Ministerial Council of the Energy Community pushes further integration of electricity markets

On Friday, 27 June 2008 in Brussels, the Energy Community Ministerial Council addressed key issues for the functioning of electricity markets in South-East Europe. At this occasion, Commissioner Piebalgs declared: "Last week the European Council reiterated its full support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans and the importance of regional cooperation: the Energy Community is becoming a success story in this respect, but efforts should be pursued."

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Council Decision establishing a European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters

On the 23rd of June 2008, the European Commission presented proposal for a decision from the European Parliment and of the Council amending Council Decision 2001/470/EC establishing a European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters.

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Almost 60 international experts from 9 countries participate in a Seminar on Motorways of the Sea in Madrid

The Spanish Public Entity Puertos del Estado, hosted on June 26th a Seminar on the scope of the Western Europe Sea Transport and Motorways of the Sea, WEST-MOS. The project aims to make progress with the preparation and implementation of Motorways of the sea corridors in the Western area of Europe (West and South West European sea areas) and to provide a platform for co-ordination for the development of the Western European and South-Western European corridors of the Motorways of the sea.

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Commission acts on gender equality legislation

The Commission has today sent reasoned opinions to the Czech Republic, Greece and Poland for non-transposition of EU rules prohibiting discrimination in the access to and supply of goods and services (Directive 2004/113/EC). Member States have two months to respond. If they fail to reply or if the response is unsatisfactory, the Commission can decide to bring the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

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Energy revolution kick- off meeting

The first meeting of the Steering Group on the implementation of the Strategic Energy Technologies Plan (SET Plan) held on the 26th June 2008, will set the agenda for an EU energy technology policy. It will enhance the coordination of national and European research and innovation efforts to position the EU in the forefront of the low-carbon technologies markets. The first meeting of the Steering Group on the implementation of the Strategic Energy Technologies Plan (SET Plan) today will set the agenda for an EU energy technology policy. It will enhance the coordination of national and European research and innovation efforts to position the EU in the forefront of the low-carbon technologies markets.

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EC takes nine member states to Court over environmental liability

The European Commission has decided to refer nine Member States to the European Court of Justice for failing to transpose the EU directive on liability for damage to the environment into their domestic law. The deadline was 30 April 2007. The nine are Austria, Belgium (concerning the Brussels region only), Greece, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

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Maritime safety: the Commission takes measures against Italy and Slovakia

The Commission decided on the 26th June 2008, to send reasoned opinions to Italy for failure to adequately implement EU legislation on port State control of shipping and to Slovakia for failure to respect EU legislation on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for persons responsible for polluting discharges.

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Public consultation on Public Sector Information

The European Commission has recently published an online public consultation to gather information from stakeholders on the implementation, impact and scope of the Public Sector Information Directive of 2003, previous to the exam of this Directive. The consultation is open until 31 July 2008 and its results will feed into the review of the Directive.

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Agreement on the Spanish Rural Development Programme for the period 2007-2013

The Rural Development Committee, consisting of representatives of the 27 Member States, gave on June 25th. a positive opinion to the Rural Development programme of the Spanish national rural network for the financial period 2007-2013. Specific Rural Development programmes for each of the Spanish regions have already been approved.

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Commission consults on bringing down mobile phone tariffs in Europe

The European Commission started, on June 26th. 2008, a public consultation on the future regulation of "voice call termination rates" in the EU, based on a draft Commission Recommendation on termination rates. This consultation aims to spur competition among operators and lower phone charges for European consumers.

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Non-opposition to Iberia / ST Aerospace / JV concentration

The European Commission decided on June 10th. 2008, not to oppose the notified concentration between Iberia, ST Aerospace and JV, and to declare it compatible with the common market. This decision is based on Article 6.1 b.) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004.

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European Commission welcomes the Council agreement on the "Eurostars" Programme for Research-performing SMEs

On Monday 23rd of June, the Council of Ministers agreed to provide EUR 100 million from the EU's 7th Framework Programme (FP7) budget to Eurostars, a Research and Development (R&D) programme jointly set up by 31 countries to boost research capacities of Small and Medium-Sized companies (SMEs) in Europe. The EUR 100 million from FP7 will leverage at least EUR 300 million in public funding from the participating countries, resulting in a package of EUR 400 million for financing trans-national research partnerships driven research-performing SMEs in Europe.

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