Competitiveness Council debates future industry policy and considers enhanced cooperation to EU patent system

EU patent system was again in the agenda of Competitiveness Council meeting held on 25 November, together with the new elements for a new industrial policy as well as the celebration of  the 7th Space Council, in partnership with the European Space Agency, in which ministers adopted a resolution on the challenges facing the European space systems.

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Parliament strongly condemns the violent events in Laâyoune

The European Parliament adopted on 25 November, a resolution strongly condemning the violent incidents that occurred in Izik Agdaym camp in Western Sahara and called for an independent international investigation from the United Nations, considered as the most appropriate body to conduct an investigation to determine the facts.

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Europe raises the voice to fight violence against women

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and also the first day of a conference on Violence Against Women organised by the European Commission. The This Conference, which aims to draw attention to this prevalent and often under-recognised form of crime and its severe consequences, followed the Summit of EU Women Ministers on the same topic organised by the Belgian Presidency on 24 November.

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EP urges Commission to cooperate with Ombudsman in cases of access to documents

The European Parliament has passed on 25 November a resolution stressing that transparency and access to information on what the EU administration is doing, are vital to maintain citizens' trust in it. For that reason, the Eurochamber recalled the importance of Ombudsman's work in this sense and the need to count upon Commission's collaboration.

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Parliament welcomes “three strikes” and personal searches exclusion from ACTA

The European Parliament has voted favourably to a resolution on the adoption of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). In this resolution, however, the Parliament asks the Commission to confirm that ACTA’s implementation will have no impact on fundamental rights and data protection, on the ongoing EU efforts to harmonise intellectual property rights enforcement measures, or on e-commerce.

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Council reaches a political agreement on rules against trafficking of human beings

Negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached on 24 November a political consensus on the text of the Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protection of victims. This legal provision constitutes the first agreement between the Council and the European Parliament on an equal footing in the area of substantive criminal law after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.

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EU researchers seek the causes for eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull

Slumbering volcanoes keep scientists on their toes, as questions about if and when they will erupt never cease. Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano that threw European aviation into a tailspin last spring, is a prime example of how volcanologists were aware that something was brewing inside the mountain that had lain dormant for two centuries. New research suggests that the culprit responsible for waking Eyjafjallajökull from its sleep was the magma flowing beneath it.

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Parliament LUX Cinema Prize awarded for the first time to a woman director

The European Parliament awarded on 24 November in a special ceremony this year's LUX Cinema Prize to "Die Fremde", by German woman director Feo Aladağ. The film highlights the problem of "honour killings" by depicting the drama of a Turkish family living in Germany.

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EC acts on all Member States for failing to fully and properly implement EU law

The European Commission has acted against all 27 Member States in its monthly package of infringement decisions. The Commission has taken 317 decisions regarding a full range of sectors and having, in some cases, financial penalties. With these reports, Commission seeks to ensure that Member States apply EU law properly and in due time, for the benefit of citizens.

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Commission establishes EU Ecolabelling Board

The Official Journal of the European Union published on 24 November the Commission Decision of 22 November 2010 establishing the European Union Ecolabelling Board. This document establishes the representation that different consumer and business organizations as well as ONGs will hold within this body.

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Parliament stands firm in negotiations over EU budget for 2011

The European Parliament's plenary session housed on November 23 a debate with the European Commission and the Belgian presidency of the Union, where its position on the deadlock of EU budget for 2011 remained unchanged. In his speech before the debate, the president of the Commission, Durao Barroso announced that the College of Commissioners is preparing a new draft budget to be submitted on 1 December which is expected to be approved within next 15 days.

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Achievements and recommendations about FP7 contribution to European science

FP7 is on course and is clearly making a significant contribution to European science and the development of the European Research Area. This is one of the key messages to emerge from the interim evaluation of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), which includes some recommendations aimed at solving some of the problems identified such as simplification or coordination with other programmes.

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