ERC Scientific Council issues plan for enhanced gender equality in EU research

The ERC Scientific Council has established a gender equality plan, based on the view that women and men are equally able to perform excellent frontier research. One of the main goals of this plan, which has been concluded by the ERC gender balance working group,  is to increase the number of female top researchers applying for ERC grants, by means of raising awareness.

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Europe welcomes Mubarak's resignation and held out its hand to the people of Egypt

Following former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, decision to step down, the European Union in a common statement from President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, and EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, welcomed his decision and renewed EU compromise towards the people of Egypt. In a first reaction to this historic event, President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek, stated that this is only a beginning of a long road to lasting change: a road of political transition in Egypt in full.

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EC consults on measures to strengthen bank capital requirements for counterparty credit risk

On 9 February the Internal Market and Services Directorate General of the European Commission launched a public consultation seeking stakeholders' views on proposed measures to strengthen bank capital requirements for counterparty credit exposures arising from derivatives, repo and securities financing activities. The measures are based on the work of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and will form part of the Commission's upcoming legislative proposal to implement Basel III reforms into EU law. Interested parties are invited to send their opinions by 9 March 2011.

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Still few Europeans know well how 112 emergency number works

Although telecoms rules require Member States to make their citizens aware of the 112 number, there is still a large number of EU citizens who still do not know this number which could save their lives. For that reason, on the European 112 Day, the European Commission recalls the need to increase Member States efforts to increase public awareness of the existence of this EU-wide service.

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EU creativity on tour with the Mies van der Rohe Contemporary Architecture Award

The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture “Mies van der Rohe Award” is awarded every two years to support excellence in the field of architecture. Between the two editions two exhibitions and the Prize catalogue travel around Europe allowing the European public to see exhibits on the winning buildings in their own cities.

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EU study calls for urgent boost of childhood cancer research

Funding for childhood cancer research is too low and too dependent on short-term grants to maintain the improvements in survival rates seen in recent decades. This is the stark warning issued by EU-funded researchers who also highlight the steps needed to improve the way clinical trials for childhood cancer drugs are organised in Europe.

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EU calls for Egyptian people's expectations to be met after Mubarak's speech

Following the public address of President Hosni Mubarak on 10 February 2010 where he said he will not step down, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton reaffirmed the European Union position that the demands and expectations of the Egyptian people must be met. It is for the Egyptian people to judge whether the steps announced by President Mubarak fulfil their expectations and aspirations.

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Media freedom and gender equality, common concerns for EP on Turkey and Montenegro EU aspirations

The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee addressed on 10 February some issues concerning the situation of both Turkey and Montenegro in their respective relations to the Union, and voted two resolutions . MEPs voted on a resolution welcoming Montenegro's candidate status, while also pointing out some issues which still remain to be addressed. Some of these issues, especially those related to media freedom, are also matter of concern for MEPs regarding Turkey's situation.

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MEDIA Mundus Programme on stage at the Berlin International Film Festival

Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has announced the first 34 projects funded under the new MEDIA Mundus funding programme at the opening of the 61st Berlin International Film Festival on 10 February. The European Commission will also have a stand at the European Film Market of the Berlinale, encouraging access for smaller companies to the international market.

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More financial efficiency and less bureaucracy are key for future EU funding, AER survey shows

According a recent survey presented by the Assembly of the European Regions (AER), regions have recognised positive aspects, but there are unavoidable obstacles from the regional point of view regarding the effectiveness in EU funding. The results of this survey conducted within AER members was answered by 23 regions of 14 different countries.

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EU Agencies, What is their role? What will be their future?

European agencies have been set up in successive waves since the mid 1970s and today form an important part of the EU’s institutional landscape. Responding to needs identified by the EU and its Member States, they perform a variety of legal, technical and scientific tasks across a broad range of policy areas. In order to discuss over their future role in the European construction, experts and members from these organizations met in Brussels between 31 January and 3 February in the “EU Agencies: The way ahead” Exhibition.

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Prince of Wales opens Parliament's Low Carbon Prosperity Summit

The need to shift economies onto a lower carbon route and to acknowledge the direct links between the resilience of ecosystems and that of national economies were highlighted by the Prince of Wales at the opening of Parliament's Low Carbon Prosperity Summit held on 9 February. In his speech, the Prince of Wales stressed the need to move away from conventional economic models based on the production of high carbon intensity products, in line with the overall objective of the Summit which was to find a way for a new low-carbon economy in Europe.

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