The defence of an open Internet and freedom of speech keys at the next global Internet Governance Forum conference

The next global Internet Governance Forum conference will be held in Baku (Azerbaijan) between 5th and 9th November. The European delegation will be headed by Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who will make a strong defence of the Internet as an essential element in freedom of speech.

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European Environmental Agency reports significant work still ahead despite the increase in protected natural areas

The European Environmental Agency has released its first Report on Protected Areas in Europe which shows the development of such environmental areas over the past years. In the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Habitats Directive and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the report highlights that despite the significant increase in the extent of protected areas, there is still little attention paid at this issue at pan-European level.

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More than eight million children learn the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables thanks to the School Fruit Scheme

According to the latest report put forward by the Commission, over 54,000 schools took part in the European School Fruit Scheme during the 2010-2011 academic year, distributing up to 43,000 tons of fruit among their students. This Scheme funded with €90 million is aimed at reducing the increase in childhood overweight and obesity in the European Union.

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European Central Bank's October lending survey shows tighter credit standards for SMEs in the euro area

The European Central Bank's bank lending survey shows the changed on the credit situation in the euro area. The survey was developed by the Eurosystem to bring a better understanding of the behaviour of bank lending for companies, consumers and households. The last issue of the survey includes for the first time a question regarding the impact of financial turmoil in access to retail and wholesale credit and another one regarding the impact of the sovereign debt crisis on banks’ funding conditions and credit standards.

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