EU cuts off greenhouse gas emissions for third consecutive year

The emissions inventory compiled by the European Environment Agency for 2007, the latest year for which complete data is available, shows that EU-15 emissions dropped by 1.6% from 2006 while the economy grew by 2.7 %. The reduction takes EU-15 emissions to 5.0% below their levels in the base year (1990 in most cases). This puts the EU-15 well on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol target of reducing emissions in the 2008-2012 period to an average of 8% below the base year level.

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EC issues SAPARD annual report 2007

The report covers both 2006 and 2007 due to the limited activities under Sapard during in particular 2006, the completion of the programmes of the eight new Member States and problems encountered with the implementation of Sapard in Bulgaria  and Romania, which started in 2007. Implementation in Bulgaria and Romania will be further dealt with in the Sapard annual report 2008, which is under preparation.

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EC issues rules for exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items

The Official Journal of the European Union has published on May 29th 2009, Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, of May 5th 2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. An effective common system of export controls on dual-use items is necessary to ensure that the international commitments and responsibilities of the Member States and of the European Union, are complied with, especially those regarding non-proliferation.

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EC launches second phase of “HELP for a life without tobacco” campaign

On May 31st, to mark the World No Tobacco Day, Commission will launch the second phase of its ‘HELP for a life without tobacco’ campaign. Three new TV spots will be shown on over 100 TV channels across Europe for one month and repeated during the month of September. These TV spots, developed with young people, use humour to deliver three serious messages: don’t start smoking, how to quit smoking and dangers of second hand smoke.

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Commission delivers its list of achievements for the last five years

On the eve of the Parliament elections the European Commission has set out its record of achievement. Among these achievements, the Commission has made the re-unified European Union work to the benefit of its citizens and has brought increased stability and prosperity to a Union of 27 Member States. It has responded decisively to the financial and economic crisis, and has implemented an integrated approach to fighting climate change and securing energy supply. The Commission has sought to shape globalisation so that it is inclusive, better regulated and reflects European values.

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Council publishes new strategic framework for EU cooperation in education and training “ET 2020”

After the meeting of the Education, Youth and Culture Council, held on May 12th, the new strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020’) has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union on May 28th. The framework outlines EU cooperation to meet four strategic objectives in this area and establishes reference levels to be attained in specific areas by 2020.

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Amendments on the Common Consular Instructions on visas

To ensure the reliable verification and identification of applicants, it is necessary to process biometric data in the Visa Information System (VIS) and to provide for a legal framework for the collection of these biometric identifiers. This is the general objective of Regulation nº 390/2009, published in the OJEU on May 28th, and which amends the Common Consular Instructions on visas for diplomatic missions and consular posts in relation to the introduction of biometrics including provisions on the organisation of the reception and processing of visa applications.

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The OJEU publishes directives and regulations of the Maritime Security Package

The Official Journal of the European Union has published in its issue of May 28, 2009 two regulations and six directives setting the new legal framework for maritime transport and port legislation of European Union.
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New EU-Russia cooperation agreement on fisheries for the Baltic Sea

The Community and the Government of the Russian Federation have negotiated and initialled an Agreement on cooperation in fisheries and the conservation of the living marine resources in the Baltic Sea. This Agreement, published in the OJEU on May 28th 2009, provides for a close cooperation between both Parties on the basis of the principle of equitable and mutual benefit for the purpose of conservation, sustainable exploitation and management of any straddling, associated and dependent stocks in the Baltic Sea.

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Four films supported by EU Media winners at Cannes

"White Ribbon", directed by Michael Haneke and funded by the Media Programme, won the Palme d'Or of the French festival. This Austrian, French, German and Italian co-production was not the only European player of the festival: European film received three other major awards.

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Council adopts EU Blue Card Directive

The Council of the European Union adopted on May 25th the so-called “Blue-Card Directive”, a directive aimed at facilitating conditions of entry and residence in the EU of third-country citizens for the purpose of highly qualified employment. The Blue Card will facilitate access to the labour market to their holders and will entitle them to a series of socio-economic rights and favourable conditions for family reunification and movement across the EU.

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EU raises the limit to medium-term financial assistance for balances of payments to 50 billion €

The Official Journal of the European Union has published on May 27th 2009 Regulation nº 431/2009 of May 18th 2009, amending Regulation (EC) nº 332/2002 establishing a facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States' balances of payments. This amendment increases the limit for loans to be granted to Member States which have not adopted the Euro top 50 billion Euro in principal.

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