The EU Roaming Regulation – One Year On

Today is the anniversary of the EU Roaming Regulation, which entered into force on 30th June 2007. Since then, the introduction of the Eurotariff has led to savings of up to 60% for consumers using their mobile phone to make and receive calls abroad within the EU (roaming). They will benefit from further reductions by 30 August as prices will be capped at €0.46 for making calls and €0.22 for receiving calls for the coming year. The European Commission is now assessing whether there have been satisfactory developments in the prices of data roaming (including SMS and MMS) before deciding on whether the Regulation needs to be extended to also cover these services. A deadline set by Commissioner Reding in February to the mobile industry for voluntary reductions of roaming prices for text messages and mobile data services expires today, close of business.

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Prior notification of a concentration between Arsenal and DSP

On 17 June 2008, the Commission received a notification of a proposed concentration following a referral pursuant to Article 22(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (1) by which the undertaking Arsenal Capital Partners (‘Arsenal’, USA) via Arsenal Capital Partners QPII (‘ACP QPII’) and DAC Acquisition BV acquires within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Council Regulation control of the whole of the undertaking DSM Special Products BV (‘DSP’ the Netherlands) belonging to the Royal DSM NV (‘DSM’, the Netherlands) by way of purchase of shares.

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Europe and US sign aviation agreement to improve safety and cut costs

As of the 30th June 2008, aviation relations between the European Community and the United States will be further strengthened through an agreement on aviation safety. Thanks to the mutual recognition of aviation safety certificates, the agreement will result in better harmonised safety systems on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as less cumbersome technical and administrative procedures for the recognition of certificates. It is expected that this will entail further improvement in safety levels and reduce costs by several millions of euros every year for European and US manufacturers alike. These savings should in turn be reflected in fares for passengers.

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Erasmus programme "Chemical Engineering Medal" from the University of Valladolid, Spain

The EU’s Erasmus Programme, which promotes student and staff exchanges in higher education, has been awarded the "Chemical Engineering Medal" from the University of Valladolid, Spain. The award, handed over on 27 June 2008, is a recognition of the programme's contribution to academic and professional performance in chemical engineering, a section of Valladolid's university in which almost 80 % of students participate in an Erasmus exchange. This is already the second award Erasmus received in Spain this year.

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First ERC Advanced Grants competition

For the first call for ERC Advanced Grants, in total 2167 proposals were submitted to the three domain deadlines throughout spring. 766 proposals were submitted in the domain of "Life Sciences and Medicine", 997 in "Physical Sciences and Engineering" and 404 in "Social Science and Humanities".

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European Police Science and Research Bulletin

CEPOL is taking a further step in supporting training and education of police officers on the European level by launching the “European Police Science and Research Bulletin” as a periodical in electronic format.

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The Commission welcomes the agreement on the electricity link between France and Spain

On the 27th June 2008, Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Energy, hailed the agreement between Mr Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain, and Mr Fillon, Prime Minister of France, to complete the electricity connection between France and Spain as soon as possible thanks to decisive action on the part of Mario Monti, the European Coordinator.

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Ministers give green light to EUROSTARS and assisted living programmes

The Council of Ministers has given the green light to two new pan-European research programmes. The 'Ambient assisted living' (AAL) programme will draw on information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve the quality of life of the elderly, while the EUROSTARS programme aims to support the research activities of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

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Business Link is the newest aid published by EC on the 27th June 2008

The programme is due to manage of agricultural (animal and plant) production GBP 142 million across all sectors of which an estimated maximum of of GBP 15 million will be used for activities related to farming and started on the 27th OF Obtober 2007.

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Development aid: spending better and spending more

Improvements in the use of official development aid must not serve as an excuse for Member States to reduce the level of aid they give, argued MEPs and national MPs at a joint meeting on cooperation policy at the EP on Thursday. The food crisis and the impact of EU enlargement on its development policy were also discussed.

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Albania joins EU innovation & competitiveness programme

Albania is the fifth country of the group of EU candidate and potential candidate countries to join an important part of the EU's Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) Under the CIP, the European Commission promotes innovation, entrepreneurship and growth in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Today, European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen and Mr Genc Ruli, Minister for Economy, Trade and Energy of the Republic of Albania, signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising the Republic’s entry to the EIP, the entrepreneurship and innovation pillar of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

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Internet phone calls getting popular in European homes

An EU-wide survey of 27,000 households has revealed the emergence of new consumption patterns in telecoms services in Europe.

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