Published the work plan for 2009 and four calls for proposals under the II Programme of Community action in the field of …

The Official Journal of the European Union has published on February 26th the Commission Decision of 23th February 2009 concerning the adoption of the 2009 work plan to implement the Second Programme of Community action in the field of health (2008-2013), and the criteria for selection, award and other factors that apply to financial contributions for activities of this programme. Together with this programme, four calls for proposals have also been issued.

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Stockholm will be the first European Green Capital in 2010

European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, has announced at a ceremony in Brussels that the Swedish capital will be European Green Capital in 2010 followed by Hamburg in 2011. The European Commission's new award scheme encourages cities to improve the quality of urban life by taking the environment systematically into account in urban planning

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Internal Market Scoreboard shows high rate of implementation in MS but more action in practical application to be achieved

According to the European Commission’s latest Internal Market Scoreboard, Member States continue to perform well in implementing agreed Internal Market rules into national law on time. On average only 1.0% of Internal Market Directives for which the implementation deadline has passed are not currently written into national law, which means that most Member States remain in line with the new 1.0% target agreed by Heads of State.

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EC opens public consultation on an eventual European Foundation Statute

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the content of a possible European Foundation Statute, the issues and difficulties foundations face in their  cross-border operations, and on how a Statute might affect donors' and founders' attitudes. Interested parties may submit their responses until May 15th 2009, which will be taken into account in assessing the need for and the impact of a potential Statute.

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EP hosts re-inauguration event for Europe Direct information network

On February 12th 2009, a second generation of the Europe-wide network of Europe Direct information centres was launched for the 2009 - 2012 period. The Europe Direct information network is one of the main tools of the European Commission to offer information to citizens at local level and to give feedback to the European Institutions. The new network will extend possibilities for citizens to get practical information and advice on exercising rights in the European Union.

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Commission signs an agreement with major social networking sites on the Safer Internet Day

The agreement signed in Luxembourg at the Safer Internet Day organised by the European Commission will empower teenagers to deal with potential risks they may face online, like cyberbullying or revealing personal information. This is the first agreement to be signed at European level which will involve 17 leading web firms such as Arto, Bebo, Dailymotion, Facebook, Giovani.it, Google/YouTube, Hyves, Microsoft Europe, Myspace, Nasza-klaza.pl, Netlog, One.lt, Skyrock, StudiVZ, Sulake/Habbo Hotel, Yahoo!Europe, and Zap.lu.

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EP supports the draft Directive which will criminalise the employer and not the illegal immigrant

Members of the EP Civil Liberties Committee adopted on January 21st, by a large majority, a compromise reached with the Council by Claudio Fava, the MEP guiding the legislation through Parliament.  This deal paves the way for a first-reading agreement on the “sanctions directive” and will be debated at Parliament’s plenary session in Brussels on February, 19th.

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New mandates for European Data Protection Supervisor

The Official Journal of the European Union, OJEU has published on January, 16th 2009 the Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council of January 14th, appointing Mr. Peter Hustinx as the new European Data Protection Supervisor.

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EP backs decision to include security features and biometrics in passports

The European Parliament has approved the revision of the regulations to include biometric data such as fingerprints or facial patterns, in passports issued in the European Union. The new law sets the minimum age of 12 years to take fingerprints, but grants a period of 4 years to countries where the age is lower. Moreover, in all Member States children will be holders of their own passports and will no longer appear in their parents. This is sought to combat the illicit trafficking of minors.

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“Three E's” on focus for the Czech Presidency

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra introduced the main priorities  and the work program of the Czech Presidency, in a ceremony held in Prague on January, 6th. Three key priorities will be in focus for this period, which will be identified by “the three E's”: Economy, Energy and Europe in the world. The motto is a ‘Europe without barriers’.

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The EDPS supports the Community Programme “Safer Internet”

The Official Journal of the European Union has publisehd on January, 7th, 2009, the favourable Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor on the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a multiannual Community programme on protecting children using the Internet and other communication technologies.

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Ireland will join the European Migration Network

The Official Journal of the European Union published on January, 6th,  the favourable Commission's opinion on the request from Ireland to accept Council Decision 2008/381/EC establishing a European Migration Network.

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