Half Estonians already pay in Euro with changeover in good way

The changeover to the Euro in Estonia is proceeding according to plan. By the end of Wednesday 5 January, an important milestone was passed as more than half of cash payments in shops were made in Euro only and virtually all customers were also getting their change in the currency they now share with some 330 million Europeans.

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EU ratifies UN Convention on disability rights

With this formal ratification, the European Union becomes for the first time in history a party to an international human rights treaty: the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which aims to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy their rights on an equal basis with all other citizens. This text is the first comprehensive human rights treaty to be ratified by the Union as a whole.

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EC presents the first report on the application of Intellectual Property Rights enforcement Directive

In its recent report about the application of 2004 Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, the European Commission highlights the important progress which has been achieved since it was adopted and implemented in the Member States. However, Commission also points out the important increase in the economic value of IPR infringements and the need to pay attention to certain issues such as the observance of procedures, legal proceedings and protective measures, as well as taking into account the changes introduced by the Internet and digital technologies.

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ECHA receives more than 3 million notifications for the first EU inventory of hazardous substances

Following the requirements laid down in the new Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging, more than 3 million notifications have been submitted by chemicals manufacturers and importers to the European Chemical Agency by the deadline. This classification aims to better protect human health and the environment, by determining whether a chemical is dangerous and the information on the labels of chemicals that workers and consumers use.

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CoR presents a busy year for regions and cities in Europe

The Committee of the Regions presented by the end of December 2010 a programme of events in the pipeline for 2011, where as it has been the case in previous years the OPEN DAYS to be held in October will play a central role. This year, in addition to the events linked to the six Plenary sessions, there will also be some sessions and fora dedicated to some of the key issues of the year within EU agenda, as well as a number of other major events in cooperation with the incoming Presidencies.

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Information about research and development in the EU now easier to search

The European Commission website for Community Research and Development Information, CORDIS, has launched a new search tool which intended to facilitate the search and access to all the contents of the web. This search tool will continue to be upgraded during the beta phase introducing new features which will include the opinions and suggestions made by users of the service.

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EU speaks with one single voice on Development and Cooperation, DG DEVCO-EuropeAid in place

The new Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO) formally began its work on 3 January 2011. Headed by Mr. Fokion Fotiadis, this new Directorate will be responsible for designing European development policy and for delivering aid throughout the world.

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Regulation implementing enhanced cooperation for divorce and separation already in force

The Official Journal of the European Union published on 29 December 2010 Council Regulation (EU) Nº 1259/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation. This rule which will provide higher legal certainty for international couples, represents the first application of the enhanced cooperation mechanism within the Lisbon Treaty.

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First common mobile phone chargers expected to be in the market early 2011

Incompatibility of chargers for mobile phones is not only a major inconvenience for users, but also a considerable environmental problem. In order to solve this situation, the European Commission called in 2009 for an agreement in order to harmonise chargers for data-enabled mobile phones. Following this mandate, the European Standardisation Bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI have now made available the harmonised standards required for the manufacture of data-enabled mobile phones compatible with a new common charger.

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