Commission opens a public consultation on the European Interoperability Strategy

The European Commission Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens (IADBC) has announced the opening of a public consultation on the European Interoperability Strategy (EIS). The consultation opened on the 23rd February 2010 and closes on the 6th April 2010.

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More power for European Parliament, more resources needed

Funding for 150 new posts in the European Parliament and an increase in the budget provision for hiring MEPs' assistants was approved by Parliament on Thursday. Due to Parliament's vastly increased powers and tasks under the Lisbon Treaty, extra staff are needed in Parliament's political groups, its administration, and to work with MEPs.

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Economic recovery in the EU is still fragile

Commission expects GDP in the EU to gradually return to pre-recession levels. But the economy still faces headwinds. The longest and deepest recession in EU history came to an end in the third quarter of 2009 as real GDP started to grow again. But as was expected, growth slowed in the last quarter of the year.

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The Commission reaffirms its commitment to supporting children protection online

Within the multi-year programme on child protection in the use of Internet and other communication technologies, Safer Internet, the Commission has launched a call for proposals calling to suggest actions that could fund the programme. Interested parties may submit their proposals until May 27th, 2010.

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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, potentially incompatible with EU data protection regime


The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has adopted an opinion on current EU objective of adopting a new multilateral agreement to strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights and to combat counterfeiting and piracy (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - ACTA).


 

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Helga Nowotny named as new ERC President

Austrian social scientist Professor Helga Nowotny has been named as the new President of the European Research Council (ERC) and Chair of the ERC Scientific Council. Professor Nowotny will take up her new role on 1 March.

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EC raises preliminary antitrust inquiry on Google

The European Commission has recently notified Google about the complaints received from three companies, the UK site Foundem, the French legal search engine ejustice.fr, as well as Microsoft's ciao! from Bing. Following these complaints the Commission has risen a preliminary antitrust inquiry on Google about eventual anti-competitive practices.

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Iceland deemed ready for EU membership talks

The EU should start formal talks with Iceland on its application to join the bloc, says a commission report on the country's suitability for membership. The report also stresses the efforts that the country should make before joinning the EU.

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EU to expand Operation Atalanta and will begin training Somalia's security forces

The ministers of Defence of the European Union agreed on Wednesday to expand the objectives of Operation Atalanta to include control of Somali ports where pirate ships are based, as well as the possibility of "neutralising" the mother ships that allow the pirates to operate more than 1,000 km from the coast.

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England & Wales Court of Appeal asks ECJ to rule on seizure of “counterfeit goods ” in transit through EU

The England & Wales Court of Appeal has brought to the European Court of Justice a question referring to the Case C-495/09, where Nokia Corporation pleads its right for the seizure of counterfeit goods coming from a non-Member State to another non-Member State.

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A stronger EU border management agency

The Commission has made proposals to strengthen European Union's border management agency, Frontex. The proposals include reinforcing the legal framework to ensure full respect of fundamental rights during Frontex activities and enhancing the operational capacity of Frontex to support Member States.

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MEPs propose extending maternity leave to 20 weeks fully paid

Minimum maternity leave in the EU should be extended from 14 to 20 weeks and be fully paid, believe MEPs in the Women's Rights Committee. An entitlement to paid paternity leave of at least two weeks was also approved by the committee.

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