Extension of parental leave

Parents will be able to better combine work and family in the future, as on 30 November employment ministers agreed to strengthen the minimum requirements for parental leave. A new directive will give legal effect to a recent agreement between European employers and trade unions. All employees regardless of their type of contract will enjoy longer periods of leave and better protection against discrimination.

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Treaty of Lisbon comes into force

The Treaty of Lisbon enters into force today – 1 December 2009. The occasion will be marked by a ceremony in the City of Lisbon organised jointly by the Portuguese Government, the Swedish Presidency and the European Commission. The Commission believes that the new treaty provides significant new benefits for citizens and will settle the institutional debate for the foreseeable future. This will allow the European Union to fully concentrate on managing a smooth exit from the economic and financial crisis and pushing ahead with the 2020 strategy for greener growth.

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The European Communities awards EUR2 million to WTO training programmes for developing countries

The European Communities has donated 2 million eirps to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF) for the years 2010 and 2011.This last donation brings the EC's total contribution to the DDAGTF to CHF9.2 million.

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Simulation technology to prevent future financial crises

The European Commission has unveiled breakthrough research that could help economists answer questions about future economy through simulation software. Produced by an EU-backed research project worth €2.5 million that came to a successful end today, the software applies simulation technology also used for computer generated images (CGI) in movies. It predicts the interaction between large populations of different economic actors, like households and companies, banks and borrowers or employers and job-seekers, who trade, and compete like real people.

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EU27 surplus in trade in services fell to 78 bn euro in 2008

In 2008, EU27 external trade in services recorded a surplus of 78.4 billion euro, compared with a surplus of 86.9 bn in 2007 and a surplus of 71.4 bn in 2006, according to latest Eurostat release.

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Consumers: EU set to extend holiday travel protection

The Commission is consulting on extending the basic cover provided by EU’s 1990 Package Travel Directive – on information, liability for sub-standard services and protection for insolvency - to the next generation of ‘dynamic packages’ where consumers make up their own packages, often online, through one website or different partner websites. 23% of EU consumers, and over 40% in countries like Ireland, Sweden are now booking "dynamic packages", many of which currently fall outside EU protection rules.

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First anniversary of Small Business Act

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), EUROCHAMBRES, UEAPME and BUSINESSEUROPE are organising a conference on the first anniversary of the Small Business Act, to be held on Wednesday 2 December at the EESC

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President Barroso unveils his new team

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, has announced the portfolios responsibilities for the next Commission. The President has held detailed consultations with all the Commissioners-designate in order to assign the right jobs to the right people. The President believes that this team can deliver the agenda for change he set out in the political guidelines he presented in September, following his nomination by all 27 Member States and before his approval as President of the next Commission by the European Parliament.

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The Joint Research Centre studies interaction in Web 2.0

A report published on 19 November by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) says that the growth of Web 2.0 is allowing Internet users to play an important role in the way that commercial and public products and services are shaped and used.

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53,8 million to improve higher education

European Commission has published a call for proposals in the framework of trans-european cooperation scheme for higher education through international university cooperation Tempus. Proposals for this call are accepted until 9 March, 2010. 

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Commissioners designate for the next Commission

Member states have presented their nominees to be Commissioner. After being re-elected as President of the Commission, José Manuel Barroso will have now to proceed with the allocation of portfolios.

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European young people show their creativity

100 young people between 15 and 18 years took part a 24-hour contest in Brussels.The purpose of the special European Innovation & Creativity Camp is to help young people develop the traits and skills they’ll need to be competitive employees or entrepreneurs in the future

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