The roaming prices will be lower from 1st July

From 1st July 2011 to 30 June 2012 EU mobile operators will again be obliged to lower retail prices for roaming calls in line with EU rules first introduced in 2007 and amended in 2009. The EU regulated "Eurotariff" will imply no more than 35 cents per minute for calls made and 11 cents per minute for calls received while abroad in the EU.

Read more …

An European research provides new data on cosmic collisions

An international research partially funded with European funds has shed new light on the history of a cosmic crash - Abell 2744 - that emerged millions of years ago. The study, funded in part by the DARKMATTERDARKENERGY project, can help to reveal how structures form in the universe, and how different types of matter interact with each other when they are smashed together.

Read more …

The winning design of the new commemorative euro coin announced

The new 2-euro commemorative euro coin will have a design which symbolises the way in which the euro has become a true global player in the last ten years and its importance in ordinary people's lives, trade, industry and energy.

Read more …

Cutting red tape is key for SMEs

At the public hearing held on 28 June in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the "Review of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA, Europe’s policy framework for SMEs)", participants called for cutting red tape, strengthening governance instruments and drawing up a genuine road map for progress. In this hearing, other EU Institutions and major stakeholders were present and met Members of the EESC.

Read more …

A Spanish diplomat proposed as new EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commission Vice President, Catherine Ashton, selected Bernardino Leon and officially proposed that the Council appoint him as the EU's Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region.

Read more …

Households gas prices and households electricity prices rose in 2010 in the EU

According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, household electricity prices rose by 5.1% between the second half of 2009 and the second half of 2010, after a fall of 2.3% between the second half of 2008 and 2009. On the household gas prices, there were increased by 7.7% in the EU between the second half of 2009 and 2010, after a fall of 15.5% between the second half of 2008 and 2009.

Read more …

The Commission launches a public consultation on environmental information

The consultation intends seeking opinions from the European citizens on standards that will harmonize the EU-wide approach to data which covers 25 themes including land cover, buildings, soil, land-use, energy, health and safety. The standards will facilitate cross-border integration and analysis of environmental data, modelling, and forecasting activities in many policy areas.

Read more …

European Court of Auditors found that the Single Payment Scheme contributed to the achievement of the CAP goals

The report published by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) on the application of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) found that this mechanism contributes to the achievement of the two of the main objectives of the common agricultural policy, which are supporting farmers’ income and to maintaining agricultural land in good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC). However, the report also found that the implementation of the scheme resulted in a number of questionable features, such as cases where the system encouraged investments by operators who have little interest in farming as an activity but who exploit the guaranteed returns that SPS provides.

Read more …

Thirteen photonics research projects to accelerate high-speed broadband

The European Commission presented thirteen photonics research projects in the field of high-speed fibre broadband networks with the aim of developing technologies to give every Europeans access to fast and ultra fast broadband by 2020.

Read more …

The European Capital of Culture in Spain in 2016 will be San Sebastián

The Spanish city of Donostia-San Sebastián was recommended for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2016 together with the Polish city of Wrocław. The European Capital of Culture is chosen by an independent selection panel which recommends its decision to the Council. The Council has now to appoint the two cities officially in May 2012.

Read more …

The Agriculture Committee believes that milk producers should have more bargaining power

The Agriculture Committee at the European Parliament amended a draft EU regulation on milk contracts to boost dairy farmers' bargaining power. According to this Committee, farmers should be able to join producers' organisations that can negotiate raw milk deliveries for them and ensure that they get a fairer share of the price paid by consumers. In addition, the Committee also proposed a supply management system in order to improve the working of the market for dairy products registered under a protected designation of origin (PDO) or protected geographical indication (PGI).

Read more …

The food security is reinforced thanks to an agreement between the Commission and the UN agencies

The new Strategic Framework of Cooperation to address food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide has been launched on 27 June. The European Commission, together with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reached an agreement to launch this Strategic Framework.

Read more …