Prior notification of a concentration between Stena and Ballingslöv.

On the 23rd June 2008 the European Commission published in the Official Journal Prior notification of a concentration between Stena and Ballingslöv.

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Prior notification of a concentration between Altor Fund II Equity Partners and Akers Group.

Just published in the Official Journal of the European Union, is Prior notification of a concentration between Altor Fund II Equity Partners and Akers Group.

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Budapest wins race for EIT seat

The headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) will be hosted by Budapest. A decision taken by the science ministers of all EU Member States on 18 June selected the Hungarian capital over four other bids. The Hungarian government welcomed the agreement and said it was a great success for the country.

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Towards a European Charter on the Rights of Energy Consumers

MEPs adopted a report on "Towards a European Charter on the Rights of Energy Consumers" which underlines the potential added value of the Charter as an information tool collecting, consolidating the energy rights of consumers as already adopted in the existing EU legislation. MEPs call on Member States to invest as a priority in energy efficiency measures for low-income households, thereby addressing in a strategic manner both the problem of fuel poverty and the "20% by 2020" energy efficiency.

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New collaboration agreement with CEA on nuclear science and technology

A new collaboration agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community, represented by the JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM), and the Centre à Énergie Atomique (CEA, FR) will significantly advance cooperative research in domains of common interest: high level nuclear waste minimization and management, safety of advanced reactor concepts and fuel cycles and issues in basic nuclear science.

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Trade and investment will be the key topics of the 3rd meeting of the Chine-EU Round Table

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the China Economic and Social Council (CESC) co-organise the 3rd Meeting of the China-EU Round Table. This Meeting will take place on 23/26 June in Beijing and will be co-chaired by Mr. Wang Zhonyu, President of the CESC and by Mr. Dimitris Dimitriadis, President of the EESC.

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Further steps to cut red tape and make life easier for small businesses

Cutting administrative burdens in Europe is gathering speed thanks to the Action Programme put in place in 2007. In addition to the impressive progress at EU level, 17 Member States have now set national reduction targets (from - 20 to 30% by 2012) compared to only six countries a year ago.

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Gap between domestic and cross-border e-commerce grows wider, says EU report

EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva announced on the 20th June 2008, the results of a new EU wide survey on e-commerce and cross border trade. The figures show that even though e-commerce is taking off at national level, cross-border e-commerce is failing to keep pace. From 2006 to 2008, the share of all EU consumers that have bought at least one item over the internet has increased significantly (from 27% to 33%) whilst cross border e-commerce is stable (6% to 7%). The pattern is similar for those with internet access at home - 56% of consumers with internet at home have made a purchase (in any country including their own) by e-commerce compared to 50% in 2006, while only 13% (of those with internet access at home) made a cross-border e-commerce purchase compared to 12% in 2006.

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Europe-wide truck tour brings anti-discrimination message to 20 cities

On the 21st June 2008, Commissioner Vladimír Špidla will launch the 2008 ‘For Diversity. Against Discrimination.’ truck tour as part of the EU's Europe-wide anti-discrimination information campaign. The tour will kick off at the United Islands of Prague music festival (Czech Republic), where 20,000 visitors are expected – before going on to visit 20 cities in 10 different EU countries over the next four months. The initiative – now in its fifth year – aims to raise awareness of the right to a life free of discrimination and has so far reached half a million people. The campaign aims in 2008 to build on the success of the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, to which its activities last year were closely linked.

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Way forward for the Black Sea Synergy

The Commission has presented, on the 20th June 2008, a Report on the progress achieved during the first year of the Black Sea Synergy initiative, which was launched in April 2007. The initial results show the practical benefits this new regional approach can bring, and its potential for the future.

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Commissioner Louis Michel welcomes EU decision to lift diplomatic measures on Cuba

European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, has welcomed the unanimous decision by EU member states to fully lift measures on Cuba. This decision to lift the diplomatic measures, which have already been suspended since January 2005, allows the EU to fully re-engage in a political dialogue with Havana.

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Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of June 2008

The Agriculture & Fisheries Council will meet in Luxembourg on Monday 23 (starting at 2 p.m.) and Tuesday 24 June (starting 9.30 a.m.), under the Presidency of Mr Iztok Jarc, Slovenian Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Food. Commissioners Mariann Fischer Boel, Androulla Vassiliou and Joe Borg will represent the Commission at the meeting.

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