EU funded initiative facilitates access to test facilities for experimental marine renewable energy

Thanks to the MARINET 'Marine renewables infrastructure network' initiative, companies from countries FP7 countries will access to test facilities in specialist marine renewable energy centres across Europe. This initiative funded with €9 million Euro, will help remove some of the financial barriers that sometimes stand in the way of access to world-class European testing facilities.

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European Medicines Agency will set up a network to work with healthcare professionals

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published a framework document for the interaction between the Agency and healthcare professionals. This document describes the objectives and the terms of reference for the Agency’s interaction with healthcare professionals in relation to medicines for human use.

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Second evaluation report on EU Pilot shows it has become a working method delivering results

In the Second Evaluation Report on EU Pilot, the European Commission considers that this initiative is no longer a project in its early and experimental phase. According to the results of the report, the projects has now become a well-established working method which is delivering results for the Commission, as well as for the participating Member States and citizens. Therefore, the Commission is exploring the possibility to extend the EU Pilot as an instrument for problem-solving and prevention.

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The European Union keeps its active role in the preparation of the Arms Trade Treaty

Among the aspects included in the thirteenth annual report presented according to the common position on common rules for control of exports of military technology and equipment, the Council highlights as one key priority for the European Union and Member States to achieve a robust and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The report describes the main activities undertaken in this regard during 2010 and 2011.

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EU funded researchers start works in the promotion of biomass through energy intermediates

The project BIOBOOST ('Biomass-based energy intermediates boosting biofuel production'), which will be launched early 2012, aims to promote and develop energy resources based on residual biomass. This project meets the general opinion of EU citizens who support research to promote and develop alternative energy resources.

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European Court of Justice clarifies when customs authorities may detain imitations or copies in transit within EU territory

According to a recent judgement of the European Court of Justice, member states customs authorities would be entitled to act in cases where goods which are in transit on EU territory violate intellectual property rights protected in the European Union. The Court clarifies that for that purpose, it has to be demonstrated that there has been a commercial act directed to European consumers, such as advertising of these products in EU market.

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The Commission presents a proposal to extend EBRD operations to the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean

In response to the 2011 events in Southern Neighbourhood the European Commission has put forward a Proposal to extend European Bank for Reconstruction and Development operations to the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. This proposal is based in the Bank's experience in delivering support to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism whose main challenges were similar to those now faced by Southern Mediterranean countries.

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Commission and industry discuss over the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive

On the request of tobacco industry representatives, members of the Health and Consumers Directorate General met in Brussels in December in order to discuss the ongoing revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The revision of the current Directive, which dates from 2001, is a response to some scientific progress and international developments, as well as a response to the request from the Parliament and the Council.

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Two European initiatives launched to preserve and upgrade nuclear sector skills

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) launched two initiatives which are aimed at preserving and upgrading skills in the nuclear field in the EU. According to JRC, the initiatives are approved because trends such as workforce ageing and phasing out of nuclear power plants in some EU Member States could jeopardize important knowledge on nuclear maintenance and preservation if no action is taken.

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The risks to euro area financial stability increased considerably in the second half of 2011

According to the financial stability review published by the ECB on 19 December, the sovereign risk crisis and its interplay with the banking sector worsened in an environment of weakening macroeconomic growth prospects during the second half of 2011. Among the risks identified, contagion effects in larger euro area sovereigns gathered strength amid rising headwinds from the interplay between the vulnerability of public finances and the financial sector.

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The 25% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in the EU comes from homes

According to an analysis from the European Environment Agency (EEA), homes energy is responsible for one quarter of European greenhouse emissions. Homes in the EU only emit 12% of energy emissions directly, but this doubles when related emissions from power plants and district heating are factored in.

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Europol coordinates a major crackdown against online child sex abuse file-sharing networks

‘Operation Icarus’ has helped to identify 269 suspects and arrest 112 suspects, spread across 22 involved countries thanks to a major crackdown against online child sex abuse file-sharing networks carried out by law enforcement agencies from 26 European countries, supported and coordinated by Europol.

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