EC funds project to improve e-services

Experts and computer scientists from Europe and Israel have begun to work on a project that seeks to resolve the problems of interoperation between electronic services. The ACSI ('Artifact-centric service interoperation') will examine the viability of interoperation hubs and dynamic artefacts as ways to improve the process whereby e-services are merged into one dynamic system.

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EFSA's new scientific opinion on assessing the possible allergenicity of GMOs

EFSA’s Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Panel has adopted a scientific opinion on strategies for assessing the risk of allergenicity of GM plants and microorganisms and derived food and feed. This opinion takes into account the results coming from the a consultation opened gather interested parties points of view.

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Germany thrusts EU Economic Sentiment Indicator

According to data released by the European Commission the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) edged up in July to 102.2 (by 1.9 points) in the European Union as a whole, and to 101.3 (by 2.3 points) in the Euro area. These results, as well as positive data also in consumer confidence indicators, are highly influenced by positive readings in Germany.

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More than 1.000 innovative ideas already funded by the ERC

The European Research Council has now funded over 1000 innovative ideas within its three years of activity. Among the package of funded projects, ERC covers a vast range of scientific disciplines, public policy areas and commercial sectors. There is currently a further 661 M € envelope still available for early-career researchers which has been launched within the FP7 Calls for proposals in 20 July 2010. These grants will be awarded over the next 14 months and are expected to create more than 165.000 jobs.
 

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ECB reviews risk control measures in its collateral framework

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has reviewed the risk control measures in the framework for assets eligible for use as collateral in Eurosystem market operations. The resulting changes stem from the biennial review of the Eurosystem risk control measures and the Governing Council’s decision of 8 April 2010 to introduce graduated valuation haircuts for lower-rated assets.

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European population reaches 501 million

According to data provided by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat), the population of the European Union amounted to 501 million on 1 January 2010. This data show that an important part of this increase comes from net migration rate which was of 0.9 million people, as well as natural increase of 0.5 million. 

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EDPS calls for more legal certainty and a higher level of data protection for IMI

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) addressed on 27 July a letter to the Internal Market and Services Directorate General of the Commission, in which he took stock of what has been achieved and what further progress needs to be made on the issues raised in the Commission Report on the state of data protection in the Internal Market Information System (IMI).

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IGC on Iceland's Accession negotiations launched

On the basis of the positions of the Parties, the first meeting of the Accession Conference with Iceland at Ministerial level decided on 27 July the opening of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the Accession of Iceland to the European Union, following the decision of the European Council of 17 June that accession negotiations should be opened. Contacts between the Iceland and the EU side will be now pursued in order to define the date and the agenda for the first meeting of the Conference at Deputy level.

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Three films shorlisted for the 2010 LUX Film Prize

Akadimia Platonos, Die Fremde and Illégal have been the three films shortlisted on 27 July for the European Parliament's 2010 LUX film prize, during an event at the Venice International Film Festival. Like past LUX Prize contenders, these films speak to Europeans' hearts and identities, forcing them to ask themselves about cultural and family relations, and the rules by which they live.

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Commission allocates 35 M€ for victims in Somalia

The European Commission has adopted a 35 million euro funding decision to support humanitarian activities in Somalia. The decision adopted will address a wide range of relief interventions in sectors such as health, nutrition, food aid/food security, water and sanitation, as well as non-food shelter, disaster risk reduction, logistics, security, and the coordination of partner operations.

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Absenteeism costs about 2.5% of EU GDP

According to a report released by the European Working Conditions Observatory, average rates of absence across Europe are between 3% and 6% of working time and the cost is estimated to be about 2.5% of GDP. This study shows that while some countries are attempting to control costs, others put the emphasis on promoting health and well-being.

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First General Affairs Council meeting under Belgian Presidency

The General Affairs Council met on 26 July for the first time since the beginning of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. On the agenda: a presentation of the programme for the Presidency, followed by a series of discussions concerning a variety of subjects, among other things Iceland’s application for membership of the EU as well as the establishment of the European External Action Service.

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