EC grants 950 M€ for funding TEN-T Projects

The Directorate-General for Energy and Transport of the European Commission has launched on March 31st 2009 a set of Calls for Proposals in order to award grants to projects in the field of the Trans-European Transport Network for 2009.  Such Calls are launched both under the multi-annual work programme and annual work programme 2009, as well as under the European Economic Recovery Plan.

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The Council supports the Single European Sky

The Ministers of Transport have today confirmed the agreement on a set of far-reaching measures in the field of aviation. This package, which will be formally adopted by the Council in the coming weeks, makes the single European sky, makes the European Aviation Safety Agency is responsible for all the links of chain security of aviation and provides an impetus to the implementation of new technologies. Taken together, these measures will result in some flights safer, greener and cost tighter.

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Commission adopts overall plan and first implementation decision for €1 billion "Food Facility" for developing countries

The European Commission has adopted a € 314 million package of projects to support agriculture and improve the food security situation in 23 developing countries across the globe. This is the first financing decision in the framework of the € 1 billion Food Facility which was adopted at the end of last year as a response to the growing food security problems faced by many developing countries. The Commission also agreed to an overall plan for the use of the entire amount of the Facility, targeting 50 developing countries in total.

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EU launches European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy

On 2 April 2009 at the second High Level Conference on Counterfeiting and Piracy, Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, together with Members of the European Parliament, will launch a European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy. By enhancing cooperation across the EU, the Observatory will be at the forefront in the fight against fake goods or illegal downloading and other infringements of intellectual property rights. A wide range of stakeholders representing business, public administrations, enforcement and civil society are expected to attend the event.

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Call for action to to protect Europe from cyber-attacks and disruptions

Electronic communication services and networks provide the backbone of European economy. 93% of EU companies and 51% of Europeans actively used the internet in 2007. However natural disasters, terrorist attacks, malicious human action and hardware failure can pose serious risks to Europe's critical information infrastructures. Recent large scale attacks on Estonia, Lithuania and Georgia proved that essential electronic communication services and networks are under constant threat. Preparing Europe to act in case of major disruptions or attacks is the goal of a new strategy proposed today by the European Commission.

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High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries

The Directorate-General ‘Information Society and Media’ has set up a High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries with a Commission Decision of 25 March 2009 published in the Official Journal of the European Union (28.3.2009  L 82/9)

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EU calls for a global deal on climate change for the next UN negotiations

United Nations negotiations on the next climate change agreement, which will will be held in Bonn between March 29th and April 8th 2009, will be focused on making tangible progress towards an ambitious new global agreement. This new agreement, which would take effect in 2013, is due to be concluded at the Copenhagen U.N. climate conference in December.

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‘Your Europe – Business’, one step further to help SMEs to make cross border business

As part of the Small Business Act implementation, the Commission in close cooperation with Member States has established the new ‘Your Europe - Business’ portal, which gives entrepreneurs easy access to information on doing business in other EU Member States. This new portal has been re-launched in the occasion of the 7th European Business Summit which was held in Brussels between March 26th and 27th.

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EP calls for integral protection of fundamental rights on the Internet

The internet provides a previously unimaginable level of access to information about people's private lives, which unfortunately, can be abused by companies, intelligence services or even identity thieves. The European Parliament has issued a report highlighting actions against cybercriminals, but also ensuring guarantees for fundamental rights and privacy for internet users.

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Multilingualism: an asset for Europe

EU citizens must be helped and encouraged to learn languages other than their own if they are to derive full economic, social and cultural benefit from freedom of movement, says a report adopted by the European Parliament. An alternative resolution was adopted with 335 votes in favour, 279 against and 69 abstentions replacing the original report from the Culture Committee.

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European Parliament backs the Single European Sky package

The European Parliament adopted on March 25th 2009, the second legislative package for the Single European Sky (SES II), as a result of very fruitful discussions with the Czech Presidency. These measures will deliver safer, greener and more performing flights, with annual savings for airlines calculated around four billion euros by 2020. After EP's agreement, the Council should formalise the final adoption of the legislative package very soon.

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Commission publishes its Communication on the treatment of impaired assets in the EC banking sector

The European Commission has published in the Official Journal of the European Union on March 26th 2009, its Communication on on the treatment of impaired assets in the Community banking sector. In this Communication, the Commission puts forward its recommendations for Member states, highlighting the different envisageable approaches to deal with impaired assets, specially by assets purchase or assets insurances schemes.

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