A system to connect government in Europe

The European Commission has created an information network for exchange of data accessible from the Internet, allowing inter-administrative cooperation in the internal market, by allowing direct communication electronically.  It will be through an r ed European authorities and the development of an electronic multilingual information exchange.

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70% of ringtone-scam websites cleaned following EU investigation

Since June 2008, when initial checks took place, 301 websites were investigated by national enforcement authorities for serious breaches of EU consumer law. 70% of the 301 cases investigated, have now been resolved. 52% (159 websites) have been corrected and 17% (54 websites) have closed.

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Landmark step towards a truly global internet

At the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), the European Commission today has welcomed a landmark step towards a truly global (and local) internet: the announcement that "Internationalised Domain Names" will be introduced at the top level. Until now, internet domain names were either fully or partly in the Latin "a to z" alphabet. ICANN has announced that a fast track process would be launched today to open up country code top level domains (like ".eu" of europa.eu) to non Latin characters.

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Global increase in Corporate R&D investment with EU companies leading US and Japan in 2008

Worldwide corporate R&D investment increased by 6.9% in 2008, in spite of the economic crisis, according to the 2009 "EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard" published today. With an 8.1% increase, the R&D investment growth of EU companies', defined as companies having headquarters within the EU, is significantly higher than US ones for the second year, at 5.7%, and Japanese ones, at 4.4%.

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EU leaders meet in a special summit on top EU appointments

Ahead of the entry into force of the treaty of Lisbon, European heads of state and government will  have a working dinner in Brussels on 19 November to appoint the new EU's key posts.

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EU and Egypt step up cooperation on employment and social affairs

Vladimír Špidla, EU Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Commissioner, has travelled to Egypt to discuss cooperation with the EU on employment and social issues. The two sides have exchanged experiences on tackling the social impacts of the economic crisis and discuss progress towards social and employment objectives under the EU's neighbourhood policy.

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UE sets deadlines for budget deficitary cuts

The economic crisis has left many countries with budget deficits well over the 3% of Gross Domestic Product limit, a data that would have been unthinkable in most countries a year ago. The commission is proposing deadlines for reducing the gaps.

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EP proposes to start dialogue on visa liberalisation with Kosovo

Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina must catch up on the reforms needed to qualify for a short-stay visa waiver like those of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, said MEPs on Thursday. The European Commission should report on the two countries' progress early in 2010, and also start a dialogue on visas with Kosovo, they added.

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EU provides EUR 1 billion for trade facilitation in developing countries

The European Union has presented to the World Trade Organization the trade facilitation projects it has financed between 2006 and 2008. The review shows that the EU has spent EUR 1.01 billion on 95 projects related to capacity building and technical assistance. The projects have helped simplify import and export procedures, boosting the ability of developing countries to benefit from trade and open global markets. The projects are part of an overall commitment to Aid for Trade by the European Union worth more than EUR 7 billion every year.

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The European Ombudsman recorded more than 3,400 complaints in 2008

Parliament has given its annual verdict on the work done by the European Ombudsman over the previous year. In a report adopted on Thursday, MEPs call for more visibility for the Ombudsman's activities and point to the high number of complaints about a lack of transparency within the EU institutions.

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European parliament calls for joint EU action on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Plans to coordinate research across Europe on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s received strong backing from the European Parliament in a resolution adopted on Thursday. The aim is to pool skills, knowledge and funding and thus maximise the benefits of work being done in the 27 EU countries.

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EU on track to meet or over-achieve Kyoto emissions target

The EU is on track to deliver on its Kyoto Protocol commitments for reducing or limiting emissions of greenhouse gases, the Commission's annual progress report on emissions shows. The latest projections indicate that the EU-15 will meet its 8% reduction target under Kyoto; 10 of the 12 remaining Member States of the EU have also individual commitments under the protocol. It is projected that they will reduce their emissions to 6 or 8% below base year levels.

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