".eu" domain available in all official EU languages

From today, European citizens, businesses and organisations can register .eu website names using characters from all 23 official languages of the European Union. This was made possible thanks to new EU rules adopted by the Commission in June 2009.

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EIB finances expansion of Port of Barcelona

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a EUR 150 million loan for expanding the Port of Barcelona. EIB Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa and the Chairman of the Barcelona Port Authority, Jordi Valls, signed the finance contract in Barcelona on December 9

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Changes to EU thresholds on public purchasing

The EU has revised the contract value thresholds, above which its rules on public purchasing apply, with effect from January 2010.

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Competitiveness Council pushes research agenda

The simplification of research programmes in Europe was the focal point for the research ministers of the 27 European Member States at the 2982nd Competitiveness Council meeting on 3 December in Brussels. They also discussed the goals to be set out in the post-2010 Lisbon Strategy, and interaction between research and research-based innovation.

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Over €1,5bn for sustainable energy projects

The Commission has approved 15 energy projects which will significantly contribute to the economic recovery of the EU, while increasing our security of energy supply and substantially reduce CO2 emissions. With today's decision, the Commission grants €1 billion to six Carbon Capture and Storage projects and €565 million to nine offshore wind energy projects.

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Published standards for the institutional functioning of the new EU

The Official Journal of the European Union of December 9, 2009 has issued five decisions which detail the rules on the exercise of the Presidency of the Council, and on the chairmanship of preparatory bodies of the Council, and the conditions of employment  of new EU leaders, just as the appointment of the Secretary General of the Council of the EU.

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50% europeans use the internet daily

In the EU27, 65% of households had access to the internet during the first quarter of 2009, compared with 60% during the first quarter of 2008, and 56% had a broadband internet connection in 2009, compared with 49% in 2008. One person in two in the EU27 uses the internet daily, while for young people the proportion is three quarters

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“European Master's in Translation ” network is up and running

The “European Master's in Translation ” (EMT) network is holding its constitution meeting in Brussels on 8 and 9 December. The member universities providing translator training programmes get together to establish the network's governance structure and to plan which competences a professional translator of the future may need.

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Ljubljana designated as seat of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators

Member States have decided that the new Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) will have its seat in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This decision paves the way for the timely setting up of the Agency and thus the effective implementation of the Third Legislative Package on the Liberalisation of the Energy Markets.

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Commission launches on-line vote for the new EU Organic Logo

Starting today, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development invites all Europeans to cast their vote in the final stage of the EU organic logo competition. The new logo aims to enhance consumer protection and promote organic farming.

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The Council publishes a recommendation on smoking

The Official Journal of the European Union on December 5, 2009 reflects the issuance of a recommendation by the EU Council on smoke-free environments in the Member States

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World leaders meet at Copenhagen Climate Conference

World best experts in environment, ministers and heads of state and non-governmental organizations of the 192 member countries of the UNFCCC will beet at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, between December 7 and December 18, 2009. This will be the last conference to prepare the post-Kyoto. For the first time, the United States will be present.

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