European Commission calls for an open, independent and accountable governance of the internet

The European Commission has called, in a strategic document, for more transparency and multilateral accountability in the governance of the internet. There are today 1.5 billion internet users worldwide, 300 million of which are in the European Union's 27 Member States. At present, a private US-based body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ( ICANN ), is responsible for coordinating key elements of the Internet.

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Higher level of protection of health and environment on biocide products

The European Commission presented on June 12th 2009, a draft legislation to improve the safety of biocides and to simplify authorisation procedures, by significantly increasing the safety of biocide products used and placed on the market in the European Union. It proposes to phase out the most hazardous substances, particularly those that may cause cancer, and to introduce new rules for articles such as furniture and textiles treated with biocides, which are not covered by existing legislation.

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Air safety: new airports fulfil security measures

The Official Journal of the European Union (L 145/23) has published the Commission Regulation (EC) No 483/2009 laying down measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security.

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Council adopts new Roaming Regulation

The ministers of the 27 EU Member States have formally adopted the new EU roaming rules proposed by the European Commission last September and approved by the European Parliament in April The new EU roaming rules will lead to further reductions of up to 60% on consumers' roaming bills as of 1 July 2009 in all 27 EU Member States.

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EC launches second phase of “HELP for a life without tobacco” campaign

On May 31st, to mark the World No Tobacco Day, Commission will launch the second phase of its ‘HELP for a life without tobacco’ campaign. Three new TV spots will be shown on over 100 TV channels across Europe for one month and repeated during the month of September. These TV spots, developed with young people, use humour to deliver three serious messages: don’t start smoking, how to quit smoking and dangers of second hand smoke.

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JRC-IHCP opens a call for expressions of interest on nanotechnology

By this Call for Expressions of Interest (CEI) the Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Management Support Unit, will made up the list of service providers which will be used for the conclusion of public contracts on certain services to be provided to the Institute. The object of this call for expression of interest is the provision of services in the field of nanotechnology — safety assessment of products and substances.

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EC opens public consultation on draft Guidelines for broadband networks state aid

The European Commission has published, for public consultation, draft Guidelines on the application of EU state aid rules to public funding of broadband networks. The main issue at stake concerns public financing of very high speed, so-called "next generation access networks". Member States and stakeholders can submit their views on the proposed text by June 22nd 2009. Further to this consultation, and taking into account its results, Commission will issue the definitive Broadband Guidelines later this year.

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Antitrust: Commission imposes fine of €1.06 bn on Intel for abuse of dominant position

The European Commission has imposed a fine of €1,060,000,000 on Intel Corporation for violating EC Treaty antitrust rules on the abuse of a dominant market position by engaging in illegal anticompetitive practices to exclude competitors from the market for computer chips called x86 central processing units (CPUs). The Commission has also ordered Intel to cease the illegal practices immediately to the extent that they are still ongoing.

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Europe is Fair Trade's home

In its report about the role of Fair Trade and non-governmental trade-related sustainability assurance schemes as a contribution to Sustainable Development, the Commission highlights that  between 60% and 70% of global sales take place in the European Union. In order to ensure maximum level of transparency the Commission intends to explore the scope for further dialogue, co-operation and, where appropriate, convergence between different private labelling schemes to promote possible synergies and enhance clarity for the consumer.

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Provisional agreement reached over beef dispute, US will not impose Carousel sanctions

The European Union and the Trade Department of the United States have reached on May 6th 2009, an understanding which allows a way forward in the long-running dispute over hormone-treated beef. According to the agreement the US would not impose new “Carousel” sanctions over a set of EU products, and would in return enjoy additional duty-free access to the EU market for the type of high quality beef traditionally exported by the U.S.

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Commission wants consumers to surf the web without borders

The European Commission today launched the eYouGuide, a new online tool giving practical advice on the "digital rights" consumers have under EU law. This guide, which responds to a call from the European Parliament in 2007, addresses consumer issues like the rights towards your broadband provider, shopping on the web, downloading music and protecting your personal data online and on social networking sites.

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EFSA calls for external experts to set a quality working group

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published in the Official Journal of the European Union on April 24th 2009, the launch of a selection procedure that aims to draw up a reserve list of external experts to be considered for the membership of a working group of scientific experts to externally review the quality of the scientific outputs of the Authority.

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