The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction publishes its 2012 work programme

The 2012 European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) work programme has been published. The publication includes the activities which look for complete the implementation of the EMCDDA three-year strategy. Furthermore, the 2012 work programme presents specific objectives accompanied by their related activities and expected outcomes.

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New three year Protocol to implement the EU/Greenland Fisheries Partnership Agreement

The new Protocol to Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Greenland foresees that Greenland will provide the EU with a total fishing opportunity of 85,765 tonnes, down from 91,700 tonnes under the current Protocol. the EU/Greenland Fisheries Partnership Agreement will enter into force on 1 January 2013. On the other hand, it was agreed to further limit catches for jack mackerel to 40% of the 2010 baseline in the South Pacific.

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Enterprises must boost innovation within the EU

The European Commission published the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011 which shows that although almost all Member States have improved their innovation performance according to the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011, innovation performance growth is slowing down and the EU is not closing the persistent gap with global innovation leaders US, Japan and South Korea. According to European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, enterprises have already proven to be the key to success in innovation.

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The EU celebrates the Safer Internet Day 2012

On 7th February, more than 100 events in 30 European countries will encourage children, their families and teachers, to discover the digital world together on the Safer Internet Day 2012. INSAFE, the network of Safer Internet Centres funded by the Commission is coordinated the events celebrated this year under the theme: linking up generations for a safer digital world.

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Cleared by the Commission the acquisition of Maxam by Advent and a group of individuals

The proposed acquisition of joint control of the Spanish company MaxamCorp Holding S.L. by US based Advent International Corporation and approximately 110 individuals including Maxam's current managers, technical experts, other employees and co-investors, has been approved by the Commission.

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The plan to rescue the Food for the needy programme backed by the Agriculture Committee

MEPs at the Agriculture Committee backed the text as proposed by the Council on a two-year reprieve for the EU's "food for the needy" programme. Now the Parliament as a whole has to approve the scheme which will run until the end of 2013, with a budget of up to €500 million per year.

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The US would have to bring down the excessive anti-dumping duties down to WTO level

The European Commission announced that one of their most longstanding WTO disputes concerning the US calculation practice of so-called "zeroing" in anti-dumping investigations, is ended. From now on, the excessive American anti-dumping duties will have to be down to WTO level. As a result, no EU exporter should be subject to an anti-dumping duty affected by zeroing in the future.

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The European Parliament wants a better management of the EU humanitarian aid

MEPs adopted a resolution in which they call to the European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection department to manage aid more efficiently and less bureaucratically while, at the same time, ensuring a high level of accountability and transparency. They also point out that EU Member States should show more political will to advance UN reform; so that accountability improves.

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Already 100,000 enquiries made to the YOUR EUROPE ADVICE service

The European Commission service that allows citizens and businesses to ask questions about their EU rights has received its 100,000th enquiry. Also in 2011 YOUR EUROPE ADVICE replied to more than 15,000 enquiries. 8 out of 10 questions deal with social security issues, residence rights, work-related issues, migration and cars.

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A new euroindicator shows that the EU government debt increased from 81.7% to 82.2%

Eurostat publishes for the first time the quarterly data on government debt. According to the figures, at the end of the third quarter of 2011, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area stood at 87.4%, down compared with 87.7% at the end of the second quarter of 2011. In the EU the ratio increased from 81.7% to 82.2%. Compared with the third quarter of 2010, the government debt to GDP ratio rose in both the euro area (from 83.2% to 87.4%) and the EU (from 78.5% to 82.2%).

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EU-funded researchers work on making compatible the protocols to connect to the Internet

A team of Spanish scientific has successfully defined translators that permit understanding between contents in both protocols by means of a technology called NAT64 and DNS64, which is the standard used by the major manufacturers of routers, such as Cisco or Juniper, and the major sellers of the Domain Name System (DNS), such as Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) or Microsoft.

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The European Parliament adopts a resolution which addresses issues raised by citizens on waste management

A report approved by the European Parliament addresses the 114 complaints from EU citizens in 2004-2010 alleging breaches of EU law on waste treatment. At the resolution, MEPs ask for major investments to set up proper waste management facilities, and also but more efficient waste processing.

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