Joint meeting of Terrorism Working Party and COTER for analysing terrorist attack in Norway

The Polish presidency convened a joint meeting of the two Council working groups on terrorism, the Terrorism Working Party (TWP) and COTER after the tragic events in Norway on 22 July 2011. The goal was to exchange information and analysis and to start the process of drawing the lessons of this tragedy in order to better prevent and respond to such attacks in the future.

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The Economic Sentiment for the EU and the euro area declined in July

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for the EU and the euro area declined in July, but remains above its long-term average. In the EU, it fell to 102.4 and to 103.2 in the euro area. In the EU confidence declined notably in industry, retail trade and among consumers, with marginal falls in services and an improvement in the construction sector. In the euro area the fall resulted from a decline in confidence in all sectors, with strong losses in industry and services.

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Commission announced measures to boost the take-up of e-procurement in the EU

The Commission wants to promote e-procurement in the EU with measures such as a call for applications for participation in a new, informal expert group on e-tendering or monitor the use of e-procurement across Member States. The aim of these measures is to help Member States to accelerate the switchover to e-procurement, and to enable suppliers to take part in online procurement procedures across the single market.

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The Commission extends the authorisation to use the 24 GHz radio frequency band for short-range anti-collision radar in cars

The European Commission published the decision to facilitate deployment of car radar system to boost road safety. This decision extends the authorisation to use the 24 GHz radio frequency band for short-range anti-collision radar in cars until 2018. Only 0.05 % of cars in Europe are equipped with such radar systems, which currently all use the 24 GHz band, and are mainly in luxury car.

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35 health claims on food products which are object to be listed by the Commission

The European Commission welcomed the publication of the sixth set covering 35 health claims on food products by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Now, the Commission will present by the end of the year a list of permitted health claims on food products for all substances other than the so-called "botanicals" based on the publication made by EFSA.

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€227 million to support the vegetables sector after E-Coli crisis

The Commission proposal of increase the EU support under the emergency plan for vegetable producers affected by the E-Coli crisis have been accepted by Member States. Accordingly, the budget will be increased from €210 to €227 million.

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European funds for a network of computer programs that could provide personalised health care

The ITFOM ('IT [information technology] future of medicine') project works in developing an innovative European network for personalised health care which could revolutionise health care. In addition, it could suppose a save on the health-care costs.

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European workers spent more time at work than in 2010

According to an annual update published by Eurofound, the actual working week of full-time employees was longer than the average normal collectively agreed working week in almost all EU Member States in 2010. In the EU, the actual working week was 39.7 hours in 2010, 1.7 hours longer than the agreed working week.

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The population in Europe reached the 502.5 million last January

According to data provided by the statistical office of the European Union, the population of the European Union amounted 502.5 million on 1 January 2011, which means one million and a half in one year. The population increased in twenty Member States and decreased in seven, with considerable variations between Member States.

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The 2011 LUX prize finalists have been announced

The European Parliament announced the three finalists for the 2011 LUX. In this occasion, the finalista are a Greek production, "Attenberg" by Athina Rachel Tsangari; another from France's "Les neiges du Kilimandjaro" by Robert Guédiguian and a Swedish, French, Danish production, "Play" by Ruben Östlund. The winner will be announce in November.

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The Commission published restrictions on the industrial uses of creosote, a carcinogenic substance

Although the use of creosote, a toxic and carcinogenic chemical is banned since 2003 for consumers, is still being used on wooden railway sleepers, electricity poles and in fencing. Accordingly, the European Commission has presented its decision to strengthen the restrictions on its industrial use.

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Unprecedented number of responses to the consultation on the Tobacco Products Directive

85,000 responses were received to the public consultation on the upcoming revision of the Tobacco Products Directive. The outcome shows that contributions varied significantly. For example, those in favour of mandatory pictorial health warnings stressed that these measures would significantly weaken the advertising effects of the packaging. Opponents, on the other hand, raised legal concerns arguing that these measures would have little or no impact on the uptake of smoking.

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