to link existing national electronic public procurement (e-procurement) systems.

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Improving the safety and environmental performance of vehicles

The European Commission proposes that all new cars from 2012 will have Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems, to drastically improve vehicle safety. Furthermore lorries and other heavy vehicles should be fitted with Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Systems as of 2013.

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Emissions of CO2 from businesses in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) increase by 0.68%

Overall emissions of CO2 from businesses in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) increased by 0.68% in 2007 when adjusted for changes in the number of installations covered, according to the information provided by Member State registries.

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EU-funded project develops soil regeneration method

The EU-funded CLEANSOIL project has developed a method for the regeneration of contaminated soil in situ. The method was successfully tested on soils in Russia and Ukraine, which have been heavily polluted with petrochemical residues and pesticides, proving particularly effective in removing the latter.

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Parliment asks Turkey to reenergise its reform plans

In its latest progress report on Turkey, adopted by a large majority of 467 for, 62 against and 61 abstentions, the European Parliament welcomes recent legislative activities in the country, while insisting that the speed of reforms must pick up. The own-initiative report, drawn up by Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP-ED, NL), "welcomes the commitment of Prime Minister Erdogan that 2008 is going to be the year of reforms" and "urges the Turkish government to fulfil its promises" by implementing them.

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EIB visit to broaden activity in Brazil

Brazil is the main Latin American beneficiary country of EIB loans for investment in productive activities and the largest recipient of EU foreign direct investment in the region. The EIB has so far extended 24 loans totalling EUR 1.4 billion, representing some 48% of its entire activity in Latin America. The diversified portfolio of EIB financing operations in Brazil directly supports private sector investment. Among the main investments supported are those of Vivo, Continental, Michelin, Pirelli, TIM, Telefónica, Itaú-BBA, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Veracel, as well as the Bolivia-Brazil gas pipeline.

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Commission decision on Broadband Wireless Access in Europe

The Commission adopted on 21 May, in line with the rules of the EU's regulatory framework for electronic communications of 2002, a decision on the harmonisation of the 3400-3800 MHz frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing electronic communications services in the Community.

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Simplification of metrology directives

Latest news from the  Enterprise & Industry DG is to Simplification of metrology directives. Measuring instruments are essential to ensure accuracy of measurement, notably for transactions by consumers and industry in every day life: examples include water meters, taximeters, electricity meters and weighing machines. Concerns have been expressed about eight  technical rules used for regulating measuring instruments used for tasks requiring legal metrological control, are not easily adaptable to technological progress and therefore risk hindering innovation.

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