EC reports progress on FP7: a good start so far

The European Commission has put forward a report assessing the progress made in implementing FP7, also pointing put what still remains to be done to fully reach its original objectives. This report provides a basis for the 2010 Interim Evaluation of the programme, for which the Commission will seek advice from an independent expert group, and for further political discussions in the Council, the Parliament and with stakeholders.

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EU steps up concerted action on novel flu virus

The Commission is leading EU Member States' coordination efforts to exchange information on surveillance, case definition and measures taken by EU countries to respond to this novel flu virus. The situation is changing rapidly and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is monitoring the situations on a continuous basis. The Commission holds daily audio meetings with the EU's Health Security Committee and national contact points of the Early Warning Rapid Alert System (EWRS) with the aim of adopting a common guidance document on managing the novel flu virus. This will include information on the case definition, advice to travellers and management of cases.

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Slovakia in the EU: 5th aniversary

Five years ago, this central-european country started being part of the European Union. Now, the city of Kosice hosts the  "Five years of reaching to the stars".

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The Norwegian Opera & Ballet wins the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced that Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo, Norway by Snøhetta is the winner of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2009. The Jury also awarded a Special Mention for an Emerging Architect to Lea Pelivan and Toma Plejic STUDIO UP for Gymnasium 46° 09' N / 16° 50' E, in Koprivnica, Croatia. By supporting the prize, the European Commission underlines the role of architecture as a driver for creativity and innovation, opens up culture to audiences beyond national borders and draws attention to the European professionals' contribution in the development of new ideas and technologies that impact Europeans' everyday life.

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Crisis recovery focuses EU preliminary draft budget 2010

Economic recovery is at the heart of next year’s spending, as put forward by the preliminary draft budget for 2010 adopted by the Commission on April 29th, with €139bn expenditure. The proposal channels the biggest share of funds (45%) into growth and employment measures to help restore competitiveness across the Union. Funds for major programmes linked to research and energy will increase by more than 12% and cash for cohesion policy will grow too, with the EU-12 set to receive 52% of cohesion and Structural Funds. All headings in the budget will see an increase, reaching a total of €138.6bn in commitments (1.18% of GNI) and €122.3bn in payments (1.04% of GNI).

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EC adopts the second implementation decision under EU "Food Facility" for Developing Countries

The European Commission has adopted a € 394 million package of projects to support agriculture and improve the food security situation in developing countries. This is the second 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 in many developing countries.

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Up to 2.8 M€ for actions in the field of lifelong learning

The European Commission has launched two calls for proposals under the Lifelong Learning’ Programme aiming at the award of grants for actions to develop and implement the European Qualifications Framework (Eqf), including national and sectoral qualifications frameworks, on one hand, an to provide support for European cooperation in education and training. Interested applicants can submit their applications by August 14th 2009.

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European Inventors of the year: Gifted guardians of life and the environment

Two major concerns of citizens – health and environment - were the big winners when the European Commission and the European Patent Office (EPO) presented the 2009 European Inventor of the Year awards, in Prague. Honoured were 4 inventions: a drug to combat chronic myelogenous leukaemia, a malaria drug based on an herbal agent, enabling the commercial use of solar energy and a highly efficient heat exchanger.

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Ministers of the 46 Bologna countries meet in Belgium

Ten years after the historical Bologna Declaration that resharped European higher education, another ministerial conference will take place in Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), hosted by the Benelux Ministers in charge of this area. The meeting aims to to take stock of the achievements of the Bologna Process, set a new agenda, and agree priorities for the European Higher Education Area for the next decade up to 2020

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European Commission launches competition to create a new EU organic logo

Organic food meets fresh design: The European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development is inviting all design and art students from the 27 EU Member States to enter the EU-wide organic logo competition. The competition offers a prize that money just can’t buy: The winning logo will be introduced as the official logo for organic products throughout the European Union in July 2010.

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MEPs call for stricter legislation to protect citizens from the effects of profiling

At a time when our personal data is accumulating on the internet and in databases, a Parliamentary report warns against the dangers of 'profiling' of European citizens on the basis of criteria such as ethnicity, religion, gender or age, especially by the police. MEPs warn against the excesses of the system and call on Member States to shed light onto these practices. The report was adopted with 372 votes in favour, 12 against and 17 abstentions.

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A new era of EU youth policies

The Commission has adopted a new EU strategy for youth policy for the coming decade. Entitled "Youth – Investing and Empowering", the new strategy acknowledges the fact that young people are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, especially in the current economic and financial crisis, and in our ageing society, young people are a precious resource. The new strategy is cross-sectoral, with both short and long-term actions, which involve key policy areas that affect Europe's young people, particularly youth education, employment, creativity and entrepreneurship, social inclusion, health and sport, civic participation, and volunteering.

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