EC approves State aid scheme for inland waterway transport in the Czech Republic

The European Commission authorised on the 20th of May 2008, a Czech State aid scheme to operators of inland waterway freight transport vessels. The aid has a total budget of CZK 443.5 million (EUR 17.33 million) and will be co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund.

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EC releases a list of more than 15000 cosmetics ingredients

The European Commission has launched a new online database of the ingredients used in cosmetic products making it easier for companies to find up-to-date information on substances needed to develop new cosmetics or to improve existing ones. Companies will no longer have to search through various documents to get the full picture. EU law on cosmetic products is now more accessible and transparent and this will make life easier for companies and reduce costs. It will also facilitate market surveillance by the Competent Authorities and contribute to the safety of cosmetic products.

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EC updates rules on guarantees and provides simplified possibilities for SMEs

The European Commission has adopted a new Notice on state aid in the form of guarantees. The text sets out clear and transparent methodologies to calculate the aid element in a guarantee and provides simplified rules for SMEs, including predefined safe-harbour premiums and single premium rates for low-amount guarantees. The new Notice was foreseen in the State Aid Action Plan as part of the Commission's efforts to clarify and simplify the state aid rules.

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Fines imposed for infingements in Dutch beer market

On the 20th May 2008, the European Commission has published a summary of the Commission Decision relating an infrigement within the Dutch beer markeyt by six main players. These are InBev NV, InBev Nederland NV, Heineken NV, Heineken Nederland BV, Koninklijke Grolsch NV and Bavaria NV.

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Implementation of Calls for Proposals for the research programme for the Research Fund for Coal and Steel

Along with the new Resaerch programme for for the research fund for coal and steel, the European Commission has created an open and continuous call for proposals. Unless otherwise specified, the deadline for submission of proposals will be the 15th September of each year.

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New research programme for the research fund for coal and steel

On the 20th May 2008 the European Commission publsihed official notification of the Council decision from the 29th April 2008 for the adoption of The Research Programme for the Research Fund for Coal and Steel.

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By 2010, 50% of the public procurements will be concluded electronically

Wednesday, February 27, 2007, the Romanian Government approved the Decision regarding the modification and completion of the Norms of application concerning the electronic attribution of public procurement contracts of the Government's Emergency Ordinance no 34/2006 regarding the attribution of public procurement contracts, of contracts for concession of public works and of contracts for service concession, approved by the Government decision no 1660/2006.

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European E-Skills 2008 Conference

The successful implementation of a long term e-skills strategy is of great importance within the renewed Lisbon strategy and as part of lifelong learning strategies and the Recommendation on key competences. This challenge will be discussed at the forthcoming European e-Skills 2008 Conference “Implementing a long term e-skills strategy in Europe”. Participation at the conference is free of charge but on invitation only. Pre-registration is mandatory and will be open until 30 June 2008.

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Dragon programme extended

The Dragon Programme, a collaborative venture between the People's Republic of China and the European Space Agency (ESA), has generated significant results in the area of earth observation (EO) satellite data.

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Why does the EU need a Maritime Day?

Europe has almost 70,000 km of coastline, and the maritime regions of the EU represent some 40% of both its population and its economy (GDP). Yet one of the key results of the year-long consultation which preceded the launch of the new Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) was the pervasive sense among maritime stakeholders that the role of the maritime – whether on the economic, social or cultural level – is not widely understood or appreciated.

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4th Plenary Meeting of the European Security Research and Innovation Forum

The European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF), a public-private partnership on security research and innovation, is holding its 4th plenary meeting from 19 to 21 May 2008 at the JRC in Ispra.

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Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with Israel

On the 17 of May 2005, the European Commission published its proposal for a decision on the signing and provisional application of a Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part, on a framework Agreement between the
European Community and the State of Israel on the general principles governing the State of Israel’s participation in Community programmes.

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