Barely one quarter of Europeans feel to be well informed about European Parliament's activities

According to the results of the latest EU-wide opinion poll of the European Parliament, Europeans’ views of the activity of the institution remain stable. Although the figures of this survey which looks at how much EU citizens know about the institution and their opinions about its works and priorities, are broadly stable compared with previous surveys, the poll also shows substantial variation between the different Member States.

Read more …

Europeans support EU cooperation in rare disease research and access to appropriate care

On the occasion of the 4th World Rare Diseases Day, a Eurobarometer survey shows that up to  95% of EU citizens believe there should be more European cooperation in this area and that rare disease patients should have the right to access appropriate care in another Member State. These kind of diseases affect up to 36 million Europeans who are in need of proper diagnosis and treatment.

Read more …

EU-funded film 'The King's Speech' makes a hit at the Oscar awards

EU-backed film 'The King's Speech' was awarded with four Oscars at last 83rd Academy Awards ceremony held in Hollywood on 27 February. The film, which was supported by EU MEDIA fund for cinema gained statuette for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and best original screenplay. Another MEDIA-backed film, 'In a Better World', directed by Denmark's Susanne Bier, was awarded with the best foreign language film.

Read more …

The future of CAP and its contribution to a balanced territorial development

At the meeting of the Agricultural and Fisheries Council celebrated in Brussels on 21 February, ministers held a third policy debate on the Commission communication 'The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future'. In this occasion, the debate - structured around a Presidency questionnaire, focused on balanced territorial development, which is the third main objective for the future CAP identified in the Commission communication.

Read more …

The European Union fully endorses UN Security Council on restrictive measures against Libya

The High Representative of the European Union and Vice-President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, stated on 27 February European Union's full endorsement of the Resolution taken by the United Nations Security Council in order to implement sanctions on Libyan authorities in bid to stem violent repression. Meanwhile, the EU continues to work together to coordinate the evacuation of EU citizens and support humanitarian efforts.

Read more …

Commission launches consultations on environment regarding resource efficiency, Rio+20 Summit and bio-based economy

The European Commission has launched on 25 February two online consultations in the field of environment. The first consultation seeks opinions on policy options that might encourage a switch to a more efficient use of natural resources in the European economy, and the second one relates to the position to be taken by the EU at the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. A third related consultation has also been launched to gather opinions on the European bio-based economy, which also includes aspects of resource efficiency. These consultations will remain open until mid-April 2011.

Read more …

European study establishes relationship between birth weight and neurological responses

New research from the UK suggests that our birth size and placenta weight may hold clues to the way the left and right sides of our brain will work in relation to each other in later life. These intriguing findings, presented in the journal PLoS ONE, may help to improve our understanding of a range of health issues linked to cerebral laterality.

Read more …

Workers' and employers' agreement is helping to deal with stress at work

The European Commission has published an evaluation of the agreement to ensure a minimum level of protection against stress at work, concluding that it has had positive effects where implemented. In particular, employers' and workers' efforts have led to policy developments in 12 Member States where little had been done before. Although the agreement has not been implemented evenly in all countries, 19 Member States now have legislation or binding collective agreements that address stress or other psychological risks at work.

Read more …

Council support to Commission's proposal for an EU Internal Security Strategy in action

EU ministers in charge of Justice and Home Affaits meeting in Brussels on 24 February 2011, debated over the Commission communication on the European Union internal security strategy in action, reaching a series of conclusions regarding this text. In their remarks, ministers underlines that any response to EU's main threats must respect its common values, including the protection and promotion of fundamental rights within the Union and in its relations with the wider world.

Read more …

Commission's proposal to link business registers across Europe will boost cross-border trade

The European Commission has adopted on 25 February a proposal to interconnect business registers within the EU, which aims to facilitate cross-border electronic access to business information, by ensuring business registers are updated, and business information is more easily and readily accessible.  These changes are crucial for companies when setting up branches, conducting cross-border trade or providing cross-border services in the EU.

Read more …

EU activates Civil Protection mechanism to evacuate Europeans from Libya

In the evening of 23 February, the Presidency of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to support the evacuation of EU citizens from Libya. As highlighted by Commissioner Georgieva, responsible for Crisis Response, it is EU's responsibility to evacuate from Libya the thousands of EU citizens who are struggling get out of the country under extremely difficult circumstances.

Read more …

Commission proposes measures to tackle fraud in EU Emissions Trading System registries

Following a series of cyber-thefts from several EU Emissions Trading System registries which took place over January 2011, the European Commission outlined on 23 February a series of actions aimed at strengthening the integrity of the European carbon market. These proposals , which were discussed by the EU Climate Change Committee, include a series of short term actions to allow Member State to improve security in their systems, as well as medium and long term measures to increase both with Member States and through a regular dialogue with stakeholders.

Read more …