Council adopts Framework Decision on mutual recognition between MS to judgements and probation decisions

The Council of the European Union has published in the Official Journal of the European Union the Council Framework Decision 2008/947/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgements and probation decisions with a view to the supervision of probation measures and alternative sanctions. This Decisions aims to enhance the prospects of the sentenced person’s being reintegrated into society, by enabling that person to preserve some personal ties, but also to improve monitoring of compliance with probation measures and alternative sanctions.

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European social partners to tackle work-related stress

Representatives of employers and workers at EU-level presented a report on how they have implemented their framework agreement on work-related stress. Stress is a serious work- related health problem and considered the primary cause of lost working days in Europe. The objective of the agreement is for workers and employers to work together at better identifying, preventing and managing stress.

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Updated lists of Contracting Authorities in order to increase transparency in EU public procurement

The European Commission has updated the lists of Contracting Authorities and utilities that have to follow EU public procurement rules. The lists will give citizens and businesses the opportunity to identify which public authorities in the EU have to submit their public contracts to EU-wide tender procedures.

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112 European Emergency number already connected in all MS

People can now reach emergency services from anywhere in the EU, simply by dialling 112, the single European emergency number. Now that 112 can be called from any phone in Bulgaria, it has achieved complete availability just before the Christmas period when thousands of people travel between EU Member States. It also crowns the combined efforts of the European Commission and EU Member States to make 112 fully available everywhere so that Europeans will always have a lifeline in the EU.

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Czech Republic prepares to take over EU Presidency

At the end of the year, the French Presidency of the EU will draw to a close and the Czech Republic will take over the reins for the first time since it joined the EU in 2004. With occasion of the celebration of the European Conference on Research Infrastructures (ECRI2008) held in Versailles (France), Czech Vice-Minister for Education, Youth and Sports, Vlastimil Ruzicka, presented his country's plans in the fields of higher education and research for the first half of 2009.

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EU Council reaches a historic agreement on climate change package

The last European Council under French presidency, chaired by  the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, was held in Brussels on December 11th and 12th. A historic agreement was reached on climate protection and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The Council also reached an agreement on the European economic recovery plan, the Lisbon Treaty and the European Security and Defence Policy.

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Commission clarifies rules on complementary State aid to Motorways of the Sea

The European Commission published on December, 12th, in the Official Journal of the European Union, a Communication setting up the rules which will guide the complimentary aids granted by Member States for the launching of the motorways of the sea. Following them, if Community funding is available but not sufficient to fully support the projects, Member States may fill the funding gap.

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EC publishes a vulnerability assessment on challenges facing regions in 2020

European Commissioner for regional policy, Danuta Hübner, presented on December, 9th, the findings of the "Regions 2020" report, which provides a first prospective analysis of the likely regional impact of four of the biggest challenges facing Europe: globalisation, demographic trends, climate change and energy use and supply.

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Commission gets money back from undue CAP expenditure

A total of 528.5 M€ of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States will be claimed back as a result of a decision adopted by the European Commission. The money returns to the Community budget because of inadequate control procedures or non-compliance with EU rules on agricultural expenditure.

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EC launches public call for tenders to rank EU universities

This initiative builds on earlier EU-funded work on mapping the different strengths and missions of universities and responds to an invitation by the French Presidency of the EU to explore and test the feasibility of a new ranking system for higher education and research institutions in Europe, in comparison with other world regions. The first results of the envisaged pilot project will be available in the first half of 2011.

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EP Economic Affairs Committee approves increase in bank deposit guarantee

If a European bank fails, citizens' savings should be guaranteed up to €100,000, said the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs on December 8th, endorsing a Commission proposal to raise the deposit guarantee to this amount. The committee also proposed that holders should be given faster access to their deposits in emergencies and that a mechanism should be established for cross-border cooperation in the event of another economic crisis.

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EC delivers new guidelines on Mobile TV within the EU

The European Commission has taken a decisive step towards the promotion of competitive Mobile TV services in the EU. It has published a set of guidelines for the authorisation of Mobile TV to accelerate roll-out of the service across Europe. Mobile TV revenues worldwide are expected to reach more than €7.8 billion in 2013.

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